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Never Be Younger: a YA anthology

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Classic story meets the modern world...and out of this world.

From the halls of a high school to hip night clubs to the depths of space, Never Be Younger gives Shakespeare's classic plays and sonnets a fresh spin for a new audience. Nine authors pay tribute to the Bard by taking his timeless tales to new heights, entrancing readers all over again. A Shakespeare story by any other name still reads as sweet.

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading.

193 pages

First published June 7, 2015

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About the author

Rachel Bateman

7 books127 followers
Rachel Bateman is an author and screenwriter who lives in the middle of Montana with her charmingly geeky husband, two sons, and more pets than she can keep track of. When she's not writing, you can find Rachel sewing, wrangling chickens, or planning her next road trip. Please visit her at www.rachelbateman.com or on Instagram @rachelbatemanbooks.

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
218 reviews27 followers
June 22, 2015
I received an e ARC of Never Be younger from one of the authors, in exchange with an honest review.

Star Cross Lovers :

I liked the modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. There is a better reason for the feud between both families, and the highlights of the play are present in this short story.

The Scarf:

I loved the 1st few pages of this story; they were adorable and funny ( I loved how the scarf had a twitter account ). Although the plot was kind of predictable, yet it was enjoyable. There were parts that were a bit unrealistic for me, but it was still one of my favorite stories.

A Day of Errors:

This story had a plot hole that kind of made me change my thoughts of the story. It was an okay read, until the last few pages.

Any Way the Wind Blows:

One of the best stories in this anthology. From the plot to the characters, everything was well written . I was really intrigued by the mystery in this story.

To Undreamed Shores:

This story was really good. The plot flowed extremely well, and the story was very entertaining.

A Witches life:

This was the most creative story in the entire Anthology . The author was able to build a paranormal world, and create characters in which I loved, in a story that is only 20 something pages long. I wasn't impressed with the ending, a lot was left unsolved.

Mark the Music:

The retelling of the Merchant of Vince was interesting. Although I had some trouble liking the characters at first, I ended up liking how the author was able to retell one of my favorite plays.

A Gargoyle's Prom Nightmare:

The main plot in this story was interesting, but in some parts, I would get totally lost in what was happening

This Anthology had a lot of mistakes. I understand that this was an ARC, but it still had many mistakes.

There were plots that I really loved, and others that were uninteresting.

I haven't read all of the plays that this anthology retell-ed, but I don't think this was why I disliked some stories . I liked some Retelling of plays that i haven't even heard about.

If you like Shakespeare, give this book a go. There are some great stories in this anthology that deserve to be read.

I give this Anthology 3.25/5 stars.
Profile Image for Heather A.
670 reviews16 followers
August 19, 2015
I received a copy from Netgalley.

Shakespeare retellings caught my eye immediately. I see a lot of fairytale retellings, but I don't think Shakespeaer retellings other than Romeo & Juliet parallels is something I've seen before.

The ones I liked were Star Crossed Lovers. Romeo & Juliet with a sci fi twist. Visually striking, and entertaining, if the dialogue and some of the scenes were rather silly. I did quite like the actual lines from the original mixed in.

The Scarf - Othello - I really loved this one. Twisty backstabbing high school drama. Great characters, great story building. Would have loved to see a full fledged novel for this one.

A Gargoyle's Prom Night - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Loved this one too. Very funny. Snappy and entertaining, did a really good job of putting its own spin on the original.

The other stories I just didn't like. Comedy of Errors - annoying, boring. Didn't like it, skipped after a few pages.

Macbeth - written in dialect. This spoiled it, and it was hard to understand, I could have quite easily got the Scottish feel without the dialect. Wound up irritated and skipped after a few pages.

Merchant of Venice. I got the idea this one was trying to be dark and edgy. It didn't work for me, it was flat and I had no interest. The dialogue was annoying and cheesy.


I'm also wondering if this was a 'clean' YA anthology because I saw no swearing. Even in the club scene one, it was more annoying and eye rolling to see characters using "eff" in stead of saying the actual words, and "heck" when it popped up in one of the stories was annoying.

Certainly, I commend the effort, it must be incredibly difficult to put together a batch of short stories with an original twist when retelling from such a literary icon.

Thank you to Victory Editing for approving my request to view the title.

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Profile Image for Amanda.
401 reviews43 followers
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June 18, 2015
It’s been a long time since I have picked up one of Shakespeare’s plays to read and the Never Be Younger anthology made me think I should remedy that asap. Some stories, such as Othello, never leave you but others I definitely would have gotten more out of the retelling if I’d had more familiarity with the original.

The highlights for me were:

To Undreamed Shores by Cortney Pearson (The Winter’s Tale). I would have enjoyed more of this story for sure. The Winter’s Tale is one I’m not too familiar with but this was a sweet romance, if a bit rushed in the end.

Mark the Music by Olivia Hinebaugh (The Merchant of Venice). Loved this! What a way to lose a pound of flesh. Hinebaugh set the original on its head with this musical story. Even more than moving Romeo & Juliet to outer space (yes it’s true) I thought this was the boldest retelling.

The Scarf by Christina June (Othello). Othello is absolutely my favorite Shakespeare (Thank you and RIP Brother Ruhl) so I was very curious to see how this was retold. Loved this one too! June stayed true to the spirit of Iago and his malevolence with a setting that was purely modern high school. I was very nervous for June’s Darcy and her scarf throughout, but this was a creative and excellent retelling.

These three were my favorites, but the anthology also includes stories based on Romeo & Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream- so perhaps your favorite is included too?

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading.
Profile Image for Natasha Rowlin.
Author 1 book5 followers
June 25, 2015
3.5 stars
I received a copy of this collection from one of the authors for the purpose of an honest review.
I loved this idea - a collection of short stories, each with a YA take on Shakespeare? As someone who loved reading Shakespeare plays when I myself was a ‘young adult’ I was definitely keen to read these interpretations. Each story took on an interesting slant with variations in settings, use of language, it was a fun read for sure. Some stories grabbed me more than others. An unexpected deviation from the path of the stories I knew was fun, though some more enjoyable than others. I particularly enjoyed the stories The Scarf (Othello), Mark the Music (The Merchant of Venice) and Any Way the Wind Blows (Macbeth) the most - all had quite a refreshing slant on the stories I loved, the original inspiration recognisable but also allowed me to enjoy the stories for what they were, rather than simply thinking of them as a ‘retelling’.
Very interesting idea! Enjoyed it a lot.
Profile Image for Danielle Shipley.
Author 33 books52 followers
June 13, 2015
A fun, varied collection, spinning classic Shakespeare storylines into all new contexts. As is generally the case with anthologies, some of the stories left me wanting, while others had me smiling inside and out. The authors of “Never Be Younger” strike me as a clever, imaginative bunch, with much to offer Shakespeare lovers and young adult/new adult readers alike. Definitely worth the read!

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Lauren.
198 reviews31 followers
October 9, 2015
I recieved a free copy for an honest review from Netgalley

a modern twist on Well known shakespere plays

I really enjoyed these short stories. I am a big fan of classic stories/plays getting a twist or modern turn on them. I found the stories in this book very good and well written. My favourite would have to be romeo and juliet because it is also my favourite shakespere play. Very quick enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Megz.
186 reviews45 followers
June 30, 2015
There is a place for Shakespeare retellings, which I’m sure English majors and other aficionados can elaborate upon. In its simplest form, it tells the story in a milieu more relevant to this generation.

I’m afraid my favorite part of this book is its cover. While it was really fun to see the twists each author would incorporate into their story (space station, high school, etc), the writing was extremely juvenile. Just because your target audience is young does not mean one has to write in a juvenile fashion.

The short story is an art form. Far be I from an expert, but a short story is not an excuse for flat characters, stereotypes and rushed plots – quite the contrary. And these are exactly the things that presented themselves in most of these shorts. They were poorly developed and very rushed and I felt that the authors presented teenagers as one-track minded creatures.

Star-crossed Lovers was the only story that did not seem to attempt to fit an entire backstory and resolution into the short. It was a glimpse; and with some polishing to the writing, I would actually want to read a full-length novel of the short. Maybe.

Few were particularly intriguing. Mark the Music was probably the best of the lot, with a fairly well-developed voice and some real thrills.

So many novels and films carry similar themes to Shakespeare, so purposefully writing retellings of his plays seemed fairly forced.

I guess I was not a good match for this collection of short stories at all.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nicole.
644 reviews4 followers
June 9, 2015
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Never Be Younger reimagines several of Shakespeare's plays in a variety of settings, times and realities that are designed to appeal to YA's who enjoy a variety of genres. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a very worthy cause, United Through Reading, a charity that unites military families through reading. As a teacher, I'm always looking for ways to make Shakespeare's work more accessible, so I had high hopes for this anthology. The first two stories, a space age Romeo and Juliet and a modern day Othello set around the politics of high school, were everything that I wanted. They were engaging and conveyed the spirit of each play. I think my students would enjoy comparing them to the originals. I thought To Undreamed Shores was a rather enchanting and romantic short story as well. I have not read A Winter's Tale, so I cannot comment on its strength as a translation, but I think YA readers will appreciate the idea. I wanted the MacBeth revision to be strong because that is a play we actually teach at our school and our students struggle with it. Unfortunately, the narrative voice was written in a Scottish dialect that I found distracting, and it didn't really focus on the themes I see as most pivotal in the original. Others were hit or miss. I would read the first two stories again in a heartbeat and recommend them to my students, but I think personal taste will dictate whether the rest are enjoyable. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.
Profile Image for Courtney.
700 reviews4 followers
July 31, 2015
I read this because I love anthologies and I love Shakespeare. I thought this would be a great combination. Wrong. Most of the stories started out enjoyable and then fell short. The build up of each Shakespeare retelling was pretty good. Then, without fail, just about every single one would take a completely lame or cheesy twist and end on a low point. The Romeo and Juliet story led the book off and made me think that perhaps this could be good. That ended up being the only somewhat decent story in my mind. I was really disappointed. The Shakespeare Tragedies started out strong, but instead of the misery we've come to expect, they would have a happily ever after. That by itself would have been fine if it was pulled off better. Mostly the happy twists were just lame, cheesy and quick. What I mean by quick is that they didn't seem well thought out. The stories would be going along strong, and then an ending that felt thrown together at the last second would appear and I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. This is the first anthology that I have disliked as a whole. Usually there is at least one story that doesn't do it for me, but overall the majority are likable. Not so in this case. This book had potential and totally missed the mark.
Profile Image for Lisa Bentley.
1,336 reviews16 followers
July 22, 2015
Ahh, the Bard! One of best (if not the greatest) English literary exports of all time has been re-envisioned by various authors in this anthology of stories. I won’t lie to you. I did not enjoy it.

I know that my dislike of these stories is because I am a purist (which I understand is totally on me and therefore I do implore you to read other reviews on Never Be Younger) but I just didn’t enjoy reading this book.

To be fair, the stories were written really well and kudos to the authors for being able to re-imagine such classical stories but at times I did find it difficult to find the link from the Shakespeare play to the authors understanding of it.

This book of shorts did not keep me hooked and I found it very tedious reading.

However, I have to give praise to the writers who are selling this anthology as all the proceeds go to help military families.

Never Be Younger: a YA Anthology by Rachel Bateman is available now.
Profile Image for tina.
642 reviews50 followers
June 6, 2015
I got this book for free from NetGalley.

This is a collection of short stories, about 20-30 pages each, of different works of Shakespeare retold into modern day or sci fi aspects. Some were good, some weren't the best. I found most to be juvenile, which is who I think this is aimed at which makes sense. There were quite a few spelling and grammar errors which will hopefully be fixed in the finished anthology.

I think a major thing that would have helped me to like this more is if I had actually read or was familiar with any of Shakespeare's plays, the only ones I know well are Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth. I think if you know his writing well, you might enjoy this take on them more.
Profile Image for Keshia Barbee.
122 reviews7 followers
June 7, 2015
I was not into this at all. The only story that I liked in it was Mark the Music, none of the other stories flowed in a way that made sense
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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