Customer Reviews for

Falling for Hamlet

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted July 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    As soon as I got this book, I dove right into and love it! I mean really, really love it. I have always been a fan Shakespeare, and I love it when author take a classic and make it modern. It makes it easy for young readers and readers everywhere to understand Hamlet but just told different.

    Pretty much this book it told almost exactly to play expect of course much more modern. I love diving into this story and being Ophelia. Ms. Ray really brought this story to life by the reader being read too. The reader meets Ophelia, and she is on stage telling her story through an TV interview. I like this cause it made me feel like I was in the audience observing Ophelia and hearing her story play out for my ears. With Ms. Ray writing, it is easy to read and super easy to understand. Most people don't read Shakespeare cause of the difficulty of understanding it but Ms. Ray did a a divine job letting the reader immerse themselves in the story.

    The plot line of course is pure drama. Love, hate, betrayal, death. Everything in a Shakespearean that you would normally see. I loved watching all of the characters play their roles and get into trouble. What I like the most is the love in this book. No, there is no happy ending. And the love in this book is just dreadful. But the love that was being fought for, I liked. The struggle of two star crossed lovers just trying to be normal, I loved reading.

    If you liked to read a modern day Shakespearean play, with loads of drama, read this book. I can't tell you how many times I tried to put down this book but could not. My eyes refused to leave the pages that Ms. Ray presented and I devoured this book whole in one sitting!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hamlet..from the girl's perspective

    I am such a Shakespeare freak its not funny. When I saw this in the store I had to get it and I am glad I did. Michelle Ray does a great job of taking The Bard's classic story of deception and murder and changes it up a little. Everything is seen thru Ophelia's eyes, and she is just a high school senior. More worried about what college she can get into and pursue her art ambitions, and of course, dating Prince Hamlet. It was so interesting to be dragged into Hamlet's madness and feel Ophelia's desperate attempts to keep him from going over the edge. Sadly, it all is an epic fail, but I am glad Ophelia lives in this version. She has to deal with so much sorrow but you can kinda see by the end that she might just make it through this trouble. The writing is incredible and there isn't a slow pace to the entire book. If you know the original dialog well, you can pick out certain phrases, but on the whole, the book's dialog is fresh and youthful. This is a great summer read and if you are studying Hamlet this year, pick it up and you can see a whole different side of this drama.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 4, 2011

    Great Modern Take On a Classic

    I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    I have always loved Shakespeare. Though I admit that is has probably been over 20 years since I last read the original Hamlet. I'm always a little skeptical of modern takes on classics. Just recently, I found my husband watching what we call a "Stupid ScyFy" movie based on Moby Dick, only with a dragon instead of a whale. I had to leave the room. Chances are pretty good that I would not have chosen to read this book if it had not been sent to me for review. That would have been a real shame, because I LOVED this book.

    What I liked about the book: Everything! Ophelia is a very realistic and strong character. In fact, I think she is somewhat stronger in this version than Shakespeare's original. The story is very engaging and is certainly a page turner. I liked how there were three different stories being told. There was what Ophelia told the investigators, what she told the TV host and what she told the reader. It made the reader feel as though they were getting the inside scoop. I also liked how close Ray stays to the original story. Yes, it's told in modern terms, but even after not having read the original version in over 20 years, I would have still recognized the basic story even if the names were different. Even though the story is close to the original, it focuses more on Ophelia than Hamlet. I found that to be rather interesting.

    What I didn't like about the book: It felt a tad long, but I think that was because I was anxious to see how Ray was going to wrap up everything.

    Just like Jane by April Lindner, this book would make for an interesting literature lesson comparing the original version with the modern version.

    If you like Shakespeare, romances, or thrillers then you should give this book a try.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great retelling of Hamlet

    I love anything Hamlet. Hamlet is in fact, one of my favorite plays from Shakespeare. Some modernizations/spin offs that I’ve read in the past were a little sub-par. This one, is a modern day version of the play and it stays true for the most part, but with a few changes here and there to suit the story. I loved the way it was told. It was through a variation of television interviews (Ophelia on an Oprah type show!) and through interrogation by police/secret agents. Also to add into this, the story is told through Ophelia’s eyes. Through these three different ways of telling her story you also get different sides of her character; on the show she’s reserved and professional, she’s witty and at times snarky towards the police, and of course through other own memories and point of view is where you’ll see the ‘real’ Ophelia. It stays, for the most part, true to the play. Of course the difference being it’s been modernized to fit the setting. If you’re familiar with the play, you’ll see how certain moments are modernized yet featured in the book and it’s very well done (two scenes stood out, the limo scene with Hamlet and Ophelia - Where Hamlet goes berserk. The other scene, where King Claudius has a nasty surprise when he watches a play in action) What was also good, was Ophelia had her own circle of friends aside from Hamlet and Horatio, and with the addition of Sebastian, that added a nice little twist to things. Although I liked most of the characters in this book, Ophelia sometimes annoyed me. She was at times really whiny and needy. It got to me. Also another thing that sort of got to me, was the final act with Hamlet, Laertes, and Claudius. I don’t know, if it’s modern like it’s supposed to be, you’d expect them to come out with guns blazing, not knives hidden in lacrosse sticks. Although it’s a most creative idea, I wasn’t too keen on this part. Although it was very elegantly done. Fans of Hamlet will love this modern retelling. It was very well written, everything fit the way it was supposed to, and it stayed true (for the most part) to the original play. Although it does help if one is familiar with the original play itself to fully enjoy Falling for Hamlet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012


    All i have to say is she really really needs to make more books on shaksphere and moderize it of course but plz make more shekshpere books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It's no secret that I adore Shakespeare. (I'm doing the Shakespe

    It's no secret that I adore Shakespeare. (I'm doing the Shakespeare Reading Challenge for fun.) Hamlet happens to be my favorite Shakespeare play, so when I saw that there was a modern adaption of it, I jumped on it - and when I saw that it starred Ophelia, I was more than intrigued.

    Thankfully, I don't have to disown anybody for not doing the Bard justice. Michelle Ray weaves a fantastic tale, staying true to the original story while fleshing out the characters and bringing the plot into a much more relatable story.

    One of my favorite bits about this book is how strong a character Ophelia is. Does she go back to Hamlet time and time again? Yes. I mean, he is the prince of Denmark, and she is an impressionable teenage girl, and she is in love with him. But she always tries to do what she thinks is right, even if it means pissing off the Queen and (newly crowned) King.

    I loved the development of Horatio as Hamlet and Ophelia's best friend; I think it made a lot of sense, especially with the modern story. Hamlet was as whiny as ever, but watching his progression through the contemporary story and knowing how the classic story was a lot of fun.

    I think what I'm impressed most with is how smoothly it managed to translate over to a contemporary story - lots of factors could have hindered it, but Michelle handled it really smoothly while moving it over and I couldn't find a problem with how it was written. I loved how she incorporated the police and talk shows and everything that accompanies modern life - and the scene at the end and how it played out made me laugh and gasp simultaneously.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    I absolutely love the story of Hamlet, but find Shakespeare diff

    I absolutely love the story of Hamlet, but find Shakespeare difficult to read. Sure, there's The Lion King I could watch, but this modern telling of the classic story works as beautifully as the TV show Sherlock does bringing a classic into the 21st century.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Interesting :)

    Very close to the original story but with very original and believable twists :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Love this

    Great book by an awesome person!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Falling For Hamlet

    I loved this book! The author, Michelle Ray, is an amazng person and a great teacher. She was my favprite teacher last year. She is completely onsessed about Shakespere and thos book complements the Shakesperian story, Hamlet, very well. It had every aspect of the old shakesperian ages and the moody moderm high school world of today. Read it! :D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read!

    This book is a must read for any Shakespeare fan. It's a modern take on Hamlet from Ophelia's perspective and includes wonderful insight to what Ophelia went through. It also has a quite expected twist at the end.
    I'll be looking forward to see what author Michelle Ray comes out with next.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Absolutely LOVED It!!!

    I have been looking at this book for about a month when I first saw it on the selves. I couldn't dive in right away because I had to finish summer reading for my school and I had a feeling if I didn't finished it first I would never get it done. Once i finished my summer reading I went to my local Barnes and Nobles and bought this book. I finished it in four days! I'm glad I finished my summer reading first because I didn't put the book down! Whenever I had free time I was reading this! I would have burned threw this book faster but I wanted to make it last! It is defiantly a great twist on Shakespeare's Hamlet. If you enjoy Shakespeare, read this book! It has a great modern twist but keeps to the original idea.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    So much deeper than it looks

    Let me start by saying that you should not judge this book by its cover. Or by its opening lines:

    "Frailty, thy name is woman." - William Shakespeare
    "Willy, thy name is sexism." - Ophelia

    Don't get me wrong, both have very much to do with the story (other than Hamlet's hair color on the cover), but they really make this look like a much lighter, funnier, beach read kind of book than it really is. I mean, really, how would one make an adaption of Hamlet light? Instead, this book is everything it should be; it's brooding and dark and, at times, intense. It's also narrated by a strong Ophelia who is understandably worried (and sometimes so tired/drunk she's a bit loopy - how else could one explain the flower scene?) about her boyfriend's apparent loss of sanity but who also does her best to be supportive and helpful to those around her, especially her aforementioned boyfriend and her widower father, all while trying to keep her own life together in the midst of circumstances no high school senior should have to deal with. She is so at odds with both the classic and modern versions of how we usually see the character of Ophelia. I loved it.

    The story stays pretty true to the original, with one major difference that is given away on the jacket flap: Ophelia survives. The motivations behind people's actions, however, are different. The "truth," what Ophelia is telling us the readers, is book-ended by Ophelia's tell-all appearance on fake-Danish-Oprah in the beginning of each chapter and her interrogation by the Danish police at the end. These three concurrent tellings of the same story, illustrate the fabrication of what we take for "fact" from the media and the reach of a government cover-up more explicitly than that paparazzi pic on the cover ever could. On faux-prah, Ophelia is sweet, in love, heart-broken, and kind of ditzy. She's the almost princess. While being interrogated, she is bitingly sarcastic, angry, and fiercely loyal to Horatio and Marcellus, the only other people to survive the bloodbath that is this story. She's accused of being the master-mind of a plot to overthrow the Danish monarchy. In between, she's just a girl doing her best to do what's right for herself and those she loves.

    Really and truly, I loved this book. It sucked me into the story and kept me on the edge of my seat even though I knew, more or less, what was going to happen. The characters were well-rounded and real in ways that Shakespeare characters usually are not. I cried when the king died. Have you ever cared about Hamlet's dad enough to even care that he's dead? I haven't. And Hamlet himself made a bit more sense, not a lot, but a bit. Giving him a happy background with Ophelia, at least in flashbacks, made their whole relationship much more believable which made it all the more crushing when he becomes cruel. Michelle Ray has managed to take a story that I already knew well and liked, and she made it into something new and original that I love. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

    Book source: ARC provided by the publisher.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read!

    I love modern re-tellings of classics so I loved this book. I've never read the original version of Hamlet but I have seen the play so I do know the story line. Falling for Hamlet is an almost exact parallel with Hamlet, but the only difference is that it's told from Ophelia's point of view. I loved the romance between Hamlet and Ophelia and also the crossed romances. I also liked how throughtout the book you can see the interogation between her and the police and also the interview between her and a talk show host. I thought that was really cool. Towards the end the book gets really tense and tragic. It's a really sad novel but a really great re-telling of a classic Shakespearean play. If you love Hamlet and modern re-tellings of novels then this is the book for you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Great twist.

    I was incredibly excited upon reading the synopsis; a promise of a Young Adult novel written by Michelle Ray that would be a modernized re-telling of Shakespeare's Hamlet...with a twist.

    On it's arrival, I couldn't stop staring at the cover. It really had me excited to read the story and I found myself taking breaks between chapters just to look at the wonderfully detailed throne.

    The story in Falling for Hamlet is uniquely told by Ophelia, or "Phee", through live television interviews, detective questionings and her own personal and in-depth point of view. Michelle Ray followed the original storyline for Shakespeare's Hamlet fairly well, aside from Ophelia still being alive, and even included the ever so often famous quotes from the play with a new modern-day twist to the wording. It was incredibly exciting to read, myself being a Shakespeare lover.

    Ophelia was a fun character to read. She was a realistic teenage girl in every way and her troubles concerning Hamlet and his family forever visible. Hamlet, of course, was no longer the troubled king we'd come to know in Shakespeare's play. Hamlet was now a tall, dark, handsome and troubled teenager about to ascend the thrown after his father's death. Of course there is not only Ophelia and Hamlet in the novel, you will also come across Claudious, Horatio and so many more, all reshaped to fit today's modern and royal society.

    Falling for Hamlet was quite a dramatic read; each chapter holding a new unique twist to the story that would both surprise me and excite me for what might come. Michelle Ray definitely has a way with writing modernized re-tellings. Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray is a recommended read for young adults and adults who fell in love with Shakespeare's Hamlet and for those who love fresh, modern retellings with drama, romance and twists galore. I'm hoping we'll see more from her in the near future.

    First comes love, then comes madness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

    Must Read

    Never saw the play or the movie, but now I must! I couldn't read fast enough; couldn't wait to see what would happen next! Get it for yourself, for your teenagers, just get it. A tragedy was never so entertaining!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2