So, what I loved was the broad concept of the book. The idea that Romeo and Juliet weren't victims of fate or their parent's controlling ways, but of higher powers locked in an eternal war: the Ambassadors and the Mercenaries. Romeo is convinced by the Mercenaries to murder Juliet as a kind of gang initiation, and Juliet becomes one of the representitives for the Ambassadors. And for the last seven hundred years, they've been battling it out, trying to get people to either fall in love with their soul mate (Juliet) or to kill them (Romeo).
So far so good. And honestly, I'm trying hard to work out what really went wrong with this book. I think most of it lay in the style of writing. The prose just wasn't very clear. I never really felt like I got to grips with exactly why Juliet was supposed to be getting these soul mates together, or why Romeo was supposed to be driving them apart. I didn't understand the background of the Ambassadors vs Mercenaries war.
There were swathes of text where the narration when very waffley and it left me feeling like I was standing on the wrong side of a misty window, trying to work out what was going in inside. I'm not saying I need to have everything spelled out for me - ambiguity can lead to a lot of fun in books - but for me this book raised a hell of a lot more questions than it resolved.
The book deals with soul mates, which is a concept I find a bit weird. The whole thing where there's literally only one person in the world who is a perfect match for you? That love drives us to do stupid, violent things? It all just screams domestic abuse to me.
I didn't really root for Ben, the love interest. He was okay, I guess, but just a bit vanilla. I kind of wanted Romeo to have a big epiphany and to become the leading man but sadly it never happened. I might check out the sequel and see if it happens there.
2.5 stars (maybe 3, if I'm feeling generous)