Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review: Falling For Hamlet

Title: Falling For Hamlet
Author: Michelle Ray
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction

See it at Goodreads

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course.

Passion, romance, drama, humor, and tragedy intertwine in this compulsively readable debut novel, told by a strong-willed, modern-day Ophelia.

Contemporary. Modern. Shakespeare. Hamlet re-telling. I thought of all of this before going after Falling For Hamlet, and while I was wary, I just had this intense desire to read it. And in a way, it’s funny because out of all the Shakespeare plays I’ve read through the years, Hamlet is probably on my low scale. I was never a big fan of that one, and honestly couldn’t tell you why. It’s not like it’s too much different from some of the others-- what, with the countless tragedies and betrayals and all -- but I guess it’s the characters.

Anyway, so when I’d first heard about Falling for Hamlet, there was something about it that caught my interest. I had some worries about how this could’ve turned out. Believe me, I’ve read some attempted Shakespeare re-telling before and it was craptastic. I just didn’t think the idea of mixing modern culture in with a Shakespearean story could’ve worked out… but I still wanted to see for myself. I wanted to be proven wrong… And thankfully, I was.

This was so good that I almost gave it five stars. It was just that good. It’s not light and fluffy (as it shouldn’t be since it is Hamlet after all) and sometimes it moves a bit slowly along through the story. However, I must say that Ray did a fantastic job brining it to life into the modern world, as well as the characters practically staying authentic-- except now they use cell phones, drive cars, and watch television. There’s also a simplicity in the storytelling with the interviews and then the flashbacks, but I liked the pacing of how it all went. Hamlet’s madness. Ophelia’s madness. Tension. Tragedy. Bravo, Ray, for making it feel realistic… rather than something unfitting to the current time and plot. When a re-telling makes me want to go back and read the original again, I know that it’s done its job wonderfully.




  1. Wonderful Review!
    I added the book to my TBR list when I saw it for the first time but yes, I too was a little skeptical about how the author is going to stay true to Hamlet.
    Looks like she did a good job. Now I can read it. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. I'm a huge fan of re-tellings, but they're so BAD when the author gets it wrong. Glad to hear that it's not the case here. Awesome review and adding it to my TBR list.

  3. That GIF made me miss that season of PR so much! I'm glad you liked this one because I've had it on my list for a while!


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