Thursday, August 11, 2016

Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

 "Okay, so the only way you could be reading these words right now is if you (SOMEHOW?) ignored all the very clear instructions to make a choice, and instead (again: SOMEHOW??) thought you were reading a regular book in which you can just sit back and enjoy the ride and never ever get to make any choices."
~Ryan North, Romeo and/or Juliet

Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It's Shakespeare as you've never played him before.

In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read! What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? Whatever your adventure, you're guaranteed to find lots of romance, lots of epic fight scenes, and plenty of questionable decision-making by very emotional teens.

All of the endings—there are over a hundred—feature beautiful illustrations by some of the greatest artists working today, including New York Times bestsellers Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Jon Klassen.

Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns, and more than a billion possible storylines, Romeo and/or Juliet offers a new experience every time you read it. You can choose to play as Romeo or Juliet (obviously) but you can also play as both of them, or as Juliet's nurse, or, if you're good, you can even unlock a fourth playable character! That's right. We figured out how to have unlockable characters in books. Choose well, and you may even get to write the world's most awkward choose-your-own sex scene.


My Thoughts: Have you ever wondered what would happen if Romeo and Juliet never met each other? Or how about if they never fell in love with each other? Well, this was a great book to find out just that! I read this book with my sister and we had a blast reading it to each other. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much as I did if I would have read it by myself, but this book was entertaining either way.

Now, this book had its typical story and characters from Shakespeare. However, the main characters were given a little extra flavoring to make this wild adventure more exciting. Romeo was still the love-sick fool but he was also very silly and immature. Juliet was still the good daughter but she was also a weightlifting fanatic. Yup. Juliet was ripped. Can you imagine that?! Next, the story was able to stay true to the original work if one were to follow the little hearts next to the choices given at each scenario. But why would you do that with this kind of book? So of course, my sister and I strayed away from these little hearts, and was hilarious!

At the beginning, you were given a choice to either be Romeo or Juliet. We picked Romeo and began to make our choices. And guess what? We killed Romeo right after our fourth choice. We were stunned for a moment at the outcome, and then we roared with laughter. Of course we retraced our steps back to try to make better decisions, and guess what? We ended up killing Romeo again after another few choices! Jeesh! I think we killed him one more time before we decided to follow the story through Juliet's point of view hoping that we would last longer. We did, but it wasn't as much fun as we had with Romeo. Juliet would either became a pirate, got married to a flamboyant man, or kept talking about her muscles. So again, we decided to go back to Romeo and see what kind of story would unfold. We kept doing this for a few days.

It was interesting to read how everything was put together. We would be constantly flipping back and forth between pages. We would also stop at a random drawing and try to figure out how to get that type of outcome by going backwards. Let's just say that it kept my sister and I very busy during the hottest days here in Southern California.

So as a whole, I really enjoyed this book. It created a wonderful bonding moment for my sister and I, and it was entertaining that we were able to play "God" with some of Shakespeare's famous characters. My favorite character had to be Romeo, but Juliet was also fun. Since this was a copy from the library, I plan to buy this and add it to my shelf. I rate it:


  1. I'm definitely going to have to give this a read. I used to love reading choose your own adventure books. It sounds like fun.