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Rabi and Matthew

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  50 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 drawn
ebook, 264 pages
Published November 5th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 3rd 2018)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Mar 21, 2020 added it
bro who held a gun to this chick’s head and made her write this shit
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-white, stra
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
Ben Ace
NOTE: I received an advance reader copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions or the way I talk about the book.

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
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
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 modern retell ...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 d
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 toget
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 ...more
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 tha
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
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Rabi and Matthew is a modern queer retelling of Rome an Julia. Already in the description you get to know that the main characters will survive though, because enough gays have been buried in books and on the screen.

That information doesn’t take away from the suspense though because I got still pretty scared for their safety.

So, there are two families Hashmi and Swain who are in a decade long rivalry but now the tension is rising up as the two fathers are running against each other for a seat i
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 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, this is one of those books where you are always waiting for the hammer to fall.
In the start we hear lots of bigoted thoughts, comments and deeds - mostly and most intensely from the Swains. This is quite disturbing in itself and in the fact that people think this way still.
Matthew and Rabi are at college and meet at a party but soon manage to forge time together.
Jude is a good friend but also reckless. They all need to leave town!!!!
The fathers campaigns form another early backdrop and the
Okay so a queer retelling of Shakespeare should be entirely up my alley since 1. queer, 2. Shakespeare. However, this book leaves a lot to be desired. My main issue is the characters, I have no idea who they are, what drives they have, or what interests they have. The only thing I know about Rabi is that he is 1. Muslim, 2. a Hashmi, 3. loves Matthew. That is it! And the same goes for Matthew: 1. Christian, 2. a Swain, 3. loves Rabi. THIS IS IT.
I think this book has great potential to get 5 sta
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
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I can’t stand Romeo and Juliet. So much so that the relation would be enough for me to pass on this book save for the fact it’s by one of my fave insta-click authors.

I am SO glad I gave it a chance. I think it’s everything Romeo + Juliet could have been. Instead of a story where the hate is allowed to destroy the young and suicide is treated as a reasonable outcome and hopelessness reigns. Wit creates a story of hate and cruelty and bigotry and vengeance. And leaves the reader with hope and insp
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 famil
Esther Haddie's Haven
All the feels!

I am an avid fan of Romeo & Juliet. And with my recent ventures in trying new things, I stumbled into this book by pure chance. I think what intrigued me most was the fact the main characters would not take their lives in the end. I mean, that's a win in and of itself.

Ravi and Matthew are from two completely different families. From the moment they first meet, I was rooting for them. I totally cried a little. This book is beautiful and I am very glad I read it.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. I got to about 30% and decided not to finish this. It was so repetitive. Yes, I know the Swain's are racist. Yes, I know they're homophobes. Yes, they're terrible people. This didn't have to be shoved down my throat on every page. Give me a backstory. Why? Also, it would have been nice for Rabi and Matthew to have more depth.
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*
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, netgalley
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.
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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

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