3 Hearts · YA Contemporary

Romeo and What’s Her Name by by Shani Petroff


Understudies never get to perform

. . . which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly “Evening with Shakespeare” is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it’s just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the “real” Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there’s no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.

Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?



Received an ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group “Swoon Reads” and Netgalley

I remember when my high school did the production of Romeo and Juliet. I was casted as Lady Montague. Hey, I was a sophomore and most of the roles went to juniors and seniors. It was so cliché because the guy and girl that played Romeo and Juliet were good friends (NOT DATING) but won Prom Queen and King! I know so typical of high school. They were both my friends and am still friends with the girl that played Juliet. They are good people, and didn’t have a mean bone. So I will say that my Juliet and Romeo were NOTHING like these two characters. I liked mine a whole lot better.

Our protagonist in this book is Emily. She likes to keep to herself and do her own thing. Not big on joining things, but she has her two best friends and those two girls mean the world to her. Emily also has a secret crush on the guy that she has known for years, Wes. They used to hangout when they were younger and even went to each other’s Bar/Bat mitzvah. When the opportunity to be around Wes ever arises, Emily jumps on it. She found out he was audition for the part of Romeo for their English class assignment. This was Emily’s chance. Only problem was the ‘beautiful, mean, popular girl’ Amanda was determined to have Wes and the part of Juliet.
Emily’s story at times is hard to read. I mean this girl is a train-wreck for embarrassing moments. You name the embarrassment, it probably has happened to her or at least does during the story. Emily’s best friends, Jill and Kayla are amazing and so supportive.

Wes is an all-around good guy. He is also a people pleaser and you can tell while reading the story that people use him and try to walk over him. He goes out of his way to be nice to everyone and tries to include people. No matter how many times Emily does something – consider by the majority – embarrassing, he is always positive and encouraging.

The story wasn’t too bad. I finished it within a day. The characters were entertaining, but the overall story was lacking something. I think we need more meat between Emily and Wes. I mean something more. The ended was a HEA, but I wish there was a prologue. Her two friends have boyfriends, so there is no way the author is going to right about Jill and Kayla. Who knows?

I give the book a 3. It wasn’t horrible, but I probably won’t read it again.

If you want a quick and corky read, this is fine as a YA.

What I did like was, the references to Cinderella and the 80’s movie Say Anything. Aggggg one of my fav’s.

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