Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shakespeare revised and a whole lot more!

A few days ago, I finished the short novel, Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors. It was quite enjoyable. Enough that I will be passing it on to a few friends.

In this tale of Shakespeare rewritten, seventeen year old Mimi Wallingford is being forced to play Juliet in her family theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet. In hopes of pulling the theater out of the red, her mother has cast teen heartthrob Troy Summer as Romeo. Mimi wants nothing more than to go to college and become a doctor like her aunt. When a charm breaks, blowing ashes (supposedly from Shakespeare’s quill) on to Mimi and Troy, the duo find themselves transported to Shakespeare’s Verona. Once there, they are immersed into the story…but their existence means some plot changes to the story, as Benevelo falls for Mimi (mush to Troy’s dismay), Romeo continues to pine for Rosaline, and Juliet’s marriage to Paris seems sure to happen (much to Juliet’s great unhappiness). Can Mimi and Troy find their way back to Manhattan and save Romeo and Juliet from their dire fates?

I thought this book was well written, and suited for upper middle school/lower high school audiences (basically, the teens who are probably reading Romeo and Juliet in school). I enjoyed the plot and thought the characters were decently developed. I loved Juliet’s spunk! It was a quick and fairly light read.

I’m now reading two books, and listening to another. Tithe by Holly Black (co author of the Spiderwick Chronicles) and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. As noted on my sidebar lists, this is the 21 chapter version, also known as the British or European version of the novel.

Originally, Burgess wrote the book with 21 chapters. For some odd reason, the American publishers decided to publish it without that last chapter. The movie is based upon the American version of the book. Such a shame, as that last chapter completely changes the book.
I read A Clockwork Orange (and saw the movie) about 10 years ago. They are both excellent, but most definitely for an older audience (high school senior or older).

As for Tithe, I like what little I’ve read so far of this modern day tale of fairy. I’ll write more about it later.

I’m listening to one of the book group picks for next month: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. I’m only about 1 disc in, but like what I’ve heard. I’m not overly keen on the narration (done by the author). It’s rather monotone. But, I like the narration better than the previous two books I’ve tried to listen to.

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