Rating: 5 stars out of 5
When fifteen-year-old Romeo’s mother leaves one day and doesn’t return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.
Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.
This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).
I’ve been a huge fan of Suki Fleet for years now, ever since I first stumbled across one of her stories online. I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by her so far and “This is Not a Love Story” is no exception.
This book is simply and utterly brilliant. It’s incredibly bittersweet and had me hooked from the beginning. The story of Romeo and Julian is so very sad and yet so very beautiful. Their love for each other is obvious, no matter what they’re faced with. I loved both of them and their story tore me apart. And yet it also made me smile, because their love was always shining brightly, there was always a bit of hope, no matter how hopeless the situation might seem.
Romeo and Julian are faced with a lot of hardships that come with living on the streets, making this book anything but a light read. If you’re easily triggered by these things, you might want to pass on this book. It’s never overly graphic, but it’s still obviously there, the consequences not glossed over or ignored. Because of the whole theme of the book and the somewhat explicit sex scenes, I’d call this a New Adult story. Probably not suitable for most readers under 15 or 16.
It was really interesting to see how Romeo and Julian changed and developed throughout the book, how Romeo becomes more confident with his disability. Romeo being mute was definitely an important part of the story, but it’s not what the story was ABOUT. It was simply yet another obstacle to stop the both of them from leading a “normal” life.
The ending was really well done. It’s happy but not overly cheesy or unrealistic. It was very fitting.
Long story short: “This is Not a Love Story” is utterly brilliant, the kind of book that leaves a lasting impression. And I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on the second part of this universe.
Cover:The cover is simple but absolutely fitting. The bleak skyline of London with the title in bright, hopeful colours is a perfect representation of the book’s tone. Well done!
ebook, 270 pages
Published May 22nd 2014 by Harmony Ink (first published March 22nd 2014)
Original TitleThis Is Not a Love Story
SeriesLove Story Universe
CharactersRomeo Danilov, Julian Lavelle