Laskin, Pamela L. Ronit and Jamil, 183 pgs. Katherine Tegen Books, 2017 (HarperCollins). $17.99 Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG.
Ronit is an Israeli girl who helps her father deliver medicine to a Palestinian man with a son named Jamil. Jamil and Ronit fall in love at first sight and they sneak away together as often as they can. In the end they leave their families and ride off into the sunset with the hope that they can disguise themselves so they can be together.
This book is awful. The only thing it has going for it is the cover. I had high expectations because I think the premise could teach a lot about what is going on in Israel, but it didn’t. Here are some of my issues: First, this is similar to Romeo and Juliet, but the names of the characters are opposite Ronit is the Juliet and Jamil is the Romeo which I had to remind myself over and over. Second, the author doesn’t always make it clear who is speaking-there is no pattern or taking of turns or labeling the poems. Third, the poems change format, they don’t follow any similar pattern and they are all over the place. Fourth, there are many Hebrew words referring to people or food without any explanation making it super confusing. Fifth, there are many sexual references to undressing each other and having sex (which seems to be about all they have in common) – there is no character development at all. You get the idea-it was bad.
HS – NO Reviewer, C. Peterson.