Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Kissing Shakespeare

Author: Pamela Mingle
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press

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

Shakespeare is in the title so this book was a must have for me! I requested it from the publisher months ago and was so pleased when it arrived! The cover is beautiful and also leaves the mind to wander; who is this girl and what does she get herself into? When I learned that this was a time travel novel I was all the more pleased because that is definitely something different than what I have been used to reading here lately. If I had the ability to travel through time then Shakespeare’s doorstep is where I would hope to end up! One of the greats and I sure would love some writing tips from him.

I appreciated this book so much. Being a college English major, I have sat through my fair share of Shakespeare readings, reenactments, and of course his famous plays. This book took another look into the life of Shakespeare as historians know it and I was very pleased with the way that this novel was written! Shakespeare is often a touchy subject amongst scholars because of the conspiracy theory that he did not in fact right half of the plays, sonnets, and poetry that his name claims. (I, of course, think this is bull crap!!) Mingle did her research and her perspective of Will Shakespeare was a rather pleasant one to read about. I was just so pleased that I felt I needed to share that little tid bit first!

Miranda Graham is completely discouraged when we are introduced to her because of her recent performance in Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew. Readers soon learn that her parents are huge stage actors and are traveling all over Europe and Miranda feels it is pertinent to live up to their expectations even though she thinks she will never be as good as her mother. Mingle gets straight to the point in Miranda’s story. I believe that even before the first chapter has ended Miranda and Stephen have already traveled through time back to England, 1581. I can definitely appreciate this is a book because the parts I hate the most are the ones where I, as the reader, am waiting and waiting and waiting for the action to take place. Mingle does not ask you to wait, but instead writes an exciting adventure that hooks you after the first few pages.

Once Stephen Langford, who is from Shakespeare’s time, and Miranda have safely arrived back in England it is wonderful to read about Miranda’s adjustment. She has to give up her modern clothes and technologies (tough for any teenager or young adult). He is constantly reminding her not to slip up and say the wrong thing because in a time such as this she could be easily mistaken for a witch or worse if her modern tendencies were to surface. I loved reading about Shakespeare’s England from Miranda’s perspective. I mean can you just imagine? I would not know what to do with myself. And one of my favorite parts is when Miranda is actually supposed to be helping Shakespeare critique his play, The Taming of the Shrew. Miranda is actually sitting in his presence listening and watching him read and act out the play and then she realizes that she is in the presence of one of the greatest literary masterminds! I got chills just reading this section.

I loved all of the characters and it is seldom that I will say that. My favorite was probably Stephen Langford who was in fact able to travel through time and brought Miranda back to England, 1581 in order to help save Shakespeare’s career as one of the best known playwrights of all time. Stephen did not fall head over heels right from the start for Miranda and I almost expected that to happen, but was so glad that he didn’t. It was a change and for once the whole novel was not revolving around a love story. This was a well written book and I really enjoyed my time spent reading it. If any potential has any love or admiration for Shakespeare at all then I suggest you pick up this book!

***A copy of this book was provided by Delacorte Press for review purposes***

No comments:

Post a Comment