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Speak Easy, Speak Love

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,180 ratings  ·  372 reviews
Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s co
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Greenwillow Books
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Charlotte That's too bad 😔 I'll snatch a hardcover copy then 😊…moreThat's too bad 😔 I'll snatch a hardcover copy then 😊(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,180 ratings  ·  372 reviews

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High Lady of The Night Court
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: retellings-read
“I love you.”
She closed her eyes and tucked his fingers close, right where they belonged. “Against your will.”
“With so much of my heart, none of it is left to protest.”

It shouldn’t be possible to love characters this much. This book was mind blowing and reading it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. The book is set in the 1920’s following a group of people who each somehow ended up at Hey Nonny Nonny. These characters have spent their lives fighting to survive, now more tha
Elle (ellexamines)
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars. This is an incredibly creative and interesting concept for a novel - a 1920s Much Ado About Nothing retelling set in prohibition era? count me in. And I enjoyed this fine upon first reading, but I don't know... I think as time as has gone on, I've realized I found some of this sort of boring. 

This is definitely a character-driven novel; in fact, it follows seven lead young characters, not even including the adults - the flirty and worldly Hero, my aspiring-doctor icon B
♛ may
Besides the fact that enemies to lovers trope is totally the greatest trope to exist (there is scientific proof to back this up) this book is just SO FANTASTIC YOU NEED TO READ IT RIGHT NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING

The Characters
- now, you should be aware that this book is very character driven and so the majority of the story surrounds my babies and their preciousness
- and now imma go into detail
- benedict: my writer son whos willing to throw his silver spoon for his dreams, also hes sassy and snark
McKelle George
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book's wit is as blunt as the fencer’s foil, which hits but hurts not.
This book wears its faith but as the fashion of its hat; it ever changes with the next block.
I would my horse had the speed of this book's tongue.
But by this day! I do spy some marks of love in this book...

....okay I'll stop. (¬‿¬)
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Speak Easy Speak Love is a book nerd's dream. With the vivd hedonism of the 1920s, a cast of exquisitely drawn characters (with snappy chemistry and sexual tension that makes you want to smash their faces together), and wit to rival Will himself, a loving, fresh, and unputdownable homage to the original romantic comedy. ...more
you can read this & other reviews on my blog!
THIS BOOK. Oh my gosh, this was just so charming. I was already drawn to it because have you seen that cover?! I want a poster of it on my wall. I want to look at it FOREVER because it is just so pretty, bless the artist. Everything about it--the author's name in that font, the typography, THE HAIR THINGS, the shadowy wisps, the 1920's feel--IS PURE PERFECTION.

Now, about the book itself! It is beautiful. Full of finding yourself, romance, SO MUCH B
Jaime Arkin
4.5 stars

I first fell in love with the cover of this book and then I fell in love with the words that make up this amazingly told retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. Speak Easy, Speak Love is set during the 1920’s in New York… a time of prohibition and secret clubs called Speakeasy’s, mobsters and bootlegging, and all make for an entertaining and captivating read that I couldn’t put down.

The story itself revolves around six teens whose lives tangle one fateful summer. Told from three points o
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

I am having difficulty achieving some semblance of coherence when it comes to this beautiful book. My feelings for it are threatening to overwhelm me on every level this morning. I didn't sleep last night. And I mean that literally. I didn't sleep a wink. Twice, I tried to force myself to do the right smart thing and wait to finish on the morrow. But my head and my heart would have none of it. They were both buzzing far too loudly to even think of sleep. I bo
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love MAAN and I legitimately didn't need to read anything else to read.

I loved this Beatrice and Benedick. Of course the rest of the cast of characters is fun, but I was obsessed with the banter between Bea and Ben. She's so smart and he's so stubborn and it was absolutely glorious.

Plot wise, it was a slow and perhaps dense in a few sections. There are a few working threads of story that make it feel well rounded, but it's also a lot to keep track of.

Overall, it was a fun read with a creati
5 stars

“I'm penniless, alas. If I win, I want a dance. If you win, I'll give you a kiss."
"I don't suppose it occurred to you I might not want your kiss."
"If you don't want it, you can give it back.”

This book is by and far one of my absolute FAVORITES of 2018 😁

Shakespeare can be hit or miss for me. Romeo and Juliet, for example, annoying the living crap out of me. Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, The Twelfth Night....these are my babies. Wit, humor, and massive confusion all resul
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
This was as fantastic as you would dare hope for a retelling of Much Ado About About Nothing set in a Long Island 1920s Prohibition-stricken speakeasy. It was shippy and banter-y and so much fun.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
I loved it!!!

I was hoping I would love the book, but I didn't expect Speak Easy, Speak Love to be this hilarious, charming and all round entertaining read!

The story takes place in 1920s New York during the Prohibition era. The events occur in the speakeasy Hey Nonny Nonny in Long Island. There are three pov characters.
Beatrice is aspiring doctor and high school drop out because her step father couldn't afford to pay for her education. She moves to live with her Uncle Leo and his daughter Hero,
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish more people would read this book. It was so FUN

Speak Easy, Speak Love is a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in prohibition era Long Island. That’s the only thing I needed to know and I was sold.

The plot may be a little lacking but the characters were spectacular. We’ve got a rich boy who doesn’t want to be useless and is trying to find his purpose (sound familiar?) A feminist girl who’s brilliant and wants to go to medical school, her spunky energetic flapper cousin who just wants
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-ebook
Quit a retell with a mix of prohibition, speakeasies, mobsters, class, race, and breaking gender roles. The author did her research quite clearly and gave the novel an authentic feel regarding the events and times. On one hand, I liked reading about the characters’ (especially Benedick and Beatrice) love, friendship, dreams, connections, and the discovery of each other's strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, this one had too many chapters on prohibition for my taste but the book overall w ...more
Eliza ☽
I’m finding it hard to fully fathom and express what it is I truly loved about this book so much. Aside from the fact that it’s a SHAKESPEARE RETELLING set in the ROARING TWENTIES (this fact alone should make you want to read it) my love for this book can be summed up in these 2 words: THE CHARACTERS. So I’ll just give you a walking tour of our six human disasters, because, boiz, this book is C H A R A C T E R D R I V E N:

BEATRICE: Aspiring doctor, the cleverest person you will ever meet, looks
Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)
This was so well done! Beatrice and Benedick frustrated me to no end but in the best possible way! I would have loved to be a part of a group of friends like this ((view spoiler)).

Personally, I've always been interested in the prohibition era, mostly because I'm from Windsor, Ontario and Windsor had a significant role with regards to rum-running, so it's always been a part of local history I grew up with. I remember being a l
Katie Hanna
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
*deep sigh* Oh, boy.

Please prepare yourself for the liberal application of Salt (TM). All opinions hereafter expressed are my own, and carry no obligation for others to agree.

Speak Easy, Speak Love is a retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It's set in America during the 1920s (so, Prohibition Era) at an illegal speakeasy called--in a nod to Shakespeare--Hey Nonny Nonny. Hey Nonny Nonny is struggling financially and on the cusp of closing down permanently. The teenagers in charge
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, historical
I have struggled to know what to say in this review. Because when a story is this good?! All I can seem to come up with is: YOU'LL LOVE IT, GO READ IT. So you can understand my turmoil, right? ;) For your sake, I'll attempt to be coherent, though...

First, the setting. I never knew that taking Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and placing it in the Roaring 20s would be so completely perfect. But it IS! It really, really is. All the foibles of these characters just absolutely make sense in a pr
Rachel McMillan
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I hope you guys aren't looking for deep thoughts or even coherent ones here because you have come to the wrong shindig, kittens. So get ready for this tipped-over-glass of rambling loquaciousness:

---from my blog----

I am DRIPPING with love for this book. ACHING with love for this book. GIDDILY FALLING OFF MY CHAIR for John Mor--erm--- I mean this book.

Yes. this book

(also, for John Morello)

and also for the voice--- the narrative voice-- cajoling and teasing and warm and knowing and like a sly wink
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: Black character, half-Italian character

Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher.

First things first: I have a confession to make. I know the plot more or less but I've never actually read Much Ado About Nothing... In my defense! We don't read that much Shakespeare in school here! But honestly, even with that in mind, I absolutely Loved™ Speak Easy, Speak Love which I feel only means that it holds up wonderfully on its own, not only as a retelling!

If you've read my Waiting for Se
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Much Ado About Nothing retelling set in Prohibition-era New York?

A 1920's retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. What a ride!
I stayed up far too late last night finishing this book because I could not put it down. It is not that the writing was that enjoyable (it is okay but sometimes a little cluttered) or that I needed to know what happened to the characters (honestly, Beatrice was kind of annoying?) but somehow all together the good and bad come together to create something really delightful.
I like how the author dropped (or maybe never had? that was part o
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I LOVE Much Ado About Nothing. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. That is 100% due to Beatrice and Benedick being one of my all time OTPs. (I've written about them before here and here.) There are parts of the story I would, of course, like to change for a more modern sensibility (such as everything with Hero and Claudio). I am therefore completely and irrevocably in love with McKelle George's clever retelling Speak Easy, Speak Love. She fixed everything
I knew this book was going to be spectacular, but I was not prepared for this.

This book was Six of Crows meets Shakespeare plus The Great Gatsby. I have no clue how that even works, but OH MY GOSH IT DID. I'm in this stunned stupor from it. Everything about it was so good: the writing, the characters, the setting, the descriptions, the parallels between the original play. Everythinggggggggggggggggggggggggg. I never thought these words would ever come out of my mouth, but this book really makes m
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“The line between like and dislike is almost invisible when attraction is involved.”

This was such a fun book. It was glitzy and charming and had all the whimsy you would hope for from a 1920s Shakespeare-inspired retelling. With strong personalities and insane chemistry, this story captivates you from the first page. Speak Easy, Speak Love follows the lives of 6 teens in the summer of 1920s New York as their lives converge in the rundown and past-its-prime Hey Nonny Nonny mansion, wi
Rosalyn Eves
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Much Ado has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and I love it when adaptations get it right (see also: Lily Anderson's The Only Thing Worse than Me is You). I wasn't sure how Much Ado would translate to the 1920s and a speakeasy, but it turns out it translates brilliantly, with Beatrice as a young woman with ambitions of becoming a doctor, Benedict as a wealthy heir about to be cut off if he doesn't give up his dreams of writing, Hero as a young woman strugglin ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars-- pretty damn close to 5. I ADORED this book! What a surprise, I hadn't heard of it but am so happy to have discovered it and receive an early copy! I'm a big fan of anything to do with the roaring 20s, add speakeasy' s and mobsters alongside brilliant, quirky characters and fabulous writing-- guys it's a total, total win in my book. The story moved at just right the pace, the drama and comedy gelled perfectly, the romance was amazing and the banter top notch. But come on, it IS a ret ...more
Chesca (thecrownedpages)
DID SOMEONE SAY "1920s" AND "SPEAKEASY"??? *shelves* I may be the only here who shelved this not because of the mention of a Shakespeare retelling. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow. A retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in New York during the 1920s, everything about this book was fantastic. This story follows six characters during the summer of 1927 - Beatrice, Benedick, Maggie, John, Hero and Prince - as their lives converge at Hey Nonny Nonny, a Speak Easy on Long Island. Drama, romance and hilarity ensue as these characters navigate running a nightclub during the prohibition era. The language in this book is seriously so good, most especially the snappy dialo ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE. 1920s. Much Ado About Nothing. So accurate. So perfect. I love.
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McKelle George is a reader, doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love is out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City.

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124 likes · 45 comments
“I'm penniless, alas. If I win, I want a dance. If you win, I'll give you a kiss."
"I don't suppose it occurred to you I might not want your kiss."
"If you don't want it, you can give it back.”
“She let him do it, not only because she came out looking all right in his story, not a clock-throwing ruin of a girl, but also because Benedick's talking about her as if she were already one of them made her one of them. Words. What a tricky, tangled science.” 6 likes
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