Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
“For never was a story of more woe
than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
— William Shakespeare
There is no better way to celebrate our quarterly theme, Contours of Love, than creating a book list about star-crossed lovers and contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet. This idea dawned on me when I read A Million Junes by Emily Henry earlier this year. Check out the titles that made it to my list. If you look up Romeo and Juliet or star-crossed lovers, you might find more. If you do, share those titles in the comments below!
by Walter Dean Myers
“Your first love is totally wrong for you. Do you follow your heart? Or do you run away? Michael L. Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers delivers an evocative tale of star-crossed urban love, reminding us that before we can be true to someone else, we must first be true to ourselves.”
He needs a girl
Who thinks of love as June pleasant days
With nothing lost that cannot be replaced
But I am not that girl. I am Street
My needs are fierce. I am hungry
And my teeth are sharp. Where will he
Find the strength to hold me?
What can he bring to the vacant lot
Of my horizons
And whatever he brings
Will it be street enough to keep us safe
Against the storm?
by Emily Henry
“For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has always known is thrown into chaos. Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her father’s deep hatred of the Angert family?”
He gingerly takes the sides of my face in his hands. “June O’Donnell, I like that you know you can’t fix the thing that hurts in me. And that you understand it gets better but you never stop missing people. I like that you know no human being will ever make it okay that you lost another one. And that you’re smart and funny and willing to go on horrible double non-dates for your friend…”
by Malorie Blackman
“Callum is a Naught, a second-class citizen in a society run by the ruling Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and daughter of the man slated to become prime minister. In their world, white Naughts and black Crosses simply don’t mix—and they certainly don’t fall in love. But that’s exactly what they’ve done. In this shocking thriller, UK sensation Malorie Blackman turns the world inside out. What’s white is black, what’s black is white, and only one thing is clear: Assumptions can be deadly.”
Time to choose. A choice to live with or die with. I looked Kamal Hadley straight in the eye—and told him my decision. I knew it would damn me to hell, but I knew it was the right one.
by Anne Fortier
“When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a saftey-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giullietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—”A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?”
by Suzanne Selfors
“Two Juliets, both alike in desperation… Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford, of the Broadway Wallingfords, has a life most girls can only dream of—complete with the starring role in her family’s production of Romeo and Juliet. But acting is not her dream, and she’s fighting for the right to trade her script for a scalpel and become a doctor. Fourteen-year-old Juliet Capulet, of the Verona Capulets, has lived a lonely life—imprisoned by the feud that consumes her family and by her iron-fisted mother’s forcing her into an unwanted marriage. She will do anything to avoid her betrothed, even if it requires faking a boil on her bottom—or something more dangerous. During the play’s final performance, Mimi’s wish to get away actually comes true when she and her heartthrob costar, Troy Summer, are magically transported into Shakespeare’s Verona…”
by Stacey Jay
“The greatest love story ever told is a lie. Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, who made the sacrifice to ensure his own immortality. But Romeo didn’t anticipate that Juliet would be granted eternal life as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For seven hundred years, Juliet has struggled to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent, while Romeo has fought for the dark side, seeking to destroy the human heart. Until now. Now Juliet has found her own forbidden love, and Romeo, O Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy their happiness.”
by Ryan North
“What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? This choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet—packed with fun puzzles, secrets, and quadrillions of possible storylines—lets you decide where the plot goes every time you read. You might play as Romeo, or as Juliet, or as both of them at the same time. You might even unlock additional playable characters! That’s right. We figured out how to have unlockable characters in books.”