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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,720 ratings  ·  468 reviews
Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Aladdin
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,720 ratings  ·  468 reviews

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Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stumbled upon the tumblr post the author's daughter wrote, exclaiming how she came out to her mum at a young age and then it wasn't until a few years later her mum revealed that she'd been writing this the whole time! Such a lovely and positive idea that I'm excited to read regardless of not fitting the age range!
Nicole Craswell
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars.

What a fantastic book! I love seeing representation aimed towards young readers and this is such great representation. The main character is kind, intelligent, and relatable. The exploration of her bi identity is wonderful, it doesn't fall into tired tropes and stereotypes, and there are enough scenes that explain the nuances of her identity and the reasons she's struggling with it/ why other people react the ways they do, without feeling preachy or overly educational. Also, the entire

This was amazing RTC

Edit: APR 18


Edit: SEPT 28th


Tyler J Gray
This is a cute light read about a middle school girl, 8th grade, getting a crush on a girl. She has had a crush on a boy before. It's made clear she still could like another boy, but right now her crush just happens to be a girl and she's trying to come to terms with that. For the most part it's a good book. It's sort of a retelling of Romeo and Juliet but there is no tragedy. No one dies. It's a middle grade book to show that being inclusive of all sexualities is a good and necessary thing, in ...more
Marianne Moresco
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be. Cute, funny, clever, simple yet important. A children book yes, but it's perfect for every age.
We need more books like this one. The kids around the world need them.
Because I wish I had a book like this to read, back when I was 12.


I'm screaming this is everything I want. A lgbtqai+ middle grade with Shakespeare mixed in it OMG gimme gimme gimme
Danika at The Lesbrary
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super cute! And I think I understood Shakespeare more from reading this than from the university courses I took on it? So glad there's a) a bisexual middle grade/kids' book now and it's awesome and b) a middle grade/kids' book that has a girl who has a crush on a girl and it's awesome!

If you're wondering about the representation: I thought I heard that this book included the word "bisexual", but it didn't. Still, it was very clear that Mattie acknowledges that she has the capacity to have crushe
While there ARE strengths to this book, I was left feeling underwhelmed by the turn of the last page. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm not the biggest Shakespeare fan to begin with, & I wasn't aware that so much of Star-Crossed's plot revolves around R&J. I realize the class was performing the play, but the entire play was discussed in length for the majority of the book. As someone past the intended audience that was way too much for me, so I can't imagine this will hold a MG's interest well if the ...more
This was an incredibly cute read. Sometimes I found myself eye-rolling at the... obnoxiousness of middle school drama but I'm sure I was that obnoxious in middle school, so I got over it.

I remember, when I was a... senior? Probably a senior, I couldn't figure out why I was so weirdly obsessed with this girl and I spent most of the homecoming dance orchestrating ways to walk past her and honestly I sympathize with Mattie so much with this inner realization of 'oh shit I'm not straight', and my fr
Abby Johnson
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Xan West
I am so glad this book is out in the world. I wish I had been able to read it when I was young. It is full of heart and so much fun, and I fell so hard for Mattie. I love how much it is about putting on the play! And Mattie's sister is made of awesome. A sweet and swoony crush filled story that warmed my heart and made me all verklempt. On the page bi rep that was lovely and felt exactly right. Highly recommend.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Mattie is in middle school, and her friends Lucy and Tessa know that she's had a crush on Elijah forever. The friends like to hang out, and try to stay on the good side of popular Willow, who can be very mean. When the school play is Romeo and Juliet, Mattie is thrilled that she gets a major part, and is okay with the fact that Mr. Torres, the director, wants her to work with Liam, the actor who has been cast as Romeo. New girl Gemma has been cast as Juliet, and Mattie th
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqiap-reads
This definitely wasn't for me. I was so excited about a queer middle-grade novel but the characters just felt so bland and uninspired. Not to mention that it always seemed like the author "dumbed" things down for its readers which was so unnecessary. Mattie's friends were also interchangeable and just supportive when it aligned with their goals. Mattie herself would keep talking about their annoying traits. It just made the story feel cheap at times. Also, for a book that focuses on a theater pr ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book, it was the sweetest. I loved all the Romeo and Juliet references, I loved the friendships and family dynamics, I loved the main character and her development (especially how she realises she’s kind of too closed off from other people at times, literally me), and most of all I loved that this was a middle grade novel with bisexual representation that was done incredibly well. This book would make the cutest movie.
Jenni Frencham
Mattie is a bookworm, so she's very excited when her teacher chooses "Romeo and Juliet" as the play her grade will perform for the school. Through various mishaps Mattie ends up being cast as Romeo, starring alongside the very popular Gemma who is playing Juliet. Mattie is pretty sure she likes Gemma, really likes her, and is nervous about telling Gemma, her friends, and her family. Also, she has to KISS Gemma during the play!

This book is adorably sweet, as is appropriate for a middle grade / t
Ahhhh! AHHHHHH! This was so enchanting! This was a book that took me squarely back to the feeling of being thirteen and discovering Shakespeare truly for the first time, how I immersed myself in my own class production of Romeo & Juliet with similar gusto, relating to the main characters because I too thought that I was swept up in the great romance of our time. (Spoiler: I wasn't. Nowhere near it.)

But this book is so charming--an eighth-grade girl who ends up realizing she has a crush on the gi
Jen Petro-Roy
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So good. Barbara Dee has such a great middle grade books and we so need more LGBTQ books for this age group. I can't wait to see Mattie and Evie, my main character, share the shelves!
SapphicAThon: MC realises they're queer

Very pure and very sweet. It's great to have a book where the main character is 12 when she realises she has a crush on another girl.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, aladdin
Adorable middle grade romance AND theatre story AND discovering-what-you're-good-at-and-how-to-go-after-it story AND retelling of Romeo and Juliet. (Why do only one or two things with your story when you can do four?)
Alice, as in Wonderland
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I guess the big way to discover your identity right now in middle grade fiction is to be in a play. I don't know if I'd like this trend to go beyond this book - like, I understand the reasoning, but having read both George AND Gracefully Grayson last year, I guess I'm hoping that this isn't the only way we're ever going to talk about LGBTQ themes to the point of stereotyping.

That said, I'm really very glad this book was written. The thing about reading both George and Grayson last year (along wi
Dec 20, 2016 marked it as to-read
I'm so excited for this!!! A middle-grade, positive sapphic story with a bi main character, can't wait to read it!
POPSUGAR 2018 READING CHALLENGE: A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist

This is a really cute middle grade retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Not only is this a loose retelling of the famous tragedy, but the plot also focuses on an eighth-grade production of the play, with each of the book’s characters cast as their own counterpart, for the most part.

Our Romeo is 12-year-old Mattie, who has just recently gotten over her crush on Elijah (our Rosaline, if you will), and is discovering slowly that she has a
Rebecca Tollingworth
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, kids

So, I loved the book. It's great having a young reader book about exploring/understanding your sexual orientation. Throughout the book, everybody was totally fine with Mattie having a crush on a girl. They acted like it was a perfectly normal thing (because it is). Her sister was really supportive, her best friend was really supportive. Everybody told her to go for it. She shouldn't be afraid. And this message is wonderful. To show young kids that it's okay to have "not straight"
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
What a great book! It took a little while for me to readjust to middle grade reading level, but the moment I got over the slightly rocky start I was hooked. Friendships that have realistic complications, addressing how parents can be hard to talk to but still giving the main character a guide in the form of her older sister, over dramatic middle school drama that charmingly parallels the plot of Romeo and Juliet while still having a happy ending, talking about how crushes and who you like change ...more
Kellee Moye
Full review with teaching tools:

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. First, it made me like Shakespeare more than I did before. Second, I think that it dealt with sexual identity in a gentle and realistic manner.

I must admit that Shakespeare is a fear of mine because I just never have felt like I got him the way I should as an English Lit major and English teacher; however, it is what it is. When I see Shakespeare plays, I am always transported in
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, queer, middle-grade
Review originally published 29 June 2017 at Falling Letters.

Whoohoo, I finally get to review this book! I had it on hold at the library for sometime before it was released March 14. I felt like I had to wait agggeeees for it to come in. I would have bought it at Chapters but they didn’t have it in store. Anyway. I was able to enjoy the entire book last Sunday while I was out at the lake.

What I love most about Star-Crossed is that it doesn’t complicate Mattie’s feeling. Mattie recently had a crus
Nora Baskin
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My review is on the back of the book! longer version: “I just put down Star-Crossed with a huge smile on my face and a tremendous lightness in my soul. This is an uplifting, fun story, with a backdrop of a theater production and discussions of Shakespeare, (c’mon, who better?) back and forth crushes, and confusion. Her characters stole my heart. Dee has written a story we want for all our children, and a reality that children’s literature like this can help make happen.”
Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳
Date Reviewed:
4 March 2017
This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here.

Thank You Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing and NetGalley for giving an eARC for an honest review.

I remember when I came across a post about this very book on Tumblr. Normally, I kept scrolling, but something caught my attention. It was the fact there was two girls on the cover dancing looking like Romeo & Juliet. I am not a major
Well, that was utterly adorable and just beautifully done. I was skeptical because the author identifies as straight, and there is just so *little* out there in terms of girl-crushing romcoms that I worried it wouldn't work. But it really, really did. The social pieces were great, especially the ways that the friends supported each other (but got stressed and hurt about secrets), and the ways that the interpersonal backstabby-drama wasn't life or death but felt like it a little. It didn't feel d ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Middle grade novel that explores one girl's crush on a boy, and then her crush on a girl. This book also examines friendship dynamics. The protagonist, who is a good kid and easily likable, has a very supportive family, teacher, and friends. Her eighth-grade class is putting on a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which is woven quite nicely throughout the plot and themes of the story.
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“Okay, Mattie. I said okay.” All of a sudden, she threw her arms around me and squeezed. “We won’t talk about it if you don’t want to.” 4 likes
“How do you know if you like someone because you really do like that person, or if you like him only because you think you’re supposed to?” 4 likes
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