Who doesn’t love a good Romeo and Juliet story? This one is a modern tale, taking place in NYC between a Jamaican teenage girl who is about to be deported and a Korean teen boy who is struggling with being put into a box by his parents. Natasha is literally being deported this very night, but she runs into Daniel first. They end up chatting and helping each other get out of some jams. Natasha is very skeptical of love at first sight, she’s a scientist at heart ruled by logic, but she can’t deny her connection to Daniel. He, however, is a poet at heart, totally believing he has been lovestruck and will do anything for Natasha, including helping her fight her deportation, even though she doesn’t reveal it to him until well into the book.
And, spoiler alert, this doesn’t end the same as Romeo and Juliet (no suicides, whew), but it doesn’t exactly end how you expect either. At least it was a bit of a surprise to me. Nicola Yoon has written a very sweet book with teens who aren’t the least bit annoying like many teens are portrayed in books these days. Natasha isn’t just a mushy girl who can’t think for herself. And even though Daniel is pretty starry-eyed for Natasha, he is brave and bold and can hold his own against her sometimes sharp tongue and skepticism.
This was a very quick read that left me giggling at how sweet these characters were toward each other. If the Romeo and Juliet story is one you enjoy, I recommend this book along with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Both very sweet, delightful books.