On My Bookshelf: Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

April 23, 2018

Still Star-Crossed by Melina Taub picks up where Romeo and Juliet, my favorite of Shakespeare's plays leaves off. With the two young lovers dead and buried, the play's minor characters become major ones. At the center is Rosaline, Romeo's love interest before Juliet, niece of Lord and Lady Capulet, and childhood playmate of Prince Escalus.  Read on for more of my review and classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Soon to be an ABC TV show by producer Shonda Rhimes! Still Star-Crossed follows the aftermath of the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet, as mysterious figures in Verona are determined to reignite the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.

In fair Verona, enemies still walk the streets.
Two news hearts. Same two families.
The fight to the altar is about to happen.
All. Over. Again.

This homage to the classic Shakespearean tale of Romeo and Juliet will have readers pining for a star-crossed love of their very own.

Why I liked it: Still Star-Crossed picks up where Romeo and Juliet, my favorite of Shakespeare's plays leaves off. With the two young lovers dead and buried, the play's minor characters become major ones. At the center is Rosaline, Romeo's love interest before Juliet, niece of Lord and Lady Capulet, and childhood playmate of Prince Escalus. Escalus calls on Rosaline to marry Benvolio Montague, Romeo's cousin and best friend, to solidify the peace between the two families while unknown forces seek to continue the feud by vandalizing the statue of Juliet.
Still Star-Crossed by Melina Taub picks up where Romeo and Juliet, my favorite of Shakespeare's plays leaves off. With the two young lovers dead and buried, the play's minor characters become major ones. At the center is Rosaline, Romeo's love interest before Juliet, niece of Lord and Lady Capulet, and childhood playmate of Prince Escalus.  Read on for more of my review and classroom application.

The characters in the novel are consistent with Shakespeare's descriptions but truly come to life in the novel with a few new additions who are equally interesting, such as Livia, Rosaline's sister and Isabelle, Prince Escalus's sister. Benvolio is still benevolent, the Nurse is still as bumbling as ever, and Friar Laurence is still feeling responsible for Romeo and Juliet's tragic deaths. The novel is peppered with language from Shakespeare's play and its plot twists surprised me throughout.

Classroom application: This novel would be a great addition to your high school classroom library. The action and suspense will draw in both male and female students. Middle schoolers might not appreciate the connection to Shakespeare's play (typically read in ninth grade) as much and it does include alcohol, violence, and an almost rape scene. I'd also recommend it as a whole class novel following reading Romeo and Juliet. It would be a great way to introduce students to fan fiction writing.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Still Star-Crossed for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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