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Cleopatra Confesses

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3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,101 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
Meet teenage Cleopatra in this first-person account of history that captures “sibling rivalry at its most vicious” (Publishers Weekly).

It is the first century B.C., an ancient time of everpresent drama and danger. Cleopatra, the third of the pharaoh’s six children, is whom her father has chosen to be the next queen of Egypt. But when King Ptolemy is forced into exile, Cleo
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published June 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Daisy
Apr 30, 2011 Daisy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galley-grab
Ok, so confession time: I'm a bit obsessed with Cleopatra. Or Kleopatra as I believe it should be spelled, but let's not get into that argument right now. There's mystery surrounding her that I love.
Another confession: I don't really know all that much about her. Other than that she was queen of Egypt and had children with both Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius.

Anyway, when I read this was a YA story told through her eyes, my reaction was: COUNT ME IN!! And I was so excited to start reading it
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Donna
I chose this galley because I have a pretty deep love for all things Egypt, Cleopatra and Roman. So by default, the chances of me loving this book regardless of anything were pretty high. And I did like it. But if I didn't have all of that history love going for me from the beginning I probably wouldn't have.

It was written compellingly enough but throughout the entire book I couldn't help but feeling a step removed from Cleopatra. I felt like the story was being told from a distance, that the au
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Coreena McBurnie
As a classicist, I jumped at the chance to read Cleopatra Confesses. I absolutely love this era of history, though my focus has been more Greek and Roman, I find Egypt fascinating too. It was so much fun to read Carolyn Meyer's account of Cleopatra's early life.

Cleopatra Confesses is a really interesting first person narrative told by Cleopatra herself starting at age ten and going until age twenty-two. It is the first century BC, an exciting and tumultuous time in history and Cleopatra is at th
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Amanda
May 08, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For you, Kristina! This doesn't even go up on the blog until tomorrow (Monday)

Everyone thinks they know the story of Cleopatra, right? Or at least the movie version that brought Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton together?

Cleopatra Confesses introduces us to a new Cleopatra, not the seductress, but the favored daughter who loved her country more than anything, and who was forced into a loveless marriage with not just one younger brother (as was custom), but when that one died, her other younger
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Joan
This author can do better than the writing in this book. I found it quite disappointing. She presents Cleopatra as making verbal slip after slip with her two sisters who she knew would turn on her if she made even one slip. She has the haughtiest woman in history having as her one real friend a dancer who she regards as a friend in spite of the fact this was presumably her step sister. In reality, Cleopatra would have been likely to regard such a relative as an immediate enemy. Assuming she even ...more
Samita
Apr 30, 2011 Samita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite four stars. Interesting to read, well researched, the ending is somewhat rushed. For trying to condense Cleopatra's life into a young adult or 288 pages, I think it did a pretty good job. I enjoyed reading in Cleopatra's POV, in the beginning I was just too surprised how smart this eleven year old girl was! But her POV does mature as Cleopatra does. All in all, I think it can be considered a very good ~introduction~ it does leave you wanting more, but that wouldn't have fit the ~young ...more
Whitney Jacoby
Dec 06, 2010 Whitney Jacoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cleopatra Confesses is fantastic! Carolyn Meyer has a true talent for taking history and making it fun and accessible! From the description, I thought there would be a lot of focus on the romances, but I like that while there was some discussion of it, the book also focused on many other aspects of her life at the time. She is such a fantastic heroine in this book and you really see all the challenges she had to overcome at such a young age.
Margo Tanenbaum
Carolyn Meyer is one of our most prolific contemporary authors of historical fiction for young people, and has tackled novelizations of the lives of many famous women from history including Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor, and Anne Boleyn. In her newest young adult novel, she turns her pen (or computer?) to one of the most celebrated women in history, Cleopatra.

As in the other books in her Young Royals series, Meyer concentrates on Cleopatra's teen years, as the queen reminisces about
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Megan
I've read a lot--okay, practically all--of Carolyn Meyer's historical fiction, and I've always had a fascination with Ancient Egypt, which of course means that I have more than a passing interest in its last, famous queen. So when I saw that Meyer had penned her own version of Cleopatra's story, I was eager to devour it.

And I was so, so disappointed.

This book is just...odd, to be blunt. It is told from the perspective of the adult Cleopatra, her last confessions before she prepares to take her
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Vi
Cleopatra Confesses was a recommendation when I placed an order for my other mystery books. It’s a historical autobiographical fiction novel written in the point of view of Cleopatra from age 10 to age 39. Normally I don’t read historical fiction books but I was pleased to find that the twisted plots of royalty, power, and jealousy were much more interesting than I expected. Not only does it have an attention-grabbing plot but it also gives accurate known historical facts. It tells an improvised ...more
Emilee
Feb 19, 2012 Emilee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A rather simplistic retelling of the early life of Cleopatra. Honestly, the overall action and dialogue were often stilted and a bit awkward at times. I understand that it's supposed to be a bit different, given the different time periods, but it still comes across as fairly flat. The characters seemed pretty stock, which is weird, since they're supposed to be drawn from history itself. Development was sudden and without any gradual change, especially given that months and years could be skipped ...more
Vicky N.
May 02, 2011 Vicky N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult

Rating: 4.5


This was my very first book by Carolyn Meyer and I wonder why I have never read anything by her before! Cleopatra Confesses
is a chilling, fast-paced & fantastic retelling of the legend that is Cleopatra.

Told from her early years to her early twenties, Cleopatra Confesses is an intriguing story that albeit might not be a hundred percent accurate(not even archaeologist and historian know for certain) in some facts, it traps you in such way that by the end of the book you are runnin
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Barbara
Jul 16, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ncbla
Like many others, I've always been intrigued by Egypt's Cleopatra. While a book I read earlier this year--Cleopatra's Moon--follows the formative years of Cleopatra's daughter, this one describes the early years of Cleopatra herself. The story begins when she is ten and ends when she is in her twenties after the assassination of Julius Caesar, her first love. The author does a marvelous job in bringing Cleopatra to life, highlighting her intelligence, curiosity, and connection to the Egyptians s ...more
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Though dry at times, I enjoyed this fictional account of Cleopatra's life. The first half of the book is my favorite, recounting Cleopatra's life when she is a young girl. Her later years felt rushed, and the ending was too abrupt for my liking. Full review to follow at www.mangamaniaccafe.com
Courtney
Jun 03, 2017 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Felt more like a series of anecdotes rather than one long grand story. More of a focus on her rise to power than on her actual power. Felt like her "reign" was more the reign of the men who were king alongside her rather than Cleopatra herself. Falling in love with her suitors virtually does not happen. No details about the seduction. They meet, and the next moment they are in love. Very little, almost no mention of Marc Antony, which, after reading the synopsis, made me think he was going to be ...more
Breanna
Feb 16, 2017 Breanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like history
I love learning history, and I've been obsessed with Ancient Egypt since 5th grade. I definitely learned a lot from this book. It's historically accurate for the most part. However, it was insanely boring. First of all, it is written way too formally. I assume the author thought that it would make it sound more historically accurate to have everything written formally, but it was just annoying. It made the writing bland. They didn't speak English in Ancient Egypt anyways, so it's not like she wa ...more
Small Review
Originally posted at Small Review

So close

Cleopatra Confesses comes so close to being a great book. The writing is detailed, but not at all dense, and flows at a level that is both accessible and entertaining. There is a ton of information here (and it's pretty accurate), so readers looking for a crash course in Cleopatra's history would do well to pick up this book. Short chapters and the simplistic writing make this an extremely fast read.

Cleopatra's famed confidence and shrewd intellect shine
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Haley
Jan 13, 2012 Haley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my fellow bloggers
Sorry this is going to be a bit crappy.. I can't brainstorm any, because I'm a bit under the weather. Also, there are some SPOILERS! So I'm warning you right now, if you keep reading, it may ruin the book for you!

I liked this book okay overall. The beginning to middle was great and kept me interested, but the ending seemed a little forced and boring. Let me explain why..

The characters made up for some of it, though they had their bad parts too. Characters I liked : Charmion, Cleopatra, King Ptol
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Christie
First sentence: "My enemy stands at the gates of my city, Alexandria, in Egypt."

Cleopatra is the third daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, Ptolemy XII, in a time that values male heirs. Her father is not well liked by the people of Egypt because of high taxes and debts to Rome and her older sisters are plotting an overthrow and usurpation of the power. Cleopatra is her father's favored heir which puts her in a dangerous position with her sisters. Cleopatra must put her mind to survival if she wan
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Kelsey
Sep 03, 2010 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2011
Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres and when you add Carolyn Meyer and Cleopatra to the mix you are sure to have a winner. I have enjoyed quite a few of Meyer’s books and this one was no exception. With stunning imagery, fantastic descriptions, and a wonderful mixture of real and fictional characters; Cleopatra Confesses was an overall riveting and thought-provoking look at the life of one of histories most well known females.

Cleopatra is a mysterious women and it was f
...more
Bookworm1858
Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Paula Wiseman Books, 2011
278 pages
YA; Historical Fiction
3.5/5 stars

Source: Received an uncorrected galley via Simon & Schuster's GalleyGrab program in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not a big Egyptian fan but I loved Carolyn Meyer's Tudor historical fiction novels so I thought I'd give this a try. I really don't know much Egyptian history other than Cleopatra and her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark
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Charlotte
I absolutely loved this book. I haven't been this glued to a book in a while. I just spent almost a little over an hour finishing it, and while I did get up once, it was to go sit down somewhere else. (Now I'm behind on my homework schedule, but as they say, YOLO.) (view spoiler)

I've never been that interested in Cleopatra. Sure, I thought she was cool and progressive for her time period. But I never actually
...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
This is not my favourite interpretation of Cleopatra’s story, but it certainly paints her in a much more sympathetic light. It’s also more appropriate for younger teens than my favourite one, Hand of Isis.

Cleopatra Confesses is the first-person account of the life and death of Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt. It tells the story starting with her unhappy childhood, where her sisters Berenike and Tryphaena taunt her mercilessly. As is expected, the life of a princess and the taunts of her old
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Mona Lisa (ForestGreenReader)
Um, the story was entertaining enough, I guess. But there were a lot of problems. I wonder why the author felt the need to rush the story. Why not draw it out and tell as much of her story as you could? You would read months worth of events on one page because it was so rushed. There was little detail so you couldn't really imagine the setting. Meyer didn't really have a pattern of how much time she was skipping through either. It would go from one year to the next, and then 2 years later, and t ...more
Sarah
Jan 02, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer is an interesting take on a young Cleopatra’s life in early Egypt. This story is for anyone who enjoys historical fiction about powerful women. Carolyn Meyer writes about a Cleopatra who is confident in achieving a crown, tackling many different external foes as the story progresses.
The story begins with a young, pre-adolescent Cleopatra, awaiting the arrival of her father, who is a large influence on her life throughout the story, and avoiding two vicious
...more
Cassie Helwig
May 31, 2014 Cassie Helwig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are an adult looking to read historical fiction about Cleopatra's relationships with Caesar and Marc Antony, or if you just want to read one book about Cleopatra, may I suggest you read When we Were Gods by Colin Falconer. If you are a teenager looking to read about Cleopatra's childhood and relationship with Caesar but not Marc Antony, read Cleopatra Confesses. It was good, but Falconer's was a bit more exciting and the characters were more in depth. Carolyn Meyer seems to want to wrap u ...more
Carrie Dye
Dec 03, 2011 Carrie Dye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Cleopatra Confesses, Carolyn Meyer tackles the story of one of the most famous women of all time. The story is told in the first person and covers Cleopatra’s early life up to the moment she meets Julius Caesar and seduces him. Meyer vividly recreates Cleopatra’s world with much historical detail for readers. Cleopatra and family may live in luxury, but threats from the Roman Empire overshadow their lives. Her father has gotten Egypt heavily into debt and there is unrest in the country. Cleop ...more
Brianna
Aug 12, 2012 Brianna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-possession
This novel offered a unique perspective and new taste on the life of Cleopatra VII. The author does a good job of taking what we know of the life of Cleopatra VII- the historical facts preserved from that time-, wrapping it all together with her own added characters and well-thought-up scenes. The novel is written in first-person- Cleopatra's perspective- and we are given deep insights into how she may have been feeling and why she made the choices and acted as she did.
The novel follows Cleopat
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Laura Mitchell
Jan 12, 2015 Laura Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous. This book is written in first-person present tense, so there is a sense of immediacy and it adds to the action in the story. This is particularly effective in the places where she chafes at restrictions (due to gender or placement) that prevent her from doing what she believes is best for her country. The book is written in something of a diary format, with relatively short "entries" as chapters. The timeline is focused on the years of Cleopatra's adolescence and young adulthood, from ...more
Janie
Mar 14, 2013 Janie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I saw an interesting documentary on some station about Cleopatra and got interested in her life and how much really isn't known about her. I saw this in the YA section and picked it up for that reason, and also because Carolyn Meyer really is a very good writer. One of my favorite books of all time was written by her, Where the Broken Heart Still Beats: the story of Cynthia Ann Parker.

Anyway, though a bit dry at times this book was really interesting and told a lot about what life was probably l
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The Young Adult H...: Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer - December's Read 10 23 Dec 27, 2012 05:54AM  
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19053
Carolyn Meyer is as versatile a writer as you will find. Along with historical fiction and realistic novels for young adults she has written nonfiction for young adults and books for younger readers on topics as diverse as the Amish, the Irish, Japanese, Yup'ik Eskimos, a rock band, rock tumbling, bread baking, and coconuts. And ten of her books have been chosen as Best Books for Young Adults by t ...more
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