Once upon a time I read Romeo and Juliet for English.
It was awful and boring, and I hated it with a passion. I don't know why, but Romeo and Juliet just didn't clash well with me.
Still Star-Crossed isn't exactly like Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - definitely not a retelling, though I would read a retelling of the cheese any day over rereading the original. Still Star-Crossed is like an unwritten sequel - the aftermath of what happens in Shakespeare's Verona after the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet. The Capulets and Montagues are in a truce of sorts, but despite the public image, a tension remains between the two families and they're back to their feuds within weeks in the dark of the night. Hoping to diminish the feud altogether, the prince of Verona - Escalus - selects Benvolio (Montague) to marry Rosaline (Capulet).
Benvolio and Rosaline are an interesting pair to put together - they're complete opposites of their cousins. Both of them would probably prefer marriage to a literal snake than a forced marriage to each other, and in the hopes to break off the marriage, the two of them try to ease the heavy tensions lurking over the city.
But Benvolio and Rosaline are so much more entertaining to read about.
They're not hopelessly romantic like their cousins with cheese lined around them! In fact, Benvolio and Rosaline hate being around each other. They only tromp around Verona’s streets behind their families’ backs in the hopes to figure out who is behind trying to start up the feud between their families once more. At the exact same time, Rosaline starts becoming more distant from her sister Livia, and in a way, Still Star-Crossed becomes a tale of a sisterly feud as well.THE BETROTHAL: A NUTSHELLEscalus: In order to bring peace to the two families and to Verona, I have decided the Montagues and Capulets will be united through marriage.Rosaline: DUDE. PEACE? I slapped that Montague not too long ago.Benvolio: About an hour ago, in fact.Rosaline: That's five minutes of knowing each other. Imagine a lifetime!Benvolio: A complete life of misery.Pause.Benvolio: Then again, I guess my misery is yours to command, Your Grace.
I think the only problem I really had with Still Star-Crossed is wanting to slap Escalus upside the head a few times for being figuratively blind. (Also, this is becoming a TV show. SOON. YES PLEASE.)