Sunday 23 February 2014

Review: Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout

I almost didn't read this because the cover put me off (it's pretty, but those kind of covers tend to come with books I don't like), but the concept intrigued me, and I ended up really enjoying it, so I'm glad I gave it a go! Basically, this is what would have happened if Romeo didn't die from poison at the end of Shakespeare's story, and went on a quest through the underworld with Hamlet to find Juliet and bring her back to life. If you don't think that sounds awesome, this obviously isn't the book for you. If you do - well, then, you might just like it!

I loved the characters in this book. I'm not overly familiar with Shakespeare's Hamlet (I had to study it for uni but only read the parts I needed to get by, ahem), but I adored him in this. He's conflicted and angsty but also brave and good and warm-hearted. Romeo I liked a lot less for most of the book, though he grew on me in the end. I loved the growing friendship between Romeo and Hamlet. It was like an old school, really dangerous and kinda dark buddy roadtrip.

I think Juliet was probably my favourite character. I admired her fierceness and strength - being dead obviously brought out the best in her. I was totally shipping Hamlet and Juliet for a big chunk of the book (whoops), but there were some touching scenes between Romeo and Juliet in the latter half that brought me back onboard the canonical ship. Mostly.

The journey through the underworld, and the various tests and mythological creatures the trio has to face, makes for an action-packed, entertaining plot. I found it hard to put the book down at times. I loved the way Trout intertwined so many different strands of mythology and literature to create her own world. If you're a purist then this probably won't be for you, but personally I found it really interesting.

The writing is strong throughout the book, and there are some really beautiful moments. The pacing is good, and I liked the ending, although it definitely left me wanting more. I hope there's a sequel! 

Rating: 4/5

Fine Print
Published: February 2014, Entangled
Source: Netgalley


  1. I've been passing on this one because of the cover, too. Like you said, pretty, but usually comes with stories that aren't really my thing. This sounds so good though! Hamlet is one of my favorite Shakespeare heroes, so I'm excited to see he's a good character in this book. Thanks for the review! I would have passed on this book otherwise.

    1. Oh I hope you like it if you do read it! (I always worry if people read books on my recommendation that they won't like it!)

  2. Sounds good but I'm not really a fan of R&J retellings. I think I'm just more partial to the original thing.

    I liked how honest you were about Romeo's character, he doesn't seem to be very well-liked for a few other reviewers as well.

    Great review!

    1. Fair enough! I have read a couple and quite enjoyed them :)