Saturday, February 4, 2017

ROMEO AND WHAT'S HER NAME BY SHANI PETROFF - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Romeo and What's Her Name by Shani Petroff. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for providing me with an eARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


I got exactly what I thought I would out of this book, so I suppose I can't be too disappointed, but I just had higher hopes.

This story follows Emily, a girl with a major crush. After her crush, Wes, signs up for the lead in a small scene production of Romeo & Juliet, she decides to be his Juliet. Except she ends up as the understudy - the real Juliet, Amanda, is the typical mean girl/boy stealer. Emily is just happy to be around Wes and is too busy running around doing Amanda's errands to actually learn the lines. Which is fine, because Amanda will perform no matter what. The only thing that can stop her is an emergency appendicitis - forcing Emily to hit the stage.

I went into this book knowing it was going to be a super light, fluffy contemporary romance. And even though that is exactly what I got, I still felt like it was a little bit disappointing.

Emily as a character wasn't my favourite, she was so in love with Wes she had zero backbone. She couldn't even talk to him without babbling on. Now, the first couple times, this was cute. But after a while, I was genuinely concerned for her mental well-being. He looked at her and she literally melted into a puddle. I'm okay with some lovestruck MC, but Emily took the cake with this one. She also felt really young to me. Like I was reading a middle grade instead of a story about a sixteen-year-old. Her thoughts weren't much more than her gushing about one thing or another and it got a little annoying.

I also felt zero connection between the two of them. Apparently, she's had a crush on Wes since they were little, growing up on the same street. But I felt nothing other than infatuation and obsession.

I know very little about Wes, in fact, I don't think any of the characters were fleshed out at all. I get it's supposed to be a fun read but I was just not connecting to it at all.

The story was predictable, I figured it would be going in. I'm not too upset about that. But I just feel like there was so much more potential in this story.

Take the whole Shakespeare element. Yes, it wasn't a huge part of the story, but I think it was an important one. The characters, especially Emily, seemed to know nothing about arguably one of his most recognizable plays. While he uses language that is different from our every day, it was common then and served its purpose. And the lines were written in iambic pentameter to have a certain rhythm. He made up some words, but for the most part, they were used regularly. Emily seemed to have no concept of any of this, declaring that it was in a different language and made up her own version. I didn't want to play the English major card, but you cannot just add -eth to the ends of words to make them Shakespearean. But I digress.

Is it too much to ask for a romance where the couple plays the parts of Romeo and Juliet and aren't bumbling lovesick teens? This is the second book like this I've read and each time I thought there was something better to be had.

Everything about this book was just too much. She was too mushy, too infatuated. Amanda was too mean, her friends were too supportive (I'm all for a good friendship but this group was almost sickly sweet). I knew it would be cheesy, but it was too cheesy - to the point of annoyance. It was all just too much.

Overall, in case it wasn't clear, not a favourite.