Friday, 15 July 2011

Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: THOMAS NELSON; 1 edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1595546782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595546784
A modern re-telling of Romeo & Juliet

As the popular darling of the junior class and heiress to the five-star Monrovi Inn empire, Kate has both everything and nothing. She's bored with school and life...until she locks eyes with Caleb at a school dance.
Caleb is new to Kate's exclusive prep school, and it's clear he doesn't fit in. In fact, he and his dad work in maintenance for Kate's father. And while Caleb knows better than to spend time with the boss's daughter, it seems that every time he tries to back away, something pulls him right back in.
When their parents demand that they are to stay away from each other, they learn of a fight between their families that occurred more than fifty years ago. It's a mystery Kate doesn't understand...but a legacy Caleb has endured his entire life.
With the world stacked against them, Caleb and Kate will have to walk by faith to find the path that God has planned for them.

This appealed to me for a nice, light and perfect summer read.

Cover: The cover is perfect for what this is, a cute, romantic YA novel.

Plot: Follows the basic framework of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet- family feud and forbidden love.  Kate and Caleb's grandfather's used to be friends but they fell out over land and a woman, resulting in a bitter feud between their families.  When they meet there's an instant attraction that they can't believe and try to fight because of their families, but it soon becomes clear that they can't help their feelings for each other.
It doesn't have the original tragic ending, it could easily have down and at one point I thought it was going to.


Caleb- Originally from Hawaii he'd much rather be surfing waves or riding his motorbike than being stuffed into a prep school uniform. He stands out at Gaitlin's school.  He can't explain his feelings for Kate.  He thinks that he should hate her but he just can't make himself.

Kate- Her family is rich and priviledged but she finds herself being bored with her life, all the continuous gossip about things that don't even matter.  Hasn't ever witnessed that fairy-tale love that everyone wants.  She connects with Caleb in a way she hasn't ever done with anyone.

Both characters have their Christian faith.  And don't be put off by that.  I think it's great that it's included.  There are teenagers that have faith, that's realistic and it's not an in-your-face-god-squad book but rather it just adds to their character.

Ted- A rich politician's son that sets his sights on Kate.

Monica- Kate's rather snobbish friend.

Finn- Caleb's cousin.  Jealous and spiteful of Caleb.  He hates hales - white people and so doesn't approve of Kate.

Writing Style: I found that Cindy had an easy flowing writing style that allowed for a really quick read.  I liked the alternating perspectives of Caleb + Kate so you get how both characters are thinking and feeling towards each other.  I also thought the relevant Shakespeare quotes were a nice touch.

Rating: 4/5 stars.  I really enjoyed this book.  The re-telling of Romeo & Juliet works well in this modern context and I loved the characters of Caleb and Kate, and their romance was beautiful.  
I would definitely recommend this for fans of contemporary YA romantic fiction such as Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles because this is something similar.  It's perfect for a light, summer beach read.

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