When Merrilee enters Reginald R. Hero Preparatory School, she's hopeful that the experience will help her pinpoint her special talent.
BFF brainiac Eliza has science. Younger sister Rory has art. On the other hand, after attending an all-girls school, it's possible that rabid romance-reader Merri will simply be distracted by classes with boys! Especially after English class with magical Ms. Gregoire, where they're reading The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Merri is sure that popular bad-boy Monroe will be her real-life Romeo. Except he turns out to be overbearing and she realizes that actually Romeo might not be so great, and Juliet needs to chart her own course. Maybe Merri's story is really Pride and Prejudice? Is scornful Fielding, the headmaster's son, as misunderstood as Darcy is? He’s swoonworthy handsome but seems to resent the fact that Sen. Rhodes, Merri’s older sister’s future mother-in-law, pulled strings to get Merri and Rory into the prestigious school. In true rom-com fashion, artless Merri creates chaos in her first missteps in romance. A full cast of secondary characters create a chorus and support system as Merri takes charge of her story. Main characters are white, but Merri’s classmates include Korean, Egyptian, and black students.
This meshing of romantic classics and modern-day relationships is over-the-top good fun for tween romantics. (Fiction. 12-15)