Customer Reviews for

Falling for Hamlet

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    No

    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

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Interesting :)

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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Love this

    Great book by an awesome person!

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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