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Review by Suze
Lena is dating a football player and her cheerleading best friend is the most popular girl of the school. Lena has a pretty easy time, but there are no highs and lows. That changes when she meets Juliet. Juliet loves fashion and she has her own style. She's completely herself and Lena loves being around her. Juliet comes from a warm and open family. She shows Lena her world and is her friend at first, but slowly something more is developing between them. Juliet is a lesbian, but Lena doesn't know what she feels exactly, she has a lot to discover about herself. Will she and Juliet fall in love and do they have a chance together?
Just Juliet is a wonderful sweet love story. Juliet is confident, she knows what she wants and she loves spending time with her incredibly social family. At Lena's house things are quiet and Lena is spending a lot of time on her own. She fits right in with Juliet's family, because she is an amazing loyal friend, she likes the activity and she easily adapts, I loved that about her. She's spellbound by Juliet, who knows exactly what she likes and needs and has plenty of confidence. She also has practically unlimited patience and gives Lena all the time and help she needs to figure things out. While there's much chemistry between them she lets Lena get used to the idea of them being a couple. That was endearing to see. It's obvious from the moment Juliet and Lena meet each other that they have something very special and I couldn't wait to find out where it would lead.
Just Juliet has several amazing characters. Besides Lena and Juliet there are also several others who made quite an impression. Juliet's family is generous, caring and loyal. They spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food together, which was my favorite element of the story. I loved the cozy atmosphere and their ability to talk about serious topics and joke at the same time. Reading about Juliet's home put a big smile on my face, it's a terrific welcoming setting. I really enjoyed seeing the developments in the different kind of friendships as well. Lena's best friend for example doesn't have any problems speaking her mind and I liked her honest and fierce personality. It's the strong and precious connections between all of the main characters that made Just Juliet such a beautiful story for me.
Charlotte Reagan's writing has a lovely flow. I liked her sense of timing. She skillfully alternates between tension and fun times, which is giving her book a good constant pace. Just Juliet reads like a lighthearted story, but it has a large number of serious scenes as well and Charlotte Reagan writes with plenty of empathy while she still remains realistic, which is something I truly admired. Just Juliet is a promising debut, it's a fantastic romantic story with a moving surprising ending, I highly recommend it.
If you love stories about main characters who are discovering who they are combined with beautiful true love and a lot of warmth you should definitely read Just Juliet.
About Charlotte Reagan
Charlotte writes young adult romances focusing primarily on the LGBT+ community. She hopes to have lighthearted stories that bring about hope, laughter, and maybe even a few tears. She lives in a small Texas town with her cat, and can either be found writing or off traveling.
1) Could you tell a bit about yourself?
Sometimes when I get this question I think about answering with something like “Ah, my day job includes working for the FBI and unfortunately that’s top secret so I can’t. Actually. Tell you anything.” Baha! Unfortunately the truth is that I’m really not that interesting. I’m just a girl in her early twenties who writes books, watches too much Netflix, and lives to annoy her cat.
2) In Just Juliet Lena falls in love with a girl for the first time. What is the most romantic thing about this new love?
I think probably the most romantic thing about their love is that it’s just... pure. They’re still young so there’s not any real complications to it. They become friends first and then something more and it’s slow, unrushed, and innocent. It’s easy.
3) Can you describe the main characters of Just Juliet in 5 words each?
Lena: Really bad at Christmas gifts.
Juliet: Not here for your drama.
Lakyn: Probably does not like you.
Scott: Honestly just absolute pure sunshine.
Lacey: Is probably better than you.
Matt: Is good, does no harm.
Haha I probably could have done better and described them by personality traits or something but honestly that was fun ;)
4) Just Juliet is a coming out story, what inspired you to write it?
There’s lot’s of complicated answers to this but the simple one is just: life. I tried really hard to make Lena’s personal process as close to what really happens as possible. But I wanted to do something a little different and write a coming out story that wasn’t just about the struggles or the hard parts. More something about the good that comes out of it. I hope I managed that.
5) You write about true and special love, what's the most romantic thing that ever happened to you?
When I was a kid, I’m talking like four or five, there was a boy who lived a few houses down on my block. We would play together all the time, and I would tell my mother I loved him. I barely remember it, but it’s a sweet story to hear. Well, when we got a little older his parents separated and he moved. It was heartbreaking.
When I was a teenager he found me on facebook and we ended up dating. It didn’t last long, and the split was messy, but if I have to think about the most romantic thing that ever happened to me.. I think of that. How many people get reacquainted with their childhood love?
6) What was the biggest challenge of writing Just Juliet?
Just Juliet was actually really easy to write, which is why it got finished in the first place haha! Truth is, the hardest thing for me was trying to write characters outside of my race. I really, really wanted to not whitewash my novel, but trying to reassert the poc characters proved difficult. I know now that it’s problematic in places, but I’m still learning, and I tried.
7) Is there any advice you can give teenagers who are in the same situation as Lena?
Take it one day at a time. Labeling yourself and coming out is a personal journey, and don’t let anyone else tell you what to do with it or how to feel. When the time is right, you’ll know. And when you do rip off the band aid, step back and let people react for awhile.
8) What's the best writing advice that's ever been given to you?
I have a few answers to this: “write what you know, you know some things” which I actually read in a book (Love & Sk8 by Nancy E. Krulik) when I was in, like, middle school but it always stuck with me. “Write what’s easy” “write outside your comfort zone” and “write what challenges you”. All of these are surprisingly conflicting, haha, but it’s interesting which one will call out to me when I sit down in front of a computer.
9) Where do you read and where do you write?
Anywhere, everywhere. I always have a book or my tablet on me, and I’ll be focused on them whenever I can. These days I get the most writing done in my bedroom, with the company of too many blankets and a prissy cat, but I don’t have to be there to get something done.
10) What do you like the most about writing romantic stories?
Writing relationships that last! I like being able to know exactly what’s going to happen, when, and how they’re going to fix it. Because they are going to end up with each other, in the end. Come on people, it’s fiction! Let me live a little.
11) What are your plans for the future?
Personally: traveling. Haha. As far as my writing, Loving Lakyn is next, and then we’ll see what happens. But I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!