Book Review: Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray

Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher: Poppy

Summary:   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.

I liked this and as re-imagined re-tellings go, it was pretty good. Hamlet's my favorite Shakespeare so I tend to expect a lot when I actually read a redo. I liked Ophelia's voice and thought it was neat to have an updated setting where everything played out. Media overload, paparazzo, cell phones and the consequences of having a life reduced down to soundbytes, voice mail messages and talk show gossip fodder was well done. I didn't very much like the chapters ending with the police investigation transcript (I didn't think they added a lot to the overall story) but they went by quickly enough. Oddly, I didn't feel terribly connected to Hamlet or his madness here but as Ophelia was the main character, I likely shouldn't have. The twist ending by which she lives and comes back to tell the tale was nice and I found that I even wanted her to go on and have happiness with Sebastian. Denmark seemed like a glittering backdrop but that may just have been the royal court swaying me. I'm glad I read this and it was a quick read so I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the original work who like re-imagined re-tellings.

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