Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Series: N/A
Publication date: August 14th, 2012
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Library

Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
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Favorite quote: I returned it to the library without writing it down. Gah!  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle was a book that I had been wanting to get my hands on for a while, but that I kind of dragged my feet on because it seemed to be receiving some very mixed reviews. After reading it, I can totally understand why because I have very mixed feelings after finishing it. Funny how those things tend to go hand in hand!

The story begins with our main character, Miranda, throwing a temper tantrum backstage after giving a lackluster performance as Katherine in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. After brushing aside her best friend's attempt to convince her to come to the opening night party over the phone, Miranda is about to head home when she is approached by a fellow cast member named Stephen Langford. This mysterious boy tries to convince her that Shakespeare's works are in danger of never being written and then whisks her off to the 16th century - against her will.

Pamela Mingle certainly wasted no time easing the reader into the story. Everything begins very suddenly and very early in the book. One second Miranda is throwing a fit and the next she's in 16th century England making a fool out of herself to a couple villagers who clearly think that she's insane. I will admit that I really, really didn't enjoy reading about Miranda at first. She seemed to be a spoiled, whiny brat with mommy issues who couldn't imagine that someone else might know better than she does. However, as the story progressed, she became more and more likable (thank goodness!).

Stephen occasionally threw me for a loop because he had very archaic views when it came to women and how women should be treated, but hey, he's from the 16th century, so he deserves a bit of a break. It wasn't like he was a total jerk. Most of the time.

I really expected this book to have more of a romantic feel to it than it did (it's about Shakespeare, after all), so I was slightly disappointed when it had more of a mystery vibe. I'm not a huge fan of mysteries and this one was a bit predictable, but if you're looking for an easy read, I would definitely recommend that you give this book a try! One warning, though: I hated the ending, for reasons that I can't go into without spoiling everything, so just beware!

Final Word: Kissing Shakespeare was a fun and easy read, though I feel that the content was a little more mature than the actual reading level. I didn't like the ending in the slightest and was really disappointed with it, but the rest of the book was pretty decent. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. It was somewhere in between.


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