Book List

6 Creative Romeo and Juliet Retellings

May 24, 2018
Jasmine Hodge
Riveted Editorial Board

Everyone loves a good Romeo and Juliet retelling – with all the romance and drama who wouldn’t? These Romeo and Juliet retellings will satisfy any craving for our favorite star-crossed lovers, with creative, unique, and modern additions to make it feel fresh.

6 Creative Romeo and Juliet Retellings

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Of course, we had to include Alec and Magnus on this list. As a Shadowhunter and a Lightwood, Alec was never supposed to fall for High Warlock and Downworlder Magnus Bane. While Downworlders and Shadowhunters aren’t in a feud, both communities definitely have their opinions about their relationship, which Magnus and Alec are all too happy to ignore.

2. American Panda by Gloria Chao

While Japanese classmate Darren isn’t a son of a rival family, he is the opposite of what Mei’s family expects as her future husband. Mei must decide how far she is willing to deviate from her parents’ master plan in this humorous, incisive book about following your heart.

3. Starry Eyes by Jen Bennett

“Two households, not alike at all, In fair California, where we lay our scene…” Zorie and Lennon are experiencing the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets first hand.  Their family’s businesses are contradictory and share a parking lot. However, when they must rely on each other to survive a night in the wilderness, secrets, and feelings are revealed to how and why this best friendship fell apart, and how it can be mended (and maybe turn into something…s’more 😉 ).

4. Want by Cindy Pon

Imagine if Romeo and Juliet were not just divided by a vague family feud but also by class, wealth, and their likelihood to live to a normal age. Set in a new-future Taipei where Jin Corps creates life-saving technology at the price of life-threatening pollution, Zhou decides to infiltrate the elite. Unfortunately, he finds himself having to choose between those he left behind and Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO.

5. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

There are a lot of great characters in Romeo and Juliet (my personal favorite being the well-meaning but ultimately ignored Benvolio). When You Were Mine is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline’s perspective. She and Rob were happy before Juliet came back to town and Rob immediately fell in love with her. Now Rose must navigate young lust, family, and love to change the ending that everyone expects.

6. Compulsion by Martina Boone

This series reimagines feuding families and unlikely love in an atmospheric story set on a plantation in South Carolina. Barrie Watson is ready to explore her mother’s childhood home but Watson Island, and Eight Beaufort, the enigmatic boy across the river, aren’t exactly what she expected. Complicated family relationships and an old curse gives this tale of forbidden love a southern gothic twist.