Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Pages: 352
Release Date:  August 14th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, July 5th-6th
Received:  ARC from Publisher
Rating:  3/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+

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.

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!"

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.

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.

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+


  1. I'm a bit worried by this one, especially the awkward breast scene! It's my next read but hopefully i'll enjoy it a little more than you!

  2. Haha I hppe you do too! I mean, there were quite a few things I loved, but they just didn't make the cut. Let me know what you think!

  3. Hmm, Kissing Shakespeare kind of sounds like a mess! It's so strange that the first part was amazing, but the rest was just "meh". Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sierra!

  4. I hate books that seem like they're going in one direction and then suddenly change and become terrible. Nevertheless, the concept sounds intriguing enough and I do love time travel so I'll give this one a shot. :)

  5. First off, nice review Sierra! I really liked how detailed you were with everything. But I hate MC's like this! Confused and confused about nothing and reading into the other characters intentions. And one more thing, "the swell of her breasts,"...*giggles*. Yes I am a five year old but....ooh well!

  6. Awh! I hate when books start out fabulous and then make their way downhill. I'm so sorry that was the case, Sierra! :( It seems like this is a book I wouldn't enjoy much. I'm a major character reader, so if I don't like the characters, I usually won't like the book. Miranda sounds so infuriating! However, I'm glad you found redeemable qualities, such as the intrigue and writing style. Wonderful review, Sierra!

  7. These type of books are one of the worst you could read: the beginning is awesome and you love it, but it's not that good at the end. So frustrating! I'm sorry to hear that this was the case.

    I wasn't really planning on reading this book and after reading your review, I'm satisfied with my choice and I will skip it. Thanks for sharing your honesty and I hope that the next book is much better - if you're going to read it :)

  8. Hahaha a mess sounds like a good word to describe it! If you read it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. ;)

  9. Seriously, I totally agree. It drives me crazy!

    Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy reading this!

  10. Thanks so much, Sophia! I enjoyed writing the review, despite the not-so-great things I had to say about it. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Haha yah if you were having doubts before, then go ahead and pass on this one. I hope I enjoy the next one more, as well! ;)