This was a first for me, but I couldn’t resist it. A gay, HEA version of Romeo and Juliet? I couldn’t think of a single thing not to like.
“Not what Shakespeare wrote,” says one of the teasers with stunning understatement. Definitely not, with goofy, loved-up gay uncles, a seemingly up-tight but accepting parents on Romeo’s side, and completely crazy, warm and funny parents on Julien’s side. Add in jolly “friends with benefits” who want to embarrass the shy couple at every opportunity, and you have a bawdy, funny tale worthy of the Bard himself, without the tragic ending.
The illustrations are great, vibrant and colourful, imbuing the characters each with their own personality and humour. The sexy scenes are… generously proportioned, shall we say, but still manage to retain some tenderness as well as full-on explicit action.
For me this was the whole package; a lovely tale of acceptance, with a straight Romeo reacting with delight when he realises the girl he kissed is actually a boy who loves looking pretty. The way they gradually learn more about each other, and themselves, is so beautiful and is depicted really well in the illustrations. This is a wonderful story of understanding and just letting people be who they are without pointing fingers or judgement. I’m so glad I chose to review this graphic novel, because it’s an instant mood lift if one needs some escapist fun or reassurance that things aren’t all that bad.
I’d definitely read another by this writing/illustrating dream team.