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Kissing Shakespeare Library Binding – August 14, 2012
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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."
From the Hardcover edition.
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So obviously I had some issues with this book. As some of you may now, I love historical fiction. I also love time travel... but in the end this book wasn't good enough for me to really like it.
I really liked the concept of Kissing Shakespeare with the time travel and everything. I just wasn't a fan of the writing, the conversations between the characters and the ending. Especially the ending.
Miranda, the main character... I had mixed feelings about her. It's not that I hated her. I just didn't like reading about her. She was an okay character but meh...
At some level I liked Stephen. I felt for him and everything he went through with his former fiancee and the whole time travel thing but sometimes he was a little careless about Miranda's feelings and I didn't like it.
However, I did root for Miranda and Stephen to be together. They did have chemistry and that's why I hated that ending so much. It was an ending that's open for speculation. If it was any other books I would think a second was would come but obviously there isn't a sequel in the making as far as I know. I just wanted a happy ending for them.
I guess I'll have to mention Shakespeare too. I actually don't have much to say about him. I'm pretty neutral on him. Didn't like him but didn't hate him either. As I said before it's a pretty good concept and we all know if Shakespeare would've strayed from his writing, things wouldn't be the same this day.
I didn't care for the writing either. It's probably a personal preference thing but it wasn't good enough to keep me interested. I hate to say this but it's my opinion. I wanted a little more action and a more exciting plot.
Although a bit disappointed by the characters, writing and plot, Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mindle did have a good concept. I liked the time travel and historical part of the book but in the end it wasn't for me.
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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