Falling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray is a marvelous book. She perfectly captures the tragedy of Ophelia, Hamlet and his family. She kept the darkness ofFalling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray is a marvelous book. She perfectly captures the tragedy of Ophelia, Hamlet and his family. She kept the darkness of the play and the telling Shakespeare language, but she flawlessly brought it into this century.
What stood out most for me was the use of language. Hamlet is a character loves his sexual innuendos, both in the play and in this book. That was used very well throughout the book and really made me feel like Ray had done her research. Having studied Hamlet in school I really enjoyed seeing the parallels. Shakespeare characters are known for going off on long tirades, especially when they are by themselves but Ray effortlessly keeps the speeches in the book, modernizes them and makes them wonderful. Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” speech was wonderfully rewritten and Ophelia’s “garland” speech was cleverly placed in the book.
Ray used text messages, TV interviews, police interviews and teenage slang to bring the book in to this century. I thought that the text messages were a bit too much in text speak, I found in unlikely that they would really cut out that many letters. While it only hindered my reading of them once it was still a bit irritating and unrealistic. However, I could imagine that they wrote like that because they knew people would have access to their messages. At first I was turned off at the idea of the TV interview starting the chapters and the investigation ending the chapters but it really propelled me through the story and made me want to read more. The teenage slang and way of speaking was well done. Even the bits that I knew were taken directly from the play (“Ophelia, can I lie in your lap?”) were well done, and had I never read the play Hamlet I probably never would have noticed that these words were once Shakespeare’s.
The two problems I had with the book are actually very superficial and not even a writing decision. The cover is kind of suggestive, which means I probably wouldn’t pick it up in the store. However, it is a very suggestive book. This book, while it doesn’t have sex scenes so much, doesn’t shy around the topic or the innuendos. If you think a Shakespeare rewrite would be complete without sex jokes you’re crazy. I also wish the title were better, I feel like it doesn’t fit what the book is ultimately about. In fact, the tag line “First comes love, then comes madness” fits a lot better. Ultimately, this book could have come in a brown paper sack and I would still love it.
I really felt for Ophelia’s character. I felt her pain, her despair, her worry, her love for Hamlet. I felt it all and it was very realistic. Hamlet’s character was lovely, of course, and I really loved him right from the beginning. In fact, I loved all the characters. Simply said, I loved everything about this book.
Spoilers if you haven't read Hamlet: Now, as a fair warning, this story does not deviate from the original plot of Hamlet aside from the fact that Ophelia doesn’t die. This story, while chock full of drama and romance, is not a Sarah Dessen novel. This is not your post-break-up pick-me-up… actually, considering the ending, perhaps it is. Despite the ending, I still felt good at the end of the book because Ray does a wonderful job of wrapping up Ophelia’s character. We really see her transformation.
Ray is an excellent writer. Falling For Hamlet is a book I will visit again and again. If you are apprehensive about reading a Shakespeare rewrite don’t fear, this book does not sanitize or try to make the play happy. The depression and madness is kept throughout the book. With one book Ray has my trust and I will be sure to read anything she writes ever again, and I sincerely hope to see more Shakespeare rewrites from her. ...more
My cousin bought me this book for Christmas. We both requested books and knew what the other was getting each other. Over dinner Christmas Eve she looMy cousin bought me this book for Christmas. We both requested books and knew what the other was getting each other. Over dinner Christmas Eve she looked at me and whispered, "I read your book. It's amazing."
I wanted to read Room for two reasons; I have a thing for depressing books and the idea of an adult novel written from the point of view of a five-year-old intrigued me. Room definitely fulfilled both of those desires.
Emma Donoghue created a wonderful story that was well-written, coming from a five-year-old. Most importantly, it was believable that it was coming from a five-year-old. The language of the book wasn't overly dumbed down, but it also contained reasonable vocab. I never at one moment believed it was written by an adult female. The story, both the event and the psychological journey, were believable as well. There were a few moments where I wondered if the child would really be picking up that much of the conversations between the adults, if he would really understand them and in return if he didn't understand them should we... but perhaps I was looking in to things too deeply.
The only time I really got out of the book was when the mother used the word "Google" as a verb. And that was it. Otherwise it was just me and the book and the couch for seven hours. Honestly. There were also moments where I wanted to know what the mother was going to, and I also wanted to learn about Jack's life just a little further. How did he do with schooling and making friends and living behind the Room? All stories have to end though, whether we want them to or not.
Pick up Room for an intense and emotional journey that you will have to leave behind all too soon....more
Simply said, I could not put this book down. I've never read Jane Eyre, but that's not important. Whether you're reading it because you love the origiSimply said, I could not put this book down. I've never read Jane Eyre, but that's not important. Whether you're reading it because you love the original or reading it because the idea of a nanny and a rock star falling in love is hot, it's still amazing.
Jane's voice was wonderful, it was nice to see a FMC with hobbies and a personality. Nico was just as wonderfully put together, and seems, from what I've found, to follow the original Edward very well in personality. The supporting cast is amazing and real. While reading it, it felt like I could see the characters--and I'm usually not that kind of person. I do wish Maddy had had a bigger role in it, but I suppose if the original children didn't play a role than neither should Maddy.
From what I've found the plot of Jane follows Jane Eyre very closely, and I think this where I have my problems with the story. To leave out spoilers, things seem to happen on a time scale a little too fast for this era. While updates were made to the plot, some things could have changed as well to make the believability a little more there.
Overall though, you're not thinking about this while reading the book. It's not going through your mind at all, and even then you don't care afterwards because you're still very much in love with the characters and story. It's one that stays with you for awhile. I bought Jane Eyre the day after finishing and am looking forward to starting it.
On a final note, this story isn't exactly young adult. There's a fair deal of cussing and a rather intimate scene that I thought was very tastefully written. I would say this book is good for ages 15 or 16 and up....more