Monday, June 05, 2006
Bad Hallmark Cards - They Say Love
I haven't read any Sharon Draper before. She seems to be a recurring name in the Coretta Scott King Awards, so when I needed an audiobook and Romiette and Julio was just lying about... The best thing I can say about this was that the plot idea was fantastic. Ok, yeah, Romeo & Juliet was updated with West Side Story, but here we had something set more recently than the, what, 1960's, and pivoting around the influence of gangs in today's schools. So the pressures from the families are far less, while the peer's has skyrocketed to dangerous heights. Romiette is African-American and Julio is Mexican-American. They fall in love, blah, blah (seriously blah) and whine and blather on, but their annoying true-love existence is threatened by the local gang who don't want Romiette dating a Latino. Threats ensue. And they escalate.
As stated previously, I listened to this one. I wonder if I could have tolerated the excessive buildup (some of the CHEESIEST dialogue EVER. Seriously. "Romiette you are my flower" - and that's just what I haven't blocked out - *gag*.) if I had my internal narrator rather than the one provided. I don't know, but I do know it took FAR too long for anything to happen. There was a nice, though predictable, arc and everything tied up nicely, however unsatisfing. I pondered quiting several times, but I really wanted to know what the gang was going to do.
I think I have faith that other titles by Draper are better than this one. Probably the ones with embossed stickers on them...