Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bookanistas: Kissing 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.

I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. I love Shakespeare, I've taught Taming of the Shrew for the past five years, so I'm familiar with that play, I love a good time travel, and I love a good romance. But I don't usually love historical, so despite all of the elements I liked, I still went into this book with pretty low expectations. And then it went and surprised me, because I really, really enjoyed it!

The historical aspect didn't really throw me off too much because Miranda, the narrator, was from the present day. So the narration of the story was in modern language, not historical language. Yes, the proper words for things were used, but Miranda would explain them or find modern words for them, and I liked that a lot because it helped me feel at home in this story and not just like a visitor. 

There is a really fun slow-burn romance in this book that kept me smiling on every single page. I don't want to say too much about it, but I really did love these characters and loved seeing this relationship develop. Fun, fun, fun.

There's also a fun mystery sub-plot, and you really do learn a lot about the history of religion in England, which is a fun little bonus.

I don't think I realized how much I enjoyed this book until
1) I couldn't fall asleep because I was thinking of alternate endings for the characters
2) I dreamt about possible sequels
3) I woke up and wanted to immediately re-read my favorite parts

Yeah, I dreamt in fan fiction.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...

Corrine Jackson is awed by AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE

Nikki Katz raves about the THE RAVEN BOYS

Tracy Banghart talks up TIMEPIECE

Shelli Johannes-Wells wows with an ebook giveaway


  1. I'm super excited about this book. Shakespeare-period books were some of my favorites from childhood, everything from King of Shadows to My Father's Daughter. I even wrote a Shakespeare time-travel as part of the sci-fi dystopian I wrote in high school.


  2. This sounds like a book I'd love! And dreaming in fan fic? lol! Love it!

  3. Dreampt in fanfiction - LOVE. Also, I'm not a super huge fan of historical fiction either, but I LOVE me some Shakespeare. This read sounds perfect!

  4. Ooh, slow-burn romance... LOVE. Sounds like a great one, Jess. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. LOL @ "Yeah, I dreamt in fan fiction." A Shakespeare time-travel love story sounds like so much fun.

  6. Thanks for sharing--I would likely (shame on me) have judged that one by the cover and skipped it. I've been burned by Shakespearean riffs in YA before, so I go in skeptical if at all. This one sounds like fun, though!

  7. Oooh this book sounds lovely. I will have to pick it up!

  8. I don't usually read, but I finished Kissing Shakespeare in one day and couldn't stop thinking about it! I never wanted it to end. The storyline never turned the way I expected it to, and it kept me on my toes throughout the entire thing. I fell in love with the setting and its characters and was extremely distraught when there was no more to read. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who asks for a fantastic book.

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