Author: Pamela Mingle
Published: 14 August 2012 by Random House
Length: 352 pages
Warnings: suggestive situations 12+
Summary (abridged): Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: However, after her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew, 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. He wants Miranda 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.
Review: Miranda has spent her life growing up with Shakespeare. So when Stephen, boy from her drama group, offers her the chance to travel back in time, meet William Shakesperae and keep him on a writing path. This leads to her taking on the disguise of Stephen’s sister, Olivia (but for purposes of continuity, she will only be known as Miranda throughout this review), dodging religious fanatics of Elizabethan times, and as the title suggests, kissing Shakespeare
Time travel stories involving real people are always nice to read. I wasn’t sure if I’d love it, but the premise was interesting to fans of romance, historical, and Shakespeare alike.
It starts off really quickly, which is nice. We get an establishing scene of Miranda working playing Kate in her school’s production of The Taming of the Shrew, but it’s obvious that this isn’t the point. Miranda’s love for Shakespeare’s plays is revealed as we go further on, saving boring character building and working it into the plot.
It’s really fun how Miranda and Stephen have to try not to be discovered having dropped in from modern day America. Miranda’s reactions to actually being in 1581 are understandable, and even more understandable are Miranda’s actions when adjusting to life in the 14th century and when she is told that she’ll be seducing Shakespeare. I wouldn’t want to be pulled back to a time when women are seen as possessions or suddenly be told to chat up my idol either.
Miranda develops a bit. She becomes more mature over the course of Kissing Shakespeare, and a bit more interesting. The other characters are also good, Stephen and William especially. The other supporting ones are interesting, but not that great.
The plot is good, without being overshadowed by the romance, even if that was part of the main plot. Shakespeare being tempted to join the church was a major part. It wasn’t all that interesting though. This is a rare book where I enjoy the romance more than anything else.
I found it really cute seeing Miranda and William work together on The Taming of the Shrew, with him telling her the early version and she telling him the lines that she’s learnt, hundreds of years later. This then creates an awkward paradox which, quite simply, makes my head hurt.
There’s one scene in which Miranda goes off with Shakespeare, being fairly successful in her task of seducing William. And they get kind of on. and then he calls her Anne. Way to kill the mood. But it also is a nice bit of character building for him, especially as we know that he ends up marrying Anne Hathaway. It also furthers their relationship, as just friends. The romance between Stephen and Miranda is done nicely.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a book with good potential, but not amazing results.