The premise of this book immediately peaked my interest and I sat down to read the book happily. However, the book was slow-going and seemed rather predictable. The chapters in the past were the best part of the first half of the book by far. I set the book aside at about 170 pages in and moved on to other books. But I was propelled by a library due-date to finish the book. I am quite happy that I did.
At around 200 pages the book really takes off. Many twists and turns occur that I did not see coming (which is much preferred to predictability). The character of Juliet felt more authentic as it went along and the entire book stopped feeling like a copy cat version of Shakespeare. The character of Alessandro was one of the most appealing aspects of the book, but what Italian man wouldn't be? The ending was as expected but not quite in the manner I predicted.
Overall, the last 200+ pages were very entertaining and I read more than half of the book in one sitting to finish it. While the first half of the book has its flaws and wasn't overly entertaining, the last half made up for it. Therefore I settled on giving the novel 4 stars because the end was so engrossing.