I won’t lie, I only picked up this book because it was under a dollar at Book Outlet and I thought the cover was pretty. I was probably thinking the same thing you are right now when I went by the title alone, and yes, it’s about exactly what you think it’s about. Kissing William Shakespeare. However, I ended up liking the book a lot more than I thought I would.
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Time Travel
Release Date: August 14th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback, 352 pages.
Rating: 4/5 Crabapples
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
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 meetShakespeare, 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.
Yeah, the whole idea of kissing Shakespeare the guy is pretty cheesy and weird, I won’t lie, but the way the whole story was executed was actually pretty awesome. The main character, Miranda, was taken back to Shakespeare’s time to complete the task of seducing him in order to convince him that the life of a priest was not for him — and that he should go on to be a playwright instead, just as fate intended. The best part was definitely the whole time travel deal.
I’m not sure how historically correct the details are in this book, since I’m not exactly an expert on the lifestyle of people back then, but man that was so interesting. The whole daily life deal that was explained in the book as Miranda lived it was the most interesting part for me, and if I had known that it would be dealing with that life from the start, I would have been quicker to pick the book up.
The actual seduction of Shakespeare wasn’t as cheesy as I was thinking it was going to be, either. It was a process for poor Miranda, and quite a few things got in the way as she went, even up to the point where she actually completes her task. However, she doesn’t complete it in a way that was intended, and I’m not going to spoil that part in case some of you reading this haven’t read it yet and are thinking about it. If you like the era Shakespeare lived in, I do suggest picking this up if only for that.
Be warned, though. Miranda is a headache and half for a good portion of the book, no matter how cool it was to be reading about the lives of the people she was interacting with and the era she had to fake her way through. You get used to her, though. Kind of.
Anyway, pretty good book! The cover is gorgeous, and the content isn’t half bad. I won’t be unhauling this anytime soon.
Thanks for reading!