Friday, May 28, 2010

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

No spoilers.

Author: Lisa Klein
Year of Publication: 2006
Genre: YA
Pages: 328
First Line: "My lady: I pray this letter finds you in a place of safety."

Summary: He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia's happiness is shattered. Ultimately she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever. . .with one very dangerous secret.

Source: Back of book

Review: Ultimately a disappointment. The beginning was slow, then it got better, then bad again, and then the last four pages or so were fairly enjoyable. I don't know if I like what Klein did with certain characters (I won't be specific for spoilers), and certain plot elements annoyed me. There were parts of the original play that were left out which I thought was kind of annoying -- parts that are really fantastic and should have been included. Other parts were glossed over and not as drawn out as would have been appropriate (the play within a play, for example).

I would say if you haven't read/seen Hamlet already, then you may be slightly confused in reading this book -- you could read it without having read/seen Hamlet, though. I wouldn't recommend it, for the most part.

Worst part: The book was so different from the play that I felt it had nothing to do with the original. I would have liked something more similar to the play. Also, Hamlet does not have black hair, Ms. Klein -- he's definitely blonde.

Best part: Ohh, I don't know. I guess those last four pages. And they weren't even THAT good.

Grade: D+

Other Books by This Author: Lady Macbeth's Daughter. (Which I may read if I have the time, just because of the Shakespeare connection and I always wondered about the Macbeth's kids. I find it hard to believe they didn't have any, especially because of Lady Macbeth's line, "I know how tender 'tis to whatever the babe that whatevers me." (I don't have a copy and I'm too lazy to look it up.))

39 / 50 books. 78% done!

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