Angela's Reviews > Star-Crossed

Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
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really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult

This is so middle school. Mattie hangs out with her besties, who have a rivalry with the other friend group, and everyone has a crush on someone. There are cool teachers and annoying parents. And Mattie is a good kid who gets stuck in the middle of everything.

I was vaguely aware of the Romeo and Juliet parallels, but not until I finished did I realize how strongly it's there—dueling families (or, friends); forbidden love. It's fitting that the eighth grade play is, in fact, Romeo and Juliet. Mattie's forbidden love is the star of the show: Gemma (or, Juliet), opposite Mattie's Romeo.

It's well-written for its audience. The girls are overly dramatic, and the boys are annoying obnoxious. Gemma's first crush on Elijah is because she feels she has to have a crush. And her blossoming crush on Gemma is authentic. She denies it, yet swoons at her English accent and finds everything she says hilarious. Her feelings develop naturally, so unlike Romeo's sudden infatuation.

There's a bit too much telling of R&J's plot while the kids learned the play, which I honestly skimmed over, and everyone is a little too accepting of Mattie's girl-crush. It's sweet, but this is middle school, and middle school is awful. But the story itself feels more authentic than its Shakespearian inspiration, of which I'm honestly not a fan. But Star-Crossed reminds me of my own middle-school era romanticism, when Romeo and Juliet was the kind of love one aspires to.

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Reading Progress

March 24, 2017 – Shelved
March 24, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 16, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 27, 2020 – Started Reading
January 29, 2020 – Finished Reading

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