By: Cynthia Ayala
Does The Lonesome Young bring something new to the tale of feuding families and forbidden love or does just it just blend in with the other novels that take a spin on Romeo and Juliet‘s tale.
Published: April 8. 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
The Rhodales and the Whitfields have been sworn enemies for close on a hundred years, with a whole slew of adulterous affairs, financial backstabbing, and blackmailing that’s escalated the rivalry to its current state of tense ceasefire. Now a meth lab explosion in rural Whitfield County is set to reignite the feud more viciously than ever before. Especially when the toxic fire that results throws together two unlikely spectators—proper good girl Victoria Whitfield, exiled from boarding school after her father’s real estate business melts down, and town motorcycle rebel Mickey Rhodale, toolate as always to thwart his older brothers’ dangerous drug deals. Victoria and Mickey are about to find out the most passionate romances are the forbidden ones.
The Lonesome Young
is a modern take on the story of Romeo and Juliet. Published April 8th 2014 by Razorbill, the star players in this novel are Mickey Rhodale and Victoria Whitfield. From feuding families, these two know that they should stay far away from each other, but instead, they just can’t keep their hands off each other.
Lucy Connors delivers an interesting take on the story that has been told repeatedly. The underlining bases of the story is the forbidden love between two families who hate each other. Incorporating characters such as Juliet’s Nurse, played by Victoria’s grandmother, the Romeo’s friend, played by his friend Dennis, the novel has many similarities between the Shakespeare’s tragic love story. Now, that is where the similarities end.
This is not a complete copycat where the two lovebirds die at the end, taking their lives, but instead a story full of angst and deep character development. The story shows us viewers just who the characters are and how imperfect their lives are. For Victoria Whitfield, she is the glue of the family, the only thing holding it together. She has a drug-addled sister, and parents who don’t care about anything but their appearance to the community, her only solace being horse riding on her family’s ranch. She is an incredibly compassionate character who has to face many difficulties with her family as she struggles to hold together her own emotions and world. While her selflessness is a very captivating trait in the novel, there are times when she comes off as the “Mary Sue” type character, which puts her narrative in a dull perspective. That is not to say that reading from her point of view is overall bad, but often times, the readers will find themselves groaning at her seemingly dull perspective.
With Mickey on the other hand, the reader is offered a reading from a character who has quite the difficult life and anger issues. His character is fraught with character flaws, but within his narrative, there is deep side to his character as he pushes to fight against the legacy his family has built for him, a corrupt legacy full of bending the laws and drug dealing. Conners’ does a much better job creating his character and making his stand out. For Mickey’s characterization, Conners’ delves into the character and shows readers his internal struggle, creating an inside plot for this novel that makes the overall story development and outside plot connect the characters to the overall struggle of being together.
Overall, a decent novel for the young adult genre, even if the forbidden love concept has saturated the romance genre. ★★★☆☆ (C+)