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Book Review: Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
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Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Ryan North
Riverhead Books
Release Date: June 7th, 2016

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…

What if Juliet accepted her mother’s choice and married Paris instead of Romeo? What if Romeo waited just a few extra minutes before drinking the poison? What if the Capulets and Montagues found a way to forgive each other before the tragic deaths of their offspring? This story has been adapted, retold, reimagined, and regurgitated in so many ways. There’s a reason Romeo and Juliet is one of the most (if not THE most) famous Shakespeare play of all time. As we read and watch, one keeps hoping the outcome will be different, less tragic… and it never is. But what if it could be? That is the gift Ryan North gives in Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure.

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! What a “novel” idea! I LOVED “Choose Your Own Adventure” books as a kid. Sometimes I let the pages take me where they may, and sometimes I made markers in the book so I could backtrack between choices, afraid I would miss reading every single word.

It was no different with this book, the followup to North’s To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, his first foray into this new/old genre with his take on Hamlet (funded by Kickstarter). There are so many humorous possibilities in this classic tragedy, and even some with happy endings, and alien endings, and robot endings…

“Thus with a kiss I die.” Yep. That’s in there too. For fans of Romeo and Juliet, there is enough of the language and classic scenes to satisfy. For those who like the story, but the language is too much for them, North has a sarcastic, witty method of translating old to new. For those who love twists in their already twisty classic, you are twisted so much, you expect to see Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt chasing after you. Some of the endings are utterly ridiculous.

You can adventure as Romeo or as Juliet, and there is another Shakespeare surprise somewhere in the middle. The illustrations are gorgeous and peppered throughout. Everything about this book is wonderful. I highly recommend it (in case you couldn’t tell by the gushing).

Book synopsis:

Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It’s Shakespeare as you’ve never played him before.

In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read! What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? Whatever your adventure, you’re guaranteed to find lots of romance, lots of epic fight scenes, and plenty of questionable decision-making by very emotional teens.

All of the endings—there are over a hundred—feature beautiful illustrations by some of the greatest artists working today, including New York Times bestsellers Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Jon Klassen.

Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns, and more than a billion possible storylines, Romeo and/or Juliet offers a new experience every time you read it. You can choose to play as Romeo or Juliet (obviously) but you can also play as both of them, or as Juliet’s nurse, or, if you’re good, you can even unlock a fourth playable character! That’s right. We figured out how to have unlockable characters in books. Choose well, and you may even get to write the world’s most awkward choose-your-own sex scene.

Romeo and/or Juliet Cover

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