Despite the “glooming peace” that has settled on Verona following Romeo’s and Juliet’s tragic deaths, the ancient grudge between the Montagues and Capulets refuses to die: the two houses are brawling in the streets again within a fortnight. Faced anew with “hate’s proceedings,” Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry a Montague to a Capulet. But the couple he selects is uninterested in matrimony, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, still anguished by the loss of his friends, and the chosen Capulet maid is Rosaline, whose refusal of Romeo’s affection paved the way for bloodshed. In contrast to their late cousins, there’s no love lost between these two, and so they find a common purpose—resolving the city’s strife in a way that doesn’t end with them at the altar.
But like Romeo and Juliet before them, Rosaline, Benvolio, and the prince find that the path to peace is tortuous, and that in Verona, true love lies where it’s least expected.
This fast-paced and insightful Shakespearean homage, filled with clandestine meetings, romantic encounters, and duels over family honor, will delight and captivate readers
For a book that I picked up after watching the first two episodes of the Shondaland series on Hulu at 4am after my toddler wakes me up crying, this was better than I expected! When I first heard about the book years ago and the show, I rolled my eyes so hard it actually hurt. Still for a bit of fluffy nonsense, it was enjoyable. Not actual Shakespeare, but even he was a bit of a hack. This book plays a bit of fan fiction trope bingo for a while, but if you know that going in then it’s quite fun.
The ending is just so delightfully over the top that I can’t even be mad about it. If it had ended in a more subdued way, then I would be upset. There is a bit of an issue with the pacing. Not the amount of stuff that happens as time actually passes unlike the less than a week of its source material, but the abrupt way that it “ends” only for the epilogue to pick up. I suppose it was the ending of the main story, but it was so clearly not an ending that it irked. Like just cut forward a few weeks! Not everything needs an epilogue! Especially not one that is clearly coming from ten miles off.