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O, Juliet

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  643 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage into the Medici dynasty, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that takes flight in the privacy of her bedchamber ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by NAL (first published December 23rd 2009)
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Dec 02, 2009 Misfit rated it liked it
**This review is based upon an Advanced Reader Copy and may not represent the final published version**

Juliet Capelletti is the daughter of a wealthy silk merchant with penchant for poetry. Her father is preparing to wed her to the odious Jacopo Strozzi to cement their new business partnership, but first Strozzi informs Capelletti of an attack of one of his ships and he blames the Monticecco family and an old feud takes on new life. Of course Juliet meets the Monticecco heir Romeo and its love
Jan 28, 2014 Victoria rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
I must admit, that I did not love this book. The tale of Romeo and Juliet has never been one of my favorites, and while the new setting of Cosima d'Medici's Florence was interesting, not to mention well detailed, it was simply not enough of a new turn to make me really enjoy this. I just found this historical romance novel's characters to be no less sappy than their younger, original versions. The constant poetry was not my cup of tea, either... I am really just not the right audience for this b ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Mar 24, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Inspired and based upon Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but set in Renaissance Florence of 1444 and not Verona, and her Romeo and Juliet are a bit older--Juliet is 18 in this story, and the novel's primary first person narrator. (Some chapters are told by Romeo).

Something in Juliet's voice just put me off from the beginning. I think part of the problem is I had just recently read Sarah Dunant's excellent The Birth of Venus, published earlier, and there were several points of similarity, throwin
Dec 04, 2013 Chioma rated it it was amazing
O'Juliet is a beautifully written novel that transforms the traditional story of Romeo and Juliet into an adventurous whirlwind of love, loss, and deciet.

Robin Maxwell does a beautiful job of recreating the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet into her own original plotline with characters that I can only describe as kick ass!!! I never read historical fiction. I usually find them boring and overly descriptive. This book had just the right amount of description to keep a great picture in my without distr
Aug 23, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
I loved the original "Romeo and Juliet," and as much as I respect Maxwell's craft and talent, I found her interpretation lazy. The story was so very similar, without much originality. And what was concocted, was on the coat tails of her other novel, "Signora Da Vinci". To add insult to injury, there were sentence fragments peppered throughout the novel, as well as modern day idioms. Additionally, Maxwell stole several of Shakepeare's work, adding a handful of his quotes throughout her novel. (Is ...more
Amy Bruno
Jan 28, 2010 Amy Bruno rated it really liked it
Like a lot of the world, I’ve been captivated by the story of Romeo and Juliet ever since the first time I read it. I was drawn in by the all-consuming passion these two characters felt for each other and the sad circumstances that led to their end. I remember thinking to myself that when I grown up I hope to have the chance to feel such an awe-inspiring love for another person. And once I met my husband, I knew what it was to feel that. It’s exhilarating, but scary at the same time!

In O, Julie
Marie Z. Johansen
I had just finished a book and looked at the rather tall stack of books on my shelf. What to read?! I picked up O! Juliet half expecting that I would put it down momentarily and select another book because I was not in the mood for a re-read of Shakespeare. I found, however, that I couldn't put the book down.

Yes, as others have commented, Strozzi's character is over stated and yes there are far too many references to his yellow teeth and his bad breath - he's the quintessential bad sort of dude.
At some point in the not too distant past I read 'To the Tower Born' by Robin Maxwell and really enjoyed it. That story revolves around the princes in the tower, Richard III and his niece Elizabeth of York. While some (or many) of the events that unfold during the climax of the story are a bit on the highly unlikely side I liked the book very much anyway. I liked the characterizations Maxwell gave to the historical figures and the relationships she described between them. In particular she reall ...more
Feb 21, 2012 kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, 2012
This is a first-person retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Most of the story is told in the voice of Juliet with small bits from Romeo. I liked the two voices, they are distinct and fit easily into the world in which they live, not sounding like modern people.
I think this could easily be enjoyed even if you know nothing of the Shakespearean tragedy of these star-crossed lovers. You will be pulled into their world and hope for them both.
There is a lot of depth to each of them. They don't
Jun 22, 2013 Eythan rated it it was amazing
Did Shakespeare reincarnate and publish a book in 2010?

It is very evident that everyone is fascinated on the way Shakespeare had written works, rich, classy and mostly tragic. Robin Maxwell has brought forth a retelling of Shakespeare’s ever famous “Romeo and Juliet” with the additional side stories narrated.

We only knew how Rome and Juliet had shared their love but never knew of their personal lives. On the cover, it says “Their love was the stuff of legend. But the legend is only half the stor
Carole Rae
Jul 01, 2014 Carole Rae rated it it was amazing
Oooooooooooooooooh where to begin?!

This is a remake of the original 'Romeo and Juliet' by Mr. Shakespeare himself. I adore Billy, but ooooh I hated 'Romeo and Juliet'! It was missing depth and realism. It always bugged me how Juliet and Romeo only knew each other for a week before they killed themselves. C'mon! No offense to my love Billy, but this remake was much better then the original.

Yes, there were many similar elements and references to the original. Some call this lazy, I call it a nod
Jun 28, 2010 Lauren rated it it was ok
Robin Maxwell sets out to tell the "real" story behind Romeo and Juliet. Based on the meager author's note and the Q&A, it's clear that this "real" story is actually a highly fictionalized version of Romeo and Juliet. Why tamper with a good story? Didn't Shakespeare tell it best?

Maxwell's O Juliet is set in Florence instead of Verona. The plot is similar, of course, to the Bard's telling. However, Juliet is 18, as is Romeo. They are brought together by a love of poetry - specifically Dantee
Jan 27, 2010 Anastasia rated it it was amazing
This book brought me closer to the Romeo and Juliet story than ever before. In all other versions of this story, their love for each other could have always passed as lust. yet in Robin Maxwell's story, we see a deeper and more meaningful love blossom despite their young age. And best of all, this love is born out of respect in a time when men did not see women as equals. The respect and true admiration that Romeo feels for Juliet is pivotal in this retelling . . . I had no trouble believing tha ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Renee Wallace
Feb 03, 2010 Renee Wallace rated it did not like it
Shakespeare's original would have been better left alone. Maxwell's campy chick lit read cannot hold a candle to it, and in the end, it is the same overblown story of adolescent dreams gone horribly awry.
Jan 28, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
It's 2015. Can we please have half stars? I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I could. It was beautifully written, so my issues with it are mostly personal. I found that sometimes Maxwell's writing became, not wordy or purple, but perhaps excessive. One moment that sticks out to me is when Juliet sneaks out with Romeo and her escape from her balcony and up the garden wall takes up 4 pages. Four pages of "action". It was because of this writing that I would lose interest and a book that interested me ...more
Diane Willman
Oct 07, 2012 Diane Willman rated it really liked it

Even though I knew the ending, the story took me in and was a delightful read.
Vicki Kondelik
Jun 22, 2015 Vicki Kondelik rated it it was amazing
O Juliet by Robin Maxwell is a great retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story—with a twist. Robin Maxwell sets the story in Florence in the early Renaissance, instead of Verona, and she makes the lovers older than they are in Shakespeare’s play: Juliet is 18 instead of 14, and Romeo is 25. Juliet is an aspiring poet who dreams of a great love, but her father, a silk merchant, wants to marry her off to his new business partner, the nasty Jacopo Strozzi. Her best friend Lucrezia is marrying into th ...more
Jul 28, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
The problem with reading stories about Romeo and Juliet is you know already how they're going to end and you know it isn't going to be happy!

Despite that though I loved this remodelling of Shakespeare's tragic tale of 'star-cross'd' lovers by Robin Maxwell.

Rather than Verona, Maxwell's version takes place in Medici Florence and I felt that Maxwell really brought the city to life with her writing and evocative language.

Romeo and Juliet themselves are far more accessible and enjoyable as charact
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
I've been a fan of Robin Maxwell's writing for some time now; having read five of her novels already:

As the title suggests, O, Juliet is the re-telling of the famous tale of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in a novel format with some small changes to the original plot.

Juliet and Romeo both adore the work of Dante, and this forms a great part of their falling in love. They enjoy quoting poems to each other and they clearly share an adoration of the written word. In fact, Juliet is represented as q
Feb 04, 2010 Lucy rated it really liked it

How many times can this legendary love story be rewritten and reread, you ask? Well, when the author is Robin Maxwell, you had better rush out and get your copy of O, Juliet, cause this is one historical tale of romance that has just surpassed itself. Magnificent!

Robin Maxwell has used her creative talent to spin a story involving historical characters, descriptive scenery, credible location, and poetic literature (Imagine pages filled with excerpts of Dante Alighieri’s words!). The ultimate pa
May 23, 2010 Allie rated it it was amazing
O, Juliet is a sweeping historical novel based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the most beloved and romantic couple in literary history. Robin Maxwell, author of historical fiction (The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, Signora da Vinci, among others) weaves this rich and compelling tale into novel form for the first time in history, making the Bard’s classic play accessible to today’s audiences. Releasing in stores 2/2/10, hopeless romantics everywhere will be delighted to receive O, Juliet as a ...more
Jenn (Booksessed)
I've always been intrigued by Shakespeare; particularly his tragedies, histories and sonnets. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet intrigued me and I knew I had to give this one a shot. The major changes to the story are that Juliet is 18 rather than 14 and it takes place in Florence rather than Verona.

I was not overly impressed with this one. I couldn't really get into the voice of Juliet. At 18. she doesn't sound like a woman but her actions seemed very immature. I can put up with such behavior fro
Feb 02, 2010 Andrea rated it liked it
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by Romeo and Juliet. It probably started when I remember seeing my mom cry for the first time watching a movie (it was the older version of Romeo and Juliet). The next time it came on, she let me stay up late to watch it with her. I don't think I understood most of it at the time, but I was hooked.

Growing up, I loved Shakespeare's version of Romeo and Juliet and often used monologues from the play. So when I was offered the chance to
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it did not like it
I read this book on someone else's recommendation, and I should state from the outset that I am not the target audience. I do not enjoy the Romeo and Juliet story, and while I like some historical fiction, especially relating to Italy (I'm thinking of Mario Puzo here), I am not fond of romances in general. And this book did not win me over. If I had come at it as someone who likes the genre, though, I would probably have enjoyed it just fine. Maxwell's tale fleshes out Shakespeare's main charact ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it
I'm going to assume that everyone on this blog knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, which was well known even before Shakespeare wrote his immortal version. In fact, most of ya'll have probably seen it performed - a high school version, trip with a class, or at least the Zeferelli and/or Baz Luhrmann versions. Robin Maxwell sets her version in pre-Renaissance Florence and gives her Romeo and Juliet a passion for poetry and an age-up. I'm kind of sad it isn't set directly in the Renaissance, sinc ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Robin Maxwell’s O, Juliet is a refreshing spin on Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. Despite the similarities between Maxwell’s new take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, there are also many differences. For instance, instead of taking place in Verona, Maxwell moves the story to Florence. Also, another significant change to the classic is Juliet’s betrothed Jacopo Strozzi. Jacopo is a foul smelling, yellow-teeth retch of a man, whereas, Paris was a handsome gentleman who actually had t ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Mariah rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mariah by: find books by title or author or isbn
I have always loved historical fiction! I don't know what it is about it, but I love it! Even though Romeo and Juliet was never my favorite I was excited to see a different interpretation of the story. This was my first Robin Maxwell book, but with her power of storytelling, I will definitely be picking up some more of her books.

I really enjoyed seeing into Romeo and Juliet's heads, it made the personal story even more personal. Even though the story takes place in a different time and place, th
Apr 20, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it
This version of Romeo and Juliet is similar to the original in so many ways, but vastly different in others. The basic story is there, but the location (Florence, this time), supporting characters, most names, and overall feel have been changed.

Shakespeare's original is centered upon the meeting and short romance of the two main characters; lovers who try to overcome insurmountable obstacles while we watch from the outside. Robin Maxwell turns it inward, where we get to really know this Romeo an
Feb 27, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
O, Juliet tells the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet – but this isn’t Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet! Juliet Cappelletti is the daughter of a silk merchant in Florence. Romeo Monticecco is the son of rural olive growers. Juliet is to be married to the wealthy partner in her father’s silk factory. When her path crosses with Romeo she knows that she can’t just settle for the uncomfortable, sour life that is planned for her. She must be able to choose what her heart wants!

The Shakespeare version of
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Age Appropriate? 1 7 Sep 17, 2011 03:21PM  
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Robin Maxwell began writing novels about the historical figures she had been obsessing about since graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Her first novel, "The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn," now in its 24th printing, won two YA awards and has been translated into fourteen languages. "The Wild Irish" - an epic tale of Ireland's rebel queen, Grace O'Malley - closed ou ...more
More about Robin Maxwell...

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“Am I pretty? I must be, I thought, for all girls in love are pretty.” 14 likes
“For a moment in time, a man knew me for who I was and, without reservation, loved me for who I was. How can I now live knowing no one will ever see me again in such a perfect light? Hear me as I wish to be heard? Love me as [he] loved me?” 10 likes
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