Book 38 of 52: Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute by Sayantani Dasgupta

Looking to wrap up your summer with a fun, light romance focusing on some teen theater nerds? I got you, as does Sayantani Dasgupta with Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute.

Our protagonist is Eila Das, a high school student who has been trying to hold her family together after the death of her father. Shakespeare was a big part of the family’s life: every summer, they’d go to see a local Shakespeare in the park, and she’d go to Shakespeare theater camp.

Now, not only is she grieving, but her beloved Shakespeare camp has been rebooted as Regency Camp, where teens spend two weeks living how those in Regency Era England did, with a bonus: if they catch the eye of the show’s producer, they might also get a chance to appear as an extra in Rosewood, described as like “Bridgerton meets Murder, She Wrote.”

Eila doesn’t want to be there, but goes because her sister, Mallika, is obsessed with the show — and knows their mother would never allow her to go alone.

Eila starts out as stubbon, but opens up through the course of those two weeks, and discovers maybe she can embrace change after all, and that doing so wouldn’t be a disservice to her family or her father’s memory.

Oh and there’s a whole romance with a hot guy with a mysterious background. This is, after all, a romance. It’s also a fun debate about Shakespeare vs. Jane Austen. I have a master’s degree in English Literature, and have feelings about both, so it was fun to watch the characters verbally spar through them.

This book and post are tied to my recent travels, because I found Rosewood in a Little Free Library in Sidney, Montana — a pretty remote place where I was stared down by two women while putting gas in my car, I assume because of my New Jersey license plate. When I saw a library outside of the Rush Espresso (pictured below), I didn’t have high hopes.

But that box was FULL of feminist and queer literature, some that had just come out within the last week (you’ll see that my copy of Rosewood was the kind of preview usually sent out to critics and people who write about books).

Maybe I shouldn’t be so snap to make judgements, as perhaps those two ladies in the gas station were making about me. Also, it was a reminder that even though people may live in a red state, that doesn’t mean that they feel the way of their gerrymandered government, and why I don’t write off someone for staying a place that might be hostile to them, but they can’t — or don’t want to — leave for whatever reason. Something to remember as we go into election season.

Nail polish: Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. by OPI.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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