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Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
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Kissing Shakespeare

by Pamela Mingle

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I thought the writing in this novel was mediocre and the premise (travelling back in time to lose one's virginity to William Shakespeare to prevent him from forsaking the stage and becoming a Jesuit-yeah) was awkward, not believable and full of holes. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I thought the writing in this novel was mediocre and the premise (travelling back in time to lose one's virginity to William Shakespeare to prevent him from forsaking the stage and becoming a Jesuit-yeah) was awkward, not believable and full of holes. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Kissing Shakespeare is a young adult novel with a lot of great things going for it, but first you must get past a few seemingly insurmountable and rather inane plot obstacles. The hardest to believe is the main premise: a young man from 1581, Stephen Langdon, time-travels to present-day Boston to snatch a young Shakespearean actress, Miranda, and return with her to his time so that she can seduce a teenaged William Shakespeare. The future Bard, it seems, is being wooed into the priesthood in Protestant England, putting all his future plays and poems into jeapordy. Stephen has had visions of Shakespeare's greatness, but also of the threat posed to the future of England if Shakespeare does not eventually become a playwrite and actor. Author Pamela Mingle makes a minor effort at explaining the ridiculous set-up, but it's an enormous stretch of any reader's suspension of disbelief to make it work. However, once you get past the necessary set-up (how else can you explain why anyone in 1581 would know of Shakespeare's future greatness?), this is a rather fetching story. Nothing is known about Shakespeare's whereabouts during this period, commonly known as his lost years, and Mingle does a convincing job of creating a believable account for him.

Stephen has Miranda pretend to be his sister as they visit their estranged Uncle's estate at Hoghton Tower, where young Shakespeare is employed as a schoolmaster. Because of the schism in the family over religious politics, the uncle and aunt haven't seen their niece and nephew in years, and easily enough believe Miranda is their niece Olivia. Miranda, knowing that she can't return to her own time until she and Stephen succeed in making Shakespeare abandon thoughts of becoming a priest, goes along with the plan willingly enough. After all, her famous Shakespearean-actor parents met at an Othello audition: if Shakespeare doesn't write the play, and her parents don't meet, will there be a future for her to return to? Yet there is a major obstacle: Despite Stephen's belief that all young women in the 21st century are promiscuous (based on his observations in the future while watching TV as well as teenagers making out at Miranda's school), Miranda (now going by Olivia) is still a virgin and struggles with the idea of giving it up, even if it is to her idol. The Queen's hunt for Catholics in the country gives the novel a suspenseful mystery, and Miranda/Olivia's struggle with the right thing to do with both Stephen and Shakespeare feels authentic for a 21st century teenager, but is probably off-base . Miranda/Olivia's flirtations with Shakespeare are interesting, and her interplay with him as he writes an early draft of Taming of the Shrew will be humorous to readers who know the play. The novel highlights the lack of rights women had in the 16th century, but also raises doubts about how Miranda/Olivia could so easily step into such a society without raising a lot of questions.

Bottom line: teens who are already fans of Shakespeare will likely enjoy the novel despite its contrived plot; those who groan at the idea of reading a Shakespearean play in English class might either come to better appreciate his works with this fresh approach or find further fault with all things Shakespeare due to its improbable story. ( )
  TigerLMS | Apr 9, 2013 |
I liked this book, but the end had me kind of upset. I mean technically it is a happy ending but.. It's not a Happy ending. I hope there's a sequel or something because this book did Not go how I expected it to. ( )
  superducky | Mar 31, 2013 |
I liked this book, but the end had me kind of upset. I mean technically it is a happy ending but.. It's not a Happy ending. I hope there's a sequel or something because this book did Not go how I expected it to. ( )
  superducky | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385741960, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Although her parents are renowned Shakespearean actors, Miranda's performance in a school play is disastrous but before she can get away to hide, Stephen, a castmate, whisks her to sixteenth century England to meet--and save--the young Will Shakespeare.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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