Falling for Hamlet
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Falling for Hamlet

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,088 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Falling for Hamlet retells the familiar Shakespearean tragedy from the point of view of a feisty, empowered Ophelia, who is neither suicidal nor anybody’s pushover. In a glittering world of celebrities, paparazzi, and reality TV, Ophelia navigates the minefield of teen life in a royal family gone crazy.
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Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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"Mistakes and miscommunications. Violent love and violent hate. Betrayals and desire. Our beginning, our middle, and our end."

First let me state that this is my first time experiencing Hamlet's story. Having gone to a French school, Shakespeare's work was not part of our curriculum, hence my unfamiliarity with it. In addition, I've never had the opportunity to see it as a play as there are no production where I live. So yes, Shakespeare… not my forte; but I'm happy to report that I quite enjoye...more
This was one of the more interesting contemporary YA retellings of Shakespeare. Ray opted to set the original work in present time and allowed the plot to unfold as it would, a most wise decision. Of all the retellings I’ve read thus far, none have taken this route. Instead, they choose to rewrite the characters or make it quirky and fun, but only loosely based on the source material. I never got the impression that Ray was intimidated by Hamlet or that she was trying to dumb the play down. Her...more
Sandee (The Whimsical Reader)
Falling for Hamlet is a retelling of a Shakespearean play. I would ask you guys to guess but I think it’s pretty obvious already. Hehehe. It’s a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I honestly haven’t read that yet so I can’t really say how close or how far Ms. Ray was with the original work. But maybe it was for the

Anyways, Falling for Hamlet is one of those books that would stick to you because it was unique. It was a retelling yes but it was done in a good way. Also, I was not expec...more
Let me start by saying that you should not judge this book by its cover. Or by its opening lines:

"Frailty, thy name is woman." - William Shakespeare
"Willy, thy name is sexism." - Ophelia

Don't get me wrong, both have very much to do with the story (other than Hamlet's hair color on the cover), but they really make this look like a much lighter, funnier, beach read kind of book than it really is. I mean, really, how would one make an adaption of Hamlet light? Instead, this book is everything it...more
REVIEW ALSO ON: http://bibliomantics.com/2011/07/29/i......

One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Hamlet, so I was super stoked when I heard a modern young adult retelling was coming out. I even pimped it in my post about upcoming novels in 2011. If only I could go back in time and take away that excitement, because despite all the mind-boggling five star reviews this novel received on Amazon (who is reviewing this- fans of James Patterson), it is truly a painful piece of “literature”. Although...more
I was not sure if I would really like this book. I am generally not a romance reader, or a Shakespeare revisiter. However I am a big fan of Hamlet and this book really intrigued me. The book is set up with alternating chapter headers that focus on investigations by the FBI equivalent in Denmark, and Ophelia being interviewed by a talk show host about the incident that is slowly unfolding. These interludes really kept me reading, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Ophelia, especi...more
I'll have to try and make my way back to this one, folks.
Having already read and watched Hamlet, I can't help but compare the two. And when you compare Shakespeare to anyone else - I don't care who - you lose. Shakespeare owns. Every time.

It's extremely difficult for me to read a retelling and not compare it to the original. Nearly impossible. The original is always better. Always. (In my experience)

Don't misunderstand me, I did actually like what I read. I loved the way Michelle Ray was able...more
A ridiculously humorous and modern retelling of the famous Shakesperean “Hamlet” through the perspective of the unbelievably brave Ophelia.

I was captured by this book with these line
“ He was scrawling ‘To Be’and ‘Not to Be’over and over, ‘What’s that?’ I asked. ‘That is the question’”
Hilarious. I know.

I have to be honest, I can’t compare & contrast back-to-back Falling for Hamlet with the original manuscript because I haven’t read the latter. I did, however, know the gist of the story (y...more
I have to admit that I have never read Hamlet before (I know....gasp right?). In high school I had to read King Lear and after that I never wanted to read Shakespear again! So, it was with great fear and tripidation that I picked this book up!

I LOVED it! Ophelia was a very realistic character! She was strong and yet she loved Hamlet so much that she would almost do anything for him. There were times when I thought she was a little dumb but hey, aren't we all when it comes to love?

Hamlet was swe...more
(Originally posted @ CSI:Librarian.)

I wanted to love this book. At first, I was positive that I would. The pace was quick, the writing was fine, and there were parts of it that I still really like. There were a lot of clever references throughout the text and exchanges of dialogue that modernized scenes from the play that were very well-done. I felt that the characters were updated in a very cool way, and I liked the idea of Ophelia being the one to dish on what had happened.

However, I feel like...more
No, no, no. Just...no. Shakespeare doesn't need to be chick-lit-ized in order to be sexy, bloody or dramatic. Ophelia's ambivalence about someday marrying into the royal family does bring to mind Will and Kate's recent nuptials, which might make a decent booktalk hook. But that's my only positive take away from this novel. Just don't mess with the Bard.
Sarah Maddaford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not going to lie, I was a little unsure going into this book. I was actually sure I was going to hate it. A retelling of Hamlet, but from Ophelia's point of view. Yes, Ophelia, the same Ophelia who dies in the original story. Intrigued yet?

Falling For Hamlet takes Shakespeare's work and turns it into a modern day girl in love with a prince story. Throw in a little drama, family problems (a whole lot of them), and a little murder and you have yourself a story.

Ophelia, a high school girl, lives i...more
What's the one word that I had ringing through my head after I read this book?


I did not like the ending. I didn't like the way people behaved. I didn't like the violence. I didn't like the romance between Ophelia and Hamlet. Basically, there were a lot of things I wished had been different.

The first part of this book was a completely different pace than the second half, which seemed to whip by. I thought there was too of the crazy relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet. I didn't see...more

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course....more
I have never read, nor seen the play, Hamlet. I know I probably should, and I want to, but I've been holding off because I know it is required reading next school year. But that's irrelevant. The point is, this review is not going to be me dissecting the novel and comparing Michelle Ray's words to Shakespeare's. Not only would that be ridiculous, but I have no grounds to do that. I will say that from what I know of the basic plot of Hamlet, Falling for Hamlet was pretty spot-on in some points, a...more
I'll be honest--I'm not a Shakespeare fan. Despite reading probably half a dozen of his plays and even seeing a couple, I just can't get into him. But Hamlet was the least painful, so I picked this up. It wasn't what I expected.

It starts out pretty basic: In 21st-century Denmark, Ophelia, daughter of the king's advisor, is dating Prince Hamlet (the author decided not to change any names). Despite their on-off relationship, she's pretty in love with him and is planning a future with him.

Then the...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)
As soon as I got this book, I dove right into and love it! I mean really, really love it. I have always been a fan Shakespeare, and I love it when author take a classic and make it modern. It makes it easy for young readers and readers everywhere to understand Hamlet but just told different.

Pretty much this book it told almost exactly to play expect of course much more modern. I love diving into this story and being Ophelia. Ms. Ray really brought this story to life by the reader being read too...more
Alexandra Hunter
Hamlet is a story of betrayal, dealing with grief, politics and madness. In the play, Shakespeare is able to hit on many themes and emotions, giving actors much to work with leading to some intense performance from talented actors.

Then there is this book.

Falling for Hamlet takes the story of Hamlet, sloppily butchers it and stuffs the remaining corpse with teen fiction tropes. The book is told from the perspective of Ophelia and how she is so in love with Hamlet... etc... etc... Hamlet is so ho...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Osterlund
Ophelia’s life is insane. Apparently that’s what happens when you’re dating the Prince of Denmark. Maybe she should have known.

But then how was she supposed to anticipate the king’s death? Or that her boyfriend would start seeing ghosts? Or that her boyfriend’s mother would start dating her husband’s murderer and that the whole world would fall apart!

It might be time for a cappuccino.

Falling for Hamlet is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s play from the point of view of a slightly deranged hero...more
Not all YA is created equally. We all know this to be true. Some YA verges on amazing, and some of it really is. Other entries into the YA market are less so, and then there’s that little category called the guilty pleasure book. I mean, you know you’re not going to get anything from the book, you know it’s built on clichés and bad plot devices, and stupid characters, but for one reason or another, you still want to read it. This book is that last category.

Honestly, I’ve seen Shakespeare butcher...more
As a teacher who reads Hamlet with her class this is a great option to offer students before we read the William Shakespeare version. This version is set in modern day and what I love about it is that it is told by Ophelia. Ophelia in the Shakespeare version is weak and today's woman is more independent and love that Michelle Ray's version has changed this!!! Ophelia... you go girl!!!
Read the full review HERE. (It's really long, sorry about that, I guess I had a lot to say)
This book lacks much that the original play had. Relationships, character depth, madness... While written in Ophelia's POV, it's limiting and creates a world where Ophelia needs to be told everything to move the plot (which is changed) along. A lot of the translated scenes are awkward and stiff, and Ophelia's life outside of the castle is pointless and, honestly, not very interesting to read. Drama is cre...more
I love literature retellings. Good or bad, I love revisiting a favorite story. My thoughts, sometimes leaving a survivor can make a story even more of a tragedy. (unless you're Edgar Sawtelle)
Sofia Martignoni
I basically fell in love with Hamlet during this book.
To be completely honest I was expecting a bit of a happier ending, I grew to love Hamlet and Ophelia together (I ship it ;)), which is why THE THING THAT HAPPENS BROKE MY HEART
I really don't want to spoil it, and Im sorry if I have already, but do not, i repeat DO NOT let the cover fool you. The book is really cute and I love how the story was written and this new version of the original story w...more
I liked this and as re-imagined re-tellings go, it was pretty good. Hamlet's my favorite Shakespeare so I tend to expect a lot when I actually read a redo. I liked Ophelia's voice and thought it was neat to have an updated setting where everything played out. Media overload, paparazzo, cell phones and the consequences of having a life reduced down to soundbytes, voice mail messages and talk show gossip fodder was well done. I didn't very much like the chapters ending with the police investigatio...more
"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."- Ophelia, Act IV, Scene V

Setting:The Kingdom of Denmark; 2011

Coverly Love?:It kind of looks like one of those grunge posters from the 90s. I don't particularly care for it, but there are some individuals who may find it artsy.

Plot:What would happen if Hamlet were to take place in the present day? What if cameras, paparazzi, cell phones and news outlets everywhere were watching the their every move? That is the question Michelle Ray answers in...more
More reviews at Rondo of a Possible World: YA Book Reviews

I am a huge Shakespeare fan. Heck, I own The Reduced Shakespeare Company on DVD and laugh at every joke they make. After finally reading Hamlet this year in my AP English 12 class, I can say that reading Falling For Hamlet was a cute and interesting contemporary retelling of my favorite Shakespeare play.

The story goes back a forth between being a guest on a talk show and the story of what happened in Ophelia's point of view. She is a hi...more
On the page before the prologue you were given a quote. One by Shakespeare and one by the character Ophelia from this book:
"Frailty, thy name is woman." ~William Shakespeare
"Willy, thy name is sexism." ~Ophelia

Oh yea... that set the stage for my enjoyment of this book.

The whole plot of this book does follow the play quite well. Better than I expected. It's set in modern times, but the main players names remain the same. There are a few extra characters thrown in because this book is expanding O...more
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