Book Rant: Kissing Shakespeare

I know, I don’t like the cover either. It looks like she’s wearing the inside of a picnic basket.

RATING: 4

GENRE: Historical fantasy, romance, YA

SERIES: Stand-alone

I have read two Shakespeare based books in a row. The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper and now Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle. These books where very different I really enjoyed them both! Kissing Shakespeare, the short blurb is a teenage girl brought back in time to seduce young William Shakespeare, and if you don’t want to drop everything and go pick it up, I don’t know why, that premise sounds pretty awesome to me. But just in case I will give you a longer non-spoilery summary: a young man, Stephan, from the 16th century who can travel in time and he needs the help of present day teenager, Miranda, to stop Shakespeare from choosing a very different career path and by extent save all his works and preserve history. Miranda is a Shakespearean actor like her parents and she’s going to study the Bard and acting at university next year, so who could be a better candidate? How exactly is she supposed to accomplish this feet? Seduce the young William, naturally. Only one problem: Miranda has never seduced someone. Stephan got a very wrong idea about modern youth in his brief visit to the 21st century (turns out Gossip Girl is a bad reference). So Miranda finds herself in the 16th century pretending to be Stephan’s sister, with no idea about customs and speech apart from the Bard’s own work, trying to seduce her idol and convince him he should become a play write. And if she fails, she might never get home.

This is a very fluffy, cutesy book. There is a touch of mystery, lots of romance. Not much fantasy, it really more of a historical-fiction except for the time travel. There’s really nothing know about Shakespeare’s early life so it was really interesting to see how the author built this entire life for him from nothing except a few proven facts. Spoilers past here! Bye if you haven’t read the book!

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This book made me laugh so much. Olivia (I’m going to call her that becasue Miranda is confusing. I forgot her real name by the end) is so hilariously awkward. When she got drunk on her second hour or so of being there I couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t say I was worried. Who would assume she was a girl from 500 years in the future then time traveled back to this time with their nephew becasue he has a vision she needed to save their school teacher. Who is going to jump to that conclusion? No one! Stephan is always all worried about begin overheard but he is the only person with magic in this whole book! They might assume a lot of things, but I doubt the a fore mentioned would make the list.

I loved the seduction between Will and Olivia! Olivia is my spirit animal. I feel for her though, I’m bad at flirting in regular English, if I had to do it in Shakespearean/Elizabethan language I’d
a) sound like I was having tea with the Queen constantly and be super formal, which is not seductive (I don’t think) or
b) and this is the more likely, mess up and swear without thinking and then just not know how to cover it and probably swear again.
When you think about it that way she did a really good job. When Will gave her the gloves and then asked if he could steal a kiss in the library, it was so cute. I know back then it would be super badass and inappropriate but if someone did that now (providing they weren’t a random stranger) it would be “AWWW can I just squeeze you?”

The romance between Stephan and Olivia. I was waiting for this and I had to wait for half the book. Torturous! I was so nervous they were going to get caught. There is no explanation out of that. Maybe start quoting some bible passages. The Song of Solomon: “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse.”? Probably that would be your best bet. Still don’t think it would help you much but better than nothing, I guess.

The burning of the person! Oh my god! That scene was horrible! They didn’t describe to much but in English I had to watch documentaries on the Salem Witch Trials and well with the magic of digital technology you can make it look like a person is being burned to death quite graphically and that’s all I could see in my head.

At the beginning of this I though Thomas was a bad guy just becasue he is working against Olivia and trying to mess things up by making Will a priest. But after Stephan got beaten up horribly for him my mind switched and I understood he’s not a bad person, he doesn’t do bad thing.  He’s just believing in something other people deem wrong and yes he’s potentially screwing up the future by trying to convince Will to move towards religion but how could he know that? He can’t! He’s honestly just trying to help this boy out.

Ok more about the beating. More so after it actually. People arrive and I was instantly less stressed. He has a pulse, people are here, he is going to be good.  Then Olivia asked for ice and everyone was like “what for? why?” and I started panicking again! These people are going to kill him with their stupid non-medicine! This has never, ever come up in any historical fiction or fantasy I have read. The healers always got this and the person is in good hands but in reality OH MY GOSH NO THEY DON’T! They wanted to bleed him! I know it made sense in their old fashioned, un-educated brain but I was freaking out. He just got the shit kicked out of him and lost a bunch of blood and you are taking away MORE?!?! I don’t know how this stupid practice became a popular stupid practice. Did no one notice that as you lose blood you feel weaker? And what about people with hemophilia? (You’re body can’t clot blood therefore can’t stop bleeding so you can bleed to death from a paper cut) Oh his person is sick, better take some blood, oops they died! Maybe I should stop doing that! Meh, nope. Like I said this issue has never, ever, ever come up in any book I have ever read and it really should have in a lot of them.

Jennet, we knew she was no good. She is classic spy material, too goody-goody. There wasn’t much mystery there but I did like seeing it play out and Olivia getting evidence so Stephan would believe her.

It was really frustrating that Olivia had to leave and her thing with Stephan never panned out. The necklace was nice I guess, but I wanted it to work out. Him randomly show up in her dressing room after her performance at the end or something.

Overall I really thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  Just such a sweet, cute read. That’s all for now, bye darlings!

 

 

 

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