My first YA novel, Hanging in the Stars, was deeply inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It blossoms into a savvy love story when 14 year old Andrew agrees to tutor Maya, the sister of a local drug dealer.
Working together on Romeo and Juliet assignments deepens their cross-cultural romance. Shakespeare’s beautiful language becomes intertwined in Maya and Andrew’s own love story. Below are excerpts from the novel of how Shakespeare’s words serve as touchstones to characters’ thoughts, actions and dialogue.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Did my heart love till now? I never saw true beauty till this night
“Andrew saw her playing handball. Her tight body sliding sideways. She sure was pretty with that long black hair that kind of swayed as she moved.”
Palm to palm is holy palmer’s kiss.
“What if my brother is watching, I’m never supposed to hold a guy’s hand?”
THOSE 3 LITTLE WORDS
Dost thou love me?
“‘Love me?’ Andrew said. He didn’t know what to say. He felt so much for Maya. He had never said those words to any girl. They were so special. He just wasn’t prepared to say them here.”
My lips…ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
“Andrew lingered. He wanted to keep kissing her again and again. She felt so soft. He knew he had to leave.”
THE BATTLE TO STAY IN LOVE
I fear too early for my mind misgives
Some consequences yet hanging in the stars
“From the couch he could see the bright moonlight pouring through the kitchen window. Andrew couldn’t sleep. He kept worrying about Ally, Cruz, Maya and even his mother and about the consequences hanging in the stars – the consequences of his own gigantic mistake.”