By: Pamela Mingle
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 18, 2012
This is one YA that will be on the ‘Top’ list when it comes to the best YA reads of 2012. Fun, entertaining, historical, exciting, romantic - this author has brought it all to the table!
Ah…Shakespeare. What would life be like without the bard who gave the world some of the best words ever written? Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing - the man created some of the most amazing characters in popular culture who have most definitely survived after all these centuries.
In this story we meet Miranda. The daughter of two famous actors with the New England Shakespeare Company, she finds herself beginning to despise acting. Even though her mother is the ‘best of the best’ and the school teachers remember her as the ‘star of all stars’ and want her daughter to take over the position, Miranda is starting to feel like she’s being pushed in a direction she doesn’t want to go - even though she loves being on the stage.
After opening night of Taming of the Shrew, where she basically performs the lead role as a statue, a boy who’s a senior year transfer student from England who no one has really spoken to, comes up to her and tells Miranda she has to come with him. Apparently this Stephen Langford is from 1581 and he’s there to tell her that THE William Shakespeare is in danger. He may never become the master that the world loves because he’s being pulled into the Jesuit priesthood.
Of course, Miranda thinks he’s insane. But when she’s pulled up on the roof of the high school and is transported to a world where 911 definitely doesn’t work on her cell, no cars are around, and the first people she meets up with are two men carrying a body dead from the plague in their cart, Miranda soon sees that this is completely and utterly real.
What does Stephen Langford want her to do? He wants Miranda to seduce Shakespeare so that the future bard will forget all about becoming a priest. Trouble is, not only does Stephen fall for her instead, but Miranda is also met with a whole screwed up world of religious upheaval and the fight between Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant ways versus Mary Queen of Scots Catholicism.
This is a particularly awesome story. From Miranda’s comic trouble with the 1500’s fashion and her mistakes with the free-flowing ale at mealtimes, not to mention trying to adjust her accent to fit in with the crowd, each and every scene offers sheer entertainment. But the author goes further when she offers the truth about the time period and how hard things were for the people.
From a priest being roasted on a pyre to dealing with a romance that may take over her heart and keep her in the 1500’s - leaving everyone she loves in another time - Miranda is a very cool character, and the pages are filled with a truly unforgettable plot.
Quill Says: Fun, romantic, historical - one of the best YA’s of 2012!