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OMG Shakespeare

YOLO Juliet

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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. 

112 pages, Hardcover

First published May 26, 2015

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Brett Wright

12 books15 followers

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5 stars
296 (22%)
4 stars
407 (30%)
3 stars
454 (33%)
2 stars
124 (9%)
1 star
60 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 346 reviews
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
832 reviews3,718 followers
February 15, 2021

3.5 stars . Hey now, that was pretty hysterical! Don't take it too seriously, and you should be fine.

JULIET: are you freaking kidding me? great. i'm in love with the one person i can't be in love with. FML.

I am not a teenager, and haven't been for more than 10 years. However, I do believe that we adults often underestimate what teenagers can understand. Damn, I actually think that many people have a pretty low - and inaccurate - esteem of children as well. Before starting this book I read a great deal of reviews stating that YOLO Juliet was some hell spawn or something, because god forbid you touch Shakespeare.

What is this book exactly? See for yourself :

If I can understand people's fears to a certain extend - WHAT? Aren't teenagers able to read the original book?? - in my opinion this book is not meant to replace the original play but comes as an hilarious parody, and yes, I liked it. As a teacher and a French literature graduate, it took me a long time to realize that we're all some kind of hypocrites sometimes : tell me, how many classics did you read? How many classics did you love? Are classics the only books you read? The truth is, for me reading both classics and contemporaries is possible, and even more, enlightening.

Please don't think that teenagers are stupid : they can completely read the original play, love it, and still find this parody funny as hell, not to mention that it does point the absurdity of instalove. Or I might have a crappy humor. Oh, well. I always found Romeo and Juliet's story batshit crazy anyway. *roll eyes* SMH.

Ps. If you think that this book deserves to be burned, I hear you, I hear you, but please don't troll my review. Just chill out. BB.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,050 reviews1,831 followers
September 5, 2015
JULIET: are you freaking kidding me? great. i'm in love with the one person i can't be in love with. FML.

I found this book cute and also hilarious.

It is a text message retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It is full of YOLO, and FOMO, STFU, and WTF?

There's also hilarious touches like Juliet's mom ending every text message she sends with: "Love, Mom."

ROMEO: I wanna pinch myself. Am I dreaming or is this happening IRL? #truluv #blessed

It's even funnier if you are really familiar with the original play, in my opinion. And I am really familiar with it, I love Shakespeare's plays. Reading this was just making me laugh and laugh.

BENVOLIO: Ugh, hold on. The Capulets are texting me.

I feel like a lot of negative reviews on this are just... "Oh, this is stupid." or "Can't teens read real Shakespeare? Why do we have to reduce this to the simplest common denominator?" or some variation on "Teenage girls are stupid and dumb." Well, I don't feel that way AT ALL. For one thing, I adore teenage girls. I think they are smart and fierce and amazing. Not to mention funny. When I talk to teenagers I'm always happy and pleased to see how smart, funny, and (most surprising) feminist they are. I don't feel like writing an insanely cute re-telling of Romeo and Juliet through text messages is a bad thing. Actually, it's a great thing. It will get people more interested in reading the real play, and teens who are reading the play in school will have a fun and reasonably accurate cheatsheet to look over scenes or passages they just didn't understand.

NURSE, to JULIET: You in danger, girl.

Tl;dr - Cute, hysterically funny - I was laughing and laughing. It's even funnier if you know the original very well. I can't wait to read: srsly Hamlet.

FRIAR LAURENCE: Were you able to deliver the letter I wrote to Romeo?? - FL


FRIAR LAURENCE: Why are you yelling? - FL




LOL I can't stop laughing...

There's a guide in the back for anyone unfamiliar with "text speak."

P.S. There IS a downside to this book, and that is that it will become outdated and irrelevant very quickly.
Profile Image for Kels.
315 reviews165 followers
March 3, 2016
This was incredibly entertaining. Not quite "LOL" funny, but entertaining nonetheless, and I had a lot of fun reading it.

Consider this the abridged, tell-it-like-it-is adaptation of everyone's favorite love story--er, the people who most likely didn't actually read the classic play--Romeo and Juliet. Yolo Juliet is the type of off-the-wall funny that is successful simply because it strips down the play to its bare bones of various degrees of ridiculousness, and allows you to laugh your pants off at the foolish acts of two misguidedly overzealous teenagers in full on, head-over-heels, fiery (read: combustible) insta-love. Say what you will, but this book is pure genius for that fact alone.

But what makes this book even more spectacularly amusing is that it's told in a composite of blathering text message conversations, random yet perfectly timed Facebook status updates, and brooding voice memos. The script is filled to the brim with emojis, texting jargon, and hashtags that are humorously reflective of our cell phone dependent society while comically dramatizing the 3 day love affair of Juliet and Romeo. Yep, I know what you're thinking. The biggest issue with that is auto-correct, and you're absolutely right. There's some of that thrown in there too, and it's freaking perfect. ;)

Yolo Juliet really showcases Romeo and Juliet as the satire romance it intends to be. Greatest love story... Pfft. Whether you read the classic play or not, you'll get the jokes and you'll laugh because love hurts, even when its young and dumb, but it can be darn funny in retrospect. Yet this book is even more sidesplitting when you're familiar with the angsty, overly dramatic, yet admittedly tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet and can connect the two scripts together.

Profile Image for Figgy.
678 reviews220 followers
March 23, 2016
Ok, now hold on a second, don’t rage quit this review.

Yes, this is the Shakespeare story we’ve all grown up with and most of us studied at school, and yes, this version of it happens to be told in a text message format… BUT once you get into it, and if you remind yourself not to take it too seriously, this can actually be a good bit of fun.
What the duck, Juliet!
The duck.
Ugh! Autocorrect.

heehee. quack, quack.

The rest of this review can be found here!
Profile Image for Nayeli.
286 reviews31 followers
September 7, 2016
Bottom line: this is funny. Well, I don't think I laughed out loud, but it was certainly amusing. It also gives an interesting glimpse to the evolution of modern English (3rd semester linguistics student here). I had this thought throughout: "this is so bad, but so good". OF COURSE it doesn't make sense that they would be texting in some situations, the status updates and check-ins into places also don't make sense most of the times (Romeo logs check-ins after he's banished!, and even when he's not supposed to see Juliet), the use of emoticons is exaggerated and the spelling of some characters is horrid, but well... who starts reading a book called "YOLO Juliet" expecting seriousness?

I know Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, and I can remember my teenage self reading Shakespeare's original words out loud and trying to understand (failing, mostly) and then never finishing it, I can also remember suffering with that one famous movie by Baz Luhrmann. I still think those are great, but I agree with many of the positive reviews I've read: this little book is a refreshing way to tell a well-known story and a great way to pass an hour. I'm going to finish this review with a quote from the book for those scholars who rated it 1 star:
ROMEO: Ugh. You just don't understand.
Profile Image for Tijana.
310 reviews148 followers
April 20, 2020
Well this was... entertaining?
I personally don't like Shakespeare (especially not Romeo and Juliet), so I appreciated the parody.
The only thing slightly bothering me was overuse of emojis - made the "book" seem like it was trying too hard at times.
But it was a good laugh, all in all.
5 reviews14 followers
June 16, 2015
No, I have not read this, nor am I going to.

Why is this even a thing? To cater to the minds of people who can't keep a single sentence in their head for 10 seconds? Oh, or is this art? Is this some other cool thing that I am "to stupid 2 get"?

What a time to be alive.
April 13, 2017
To be honest I don’t even know what the eff I’ve just read XD Characters will be dying and WHILE THEY’RE DYING they’ll put out a status update.

This book is just supposed to be a lot of fun. I took a hiatus a few days ago and although I was reading and enjoying a big book it was nice to read through this and laugh at some (ridiculously stupid) things that happen.

Recommended if you want a senseless but funny and ridiculous read! My school library has a bunch of these so you can bet that I’ll be spending the next few days reading these during my spare period if I can.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,509 reviews86 followers
January 10, 2020
Ok, this was cute. It's Shakespeare completely re-told in texts and emojis. I think this would be a great way to introduce younger readers to some of the better-known classics since there are a few different Shakespeare plays and other popular classics. I laughed a few times how they re-wrote certain scenes to make it more modern and could use the emojis to tell the tale. I recommend these and I will be looking for more in this style of re-telling.

Re-read 2020
I still really enjoy this book, its a fun quick read.
Profile Image for J & J .
190 reviews57 followers
November 22, 2018
I thought this was hilarious...Shakespeare might be rolling in his grave over this one but I thought it brought more life to the play.
Profile Image for Auntie Raye-Raye.
480 reviews52 followers
September 5, 2015
I know, I know. I'm getting the side eye for this rating. I nominated this as the September read for my Bad Book Club on FB. It came in second. (LEFT BEHIND won, if you're curious.)

I'm not really that big of a fan of Shakespeare's works. I think being forced to read and analyze them in high school did it. (i'll have to re-read and see if my opinion has changed)

I am not quite "an old". I'm pushing 40. I don't own a smart phone, am lost on some of the emojis and text speak, and don't text too often.

BUT, even with my handicaps. I enjoyed this. It's ridiculous, stupid, and fun.
Profile Image for Selene.
577 reviews134 followers
February 25, 2017
I read this book (and plan to read the others) because I wanted to know if it was worth recommending to high school students as the content is relevant to their Language Arts curriculum. It also gives a more modern twist on classics. Maybe they will be able to relate more to Shakespeare and appreciate his work.
Profile Image for Ruby Rose.
269 reviews71 followers
November 2, 2020
I liked this one but it was not my favorite. I have not read the original but I can tell it was so much more dramatic. This one was literally SUPER funny and I didn't feel the ending very much. At the end the author put a cheat page of all the meanings for everyone who doesn't know and what the emojis mean. Although I did use it thoroughly because I am definitely lacking in my texting vocabulary :)

PARENT NOTE: This book uses the F word a lot. The book implies that Romeo by a wine glass, and with Juliet but younger kids can't tell this because it just has a knife.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: 6-7/10 Check my profile to find out how I rate!

ROMANCE: Clean! From what I can tell.

LANGUAGE: A lot of F words implied with the texting.


Feel free to follow/friend me for more reviews like this one! Happy reading! -Ruby
Profile Image for Completely Melanie.
579 reviews377 followers
July 24, 2018
These books are just such a fun way to read Shakespeare, and a lot quicker. I remember as a teenager I loved the story of Romeo and Juliet, but as an adult I definitely see the story differently. Now I see Juliet as the typical love struck teen, but Romeo is a grown man that is obsessive and over the top.
Profile Image for Jorge Castanos.
188 reviews36 followers
October 3, 2015
¿Quién puede tomarse un libro llamado “YOLO Juliet” en serio? La respuesta es: Nadie. Aún así es una lectura fresca y divertida, sumamente corta y -lo mejor de todo- fue gratis, gracias a la Public Library de por aquí.

YOLO Juliet fue publicado en mayo del 2015 por la Random House Books. Claramente su público es el juvenil-adolescente.
El proyecto estuvo escrito por Brett Wright, basándose en la tragedia de Romeo y Julieta de Shakespeare.
La idea consiste en una historia ya conocida pero, en esta ocasión, presentada como mensajes de textos entre un puñado de personajes.

Entre ellos, Romeo y Julieta (obviamaente), Benvolio, Montague, Capulet, Lady Capulet, Tybalt, Paris, Mercutio, Friar Laurence y más.

Casi todos conocemos -o recordamos- la famosa tragedia:

Dos familias en guerra.
Dos jóvenes enamorados.
Un matrimonio secreto que salió mal.

Me parece que es un proyecto efectuado para llegar a una multitud mayor, brindando frescura y diversión a una historia bastante triste.

Como dije, el libro está presentado en mensajes de textos entre los personajes; con sus íconos y slangs (con un glosario al final para poder entender algunos como FOMO, GL2U, IDEK, TT4N y más).

Es un libro que no vale la pena dar más de 9 dólares por el. Basta con unos 30 minutos para acabarlo, pues apenas son 95 páginas y, dado el formato y al público al que originalmente está lanzado, es sumamente fácil de leer.

Algo que no me sorprende, la historia de Hamlet ya está “editada” a este moderno formato por Courtney Carbone y, además, “Macbeth” y “A Midnight Summer” verán la luz en el 2016.

En conclusión, si les interesa recordar la conocida historia o les da curiosidad el approach juvenil -y tienen una manera barata o gratuita de conseguirlo- pueden darle una oportunidad, de lo contrario se pierden de muy poco.
Profile Image for Tawney .
144 reviews16 followers
May 22, 2015
These were hilarious books! Now Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet aren’t really comedies. They’re dramas, which may be the reason a lot of teens find them boring. The language can be foreign and drawn out. Sure it was understandable back then but in our present moment it has kids scratching their heads, wondering what the hell is going on.

In comes OMG Shakespeare series. A modern take of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet with text messages. In a world where most people prefer texting as communication, these books come at a perfect time. I think kids of all ages can read these books and enjoy them! The emojis are perfectly placed throughout the play adding some humor to such dreary stories. The story makes sense. I'm sure even Shakespeare would be proud!

Should you read it? Yes! A fun take on classics that any kid or adult would enjoy. And what's even greater? It's a quick read. No more looking up on Google the meaning of each scene. Just sit back and laugh.
Profile Image for Sharon Mariampillai.
1,985 reviews87 followers
September 23, 2015
One of the greatest love stories ever written, but now in modern texting. In this read, the story is the same just with the Shakespearean words. It was funny because the emojis made the story interesting, but yet it still made me love the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Great read that will make you LOL. Can't wait to read Hamlet and the other plays such as Macbeth, and A Midsummer's Night Dream.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,026 reviews25 followers
May 30, 2015
A mash-up of TTYL & TTFN and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

Good fun. Glad for the glossary in the back, as this ol' lady didn't know some of the text-happy shortened phrases.

Thanks for loaning me the copy, Kate!
Profile Image for Ellie Coombes.
7 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2020
good - now ready to read Shakespeare's real version
Profile Image for Annie.
818 reviews14 followers
December 6, 2020
I found it absolutely hilarious to read the tragedy that is Romeo and Juliet in text form. And it’s a quick snappy read, too
Profile Image for Meredith .
251 reviews148 followers
June 3, 2015
I’ve always been fascinated by Shakespeare’s plays. But, like many, I find them confusing and hard to understand. I’ve taken classes on Shakespeare, purchased “Shakespeare for Dummies,” Googled translations and even watched the movies. But I still have a hard time grasping the language. And Romeo & Juliet is by far one of the most well-known of Shakespeare’s plays. There are so many retellings and adaptions based off it – not to mention the fact that the concept of “star-crossed lovers” pretty much originated with Romeo & Juliet and can now be found all over the place in books, movies/TV shows and plays.

With that said, YOLO Juliet was hilarious and entertaining. I sped through it in roughly an hour and a half. It took something complex and broke it down into an easy-to-understand language that teens today will be able to connect with. It made Romeo & Juliet fun to read, even with the tragic events that take place in the play. My brother teaches English and he definitely wants to add these to his classroom library – something I think every teacher should do! It will make teens WANT to read the classics because they’ll be entertained and amused, rather than bored and confused.

Also, can we talk about how hilarious and ironic that title is, considering how the play ends?

So, whether you want to learn Shakespeare or teach Shakespeare, I highly recommend this book. You’ll never view Romeo & Juliet in the same way, ever again! And you’ll enjoy reading it!

You can also find more from me on my blog: Pandora's Books
Profile Image for Kari.
54 reviews10 followers
September 13, 2015
Es obvio de qué va YOLO Juliet: es una curiosa adaptación de la obra de Shakespeare, Romeo y Julieta, que muchos snobs van a odiar, porque no les va a gustar cómo "un clásico se corrompe en abominación por un espiral de emojis y abreviaciones que destruyen el lenguaje y que suprimen la fuerza del verso shakespeariano". Meh, pero si sientes interés por el uso de la lengua en todas las épocas, incluida la de la ciberinteracción, YOLO Juliet te parecerá un ejercicio literario, lingüístico y cultural muy interesante y entretenido.
Claro que tiene problemas de adaptación: hay más emojis de los que realmente se usan, hay situaciones en las que no queda estarse mensajeando (aunque se intenta explicar por qué los personajes se textean, sigue estando muy forzado) y donde un mensaje de texto sí podría ser útil, no se da (te estoy hablando, fray Laurence: hablas con Romeo por mensajes cuando están en la misma habitación, pero no le mandas uno para decirle el plan con Juliet, y prefieres enviarle una carta... WTF!).
Pero, aparte de estos problemas, sigue siendo algo muy cute para leer sin tomarse la vida tan en serio y amargamente. Plus! Esos detalles como la madre de Juliet firmando cada mensaje (lol), o la escritura en mayúsculas de fray John (ja!!), o el trolleo de la nodriza de Juliet #yasss.
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