2022 - Shortlisted
Kathryn Barker’s second novel, Waking Romeo, is bold, ambitious and genre-bending. Set in a world where time travel is possible, though only forwards, it combines elements of science fiction with an intertextual exploration of two literary masterworks: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
The narrative is dazzling, intricate and pacey. The characters are fresh and engaging. Classic themes of love and romance, life and death, fate and free will are explored as we are catapulted through different time periods. Young adult readers will appreciate this rich examination of life’s big questions, while thoroughly enjoying the ride.