“Pamela L. Laskin’s beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred.
The teenage lovers fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can only be kept secret for so long. Ronit and Jamil must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.”
This meme was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
I would link up to her post, except it appears she hasn’t posted since August. 🙁 I’ll link to her site anyway so she at least gets credit for the idea.)
This story sounds absolutely inspiring. Retellings can go either fantastically or terribly. It all depends on the twists put on them.
Romeo and Juliet retellings can have an even harder time, considering the original story’s ending. I mean, a bunch of people die, the end?
Some come off as unrealistic, or just like the original but modern and with a happy ending (not sure you can even call that Romeo and Juliet anymore). Or, someone dies and it feels like they died just so a character would die. It feels unjustified and/or the reader feels cheated.
Even though I’m sure others have put similar spins on the story, I feel like mashing up the modern world, with the ancient conflict between Israel and Palestine is PERFECT.
Those are really high stakes, which is exactly what the doctor ordered for a Romeo and Juliet retelling.
So naturally, I can’t wait to read this novel. I hope it’ll be moving, and stunningly relevant to today’s world.
I’d adore a happy ending, but at the same time, I know I’d be satisfied and deeply moved by the alternative.
If it’s done right, that is.
But another thing that really made me notice the book, was the GORGEOUS COVER. LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT IT.
I LOVE that illustration style. I’m picky when it comes to illustrated people, and this style I LOVE. They are both ADORABLE and in love. <3
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the cover, or whatever other book has caught your eye this week. Or maybe what your favorite Shakespeare retelling is!