Summary: Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British. As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.
I loved this book! All of the characters felt so real, and I love how the author brought to life the reality that navigating feelings is *hard*, even when you’ve got the support of your friends and family. What could have been a heavy-handed afterschool special in less deft hands is here a light-hearted, but never lightweight, exploration of self-acceptance and finding the courage to express one’s true feelings. All served with a healthy dose of Shakespeare!
STAR-CROSSED is out now.