Saturday, July 14, 2012

GUEST REVIEW: KISSING SHAKESPEARE BY PAMELA MINGLE

by Lucie

Website/Goodreads/Amazon

Random Info:
Publisher: Random House Children's
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Series: No

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 lose 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.
 
Summary:
Miranda has just completely flunk her performance in "The Taming of the Shrew". Depressed, she is hidding behind the scenes, when one of her partners asked her if she would meet Shakespeare. Without giving her time to reply, Stephen strongly leads her into the 16th century with a mission: save the future of the most famous playwright.

An enormous pressure awaits Miranda who must thwart conspiracies, betrayals and never let her secret be known. Will she be able to carry out her mission and return home safely now that own her heart is at stake ?
Reactions:
What would you think if someone were to offer you to meet William Shakespeare? Sure, If someone said it point-blank, obviously I would take it for a madman or worse I would wonder if he is laughing at me.
Obviously, for all lovers of literature and theater meeting Shakespeare would mean ... I believe that there would be no words strong enough to write an opportunity as extraordinary or unimaginable.

Meanwhile, at the time when Miranda must cross path with the famous playwright, he has not written anything. What should you say or discuss about with a man known for his writings that will have a immense impact for generations long after his death? Personally, I would have been damn annoyed because it is his works that I find phenomenal …

I chose this book, at first, for its attractive and cute cover. Besides, even if its a nice one, it does not give the good impression on what the reader is about to read ...
Indeed, it is mainly the plot which challenged and intrigued me after reading the summary.

To be honest, I was excited to anticipate how the author was going to manage the past and the present situation as well as meeting Shakespeare. I was expecting a novel of the same ilk as the movie "Kate & Leopold." That is to say how I was off the mark! I am therefore delighted to have been blown away by Pamela Mingle.

While I regretted the lack of interaction between the duo Shakespeare / Miranda and if I expected more poetry, more juicy details about the poet's youth, I admit it would have been difficult to steer the young man on his future without arousing suspicion...

As soon as I begun to immerse myself in the story, I even forgot about Will. I focused on descriptions given by the author on the habits and customs of the Elizabethan period. Certainly with Stephen, Miranda manages to quickly adapt but that is the beauty of fiction...
In reality, to forget the comfort of our lives, our freedom of thinking to jump into an archaic 16th century, will be such a shock that few would survive. Typical example with the force imposition of a religion by decree. And the deadly consequences that go with the will to follow your own beliefs.

The author took me on a journey through time and also helped me to remember a few history lessons sprinkled with a nicely romance. Moreover, the end came too quickly as I got attached to Olivia's and Stephen's adventures. If there was a sequel, I'd be thrilled...
Hats off also to the research work that Pamela Mingle had to do to make her realistic setting plausible.

A novel that will intrigue you, make you smile and be grateful to be part of the 21st century!
Sentences

From Miranda: « Only you can judge what to make of your life. »

From Miranda: « There are other kinds of learning. One learns from being out in the world, from engaging with others, from experience. Learning doesn't come just at univerities. »

3 comments:

  1. This definitely sounds intriguing. I'm actually writing an essay on Taming of the Shrew right now for a summer school I'm going to, and we've started studying Shakespeare for King Lear in school. A great review! :)

    -Aa'Ishah

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  2. This sounds very interesting. I was never really a big fan of Shakespeare, but I do enjoy reading about him once in a while. Definitely adding this one to my TBR, you've persuaded me. :)

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  3. I don't really like time traveling books but these look interseting! Great review and I love your pictures!!!

    Haley@www.passingthepages.blogspot.com

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