Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

3/5 Stars
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Expected Publication: August 14th 2012

Thank you Random House Children’s Books and Netgalley for allowing me to review an advanced readers copy of this novel.

Kissing Shakespeare follows the story of Miranda who is basically kidnapped by a time traveler, Stephen, from the 1500’s and is transported back to his time to seduce Shakespeare in order to make sure that he doesn’t join the church and give up his dream of writing. Yes, this is a little bit far fetched but I regularly read about the paranormal so who am I to judge?

Miranda or Olivia as she is called for most of the novel adjusts rather quickly to life in medieval Europe and accepts the role of seducer of Shakespeare which Stephen has thrust upon her without much protest. This seemed a little far-fetched for me and I think this detracted a little from the story as I really had to work to make myself see why Miranda made the decisions she did.

I also wanted to like Stephen but I never got the vibe that he really truly cared for Miranda. Stephen was hot one second and cold the next and then the ending left me saying WTF?! I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but trust me when I say its not the happy ending I was expecting and the author leaves it open for a sequel.

I was actually disappointed with the character of Shakespeare. Miranda was meant to seduce him but what he really needed was a friend and confident and Miranda should have told Stephen that right from the get-go rather then forcing herself on Shakespeare. I actually think that Shakespeare could have done without the coercion of Miranda and Stephen and still chosen the writing route. Decisions like what to do with your life shouldn’t be made or swayed by others friends. At times I was just rolling my eyes and wishing they would let Shakespeare be to think hard on what he really wanted out of his life.  

While living in the past Miranda is masquerading as Stephen’s sister, Olivia, so for most of the book she is called Olivia. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character switches names (i.e. Four/Tobias). It wasn’t too bad in Kissing Shakespeare because I never got to know the character as Miranda before she was suddenly Olivia. What did bother me is that as the relationship between Stephen and Miranda progresses while he is kissing her, even saying goodbye to her, Stephan calls her Olivia. I guess it just kind of creeped me out that he was kissing Miranda and calling her his sister’s name. Please let me know if this weirded anyone else out.

The saving grace of this novel is that it is well written and the descriptions of the castles, landscape, and general time period were very lush and engaging. The history and political intrigue were also well researched and played well into the storyline. Overall, I enjoyed Kissing Shakespeare and would recommend it to people who enjoyed Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers, or individuals who just love Shakespeare and period pieces.


  1. I hadn't heard of this one until now but it sounds very... interesting. I'm pretty curious about how everything works out for Miranda, Stephen and Shakespeare!

    And name changes are one of my biggest pet peeves too!

  2. I had liked the sound of this one. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more. Great review :)

  3. I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds like an interesting concept. I don't know that I have read anything with a time traveling kidnapper. Glad the writing is good and the author paints a clear picture. Thanks for sharing.


  4. I have never heard of this book. I can tell you from what I just read in your review that I will def not like it. I hate confusing characters even more than I hate underdeveloped characters. It sounded like such a great concept. I am just sad that it was not properly executed. Thank you for sharing your review.

  5. OOOOOH THANKS YOU SO MUCH FOR TELLING ME ABOUT THIS!! Yes, I expect that the far-fetchedness might annoy me, but I am a sucker for anything set in a past time and oozing with history. Great review and thanks much!

    Marie @ Marie's Bookworm Blog