Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Falling for Hamlet
Falling for Hamlet is a YA modern retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet, written by Michelle Ray.
Ophelia has grown up with Prince Hamlet and Horatio. She's now entering her senior year of high school, and finds herself the continued center of attention when it comes of magazine covers and TV shows. After all, she is Prince Hamlet's longtime girlfriend.
It's not like she ever sought the fame - she and Hamlet just sort of had a magnetic pull - one neither of them could deny. And with that attraction came paparazzi and a royal family that insisted on everything in public being scripted. Yet it always seemed worth it to be with the handsome, charismatic Hamlet with whom she had a lifetime of memories.
But then the King of Denmark, Hamlet's father, dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances. And this ends up being a catalyst to changing everything about Ophelia's life. She wants to be there for Hamlet, but he seems to be turning more and more paranoid and strange. And the surprising turn of events in the kingdom don't help any...
Ophelia finds herself wanting a normal life more and more... but is it too late?
Falling for Hamlet has spicy, saucy, vibrant writing that makes it sparkle and shimmer with vitality! It was amazing - a great, fast-paced modern retelling of a classic Shakespeare tale - Michelle Ray does the drama just right! I have seen a period movie version of Hamlet and found the story to be fascinating - as Shakespeare always is - but Michelle Ray makes it more relevant, more believable, and more relatable to a 21st century reader.
Ophelia gets the center stage - and she's feisty with a good heart and torn loyalties. A fantastic protagonist, giving us a new perspective. Throughout Falling for Hamlet we get transcripts of an interrogation in which Ophelia is the subject. It is clearly taking place after all the events we're reading about are over and the dust has cleared - and it provides an ominous tone and succeeds in intriguing me further - I was absolutely glued!
Manipulation, deception, obsession, and the desire for power and revenge are the order of the day for Falling for Hamlet and it's all done so well. Plots with so much detail and drama can easily become melodramatic in the wrong hands - but Michelle Ray is proven more than capable as we are given a stunning debut and a fitting contemporary tribute to William Shakespeare.
Falling for Hamlet is heartbreaking, painful, spotlights the pain of loss, the pain of a messy breakup, and nail-biting suspense. It's a phenomenal new imagining on a classic tragedy - gripping and incredible!
Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or not, or simply have never given the man a shot - Falling for Hamlet is a book for you to read and read and read until it is over - it is honestly that good!!!
I can't help but want Michelle Ray to do the same thing to all the Shakespeare plays!
*I received a review copy of Falling for Hamlet from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.
***ALERT: Due to continued bibliophile reading overdosing, I am continuing the 5 reviews a week through August. After that, I am absolutely returning to only 3 reviews a week in September and on. So, we'll just think of this as a summer special! Thanks for reading!!!