Monday, September 2, 2013

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title - Kissing Shakespeare
Author - Pamela Mingle
Release Date - August 14th, 2012 (e-book)
Publisher - Delacorte Books
Where I got it - e-book via online library

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 her if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to sixteenth century England—the world he’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare, who is showing alarming signs of taking a very different path in life. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world’s greatest plays will never be written.
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? Still, she reluctantly, agrees to help. After all, Stephen promises that once Miranda’s part is played, he’ll return her to the present and she can get on with her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love…with no acting required.

I'm not sure why I ever decided to read this book in the first place. Maybe I wanted to stray from what I normally read? Whatever it was that pushed me to make that decision, I'll be wary of it next time. It's not that the book was horrible (trust me, I've read worse), I just could not for the life of me enjoy reading it.

First of all, the story felt rushed. Just as I was starting to understand what was happening in one situation, I was thrown into another in a way that made me think that the author couldn't grasp how to make fluid transitions. Not to mention the fact that I could never stay focused on what was going on.

Character-wise, I did not favor anyone more than another. If someone's personality stood out, it was barely. It bothers me that Miranda just goes along with whatever Stephen wants her to do. Her motivation to get back home, her anger towards her mother, and her "affections" were flimsy and barely there. Mingle tried to make her a stubborn person, but the portrayal was poor. Stephen got on my nerves a lot, though. He first had the audacity to transport Miranda to another time period without her permission and then tell her that he COULDN'T send her back? Not to mention that he bossed her around like he owned her, or that she owed him something for putting her in unnecessary trouble. The other supporting characters, including Shakespeare, are not really worth mentioning.

There are a couple of parts that I liked about the book. One includes the glimpses about the conflict of religions (Catholic, Puritan, Protestant) that were part of every day life in William Shakespeare's time. The other thing is how that somehow twisted itself into the story. Miranda wasn't expecting the horrors that brought at all, especially since she was used to a world where you are free to practice and/or not practice anything you want.

Overall, Kissing Shakespeare lacked the amount of details I look forward to in books. With the lack of details came the feeling that the story was hurried. It could have had more emotion to it, both with the characters and the writing in general. I tried really hard to get through this book, made an effort to like it, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Kissing Shakespeare
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