Book review – Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

I’m not sure if I finished my next book. I read the words, ‘THE END’ several times. But I didn’t actually ready every page.

If you’re wondering what I am talking about, then think back to your early reading years when you read the classic, Choose Your Own Adventure books*. Romeo and/or Juliet is one such book, based on Shakespeare’s classic play. And realistically, we all knew that protein shakes, sex ladders and final scores were missing from the original version, and that we were simply waiting for Ryan North to come along and fix the story.

Filled with comic book illustrations** and courses of action you never thought possible, I have no doubt that you will get caught up wondering, ‘what happens if I do turn to 120?’

For those of you who believe the original version is the best story ever told and should not be meddled with in any way, there are helpful little guides to show you which choice to make at every point. BUT, if you want to see what happens to the nurse as she delivers Juliet’s letter, how Romeo manages to sneak into the Capulet’s castle or a whole bunch of other things which are completely unrelated to the actual story, then read away and follow every possible misdirection you find. You may get killed, but you may also score some rad points. Either way, you can always back track a bit and try again.

The only downside is that you look really weird when reading this book on public transport. Generally, we learn as children which way a book goes, but this book makes you go forward, backwards and sometime several ways at once. If you can handle having a finger in every interesting junction from the last reading session, then go forth and become Romeo and/or Juliet.

*If you never read a Choose Your Own Adventure book as a child, my condolences to you. You haven’t lived.
**Some gruesome deaths are depicted.
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