Book Review: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

“O happy dagger! … This is thy sheath; … there rust, and let me die.”  Romeo & Juliet, Act V, Scene III

So you think you know what happened to Romeo & Juliet – that they both commit suicide for true love. ……… WRONG!

In Stacey Jay’s novel Juliet Immortal, Romeo murders Juliet to seal a pact with The Mercenaries of the Apocalypse in return for immortality.  Juliet is saved in the nick of time by an Ambassador of Light and in return she must battle Romeo time and time again to save the rare souls meant for true love.

For seven hundred years Romeo walks the earth borrowing the bodies of the dead and coercing a soul mate to murder his/her true love.  Juliet waits in the mists to be sent to earth, temporarily borrowing the body of someone close to the potential lovers.  Her task, to ensure the soul mates have a chance to admit their love, putting them out of the Mercenaries clutches forever.

When Juliet is pulled again from the mists, she awakens in the body of Ariel Dragland, seconds after Ariel causes her date’s car to careen over an embankment.  She had just learned Dylan had made a bet he’d “make it” with the “freak” and in her pain and anger she reacts rashly.   Ariel had been scarred by grease as a toddler and even after numerous surgeries, still bears scars on her face and body.  While Arial survived the crash, Dylan did not – and you guessed it, Romeo jumps into Dylan’s soulless body.  Now the race is on to discover who are the soul mates this time around, and who can get to them first!

A tale of good and evil, true love, hope and heartbreak, and maybe redemption.   Not many books today grab my attention and don’t let go.   Juliet Immortal was one I couldn’t put down – way into the morning hours!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Category:  Paranormal Fiction

Stacey Jay’s Website:  http://www.staceyjay.com/

Photo Credit: Heather Loy

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

“The sound was getting stronger.  Not louder, but stronger.  She could feel the vibrations practically resonating beneath her skin now.
This was how it was with these things.  This was the way these feelings came to her.  They were indescribable, yet to her they made perfect sense.
And when they called to her she felt compelled to answer.
She was close now, so close that she could hear a voice.  That was what this echo was, a voice.  Single and solitary, seeking someone – anyone – to answer it.
Violet was that someone.” (Derting 3)

The Body FinderSixteen-year-old Violet Ambrose has a very peculiar gift.  She can find dead bodies, or more specifically, bodies of those that have been murdered.  She’s called by the echoes of the dead -  sounds, scents, tastes, colors and the corresponding imprints that cling to their killers.

As a child she would find the poor creatures preyed upon by natural predators who were only acting on instincts – like the family cat who keeps bringing her offerings.  These poor creatures would only be at peace – and leave Violet in peace – when found and given a proper burial.

But being called by the dead isn’t her only problem.  There’s Jay, her best friend since forever.  Vi has only now noticed, like all of the other girls at school, how Jay has grown up seemingly overnight.  How can she hide her changing feelings for Jay as she doesn’t want to screw up their friendship?  Especially since Jay still sees her as just a friend and seems to be hinting about liking Miss Popularity, Lissie Adams.

Worst of all, Vi and Jay discover the first murdered teen.  Well, not her first as she’d discovered one once before when she was only eight.  After a second young girl goes missing, Violet decides that she must actively seek out the echos that are sure to be clinging to the killer, no matter if it means putting her own life, or her friendship with Jay, in danger.

Adding to the building tension are interspersed chapters from the killer’s point of view.  The Body Finder is a gripping suspense that teens are sure to enjoy.   Recommended for mature readers (ages 14 and up)

Rating: 4 Stars

Category: Supernatural Fiction

Tags: thriller, psychic, contemporary, romance, serial killer, murder, YAlit, fiction

Citation: Derting, Kimberly.  The Body Finder. New York: Harper, 2010. p3.

Additional Resources:

Kimberly Derting – the official web page for the author

The Road to Publication: My Journey – the author’s blog

HarperTeen: Browse Inside The Body Finder – not sure you want to read it? Sample the book here.

HarperTeen: Kimberly Derting – publisher site devoted to Kimberly Derting.

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Update 4/7/10 @ 3:45pm: Okay, I guess I am supposed to be telling where I got the books so my reviews aren’t “biased” or something.  I purchased this book myself from a local bookstore and will be donating it to my high school library!  So there!