Review: “Kissing Shakespeare” by Pamela Mingle


Title: “Kissing Shakespeare”

Author: Pamela Mingle

Genre: YA, Romance, Historical Fiction, Wibbly-Wobbly-Timey-Wimey Stuff

Publication Date: August 14, 2012 (Random House – North America)

Source: NetGalley/Edelweiss Review Copy

Summary: 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.

☆: 1/5 – seriously? are you kidding me?

Review: Another 2012 release I was really excited about until I got through about a third of it. My largest issue with this one was in the moral arena – not too many books can hit my moral trigger and unfortunately, this was one of them. Not to mention that I didn’t even remotely emotionally connect with the MC. I find myself mourning what “Kissing Shakespeare” could have been had it been the book described in the blurb – the two weren’t alike in any way, shape or form.

Okay, so my big issue – dude kidnaps our MC under the guise of “Want to meet Shakespeare?”, which is kind of akin to a stranger offering candy to a child out of the back of a van. He basically forces her into a kind of prostitution (Kat from Cuddlebuggery was absolutely spot-on with this observation) – seduce Shakespeare or he’s off to become a monk and give up on theatre for all time. Of course, Langford doesn’t really talk about how this could impact Miranda/Olivia’s future as she knows it – which is kind of important. What would our lives be like without the works of Shakespeare? How far would the ripple effect extend into things? It’s kind of important to at least introduce those ideas of the ripple effect within time travel, even if it doesn’t seem plausible now. Who knows? Time travel may happen within our future.

I’m a huge fan of time travel, and to a lesser extent, time travel romances. I’ve read some awesome books with both in them, but this one…well, it failed. Miranda/Olivia isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and even when she experiences time travel she laughs at Langford after arriving in the 16th century, then promptly goes off to call her mother on her cell phone. Which doesn’t work.

Had someone else seen her, they would have cried witch and in real life, probably would have had Miranda/Olivia burned at the stake for her little demon device.

(And don’t even get me started on her wish to get laid with Shakespeare, if only to out-do her actress mother, with whom everyone compares her to.)

I felt like the author was talking down to the American audience quite a bit, and Miranda felt every bit the stereotypical “idiot American” that we’ve come to see within our world culture as a whole. I didn’t take too kindly to that, either.

So all in all? If you’re looking for something that’s awesome in terms of time travel romance, I’d suggest “The Time Traveler’s Wife” – a solid modern classic for the genre. But I would definitely not recommend this one.

But hey, that’s just my two cents on it. “Kissing Shakespeare” is out from Random House on August 14, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out then and come to your own conclusions about it.

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2 thoughts on “Review: “Kissing Shakespeare” by Pamela Mingle

  1. Pingback: usagi’s challenges for 2012! | birth of a new witch.

  2. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves: Week 15 – ALA Edition Part 7! | birth of a new witch.

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