Title: Roman and Jewel
Author: Dana L. Davis
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: January 5th, 2021
Jerzie Jhames will do anything to land the lead role in Broadway’s hottest new show, Roman and Jewel, a Romeo and Juliet inspired hip-hopera featuring a diverse cast and modern twists on the play. But her hopes are crushed when she learns mega-star Cinny won the lead…and Jerzie is her understudy.
Falling for male lead Zeppelin Reid is a terrible idea–especially once Jerzie learns Cinny wants him for herself. Star-crossed love always ends badly. But when a video of Jerzie and Zepp practicing goes viral and the entire world weighs in on who should play Jewel, Jerzie learns that while the price of fame is high, friendship, family, and love are priceless.
Jerzie is 16, prepared to star on Broadway, when her dreams are snatched from her by the super star, Cinny. Cinny wins the lead in Roman and Jewel, a Hamilton-esque take on Romeo and Juliet. Jerzie tries to be excited to be an understudy, but she’s not. However, she means the male lead – Zeppelin Reid – and falls head over heels in love instantly. He’s older, hot, AND starring on Broadway. But no one wants Jerzie and Zeppelin to be together, so Jerzie must make some hard decisions.
I absolutely love the concept behind this book. Roman and Jewel celebrates diversity and I loved that Jerzie was young but so talented. She basically was making changes to a Broadway musical at 16 and being listened to by adults. I love to see books empowering younger audiences in a world that tries to silence the young. Roman and Jewel is a quick, easy read that will entertain and inspire.
A few points made me rate this book a little lower. The relationship between Jerzie and Zeppelin was a little weird with the ages. 19 and 16 is still a bit of a cringe age difference for me. And Jerzie was a very young 16. It was clear from the dialogue and her behaviors that she is completely innocent, and Zeppelin was not. It made the romance feel a little off, and a bit much for me to really root for them. Some of the writing felt stilted at times, and a bit unrealistic for the real world.
However, even for these thoughts – I found Roman and Jewel to be entertaining and believe it would truly empower the young audience to feel they can do what they dream of – even from a young age. I know I grew up being told I was too young to do this, too inexperienced to do that. Everyone deserves to feel they can accomplish what they want, which is why I did enjoy this book overall.
Thank you to Turn the Pages Tours and Inkyard Press for inviting me to take place in the blog tour for this title. A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Dana L. Davis is a novelist and Hollywood actress with previous series regular roles as: Carmen Phillips on TNT’s Franklin and Bash and modern day mimic Monica Dawson on NBC’s cult series Heroes.
She currently stars on the animated series Star Vs. the Forces of Evil, Craig of the Creek, and She-Ra. Dana has guest-starred in over 20 prestigious primetime series, including 911, Scorpion, Code Black, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI. She made her film debut in Coach Carter with Samuel Jackson.
In addition to her work on screen, Dana has become a motivational speaker for teens. Her stirring assemblies empower and encourage youth, helping them to redefine what it means to win and lose.
Extremely versatile, Dana is a screenwriter and a trained Violist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from Loyola Marymount University. She volunteers for nonprofits like Empowering Lives International, an organization which provides training, resources, and encouragement to underprivileged East African children.
Dana also created her own nonprofit organization Culture For Kids, LA, an organization which gifts inner city children tickets and transportation to see performing arts shows around the Los Angeles area.
Dana was raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Los Angeles with her 9-year-old daughter.
Happy reading, folks!