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.
Ronit and JamilFeatured
Ronit and Jamil disobey their father’s wishes and begin to feel a mutual attraction to one another as they work in close proximity. They slip their phone numbers to one another and begin texting plans for a secret meet-up, hiding their feelings from their families and defying the prejudices that surround them. While their relationship blossoms, they are faced with overcoming their own fears towards the conflict, and the danger that their love affair inevitably presents.
What I loved about this book was the tenderness that their love brought to a very complicated conflict. Both Ronit and Jamil have room to air their hurts and fears with one another, while ultimately coming to the conclusion that they are willing to try to overcome years of cultural conflict to try and be together.
In true Romeo and Juliet fashion, their families are opposed and suspicious of their growing relationship. You hear from both fathers, which only adds to the depth of the story, and the pain that they both have seen inflicted on their countries. This opens the door for readers to better understand the long history of violence and pain on both sides of the wall. Which makes Ronit and Jamil’s story that much more complicated and beautiful.
The lyrical prose lends itself to this spectacular retelling of Romeo and Juliet, and author Pamela Laskin creates a riveting narrative that sucks the reader into this love story that transcends walls and wars.
in a way, i don't understand why this book has low ratings. i guess, this book is not for everybody. if anything, the point of view of who was saying the lines was quite confusing. but once you get the hang of it, you would understand them. i guess the ending was a bit lack-luster, but i thought it was good.
I personally enjoyed the book. though very limited in words and descriptions, I like how I was left to imagine what was happening. i was also left with powerful words that was amazing. the book very much describes Ronit and Jamil's passion for each other. and I thought it had a dash of eroticism that I thought is very realistic to today's youth.
despite the low ratings, I do give this book a thumbs up.
*i recieved a published copy of this book via goodreads giveaway
~ modern diverse setting
~ the point of views are magnetic