Coming in 2017 is a beauty that re-imagines Romeo and Juliet as Ronit and Jamil. Ronit is an Israeli girl and Jamil is a Palestinian boy whose fate is determined by their families, not by free will, until it isn’t any more and they fight their way to each other. The lovely cover art tells this story.
Memorable character: Clearly you cannot separate our two main characters who are fighting passionately for one another when all others would tell them to quit. They both speak eloquently through Laskin’s gorgeous poetry, told alternately between the two.
Memorable scene: How can it not be the ending? Will they make it or won’t they make it? The conversations around what is, what could be, and what every reader hopes will happen make it just as complex as Shakespeare’s play. But what kind of blogger would I be if I spoiled it?
Memorable quote: There were so many I highlighted as I read the advance copy via Netgalley but this one showcases the connection Ronit and Jamil feel for one another and that the richness of Laskin’s language, the maturity of the characters, and the electricity of their political, familial, and religious situation is not PG. “My head says / this is dangerous territory, / yet each night / the cloud of my pillow / takes us to a place / where your eyes and mouth / invite me / for supper, / so I stay / not away / my sister / friend / lover”.
Just as any reboot has done from Walter Dean Myers’ Street Love to Sharon Draper’s Romiette and Julio, it’s advised to add several copies both to compile read-alikes to Shakespeare’s plays but also to add diversity to experiences as this does.