Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review - Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Kissing ShakespeareTitle: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 352
Published: August 14th 2012 by Random House
ISBN:  9780385741965
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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 lose 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 Give This ...

I'm a big Shakespeare fan.  So that idea that someone could go back in time and potentially influence him into become the great playwright that he is, well of course I will read it!  Sadly, it wasn't all that I had hoped.

I think that best thing about this book was that I really liked Miranda.  She's not a confident character is the slightest.  She doubts herself and her abilities.  She questions Stephen relentlessly on why she's the one that needs to go back in time and save Shakespeare.  She doesn't think she's important enough to warrant the choice. I think it comes back to how she thinks her parents feel about her.  She think she's not good enough and that she will never be as good as an actress as her mother.  It's her way of sabotaging herself before she even starts.  I think the entire book is really about Miranda learning to believe in herself.

Stephan is an strange part of this story.  I both liked and disliked him.  I liked him because I think he truly helped Miranda in how she saw herself.  Since he knew very little about her parents and really only knew her (both in her time period and in the past), he was able to see her true worth.  He really bugged me when it came to how he felt Miranda should save Shakespeare from the priesthood.  He stereotypically believed that all girls from present day are willing to sleep with whoever.  Drove me crazy that he thought that would be the answer for Shakespeare.  There are so many things wrong with that thought that I would even begin to discuss.

One thing kept popping up in the story that always makes me think concerning time travel novels.  Miranda quotes Shakespeare's own words to him frequently.   It's often from plays and sonnets he hasn't completed yet.  So, does Shakespeare influence Miranda....or does Miranda influence Shakespeare.  It's really a mind boggling question.


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