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Romeo's Ex



Tis a clever update on a classic romance.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In the end, smart, strong heroine Rosaline imparts a powerful message about the true meaning of love.


Lots of fighting between Montagues and Capulets, including stabbings. And then there are the suicide attempts...


Love (particularly the star-crossed kind) is at the core of the story, but it's all pretty chaste.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking and drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that -- like the classic play -- this version of Romeo and Juliet includes fighting (and killing) between Montagues and Capulets, as well as a tragic fate for Romeo and Juliet. There's some drinking and drunkenness among the teen characters. But Rosaline, the true protagonist in this retelling, is a smart, strong character who ultimately imparts an important lesson about the true meaning of love.

What's the story?

This book retells the classic Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Rosaline, Juliet's strong-willed cousin for whom Romeo first carried a torch. Other familiar characters take turns narrating, including Tybalt and even Romeo himself.

\ \ The author sticks to the basic story but does take some liberties -- one of the star-crossed lovers doesn't die, for example -- and makes the protagonists seem more selfish than tragic.

Is it any good?


Rosaline's impassioned speech about the true meaning of love -- and her own loving actions -- will warm readers' hearts.

Although the author tells this story from many perspectives, it's Rosaline's story. And it's the feisty, smart Rosaline -- Juliet's cousin, who's training to be a healer -- whom readers will instantly relate to and root for. ROMEO'S EX sticks to Shakespeare's story fairly well, even using lines from the original play. But the author fleshes out many characters and gives it a modern spin.

Some of the book's clever touches may be lost on younger readers, such as the references to other Shakespeare plays and some of the smart updates: When Benvolio goes to the Capulet party, for example, he and his father have a modern conversation about curfew. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Shakespeare's plays -- particularly Romeo and Juliet -- have remained so popular. What is it about star-crossed lovers that we find so fascinating? Can you think of other stories and movies that include the same theme? Parents may want to introduce the original text to their tweens and teens and compare and contrast the two. Do your kids prefer the Bard's version or this update?

Book details

Author:Lisa Fiedler
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
Publication date:September 1, 2006
Number of pages:256
Publisher's recommended age(s):12

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bymoviemadness April 9, 2008


Romeo's Ex is predictable, but tweens and younger teens will enjoy it. There is little to be concerned about, but Romeo and Juliet's romance, Tybalt's death, and similar topics are discussed.
Teen, 13 years old Written byRosestella March 31, 2010

I think it good for younger reader too.

I love it. I love the book you wrote and I think that it good for kids like younger people.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bybookworm29 July 11, 2010

My Favorite of all Time

Rosaline is a healer. She’s also Juliet’s cousin. And she is constantly dogged by the annoying Romeo. But everything changes on the day of that brawl… the day she met Benvolio. But things get even crazier at the masquerade ball. That’s when Romeo meets Juliet. The day after the ball, Benvolio and Rosaline come up with a plan to end the Montague and Capulet feud. But things don’t go as intended, and blood is spilled. Will Romeo and Juliet’s ‘courtship’ destroy everything? Or will Rosaline and Benvolio’s plan ruin it first? This story was a spin on a classic tragedy. I believed that the Shakespearean language was a little challenging to comprehend, but otherwise, it was fantastic. I liked how you could see the different perspectives of the characters. This book was interesting and it immediately caught my attention. While some may believe that this story is an insult to the bard's legacy, I disagree. This story encouraged me to read the true Shakespeare plays, even though I may not be able to comprehend it. It gives a nice twist to the end of the story, and I liked how Lisa Fielder changed the character's (Romeo and Juliet’s) viewpoints, from desperate to selfish. The author’s message was heart- warming: Rosaline spoke of the true meaning of love. I couldn’t put this book down!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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