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.
I enjoyed reading this book. It's only the 3rd verse novel that I've read, but yeah, it was really fantastic and enjoyable! The one problem I had, was not knowing who was writing the poem half the time, trying to figure it out when it didn't say "Ronit Speaks" or "Jamil Speaks." Other than that, the writing was excellent!
I don't know much about the conflict in Jerusalem between the Israelis and Palestinians, though I did learn a bit in this book! And my dad says that I don't learn anything in books! This book doesn't take a side, which is good, because both sides have, to my uneducated eyes, strong claims. Yeah.
Getting to know these two, with their families was pretty great! They were teenagers and have grown up with this conflict. Of course, they didn't know everything, and from near the end, we saw things from outside their perspectives, which gave another side to the story!
The thing about this book, is that it does have the issues. Israelis and Palestinians have their issues with each other, who owns the land. And these kids' fathers, at the end, were all angry and such. And then Ronit and Jamil just ran away. So the personal problems weren't really resolved. Oh, well! Still pretty great book!
This book was pretty darned great, and I enjoyed reading it!
Author: Pamela L. Laskin
Read: March 14th, 2017
Reason Why: Sounded really good, and it's a SAC 2017 Book!
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Published: February 21st 2017