Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: Love Disguised

Love DisguisedAuthor: Lisa Klein
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?

What ensues is a tale involving love triangles, mistaken identities, and the pursuit of hapless villains, as Shakespeare becomes a key player in a lively drama that could have sprung from his own pen.

Will Shakespeare was a serious-looking boy with a wide, high forehead and wavy dark hair, the eldest son of a glover, former mayor, and chief alderman of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shall I compare you to a summer day? Summer was almost past. You are more lovely than the buds of May.

How could he have mistaken one sister for the other? He looked at Anne, her hair brown like Catherine’s, her height the same, her face only a little more lined. Catherine had the flighty manner of a girl, but Anne had the firm confidence of a woman. And, it would seem, a woman’s cunning.

He stared at the verses until his eyes crossed. How could he use them in a play?

Everyone that knows anything about Will Shakespeare most likely knows that he married a woman by the name of Anne Hathaway. However, this fascinating story gives us a different outlook on his love life. This book tells the story of Will and Meg, two young souls looking for a way out of their current circumstances and looking for the place they belong most in life. Anne may have been Will’s love, but Meg was his muse. This is the story of how they met and where life took them from that point. Readers will be able to identify small details that will eventually end up in Shakespeare’s writing and plays. They will see how Meg inspired some of the most common sayings that we relate to Shakespeare.

First I want to talk about the parts that I didn’t care as much for. The book started off with a lot of telling instead of a lot of showing. We get Will and Meg’s backstories that seem to drag out for quite some time. Will was also not what I expected in this story. He was actually a bit of a jerk, especially when it came to the Hathaway sisters. I like to picture Will as this charming, romantic man, whether he was or not, but this book almost messed that up for me.

Now this book was not all bad, and in fact there were many parts that I greatly enjoyed. I loved seeing Will’s passion for becoming a player in the local companies, and through it his passion for writing and creating was awakened. Meg was a fun character and her parts were often my favorite of the entire book. I loved the interaction between Meg and Will because I felt like Meg was Will’s match. Will often came off more cocky than confident, and I think Meg brought him down to size at times. This was a quick read and allowed readers to experience a good insight into the Elizabethan period.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bloomsbury USA in exchange for my honest review***

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