From Publisher’s Lunch; March 18, 2014
Children’s: Young Adult
Larry Schwarz and Elise Allen’s ROMEO, JULIET, & JIM, pitched as an homage to Shakespeare and Truffaut, the star-crossed teen lovers are heirs to rival Parisian fashion houses, carrying on their clandestine relationship — until Jim, a mysterious and charismatic American enters the picture and creates a triangle of interests, to Christy Ottaviano at Christy Ottaviano Books, in a three-book deal, for publication in Summer 2015, by Fonda Snyder at Alchemy (World English).
No doubt the publisher and authors will be pushing the angle of being a kind of Gateway Literary Drug to getting girls to like the Bard. But I’m pretty certain R&J is the most palatable of Shakespeare’s works. Girls tend to be naturally predisposed to like it or at least give it a chance, or skim to certain scenes they remember from the movies or whatever, at the very least. This insults girls’ intelligence. Even if, at the time, men were playing women on stage, Shakespeare wrote love stories and plots and jokes that seem to me to be mostly directed at women. He knew his audience. He knew we were smarter than this.
Also, if two people from rival fashion houses fell in love nowadays, they would simply design a Target collaboration together and both of their companies would profit greatly from the union. I’m sure the parents would be in favor of it. What girl wouldn’t want a Rodarte Laurent sundress for $16.99?