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Falling for Hamlet

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,699 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides ou ...more
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Poppy (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  1,699 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
"Mistakes and miscommunications. Violent love and violent hate. Betrayals and desire. Our beginning, our middle, and our end."

First let me state that this is my first time experiencing Hamlet's story. Having gone to a French school, Shakespeare's work was not part of our curriculum, hence my unfamiliarity with it. In addition, I've never had the opportunity to see it as a play as there are no production where I live. So yes, Shakespeare… not my forte; but I'm happy to report that I quite enj
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, arc, read-but-unowned, 2011
Let me start by saying that you should not judge this book by its cover. Or by its opening lines:

"Frailty, thy name is woman." - William Shakespeare
"Willy, thy name is sexism." - Ophelia

Don't get me wrong, both have very much to do with the story (other than Hamlet's hair color on the cover), but they really make this look like a much lighter, funnier, beach read kind of book than it really is. I mean, really, how would one make an adaption of Hamlet light? Instead, this book is everything it
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Falling for Hamlet is a retelling of a Shakespearean play. I would ask you guys to guess but I think it’s pretty obvious already. Hehehe. It’s a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I honestly haven’t read that yet so I can’t really say how close or how far Ms. Ray was with the original work. But maybe it was for the

Anyways, Falling for Hamlet is one of those books that would stick to you because it was unique. It was a retelling yes but it was done in a good way. Also, I was not expec
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads

One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Hamlet, so I was super stoked when I heard a modern young adult retelling was coming out. I even pimped it in my post about upcoming novels in 2011. If only I could go back in time and take away that excitement, because despite all the mind-boggling five star reviews this novel received on Amazon (who is reviewing this- fans of James Patterson), it is truly a painful piece of “literature”. Although
"''You had to fall for Hamlet. You're downfall, you might say.'"

And unfortunately, that quote completely sums up not only Hamlet and Ophelia's entire relationship, but the book itself. Because their respective characters and their relationship ultimately helped contribute to this book's respective downfall.

What would happen if William Shakespeare’s Hamlet were to take place in the present day? What if cameras, paparazzi, cell phones and news outlets everywhere were watching the character’s e
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
(Originally posted @ CSI:Librarian.)

I wanted to love this book. At first, I was positive that I would. The pace was quick, the writing was fine, and there were parts of it that I still really like. There were a lot of clever references throughout the text and exchanges of dialogue that modernized scenes from the play that were very well-done. I felt that the characters were updated in a very cool way, and I liked the idea of Ophelia being the one to dish on what had happened.

However, I feel like
Ashley Barrineau
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was not sure if I would really like this book. I am generally not a romance reader, or a Shakespeare revisiter. However I am a big fan of Hamlet and this book really intrigued me. The book is set up with alternating chapter headers that focus on investigations by the FBI equivalent in Denmark, and Ophelia being interviewed by a talk show host about the incident that is slowly unfolding. These interludes really kept me reading, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Ophelia, especi ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Recommended to Lyn *GLITTER VIKING* by: Pixie

Falling for Melodrama is more like it. How can you say this is set in Denmark when it has nothing resembling Danish culture? And how can I really feel any sympathy for a slut-shaming sexual assaulting asshole? And when people break up, there is no reason in the world to blame a girl for trying to move on. "Look what you did." What did she try to do? Move on with her life? She isn't OWNED by a guy, FFS!

I hated this book. Hated it. Slut shaming, girl-on-girl hate, sexual assault,classism, plot
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A ridiculously humorous and modern retelling of the famous Shakesperean “Hamlet” through the perspective of the unbelievably brave Ophelia.

I was captured by this book with these line
“ He was scrawling ‘To Be’and ‘Not to Be’over and over, ‘What’s that?’ I asked. ‘That is the question’”
Hilarious. I know.

I have to be honest, I can’t compare & contrast back-to-back Falling for Hamlet with the original manuscript because I haven’t read the latter. I did, however, know the gist of the story (yeah,
Jul 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'll have to try and make my way back to this one, folks.
Having already read and watched Hamlet, I can't help but compare the two. And when you compare Shakespeare to anyone else - I don't care who - you lose. Shakespeare owns. Every time.

It's extremely difficult for me to read a retelling and not compare it to the original. Nearly impossible. The original is always better. Always. (In my experience)

Don't misunderstand me, I did actually like what I read. I loved the way Michelle Ray was able
May 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult-teen
No, no, no. Shakespeare doesn't need to be chick-lit-ized in order to be sexy, bloody or dramatic. Ophelia's ambivalence about someday marrying into the royal family does bring to mind Will and Kate's recent nuptials, which might make a decent booktalk hook. But that's my only positive take away from this novel. Just don't mess with the Bard. ...more
Carol Douglas
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful YA book. I didn't want to put it down.

True, I'm a Shakespeare fan, not everything Shakespearean delights me. Falling for Hamlet drew me in with its engaging, believable Ophelia. The names and characters are basically the same as in the play, but the royal family is cast as modern-day Royals.

Hamlet with a hoodie (an idea inspired by a Folger production that I also happened to see) works. He and Ophelia are sex-crazed about each other, but also really in love. Ophelia is sti
Emily (Falling for YA)
This was okay. Not amazing, just okay. Not bad. In fact the writing was quite good. It just didn't have that WOW factor that keeps me on the edge of my seat reading. ...more
Sara Waldo
It was a really good book, it kept me on my toes.
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'll be honest--I'm not a Shakespeare fan. Despite reading probably half a dozen of his plays and even seeing a couple, I just can't get into him. But Hamlet was the least painful, so I picked this up. It wasn't what I expected.

It starts out pretty basic: In 21st-century Denmark, Ophelia, daughter of the king's advisor, is dating Prince Hamlet (the author decided not to change any names). Despite their on-off relationship, she's pretty in love with him and is planning a future with him.

Then the
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that I have never read Hamlet before (I know....gasp right?). In high school I had to read King Lear and after that I never wanted to read Shakespear again! So, it was with great fear and tripidation that I picked this book up!

I LOVED it! Ophelia was a very realistic character! She was strong and yet she loved Hamlet so much that she would almost do anything for him. There were times when I thought she was a little dumb but hey, aren't we all when it comes to love?

Hamlet was swe
I liked this and as re-imagined re-tellings go, it was pretty good. Hamlet's my favorite Shakespeare so I tend to expect a lot when I actually read a redo. I liked Ophelia's voice and thought it was neat to have an updated setting where everything played out. Media overload, paparazzo, cell phones and the consequences of having a life reduced down to soundbytes, voice mail messages and talk show gossip fodder was well done. I didn't very much like the chapters ending with the police investigatio ...more
We hadn't discussed Hamlet in high school but I know enough to feel disappointed about this Shakespeare retelling.

I felt that the characters weren't portrayed with enough depth and that the explanation for everyone's actions was shallow and so unlike the original. By modernizing the story it all seemed too unbelievable and boring for me.

I also didn't like how Ophelia was portrayed because at times she seemed liked a complete idiot. And I felt that Hamlet's character wasn't given justice. He was
Alexandra Hunter
Hamlet is a story of betrayal, dealing with grief, politics and madness. In the play, Shakespeare is able to hit on many themes and emotions, giving actors much to work with leading to some intense performance from talented actors.

Then there is this book.

Falling for Hamlet takes the story of Hamlet, sloppily butchers it and stuffs the remaining corpse with teen fiction tropes. The book is told from the perspective of Ophelia and how she is so in love with Hamlet... etc... etc... Hamlet is so ho
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have never read, nor seen the play, Hamlet. I know I probably should, and I want to, but I've been holding off because I know it is required reading next school year. But that's irrelevant. The point is, this review is not going to be me dissecting the novel and comparing Michelle Ray's words to Shakespeare's. Not only would that be ridiculous, but I have no grounds to do that. I will say that from what I know of the basic plot of Hamlet, Falling for Hamlet was pretty spot-on in some points, a ...more
Jun 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
What's the one word that I had ringing through my head after I read this book?


I did not like the ending. I didn't like the way people behaved. I didn't like the violence. I didn't like the romance between Ophelia and Hamlet. Basically, there were a lot of things I wished had been different.

The first part of this book was a completely different pace than the second half, which seemed to whip by. I thought there was too of the crazy relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet. I didn't see
A contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare's Hamlet, told from the perspective of Ophelia, Hamlet's long-time on-again-off-again-on-again girlfriend. Her relationship with the Prince of Denmark is high-profile and her life is constantly under watch. When Hamlet begins to fall into madness after the mysterious death of his father, Ophelia finds herself and her entire world falling with him.

Hamlet was one of those Shakespeare plays I had to read that I had a hard time understanding. Everyone kept
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signed-books

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenn by: Trinity
Not going to lie, I was a little unsure going into this book. I was actually sure I was going to hate it. A retelling of Hamlet, but from Ophelia's point of view. Yes, Ophelia, the same Ophelia who dies in the original story. Intrigued yet?

Falling For Hamlet takes Shakespeare's work and turns it into a modern day girl in love with a prince story. Throw in a little drama, family problems (a whole lot of them), and a little murder and you have yourself a story.

Ophelia, a high school girl, lives i
Sarah Maddaford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I got this book, I dove right into and love it! I mean really, really love it. I have always been a fan Shakespeare, and I love it when author take a classic and make it modern. It makes it easy for young readers and readers everywhere to understand Hamlet but just told different.

Pretty much this book it told almost exactly to play expect of course much more modern. I love diving into this story and being Ophelia. Ms. Ray really brought this story to life by the reader being read too
It was the coincidence of GoodReads recommending this to me based on my young adult shelf and my local library just happening to order it that led to me picking up this book...and I probably should have ignored the recommendation. I get what Ray is trying to do - reclaim Ophelia's story and make Hamlet accessible to the kids by placing it into the context of celebrity, fame and digital culture that they understand - but it felt forced to me at times. That being said, I think for a younger reader ...more
Jul 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Awful. Just awful. I know a lot of people seemed to like this book but it took me over a week to read and for a contemporary YA that is just far too long.
This is why I hated this book.

1. It takes place in Denmark but just seems like all of this takes place in Anytown U.S.A. as a person with family outside of America and having traveled somewhat extensively I have noticed that what young people do for fun varies by region and all these kids did was sit on grass, go for coffee and eat at Daney's
Scribbler King
Feb 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
My favorite Shakespeare play is HAMLET. Say what you will, I loved it when I read it, years ago, and I still love it. So I was really excited when I saw this, because it looked a little cute and romantic and Ophelia actually survived.

When I started reading it, though, I realized very quickly that I was not going to like the book.

Shall I be blunt? Ok. The excessive mentions of sex and especially the swearing continually pulled me out of the book. I never finished it. I scanned bits near the end,
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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