How-est Did Thou Find-est Moi? | Romeo & What’s Her Name Critique

RomeoRating: 3.5 Teacups
Title: Romeo & What’s Her Name
Author: Shani Petroff
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Format: eBook
# of Pages: 224

Understudies never get to perform

. . . which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly “Evening with Shakespeare” 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, aka the “real” Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there’s no point because Amanda would never miss the 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 opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?

**I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.**

After attempting (and failing) to finish The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, I was a little hesitant in picking this book up just because it was another contemporary. However, I was pleasantly surprised as I made my way through the book and felt all warm and fuzzy inside when I finished it. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Emily and her inner dialogue; I was worried that it was going to read too immature for me, but I quickly found myself relating to her and the way her over-analytic thought process worked. She was hilarious and I found myself crying because I was laughing so hard during her Romeo & Juliet scene.

“‘…how did-est thou find-est moi?’ Great….now I was speaking French.”

That quote had me in tears (you’d probably have to read everything leading up to that point to find it as hilarious as I did though). I found her connection with Wes endearing from the start, and I loved that they already had a pre-existing relationship prior to the book. That made the connection I felt between them more genuine and less out-of-the-blue. Wes was a good character and I loved his moments with Emily because you feel how much he liked being around her. I just wish that we would’ve gotten a little more information about him and his family; we do get to meet his younger brother Neal briefly, but that’s it for Wes’s home life. Emily sees him as a pure paragon, so that’s all we get to see of Wes; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I still really enjoyed his character, I just would’ve liked to get to know him beyond being ‘hot.’

I also really enjoyed the friendship that she had with her two best friends. It was reminiscent of my friendships, so I found it easy to relate to them.The support they showed Emily throughout the novel was nice to see and I thought that they complimented her quite well. It made the book more realistic for me.

The reason why this book isn’t a 4-teacup read is because of the pacing. Everything happened so quick at the start of the book, that the middle of it felt out of place and sluggish. A lot of the conflict could’ve been avoided or resolved if Emily would have just talked to him, but then I don’t think there would’ve been much of a story. I also got the impression that the end-all would be the big scene with Emily and Wes that was mentioned in the synopsis, but that wasn’t what happened.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a light rom-com-style read just before Valentine’s Day. Coming in at 224 pages, you’ll be laughing and full of the warm fuzzies in no time.

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