Jennifer's Reviews > Romeo and Juliet and Vampires

Romeo and Juliet and Vampires by Claudia Gabel
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's review
Aug 31, 2010

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bookshelves: para-vampires

Romeo & Juliet is the classic tragic love story. Whether they've read the play or not, everyone knows exactly what happens. I'm a big fan of William Shakespeare. I feel that his his plays transcend time and readers can easily find situations and themes in them that apply to modern life. I am also a big mash-up fan. I believe that the current trend of adding monsters to classic works is an entertaining way of dusting them off and wowing new readers. But mash-ups need to do more than add monsters to be successful. They need to add them in a way that enriches the story and makes it as good if not better than the original.

Having said that, Romeo & Juliet & Vampires takes the original play and rewrites it in novel format. I like this change. The novel format gives readers an insight into the thoughts and motivations of the characters that just can't be as clearly conveyed in a play. The wording in Romeo & Juliet & Vampires is also changed from the original. This updating into a more modern method of speech may appeal to those new to Shakespeare's works, but I believe it will disappoint long-time fans. What is Romeo & Juliet without memorable phrases like "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet."?

The very general, very basic idea of Romeo & Juliet is all that is left of the original. The vampires take over this reinvention, completely changing the entire story line. Even the famous, unforgettable ending is completely different. In the end, the book isn't even a tragedy anymore.

Romeo & Juliet & Vampires is very easy to read. It could have been more enjoyable if it didn't veer so far from the original or even if it had went a completely different direction making it more paranormal historical fiction. As it is, the book is too close to the original while being very far away from the message the original was trying to convey.

I believe those who have never read the original will find Romeo & Juliet & Vampires very satisfying, but I doubt who loved the tragedy will feel anything other than disappointment. Perhaps Romeo & Juliet was better left untouched.
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message 1: by Jayden (new) - added it

Jayden Smtih When you say every one knows exactly what happens I laughed. This would be bc we are taking this book in school and I said something about how Mercutio's death marks the end of the happy period in the play. Then a kid in my class flipped on me bc I spoiled the story for them. Witch is funny bc our teacher said the only one from that generation to survive is Benvolio. Ohhh well I guess before hand I new this kid was illiterate.

Now I am going have to read this book just to see how far off they are to the original. Also bc I love vampires.

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