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06 May 2014

Review: Anyone But You by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

Summary and image from Amazon:
These violent delights have violent ends...
Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster? Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.
 I feel like every time I read and review a retelling, I remind you that I LOVE RETELLINGS!  But I do!  I can't help it!  And Anyone But You doesn't disappoint.  

As far as the Bard is concerned, I find Romeo & Juliet is overrated.  I don't feel that it is a love story.  It is a sad story, about a couple of teenagers who fell in lust, acted like spoiled teenagers and ran away and then tragically died.  I never understood the appeal.

However, I don't feel that way about Anyone But You.  I felt that while the story paralleled Romeo & Juliet, it was a better version.  Gigi and Roman had a depth to them that old Romeo and Jules didn't.  Yes, it bugs me when teenagers "fall in love" after meeting once, but we get background information with Gigi and Roman.  We learn about them outside of being this starcrossed couple.

I also liked how the chapters alternated between past and present and told the story of how the famous feud came to be.  Without giving anything away, I like how it all tied together in the end.  Although, I did get a little teary.  

However, the best part, for the baseball geek in me, was the nod to Honus Wagner and his million dollar baseball card.  Got to love a man who stood up for what he believed in, and was a Pittsburgh Pirate to boot!      

I'd like to thank Kim Askew and Amy Helmes and everyone at Twisted Lit for sending me a copy for review.  I love it! 

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