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The Juliet Club
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About the Author

Suzanne Harper grew up in Texas and lives in New York City.

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After winning a Shakespeare essay contest, practical Kate is off to Verona, Italy, to attend a summer seminar about Romeo and Juliet. There, at a romantic villa, she and her classmates act out scenes from the play, learn Elizabethan dances and answer letters written to Juliet from teenagers who are, as her dramatic professor puts it, "lost, wandering, desperate for advice about love." (A real-life club in Verona answers thousands of such letters each year.) Of course, in the true spirit of the Bard, they also experience romantic complications: Kate and flirty Giacomo discover the other students plotting to "pull a Beatrice and Benedick" (from Much Ado About Nothing) and make them fall in love with each other. Although Harper's wit is less acute than in her debut, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, her sense of humor and flair for playful dialogue remain strong enough to overcome the predictable narrative arc. Plenty of drama--on- and offstage--will keep readers in their seats. Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 7 Up-High school junior Kate is practical and unromantic and, after a relationship gone wrong, has sworn off love. When she wins a writing contest sponsored by the University of Verona, she spends four weeks in Italy studying Romeo and Juliet. The seminar is taught by Francesca Marchese, the academic archrival of Kate's father, a well-known Shakespeare professor. Kate arrives to find that she and the other participants are required to volunteer with the Juliet Club (an actual organization); they will answer letters sent to Juliet by those seeking advice on matters of the heart. But Kate; fellow Americans Lucy and Tom; and Italians Giacomo Marchese, Benno, and Silvia rapidly become involved in romantic entanglements of their own in a plot that combines elements not only of Romeo and Juliet, but of Much Ado about Nothing and Henry V as well. This Shakespearean update is an absolutely delightful read. The characters are believable and appealing, and the complicated romantic plotting never bogs down. Harper's descriptions of Verona and Italian life are wonderfully detailed and evocative.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Plenty of drama--on- and off-stage--will keep readers in their seats."--Publishers Weekly
"[A] delightful, light, and romantic read."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
"As frothy as the foam on a cup of cappuccino, this is a perfect summer read for girls with a touch of romance in their hearts."--Kirkus Reviews

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