Review: YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare, Brett Wright

June 21, 2015 Book, Reviews 5 ★★★★

Review: YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare, Brett WrightYOLO Juliet by Brett Wright, William Shakespeare
Genres: Classic, Contemporary, Death & Dying, Drama, Love & Romance, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on May 26th 2015
Source: Borrowed from Library
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four-stars

Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest love stories ever told . . . in texts?!
 
Imagine: What if those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!
 
Two families at war.
A boy and a girl in love.
A secret marriage gone oh-so-wrong.

and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. 😉
 
 
tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.

A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read. 

First off, I am a Romeo and Juliet hater of high scale. Having said that, I absolutely loved this very contemporary adaptation of a play I read in seventh grade for fun that took me at least two months to read. This was mostly because I fell asleep every three pages and had to go back two pages to “understand.”

I know firsthand how Romeo and Juliet can be boring and hard to understand in times like these, specially when a lot of teens and adults aren’t too motivated to read and instead pass the time in social media. Between having to understand the poetic devices and manner of writing, olden English words that are almost dead, plus having to stand annoying Romeo and Juliet, you’d detest reading anything afterwards.

This short and easy to grasp adaptation captures the essence of the original drama, though it missed some of the important lines from the play that could have been added to the texts. Regardless of this it was super fun to read the texts that summarized each scene and part of the play with hilarious emoji and melodrama from Romeo, Juliet, the Friar, among other characters. It was like those funny texts you find in the internet of teens and their parents too when they don’t know how to text.

Now to the ranting part of this review… Romeo and Juliet. If it wasn’t because I was told that Shakespeare wrote this dramatic play as a joke to couples of his time, an exaggeration, I would’ve detested the man forever. But I do enjoy his sonnets a lot so at least he’s forgiven. In this adaptation it’s even clearer that both Romeo and Juliet are extremely young. I don’t think either of them were even eighteen. And even though in the past it was okay for people to marry young, I still can’t wrap my head for how ridiculous they were. How they married the next day after they first met, how they had such a passionate love, and all that jazz. It was sickening. And even more when young couples go around saying they want a romance like those two fools. Apparently they want to have a very tragic and idiotic death.

The same message as the original play stands, how the rivalry of the Capulet and Montague had brought the end to those two lovers, and how infatuations that go out of proportions can bring forth tremendous consequences such as death.

The only thing I didn’t like much were the constant use of abbreviations. I didn’t understand most until I stumbled upon the glossary at the end of the book. Rather than being there, I think it should have been put at the beginning for those like me that don’t use all the existing abbreviations that make no sense.

I really enjoyed reading this retelling and even finished it in less than an hour. While I understand that some people might consider this an insult to the original work and a poor excuse, I think this is very brilliant to help people understand better a timeless classic. And it might even interest some so much that they get on to read the original play and spark their interest to the rest of Shakespeare’s works.

And

On a side note, look how sexy the Romeo of the 2013 movie adaptation is <3 *swoons*

Have another Romeo here…

Rating: 4 stars

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Romance
two-half-stars
Overall: 3.8
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I'm Jennifer, addicted reader, lover of books, and aspiring author. I babble too much when I write and like to procrastinate work with other work 🙂
  • I don’t know if this one would be up my alley, with all the text speak and YOLO and stuff like that merged with a well loved classic. Great review though Jennifer!

  • I think I’d love this little book!! I’ll definitely pick this up one day, I have the feeling it’s going to be hilarious! … Even though it’s about two young teenagers who end up killing themselves xD

  • shootingstarsmag

    I really like Shakespeare, but yeah, this is not one of those plays I enjoy. haha This sounds like a fun adaptation.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • Like you said, I truly dislike the Rome and Juliet story. No matter what way I look at it, there just isn’t anything that I can genuinely like about it. However, I do like the sound of this re-telling. I think it being told through text messages is a really fun and unique way of depicting this story. I’m not eager to read it, but if I ever were to stumble upon it, I would definitely give it a try.

    Lovely review, Jen! 🙂

  • I completely can’t stand Shakespeare. XD I KNOW. I’m an undeducated cucumber, but I just don’t “get it” so I abandon ship whenever someone even whispers the word Shakespeare. This sounds kind of cute though, and I’m glad you liked it despite not being a Romeo and Juliet fan!! I kind of want to read a book in text language…and I also kind of don’t because the most text language I use is weird smileys and LOL occasionally. I would need that glossary.