Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1) by Leisa Rayven

Firsty, thanks to PanMacmillan Australia for this review copy <3


Date Read: June 11 - 22 2015
Date Released: January 1st 2015 (this edition)
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Adult Contemporary
My Rating:

"Cassie Taylor was just another good girl acting student. Ethan Holt was the bad boy on campus. Then one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing onstage, Cassie and Ethan's epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart.
Now they've made it to Broadway where they're reunited as romantic leads once again - and their passionate scenes force them to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair. For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret-and he's determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much to ever be trusted again. The trouble is, when it comes to love, sometimes it's the things that aren't good for us that are the most irresistible."


I was so pleasantly surprised with Bad Romeo. From the very first page I was immediately hooked and in awe of Rayven’s technique.

Told along two timelines, we see the Cassie of six years ago when she first enters acting school and meets Ethan. Then there’s present day Cassie who is the complete opposite to her 19 year-old former self. I loved the juxtaposition between these two Cassies. One is so eager and desperate for love and affection while present day Cassie has been hurt too many times and shies away from closeness. I loved Cassie’s voice. While I didn’t always agree with her thoughts or actions, her first person POV was told in such a way that had me immediately believe and relate to her. I felt all her emotions – frustration, angst, desire and most intensely, the pain. I thought it was also a real skill of Rayven’s to be able to show the differences in Cassie: I could tell which Cassie I was reading and yet know she’s still one person despite the time jump.

As Bad Romeo is a very romance centric novel, there wasn’t a lot of delving into secondary characters. The cast of supporting characters did feel a bit generic to me – the bitchy girl who gets slut shamed, the gay best friend – but they were all extremely fun and likeable.

Ethan Holt is definitely one of the most complex male love interests I’ve read. He comes across as your typical hot douchebag but Rayven has written him in a way that allows the layers to be peeled back and really show a damaged guy with trust issues. He can definitely be possessive and jealous but he also genuinely cares about Cassie. Rayven also did a fantastic job of writing present day Ethan who is a totally different person to the one of six years ago. I loved the contrast of broody vs open, frustrated/seemingly angry vs sweet/caring. I was also grateful that he wasn't just described as "hot" or "sexy" which is cliche. He was described as being handsome but with an intensity that belied the word, strong features that stood out because of their sharpness. It was just refreshing to have a guy's appearance justified as to why their features appealed to Cassie.

I loved the acting backdrop to the story. I literally learnt so much about acting and has my eyes opened to the world through their acting teacher Erika. I really got schooled in expressing oneself through acting, perspective and life in general. Rayven shows her knowledge with such finesse throughout the book, incorporating acting and life lessons throughout the book. The way scenes were depicted made me feel like I was watching the play myself or Cassie playing a part!

While I didn’t always like Ethan or Cassie, I liked how everything came together. I loved the way these two characters sort of switched roles in the time they were apart and the way Rayven was able to show how this happened. Bad Romeo was snarky, well written and just overall a very fun book. I’m so glad there’s a sequel.

No comments:

Post a Comment