Take her down

Lauren Emily Whalen

Book - 2022

Stakes are cutthroat, scheming is creative, and loyalty is ever-changing in this queer, female-driven YA retelling of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Whalen Lauren Checked In
LGBTQ+ fiction
Queer fiction
Valley Falls, NY : Bold Strokes Books 2022.
Main Author
Lauren Emily Whalen (author)
Other Authors
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616 (-)
First edition
Physical Description
281 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Teenagers re-create the fall of Caesar. Augustus Magnet School, in an affluent northern Illinois suburb, is a haven for queer teenagers--with a minority of cis boys and a majority of kids identifying as LGBTQ+, the queer teens in this story exchange common homophobia for betrayal, deceit, and identity policing. After the 2016 election, the high schoolers suddenly care about the student government race, and the decision is between Jude Cuthbert (Julius Caesar), a White "power lesbian," and Bronwyn St. James (Brutus), also probably White, whose new relationship with White cis boy Porter means that she's more bisexual than she had thought. Jude, hostile toward the B in LGBTQ+ for familial reasons, smears her opponent as a flip-flopper, while tarot-reading Chinese American adoptee Cass St. James, Bronwyn's cousin, is the final piece in an intensely cruel plot to take Jude down. Antonia Marcus is "Kenyan. Greek. Gemini. Trans. Demigirl. She. They. Lesbian. Depressed. OCD. Loyal"--and a somewhat inhuman caricature of perfection, especially in their adapted "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" speech. The Shakespearean backdrop for this ultramodern tale of American politics and cutting-edge sexual and gender identities takes a while to pick up, but once it gets going, the cliffhangers and unstoppable pace make it hard to put down. An intense ride of bisexuality and back-stabbing. (character list) (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.