ROMEO AND WHAT’S HER NAME is unexpectedly funny and sweet contemporary young adult romance.
Emily Stein is crushing on Wes Rosenthal, and what better way to be close to him than to be the understudy of Juliet to his Romeo? However, she didn’t think she’d have the chance to actually play Juliet, plus she was kept busy by Amanda–who was playing Juliet–doing errands, and so she didn’t have a chance to really learn her lines. On the fateful day, Amanda wasn’t able to go on stage, so guess who had to take her place?
What ensued was a hilarious comedy of errors. Comedy is very subjective, and while some authors had been able to draw a laugh or two from me, I surprised myself by my reaction to the Romeo & Juliet balcony scene as played by Wes and Emily. I snorted, I laughed out loud, I couldn’t stop laughing! If I had been reading in public, people surely would’ve been looking askance at me and wondering if I was crazy. But this scene didn’t just drop out of the blue. It was consistent with the character’s personality, which made it all the more enjoyable to read because I could totally envision this scene happening.
Love Em’s BFFs, Katie and Jill. They were awesome, making me wish I have such friends, too! Their full-out support of Em–totally priceless.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
I just had a minor quibble about Wes, something he said toward the end, about his declaration that all along, it’s been her. I thought it wasn’t that believable. I’d have liked it better if he hadn’t said it. That would’ve been more realistic, in light of the fact that he had other girlfriends, or that he’s really passive here. Or, maybe if we’d seen some things from his point of view, heard his thoughts, such a declaration would’ve been more believable.
*** END OF SPOILER ALERT ***
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Understudies never get to perform…which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly Shakespeare production is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it’s just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda (the “real” Juliet) makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there’s no point, since Amanda would never miss her chance to be the star of the show.
Then Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star in the most famous scene from Romeo and Juliet opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?