Friday, September 21, 2012
Review of Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Title/Author: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "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 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."
I was fully expecting this to be a fun, cute timetraveling story. And luckily I had been warned by some reviews that this might not be the case after all, otherwise I would have been more disappointed than I was now.
My problems started when I couldn't really connect to Miranda. To be honest, I thought she was annoying and seemed rather spoiled and just one of those girls I would have avoided in high school. Then within a couple of pages, Stephen GRABS her and takes her to the 16th century. After which she just sort of submits to what he wants and doesn't seem to really have a backbone. She was constantly in tears because Stephen was not being a gentleman and pushing her to do the thing he brought her there for. I just wanted to shake her at times.
And can I just say that I was really annoyed at all the mandhandling going on? I mean, I know that women didn't have much say in things in the 16th century, but men used to have a modicum of respect for them, right? Stephen just drags Miranda everywhere, I would have kicked him in a special place if he did that to me.
Also, the working her modern-day charms on Shakespeare in the summary is code for seducing him. I was rolling my eyes at this solution to all the problems, cause it seems like such a guy thing to want to solve everything with physical intimacies. Because of course it's much better than just talking about stuff. Yeah...
Minor spoiler, but of course Stephen serves as an alternate love interest and I could just not get into this storyline. He blows hot and cold and is just not really nice to Miranda most of the time and well, HE'S FORCING HER TO HAVE INTERCOUSE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. To me that would be a major deal breaker. But Miranda seems to be ok with this. I thought Shakespeare was a much more charming character and it would have seemed more likely that she would fall in love with him for real instead of just trying to seduce him.
A lot of the religious struggle in England of the 16th century comes into play and this adds a pretty dark factor to the story. I think I kept reading to find out how they would turn events about and because while I very much disliked the main characters, Pamela Mingle does weave an interesting story and it might also have to do with my stubborn streak in not wanting to give up on this book.
I love a good timetraveling romance, but this was just not all that romantic and spineless main characters aren't my favourite to read about. I do think it had a lot of potential, it was just a bit too convoluted to really take off.
My rating: 2 stars