Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: Kissing Shakespeare

Title: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance

See it at Goodreads

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’m not attaching a rating to this one. There’s not any stars to be found here. It was a DNF.

I really dislike writing negative reviews. More so when I can’t even finish a book entirely. I did not enjoy writing this review at all, but I have to be honest. All of my reviews are.

As a Shakespeare fanatic, I was fascinated and excited to read this one. I was drawn in by the cover and the premise. I’d hoped I could enjoy it. But the worst-case scenario happened and in the end, I put it down a little over halfway through with a cringe. Luckily, I haven’t had too many DNF reads yet this year because I try really hard to finish all the books I start. Sadly, this is on the short list of them.

The thing is, I’d read a contemporary last year that had a premise somewhat similar. It involved time travel and Shakespeare and a character who loved acting in theater. I actually sat through that one. It wasn’t bad, and even found it a read that I’d recommend to contemporary fans perhaps. The characters were even likeable.

Kissing Shakespeare had nothing in it to redeem itself though. It starts right from the beginning with the action and absolute no backstory on the main character so I instantly felt detached. There were numerous plot holes that left me with questions or frowning in confusion. If Stephen talked that way all the time (like Miranda oh so casually mentioned as if it were no big deal), why did no one notice his strangeness in classes before and not have any suspicions? Especially when he was the new kid? What even prompted him to travel to this year in the first place? Little things that just irked me. I’m just someone who really thrives on characterization and backstory. I didn’t get any development at all in these areas from the chunk I read from anything here. Shakespeare didn’t even come across as a main character--and the title is KISSING SHAKESPEARE. Tell me how this works?! Pixie is confused.

What especially bothered me was the forceful tactic that was taken in trying to get her to seduce Shakespeare. And she goes right along with it, allowing herself to get bullied. Oh yes, that’s soooo romantic. And speaking of romance, I’d been led to believe from the blurb that it would be about Shakespeare--but instead the main focus is a budding romance between Miranda and Stephen, which I found ridiculous because of the way she’d been treated through out. Head, meet Desk.

The dialogue became cheesy and predictable. This wasn’t working out at all the way I’d hoped. I’d love to travel back in time to meet the great and amazing Shakespeare. When I saw that premise, I thought it sounded fantastic, but by page two hundred, I had to put it down and forget it.


Please note: My reviews are never meant to keep anyone from reading something they might be interested in reading. They’re just my own opinions. I was kindly provided a digital e-ARC from Delacorte through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.



  1. You're not the only reviewer who had trouble with this book, and it's kind of sad. With a title like that, it should be awesome, you know?
    Thanks for the review, it was well written!

  2. The title totally attracted me as well. I requested this on NG, but, thankfully it turns out, I was declined. Having seen several reviews like this one, I want to thank whoever declined me, because I'm pretty sure I would have been super annoyed by this book.



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