Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: July 19, 2013

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Acquired From: Public Library


Romeo and Juliet are gone. Will love live on?
 Despite the glooming peace that's settled on Verona after the recent tragedy, Montagues and Capulets are brawling in the streets. Faced with more bloody battles, Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to truly marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry them together. Everyone is skeptical, but none more so than the pair selected, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, Romeo's best friend, still anguished by the loss of his companions, and the chosen Capulet maid is Juliet's older cousin Rosaline, the girl Romeo first loved and whose refusal of Romeo's affections paved the way to bloodshed.
Contrary to their late cousins, there's no love lost between Benvolio and Rosaline, yet they forge a bond to end the renewed feud not only to escape their forced betrothal, but to save their lives and the city of Verona itself.
-From Goodreads


I can't say how easy it is to give Still Star-Crossed a full 5 out of 5 stars. As a true fan of Shakespeare, I absolutely loved this fictional continuation of the Romeo and Juliet story.
Filled with connections and crossovers to a lot of different Shakespeare plays, Still Star-Crossed picks up two weeks after the bloody end of the Romeo and Juliet story. The story has a wonderful and very strong foundation in the Shakespearean tradition and even follows a lot of Shakespearean language (which sometimes makes it a difficult read, but is definitely easy to get over once you get into the story). There are connections to Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Coriolanus, and Twelfth Night. It is overall beautiful and brilliant.
The story is a great twist on the Romeo and Juliet tale, as it brings together a Capulet maid and Montague man who, for lack of a better term, hate each other. But when treachery and murder threatens to rekindle the bloody feud ended with Romeo and Juliet's deaths, they have no choice but to bond together to save everything they've ever known.
The love story is believable, and the confusion that Rosaline feels about her situation is palpable and understandable. By the end of the novel, you'll realize it couldn't have ended any other way.
Still Star-Crossed easily makes Shakespeare proud. 

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