This is not a book to give someone who likes Star Wars and needs an introduction to Shakespeare nor is it a good book to give to someone who likes ShaThis is not a book to give someone who likes Star Wars and needs an introduction to Shakespeare nor is it a good book to give to someone who likes Shakespeare and needs an introduction to Star Wars. First, if you really like your Star Wars, then it may be a novelty item, though more for the adult who can get through the reading than the child who will have no basis for anything as it is written. Second, the author seems to have a base knowledge of Shakespeare, but no true understanding of how the bard actually wrote and structured his plays. There are too many asides by characters, too much interjection of the Chorus to tell random bits of action (generally unnecessary I might add), and words like "troth" are thrown in willy-nilly without proper context/usage. Third and finally, simply adding -th and -st to words does not make them "Shakespearean," nor does constantly using "thee," "thou," and "aye," which get exceedingly tiring to read halfway through act one. (For the latter word's usage, are we in a Johnny Depp pirate movie? No - It's Star Wars which is thankfully Depp free). I will give the author credit where due, though. He does manage to get the iambic pentameter right which is something properly Shakespearean, but that's about the only part that's properly correct.
While I am not averse to the attempt, I just found that the subject in question does not translate overly well to the written Shakespearan page so to speak. Act V was exceedingly tedious due to the fact it was mainly a space battle but simply talked through by the characters since the form itself is somewhat limited. Some things work fine, and the artwork is spectacular throughout, but other sections just fall completely short in my opinion (to which you are allowed to disagree).
Quite possibly my least favorite of all the books I've read so far this year. Give to others, but be aware that not all of us who enjoy Star Wars and Shakespeare will like/appreciate the book as much as those who are in love with it.
Note: free copy received via Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review....more
Note: I received a free advance reading copy via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. On with the review.
The Crossover is a novelNote: I received a free advance reading copy via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. On with the review.
The Crossover is a novel in verse, and a very well done one at that. Kwame Alexander's writing has heart and soul, rhythm and rhyme, and a great story of life and love to boot. Josh Bell narrates the story of a year in which basketball is important, but family becomes more important. He and his twin brother, Jordan, are the stars of the team but seem to be going separate directions. Josh can only think about winning the championship while Jordan is much more interested in girls, one in particular. Then there's the fact that their dad, a former European League basketball star, may be having health issues.
This is a great read-aloud middle grade book. While it helps to have at least a passing interest in basketball, Alexander's writing pops off the page in such a way that you feel the game the way Josh does. The real heart of the story is not so much the game Josh loves, but the game he is living. Basketball and life are intertwined by the end. There are lessons aplenty in this book, but they aren't the real reason to pick it up and love it. You should pick up Kwame Alexander's The Crossover because he makes the words come to life and has crafted a brilliant novel in verse that a reader of any age can relate to. 5/5 stars for being brilliant, heartfelt, and making you realize just how precious life is....more