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Still Star-Crossed Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up–This fast-paced, captivating sequel to Romeo and Juliet is a fascinating homage to one of the Bard's best-loved plays. Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris, Romeo, and Juliet have all perished by the sword or by poison, and yet the houses of Capulet and Montague still rage against each other. Prince Escalus, desperate for peace in his city, determines that the only way to end the bloodshed is for a marriage to take place between the households. Rosaline, niece to Capulet, who once rejected her erstwhile suitor, Romeo, and Benvolio, nephew to Lord Montague, are the chosen, but they have no interested in marrying each other and resolve to end the violence without approaching the altar. Meanwhile, Rosaline's sister Livia discovers that Paris is still alive and falls in love with him while secretly nursing him back to health. However, Paris, guided by the treachery of Lady Capulet, decides to amass an army to dethrone the prince. Full of secrets, duels, and duplicity, this novel brings a joyous ending to a once-tragic tale. Although Paris and Lady Capulet are evil personified, Rosaline, Benvolio, and Livia are well-developed characters, and Escalus and Friar Lawrence, though less important, are believably complex. The period details of costume and custom greatly enhance the story's realism, and the quick-moving action will keep readers both alert and entranced. This well-written novel, whether standing alone or serving as a back-door introduction to the original, should be a first purchase for school and public libraries.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
When Verona’s violence can’t be quelled, Prince Escalus orders the “dark, devilish” Montague Benvolio to wed Rosaline, of the Capulets. Benvolio sees Rosaline as the cause of the strife that ensues, while Rosaline struggles to reconcile childhood feelings toward Escalus. Together, Benvolio and Rosaline banter their way to a compromise, unmask the mystery person who is on the blood feud, reunite the families, and avoid their undesirable trip to the priest! This dark drama, set in the world of Romeo and Juliet, is tempered with wit and humor as Taub blends Shakespearean-style dialogue with a less opulent prose narrative that artfully decodes the vocabulary for readers new to the Bard. Readers will enjoy following the heroes as they encounter romance, intrigue, and characters reminiscent of Hamlet and the cast of Much Ado about Nothing, among others. Pair this highly enjoyable story with Sharon Draper’s Romiette and Julio (1999) or Suzanne Selfor’s Saving Juliet (2008). Grades 9-12. --Erin Downey Howerton
Top customer reviews
At first, the style of the dialogue--somewhat Shakespearean in nature-- was very offputting to me. I struggled to get through it simply because it seemed to be over the top. However, as I continued to read, it started to click by about page 30. I'm not sure if the style gradually tamed itself a bit, or if I became used to it, but at that point I accepted it and even began to enjoy it.
Another thing that lowered my review was the poor romance. For a book based off of a legendary, ill-fated romance of sorts (arguably just infatuation) the romance in this book was frustratingly slow and then all of a sudden far too fast in terms of build-up. It just wasn't written in quite the right way for me as a reader of YA romance/fiction books. Rosaline was likable enough and so was Benvolio, but they didn't mesh well at all. Benvolio wasn't as rounded as a character as Rosaline was and for the most part, all of the other characters seemed very flat and rote.
The book moved at a sluggish pace for the first two thirds, peppered with the occasionally boring death before it started to pick up. I found my attention waning, struggling to find interest to finish the book.
However, despite all those critiques, I really liked the idea behind the book. The author was talented at weaving in many characters from the original play and explaining their actions and their reactions to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. I enjoyed seeing what happened in Verona afterwards and I liked the author's creativity in that regard.
I am glad to see it will be a television show because the story is good, but reading the poor imitation for dialogue often pulled me out of the story.
A good Lazy Sunday-afternoon sort of a read.