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Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Lizzy Speare Book 1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  41 reviews

…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best fr
Paperback, 354 pages
Published September 12th 2012 by Antenna Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
What an exceptional idea for a book! I knew I’d like this book from the moment I read the synopsis.I was given this book to review and I’m glad I’ve read it, it’s so unique and adventurous. I would have absolutely loved this book when I was younger, as it mixes elements of Shakespeare and Marlowe with mythology. I found this book to be enlightening and educational as we hopped down the rabbit-hole, so to speak, with Lizzy and went on a mad dash to try to save her father. The villian, Dmitri Marl ...more
Lizzy Lessard
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
LIZZIE SPEARE AND THE CURSED TOMB is an excellent introduction for MG students to Shakespeare, while still being mystical enough to appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. The story begins with the kidnapping of Rupert, Lizzie’s father. With the help of her best friend Sammy, she must find a way to find him. I like how the quest is a person, not an object. The riddles for the quest are taken directly out of Shakespeare’s work, which will help kids to understand and appreciate the Eliza ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First and foremost, I would like to thank the author for letting me read her book in exchange for a honest review.

This book is absolutely amazing! I was glad that I had a chance to read this book and I was glad that my sister was able to read this book as well! She thoroughly enjoyed it too :)

Me and my sister both enjoyed the concept of incorporating Shakespeare's world with our modern one. Honestly, this book made it more enjoyable to learn about Shakespeare and his works! The characters were b
My Thoughts - 4 out of 5 unicorns - I really liked it!

Kept me engaged through the entire story, I loved how Shakespeare was nicely entwined into this story. The creativity in this book is awesome because it is has everything. It is like Shakespeare meets mythology in today’s world. I love mythology, and I have always liked Shakespeare, but this took it to a whole other level. There is mystery, lies, intrigue, revenge, plays, love, and so much more I can’t wait to see where Lizzy’s adventure lead
Robert Kent
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Good morrow, Esteemed Reader! As per usual, today's review will be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. And yet you come back every week:)

Ahh, Shakespeare. Nothing in literature makes me clench up faster than the bard. Quoting Shakespeare anywhere in a modern story can have this effect on some readers. And the Ninja has a quality liberal arts education and has acted in (not well) and directed Shakespeare's plays. Even so, somehow a writer invoking Shakespeare give
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Lizzy Speare and The Cursed Tomb is part mystery, part mythology, part history, and a whole lot of non-stop action! Within the pages of this book, there is a story which features a strong female main character and her loyal friend Sammy; a unique collection of supporting characters based on Greek (and other) mythology and legend; elements of Shakespearean history; and an underlying mystery which grips the reader from the get-go with an intriguing prologue and brief glimpses into what the ever-se ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
(This review can also be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).

Doesn't that blurb making Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb sound like a really fun read!?! Well, it is most definitely a fun read that I really enjoyed!

Lizzy Speare loves writing! In fact, she's very talented at it. On the night of her 12th birthday, she and her friend Sammy are kidnapped and taken to a castle in the middle of Brooklyn. Once there, Lizzy learns she is the last true descendant of th
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

I love reading anything to do with Shakespeare, so I was immediately intrigued by this book’s synopsis. I love mythology, too, and was thrilled to discover that Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb also incorporates a lot of mythical figures into this exciting tale of a girl with an extraordinary lineage. What I wouldn’t give to one day find out that I was descended from William Shakespeare! You’re one very lucky young l
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 Stars

I'm no Shakespeare scholar or fanatic, but I do enjoy his work, and author Ally Malinenko has done something quite extraordinary with her book Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb...she's made Shakespeare fun! Fantastically fun, in fact! This adventure filled middle-grade surpassed my expectations and turned out to be an excellent read.

Twelve year old Lizzy Speare is not a normal girl; she's the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Which, she finds out on her twelfth birthday;
Diana (Offbeat Vagabond)
Original review here:

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is a story about a smart girl named Lizzy. Lizzy is celebrating her birthday with her dad. Things are going very well until there is a knock at the door. That one knock will change Lizzy forever. Lizzy father has now disappeared and it is up to her and some out-of-this-world characters to rescue him. Lizzy Is a brilliant writer and even she couldn't have come
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I really wish GoodReads let people do half stars. I felt like this one was a bit better than 3 stars, but not quite a four star read for me.

A few weeks ago, author Ally Malinenko contacted me to read and review her MG/ lower YA story, 'Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb'. It's a mix of fantasy, adventure, and some classic Shakespeare.

Lizzy Speare leads a quite life with her father. On her twelfth birthday, right as she blows out the candles, a stranger knocks on the door and begins arguing with h
Unorthodox Mama
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, where do I even start?
The book description had me hook, line and sinker. It was so unique that it just grabbed me. I knew it was a must read.

After a long few days and in need of a pick me up this book jumped up my to be read pile.
A good move on my part.

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb was a great read. Better than even I expected and I had expected it to be pretty great.

There were a few things that really stood out to me reading Lizzy Speare.
It addressed family.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is a wonderful book for not just middle-grade kids but for "kids" of all ages. It is full of adventure and excitement. I found myself so engaged in the story. Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are the perfect pair. Their characters really made the story. They are typical twelve year old children who get caught up in a tremendous adventure.

When Lizzy's 12th birthday occurs, something unbelievable happens, and she and Sammy are transported to New York City. While th
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
It took me a while to read this book only because this is not my typical type of read, which I'm okay with because it was definitely interesting none the less, because it was about Shakespeare and I love Shakespeare. Many have remade his plays and even made them into movies throughout time, but I don't think anyone has ever done Shakespeare in this way and that alone intrigued me.

We meet Lizzy and her best friend Sammy as they are introduced in the beginning of the book as regular kids, but in
Rae Ryans
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We received a paperback copy, which the author graciously signed for Mr J. (Her 10 year old son) in exchange for his honest opinion. As always, Rae will paraphrase his words for the review. He was asked to read, report, and review Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb as apart of his homeschool curriculum. As a parent, I found the mystery and fantasy based synopsis to fit my son's favorite genre (fantasy).

On to the review ...

This took me a little longer to read than most stories, but it was a larger
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally published here: http://peskypiksipesternomi.blogspot....

What a book. I wish I could just say, "The book is awesome." and be done with it. I have to admit, I wasn't sure I would like the book quite so much. One the one hand, the fact that the summary mentioned Shakespeare and Marlowe was enough to convince my literature student self that that was the book for me. On the other hand, the title is a bit cheesy-sounding and the cover made me wonder if it would turn out to be a little too t
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found Lizzy Speare by Ally Malinenko to be very Potteresque. Instead of witches and wizards, Lizzy Speare has literary and mythical characters. It’s a fun tale of self-discovery, revenge and adventure.

Lizzy is a very likeable character that, along with Sammy, basically goes on a Shakespearian goose chase to find her father. Malinenko uses Shakespeare’s quotes as clues. Younger children may not recognize all the literary references; but, it’s a fun way to learn. I expect this is the author’s wa
“This is it. This is where everything starts. Are you ready? In my home, some doors lead to other rooms. Some doors lead nowhere at all. Some doors lead back in time. Some doors can be made to go wherever you want them to go, whenever you want. This door,’ he tapped a finger on the red painted wood, `leads to your past. Yours and yours alone.”

{my thoughts} - This book was different for me. I typically read books about vampires, werewolves, etc. This book is about a 12 year-old girl named Lizzy a
Danielle Young
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to tell you that this book definitely had me intrigued. You see I love adventure and I especially love adventure that involves the secret world of magic!!

On the night of Lizzy's 12th birthday her entire world is turned upside down as she and her best friend Sammy are whisked away by a strange man claiming that she is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. As a whole new world is revealed to Lizzy she learns that she is being hunted. Confused with who she can trust Lizzy stumbl
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

4.5 Stars

I am a great fan of Shakespeare, my favorite works being Macbeth and Hamlet . So, I was super excited to read Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb because of all the Shakespeare allusions. However, there was so much more to it than Shakespeare; there were tons of mythical creatures and cool magic. It was a perfect blend of new and old inspiration. I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced everything was;
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book a little while back, but due to the sad destruction of my KindleFire, I was not able to read it. However, I am glad to say that I finished reading Lizzy Speare a few hours ago and I really wish I had been able to do so earlier!

This book was great! It was witty, humorous, creative and at times, dark-ish.

It was such a fun read that honestly, anyone of any age would enjoy. It's filled with the fantastical in a urban fantasy-like setting that has all the heart of a Harry Potter
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book awhile ago from the author and I regret that it has taken me this long to read because really, this was such a great book.

I think because it is so out of the norm of what I normally read, I was hesitant to read it. I was bracing myself to be bored with it or find that it was too young of a read. Really, I had nothing to worry about.

This book is intended for middle grade children but it was very entertaining and such a fun read that I really do think anyone would appreciate i
Lily at Bookluvrs Haven
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven

Late last year, I started yearning for a Harry Potter type of adventure. It had been a while since I sat down and immersed myself into a world of young kids finding out that they are not ordinary, and run around with all kinds of creatures on a crazy quest. So when the author sent me an inquiry on whether I would want to review her novel, and I read the synopsis, I jumped all over 'Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb'.

As a side note I thank the author f
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a well written book with great characters. It was full of magic and mystery that's for sure. I did not find it to be a book that I, personally, loved, however it had nothing to do with bad writing or a bad plot. It simply just was not for me. Maybe it's because it was strongly written around Shakespeare, which I liked, but did not love deeply.

Now, it was not all bad, or I would not have finished reading it. It was an easy to read book with fantastic characters! I loved watching how the
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lizzy S. Speare didn’t know why a bunch of people were angry at her father. First she heard a man who had a weird discussion with her father about her. Then some guy with an eye patch showed up.When the eye patch guy came, Mr. Speare told Lizzy and her best friend, Sammy, to get upstairs. Upstairs, where they think they’re safe, the first guy appears and takes Lizzy and Sammy with him to his castle… in New York City! His name is Jonathan Muse, and he says he helped William Shakespeare with ideas ...more
Jolene Haley
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I came into this novel with no expectations. I don’t normally read middle grade novels (not because I don’t like them, but because I tend to buy YA and NA instead). I’ll tell you one thing, I am a HUGE Shakespeare fan and I absolutely loved the concept of this novel. In fact, I can’t think of a single story out there that is like it.

Another thing I really liked about this novel is that Lizzy is a strong female protagonist. There’s nothing worse than opening a novel and starting to read it, only
Abigailann (Abigail)
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A dynamic story, weaving together YA, Shakespeare and mythology in a new and captivating way.

Each character is unique and well-thought out, with a background story and clear motives. They all stand alone in their own rights, with even the most insignificant of them becoming a clear image in the reader's mind. I found myself particularly attracted to the character of Sammy, Lizzy's best friend and a truly heroic, yet realist
Wendy Hines
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic book! Lizzy's father goes missing and she is adamant about finding him. One night, when she's at a sleepover, she and her friend Sammy are whisked away by a muse, Johnathon. He explains to her that she is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare and the heir to a great fortune. He also tries to get her to understand that she is in great danger from none other than Dmitri Marlowe, the descendant of Christopher Marlowe.

Lizzy is shocked but she wants to find her dad. Johna
Jen McConnel
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recently, I connected with author Ally Malinenko. Her debut, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, is a MG romp with a literary twist. You'll have fun reading this one!

Lizzy's life changes on her twelfth birthday. First, she's kidnapped. Then, she finds out that a)her captor isn't a captor, but a protector, b) he's a muse: a real one, and c) she's the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Reeling, Lizzy plunges into a world filled with myth, magic, and literary demons. Magical as everything
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Riveting! I thought the prologue was great and I had to read more! With all eyes on the main character Lizzy, who happens to inherit a legacy, we meet many members of her family with exciting doors opening into her past. Not a perfect family, mind you but with the help of her friend Sammy and the magical writings of a talented author who greatly admires William Shakespeare , together they meet a Symphonia, Satyr and Muse. Although their journey back in time seems like a dream and sometimes a sca ...more
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Ally Malinenko,is the author of the poetry collections, The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press), How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) Better Luck Next Year (Low Ghost Press) and Fitting the Ocean In Your Mouth (Blue Hour Review) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (BookFish Books). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and blogs at She can also be found blathering about Doctor ...more

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