When I first saw this book, it seemed right up my alley. I've always hated the story of Romeo and Juliet, being on the side that always said that it was a satire (though really, we don't know for sure what Shakespeare intended exactly), but I really enjoyed this.
At first, the present tense through me off a bit, but after about a chapter, I forgot about it and it didn't detract from the story for me. I really enjoyed the atmosphere in certain parts like when Romeo appears in Dylan's body
but I thought some parts seemed too saccharine. like Juliet's ending with Benvolio
had a fairly typical YA writing style - being simplistic - but had plenty enough details that I was able to picture everything, and her writing did not detract from the story at all. It only really added to it in a few parts where the atmosphere was particularly good, but it was fine. I also enjoyed Juliet's narration for the most part - it was very honest.
I'm not really a fan of stories with true love and soul mates, but since this story made it a fact that people had soul mates (not just a fantasy), it worked. The only time the rules of Stacey Jay's universe bothered me was when Romeo and Juliet both entered different realities to create their own happy endings. It made the ending feel only half as satisfying. Yes, it was a cliche ending (though I do think Romeo's was handled with a tiny bit more originality), but the fact that both had different realities made their potential happiness seem cheapened - like it wasn't as "real." It was satisfying enough, but I didn't love it.
I rooted for Ben in the beginning, but as the story went on and Romeo developed character, I liked him more. Sure, he was a bad guy, but everything he'd done before had been for Juliet to be happy.
Also, his character was just far more in depth. Ben was sweet, Ben fought for those he cared about, and Ben was in love. Sure, we're revealed some tidbits about him, but that's about the extent of the depth of his character, and while he didn't annoy me at all because of it, I didn't feel as invested in his character as I should have.
A lot of the story revolves around themes of love, and while that's of course a given, I personally would have enjoyed a bit more darkness. Yes, the mist, the Mercenaries, and the specters were horrifying enough, but I would have liked more to balance it out - perhaps near the end, I don't know. I feel like the evilness of the "good guys" the Ambassadors
could have been gone into in more depth, but enough was done nevertheless.
Overall, it was a good read and I definitely enjoyed it, but I don't think I'll revisit it any time soon.