Monday, May 19, 2014

Falling for Hamlet

Falling for Hamlet
by: Michelle Ray

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Young Adult

This is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was so interesting the way she kept so many things true to the original, but with the modern view. She definitely took liberties - like the fact that Ophelia is telling the story, while Ophelia wasn't as big of a character or present at many of the same scenes in the original play. That being said, I actually looked up the original Hamlet plotline because I hadn't read it since an undergrad Shakespeare in Film class I had taken in college. I was very engulfed in this book. I actually would read a lot of it and then look at the clock and be shocked by how much time had gone by. That doesn't happen to me as often as you would think. I can see so many ways a high school teacher could really take this and run with it. I know for sure that some scenes are just exactly what happened in the play, but with modern language. It would be really interesting to compare scene by scene for some of it. I just think it's a really fun genre to retell old stories and I find myself looking for more books like this to read.

Things I liked
I love the retelling aspect. I read Jane by April Lindner and it was one of my favorite young adult books. I just really enjoy the storylines of those old stories and seeing them in modern settings is fun!

I enjoyed the way she made Ophelia the narrator. While the story is definitely about Hamlet and you see how his experiences and suspicion led him to a sort of madness, you see it all through her perspective, which gives you more of the story. I just thought it was a clever way to tell it.

I also enjoyed the way that the story goes back and forth between different interviews of Ophelia after the main events have happened. I just really thought overall this was a fantastic retelling and the way she did it was fascinating.

Things I didn't
Again, this is one I really don't have anything that I didn't like. I will say that I didn't like that it wasn't available at my library, so I had to actually order it off Amazon, but now any of my friends around here who want to borrow it are welcome to it!!

Overall: A fantastic modern Shakespeare retelling.

Book 33 of 50

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