A few months ago I saw Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte) in the store and thought I'd buy it. For one, I haven't read it since high school, and for two, the cover was just so pretty. I know that's stupid but I have a thing for book covers. I'm sure I could have bought it for like 25cents at some used bookstore, or even three dollars at chapters with a very generic (aka ugly) cover. But this one was shiny and black with a beautiful red rose on it and I just couldn't resist.
Anyway, a few days ago I started it. I got to about chapter five when I realized... I HATE that book! Sorry Miss Bronte, but it's true. I had totally forgotten how much I dislike Wuthering Heights and all its depressing-ness. That night I warred within myself- should I read it anyway or just put it away? It's very hard for me not to finish a book I've started. I finally left it to chance. If I found time to go to the library the next day then I'd shelve Wuthering Heights for now. Maybe I'll read it in another five years or so if I feel in the mood to be totally bummed out. (Doubtful).
The book I read instead was... FABULOUS! (said in Jim Carey's Grinch voice). So awesome that I'm going to go out and buy it (as soon as it comes out in paperback). This book was... dum da da da...
Here's the gist: Julie Jacobs (very similar to my own Jessica Jacobs) goes to Italy to find some treasure her mom might have left her after she died. In the process, Julie finds out that she's actually Giulietta Tolomei- a descendant of a Giulietta Tolomei that lived in 1340 and is the basis for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. What's great about it is that Fortier goes back and forth between Julie's search to understand everything (sort of like a clue hunt) and Romeo and Giulietta's story from 1340.
You might think, well I already know the story of Romeo and Juliet so- boring! But it's not the same story at all. And what I found interesting was that even though I know how Romeo and Juliet turns out (aka- tragedy), there was still this part of me that was wishing it would turn out differently.
Julie's story is equally fascinating, funny, and of course- romantic. She wouldn't be Giulietta without her own Romeo. My only pet peeve is this: there is one certain character (who will remain nameless) that I just didn't get. I had this initial impression of him/her but later on it was like this character was a whole different person. Maybe that's what Fortier was trying to do- but it made the character unbelievable to me.
Anyway, it was an awesome book that should be made into a movie PRONTO. Go and get it and read it-NOW. I command you. Meanwhile, I just might reread Romeo and Juliet- that's one depressing book that I actually like.