Friday, September 7, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Expected Publication Date: August 14, 2012

Young Adult, Ages 14+

ARC copy used for review.

Personal Ranking 3 out of 5

"What if Shakespeare never became the Shakespeare?"

Miranda has spent her whole life immersed in Shakespearean theatre. Both of her parents are famous Shakespearean actors, and it is her dream to follow in their footsteps. Now cast in her schools production of The Taming of the Shrew as Katherine (one of her mother's most famous roles), she refuses to connect with the character to spurn her mother, and feels like she bombs opening night. Caught up in her pity party, she gets swept away by Stephen Langford, an exchange student from England. Only, Stephen needs her help in ways Miranda never dreamed possible. Waking up in sixteenth century England, Stephen and Miranda set out on a quest to save Shakespeare from throwing away his destiny. Miranda takes on the role of a lifetime by assuming the identity of Stephen's sister, Olivia. Only by becoming Olivia, does Miranda find herself, and love where she never thought possible.

Earlier in the year I read a bunch of Shakespeare inspired titles. [my Shakespeare, Remixed post] The twist with Kissing Shakespeare is that instead of retelling a classic tale in a modern way or writing from the point of view of a minor character, she took new characters and introduced them to Shakespeare himself! Imagine a world where Shakespeare doesn't exist? His influence still haunts us today, but what if it never was? That is the reality that Stephen Langford has set out to make sure never happens. He recruits Miranda's help because of her "worldly" experience. But, Miranda isn't as worldly as he thinks, in fact, she is still a virgin. She has spent her life trying to gain her parents acceptance, but as a daughter and as an actress. So when Stephen whisks her away to sixteenth century England, she fights him at first until she realizes, without Shakespeare she might not even exist! So, he turns her into his sister and sets "Olivia" on the path to seduce Shakespeare and persuade him from becoming a Jesuit priest. But the more she becomes Olivia and the closer she gets to Shakespeare, the more she figures out who "Katherine" is and who Miranda truly is. 

I was truly enchanted with Kissing Shakespeare. I thought the plot was well paced and sad when it ended. Sometimes you just want the happily ever after and true love to prevail! I look forward to Pamela Mingles next book.

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