What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, August 13, 2012

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

There's something rotten in the state of Denmark! Hamlet has been one of my favorite stories ever since I had to read it in high school. Sounds strange, doesn't it? We spent a lot of time on it, so I grew to like it a lot. I read a few reviews about Falling for Hamlet and decided to give it a shot, and see how well the original plot was followed.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.

What I Liked: 1) I was impressed at how true to the original play the story remained. Since I've read Hamlet more than a few times, I'm very familiar with the plot and I picked out a few noticeable changes, but all of them are what made Falling for Hamlet a unique idea. 2) I loved the incorporation of the old story into a new world with cell phones, iPods and Starbucks. It was inventive how parts of the story that I wasn't sure would translate well really did. Especially the final battle scene being played out on the lacrosse field. That was one of my favorite parts. 3) The biggest difference was the narration of the story. This was told from Ophelia's perspective, who dies in the original play. Or, kills herself. There is a neat twist added into this one that brought some different ideas to this modern version. 3) In Shakespeare's play, you never can tell really how old Hamlet is. He's purported to be anywhere between 16 and 30. I always thought he was a teen, though in Shakespeare's language it's hard to differentiate between teens and adults. He was assigned a definite age in this book, and it really makes you look at things in a different way.

What I Didn't Like: I had no complaints about Falling for Hamlet.

Overall Thoughts: Falling for Hamlet is a different type of story for me, kind of outside my normal genres, and it came at just the right time. The play Hamlet is of course a tragedy, but there was so much humor injected into this modernized version that you don't get as bogged down with the morose. I enjoyed it a lot and would tell people to not dismiss it just because it's a retelling of Hamlet. Give it a chance and I think most people will like it a lot!

My Rating: 5 shots


  1. I am surprised you said it stayed so true to the play. Normally they take only the basics and twist and turn it. It's going on my TBR pile!

  2. I have been seeing this one around a lot lately. It sounds really great. Awesome review!!


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