Book Review: “Romeo And/Or Juliet” by Ryan North

Happy February! I hope that your January was a safe and good one.

Cover of "Romeo And/Or Juliet" by Ryan North.
Cover of “Romeo And/Or Juliet” by Ryan North.

This time, I’m reviewing the book “Romeo And/Or Juliet” by Ryan North! It’s been a while since I reviewed a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, and since this book is a version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I thought it was appropriate to review this book within the month of Valentine’s Day.  Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“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.”

Warning:

This is NOT a family friendly book. Do not give this to children to read. There is an actual choose-your-own sex scene in this book, on top of a lot of other euphemisms, sexual humour and content that is definitely not appropriate for children. There is also a lot of character death in this book, depending on the routes you take, and some of the illustrations featured are pretty graphic. If you are sensitive to any of this content, please be careful while reading or skip this one.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

This is a Choose-Your-Own Adventure (CYOA for short) book, so it’s hard to judge the “plot” in this book, given all the possible choices. And trust me, this book is loaded with choices. A lot of the choices are just strange, regardless of the results. There is also a large variety of endings as well.

You can also read this book as both Romeo and/or Juliet, hence the title. Both characters can be pretty spontaneous and fun to read, due to the variety of choices available for reading in their points of view. You can also play as other characters that I won’t spoil here, but those routes are also as equally fun if you get the good endings. If you make specific choices correctly, you can even find and read through side CYOA stories based off Shakespeare’s other plays, such as Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth (also known as “The Scottish Play”).

The only main problem I have with this book’s “plot” is that it’s extremely easy to find the bad endings. It’s a lot harder to find the good ones. I read through this book at least fifteen times before writing this review, but I’m pretty sure I still haven’t found all of the possible endings and/or choices. If you’re looking for a short CYOA book, this will frustrate you, but if you want something to occupy your time for hours, this is the one for you.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

If you’re looking for a Shakespearean book that makes fun of and/or parodies Shakespeare, this book might be for you. This will also appeal to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure readers.


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