Teach the Torches to Burn: A Romeo and Juliet Remix

Feiwel & Friends. (Remixed Classics: Bk. 7). Aug. 2023. 384p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9781250828484.
Gr 8 Up–This Romeo and Juliet “remix” breathes new life into the long-standing feud between the Montagues and Capulets. Sixteen-year-old Romeo Montague feels like the only man immune to the “epidemic of girl-madness.” Juliet Capulet wants to marry no one. Sparks fly when Romeo shares a secret, tender moment with another boy at the Capulet’s masquerade party. But Romeo’s unexpected appearance sends the wrong message to the party’s hosts, cuing brawls and a death that ultimately sends Romeo into exile—and his new love interest to the hospital. Is there any hope for a happily ever after? With swoonworthy moments and delightful banter, Roehrig’s retelling retains just enough of the original play’s spirit. Rather than simply gender swap Juliet, the casting freshly and uniquely explores agency and queerness in the 14th-century setting.
VERDICT A spectacularly queer, heartwarmingly hopeful take on the star-crossed classic. An essential purchase for all teen collections.

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