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ARC Review: A Rose by Any Other Name

Book Cover

Publishing: November 1, 2021

Synopsis:

Juliet is the perfect daughter to her cold parents. She’s devoted to her magic studies, studious and serious, and she even spends her weekends at home.

If she’s a little lonely, well, that hardly matters.

Romeo writes poems, collects fancy pens, makes wine, and is, according to everyone who cares about him, a romantic disaster. He does his best to ignore their knowing looks and disregard their entirely-too-practical advice.

Juliet hates the upstart, uncivilized Montagues because they’re her family’s enemies. Romeo does his best not to think about the wretched and pompous Capulets because he doesn’t need that kind of negativity in his life.

But then one morning they wake up in each other’s bodies, and everything changes.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Well, that was delightful!

I requested this, despite having read many Romeo and Juliet retellings in the past, because of the last line of the synopsis: “But then one morning they wake up in each other’s bodies, and everything changes.”

I read that, and I thought, “Huh. How unexpected. Must know more.” And now I know more, and I can tell you that this story is just as wonderful as the premise makes it sound.

Romeo and Juliet have VERY different voices. She’s studying to be a mage, he’s a poet. She’s calculating, he’s sensitive. This is made very clear in the beginning of the story when they first change bodies, which can be summed up thusly: Juliet wakes in Romeo’s body and begins scheming. Romeo wakes in Juliet’s body and begins screaming.

A lot of it unfolds similarly to the play, with obvious departures. Benvolio and Tybalt were an unexpected and enjoyable couple.

This story is very short, though certain sections feel overly long because they are more telling a series of events than showcasing Romeo and Juliet’s personalities. The novelty and amusing bits make up for it though.

*Thanks to NetGalley and SFWA for providing an e-arc for review.