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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  10,984 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews
He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Motherpen I think people dislike this book because its not well written. The language is clunky, anachronistic and not credible. The story is so so but the book…moreI think people dislike this book because its not well written. The language is clunky, anachronistic and not credible. The story is so so but the book overall is less than stellar. 2/10 (less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  10,984 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews

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Headstrong Ophelia is the youngest lady-in-waiting to Queen Gertrude of Denmark. Gertrude is both the pious and kindly mother that Ophelia never had, and the cool aunt who lets the girl read courtly romances, philosophy, and bawdy poems. Ophelia is also learning herbalogy from a local midwife, cheerfully pranking a mean girl at court, and nursing a giant crush on Prince Hamlet.

The fun and games come to a shocking halt while the prince is abroad. The King is murdered by his brother Claudius, who
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
If I have to choose which one of Shakespeare's tragidies is my favorite I'd hands down and without a doubt choose Hamlet. It's been my favorite tragey by Shakespeare from the moment i got introduced to his works, which was a long time ago.

Before reading the book I watched the movie Ophelia, which is not the right thing to do I know. Most of the time I read the book then watch the movie, but I completley forgot that I had this book and that the movie was specifically based on this.

Anyway, It was
Jul 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
Okay so I think my star rating needs some explaining.

I loved Part 1 and most of Part 2. If the book had stopped there I would have given this 3-4 stars. Probably 4. But now, the book continues for another 100 pages of the most boring rambling "Finding God" story arch which doesn't so much arch as drivels along in a slow straight line.

I thought the whole last third of the book was so bad, the entire story gets 1 star.

I had to skim through most of the ending because it was so boring. Ophelia didn
”I had wanted to be the author of my tale, not merely a player in Hamlet’s drama or a pawn in the court’s deadly game. But what had I gained instead?”

Synopsis: ‘Do you know how hard it’s been to be labeled insane for over 400 years?’, cries Hamlet to any disparaging soul willing to listen.

‘Hold my beer,’ mutters Ophelia.

Feminist Shakespeare for the Win: Despite the archaic times he lived in, Shakespeare’s female characters, especially in his comedies, were known for thei
Apr 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
To be completely honest, I'm perplexed as to why people were unimpressed. Shakespeare is hard to do, and I think for what it was, she did an amazing job. No, it wasn't perfect. But I think that even attempting a project like this is ambitious, and I think she kind of nailed it, to be frank.

It was sculpted wonderfully, had many different emotions coursing through the pages, and left you thinking by the end. Those are three very positive things, and I was impressed. It may have been short, but the
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Seriously, this is Hamlet fanfic, with Ophelia/Horatio as the OTP.

I can't help but compare this (unfavorably) to Ursula K. LeGuin's Lavinia. Both examine a famous male-dominated text from the perspective of the extremely marginalized love interest. But LeGuin brilliantly turns the story on its head. Her Lavinia has a strong enough voice of her own to really bring a new perspective to the Aeneid. I felt like the original gained new depths as a result.

Ophelia, on the other hand, is a pale shadow
Kaitlynn Wornson
Mar 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Yeah...they do stuff. Was good 'till that point. I can see the writer's reasoning for putting that section in there, but I thought it ruined the story. ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Marie
Jul 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: indulgences, 2009
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May 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I won't rehash my love of all things Shakespeare and the particular love i have for his play Hamlet here (although my reading of the particular young adult novel Ophelia by Lisa Klein did prompt a viewing of all six of my various Hamlet dvds for their sundry interpretations~it is always better to view performances than just to read over the text and i felt it all needed slight refreshing so i pulled i started by rereading the text itself then decided to pull out all five of my Hamlet dvds and wa ...more
L.E. Fidler
2.5 stars

here is my essential question: do i love metafiction or do i hate it? i really don't know and this book isn't helping me decide.

first off, i was sort the premise. i am a die-hard hamlet fan (by which i mean i love shakespeare's play, not that i'm about to get a poisoned rapier and go to town). furthermore, i LOVE ophelia. and i don't think shakespeare does her any unnecessary disservice. there i said it. lisa klein's whole premise in writing this story is that she, too,
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I chanced upon this book in the library a few years ago. And I'm glad I picked it up because, surprisingly, this is the book that inspired me to read classic literature, of which I am now a huge fan.

This is a YA work, but it's the one of the best titles I've ever read. It is a retelling of the play "Hamlet" by Shakespeare. I used to hate Shakespeare, but this story was so intriguing that I had to go back to the original and read it again. Because of Ophelia, I saw the greatness of Shakespeare fr
Clary Fray
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You get sucked in instantaneously to this cunning and devilishly smart novel called OPHELIA. The main character, Ophelia, is headstrong, determined, and lovestruck. When the wonderful and beautiful Hamlet enters her life, Ophelia is hypnotized.Even though he is a prince and she is the Queens lowest lady-in-waiting, the two stop at nothing to be together. When Hamlet's father is poisoned, the Queen becomes very grief stricken, going to Ophelia for support and a welcome ear. Then the notorious Kin ...more
lizzie mcmanus
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a feminist and as a lover of Shakespeare, i was simultaneously vastly excited and rather apprehensive to crack open this book. Sure, i've always wanted to know what Ophelia's real story was, but to tackle a reinterpretation of what is arguably Shakespeare's greatest work is, well, ambitious. But i knew that if it were done well, this book would make its way onto my "favorites" shelf in between the Sonnets and Rosencrantz & Guildernstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard.

It definitely made its way to t
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
~2.75 stars~
Oh dear god... i'm not even a fan of Shakeaspeare, i haven't read Hamlet, BUT THIS RETELLING. OH GOD.
i can't stop thinking about this novel... Like, the first chapters are very simple, but further you read better it gets. The prose, the drama, the romance, the tragedy, the atmosphere! So vivid, very cottagecore but with the contrast of a dark and turbulent Renaissance castle... is just... TRULY GORGEOUS. And also the characters! I don't know about the original work of Shakeaspeare, but in thi
Ashlee Bree
Ever since I first read Hamlet as a teenager, I've been curious about the innocent melancholy Ophelia. Who was she? What did she like? Dislike? How did she relate to the members of her family? Where and when did she experience any trials in her childhood? Who were her friends? Her confidants? Her tormentors? Did she have any special skills or hobbies? What, if anything in particular, featured in the dreams she had about her life, about the future she hoped would come to pass?

I've wanted an insi
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean tragedy, hands down, so when I saw this I was intrigued. I enjoyed the first 3/4 of it, and hated the end. I loved hearing Ophelia's point of view on the courtship and romance, and thought it interesting some of the liberties Klein took.

What was particularly interesting to me was how big of a role the herbs and flowers took in this retelling. I supposed because I'm lazy I never took the time to look up what each of the flowers and herbs were used for that Oph
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
IF you are familiar with the original version which is written by Shakespeare and it's original Title is "HAMLET" then i recommend you this book.

The original were all about vengeance and This book is about lies and betrayal and also vengeance. IF the original were all about hamlet who is the original protagonist then this book is the opposite. It foretell about Hamlet's Lover who became his wife in this story Ophelia. And of course it goes to the real flow of the story but the only different is
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I just noticed the relatively low rating of this book on this website and I just came here to say that THIS SHIT ABSOLUTELY SLAPS. Everybody in it is sexy and I think about it all the time. I think my weird obsession with monasteries can be traced back to this exact book. I definitely read this before Hamlet, so it had a very Wishbone-introduction vibe for me. 13 year old me was absolutely BLESSED to have it and I love it very much.
Camille Torres-kelly
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book about two years ago. It was before I had read the actual "Hamlet". I'd heard snippets of the play, but not the entire summary. This novel made an impact on how I read the play. For the next couple of years since I read this book, I've kind of viewed Ophelia as intelligent and trying to hold her ground in her topsy-turvy world rather than as insane and overly vulnerable. This novel is really worth cracking open and reading. ...more
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
I learned that I definitely have a different idea of what Ophelia's fate should have been! Very well written but not enough interaction between Hamlet and Ophelia to justify the deep love the author wanted us to believe that they had for one another. The research the author did on herbs and medicine during that era was quite extensive and interesting. ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-riot-2015
Book 2 of Read Harder 2015 challenge, retelling of a classic: in this Shakespeare! I love how this former English professor felt like we just didn't know Ophelia's side of the story. That she had many things to add to "Hamlet" and went on to write this novel. A must read for Shakespeare fans. ...more
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "Hamlet" and Its Retellings
Shelves: i-own, retellings
Read the review on my blog:
May 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Klein took on a pretty steep challenge in re-writing what many would consider to be the greatest piece of literature in the English language, and I'm not sure the results are satisfactory. Yes, the story of Hamlet has been retold many times from Strange Brew to The Lion King to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, but it is another thing to go right into the original and try to retell it from another point of view. I'll tell you right now, this is no Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. That compariso ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, denmark
It is an almost insurmountable task to fill-out a story written by Shakespeare. I applaud the author for the attempt. I just wish it was a more interesting and more well-written attempt. As it stands this book was okay, but nothing more.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Seriously wanted to hit Hamlet & Ophelia over the head.
Follows original plot well with additional twist at end.
Not really sure I liked Ophelia very much

I have to start by telling you that I absolutely hate the story of Hamlet, hate with a capital H. Want to know why? Everyone dies, there are no redeeming qualities at all *sigh*. I had high hopes that this book would change my mind. Unfortunately, it didn’t for the most part I wanted to hit Hamlet and Ophelia over the head. I think that the fact
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
In this Ophelia-centric retelling of Hamlet, our heroine fakes madness and death, matches wits with the prince, and takes the reins of her story into her own hands. This is Ophelia's tale now — Hamlet's just playing a role in it.

When Ophelia first lays eyes on Prince Hamlet, she's a scrappy little tomboy in her brother Laertes' shadow. Years later, she's a lady-in-waiting who feels trapped by the conventions of Elsinore — specifically the ones that require her and Hamlet to keep their love a sec
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #24 Ophelia by Lisa Klein 1 4 Jan 23, 2015 03:57PM  
The Young Adult H...: Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - December's Read 5 19 Feb 22, 2014 06:53PM  
Ophelia's side... 11 82 Apr 26, 2013 08:39AM  

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“What is a man's life but a prelude to his death? And what is death but a long sleep, a most welcome forgetfulness.” 41 likes
“Alone in my chamber, I fairly trembled with excitement. How could it be that I, who had never been kissed before, had kissed the Prince of Denmark himself, not once but many times? Did he really speak to me of love? It was beyond belief that I, humble Ophelia, should be wooed by Prince Hamlet. Surely I had imagined it.” 16 likes
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