Saturday, July 16, 2016

Duology Review | Bad Romeo & Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven


Title: Bad Romeo & Broken Juliet
Author: Leisa Rayven
Publication: December 23rd 2014 & April 28th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Series: Starcrossed #1 & #2
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Copy: Bought from
Summary (Book One): When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan's romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.

Cast as romantic leads once again, they're forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they'll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks.

Sometimes, you just need a good romance.  Forget complicated plots, forget world-building.  Just give me a hot dude with daddy issues and a whole lot of angst.  Well, I got exactly that when I picked up these books, and I was very happy with it.  I want to start off by saying that I'm going to be reviewing the duology as a whole, because I feel like this is more like one really big standalone novel rather than two separate books.

Okay, so let's get straight into the characters.  The books are told from Cassie's POV, but it switches between past Cassie (in college) & present Cassie (adult Cassie).  I definitely liked this idea, especially when it got to book two.  Mostly because Past Cassie & Past Ethan annoyed the hell out of me.  At first, they were okay, but by the time I started book two, I was ready to punch both of them in the face.  Past Cassie is a pushover.  I'm talking extreme pushover, like oh-my-god-can-you-just-stand-up-for-yourself-for-once pushover.  As someone who enjoys a strong lead, it got really frustrating to see Cassie screw herself over again and again.  It felt like Ruby (Cassie's friend) was the only sane one is Past Cassie world.  Luckily, Present Cassie was there to save me, because Present Cassie is a badass.  Yes, she's a bit broken and has trust issues, but at least she doesn't let Ethan walk all over her.  Speaking of Ethan, let's talk about Past Ethan for a second.  Past Ethan is a dick.  Okay, not really, but he really pissed me off.  I just couldn't understand the reasoning for the stuff he did.  Yeah, he had a shitty past.  No, a shitty past does not excuse shitty behavior!!!  If I were Past Cassie I would've left him the second he started getting shady.  But again, Present Ethan was the exact opposite.  Present Ethan is literally a godsend.  So pretty much, although the chapters from the past were a little frustrating because of the characters, it was completely made up for by the present chapters.

As for the plot, I thought it was extremely gripping.  I blew through both of these books in record time; I couldn't put them down!  The only thing I had a problem with was... well... the sex.  It was just so repetitive and constant.  By the time I was halfway through the second book, I was skimming the sex scenes in order to get back to the plot, and that was pretty disappointing.  One thing that I really liked about the plot was the fact that it involves acting a theatre!  I'm a huge theatre geek, so it was really cool to see the characters not only develop in personality, but in acting style as well.

Overall, despite the few minor problems I had that caused me to give four stars, I really did enjoy this duology.  I thought it was very well-written and well-done.  I definitely recommend reading this if you like NA contemporaries!

Let me know in the comments if you've read these books, and your thoughts on them!