I have always loved anything having to do with Romeo and Juliet since reading it in high school (as well as any other Shakespeare play that I have read). My freshman year of college I even wrote a paper for one of my classes analyzing how Shakespeare's influence shows up so much in current texts and movies. I could not resist reading Sharon Draper's Romiette and Julio. It is a great text to pair with Simone Ekeles' Perfect Chemistry that I read earlier this year.
Once again I enjoyed Draper's style of writing and the way that she incorporates different medias to narrate the story, such as third person narration, news dialogues, dreams, journals, and chat logs. Any play on Romeo and Juliet instantly adds a heightened anticipation for the ending from the start. It was gut wrenching to see the tension build between the teen couple and one of the dominant gangs at their school who did not like seeing a multi-racial couple. Draper utilized her writing craft to have the third person narration to shift away from the teens at the pique of the action, building even more tension. I could not read fast enough to see if Draper would follow the traditional Shakespearean tragic ending or to go for the happy ending.
I also liked that throughout the book there were mentions to Shakespeare's play and how there were coincidences between the teens and the play. It would have been a little odd to have such a similar story between characters with names that even matched up to the original couple without an awareness of the well-known play.