4) Read a book that has a character that is involved in any type of arts (music, dance, literature, theater, etc).
by Pamela Mingle
Expected publication: August 14th 2012 by Random House Children's Books
Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.
Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lose its greatest playwright.
Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.
Genre: Young Adult, Time Travel
Publication Date: August 14th 2012
Publisher: Random House Books
Format: eARC, 352 pages
Miranda is a young actress, but lately she has been thinking of herself as more of a 'failure'. After she blew her part in the school play of The Taming of the Shrew, she decides to let everyone know (including her super perfect actress mom) that she's giving up on acting. That is, she intended to do that, until Stephen Langford, a weird crew member who never hangs around much, tells her he needs her help and drags her to the school's roof, spouting some nonsense about Shakespeare all the way up..
Miranda soon discovers that Stephen may be eccentric and all, but he was not that crazy. He actually meant everything he said to her, and he proves that by somehow traveling back in time, to when Shakespeare was still a teen, and bringing her along for the ride. He explains to her (in incredibly vague terms), that it is his responsability to make sure things in the past happen as they should. And that includes making young Will become a poet as he should, and NOT become a Jesuit, which would ruin our future as we know it. For that (and we still don't know why) he needs Miranda, who is posing as his sister, to seduce him.
Miranda now needs to deal with strange things from the past, such as too many clothes, little privacy, no drinking water, balls and religious conflicts. Oh, and she needs to bed William Shakespeare before it's too late.
As you may probably have noticed, I wasn't very satisfied with this book, for many reasons.
I expected something else, after reading the synopsis. Especially after this bit:
"Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase."
The last thing Stephen did was ask something. He kidnapped Miranda, and the dim-witted thing let him. >.>'
I expected a fun encounter with a young version of a great idol, some fun moments trying to adjust to the time period... things like that. But there wasn't much of that in there, I'm afraid.
Miranda was pretty boring and obtuse at times. She kept going on and on about the same things, kept asking the same stupid questions (when she had already had the answers to them) and just following Stephen's plans too blindly, in my opinion. Plans that were quite ridiculous, if you ask me.
I simply cannot understand why it is that Shakespeare would ever become a Jesuit, if obviously he never did in our present time. And even if he almost did, and Stephen really had to interfere before that happened, couldn't he have just chosen someone from that time to seduce him? A practiced, mature mistress or something? Did he really HAVE to go all the way to the future to choose one silly, plain, nobody of a teenager? I understand that's why YA books are supposed to be so much fun, but in this case this was not a very good idea at all.
And, to top it all off, the constant religious babble was a huge turn-off. I understand that during the Elizabethan times all Catholics were forced to become Protestants, and the whole thing was pretty violent... but was that really important to the story?
This book felt sooooooooo long. I just took a look and it's supposed to have 352 pages, but they really felt like 1072. O.o It was very, VERY tempting to just give it up and label it as DNF, but I kept going... and I'm afraid to say it didn't get much better.
What I liked the most about the whole book were the final author's notes, about Shakespeare's life and curiosities. About the book itself I enjoyed Shakespeare's quotes and the hardships Miranda had to got through to fit in that time period. I always like to imagine how I'd act if I had the chance to time travel and see how things were back then. I know, I'm silly like that.
If you like time travel stories and would like to imagine a young, flirty William Shakespeare, you might want to give this book a try.
* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*