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Kissing Shakespeare Hardcover – August 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s a far-fetched premise even for the most seasoned time traveler: sixteen-year-old Miranda is spirited back to Elizabethan England by fellow actor Stephen Langford to rescue William Shakespeare from joining the priesthood. If they are successful, the world will know the sonnets and plays of the Bard; if not, Miranda will return to a very different modern-day Boston. The plan? Miranda, acting as Stephen’s sister, Olivia, will seduce a teenage William Shakespeare, thus convincing him that he is unfit for the priesthood. Debut author Mingle makes good use of Shakespeare’s “lost years” as she weaves an improbable but no less fascinating story of a contemporary young woman coping with the harsh yet courtly conditions of rural sixteenth-century England. Olivia, Stephen, and Shakespeare all play a rather predictable romantic cat-and-mouse game, but there’s just enough violence, intrigue, and suspense to keep readers on their toes. Although she takes certain liberties with Olivia’s involvement in Shakespeare’s writing process, Mingle remains true to the history and events of the era, thus revealing the challenge of living in a time of religious persecution and suppression of women. Grades 7-12. --Frances Bradburn

Review

School Library Journal, August 2012:
"This novel is definitely a cut above the typical teen romance. A delightful story about star-crossed, time-traveling lovers."

Booklist, September 15, 2012:
"Mingle remains true to the history and events of the era, thus revealing the challenge of living in a time of religious persecution and suppression of women."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741965
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,050,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I live and write in Lakewood, Colorado, and if I peek around one corner of my balcony, I have a wonderful view of the front range of the Rocky Mountains.

I was a teacher and librarian, and somehow, with hard work and a little luck, I've found a third career as a writer. I love the sound of that! In the summer of 2012, Delacorte Press published my debut novel, KISSING SHAKESPEARE, a time-travel romance for teens. In the fall of 2013, my second novel will be published by William Morrow. It's a PRIDE AND PREJUDICE sequel about the socially awkward middle Bennet sister, Mary. If you're an Austen fan, I hope you'll watch for it.

I share something in common with you--I love to read! Besides YA, I love mysteries, historical fiction, mainstream and women's fiction, and fantasy. I'm always curious about what other people are reading, because whatever that is might become my new favorite book!

My husband and I have done several walking trips in England, Scotland, and France. That means going from one town to the next, on foot, sometimes fifteen miles a day! It was on one of these walks that I discovered Hoghton Tower, the setting of KISSING SHAKESPEARE.

Nothing has made me happier than hearing from readers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie Anne Peters on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A gorgeously written, engaging novel for readers of all ages. Even though Miranda's mission is to seduce Shakespeare, the real love story between her and Stephen is so real you'll be rooting for them to eliminate the obstacles of time and space that may forever keep them apart. The setting is so realistic that this reader felt she'd been transported to 16th century England. A heady, heartfelt read rich with authentic detail and multidimensional characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emily @ Falling for YA on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Random House Children's Books and Netgalley for allowing me to review an advanced readers copy of this novel.

Kissing Shakespeare follows the story of Miranda who is basically kidnapped by a time traveler, Stephen, from the 1500's and is transported back to his time to seduce Shakespeare in order to make sure that he doesn't join the church and give up his dream of writing. Yes, this is a little bit far fetched but I regularly read about the paranormal so who am I to judge?

Miranda or Olivia as she is called for most of the novel adjusts rather quickly to life in medieval Europe and accepts the role of seducer of Shakespeare which Stephen has thrust upon her without much protest. This seemed a little far-fetched for me and I think this detracted a little from the story as I really had to work to make myself see why Miranda made the decisions she did.

I also wanted to like Stephen but I never got the vibe that he really truly cared for Miranda. Stephen was hot one second and cold the next and then the ending left me saying WTF?! I don't want to spoil it for anyone but trust me when I say its not the happy ending I was expecting and the author leaves it open for a sequel.

I was actually disappointed with the character of Shakespeare. Miranda was meant to seduce him but what he really needed was a friend and confident and Miranda should have told Stephen that right from the get-go rather then forcing herself on Shakespeare. I actually think that Shakespeare could have done without the coercion of Miranda and Stephen and still chosen the writing route. Decisions like what to do with your life shouldn't be made or swayed by others friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I don't usually read, but I finished Kissing Shakespeare in one day and couldn't stop thinking about it! I never wanted it to end. The storyline never turned the way I expected it to, and it kept me on my toes throughout the entire thing. I fell in love with the setting and its characters and was extremely distraught when there was no more to read. I would definetly recommend this to anyone who asks for a fantastic book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What I Liked: 1) I was fully enamored by the characters in this book. Will(iam Shakespeare!!!) was exactly how I'd like to imagine him. Though maybe a bit more of a 16th century player. That was pretty funny. But I loved Stephen even more. He was so considerate and caring. It was easy to tell that pulling off a brother/sister relationship between Stephen and Miranda was going to be hard, no matter how good an actress she was. 2) I liked the historical accuracy I found in the book. And I'm not just talking about Shakespeare's history, I mean the activities and events of the time period. It made it very easy to become immersed in the story as I was reading because there was no deviation from the time period, whether we were in the past or the present. 3) Can Shakespeare be light? Would anyone ever describe his stuff as being light? Well, this wasn't a Shakepeare re-telling, but since he was the main subject, I think it worked. But this story was light enough to not make the reader feel bogged down by strange language (which was definitely a worry when you are reading something set partially in the 16th century). I was very pleased at how easy the story was to follow even when we were in the past (which was most of the time).

What I Didn't Like: There wasn't really a happy ending for Miranda. That bothered me the most. I had enjoyed myself throughout the entire book, and then came to "The End." And I was thinking, really?! That's how you're going to end it for her!? How sad!

Overall Thoughts: Kissing Shakespeare was a sweet, light-hearted time-travel story set mostly in the 16th century when one of the most prolific playwrights in the world is in his 20s. Miranda's job is to make sure his life stays on course so his work isn't lost forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janis Stubbs on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pamela Mingle's debut novel, Kissing Shakespeare, is fun, poignant, interesting and romantic through and through. Miranda is a teenager whose parents are famous Shakespearean actors. She has just completed opening night as Katherine in her high school production of Taming of the Shrew, a part her mother has played to much acclaim. Her parents are in Rome and missed her performance, but Miranda doesn't mind because she thinks she was terrible. And to add to her depression and irritation, a fellow actor, Stephen Langford, is hanging around afterwards, when all Miranda wants is to be alone. He clearly has something to say to her, and what a something it is! Langford claims to be from the England of Shakespeare's day, and before Miranda can fight back, he has carried her to the roof of the school, muttered some words about proceeding to Shakespeare's time, and off they go. They end up in Lancashire in 1581, where Stephen informs Miranda he has brought her to save William Shakespeare from becoming a Jesuit priest. The story takes off from there, with Miranda's disbelief fading fast as she is forced to interact with the people they encounter. Langford expects her to seduce young Will, but that turns out to be much more difficult than he expects.

Miranda is a wonderful character, so typical a teenager you want to shake her sometimes. But she makes the necessary adjustments to the time and her charge there, passing successfully as Stephen's sister and working determinedly to do what is necessary to save Shakespeare. Ms. Mingle has captured the political and religious elements of the time well, weaving the fictional story seamlessly with the factual. But what really grabs the reader is what happens between Miranda and Stephen.
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