I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
From the back of the book:
“SOMETIMES LOVE CAN MAKE YOU CRAZY
Meet Ophelia, high school senior, daughter of the Danish king’s most trusted advisor, and longtime girlfriend of Prince Hamlet. She lives a glamorous life and has a royal social circle, and her beautiful face is splashed across magazines and TV. But it comes with a price __ her life is dominated not only by Hamlet’s fame and his overbearing royal family but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go.
After the sudden and suspicious death of his father, the king, Hamlet spirals dangerously toward madness, and Ophelia finds herself torn between loyalty to her boyfriend, her father, her country, and her true self.”
I have always loved Shakespeare. Though I admit that is has probably been over 20 years since I last read the original Hamlet. I’m always a little skeptical of modern takes on classics. Just recently, I found my husband watching what we call a “Stupid ScyFy” movie based on Moby Dick, only with a dragon instead of a whale. I had to leave the room. Chances are pretty good that I would not have chosen to read this book if it had not been sent to me for review. That would have been a real shame, because I LOVED this book.
What I liked about the book: Everything! Ophelia is a very realistic and strong character. In fact, I think she is somewhat stronger in this version than Shakespeare’s original. The story is very engaging and is certainly a page turner. I liked how there were three different stories being told. There was what Ophelia told the investigators, what she told the TV host and what she told the reader. It made the reader feel as though they were getting the inside scoop. I also liked how close Ray stays to the original story. Yes, it’s told in modern terms, but even after not having read the original version in over 20 years, I would have still recognized the basic story even if the names were different. Even though the story is close to the original, it focuses more on Ophelia than Hamlet. I found that to be rather interesting.
What I didn’t like about the book: It felt a tad long, but I think that was because I was anxious to see how Ray was going to wrap up everything.
Just like Jane by April Lindner, this book would make for an interesting literature lesson comparing the original version with the modern version.
If you like Shakespeare, romances, or thrillers then you should give this book a try.