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Review - Kissing Shakespeare

Thursday, August 16, 2012
Kissing Shakespeare
by Pamela Mingle

Publication: August 14, 2012
Pages: 352
Author: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Younger Readers
Buy it: Amazon HardcopyKindle | B&N | Book Depository

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

This is a sweet romance set in Shakespearean times. Miranda isn't confident in her acting abilities, having always felt overshadows by her talented and very-famous mother. Then a fellow cast member of The Taming of the Shrew whisks her back to sixteenth-century England against her will and tells her that she needs to seduce young William Shakespeare or he will follow a different path than that of a playwright and actor. Crazy right? In the midst of getting close to young Will, Miranda uncovers a greater conspiracy along with Stephen; at the same time, she grows to realize how much she really wants to return to the stage and who she really wants to kiss.

The language isn't precisely what I'd expect from sixteenth-century England, but it works well enough for the story. It's more formal than what we use to converse nowadays, but it's not so archaic that it takes away from the lightness of the story. Plus, most of us modern-day teenagers would probably stumble over the language if it's anything like classical works. My classmates had enough trouble with Charles Dickens, and he's from the nineteenth century.

To be honest, I'm not very big into books where romance plays such a prominent role in the story, especially when the real love interest is encouraging the girl he likes to seduce someone else for the good of the world. Seduction and what follows doesn't solve anything. However, the drama is well played and interesting, and there were plot twists that I wasn't expecting. I do have a nagging feeling that Miranda should have been found out though, as she doesn't really act like a true gentlewoman from the sixteenth century, and I'm surprised how much Stephen lets Miranda get away with. Then again, she's too much of an independent-minded modern girl, and it's obvious he has a thing for her. (They are so, so sweet together. It's so sad that they belong to different times!)

Kissing Shakespeare is a true coming-of-age story about growing into yourself, growing confidence in who you are and accepting yourself. It is about forming your own expectations for yourself and staying true to your dreams. It is about first love and heartbreak.

Rating: A cute and whimsical read that makes for an enjoyable, light read. Especially recommended if you love a good romance.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
7 comments on "Review - Kissing Shakespeare"
  1. i think light read is the key to enjoying this book.

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  2. I have NEVER heard of this book before this blog post, and that sort of upsets me! I mean, look at it! It looks awesome. I don't know about you, but I was one of those nerds in school that LOVED Shakespeare while everyone groaned when the teacher announced we had to read one of his plays. I can't wait to read this!

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    1. I was in a class of nerds, so most of my class actually loved the Shakespearean plays we studied once they got past the language. Hope you enjoy!

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  3. Nice to see a more positive review of this book; I just reviewed it today and was decidedly more negative especially because of the romantic aspect you mention.

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    1. I didn't like the romantic aspect much either (it's not really up my alley). However, I typically give out my ratings based on what I'd categorize the book as. If read as a romance, this is a fun, light read, but those who are into historical fiction and look for more accuracy wouldn't like it at all. :)

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  4. OMG The cover is to die for. I am so glad you liked it. I really does sound like a great book :)

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