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Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
Ascender, Volume 2: The Dead Sea by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Bait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders
Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee
Clues to the Universe by Christina Li
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 6 by Ryoko Kui
Five Unicorn Flush by T.J. Berry
Ghost-Spider, Volume 2: Party People by Seanan McGuire and Ig Guara (Illustrations)
Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
The Haunting of Rookward House by Darcy Coates
Hide and Seek by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins
The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten
Legend in Green Velvet by Elizabeth Peters
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates
The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke
Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn
No Such Thing as Ghosts by Ursula Vernon
Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick, and Juliana Moon (Illustrations)
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (re-read)
Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Sky Island by L. Frank Baum
Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Spore by Alex Scarrow
Stella's Stellar Hair by Yesenia Moises
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Winter of Secrets by Vicki Delany

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Roman and Jewel: 01/09/21

Roman and Jewel

Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis is a YA Broadway romance built around a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Jerzie Jhames has been hired as the standby for the lead, mega-star Cinny. Playing Roman, is the talented and drop dead gorgeous Zeppelin Reid.

While the majority of the narrative beats in this romance are inspired by Romeo and Juliet if they were given a Hamiltonesque hip hop treatment, there's also a 42nd Street vibe, just on a slower burn. For Cinny to be the main foil between Zeppelin and Jerzie, she can't break her ankle in the first act.

Jerzie's time in New York, living with her aunt, reminds me too of the second book in the Better Nate Than Ever series by Tim Federle. Jerzie as a minor has fewer freedoms than the rest of the cast. Unlike Nate, though, she does have her parents' full support and has been studying music and musical theater her entire life. Her talents are a realistic mixture of drive and hard work.

Zeppelin Reid, meanwhile, reminds me of a younger version of Marcus Caster-Rupp, the male romantic lead in Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (2020). I am currently reading Dade's book, so my impressions are based on reading the first half.

Regardless, I loved Jerzie's voice. I wish she hadn't let herself be baited as much by Cinny. But she is young — only seventeen by book's end. I would love to read about her further career when she's older and more experienced. She'll grow to have some fantastic stories about working on Broadway.

Five stars

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