Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L LaskinRonit & Jamil by Pamela L Laskin

Ronit & Jamil

byPamela L Laskin

Hardcover | February 21, 2017

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Pamela L. Laskin’s beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israel-Palestine conflict.

Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred.

The teenage lovers fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can only be kept secret for so long. Ronit and Jamil must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.

Title:Ronit & JamilFormat:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 7.12 × 5 × 0.73 inPublished:February 21, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006245854X

ISBN - 13:9780062458544


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great companion piece to Romeo & Juliet This book was beautifully written. It's written like a collection of poetry, with different poems from different character's perspectives, and I loved how that made the reader focus more on the characters' emotional & mental state, rather than trying to line up what part of the story we were at. A lot of the time when I'm reading a re-telling, I find myself stepping out of the story to kind of reorient myself with the original. Since this wasn't a straight re-telling, but rather a reimagining of the events, I didn't feel the need (or the desire) to do that. I was sad to see on Goodreads that a lot of people didn't enjoy this story - but then when I started reading the reviews things became more clear. Do not open this book thinking it's not going to be like Romeo and Juliet. If you don't like love-at-first-sight/insta-love stories, don't open up this book. That's what Romeo and Juliet is. So that's naturally going to be at least part of what a Romeo and Juliet retelling is. What Ronit & Jamil does is give you a larger political context for the conflict. It's not just that their families hate each other. Ronit is Israeli, and Jamil is Palestinian. Their cultures are in conflict. And yet they find love amidst the chaos, like a songbird, singing as it flies through shrapnel. If that seems cheesy, or corny, then maybe a story about undying love in the midst of turmoil and conflict isn't the type of story you should be looking for. This is a wonderful, uplifting story, perfect for fans of Romeo and Juliet, or for people who are looking for a companion book to the play.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I wanted to love this I liked the concept. It's what drew me to this book. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet written in verse with an Israeli girl and Palestinian boy as the protagonists sound amazing. It just fell short for me. The history behind why those two countries are constantly at war needed to be better explained. The language felt flat and repetitive at times. In some parts it was hard to decipher whether it was Ronit or Jamil that was speaking.
Date published: 2017-03-14

Editorial Reviews

“[A]ccessible verse and universal questions about crossing cultural lines make for a quick and powerful read. An obvious choice to pair with Romeo and Juliet in a literature class, this can also open discussion about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and about bridging cultural boundaries.”