Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 352
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: ARC; Netgalley
Age Group: Young Adult

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

Surprisingly, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, this is pretty cool to me to be able to time travel back in time and get to meet the Shakespeare! And I had no idea how someone like Miranda, who has to masquerade as Olivia, Stephen Langford's sister, and seduce Shakespeare away from joining the Jesuit order. Who, during this time period in England, were being persecuted and killed. If Shakespeare were to join this order the greatest writer in history and all his plays would be lost throughout time. But, is Miranda up to the challenge?

I personally wasn't sure how Mingle would take this story but I was really impressed. Miranda is a player, like her two parent's, but she doesn't think she's very good, but she's about to find out just how good. 

Miranda was a likeable character and I found myself smiling every time Stephen was brought into the scene. And the awkwardness she experienced as she's adjusting to a different century felt very real. I liked the blunders she made along the way or how she was never sure if her speech was acceptable or not. 

Though, if I had to find something I didn't like it would be just how quickly she accepted everything. Granted, she did fight (and almost kill) Stephen, but I just felt that she should have put up much more of a fight against it. Though, accepting it quicker will help get the plot going. 

This was a quick read and I just found myself smiling and laughing a lot. I love this take on Shakespeare and what Miranda has to do. And Stephen, when he talked about his experience in the 21st century I thought was must enjoyable. Or maybe it was just the idea of a boy watching Gossip Girl...either way, he was instantly likable. The chemistry between the two I found fitting.

Mingle really made an impression on me. This is a delightful summer read that is light and full of enjoyable moments. 

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