July 7, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

Romeo and or Juliet

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable Path by Ryan North • June 7, 2016 • Riverhead Books
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Shakespeare’s plays weren’t meant to be read. They were meant…to be played.

What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? This choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet—packed with fun puzzles, secrets, and quadrillions of possible storylines—lets you decide where the plot goes every time you read. You might play as Romeo, or as Juliet, or as both of them at the same time. You might even unlock additional playable characters!

That’s right. We figured out how to have unlockable characters in books.


I received this book for free from Riverhead Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


  • You get to choose Romeo and Juliet’s fate!

Haven’t you always rolled your eyes or curse these crazy kids because of their terrible decisions that led to their deaths? In Romeo and/or Juliet, you can change that with this “choose your own adventure” book! Not every ending leads to death. It can lead to some wild possibilities like Juliet ending up with a dude named Orlando and wrestling a lion or Romeo and Juliet living happily ever after and becoming a super ripped couple who do nothing but lift weights or Romeo and Benvolio ending up poking each other’s eyes out. The possibilities are endless!

  • It’s funny.

The scenarios that Ryan North presents are really ridiculous. From a muscle-pumping Juliet to a Romeo only thinking about breakfast, playing an endless game of Rock Papers Scissors to switching between characters to essentially seduce yourself, you’ll end up smiling to yourself or giggling. The writing is very aware of the ridiculousness of the situations presented, and it plays it up and pokes fun at it. That’s what makes this book so delightful.

  • You can indulge the narrator…or not.

Sometimes, the narrator speaks (or yells) directly at you—as in you as Juliet or Romeo—and goads you to listen to his lecture about sex or switch to another character for funsies. What makes this fun is what happens when you indulge or ignore his goadings. The narrator will sometimes take offense, which is hilarious to read, or your decisions will totally backfire and make you regret it. I always find myself refusing to do what he says like a petulant child, and I admit I make bad decisions. ;)

  • You can get totally sidetracked from the story.

You think you can only be Romeo and Juliet? Nope! You can find yourself on a different quest when you’re in the middle of getting Romeo and Juliet together! For instance, there’s a Nurse’s quest that’s modeled after an old school adventure video game with the pixels and all, where the Nurse is trying to find Romeo but encounters puzzles and carnivorous dogs she has to get around. There’s a mini “choose your own path” within the book called “A Midsummer Night’s Choice.” And there are plenty of more that are just as wacky and fun.

  • Each ending has a fabulous illustration accompanying it.

How can you say no to fabulous illustrations? You have so many artists contributing like Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals), Marguerite Sauvage (Bombshells), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Matt Cummings (Power Up!), and so much more! Tell me these don’t mesmerize you, tell me! (You will be lying, dear sir or madam!)

Should you read Romeo and/or JulietYES! Be the hero (or puppeteer) that Romeo and Juliet deserves! You get to play as Romeo or Juliet (and sometimes both!) They need you to carve them a new ridiculous ending! You can be the modern Shakespeare in this “choose your own adventure” book!


4 Responses to “REVIEW • Dance Puppets Dance! (Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable Path by Ryan North)”

  1. Hahaha this is too funny. I used to love those choose-your-own-adventure books when I was a kid, but this sounds great obviously for the sheer humor and absurdity of it. It also sounds funny the way the narrator goads you on and takes offense if you don’t listen. Plus those endings do sound great! (I would totally go for the ripped Juliet one :-P )

  2. I heard about this book a few weeks ago and I seriously want to read it. It sounds fantastic. I loved choose your own adventure books when I was a kid and so it would be wonderful to reminisce with this read. It sounds really interesting a unique so I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  3. I have heard of this and thought it sounded rather interesting. I look forward to giving it a try. You made it sound so much fun!

  4. The moment I saw this book I had this ‘I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE’ feeling and I’m happy to see you enjoyed it so much! I’m definitely going to get a copy of this, because it sounds like the perfect book to read while sitting in the sun, enjoying a quiet summer day :D

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