Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title: Kissing Shakespeare 
Author: Pamela Mingle 
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from August 4 - 9, 2012
My Rating: 3 stars: I like it
Summary: 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.

"How would you like to meet William Shakespeare?" A laugh burst from my mouth. "You're crazy." 

When time-traveler Stephen Langford chooses Miranda as the one to take back to the 16th century to save young William Shakespeare from becoming a Jesuit, she doesn't have a choice but to go along with him. Once there, Miranda has to learn to adapt to the way of life of the people in that century, and she also has to pretend to be Stephen's sister, Olivia, while the real one is sick at home. Her mission here is to seduce her idol William Shakespeare, to make him realize that he's a guy suited for worldly things, and that the religious path is not for him. If she succeeds, she can save Shakespeare from being hunted down for being a Jesuit, and she can also save all of Shakespeare's works in the future from vanishing, and save the future forever.

I'll try to keep this review short and simple for there isn't much to say. I didn't expect anything when I started this book, so I wasn't disappointed. It's pure fun and a good break from all the crazy stuff going in my life right now. It's one of those enjoyable books you don't expect to get anything out of, which you don't anyway even if you try.

Some of the plots aren't very well-executed. I'd love to know more about Stephen's time traveling, which the author gives me no chance to. There's a scene where Miranda dresses herself as a boy and everyone believes her. Eh? And then there's this huge plothole that bothered me. The author has Stephen tell Miranda that the time she belongs in won't move on without her -- when she returns, it will be as if no time has passed. As a believer of logic, I wasn't satisfied with this explanation. But I knew this was all I was going to get.

The characters are flat and mediocre. I regret to say that Shakespeare doesn't play the main role in this story. I kept picturing him like this and cringed every time because it wasn't fitting. This book talks about the younger Shakespeare, of course. And when I pictured him with Miranda, he looked like a pedobear to me. This problem is caused by the fact that the author doesn't bother telling us about any character's appearances. I don't know if this was intentionally done or she just forgot. The 16th century is hard enough to picture, and I'd love to know what the characters look like.

I like the ending. Love doesn't always have to work out, you see. I think this ending leaves a lingering haunting feeling, which is much better than if it'd gone for the happily-ever-after. I'm tired of authors trying to make impossible love work. I find the ending especially refreshing.
"As much as it hurts to admit it, I knew he was right. I would love him with all my heart, but in the end, it wouldn't be enough. I'd long for everything I couldn't  have, and that would kill the love between us. Not right away, but someday." 
This is the best part of the book in my opinion.

Looked at in parts, the elements of this book don't seem to work, but together they do. I don't know why and I don't know how to explain. It just works, unless you expect it to be spectacular. If you don't think much about it, you might find it enjoyable and light and fun. But that's really just about it.


This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.


  1. You're the third review of this book I've read. All I can say is either the reviewer loves or it just so-so.


  2. Hmm. I'd been a bit interested in reading this one, but after reading your review, it doesn't sound like I'd be missing out too badly if I passed on it.


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