Kissing Shakespeare

( 12 )

Overview

A romantic time travel story that's ideal for fans of novels by Meg Cabot and Donna Jo Napoli—and, of course, Shakespeare.

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, ...

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Kissing Shakespeare

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Overview

A romantic time travel story that's ideal for fans of novels by Meg Cabot and Donna Jo Napoli—and, of course, Shakespeare.

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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."

VOYA - Rochelle Garfinkel
Combining a bit of time travel with romance, spies, politics, religion, and acting, Mingle has created a plausible and unique story of Shakespeare's youth. Miranda, an average teen whose parents are both world-famous Shakespearean actors, has had a very disappointing opening night performance as Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew and is ready to give up acting altogether. When a fellow actor whom she barely knows asks if she would like to meet William Shakespeare, she assumes he is a huge drama nerd, but he claims, "Shakespeare needs our help. Desperately. All the plays and sonnets could be lost forever if we do not act now." Although she wants nothing to do with him, he forcibly takes her to the school roof and transports them both to Lancashire, England, in 1581. Under duress, Miranda agrees to seduce the teenaged Shakespeare in order to ensure that he becomes more interested in theater and writing than in becoming a priest. This is a book that will appeal to teens obsessed with drama and theater and may appeal to history fans and Anglophiles as well. For a reader without prior interest in and some knowledge of Elizabethan England, the politics and religious issues surrounding the story may be too complicated. It could be a good book for teens who only read romances to interest them in historical fiction, or even Shakespeare's plays themselves. Shakespeare fans will definitely enjoy the glimpse into his life as a teen, even though it is just a guess as to what really happened. Reviewer: Rochelle Garfinkel
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Would not you like to meet William Shakespeare? And travel back in time to Lancashire, England in 1581? Miranda loves reading and performing in Shakespeare's plays, but she feels intimidated by her parents who are famous actors and perform around the world. After a disastrous performance as Kate in the school production of The Taming of the Shrew, Miranda doubts her ability as an actor and decides to leave the stage forever. But that night she is approached by a fellow actor, Stephen, who offers to introduce her to William Shakespeare. Miranda is flabbergasted, but reluctantly joins him on a journey back in time to Tudor England. Soon she finds herself seducing the great playwright, and becoming comfortable in petticoats and dresses. But Miranda misses home, and the comforts of the twenty-first century. To her surprise, she falls in love and receives a token of this affection. Finally Miranda must decide whether to stay in 1581 with a young man she loves deeply—or travel 500 years into the future and return home. Young readers will enjoy this marvelously crafted historical novel with a time travel twist.
Kirkus Reviews
The only thing that's not predictable about this time-travel romance is its exceptionally silly premise. Stephen Langford, a 16th-century time traveler, has a vision that the 17-year-old William Shakespeare may opt to join the priesthood instead of going on to write his plays and sonnets. So he travels to 21st-century Boston, where he plucks Miranda Graham, scion of a Shakespearean acting family, to go back to 1581 Lancashire with him to seduce Shakespeare. Mm-hmmm. Posing as Stephen's sister Olivia, Miranda infiltrates the household of Stephen's uncle, a closet Catholic who is housing both fledgling schoolmaster Shakespeare and enemy of the state Edmund Campion, leader of a Jesuit mission to convert England's Protestants. Miranda/Olivia adjusts to 16th-century life with ludicrous ease, despite its hygienic idiosyncrasies (public use of toothpicks) and her frequent lapses into 21st-century diction. Though she finds the idea of losing her virginity to Shakespeare titillating (and enjoys helping him write The Taming of the Shrew), it will surprise no one that she falls in love with the hunky Stephen instead. The tepid mystery revolving around the Privy Court investigation of Campion's whereabouts is likewise underwhelming in its suspense. Vague waves of the authorial hand attempt to "explain" Stephen's visions and time-traveling ability, but only the astonishingly incurious Miranda will accept them. Despite the author's obvious love of Shakespeare, this offering achieves only inanity. (Fantasy romance. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Kidnapped after her opening-night performance in her high school production of The Taming of the Shrew, Miranda finds herself transported back to 1581. She was chosen by Stephen Langford, a fellow cast mate who turns out to be a time traveler visiting the current century. He has prophetic visions and his latest one informed him that William Shakespeare is dangerously close to joining the Jesuits, thus depriving the future of his influential plays and sonnets. Stephen is convinced that Miranda, with her acting skills and presumed promiscuity-after all, contemporary advertising and TV would lead a man from the past to think all modern-day girls are promiscuous-is the only one who can keep Shakespeare from the priesthood by seducing him. Reluctant at first, Miranda, who is the daughter of Shakespearean actors, agrees to his plan. What they don't bargain for is falling for each other. Mingle skillfully weaves historical realities of late-16th-century England with what little is known about Shakespeare's early life. Although it's difficult at times to believe that Miranda, despite her accomplished acting skills, could fool anyone into believing that she is a 16th-century young woman, this novel is definitely a cut above the typical teen romance. A delightful story about star-crossed, time-traveling lovers.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385741965
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

PAMELA MINGLE is a former teacher and librarian. Kissing Shakespeare is her first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Boston, Present Day

I was all alone backstage. Flinging props and costumes around, slamming cupboard doors, kicking a row of empty water bottles. I’d planned to clean up, but instead I was wrecking everything.

We opened The Taming of the Shrew tonight. A few months back, when I found out I’d gotten the role of Katherine, I knew I was headed for trouble. I hadn’t even auditioned for it. I wanted to play Bianca, the sweet daughter, the one all the suitors are after. But Mr. Finley, our drama teacher, wouldn’t even consider it. “Miranda, you will play Katherine,” he’d said. “The role was one of your mother’s triumphs, and you must carry on the tradition.” Inside, I’d fumed. My mother again. It was always about her.

So here it was, opening night, and I’d totally screwed up. Rather than playing Katherine with the subtleties the role deserved, I’d played her as the traditional shrew turned submissive. The woman completely tamed by her husband. Afraid to make the role my own, I practically sleepwalked through the performance. When the curtain fell, I raced offstage, defying anybody to look at me. No way could I deal with polite smiles, insincere congratulations, and, worst of all, pitying eyes that quickly darted away.

My cell phone vibrated in my jeans pocket. It was Macy, my friend and fellow actor, so I answered.

“Miranda? Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” I fibbed. I hated it when people asked me that, even friends who actually cared. No, I’m not all right. I feel like a failure and an idiot. And I let everyone down.

“Where are you?”

I heard loud music and laughing in the background, so I knew where she was. The opening night party. “I’m still changing and putting stuff away. What a mess.” I didn’t mention that my foul temper had caused the mess in the first place.

“You’re not thinking of skipping the party, are you?”

I drew a deep breath and squeezed my eyes shut. “Macy, please don’t freak out, but I’m not coming.”

“What do you mean you’re not coming? You have to come! It’s opening night.” She broke off to talk to someone, then said, “John wants to talk to you.”

“No! Tell him I’m sick or something.” John had played Petruchio, and we’d been dating, sort of. He was a nice guy, but he wanted more than I was willing to give. I heard Macy making excuses for me.

I waited a few seconds, until she was back. “What’s the matter with you?” she asked. “I’m sure he knew I was lying.”

“I ruined the whole performance, Mace! I sucked. I can’t face anybody right now.” Or maybe ever.

“You weren’t that bad.”

“Thanks. I feel much better. Look, after Sunday’s closing, I’m driving up to Maine, to our place at Acadia. I need to be alone for a while. I think I want to quit acting, Mace.”

“Oh my God, Miranda, give it a little time. Everybody has their off nights. Remember how good you were in Much Ado About Nothing?”

I spoke over the lump in my throat, my voice sounding raspy. “I had about ten lines in Much Ado! And this was more than just an ‘off night.’ I stunk from the first rehearsal.”

“This is because of your mom, right? You think you can never measure up to her. That’s so not true.”

“Mace, can we talk about this later? It’s late, and I want to get out of here.”

“Please come to the party. You’ll feel better.”

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” I said, ending the call. If I listened long enough, she might wear me down.

Driving up to Acadia National Park had popped into my head while Macy and I were talking. There was no reason I couldn’t go. My grandparents, who kept an eye on me when my parents were on tour, wouldn’t care. Spring break started next week, and the play, mercifully, would be over. I loved it up there. With its dense forests and deep lakes, Acadia was a great place to hide out. I could use the time to reflect on life after acting and on how I could get out of going to Yale Drama. And on what I dreaded most: telling my parents I didn’t want to be an actor. The tears I’d been holding back overflowed, trailing down my cheeks.

“Miranda?”

I spun around, my heart racing. But it was only Stephen Langford, another actor. Someone else who hadn’t gone to the party.

I brushed my cheeks with the back of my hand. “You scared me. I thought everyone had left.” He was still in costume, I noticed. That wasn’t his Taming of the Shrew outfit, though. It looked Tudor, like something a man at Queen Elizabeth’s court would wear. The first Queen Elizabeth.

“I need to talk to you,” he said. “Urgently.”

I started throwing the plastic water bottles littering the floor into a recycling bin. What could be so urgent? I barely knew him. He’d shown up at the Dennis School early last semester, just in time for auditions. Finley practically drooled when he heard that posh British accent, so it was no surprise when Stephen won the role of Lucentio. Outside of rehearsals, he never hung out with us, so none of us knew him very well.

“Why are you wearing that costume?” I asked.

“It’s not a costume. These are my real clothes.” He gestured at his outfit, and I sensed a challenge in his expression. Did he want me to question that ridiculous statement?

Stephen had grown a mustache and short beard for the play, and I now realized he looked years older than a typical high school senior. He was a good-looking guy, with full lips and a straight nose. One of his front teeth slightly overlapped the other, but that didn’t spoil his smile. Macy said she’d caught him staring at me a few times during rehearsals, but I’d never noticed.

I lowered my eyes. “Right.” I moved on to the dresses I’d thrown to the floor and started hanging them up on the wardrobe rack. They’d be in the wrong order, but someone could fix that tomorrow. “So what do you want to talk to me about?”

“Will you stop fussing with those damnable costumes!”

I felt my jaw tense. “What’s your problem?”

“Sit down. Please.” He tilted his head toward a trunk. “I need your help with something.”

I could see he wasn’t going to give up until I agreed to listen. With an irritated sigh, I tossed the last gown aside and plopped down on the trunk. “What is it?”

Stephen dropped to his knees in front of me, and I instinctively drew back. “How would you like to meet William Shakespeare?”

A laugh burst from my mouth. “You’re crazy.” I tried to stand up, but he put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me back down. My rear smacked the trunk, hard. “Shit!”

“Sorry,” Stephen said. “But I’m not crazy. Shakespeare needs our help. Desperately. All the plays and sonnets could be lost forever if we do not act now.” This guy was either the biggest drama nerd in existence or a lunatic. Probably the latter. Wonderful.

“Last time I checked, the Bard lived in a different century. Like the sixteenth?” All of a sudden, I got it. “Wait a minute. Is this for one of those cheesy reenactment things?” Reenactors are big in Boston. They’re all over the Common, dressed like Redcoats or Patriots, acting out battles or meetings or whatever. Doing a Tudor-era reenactment here seemed kind of strange, though. “Thanks, but I’m not interested.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    I read this book as part of a historical fiction reading log ass

    I read this book as part of a historical fiction reading log assignment for school and was, luckily, entertained. Set in the time of Shakespeare and told with a modern voice, this book blended two eras nicely. I give it three stars because it will not make my list of memorable books but I also will not remember it for being boring. The ending *SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT* was a tiny bit similiar to that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in that it was sort of bitter-sweet. (Obviously more sweet than a double suicide though.) Overall it was a good read to pass the time that left me with a feeling a contentment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Shakespeares lovers

    I wonder what they mean shakespeares kissing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm a big Shakespeare fan. So that idea that someone could go

    I'm a big Shakespeare fan. So that idea that someone could go back in time and potentially influence him into become the great playwright that he is, well of course I will read it! Sadly, it wasn't all that I had hoped.

    I think that best thing about this book was that I really liked Miranda. She's not a confident character is the slightest. She doubts herself and her abilities. She questions Stephen relentlessly on why she's the one that needs to go back in time and save Shakespeare. She doesn't think she's important enough to warrant the choice. I think it comes back to how she thinks her parents feel about her. She think she's not good enough and that she will never be as good as an actress as her mother. It's her way of sabotaging herself before she even starts. I think the entire book is really about Miranda learning to believe in herself.

    Stephan is an strange part of this story. I both liked and disliked him. I liked him because I think he truly helped Miranda in how she saw herself. Since he knew very little about her parents and really only knew her (both in her time period and in the past), he was able to see her true worth. He really bugged me when it came to how he felt Miranda should save Shakespeare from the priesthood. He stereotypically believed that all girls from present day are willing to sleep with whoever. Drove me crazy that he thought that would be the answer for Shakespeare. There are so many things wrong with that thought that I would even begin to discuss.

    One thing kept popping up in the story that always makes me think concerning time travel novels. Miranda quotes Shakespeare's own words to him frequently. It's often from plays and sonnets he hasn't completed yet. So, does Shakespeare influence Miranda....or does Miranda influence Shakespeare. It's really a mind boggling question.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

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    This is a sweet romance set in Shakespearean times. Miranda isn'

    This is a sweet romance set in Shakespearean times. Miranda isn't confident in her acting abilities, having always felt overshadows by her talented and very-famous mother. Then a fellow cast member of The Taming of the Shrew whisks her back to sixteenth-century England against her will and tells her that she needs to seduce young William Shakespeare or he will follow a different path than that of a playwright and actor. Crazy right? In the midst of getting close to young Will, Miranda uncovers a greater conspiracy along with Stephen; at the same time, she grows to realize how much she really wants to return to the stage and who she really wants to kiss.

    The language isn't precisely what I'd expect from sixteenth-century England, but it works well enough for the story. It's more formal than what we use to converse nowadays, but it's not so archaic that it takes away from the lightness of the story. Plus, most of us modern-day teenagers would probably stumble over the language if it's anything like classical works. My classmates had enough trouble with Charles Dickens, and he's from the nineteenth century.

    To be honest, I'm not very big into books where romance plays such a prominent role in the story, especially when the real love interest is encouraging the girl he likes to seduce someone else for the good of the world. Seduction and what follows doesn't solve anything. However, the drama is well played and interesting, and there were plot twists that I wasn't expecting. I do have a nagging feeling that Miranda should have been found out though, as she doesn't really act like a true gentlewoman from the sixteenth century, and I'm surprised how much Stephen lets Miranda get away with. Then again, she's too much of an independent-minded modern girl, and it's obvious he has a thing for her. (They are so, so sweet together. It's so sad that they belong to different times!)

    Kissing Shakespeare is a true coming-of-age story about growing into yourself, growing confidence in who you are and accepting yourself. It is about forming your own expectations for yourself and staying true to your dreams. It is about first love and heartbreak.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is one YA that will be on the ¿Top¿ list when it comes to t

    This is one YA that will be on the ‘Top’ list when it comes to the best YA reads of 2012. Fun, entertaining, historical, exciting, romantic - this author has brought it all to the table!

    Ah…Shakespeare. What would life be like without the bard who gave the world some of the best words ever written? Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing - the man created some of the most amazing characters in popular culture who have most definitely survived after all these centuries.

    In this story we meet Miranda. The daughter of two famous actors with the New England Shakespeare Company, she finds herself beginning to despise acting. Even though her mother is the ‘best of the best’ and the school teachers remember her as the ‘star of all stars’ and want her daughter to take over the position, Miranda is starting to feel like she’s being pushed in a direction she doesn’t want to go - even though she loves being on the stage.

    After opening night of Taming of the Shrew, where she basically performs the lead role as a statue, a boy who’s a senior year transfer student from England who no one has really spoken to, comes up to her and tells Miranda she has to come with him. Apparently this Stephen Langford is from 1581 and he’s there to tell her that THE William Shakespeare is in danger. He may never become the master that the world loves because he’s being pulled into the Jesuit priesthood.

    Of course, Miranda thinks he’s insane. But when she’s pulled up on the roof of the high school and is transported to a world where 911 definitely doesn’t work on her cell, no cars are around, and the first people she meets up with are two men carrying a body dead from the plague in their cart, Miranda soon sees that this is completely and utterly real.

    What does Stephen Langford want her to do? He wants Miranda to seduce Shakespeare so that the future bard will forget all about becoming a priest. Trouble is, not only does Stephen fall for her instead, but Miranda is also met with a whole screwed up world of religious upheaval and the fight between Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant ways versus Mary Queen of Scots Catholicism.

    This is a particularly awesome story. From Miranda’s comic trouble with the 1500’s fashion and her mistakes with the free-flowing ale at mealtimes, not to mention trying to adjust her accent to fit in with the crowd, each and every scene offers sheer entertainment. But the author goes further when she offers the truth about the time period and how hard things were for the people.

    From a priest being roasted on a pyre to dealing with a romance that may take over her heart and keep her in the 1500’s - leaving everyone she loves in another time - Miranda is a very cool character, and the pages are filled with a truly unforgettable plot.

    Quill Says: Fun, romantic, historical - one of the best YA’s of 2012!

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    What I Liked: 1) I was fully enamored by the characters in this

    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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  • Posted September 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a darling book, albeit not a cross-over novel for adults

    This is a darling book, albeit not a cross-over novel for adults, particularly. Pamela Mingle, true to the former teacher and librarian in her, has the school teacher's touch with this one. She's interested in telling a sweet love story, while at the same time getting as much information about 16th c. England and culture across to her adorable readers as possible.

    First let me say that physically this is a beautiful little book. Just adorable pink and black and white. Perfect for a teen-ager's room! I love the cover and the book itself...hot pink, black edged with gilt script...too gorgeous. I think we all need one just to toss on our nightstands. Must buy the hardcover.

    I found the story a light-hearted one although it captured mostly the unsettling times for Catholics in the Protestant reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Ms Mingle spends much of the novel relating her research about the life and times of the people, and has only cameo sorts of appearances of Shakespeare until almost halfway into the book. While dress, foods, feasting and such are interesting, it was nearly 100 pages into the 300+ novel before the plot began to build and the "kissing" began in earnest. A bit slow, but it got there.

    The love story here is a triangle, we find, and that makes for a titillating story ultimately. Will Shakespeare is a handsome and rakish young man who has more than one love interest. Miranda is caught between two worlds and two hunks with her spunky ways to help balance them. And, Stephen is a mystery man...one who was, frankly, much more appealing to me than Shakespeare! These characters were endearing.

    Pam Mingle has created a lovely book with an inspired way of bringing us Shakespeare as a young man just before he makes the decisions that will turn him into the world's best loved Bard. I loved the book for that alone, if nothing else! This is a sweet little escape novel. Not strong meat for one looking for a heavy and complicated plot. Just a darling book for the teen set...and maybe a lover of Shakespeare who wants to be taken back a few (hundred) years!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Very cute!

    Fun story. Enjoyed every sec.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Romeo & Juliet Type of Tale

    A book featuring William Shakespeare himself has all the makings of Romeo & Juliet. Miranda is from our world, our time. Stephen is from Shakespeare’s world. These two are star-crossed and working together in hopes of keeping Shakespeare on the right track. The story started off quickly, wasting no time between introducing us to the main characters and moving through time. We didn’t need to know much about Miranda and Stephen and their personalities in order to jump into the main focus of the storyline.

    The one problem I had with the storyline was why Miranda would be going back in time with Stephen to try to not-alter history. Essentially that’s what it boils down to. Shakespeare might not continue on his way to become a famous playwright. Usually time travel books say you shouldn’t go back and change anything or else you could alter the future, which makes sense. Though this one says to go back in time in order to be sure the future isn’t altered, which makes no sense to me at all. Maybe I missed something, but I went back to check and still couldn’t find it.

    That set aside, it was a cute and quick read. There wasn’t a lot of depth and I figured out early on the majority of the mystery surrounding the story, so there wasn’t a lot of wondering or looking forward to figuring out how things were going to happen. I was also left wondering how Stephen was going to explain Miranda’s lack of presence after she went back to her own time.

    If you are a fan of Shakespeare, I think that would be the main draw to read this book. You get to see the young Will a bit different than the older Shakespeare we often read about.

    ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

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  • Posted August 25, 2012

    Romance and Intrigue Galore A gorgeously written, engaging nove

    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 England. A heady,
    heartfelt read rich with authentic detail and multidimensional
    characters.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun time travel YA novel

    This was a fun YA time travel novel. Miranda is a 21st century teenage girl who grew up surrounded my the theater. She strives to be better than her mother who is a very accomplished actress. When Stephen takes her back in time to meet young Will Shakespeare she must bring forth her best acting skills and seduce young Will into following his dreams of writing and acting instead of joining the priesthood.

    I thought this was a cute story and enjoyed reading it. Yeah, the whole love interest was a no brainer but even so, it was still entertaining to read. Honestly though, I couldn't help but picture an old fart whenever "young" Will came into the picture. It's like trying to picture the Pope as a teenager, you just can't do it.

    I liked that there was no love at first sight, no love triangle and the ending actually surprised me. I really hope that the author leaves the book as is because it will keep the story fresh and unique but I could see it turning into a series with Stephen and Miranda going on time travel adventure to help save the future but I hope that doesn't happen. I thought the story was perfect the way it is and sometimes you just need to leave a little bit to the imagination. But that's my personal opinion. Either way, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this debut author.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    Who isn¿t familiar with William Shakespeare? We all know that fa

    Who isn’t familiar with William Shakespeare? We all know that famous
    writer of epic love stories, comedies and drama. But ever wonder about
    what a young Will Shakespeare may have been like? Kissing Shakespeare,
    with its eyebrow-raising title and gorgeous cover, feeds that curiosity
    by using a little time travel magic and employing the services of a very
    capable young Shakespearean actress. Stephen transports Miranda back
    in time to pose as his sister, Olivia, while they visit with his uncle’s
    family at Hoghton Tower. This is a very hazardous time in England’s
    history. Elizabeth I is on the throne and religious discord between the
    Catholics and Protestants is strife. The Protestants had endured
    horrific persecution under the reign Elizabeth I’s predecessor, Mary aka
    Bloody Mary. Now under Elizabeth, the pendulum has swung and it’s
    dangerous to be Catholic, so much so that they have to practice in
    secret. And this is where we come across a young and impressionable
    Will Shakespeare who also happens to be staying at Houghton Tower. Will
    is seriously contemplating becoming a Jesuit in this tense political
    climate. Stephen cautions that this is a momentous decision: if Will
    chooses the religious life, our cultural landscape will be changed for
    good. Miranda’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to convince
    Will that his destiny is greater than this one religious cause. And
    Stephen encourages her to use any means necessary to convince him – yes,
    he actually expects Miranda to seduce Will. It’s easy to succumb to
    this delightful story mainly because Miranda’s adjustment to the 16th
    century is not quite as traumatic as you’d think. There are also misteps
    which make for comical moments e.g. when she has to come up with an
    explanation to give the maid as to why she has a bra which obviously has
    not been invented yet. After much goading from Stephen, she takes on her
    mission with zeal and even proves to be a bit of a sleuth herself.
    Deception and intrigue abound in Kissing Shakespeare and the stakes are
    raised higher when Miranda receives cryptic messages. Someone knows the
    truth of who she is and this revelation could destroy everything,
    including her chance to go home. But what’s heartwarming is Miranda as
    she becomes involved and close to her “pretend” family. In the end, she
    wants very much to protect them especially when trouble comes knocking.
    Truly Kissing Shakespeare is a gorgeous piece of work that just sweeps
    you away as you go through the pages. Miranda’s interaction with Will
    are tentative and innocent, much to Stephen’s dismay and as a result,
    Miranda’s annoyance. Dinner time becomes a moment to non-chalantly spy
    on their guests to discover their motives. And poor Miranda, her growing
    conflicting feelings for Will and Stephen only add to her confusion. But
    what I enjoyed most is that it fed my love of history. By setting the
    story in this fascinating and troubling time period, Mingle had plenty
    to work with to give it tension and substance. There’s that extra thrill
    when a character has to really watch their back and keep all eyes and
    ears open so that they don’t fall prey to someone else’s schemes. Do
    read Kissing Shakespeare. It's a sweet little escape to a time and a
    place beyond the present. A little adventure wrapped in innocence and
    suspense unfolding in front of one of the greatest and most beloved
    figures in history. ~ Bel

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