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Rabi and Matthew

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A queer retelling of Romeo & Juliet, except no one has to bury their gays.

A decades-old family rivalry is reaching a boiling point as the patriarchs vie for a seat in Congress. Democrat vs Republican, Muslim vs Christian, Hashmi vs Swain — the Midwestern town of Arbor Hills is one spark away from an explosion of violence. So when two men find themselves irresistibly dr
ebook, 264 pages
Published November 5th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 3rd 2018)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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4.5 stars

Man, I've missed L.A. Witt stories. I took a break for awhile from her stories, but I couldn't pass this one up, it excited me too much (especially because it said this does NOT end like R&J does.)

This did not disappoint. Rabi and Matthew had great chemistry, and while they did fall in love quickly, that is the nature of R&J, so I didn't mind - and at least it was weeks with these two and not like one or two days.

This modern retelling, and the tension between white vs. non-whi
Barb ~rede-2-read~
ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.

*4.5 stars*

A long-term family rivalry between the Hashmis and the Swains forms the crux of this story. They are Democrat vs Republican, Muslim vs Christian, and when Rabi Hashmi falls head-over-heels for Matthew Swain, and vice-versa, readers know there’s going to be heartache and strife. They meet at a frat party and have to hide every moment together—from their first kiss to their even
L.A. Witt
Oct 09, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Available Nov 5.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the full review on my new blog:
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Riptide Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

-The story deals with hate in general. Things like homophobia, xenophobia, and discrimination, things that we face every day in every part of the world. I like the fact that the book makes you think about these things. We live so surrounded by hate that sometimes
Lenore Kosinski
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

3.5 stars — This was a diverse read that felt like it was there for more than just face value. We weren’t just told that Rabi was Muslim and Pakistani, we got to see a bit of his life and some of his traditions (such as prayer on Fridays). I really appreciated that. Sometimes I worry that the diversity will be just thrown in, but not given its due, and that was n
Ben Ace
I held out so much hope for Rabi and Matthew. I really, really wanted this to be something I could gush about and tell everyone to go read, because a queer Romeo & Juliet where the star-crossed lovers don’t meet a fatal ending? Damn, these marketers really know what the people want. It’s just a shame they didn’t actually give it to us.

I think what bothered me the most was the characters. Not a single one of them felt like a real person; they all felt like characters. I didn’t see any depth i
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I’d give this book 3.5 to 3.8 stars! Starting off, books that aren’t completely based on white characters slash white culture come few & far between so I just want to give props to the authors for including a bunch of brown boys & girls in this story. Some of the characters even had non European names & the author wrote moments about embracing different cultures. That was pretty damn cool to read. I typically despise insta-love stories BUT the author describes this book as “a queer m ...more
Joyfully Jay
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jovan
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

As a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, the MCs here are, of course, head over in heels in love within a week or so, but Witt does a great job making it sweet and believable. Rabi and Matthew are two kindred spirits whose devotion to and love for their familial and religious beliefs leaves them isolated and alone as gay men, and even more so when they fall in love with “the enemy.” Their joy in talking and spending time together, the fact that they have both been waiti
3.5 Stars
The last twenty-four hours had been hellish, but he’d always heard it was darkest before dawn. Maybe the sun was rising. Maybe the darkness was receding.

I hate you, LA Witt. You made cry!!!

I’m kidding of course. Witt portrayed a raw, sweet, convincing, yet chilling new adult romance in this classics queered retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Frankly, the classic was not among my favorite story - not fond of tragedy in my reading - but this author never let me down before so I dove in.
Stephanie   GooglyEyes
"Enough queer lovers have died on the page and on the screen.
But not today."
-LA Witt

I love that!

Here's a "modern day" "Romeo and Juliet" story, only it's also not. We all (at least I hope we all do) know the ending of that tragedy that was R&J... The author took the idea, but gave this queer couple a happy ending.

This story is very political and just like the old story, very violent, there's even a costume party! :) That's really all the two have in common though.

I loved Rabi and Matthew t
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was instantly intrigued by the idea of a contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet, especially one that was a romance and not a tragedy. Of course, I also knew Miss Witt would make her characters work for their happy ending. Overall, I really enjoyed Rabi and Matthew. The writing was crisp, the plot interesting and timely, and the building tension between the two families palpable. I was especially impressed with how raw the moments of conflict left me, proving just how much emotion the author ...more
Tracie R
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgally
A retelling of Romeo & Juliet, Rabi and Matthew is a m/m emotional, raw story. The struggle is real, the characters portrayal is convincing and the storyline compelling. I enjoyed this rendition and this author is fast becoming a must read for me with her unique take and portrayal of her stories and characters
Drew Salas
Oct 14, 2018 marked it as to-read

I'm totally going to read this.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can honestly say, since the year's almost over, that Rabi and Matthew is one of the hardest books I've read this year. My initial reaction when I finished... "Gotta admit... this was NOT an easy one to read, but there are also a LOT of people I'd love to recommend it to. <3 " For the record, that opinion still stands.

Although there were elements of prejudice on both sides in Rabi and Matthew, Matthew's family set the bar for way too many people in the community. Matthew saw beyond the hate
Roger Hyttinen
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
The Story

This novel follows Rabi Hashmi and Matthew Swain who meet one night at a party and end up falling in love. Simple enough story. Well, not really. What makes this story interesting is the decades-old rivalry between the two families as their two fathers run against each other in the election for a seat in Congress. What we have here is Democrat vs. Republican, Muslim vs. Christian and years and years of mistrust and hatred between the families.

Rabi and Matthew know that their love will
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Since I saw the gorgeous cover and got blurbed this as queer retelling of Romeo and Juliet with huge possibility for ending that won't rip my heart out, I was ready for it. Rabi and Matthew surely delivers that; contemporary retelling with decades long conflict between warring families and tragic events, but no burying the gays.

Rabi and Matthew has the same fast paced, addicting, and captivating feel as the movie has. The difference is that this dives into more the families and makes the feud ve
Up All Night With Books
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
Review by Lisa
Late Night Reviewer
Up All Night w/ Books Blog

In this M/M retelling of the classic, Romeo and Juliet, L. A. Witt has a twist. I love this author's unexpected take with this story line. There is so much that goes along with it. Families at war, politics, religion, racism, small mindedness and small town business. It is a lot for two people finding each other and trying to figure life out. It is so well written that you can't help but root for Rabi and Matthew. However, as your
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really love L. A. Witt for taking this subject and being so honest about it. It is sensitive and political issue but never once while reading the book did I think that she was biased. AND she did her research well done. The names were right, the language was right, everything was right.

Rabi and Mathew were good together. Yes, the characters lacked depth. But that's not my issue.

I only think that people who have so much hate within them can't change just like that. If someone hates every minori
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really liked what L.A. Witt did with this book. She took a classic and made it modern. The characters deal with racism and homophobia, violence and hatred to the extremes. I thought that Witt did an amazing job relating this to our society today. The author's note at the end really got to me and I couldn't agree more with what was written. I saw some reviews that were dissing the book because of the insta love and repeated hate from the characters; to those people I would like to ask, ...more
Elaine Gray
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the author’s version of Romeo and Juliet. This story had everything racism, politics, religion, and two families at war. Rabi and Matthew took a chance by falling in love knowing that their families had so much bad blood between each other. The story was so intense but is written so beautifully that you can’t help but be on their side. L. A. Witt did a tremendous job with this book.
Overall, the story was sweet, sexy, romantic, and romantic. I’m looking forward to the next book from the a
Denise Shirley carter
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a Shakespeare fan, I found that this book, with how close it really was to R&J, a joy to read.
There were some parts that I certainly didn't quite expect (or maybe I expected but hoped wouldn't happen). That being said, with that much anger, and old violence, there really couldn't have been any other way for some of that to happen.
I loved having characters that thought for themselves, versus doing what their families told them to do, and finding love with someone not just from "the other f
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, lgbt
That climactic moment had me biting my fingers! L.A. Witt has brought a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet in a Hatfield/Macoy setting. Beautifully written and a wonderful story. Highly recommend this!

*Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
cupcakes and bookshelves
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgallery
Compelling and emotional, this rendition of Romeo and Juliet was unique, gritty and raw.... and I loved it. LA has a way with words I really connect with.

*Copy kindly given by NetGallery in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much*
Sally halliday
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, mm
3.5 stars
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
I loved
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Perfect book in this political climate. There were tears.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the topic and I was rooting for Rabi and Matthew all the way. The reason it’s not a 5 star read is because I didn’t get to know them very well. Their daily life was off page.
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)

A modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet? With gay characters? Muslim vs Christian? Democrat vs Republican? Love vs hate? I am so there! This is what I was thinking after reading the blurb.

Rabi's family and Matthew's families hate each other. Have forever. Why? Neither young man knows why, not sure if anyone knows why. All they know is that their families hate each other, so the two of them cannot, should not, be together. And yet they cannot help themselves, and fall for each other anyway. And se
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L.A. Witt and her husband have been exiled from Spain and sent to live in Maine because rhymes are fun. She now divides her time between writing, assuring people she is aware that Maine is cold, wondering where to put her next tattoo, and trying to reason with a surly Maine coon. Rumor has it her arch nemesis, Lauren Gallagher, is also somewhere in the wilds of New England, which is why L.A. is al ...more