Twelfth Knight

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Pub Date 28 May 2024 | Archive Date 18 Jun 2024


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake) comes Twelfth Knight, a YA romantic comedy and coming of age story about taking up space in the world and learning what it means to let others in.

*This luxe hardcover edition will include endpaper art by Little Chmura, a foil case stamp, and designed printed edges.*

Viola Reyes is annoyed.

Her painstakingly crafted tabletop game campaign was shot down, her best friend is suggesting she try being more “likable,” and her school's star running back Jack Orsino is the most lackadaisical Student Body President she’s ever seen, which makes her job as VP that much harder. Vi’s favorite escape from the world is the MMORPG Twelfth Knight, but online spaces aren’t exactly kind to girls like her—girls who are extremely competent and have the swagger to prove it. So Vi creates a masculine alter ego, choosing to play as a knight named Cesario to create a safe haven for herself.

But when a football injury leads Jack Orsino to the world of Twelfth Knight, Vi is alarmed to discover their online alter egos—Cesario and Duke Orsino—are surprisingly well-matched.

As the long nights of game-play turn into discussions about life and love, Vi and Jack soon realize they’ve become more than just weapon-wielding characters in an online game. But Vi has been concealing her true identity from Jack, and Jack might just be falling for her offline…

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake) comes Twelfth Knight, a YA romantic comedy and coming of age story about taking up space in the world and...

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ISBN 9781250884893
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 227 members

Featured Reviews

(4.5) Viola Reyes is annoyed. It’s true. Viola Reyes loves the fantasy world and after one of her game campaigns was shot down by her group which is a majority of boys, she’s had it with people. Meanwhile, Jack Orsino, the star football player, has suffered a severe knee injury which will have him out of the field for at least a year. Now, Jack has taken to playing a video game called Twelfth Knight where he makes a friend, Cesario, who in real life is Viola. However, Jack doesn’t know that, so in real life he’s enemies with Viola but close friends through the game.

Viola is such a complex character because many of the closest people don’t understand her. I had a hard time trying to make an opinion of her and her actions. She wasn’t the most likable person to most people and was often referred to as a “bitch”. She truly believed she was bitch and hid behind that term so that people didn’t have high expectations of her. Of course, she did have some things to work on like letting others in and not being afraid to show emotion but I feel like a lot of the people around her made her feel like she was the worst person ever. When in reality she's a teenage girl who’s angry at the world and still learning how to deal with those emotions. By the end, you could see an overall development in Viola, and dare I even say she seemed to be happy.

Jack was such a breath of fresh air. He represents every teenage kid who thought they had it figured out until they released, oh wait, I don’t. I’m happy that this book was duo POV and we were able to also see Jack’s POV of everything going on. It allowed us to understand his headspace during a time that was difficult for him. Also, it was so sweet to see how he gradually grew feeling for Viola and how he was one of the few people who didn’t view her as a horrible person. Whether he knew it or not, Viola was there for him and it was great to see their relationship blossom. They were exactly what the other person needed and they make a perfect balance. I loved this book and I can’t wait for the author’s next YA book!

Thank you to NetGalley, Tor Publishing Group, and Tor Teen for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Viola escapes from her world by playing Twelfth knight- a MMORPG. She pretends to be a guy to avoid unwanted attention. Jack Orsino - her annoying student president decided to join and they play well together surprisingly.

Tons of celever references to Shakespear's Twelve Night. The book is fun and sweet. Really enjoy it. Great characters with Jack and Viola.

Thanks to the publisher for the arc.

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I admit, I read this out of curiosity to see how the author of the very high-concept The Atlas Six would do at writing for a YA audience. And the answer is... surprisingly well. It's a very different style, but some of her trademark philosophy and complex psychology come through--it's just sneakier than in her adult books.

I actually found this hard to put down. The Shakespeare parallel works very well without being too heavy-handed, the characters are well-rounded and the themes relevant. It's not particularly funny, as rom-coms go, but I didn't find that a lack.

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This was the exact book I expected as advertised and more. This was the perfect YA romcom and it had everything I ever want in a romcom. While this was YA, it did deal with topics that so many readers no matter the age will resonate with. It deals with the uncertainty in the future, especially for teens who are expected to make the decision on what they want to do with the rest of their lives. It also went into pushing people away to protect themselves, not allowing anyone to see your true self for fear of being rejected. But it also talks about being unapologetically yourself and that whoever you are and whatever you like should be embraced. The discussion of feminism and how looked down upon women are certain spaces really rang so true as a women in engineering.

There was not a single character I disliked in this. I adored Vi and Jack and all of the side characters added so much to the plot instead of just a tool to further the plot. Vi was definitely a character who comes off strong and a bit annoying in the beginning, but I think that was the point since her issue deals with not letting people see the real her. I loved her relationship with her family and her brother Bash and the friendship she developed with Olivia. Jack had so much growth going from the perfect star athlete to realizing there’s so much more to life besides football.

The relationship between Jack and Vi was so pure and their banter was TOP NOTCH. I loved seeing their relationship going from nemeses to lovers and how they only made each other better. I cannot truly put into words how much I loved this book.

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I loved this book! I can definitely see myself bringing it into my classroom. It would be excellent to pair with essays about intersectional feminism, like "Eloquent Rage" and "Uses of Anger." Would certainly prompt conversations about micro-aggressions, consent, white supremacy, and the patriarchy.

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Twelfth Knight is a modern day, YA re-imagining of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Viola Reyes is sick of misogyny in her fandom circles and plays as a male character in the online RPG Twelfth Knight. Duke Orsino is the star football player who starts playing Twelfth Knight in the aftermath of a sports injury. They strike up a friendship, both online and at school. I really appreciated that each character had their own internal battle to fight, and I got quite a kick out of seeing the in-book versions of real-life fandoms. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a grumpy-sunshine with a really feisty heroine. And anyone who, like me, was obsessed with a certain soccer-themed movie re-imagining of Twelfth Night.
I felt seen by Olivia and the struggles that she faces in the story. I empathized with Jack as my husband had not one but two knee injuries changing what his daily life looked like. Olivie beautifully tackled themes of feminism, misogyny, religion, and racism. Some of these were explored more than others, but I feel like this is a great starting point for important conversations. I loved the diverse cast of characters and how they added layers to story. I laughed! I cried! I felt anger and joy. Needless to say I will be thinking about this book for a long time!

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omggg 4.5⭐️!!! i love love the authors writing style!! this was such an easy ready and i enjoyed every bit of it!! the characters were so will written

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First off thank you Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me an arc for an honest review.

Love does not even begin to describe this book. Olivie Blake solidified her genius in my mind with her reimagining of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. I felt seen by Olivia and the struggles that she faces in the story. I empathized with Jack as my husband had not one but two knee injuries changing what his daily life looked like. Olivie beautifully tackled themes of feminism, misogyny, religion, and racism. Some of these were explored more than others, but I feel like this is a great starting point for important conversations. I loved the diverse cast of characters and how they added layers to story. I laughed! I cried! I felt anger and joy. Needless to say I will be thinking about this book for a long time!

In my opinion: Perfect for fans of She’s the Man

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Thank you to NetGallery for a free ARC.

At its base, this book is a fun, classic retelling of Twelfth Night. The characters are so fun and individual, I had no issues pulling them apart from the Shakespeare counterparts. I adored Vi and Jack. I loved watching them grow and watching Viola's walls break down to let Jack in, especially during the pseudo third act break up. These two are surprisingly mature for high school seniors but I appreciate not dumbing them down. I will say that towards the beginning Viola felt a little like a "I'm not like other girls" character, but I realized it was more of her protecting herself rather than trying to be different.
This book plays a lot on things such a sexism in the geek/nerd world. I think this translate very well into the Viola pretending to be her brother part of the plot. It also briefly touches on some notes of racism with Jack being mixed race, but it didn't hold much to the story. That being said, I loved having non of the main characters be white. It doesn't add or subtract much from the story itself, but I loved the inclusion of different races and heritages including Muslim (?) for Olivia Hadid.
This is such a fun YA novel. I thoroughly enjoyed devouring this book. It stays loyal to the source material while nurturing its own fun spin on the classic story. Well worth the read if you are a Shakespeare fan, or a fan of DnD or MMORPGs.

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There is so much that I love about this book! It’s a common enemy to lovers trope, but I was happy to see that the author changed things up a bit and had her own take on it. I loved that both football and roll-playing games were well detailed in the story. I thought it was great that both Vi and Jack, though very flawed in the beginning, showed much growth by the end. And I loved that at the end, the characters used their words and actually communicated with each other honestly and expressed their feelings as mature people.

I loved this book and highly recommend it, especially to teens/YA and to readers who enjoy RPGs. However, I am neither of these things and I loved it.

Thank you Net Galley and Tor Teen for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review which is not affiliated with any brand.

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A book I needed in my youth to know that it is valid to be a girl in a male-dominated space.
This story has important commentary on feminism in the gaming communities, both for table top and video games, while also being a fun romance and Shakespeare retelling!

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Thank you so much for the amazing opportunity!

This author can do no wrong in my opinion. They have a magical ability to write a banger book every single time. It never misses.
I’m utterly amazed and obsessed!

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I told you I would read ANYTHING this woman writes (under ANY PEN NAME) and I was NOT LYING!

This is her second YA romance novel, and boy was this even lovelier than the first. Farol Follmouth has an incredible way of exploring important topics such as race, feminism, bisexuality, and women in STEM.

In this gem, we get:
🏈 jocks and nerds
👾 flirty video game messages
🗡️ adorable costumes and cosplay
🏠 found family

I don’t read a ton of YA books but I would ✨highly✨ recommend this one. While I was able to read this as an eARC, I have ALREADY still preordered a physical copy of this book (it has sprayed edges 😍).

Thank you to Alexene Farol Follmouth, Tor Publishing, and NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Delightful YA romance - heavy on the comedy elements, featuring a seemingly all-business high schooler Vi Reyes and Jack “Duke” Orsino, star running back of the high school football team and much to VP Vi’s dismay, President of their student council. After an injury sidelines Jack’s football season, he’s introduced to an mmorpg and is connected with a classmate who also plays, and they strike an immediate connection. Meanwhile, all of Vi’s friends seem to be abandoning her, and her feminist mom has been happily dating the same guy for months!

Sort of generally following the plot of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this book features hidden identities, revealing conversations, and relationships with more depth than they seem.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing both Violet’s and Jack’s points of view, and their personal journeys intersected in all the best ways to help them both grow as people and grow into a couple with a healthy relationship.

The banter in this book is top notch - every line of dialogue is true to each character and clever and funny - and maybe because it’s coming from a play there is a LOT of dialogue. Character diversity also shines, with lots of different ethnicities and backgrounds represented.

As a woman who had to deal with toxic masculinity in gaming, comics, and RPG spaces for most of the past thirty years, I really appreciate how those experiences are reflected in Violet’s story as well.

Recommended for all fandom/gaming fans and fans of romcoms and modern Shakespeare adaptations!

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Alexene Farol Follmuth’s Twelfth Knight was the Shakespeare/teen movie/gaming mashup I didn’t know I needed, and I loved every minute of it! If 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s The Man had a sarcastic book baby with a heart of gold, it would be this YA novel, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that takes on misogyny, family expectations, and what it means to find the people we can truly be ourselves with. I loved the main characters, prickly, independent Vi and golden boy Jack as well as their friends and families. This was the first book I’ve read by Follmuth, but I’ll definitely look for her other work! Thank you to Tor Publishing Group and Net Galley for the advance reader copy.

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Oh my goodness. This was such a great read I have all the feels I don’t even know where to start!

First, Twelfth Knight is my favorite Shakespeare so when I see nerdy twelfth knight?! The combination made my heart happy.

Second, Viola, our main girl…what a heartwarming character. This book is as much about finding yourself whole navigating this crazy thing called life as it is an adorable romance.

And third, the butterflies! Omg. Such an endearing relationship that blossoms that really reminds us all of what we go through in those formative years!

Not only does this take us on a journey for our main character but a lot of our side characters grow so much throughout the book. And the story takes us through their trials of learning who they are and admitting that sometimes it’s ok to just exist, to face the facts or be vulnerable and that’s one of the many reasons why I absolutely loved this!! I can’t wait to pick up a copy when it’s officially out and will definitely recommend to everyone!

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I devoured it. I couldn't put it down. This book spoke to me on so many levels. I love board games, tabletop games, RPG games and the fact that there was this representation in it had my heart bursting with joy. As someone that is Filipino, just seeing anak in the book had me tearing up. My little self, saw herself in the pages of this book.

Viola was not the most likeable main character but she was real and I couldn't help but love how true she stayed to herself. She didn't compromise her beliefs and did not make herself small so others could be comfortable. The relationship between her and Jack did not disappoint. I loved how their relationship grew and how each character had their own journey of self growth.

This book was so much more than I expected.

5 stars

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This book is like if A Cinderella Story and She’s the Man (aka Twelfth Night) has a cute nerdy little baby. It’s been a while since I read a book where the teenagers felt like and talked like teenagers which is fantastic. What a lovely little book.

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Twelfth Knight was such a fun read! A modern YA retelling of the Shakespeare classic done right. I was so curious about how they would really give a fresh take on the story, and I love the way they executed it in a way that is so relatable. The inclusion of video games and role play was perfect!

I was really drawn in by the characters and was so gratified by their growth throughout the novel. It was so easy to root for and get truly invested in Duke and Vi’s story. I definitely recommend to other readers!

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Wow, this book hit really close to home (as do all of her books). I saw a lot of myself in both Vi (I, too, am a marshmallow with sticks) and Jack. The character growth in this book is amazing and had me rooting for them the whole time (together and independently). What sweet nerdy love & friendship 🥹.

Thank you Tor Teen and Netgalley for the ARC.

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Twelfth Knight is a modern YA retelling of the Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. Instead of our classic Duke Orosino and Viola, we have Jack Orosino, a legacy football star, and Viola Reyes, a MMORPG and tabletop game enthusiast with a "don't mess with me attitude." Jack and Vi already know and don't like each other. When Jack gets a knee injury, he gets really into the MMORPG game Twelfth Knight, and "re-meets" Vi as her video game identity, where she plays as a man. As the two start to talk, Vi says that she is Sebastian, her twin brother. The two continue to get to know each other, both within and outside of the game.

This book made me a little nervous because modern Shakespeare retellings don't always work for me, PARTICULARLY with mistaken identifies. But y'all... when I tell you that I love this book, I LOVED IT! All of the elements really worked for me and it really felt like an actual modern retelling instead of "inspired by" the original play. I am so pleasantly surprised that a modern mistaken identity story can still be told. Having it happen online in a video game setting truly worked so well. I really liked Vi and Jack, and totally understand why they didn't like each other originally and how their relationship changed as the book went on. It was also hilarious and I read it in one day because I wanted to see how it ended.

On a personal note, I'm dealing with a hip injury and was in the mood for a story about someone with a similar issue. It really did make me feel better to get another perspective on taking time for your body and managing changes as they happen.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book and definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a romantic comedy! 5 strong stars from me! Thank you to Tor Publishing Group and NetGalley for the electronic advanced reader's copy of this book, my thoughts are my own!

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