Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey
Date of publication: August 1st, 2023
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Retelling, Fiction, Adult, Fantasy, Chick Lit, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy, Adult Fiction
When Helene was young, she dreamed of the perfect man and filled her notebooks with stories about him and about love in its purest form. But after a messy divorce, she has let go of such naive fantasies. She has moved to a small town in Alaska, where she is ready to write her novel and build a new life without romance. Fate has other plans, though.
Helene soon meets Sebastien Montague, a handsome fisherman who is her invented hero made flesh, down to the most idiosyncratic details. But how can a man she created possibly exist in the real world?
While Helene tries to discover the truth behind his existence, Sebastien is determined to keep that truth from her, for he is a man scarred by serial tragedy, hiding a secret that has broken his heart time and again. Yet the shadows of the past emerge, endangering Helene and Sebastien’s future before it even begins–and it becomes clear that it won’t be easy to forge a new ending to the greatest love story of all time.
A woman fleeing her disastrous marriage discovers that she is part of a legendary love story that spans lives, years, and continents in this modern-day reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.
Alaska in January is a fairy tale, with frost-rimed branches glittering in the pale moonlight, like lace woven by a snow maiden.The Hundred Loves of Juliet by Evelyn Sky
Finding her husband in a compromising position with his intern was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Helene. Leaving her husband, she travels to Alaska to start over. She plans on working on herself and her novel while living there. Men were not part of the equation. Then she meets Sebastien and feels an immediate connection to him. While Sebastien feels the same, he is determined to keep Helene at arm’s length. Why? Because Sebastien is Romeo, cursed to immortality by his cousin Mercutio and destined to repeatedly watch Juliet die horrible deaths. And Helene is the reincarnation of Juliet. Will Helene find out the truth about her and Sebastien? How will she react?
When I saw that this was a Romeo and Juliet retelling, I was immediately drawn to this book. I am a big Shakespeare fan and like to read (and watch) any stories or adaptations of his plays. I am happy to say that this book lived up to my expectations!!
The main storyline of The Hundred Loves of Juliet centers around Helene, Sebastien, and their romance. It was bittersweet to read, making this book so good. This book has medium to fast pacing, and it suits the storyline. I also loved Sebastien’s growth and healing throughout the book.
Several secondary storylines feed into the main storyline, adding extra depth. The main one that stood out to me was Helene’s relationship with Merrick.
I liked Helene and loved seeing her character grow during the book. She was damaged when the book started. The death of her father when she was in elementary school changed her. What also changed her was her marriage to Merrick. I didn’t blame her for running to Alaska after what she witnessed. I would have done the same. I also understood her reaction when Sebastien showed her that room and when she read the journals. Everything she had written was true and were memories. Her mind was blown. By the end of the book, Helene had morphed into the woman she should have been from the beginning. I loved how she took down Merrick (with Sebastien’s help).
I loved Sebastien. The author revealed reasonably early that he is Romeo. But then the author took that storyline down a path I didn’t see coming. Romeo is cursed to an immortal life and is forced to meet Juliet and watch her die repeatedly. By the time he meets Helene, he is a shell of a man, tortured by what has happened, and has extreme survivor’s guilt (along with some PTSD). His last interaction with a reincarnated Juliet never happened because Sebastien couldn’t stand to watch her die again. When he met Helene in Alaska, I understood his reaction. I would have reacted the same way. I loved seeing his growth throughout the book. The Sebastien at the end of the book differed from the Sebastien at the beginning, and it was a big difference.
The romance angle of The Hundred Loves of Juliet was bittersweet. The author kept 90% of the romance focused on Sebastien and Helene. But she also highlighted the other Juliet romances, which all ended horribly. So, I was rooting for this incarnation to survive and help heal Sebastien.
There are sex and sexual situations in The Hundred Loves of Juliet. But, the sex is either off-page or described in a non-graphic way. There is also a couple of fade-to-black sex scenes between Sebastien and Helene.
The end of The Hundred Loves of Juliet was sweet. I loved that Helene and Sebastien could get their happily ever after. The author’s note had me in tears, and I agreed with what she wrote.
I would recommend The Hundred Loves of Juliet to anyone over 16. There is mild language, mild violence, and nongraphic/fade-to-black sexual situations.
Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey, NetGalley, and Evelyn Skye for allowing me to read and review The Hundred Loves of Juliet. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of The Hundred Loves of Juliet, then you will enjoy reading these books:
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