Tag Archive for: retellings

Blog Tour Review: Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson

Blog Tour Review:  Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana AlbertsonRamón and Julieta by Alana Albertson, Alana Quintana Albertson
four-stars
Published by Berkley Books on February 1, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

As you can probably tell from its name, Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson is a retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet.  Julieta Campos is a gifted chef who specializes in seafood based Mexican dishes.  She and her mother own a restaurant in Barrios Logan.  They have both sacrificed a lot to keep their restaurant open, but when Ramón Montez and his father, who own the Taco King fast food chain, buys up the entire street their restaurant is located on, they know their days as restaurant owners are numbered.  It stings all the more because the fish taco recipe Ramón’s father used to build his Taco King empire is one he stole from Julieta’s mother years ago. Needless to say, the Campos hate the Montez.

Ramón and Julieta have no idea their families hate each other when they first meet at the local Dia de los Muertos celebration. Ramón helps Julieta properly honor her recently deceased father after she misses the official procession to the cemetery.  Then he proceeds to serenade Julieta with romantic Mexican ballads.  The chemistry between them is undeniable and they can’t wait to see each other again.  That is, until Julieta realizes who Ramón is. Even though she has very strong feelings for Ramón and he feels the same attraction, how can they possibly be together when his father betrayed her mother? Not to mention the fact that he’s now her landlord and wants to turn her beautiful little restaurant and the other Mexican-American owned businesses on the block into Taco Kings and Starbucks.

I really loved Albertson’s contemporary romantic spin on the original Romeo and Juliet.  The obstacles that threaten to tear Ramón and Julieta apart, while modern in nature, are still essentially the same obstacles Romeo and Juliet faced. If Ramón wants to be with Julieta, he cannot strip her beloved community of its culture, which means he must stand up to his father.  If Julieta wants to be with Ramón, she has to convince her mother that Ramón is not like his father, but she also has to face the fact that she may lose her business because of his family, as well as the love of her community since they will brand her a traitor if she chooses him.  They both have very tough decisions to make.  Do they choose each other or do they remain loyal to their families?

What I also loved about this take on Romeo and Juliet was that aside from the drama surrounding the star-crossed lovers, there’s also a much lighter element to the story and that involves the Mexican food and the infusion of Mexican culture.  I loved the author’s vivid descriptions of both the incredible sounding fish tacos Julieta was known for, and of the Dia de los Muertos festivities and costumes.  She brought it to life in such a way that I felt like I was there and a part of the wonderful community vibe.  She also had me seriously craving beer battered fish tacos, haha!

The big question though is that even though Ramón and Julieta is technically a contemporary romance, can a contemporary romance that is inspired by a Shakespearean tragedy have a happily ever after?  You’ll have to pick up a copy of Ramón and Julieta if you want to find out!

four-stars

About Alana Quintana Albertson

Alana Albertson is a multi-award winning author, current President of Romance Writers of America’s Contemporary Romance Chapter and the former President of both Romance Writers of America’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance, new adult and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time playing with her sons, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes Homeland, Devious Maids, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

Top Ten Tuesday – If You Like This, Try That (the Retellings edition)

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.).  I decided to focus on various retellings since I enjoy them so much and because there are so many good ones out there.

If You Like This, Try That (the Retellings edition)

 

1. If you like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, try these:

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev.  “It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep…” A fun contemporary retelling featuring the aforementioned black sheep and an infuriating but sexy chef.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin.  “A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.”

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price.  “A retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a whodunit.”

 

* * * * * *

2. If you like Cinderella, try these:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  A fairytale retelling with a sci-fi twist that features Cinderella as a mechanic…and a Cyborg.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston.  Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy.  A fun Cinderella retelling featuring plus-sized Cindy, who becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere.

 

* * * * * *

3. If you like The Little Mermaid, try these:

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning.

Part of Your World: a Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell.

All three of these are origin stories for Ursula, the sea witch.

 

* * * * * *

4. If you like Alice in Wonderland, try these:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  An origin story for the Queen of Hearts

Unbirthday by Liz Braswell.  “What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?”

 

* * * * * *

5. If you like Beauty and the Beast, try these:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.  A Beauty and the Beast retelling featuring Fae.

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston.  A Beauty and the Beast retelling set in the world of fandom at ExcelsiCon.

 

* * * * * *

6. If you like Jane Eyre, try these:

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins.  A contemporary take on Jane Eyre’s mad woman in the attic.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye.  “Reader, I murdered him.”  A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

 

* * * * * *

7. If you like Peter Pan, try these:

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A fun prequel to the classic Peter Pan story.

Lost Boy by Christina Henry.  The true story of Captain Hook.

 

* * * * * *

8. If you like Snow White, try these:

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer.  Snow White but with a sci fi twist

Mirror, Mirror by Jen Calonita.  “What if the Evil Queen poisoned the Prince?”

 

* * * * * *

9. If you like 101 Dalmatians, try these:

Cruelty by K.B. Everly.

Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson.

Two fun origin stories for Cruella de Vil.

 

* * * * * *

10. If you like A Christmas Carol, try these:

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva.  A historical fiction retelling that puts Dickens in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand.  “On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t.  And then she died. Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.”

 

* * * * * *

Question:  Do you enjoy retellings?  Have you read any of these yet?