Saturday, February 11, 2017

Books I Couldn't Finish: Ronit and Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin


Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred.
The teenage lovers fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can only be kept secret for so long. Ronit and Jamil must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.
I really wanted to like this. In fact, I took it with me when I knew I was going to have to sit and wait somewhere for an hour or so. I ended up balancing my checkbook instead. In trying to push the similarities between the two main characters, any distinction between their voices was lost. They didn't alternate, which would have helped, but sometimes 'spoke' twice in a row, making me re-read each page once I realized it was the same person speaking again. It got irritating very quickly, and couldn't hold my attention - and it had my full attention at the start! Great concept, disappointing execution.

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