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Kissing Shakespeare Hardcover – August 14, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
Miranda is the teenage daughter of a pair of Shakespearean actors. She loves the stage, but how can she ever hope to live up her mother, let alone excel? Does she even want to? When her first performance as Katherina, in The Taming of the Shrew, doesn't go well, Miranda can hardly bear to attend the cast party. She has let her parents down—and herself. So when a fellow cast member calls on her to join him in a strange and mysterious quest to save Shakespeare and his works, Miranda plays along, only to find herself transported to the 16th century, where views of women are only some of the challenges she faces.

Mingle's touch is deft, the cultural clashes alternately humorous and dramatic, and the characters both believable and appealing. Definitely one for the keeper shelf.

Note that this book is marketed as YA. Also that I interviewed the author regarding a later book, which I did not rate or review as a result even though I loved it. But this review reflects my honest opinion, and I did purchase the book (through iTunes).
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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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Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this novel, it was Young Adult, it had time travel and Shakespeare all things that make up a "me" kind of book. Unfortunately my high hopes were dashed and fairly early on I might add - this book was unfortunately a very light read, without much substance and the actual plot I found very difficult to swallow.

Miranda is kidnapped from the present day by a time traveller called Stephen Langford so that she can travel back in time to the 1500s and seduce Shakespeare in order to keep him from becoming a priest, forever altering the world as we know it. Without more than a minute of protest she goes off in time and agrees to sleep with Shakespeare by posing as Stephen's sister and before you know it she's a co-conspirator of this crazy plot. Miranda is chosen by Stephen for this task as she is well versed in Shakespeare's works and for this reason will fit into life during the 16th century without any problems.

This entire summary really displays how weak the storyline of Kissing Shakespeare is, and in fact reading back over it has me rolling my eyes all over again. How or why anyone could be friendly with someone who had taken them against their will is beyond me, and I absolutely hate virginal female leads who are willing to "give it up" for the most ridiculous and flimsy reasons. Your either open to sex and sexual encounters or you're not, one minute Miranda was all for it, the next she wasn't because she wasn't a "slut" that type of melodrama really gets on my nerves. I also felt that any modern day teenager would severely struggle with the etiquette and lifestyles of someone in the 1500s let alone be expected to impersonate someone.

The characters really let this story down in general.
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