Falling For Hamlet

 
3.0
 
3.8 (2)
2961 1
Falling For Hamlet
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
July 05, 2011
ISBN
0316101621
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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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Twist on the Classic Tale
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Life is crazy for Ophelia. Shes the on again off again girlfriend of handsome Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her father is the trusted advisor to the King. Shes used to the paparazzi hounding their every move. Though their relationship is rocky, Ophelia tries to hide what she feels as not only her father but the royal family dont think too highly of a commoner having a future in the palace. Then the King dies suddenly. The palace is in an uproar especially when only a month after his death the queen marries Claudius, the kings brother. Dante swears Claudius murdered his father. He tells this to Ophelia but she doesnt believe him. She thinks that this is his grief speaking. Then, just like the classic novel, Dante starts going insane and is paranoid of all those around him, including Ophelia. She knows she should ignore Dantes rantings and get on with her life but she still loves him. How far will her love go after tragedy hits them all?

This is a modern twist on the classic tale. Just like that story, Dante senses his fathers brother has murdered his father in order to gain the throne. Only in this story the media hounds both Ophelia and Dante, tracking all their moves. But this story doesnt have a happy ending like the recent wedding of William and Kate.

I really liked how the author shows us the tragedy unfolding through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Ophelia who doesnt die but lives to regret a choice she makes. And then its too late.

The only thing that kind of bugged me was how self absorbed Dante was at the beginning of this novel. He almost expected Ophelia to always be waiting for him even when hed go off and play the field. I kind of wanted Ophelia to just move on and go after her one hot classmate. Also I wanted to see more of Dante's father as a ghost and not just be alluded to.

Still this novel kept my interest especially with how close it mirrored the classic novel. Also it was an interesting twist to not kill off Ophelia and instead hear from her what happened in the palace.


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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
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Surprisingly Good Retelling of Hamlet
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Well, that was unexpected. My initial thoughts for this book was that it would be a quick, compelling read that had an interesting take on Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Then I started it. And I found myself annoyed and bored by it, it was not what I expected and I did not enjoy it. However, I kept reading hoping it would get better. And boy did it get better! Once I got to Hamlet's 'to be or not to be' scene everything about the book changed I started making the connections with the play and chaos abounded and I recognized Shakespeare's well known characters and scenes and general sense of madness that Hamlet is so well known for, in essence it became exactly what I thought it would be and I loved it! It makes me really want to see the play...like a lot.

Soundtrack:

Whatever Gets You By by The Features: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfkaiOaQMoM

Rules by Jayme Dee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-VRmKHkO-M

Cover - I hate it. It does not match the book at all. It made me go into the book with uncertain expectations.
Good Points
An extremely well done retelling of Hamlet, the characters were excellent, and the plot was for the most part compelling.
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A must read for fans of Shakespeare
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
First Impressions: I have a small confession to make. I’m a huge Shakespeare nut and proud of it. So many people don’t understand or dislike Shakespeare. I’ve never understood why. Yes, the writing style takes some getting used to, but once you understand one play well, all of the others come easily. When I say that I’m a Shakespeare nut, it doesn’t just mean I’ve read his works. I’ve read ALL his works at least once a year since grade school, seen just about all of the plays live multiple times, played the part of Juliet in high school, took a Theatre class in college just so I could read more Shakespeare, AND I can recite Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, and King Lear back-to-front. Oh, and my dream vacation would be to go to the UK so I can see The Globe Theatre. I think all of this qualifies me as a nut. Needless to say, I gravitate towards books and movies that offer a spin-off of his works. When I found out that this book was coming out, it went right to my Amazon Wishlist and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy from the publisher for review.

First 50 Pages: My very first thought was, “Well, obviously Ophelia doesn’t end up dead.” For anyone who has not read Hamlet, I’ll give you the short and sweet synopsis of the play:

This drama is one of the great tragedy themed plays by William Shakespeare. The themes of the plot cover indecision, revenge and retribution, deception, ambition, loyalty and fate. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother, Queen Gertrude's remarriage to Claudius. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him and tells him that Claudius has poisoned him. Hamlet swears revenge. He kills the eavesdropping Polonius, the court chamberlain. Polonius's son Laertes returns to Denmark to avenge his father's death. Polonius's daughter Ophelia loves the Prince but his behavior drives her to madness. Ophelia dies by drowning. A duel takes place and ends with the death of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet.


Style of Writing & Plot Points: Falling for Hamlet follows the basic structure of the original Hamlet. All of the main players are included with their same basic positions in the story. The two largest differences I picked up on was, of course, the fact that Falling for Hamlet is now set in present day Denmark.

The second thing that I noticed was that, once again it is pretty obvious, Ophelia is the main character. In the original, Ophelia is not seen very much and is made to go absolutely insane after her father’s death. In this version, Ophelia is very much NOT insane and it is Hamlet that is truly losing his mind. I can’t even be positively certain that Hamlet is going insane. It seems like he is just extremely distraught over his fathers, the King of Denmark, death and wants revenge on Claudius. His father’s ghost is visiting him, just like in the original, and tells Hamlet that Claudius has poisoned him, but nobody believes him but his best friend, who has also seen the ghost of the former King. In the end of Falling for Hamlet, Ophelia also sees the ghost, which leads me to believe, if Hamlet was going crazy, it was more from everyone not believing in what he knew to be true.

One of my favorite things that this author added to the story was the use of the public and the paparazzi. The author really captures the feeling and emotions of people who are in the spot light for every minute of their lives. The judgment for every single little thing that you do, and when you are in a position that you are born into and don’t have the choice to withdrawal. Michelle Ray makes the reader feel every tiny bit of the lack of privacy these characters have. It really made me never want to be famous for anything.

In Shakespearean Tragedies, typically all of the main characters will die. The mood is very dark and full of drama. Falling for Hamlet lost me a bit at the end of the book once we got to the final death scene of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet. I didn’t care for the way the author decided to end their lives. It seemed convoluted and confusing. As the reader, we don’t get to read the death scene in a first person perspective, which I feel would have made it so much better.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the best re-telling of Hamlet that I have ever read. I actually would love to see this book be made into a movie because I believe that the final death scene will come across so much better on film then it does in the book. For anyone who is a huge Shakespeare fan like me, this is a must-read!
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