Just Julian

by Markus Harwood-Jones

A young gay man finds the courage to stand up for himself in an LGBTQ twist on Romeo and Juliet. Romeo gives Julian the strength to face his depression and take a stand against homophobia.

After years of bullying at school, 19-year-old Julian is depressed. He sees a glimmer of hope after meeting the similarly out-of-place Romeo at a party and sharing a kiss with him. The only problem: Romeo has always identified as straight and he hangs out with a group of intolerant guys. But as the two begin to fall in love, Julian finds strength he never knew he had. When Romeo's old friends come after the couple, a vicious fight puts both Julian and Romeo in the hospital. The two boys decide to take a stand for their right for respect.

Just Julian provides insight into the struggle against homophobia, reminding LGBTQ readers that they are not alone.

About the Author

MARKUS HARWOOD-JONES is a writer, visual artist and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of the short story collections Confessions of a Teenage Transsexual Whore and Everything & All at Once. His feature film, Mosaic, tells the story of his journey across Canada and the United States to learn more about the trans community. He lives in Toronto.

Reviews

"Overall, an easy, quick read. I think it would work for upper middle (8th) grade students as well as high school readers. The content is approachable, and dramatic enough to keep their interest."
Michelle Motyczka, NetGalley
"This modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet is just as heart-wrenching as the original — but with a happy ending."
Sarah Atkinson, Resource Links
"The novel boasts empathetic characters and enough dramatic action to hold readers' attention to its happy ending."
Michael Cart, Booklist

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