Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin | Book Review

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin is a really cool idea for a book in concept. However, I felt like the execution of the actual concept left a little bit to be desired. Yet, despite the cons, this is actually a pretty fast read. I mean, if you’re a fan of Shakespeare and YA and books set in the Gaza strip as well as verse books, you will probably like this one better than I did. Actually, I hope you do.

Essentially, Ronit & Jamil is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, but set in the Gaza strip. One teen is Palestinian. The other teen is Israeli. The two meet due to their dads being in similar lines of work – the medical profession. One dad is a doctor, the other is a pharmacist. They have some crossover. Ronit and Jamil begin a secret relationship carried out via text and clandestine meeting. Eventually, they come up with a plan to be together for real – but with a bit of a twist on the ending of Romeo and Juliet.

So, Ronit is an Israeli girl and as mentioned, she has been accompanying her dad on calls. She is smart and seems pretty capable. She does find herself very attracted to Jamil when she crosses paths with him. Jamil is the Palestinian boy. He also comes across as pretty smart, but also cares about his family too. Both Ronit and Jamil have a ton of similarities and it is easy to see why they like each other. Their different poems do mirror each other as well.

Overall, this is an okay read, but not about to become a favorite. I do see value in this book. However, I don’t know that it necessarily feels authentic. I am almost positive that this is not an ownvoices book at all. In googling the author, she’s an American, not an Israeli or Palestinian. I sort of wonder what this book would have been like if it was written by someone who has the nationality of one of the lead characters. Maybe I would have felt more invested or cared more, who is to say?

Other reviews of Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin:

Click here to support Good Books & Good Wine with your purchase or preview of Ronit & Jamil:

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

%d bloggers like this: