Review: Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

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Publication: 2016
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages:  400 pages
Source: Birthmas Gift (Thanks Andrea!)
Genre: Fiction, Choose Your Own Genre!
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤

I absolutely adored Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North, my first time reading a Choose-Your-Own Adventure book, and now want to make every review I write chooseable! It’ll make writing reviews twice as long, but it will make it more fun and entertaining for you bookworms right? So, without further ado, let’s start the review! (rhyming couplets for the win!)

To Read or Not To Read: A Chooseable Book Review

You find this review on Goodreads/my blog/random googling and think, hey, what a creative way to write a review! I mean, it’s probably been done before since this book was published in 2016, but good effort anyways.

You now have a choice, or three actually. Do you want to start the review, or talk about some random people?

Let’s start the review! (go to 1)

I want to know about the the author. (go to 2)

Wait, tell me about who’s writing the review. (go to 3)

1) Just as the title explains, Romeo and/or Juliet is a Choose-Your-Own Adventure book through Shakespeare’s infamous tragic love story Romeo and Juliet. Readers get to choose who they will be throughout the book, Romeo or Juliet (or the Nurse, or if you’re really lucky Rosaline). You can either follow the story “by the book” by following little hearts by your choices to stick to Shakespeare’s story, or navigate Verona and star-crossed love your own way and maybe get a robot suit in the end! There are a number of different endings in too, some that come quicker than expected. I read a number of different endings but didn’t know when I was actually finished the book. When would I reach the end? When do I decide the story is over? Bookmarks mean nothing, and getting to make up your own story was exciting, which I guess is why they call it an adventure. This being my first Choose-Your-Own Adventure, I decided to read it once through being Juliet and another being Romeo. Which review do you want to read?

Juliet! She’s so much better than Romeo! (go to 4)

Romeo! He’s such a hunk! (go to 5)

2) I mean, yeah, I guess Ryan North is pretty cool. Here’s a link to his Goodread’s page so you can read all about him and his books.

(waits for you to finish reading bio)

That was fun, wasn’t it! Found out some pretty neat thing about Ryan North I bet, he’s Canadian so I thought that was kind of cool. Okay, let’s get on with the review, shall we?

Okay, let’s do that (go to 1)

But I want to know about you! (go to 3)

3) Really, you want to know about me?! Well that’s awful flattering, here’s a link to my bio on my blog, and my Goodreads page so you can be my friend since you obviously like my review so much!

(waits for you to finish)

Aren’t I just the most interesting? I hope you know me a little bit better now! Alright, let’s get started on the review, shall we?

Yeah, let’s read your review! (go to 1)

But I want to know about Ryan North! (go to 2)

4) I’ve always preferred Juliet to Romeo so of course i was going to choose to read as her first. North changes her character a bit, making her older than Romeo for some reason (sixteen where she’s normally just turning fourteen) and super into lifting weights and protein shakes. Not sure why, since it’s still set in 15-whatever, but it was funny. Juliet’s stories typically go further than Romeo’s (probably because Juliet actually thinks things through before acting) and don’t end in death as much as Romeo’s do, which I think is also very true to her character.

I’m not sure what else to say. North gives multiple endings to Juliet and multiple storylines, and I don’t exactly want to spoil them, so let’s see what it was like being Romeo!

Yeah Romeo! He’s so cool! (go to 5)

I want to be the Nurse! (go to 6)

Wait, you said you could be Rosaline too, right? (go to 7)

What else happened in the book? (go to 8)

5) Really? Romeo is not hunky and/or cool, at least not in my mind. Honestly, he’s one of my most hated characters in Shakespeare, but I knew I’d have to read the story following him just to see what happened. North keeps Romeo very true to character (though younger than Juliet, which maybe also makes sense) with his lovesickness (aka horny teenage boy), acts without thinking, and generally gets himself into trouble. Reading from Romeo, it’s very easy to get into trouble from only a few choices when you start reading as him.

I want to read about Juliet now! (go to 4)

Can I be the Nurse? (go to 6)

What about Romeo’s ex, Rosaline? (go to 7)

What else happened in the book? (go to 8)

6) I was only able to get to the Nurse Side Quest (as it’s called) by being Juliet, so if you decided to read this review following Romeo then sorry! You’ll never get to be the Nurse. Be Juliet instead next time, she’s so much better.

The Nurse Quest is set up like an old video game (old video games also acted like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, I’m sensing a pattern) and follows the part of the play when the Nurse has to go find Romeo and give him a letter from Juliet. You have to find a way out of the Capulet palace, into Verona, and finding Romeo all the while avoiding some hungry dogs and lions (I don’t know why there are lions). It’s a fun little side adventure, but it can get touch at times (or maybe I’m just dumb and bad at Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books). Still, if you love the Nurse, be Juliet to get to her.

Alright, so now you know about the Nurse! Where else will you go on your review adventure?

Let’s read about Rosaline! (go to 7)

Wait, I’m getting confused. What else happened in the book? (go to 8)

This is boring, I want to read a better review. (go to 9)

7) Okay, honesty time. I wasn’t able to get to Rosaline’s part by myself. I know, I know, I’m a dirty cheat, but after I finished (or decided I finished) the book I flipped through it to look at all the pretty pictures for each ending (they’re so pretty!) and found a part of the story where you could unlock a new character (aka Rosaline). I know you can either get to her through Romeo and Juliet, since those are the only two options you have, but I didn’t want to re-read the book again in hopes of getting to her. I’m sorry bookworms!

But let’s be real, her section was awesome because she’s a badass lady detective who waits for no one. If you can unlock her character (or cheat) you totally should!

I want to be the Nurse! (go to 6)

Wait, I’m getting confused. What else happened in the book? (go to 8)

You suck at writing reviews, I want to read a better one. (go to 9)

8) Here’s the thing, the book has a lot of different paths and many different storylines that you can read and I don’t want to spoil any of them for you. So I’ll tell you what you can find in the book!

Following Romeo or Juliet, you can find your way to reading little side stories in comic style. You can choose either (or both) to read a chooseable Macbeth or A Midsummer Night’s Dream adventure, both are beautifully illustrated and a lot of fun. The Midsummer one also leads you to a chooseable Pyramus and Thisbe comic which is a nice nod to the play.

Also, if you’re really really lucky (like I was, and I DIDN’T CHEAT FOR IT I SWEAR) you can find an ending for Romeo that includes Ophelia. I’m not telling you how that one ends, but I’m guessing it has something to do with one of the endings for To Be or Not To Be, which just intrigued me more!

Wow! This sounds like a cool book! What did you think overall? (go to 10)

Can I PLEASE read a well-written review? (go to 9)

9) Screw you.

(The reviewer is now mad at you and doesn’t want to give you any more choices.)

Wait, I’m sorry! What are your overall thoughts on the book? (go to 10)

You said you weren’t giving us any choices and you just gave us a choice. Desperate much? (go to 9)

10) Overall, Romeo and/or Juliet is an entertaining read for long time lovers of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books and lovers of Shakespeare. I hope North continues with his chooseable adventure Shakespeare series and can’t wait to read To Be or Not To Be (it’s about Hamlet, in case it wasn’t obvious).

Congratulations! You have finished To Read Or Not To Read, you’re super smart and patient and I’m super impressed with you for making it to the end (unless you cheated and skipped to the end, in which case FOR SHAME!). While this was a lot of fun, I probably won’t be writing a review like this again. It was A LOT of work.

(or at least until I read To Be or Not To Be, but that’s another review for another time.)

The End!

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