Publication Date/Version: October 2007/Paperback
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Around The World Tours
John can have any girl he wants. Jennifer's never been kissed.
Everybody thinks he's perfect. She's got issues with pride and jealousy.
They were best friends - once. Now, they're playing Romeo and Juliet. Virgin lips Jennifer must have her first kiss on stage with John, the guy every girl in school wants. The pressure and tension build along with each staged kiss. Both are shocked when feelings bloom. Can either tell which kisses are real and which are for show?
John and Jennifer used to be best friends. Now they hardly get along. They've been cast to play the leading roles in their school's production of Romeo and Juliet. And that means that they will have to share kisses on stage. Jennifer's never had her first kiss and is scared that everyone, including John, will be able to tell. John is hurt by Jennifer's sharp words. As they continue rehearsals, acting and real life becomes muddled, and neither one knows which kisses are real or fake.
Falling For Romeo dives right into the plot. There wasn't an introduction, rather the reader was placed right into the rehearsals. Jennifer is already having nervous feelings over John, but she doesn't want to admit it. I would have appreciated more background information, but it doesn't detract from the story all that much. The plot is basic, yet fun. John and Jenn are stubborn and won't reveal their true feelings for each other, though it's painfully obvious at times that they care for one another.
One unexpected element of this book was the point of view switches. You heard the story from both John's and Jenn's perspective. I didn't expect that, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really grew to like John. Everyone saw him as perfect, which he was in many ways, but it was never because he wanted to be better than everyone. It was never to make himself happy. He was always trying to please his dad, someone he never could. That aspect made it easy to appreciate why he tried so hard at everything and why he couldn't accept failure. Jennifer was less appealing, however. She was often whiny and inconsiderate of others. She couldn't simply push her pride aside for a few moments and put her emotions on her sleeve. Another character I especially enjoyed was Miss Tingey. Her class discussions always prompted heated debates between John and Jennifer at incredibly convenient times.
Falling For Romeo was fun and light, featuring plenty of literary references. Romeo and Juliet fans will obviously get a kick out of this.
Overall: Good characters, both primary and secondary. Exciting plot. Realistic.
My Advice: Pick up a copy at your local bookstore. Ms. Laurens is a great author who really understands teens and their emotions.
Cover: Well, it's not that great. The characters seem to fit the descriptions, but it doesn't have the "best-seller" cover look. I'm not a fan of the box around the words, or the different colored words for that matter.
*This book was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge