Author: Dot Hutchison
Category/Genre: YA, Contemporary, Re-tellings
Expected Release: September 1st
See it at Goodreads
There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.
I'VE NEVER BEEN THAT GIRL.Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.
Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's sudden death, the whole academy is in turmoil, and Ophelia can no longer ignore the fae. Especially once she starts seeing the Headmaster's ghosts- two of them- on the school grounds.
At the center of her crumbling world is Dane, the Headmaster's grieving son. He, too, understands the power of a promise to a parent- even a dead one. To him, Ophelia is the only person not tainted by deceit and hypocrisy, a mirror of his own broken soul. And to Ophelia, Dane quickly becomes everything. Yet even as she gives more of herself to him, Dane slips away. Consumed by suspicion, rage, and madness, he spirals towards his tragic fate- dragging Ophelia, and the rest of Elsinore, with him.
YOU KNOW HOW THIS STORY ENDS.Yet even in the face of certain death, Ophelia has a choice to make- and a promise to keep. She is not the girl others want her to be. But in Dot Hutchison's dark and sensuous debut novel, the name "Ophelia" is as deeply, painfully, tragically real as "Hamlet".
If it hadn’t been for perhaps some of the most beautiful writing I’ve experienced this year, I may not have finished this book in the first place. A Wounded Name was one of the titles I highly coveted just for the simple fact it was a Hamlet re-telling, which I’d already read a re-telling earlier this year (Falling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray and adored), and that cover is seriously gorgeous. Plus, how could it go wrong with a synopsis like that? Honestly, going into the title, I didn’t read any early reviews. I just read the synopsis, saw the pretty cover, and dove right into the read with my own pre-conceived ideas of how this Hamlet re-telling was going to go. Sure, a boarding school was mentioned somewhere in there. I admit to rolling my eyes a bit at that before I even started because I found that typical to a re-telling in a YA category (taking the characters and placing them in a boarding school/high school setting). Nonetheless, Hutchison wrote this with elegance. The boarding school was barely in the background, hardly mentioned at times throughout the majority of the read and not a main focus of the story or the characters. This was good.
Where I got confused the most was that despite the wonderful writing and well-crafted cast of recreated characters, the timing felt completely off to me. I didn’t know at the start that it was going to be a modern re-telling, and it still wasn’t until about thirty pages into it that I finally figured it out. The way it’s written is almost classically, as well as the use of description, names, and style--so when a car or cell phone suddenly pops into the picture, it really threw me off balance from the story at times. I felt like maybe it distracted me from it to be honest and could’ve done without the modern technology, working to be just set in the late 1800s-1900s, and would’ve worked out even better. But that’s just me.
I did like that it was quite accurate with the play, with a mixture of fantasy elements, and even included some of the quotes in passing dialogue between the characters.