I must admit I am a sucker for any story that takes its basis from Shakespeare. However, the book must be well written to earn my respect. This one was.
After the death of Romeo and Juliet, Verona has reached a shaky peace between the houses of the Montagues and the Capulets. The Prince, desperate to squelch rising tensions, decides to match Rosaline, Romeo’s first love, to Benvolio, Romeo’s friend. Rosaline, an orphan who has been neglected by her family, has set her destiny toward becoming a nun and avoiding the heartbreak and pain of relationships with men. Benvolio wants nothing to do with the family that has murdered his friends. Rosaline finds Benvolio coarse and vulgar. He finds her pretentious and vicious.
The story centers on these two but also draws a wider net. The cast of characters are largely drawn from Shakespeare’s play are feel authentic as does the setting. Taub builds the suspense and brings Verona to the brink of disaster. While she uses Shakespearean language for her dialogue, the rest of the book is written in current but stylized English. It is smooth and rich.
While Romeo and Juliet was a romantic tragedy, Still Star-Crossed is largely romantic comedy. A delightful and delicious read.