Kathryn Barker's Waking Romeo is a spectacularly genre-bending retelling of Romeo & Juliet asking the big questions about true love, fate, and time travel
Year: 2083. Location: London. Mission: Wake Romeo.
It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forward. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the “now,” living off of the scraps left behind.
Among them are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo lies in a coma and Jules is estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance.
Then a mysterious time traveler, Ellis, impossibly arrives from the future with a mission that makes Juliet question everything she knows about life and love.
Can Jules wake Romeo—and rewrite her future?
About the Author
Kathryn Barker lives in Sydney, Australia, with her family. She has spent a lifetime exploring the magic of the universe through storytelling. Her first novel, In the Skin of a Monster, was published to high acclaim in Australia, winning the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel. Waking Romeo is Kathryn’s second novel, and the first to be published in the US.
A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 (Book Riot, Gizmodo, and more!)
“This fast-paced, brilliantly futuristic Romeo and Juliet variation splits and swirls timelines, ecological collapse, and hope into a virtuoso five-act telling. This breathtaking, meticulously plotted adventure revitalizes a classic into a vital call to hope for the pandemic generation.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This dazzling, genre-defying novel offers a sublime mix of dystopian fantasy, time travel, suspense, and romance all in the context of a brilliant, futuristic, cleverly-plotted reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.” —Buffalo News
“Original, ambitious, powerful. Barker’s ability to challenge the boundaries of genre and find light in the darkness is a gift.” —Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road
“The most beautiful, moving, and rigorously plotted time-travel novel I have ever read.” —Justine Larbalestier, author of My Sister Rosa
“A genre-bending masterpiece that effortlessly juggles classic literature, existentialism, time travel, and dystopia—with action and feels. I freaking loved every minute.” —Lili Wilkinson, author of Pink
“An atmospheric, dystopian YA sci-fi that [we] absolutely devoured . . . a thought-provoking read that is sure to keep readers on their toes.” —YA Books Central
“Waking Romeo is a stunning reimagining of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet—meets Wuthering Heights, meets epic time-travelling extravaganza. Highly recommended for fans of science-fiction and timeless love stories.” —Books + Publishing (Australia)
“This brilliantly clever story brings together myriad dystopian futures, the concepts of fate and existentialism, and a disorienting but engaging tale of love and time—but not in the way you may first think. A fun read for fans of classic literature turned on its head, this is a spectacular genre-twisting tale.” —Claire Atherfold, Readings State Library (Australia)
“Waking Romeo is like nothing you have read before. It spans genres, adding twist upon twist you’ll never see coming. If you love dystopian, science fiction, and/or time travel YA, this one is completely, utterly, 100% for you.” —Kids’ Book Review (Australia)