Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sparks Fly, When I'm Kissing You

Expected Publication: August 14th, 2012
Kissing Shakespeare
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780385741965

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 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.


   Miranda's parents are famous Shakespearean actors and she has always aspired to be an actor someday as well.  But she has always felt like she is inferior and talent-less compared to them.  After what she thinks is a disastrous performance  as Kate in 'Taming of the Shrew', Miranda is hiding backstage.  Then her fellow castmate Stephen Langford finds her and all Hell breaks loose.  It turns out that Stephen is not from this century and he takes Miranda back to the 16th century with him - so she can save Shakespeare. Or so Stephen says.  It turns out that to save him Stephen seems to think that Miranda needs to seduce him.  Apparently Shakespeare is considering joining the Jesuit priesthood, a dangerous occupation during Elizabeth I's reign.  It is a possible death sentence, which would deprive the world of Shakespeare's genius.  Therefore it's Miranda's job to tempt him out of that choice.  Can she manage to save Shakespeare, even if it means sacrificing herself?  Also, Miranda's heart is in danger of being captured, but not by the famous playwright...  This book has two of the things that I love the most - Shakespeare and time travel!  I loved smarmy time traveler, Stephen Langford who confuses Miranda as a girl of loose morals after watching too much 'Gossip Girl.'  Which leads him to think she's perfect for seducing Shakespeare.  It is interesting to see Elizabethan life portrayed including the Jesuit plight, because it's something I've personally never encountered and never expected to in a YA novel!  The description of the book makes it sound lighthearted and at times it is.  But there is a lot of underlying depth, including Stephen's tragic romantic past.  My main complaint would be Miranda's lack of individual thought.  She went along with Stephen's plans for her, even if it was with quite a fight.  Not to mention, she was a majorly spoiled brat.  If your biggest problem in life as a rich teenager is not being a great Shakespearean actor like Mommy and Daddy...well boo freaking hoo!  Also, her blase attitude about losing her virginity was truly annoying.  But by the end of the novel Miranda really showed some major character development and the conclusion to her romance with Stephen left me crying.  It was an enjoyable read, I love any book with time travel that is fairly well done and this one fits the bill.  I recommend to Shakespeare, romance and time travel fans who like a little humor mixed into their books.

VERDICT:  3.75/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is August 14th, 2012.*

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