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Romiette and Julio

Romiette and Julio

4.5 296
by Sharon M. Draper, Adam Lowenbein (Illustrator)

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Star Crossed Lovers
When Romiette Cappelle meets Julio Montague, she feels as though she has met the soul mate who can rescue her from her recurring nightmare about fire and water. But like the Shakespearean characters whose names echo theirs, Romiette and Julio discover that not everyone approves of their budding romance. In their case, it is because


Star Crossed Lovers
When Romiette Cappelle meets Julio Montague, she feels as though she has met the soul mate who can rescue her from her recurring nightmare about fire and water. But like the Shakespearean characters whose names echo theirs, Romiette and Julio discover that not everyone approves of their budding romance. In their case, it is because Romiette is African-American and Julio is Hispanic, and the Devildogs, a dangerous local gang, violently oppose their interracial relationship.
When the Devildogs threaten to teach them a lesson, Romiette and Julio come up with a risky plan to escape from the gang's fearsome shadow. But things go terribly awry, and the two find themselves caught up in a deadly reality more frightening that Romiette's nightmare -- and in a desperate struggle to avoid the tragic fate of Shakespeare's famous young lovers.

Editorial Reviews

Romiette is African American; Julio is Hispanic. Ironically, Julio's family relocated to escape gangs in his old high school in Texas only to find Cincinnati has them also. The two meet on the Internet and go off to a private chat room before they realize they are students at the same school. With names like these you feel they must have an ill-fated ending. In keeping with the Shakespearean tale, they are destined to be together while peers and family try to persuade them to part. The Devildogs, the notorious gang that rules the high school, are incensed by Romiette and Julio's relationship and harass them to the point that it becomes quite dangerous for the two. The story is a bit predictable but still enjoyable. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Simon & Schuster, Aladdin, 320p., $4.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Sherri Forgash Ginsberg; Chapel Hill, NC , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-A contemporary retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story with a happy, upbeat ending. Sixteen-year-old Julio Montague's parents have moved their family to Cincinnati, OH, in order to get their son out of his gang-ridden high school in Corpus Christi, TX. Romiette Cappelle, also 16, is the daughter of successful African-American parents and the granddaughter of college professors. When these two young people, both from proud heritages, begin a romance, they must deal not only with their parents' prejudices but also with the threats of a local gang called The Family. At times, Romiette and Julio effectively parallels and contemporizes the original story. The young couple meet, not at the Capulets' feast, but in an Internet chat room. Julio's friend, Ben Olsen (read Benvolio), who looks like a punk rocker, has an optimistic and irreverent attitude that balances Julio's passion and volatility. At other times, the allusions to the play are obvious and heavy-handed. Nonetheless, this novel is more than simply a carefully plotted teenage romance. Draper gives a realistic portrayal of the interactions among high school students as well as their relationships with their parents. The book also examines how gangs can gain power and take control. All of the characters have unique voices and the writing style shifts according to the action. Romiette and Julio would be a wonderful curriculum tie-in book, but it also stands alone as a first-rate novel about contemporary teens.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A tale of forbidden love with intentional references to Shakespeare's play, perhaps especially to its West Side Story incarnation, with a similar focus on issues of race and gangs. Julio Montague, a recent Texas transplant to Cincinnati, quickly falls for "Afroqueen" during cyber-chats on the Internet. He soon discovers his soulmate is African-American Romiette Cappelle, who coincidentally attends his high school. The two are destined to meet and fall in love, despite warnings from the local gang who strongly disapproves of their romance. After the two central players ignore several warnings, gun-wielding gang leaders kidnap them, bind them, and cast them adrift in a boat that is struck by lightning, nearly drowning them (and straining credibility). The parallels to Shakespeare's play are often self-conscious and belabored, drawn at odd moments in the story. Still, a straightforward, uncluttered narrative will hook readers into the well-paced plot and sympathetic characters; loose ends are tied more neatly than a package, prettying up the ending by putting a happily-ever-after spin on the lovers' fates. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.98(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.94(d)
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 44: The Eleven O'clock Evening News<

Details in a moment.

-- In this modern-day, mystery version of Romeo and Juliet, two young people have vanished. We ask for the help of the public. If anyone has any knowledge of these two young people, last seen walking past London Woods between six and seven this evening, please call District Four police. Romiette Cappelle is the daughter of our own Cornell Cappelle. Cornell, I know this is difficult, but a few words, please. -- "If you have my daughter, or know where she is, or know anything about where she and Julio Montague might be, please call the station. She's sixteen years old, and the light of my life. Please. Please." -- Pictures of the two young people will he posted throughout the city. There is a five-thousand-dollar reward for any information leading to the recovery of Romiette and Julio. Romiette is sixteen years old, five feet five inches, with brown skin and hazel eyes. Julio is also sixteen, is about six feet tall, and has curly black hair. -- TV Six has been investigating the increase of gang activity in our schools and our city. After further investigation, we find that reports of gang fights in the high schools and gang recruitment at the junior high level has been discovered. Much of the increased gun violence has been attributed to gang activity. The mayor has appointed a task force to study the matter. News Six will continue to investigate. -- In the weather tonight, our TV Six meteorologists warn of heavy rain, and maybe even thunderstorms, unusual for this time of the year, heading this way. Not good for two kids who may he in the woods lost or hurt. Details when we return from station break.

Copyright © 1999 by Sharon M. Draper

Meet the Author

Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire. Her Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and has been a New York Times bestseller for well over three years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.

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Romiette and Julio 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 294 reviews.
bor.12 More than 1 year ago
Romiette and Julio

Have you ever been told who to date and not to date? Were you ever told what race you could and could not talk to? Romiette also known as ¿Romi¿ was a young African-American woman who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Romi is trying to over come her horrible dreams of drown and her fear of water. Julio was a young Mexican boy who had just moved to Cincinnati. He didn¿t like the cold weather at all. He wished that he could of moved back home to his grandfather¿s ranch. He knew that there was no chance of him going back because his parents moved away from Texas because of the gang affiliation that Julio can be involved in. Julio will attend school in Cincinnati and he is not very pleased because he knows that he will have no friends.

Julio attends the first day of school with aggression because from the start he knew he wasn¿t going to like it. By the end of the day he got away with hitting a boy who dyed his hair different colors. Later that night Julio gets on the chat room to see what Cincinnati is all about. Indeed is where Romi meets Julio. They were having a private conversation in another chat came to find out that they go to the same school. They managed to meet up with one another during lunch. Julio was token back by how beautiful Romi was. Romi also thought that Julio was so handsome. They began getting to know one another real well. They continued to have lunch with each other. This group of boys they call themselves the ¿devil dogs¿ who all wore purple it was sort of an inside gang. They had a problem with Romi talking to Julio. They said something to her about was race she was and what race he was and how they don¿t mash. Romi and Julio were a little startled by it. They talked about what they were going to do the next time they bother them. They handled it very well to where the devil dogs were astonished that someone stood up to them. After they stood up to the devil dogs they threaten to get even. They began stalking Romi and Julio is there every move. So Romi and Julio and their two best friends Ben and Destiny began to make an escape plan. It winded up putting Romi and Julio in a death situation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book hoping to read a realistic romance novel with the interesting twist of a modernized Romeo and Juilet story. The fact that it involved gangs and a poor area of the city also made me interested because I thought I would be able to relate to the character coming from that background Both characters were incredibly unrealistic, speaking in ways the no teenager has spoke in since the early 19th century! The slang the author attempted to use was also awful, and it makes me believe that she had no connection with her character and didn't know ANYTHING about teenagers in general The plot and idea was orginal and very good, although the charaters were underdeveloped and unrealistic
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book I thought WOW this seems like a intresting book! Julio is mexican-american and is from texas and so am i. The reviews made the book sound incredible,a must-read. But i'm sorry to say that after reading it myself i was very disappointed. I expected more. The first 100pgs were dredfully long and dull.Draper, i believe, could do better. For example, the chat room conversations that take place were painful to read. Has Draper even been in a chat room? Overall, I was truely disappointed. I'm sorry if my opinion insulted anyone. It wasnt meant to be insulting. I rated it a 3 because it wasnt up to my standards but it wasnt poor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book with a lot of expectations. The plot seemed original and exciting, and I always love to read a good romance. But just a couple chapters into the book, I was amazed at how unrealistic the dialogue was between the characters. What sixteen year old boy tells his mom that a girl is a 'jewel in a pile of rocks'? And that she's 'like chocolate cake for dinner - and I love chocolate!' I found myself literally putting the book down and rolling my eyes. The characters were all so unrealistic and annoying. If a boy talked to me like Julio talked to Romiette, I'd be creeped out majorly. If someone ever calls me 'hot sauce' and means it in an adoring way, I'd think something was wrong. But that's just me. Other than that, the writing style of the book was pretty good in some parts, but in other parts, it reminded me of my writing when I was in seventh grade and even back then, I was like, 'Wow, this sounds stupid.' This book is childish, unrealistic, predictable, cheesy, and I'd only recommend it to someone if they wanted a good laugh (and not in the good way).
GabbyV11 More than 1 year ago
One of the best books i ever read it kept me entertained for hours!!!! you need to buy this book !!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best book i have ever read! My sister told me about it and i tgought hey what the heck. But it turne dout to be so good i literally could not put it sown. The way the author plays out the suspense at the end expecially but throughout tue book is so clever. If you havent read this book...you havent lived.
Dreamer4ever More than 1 year ago
When Julio Montague and his family move to Cinncinnati, Ohio from Texas, he is an outcast. He had moved to escape gangs at his school and is surprised to find that the 'great school' his parents sent him to is much the same way. Immediately, on his first day, Julio gets into a fight and is confronted by the Devil-dogs--the local purple sweatshirt clad gang. He gets onto an online chatroom and meets this girl who not only lives in Cinncinnati, she also goes to school with Julio. After chatting they decide to meet in school. Julio thinks that Romi (as her friends call her) is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Romi thinks that Julio is extremely handsome and really nice. They enjoy each other's company so much that they don't even notice--until the Devil-dogs confront them, in their own silent way--that Julio is Hispanic and Romi is Black. While this may make some of the people in school mad, the two teens are undeterred and continue to meet at lunch. But the gang isn't very happy about this and decide that the relationship has to stop. Julio tells Romi that he would die for her, but is that really enough. Will he actually have to?

This story was a good rendition of Romeo and Juliet, however there were a number of things in the book that started to get on my nerves. First of all, teens don't talk like that. Julio, when he's describing Romi to Ben, starts talking like he's been taken back into 19th century England with some more modern, but outdated slang. It sounds silly. I mean, seriously, I don't know any guys that talk like that and if I did I would probably be a little freaked out. It just isn't normal. People don't usually talk in verses.

And the slang is so annoying. I may not know all of today's slang, but I do know that that is not it. Not to mention that it is in every sentence! It is so overwhelming that I actually start skipping what they are saying. It can also be hard to read just because the characters aren't talking with good grammar.

Besides, I was expecting a little more romance than Julio saying "She's fine, man. Real fine." I mean, I can see them falling in love. But, I guess I would have liked more time to have been spent on the romance and them getting to know each other.

I was really looking forward to this book, and was disappointed when I finally read it. It wasn't what I was expecting and now I understand what other people were saying about it. I wouldn't suggest this book as a really good book to read. I would suggest you read it just because it can add a little insight into racial problems and gang problems that our public schools have. But that's really it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
when i first heard about this book d i thought it sounded great. so a few days later i went and bought it. i started reading it but i did not think it was good at all. it took a long time for me to really get into the story. then as soon as i got into the story i fell out of it.
i couldnt even finish it because i just couldnt get it.
it also confused me at times.

i wouldnt really recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The characters and dialogue were unrealistic and corny. The story line was ok, but the suspense was minimal. Even the romance seemed fake.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really did not like this book. The gangs, the 'love', or the plot in general. I guessed the ending and everything was NOT very realistic. Overall, it was VERY poor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read the back of the book it seemed interesting but as soon as I started reading, I quickly got bored. The repetitive use of slang is what initially drew me away from this book, but the lack of story line is what lost my attention for good. Do yourself a favour: stick with the original. It's so much better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a pretty good version of Sheakspeare's Romeo and Juliet. It kinda strained credibility like the annotation above said,on how teenagers speak. I think Ms. Draper has great ideas for novels and the storylines are awesome but I just don't think she is very good at writing the way teenagers really talk. She tried too hard to be all poetic and lyrical when she had Romiette and Julio talking to each other about thier feelings. She is not anywhere near the eloquence of Sheakspeare. Although i don't think that Romiette and Julio is a very well written literary novel, if you don't really think about about and just read for pure fun, then its a great book. It is interesting and sweet and you will fall in love with Julio. I imagined him as being so hot! Overall, it is a fun, light book and despite my harsh critisim, I really like Ms. Draper as an author and I really enjoyed Romiette and Julio.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This needs to be a movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good one time read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An insult to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the name how she changed it. This book had meh scared too. But all was good, all was good. MustRead thus. -@swagqueenchick
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! Once again Sharon has brought us a wonderful exciting novel!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome !!!