Falling for Hamlet
[July 5, 2011]
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.
Passion, romance, drama, humor, and tragedy intertwine in this compulsively readable debut novel, told by a strong-willed, modern-day Ophelia.
A brand new kind of romance.
Hamlet's one of the usual jerk-y, abusive boyfriends we see often in YA books. And Ophelia takes it. But the difference here is that she knows what he's doing is wrong. She often thinks about how it needs to be over, but stays with him for one reason or another.
It's probably because I've never read Hamlet and only know some details, I was shocked by some of the things in the play. It was twisty and turn-y and makes me want to read the play even though I've never enjoyed a Shakespearean tragedy. I was never bored reading this. Sad sometimes, happy others, did a victory dance a few times, but never got bored.
The writing definitely pulled me in. It was interesting. There were different "sections" to each chapter. Ophelia during a TV interview, the actual story that went with that interview, and her interview with detectives. It was interesting and different and kept me involved.
The characters themselves kept me from really loving it. I knew going in most of the characters wouldn't be that great, but it was a lot worse than expected. Characters I like are always SO important to me, so it was just hard to read a book where I think I only really liked...3 or 4 characters the entire time? And two of them weren't huge characters. It didn't make me hate the book or dislike it. I still really enjoyed it, but it did take away some of that enjoyment. It's not even the author's fault. It's ALL Shakespeare's fault (Have I mentioned I have problems with Shakespeare? Because I do.)
But I really, really liked this book. It was a really good mixture of plot and writing and characters and flaws. A different kind of YA book than normal, but still very enjoyable. As long as you're okay with massively flawed characters you want to smack, you can love this book.