Hey Addicts! I'm back with another YA review of Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout
Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo…But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure, and the chance to avenge his father’s death.
In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…
Rating: Okay it's more like 3.5 but, hey I'm feeling generous!
I was intrigued as soon as I read the summary for this YA retelling/continuation of Romeo and Juliet. I was also excited when I realized Hamlet would be a starring character as well. But I was also nervous, imaging that the author may have taken on too much and was going to get things twisted in a way I wouldn't like.
But I was proved 85% wrong. Such Sweet Sorrow is set just after the events of the classic tales of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, so the three characters are at very conflicted points and they are pretty much as they were in the original plays.
While I have no problem admitting Shakespeare isn't my first choice to read, Romeo and Juliette is hands down my favorite of his works. Hamlet comes in a close second with A Midsummer's Night Dream. I am constantly drawn to retellings-particularly of Romeo and Juliet-so when I got an ARC copy I was thrilled.
Romeo proved, though still his impetus and slightly immature self, he was determined and very loyally devoted to his Juliet. Juliet was a surprisingly strong heroine and determined to get Romeo out of the underworld alive-even if it meant she didn't. She was a kick ass heroine and I love how she grew and progressed as a character throughout the book. (I would say that her character was the best part of this book. And is why I ended up giving this book a higher rating then I originally suspected I would, when I started reading.) And Hamlet, well he was confusing at first – he has two very different sides to him – but ended up being my second favorite character behind Juliet.
The biggest reason this book only got a 3 1/2 star review from me is because I didn't love this book. I like it well enough – but trying to take on Shakespeare is a task not many can pull off. I love you original idea of Such Sweet Sorrow, I just wanted more clarity and a more addicting love story.
But overall I enjoyed the fast-paced blend of Greek Roman and Norse mythology and the sweet romance of this new YA book. But I can't honestly say I would read it again. It was left on a bit of a hazy cliffhanger and I suspect there will be a sequel – which I hope will clarify the ending- and I would read a sequel if only to get the clarity that I don't feel I got from the first book.
However, if you're looking for a book with a nice blend of ideas, adventure and characters I would recommend this book. But if you are a Shakespeare truest you might not be thrilled with where this book takes the stories of these classic characters.
There you go Addicts! Hope you enjoyed this one and I'll see y'all next time :)