Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Just Juliet
Author: Charlotte Reagan
Release Date: 17 September 2016
This ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Lena Newman is 17 years old and pretty satisfied with her life. Until her world is turned upside down. Juliet James is the new girl at school and very quickly manages to send Lena’s heart wild. Juliet introduced Lena to a part of herself she didn’t know was there, taking her on an emotional journey where loyalty, friendships and family relationships are tested. Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?
What I Liked:
This book was so cute! I don’t think I’ve ever identified with a character as much as I did with Lena. Told from her perspective, this book is what I wish my senior year in high school was like. I had intense crushes on quite a few girls in high school (Jill, Jackie, and Keimi), but I never really worked up the nerve to make anything happen. In fact, Juliet reminded me quite a bit of Jill, who was into gothic-Lolita style, had straight blonde hair, and I thought she was absolutely gorgeous.
This book felt very realistic to me. It doesn’t waste much time on dramatics or angst, but there are many little touches of darkness that are effective without overwhelming the lighter, romantic tone of the novel (e.g. Lakyn’s scars, Scott’s parents, Juliet’s mom). The attraction between Lena and Juliet is immediate, and I love Lena’s journey to realizing and accepting her bisexuality. It definitely reminded me a lot of my thoughts and feelings back when I was in high school.
What I Didn’t:
The only thing that I can think to complain about in this books is the spring break trip to a resort. First off, where the heck did the characters get he money for this type of thing? And second, I’m amazed that everyone’s parents agreed to let their teenage children go to a resort alone for a week. I mean, I’m sure that things like this do happen. It’s just so outside of my personal experience of things that actually happen to teenagers. I was a pretty boring teenager. I didn’t drink, smoke weed, have sex, or go to parties, but I knew people who did those things. I never knew anyone whose parent’s let them go on a vacation with only friends for a week. In college? Yes. But even as a senior in high school, even the “cool” parents weren’t that cool.
I thought that this book was absolutely amazing. I loved all of the characters, their relationships, and their interactions. The humor was just as effective as the drama, and the characters were all very realistic. They all seem like so much fun. I would love to hang out with them! The romance between Lena and Juliet is beautiful, and I love that it moves at a slow, practical pace. The epilogue was interesting, and I liked that we got a glimpse at the future of the characters and their relationships.
This is my new favorite YA lesbian book. When I was a teenager, I read a lot of LGBT YA books, but I tended to read more books centered around boys. I read a few lesbian stories (Annie on My Mind, Empress of the World, and Keeping You a Secret), but I often found them a bit on the sad and disheartening side. This book is everything that I’ve ever wanted in a Lesbian YA book. I wish that I could time travel and give 16-year-old me a copy of Just Juliet. I know that teenage me would have found this book comforting, and she would have read it over and over again.
The Just Juliet ebook is currently on Amazon FOR FREE on September 19 and 20. I really recommend it!!!!
My Rating: 5/5