Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: Such Sweet Sorrow
AUTHOR: Jenny Trout
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
PUB DATE: Feb 4 2014
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…

- Source: Goodreads


Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet mash up!

If you've read [or know of] these Shakespeare stories, you know they end in tragedy. As most of his plays do I suppose. Anyway, get ready to see a whole new twist to these stories.

Such Sweet Sorrow is one of those books that reel you in with such a great and unique idea for a story. So I didn't find it surprising that I took it upon myself to request for a copy on Netgalley.

While Shakespeare's plays came off gloomy and well, tragically, Jenny Trout's take on them was lighter and rather spunky.

I didn't really find the original Hamlet to be a likable protagonist but, Ms. Trout's version of him was one I prefer. A teen rightful king Hamlet with a cheerful personality, although impulsive most of the time, was definitely an interesting take.

Romeo and Juliet were also interesting characters. They're still hopelessly in love but I really appreciated how their characters grew throughout the book. [This may be a bit spoiler-ish]. From an ever so serious and blood thirsty Romeo, in the end we find a more mature and light hearted man. And from a damsel in distress, Juliet turned into someone who need not be saved.

The lore of this book was impressive. I loved the idea that there can be multiple dimensions in the afterlife much like how people of different cultures view them.

Now while characters and lore are swell and all, I still have a few issues with the book. My problem with Such Sweet Sorrow would probably be the journey through the underworld. I like seeing the different dimensions, but the journey was a bit too long for me, or maybe the narratives of the characters' thoughts were getting in the way. Also, I find the creatures descriptions a bit vague, it's either the descriptions weren't vivid enough or I wasn't in an imaginative mood to visualize them properly.

I did love the idea that although this book didn't turn out a tragedy like the plays it was inspired of, it's not a definite happily ever after either.

Overall, Such Sweet Sorrow was an enjoyable read. It had all the elements I was looking for in a story: a great adventure, action packed fight scenes, and a terrific reimagining of the classics.

*Thank you, Entangled Teen and NetGalley for granting my request to view Such Sweet Sorrow.

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