Review: Scribbler of Dreams

It’s the Crutchfields v. the Malones in this lush Romeo and Juliet story about two related California families that have hated each other for generations, even though (or perhaps because) they own adjacent tracks of ocean-view land. Like the rest of her family, 17-year-old Kait Malone blames the Crutchfields for everything, particularly now that her father’s in jail for killing Robert Crutchfield in what the Malones claim was an accident. Money is short, because the Malones refuse to sell any of their land, so Kait and her sister must transfer to the public high school under assumed names. And then the unthinkable happens: Kait falls head over heels in love with a beautiful boy named Bram–who turns out to be a Crutchfield. As their romance deepens, Kait’s lies about her identity grow ever more complicated. She clings to her conviction that the Crutchfields are monsters–except for Bram–although this belief grows harder and harder to sustain as she meets his family. When Bram’s mother loans her the crumbling journals of one of the two sisters who began the feud, Kait finds the truth is a source of compassion. Yet she still postpones her revelation to Bram, as tension builds and the situation finally escalates out of her control.–From Goodreads

Mary Pearson’s Scribbler of Dreams is a quick and easily comprehensible modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. This is an invaluable book for readers struggling with the classic, who might find Shakespeare more manageable once they come to understand the plot and themes in this highly accessible version. Don’t pick this one up expecting any original story lines, but do read it if you would like to enjoy a contemporary version of a timeless story.

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