SUMMARY -Miranda has never felt accepted by her mom, a theater actress and a good one at that. Miranda is stuck in her school play, acting a role she doesn't want, while her mom and dad are performing professionally in Rome. When Stephan, the quite new kid, tells her he needs her help, she thinks he's pulling her leg. But it's hard to doubt when she's whisked off to Italy and given a very important task - make sure young Will Shakespeare doesn't join the Jesuits, or else all his work in the future might be lost. How must Miranda prevent this catastrophe? By seducing him, of course.
MY THOUGHTS -Kissing Shakespeare started out as an extraordinary debut. It had every element I could ask for: time travel, great lit-men, fascinating time period, history, romance, mystery, intrigue, etc.... The first half was definitely 5-star quality, even though I didn't love Miranda... Ok, I thought she was a dunce. But whatever.
I'm sad to say that this mad love for this book did not last. It still gets 3 stars for all the great stuff, and the massive potential, but the other stuff was enough to make me lose respect for many of the characters...and the story on a whole.
One thing I did really enjoy was Pamela's writing. She really knows how to work her words and create vivid images. So for that I say "Keep it up!"
CHARACTER NOTES -MIranda was just... UGH. She made the most retarded decisions. She thinks she knows everything and was either confused or...confused. People were NOT sending her mixed signals - if she just listened to sense she would understand there's a REASON for Stephan restraining himself from falling in love with her. The reasons were OBVIOUS. And then she tries to seduce HIM instead. When that doesn't work she runs off like a crying baby and almost sleeps with Shakespeare!
Like Relient K always says, "Someone get that girl a mood ring!"
Besides Miranda, I really loved Stephen and wanted something good to come of his character...make up for what Miranda lacked. But he didn't. At the beginning he just assumes, based on billboards and magazines and movies that all girls in our time are sluts; but when Miranda reassures him they aren't, I thought the topic of Miranda sleeping with Shakespeare was over. (Miranda totally eats her words and gets naked with Shakespeare anyways!) But I was wrong. Even when Stephen falls for her, he still pressures her to sleep with Will. And then is happy when she doesn't. Ok...?
Will himself was okay, but not in the story nearly as much as I'd expected. I liked him, and of course, wanted him to not become a Jesuit but a playwright instead. But, like I said, his presence was lacking.
The other characters aren't worth mention. Well, Thomas was interesting, but his story was obvious and predictable.
STORY NOTES -I absolutely LOVED the intrigue. All the mystery, the secrets, the eavesdropping, the push and pull of religious groups. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I also loved the first half of Miranda/Stephan's romance, but then they both ruined things in very stupid ways.
Everything was laid in place. A capture wold ensue...lives could be lost... And.....what was that? Oh, right. The Quick Fix Ending. Mmmmhmmmm. Everything happened too fast, too easy. I was satisfied with how things wrapped up, but not the execution. And I suppose it was good for Stephen and Miranda what happened, but I felt that, too, was a quick fix, and something to stretch out the story. Now I'm unsatisfied and will probably read the second book, because the story's not over yet. It's not a bad thing, but it's not good either.
SUMMING IT UP -Not the best. It wasn't terrible, 'cause I've definitely read worse, but I didn't love it. I'm not even sure if I'd call it a "good read". The 3 stars are for personal enjoyment alone.
For the Parents -
A few minor cuss words. Some passionate kissing with a little detail. When Miranda seduces Will Shakespeare, they go almost all the way - fully naked -but they break it off. A few details, like Will talking about the "swell of her breasts". It's just an overall AWKWARD scene. Some violence but nothing gory. Recommended 15+