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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Intrigue Galore
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...
Published 22 months ago by Julie Anne Peters

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but I was a little disappointed in the plot
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...
Published 22 months ago by Emily @ Falling for YA


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Intrigue Galore, August 25, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Time Travel, October 7, 2012
Miranda acts in the plays at school in part because her parents are actors, but she doesn't feel as if she can live up to their expectations. After a performance she feels is lousy and would embarrass her parents, a mysterious guy (Stephen) abducts her and returns her to 1537 to seduce William Shakespeare so that Shakespeare doesn't join the Jesuit priesthood.

Miranda disguises herself as Stephen's sister to take on the role of the seductress. Meeting and sleeping with Shakespeare would one up her talented actress mother. There's some delightful scenes with Shakespeare and Stephen who eventually becomes jealous of her infatuation of Shakespeare and her teasing the poor guy. There are lots of great side characters that fill out this story and the pacing is good with plenty of suspense.

The author does an awesome job of taking us back to Shakespeare's time. I love the ambiance of the story and the details to make us feel as if we were there. Pam used just enough dialect from the time to make it feel authentic without overdoing it. This is a great premise for a story.

I hope to see Stephen and Miranda in another tale so that they can take up where their romance left off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but I was a little disappointed in the plot, September 17, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (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. At times I was just rolling my eyes and wishing they would let Shakespeare be to think hard on what he really wanted out of his life.

While living in the past Miranda is masquerading as Stephen's sister, Olivia, so for most of the book she is called Olivia. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character switches names (i.e. Four/Tobias). It wasn't too bad in Kissing Shakespeare because I never got to know the character as Miranda before she was suddenly Olivia. What did bother me is that as the relationship between Stephen and Miranda progresses while he is kissing her, even saying goodbye to her, Stephan calls her Olivia. I guess it just kind of creeped me out that he was kissing Miranda and calling her his sister's name. Please let me know if this weirded anyone else out.

The saving grace of this novel is that it is well written and the descriptions of the castles, landscape, and general time period were very lush and engaging. The history and political intrigue were also well researched and played well into the storyline. Overall, I enjoyed Kissing Shakespeare and would recommend it to people who enjoyed Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers, or individuals who just love Shakespeare and period pieces
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mind = blown, August 21, 2012
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and Fun!, September 17, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (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. I loved the main characters and thought the part of the story set in the 16th century was both accurate and entertaining. Nothing was hard to follow (which is always a worry when Shakespeare is involved). The only thing that disappointed me was the bittersweet ending. I thought Miranda deserved better!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved Kissing Shakespeare!, September 6, 2012
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I loved every page of this book! And would defiantly recommend it to anyone who is looking to read a book about love that could never work out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It makes me want to read more about Shakespeare, August 28, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (Hardcover)
When I first read the synopsis for Kissing Shakespeare, I really wanted to read the book. I was also a little nervous. I don't usually read books with a lot of romance in them. Therefore I wasn't sure if I would like it. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. I loved Kissing Shakespeare. The plot was very intricate. The author definitely did her research. The book was historically accurate while throwing in some fun fiction. It was a lot of fun trying to guess who the spy was before "Olivia" and Stephen found out. I liked how Miranda was able to transfer so easily into her role as Olivia. At first I didn't like Stephen because of the way he treated Miranda. Shortly afterwards he became a kind gentle loving person. I like that even though they were trying to help Shakespeare, Stephen didn't let his feelings stop. He tried, but then he realized that his love was too strong. Pamela Mingle wrote a fascinating debut. When the book ended I felt this horrible pang of loneliness like I had lost a close friend. Based on Kissing Shakespeare, I will read anything the author writes in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review, August 25, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (Hardcover)
When I first started this book, what struck me the most was that the time travel sequence in the beginning reminded me a lot of episodes of Doctor Who. (Maybe I just watch a lot of Doctor Who). I liked the character of Stephen instantly. He has the cliche qualities of a historical fiction gentleman that I just can't help but love.

I initially liked Miranda but over the course she started to come off as a little clueless, but near the end she redeemed herself by being the girl I loved from the beginning. I think my favorite character was Janelle, it was so hard to hate her. Her life was quite the hard one.

One of my big pet peeves was all the absent parenting going on in both settings. It bums me out hard when teens parents are out of the picture. Teens have it rough as is, saving the world makes life harder.

I think overall that this is a good book for someone who likes YA romance and/or YA with a little scifi. There are a lot of nods to Shakespeares works in the novel (even though in the novel he hasn't written them yet). There was a wonderful blend of modern and Elizabethan culture that the history nerd in me appreciated.

The ending was left a little open and I am hoping that means that there is a sequel on the way. I would love to read it. I hope that there is more to Miranda and Stephen's story. They are just so cute together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written but Major Plot Flaws, August 25, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (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. Stephen wasn't particularly likeable though he was clearly meant to be a wonderful considerate man. Miranda while sweet was a little stupid at times which I found quite irritating and Shakespeare himself was written as a bit of a womaniser and flirt. The entire time Miranda was trying to seduce him I couldn't quite work out why Stephen thought that this would be the best option. To me it was fairly clear that Shakespeare really needed some good friends who he could be honest with about his writing passion and thoughts about priesthood. I actually thought that this seemed a much more rational approach and could have easily turned into a romantic liaison if that's what the author wanted and it would have seemed much more believable to the reader.

What this book did well was that it moved quickly and was well written making this very easy to read and overall enjoyable if you were willing to overlook the actual main plot. The descriptions of the English countryside and life of the 16th century was nicely handled, I really liked hearing about it without there being too much descriptiveness unnecessarily bulking out the story. I was a bit surprised by the ending - I really had thought things were going to be different and was surprised that Stephen didn't explain that he had seen Miranda as some brilliant Shakespearean actor in her future leading him to choose her. I will be interested to see if this stays as a stand alone or if the author decides to write sequels either with Mirander or Stephen as the main character.

While this book wasn't by any means a favourite of mine I still did enjoy the reading experience for the most part. I think that if you are after a fairly fast easy to read YA novel and you like time travel or historical romances this is worth picking up.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea., August 18, 2012
This review is from: Kissing Shakespeare (Hardcover)
Unfortunately, this book didn't please me.

Dislikes:

* Shakespeare wasn't present enough in the novel. From the title and synopsis, I expected him to play a much bigger role in the story than he actually did. Then there's the fact that when he was around, he was a little too peppy. He just didn't seem like who I'd expect a young Shakespeare to be. If he wasn't pawing at Miranda, he was naïvely following the prattling of Thomas Cook.

* Miranda was a little too dense for my tastes. I mean, how many times did Stephen have to explain his intentions to her? I think he reiterated it to the girl at least twenty times throughout the novel. Then there was the fact that she was so back and forth about whether or not she wanted to cooperate. Would you cooperate with a guy who kidnapped you & wants to, in a sense, prostitute you? Hmm, let me think... probably not. Miranda was flighty, shallow, and much too trusting considering the situation. I didn't like her much at all.

* The pace wasn't to my liking. There were several lulls and I even began to doze off while reading the book. I wanted to mark it DNF, to be frank. I didn't only because it was a review book.

* There was too much religious babble. I understand that it plays a part in the plot, but for me, it was too much. It could've been toned down a notch. This is a YA novel after all. It just seemed too heavy a subject for a book that, in the next chapter, has the protagonist battling with herself on whether or not to let Shakespeare get to third base just so she can one-up her snobby mother.

Likes:

* I appreciated very much that the author didn't take the most obvious route and make Shakespeare the real love interest of the tale. I think that would have been a disaster. Not that I think Stephen was a great love interest, but he was the better choice for the story.

* The plot is original. I think it could've been done so much better, but it's original none the less.

Overall:

Kissing Shakespeare is not my cup of tea. I think it has potential to be loved, but not by those who are nit-picky like myself. The pace was slow. The protagonist wasn't likable. The romance was off due to the fact that the guy kidnapped her and forced her to do things she shouldn't have to. There's a whole lot of Protestant vs. Catholic chatter mixed in with the story. It could potentially put you to sleep! This story was definitely an original idea and had great potential. For me, it just fell short.
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Kissing Shakespeare
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle (Hardcover - August 14, 2012)
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