April 27, 2015

Bard on the Blogs || Shakespeare in YA

In case you missed it, I'm teaming up with Alyssa of Books Take You Places for Bard in the Blogs! Alyssa and I share a mutual love for William Shakespeare and his work, so we decided it would be an excellent idea to celebrate with a little blog event. I'm so thrilled to have so many wonderful people guest posting on both my blog and Alyssa's blog, so a big thank you goes out to those who volunteered to share with us!

This post, however, is one I'm putting together myself - a list of YA novels inspired by Shakespeare's life and work. While I do love the original plays and think there's nothing like the original experience, I find myself fascinated by authors taking elements from Shakespeare and twisting them into entirely new stories. To honor that, I'm sharing three I've read, and five more that I'm looking forward to reading. (I have to give credit to Epic Reads + this Goodreads list for some ideas for the TBR part!) 

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (Romeo & Juliet retelling from the POV of Rosaline) - Serle has a sassy, unique take on Romeo & Juliet, and I certainly consider it one of the best examples of how Shakespeare can inform one's writing.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Romeo & Juliet elements) - I have no idea if it's just me, but I could draw so many parallels between Romeo & Juliet and this story, which I really loved!

Love Disguised by Lisa Klein (references Shakespeare's life and work) - It's definitely a fun experience trying to find all the Shakespearean Easter Eggs in this tale. While it's not a favorite, I definitely at least enjoyed trying to see where Klein used her Shakespearean inspiration.

Still Star-crossed by Melinda Taub (Romeo & Juliet) - Hannah gets credit for finding this one, and recommending it to me. Neither of us has read it, but really, I can never resist the opportunity to read another take on the Romeo & Juliet tale.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay (Romeo & Juliet) - I've recently read two Stacey Jay novels (both of her fairytale-inspired ones), and enjoyed them! I definitely freaked out in the best way when I realized she'd written more YA and that it was inspired by Romeo & Juliet.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (A Midsummer Night's Dream) - When I first started blogging, this series was one I saw mentioned fairly often. I haven't quite read anything inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, but this sounds magical.

Ophelia by Lisa Klein (Hamlet) - No idea how I hadn't heard of this one before, but I definitely want to give it a shot. I'm a little wary considering my experience with another novel from this author, but the draw of Hamlet in YA form is definitely strong.

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees (Twelfth Night) - I don't think I've ever read a YA retelling of Twelft Night (though I have watched She's the Man an absurd number of times at this point. DO YOU LIKE CHEESE?), so I'm obviously very curious to try this one!

Have you read any of these YA Shakespeare retellings? Do you have any more that you think I should add to my list? Would you read any of these? Sound off in the comments below because I definitely want to know! I suddenly realize that I might want to write a Shakespeare retelling of my own...

Ahem. Time to remind you that Alyssa & I have also teamed up for a giveaway!We're going to be picking TWO WINNERS to pick the SHAKESPEARE RETELLING of their choice. Best part? It's open INTERNATIONALLY (as long as Book Depository ships to your country). For an idea of what retellings you can pick, here's a handy list. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sadly, this is the last day of our Bard on the Blogs celebration! I've thoroughly enjoyed having my blog taken over by my love for Shakespeare, and my fellow Bard enthusiasts. And it's been a total dream to get to co-host with Alyssa, my fellow Bard fangirl! Just to make sure you didn't miss out on any of the posts that went up this week, check out this handy dandy list:

on Alexa Loves Books
Shakespeare in YA (this post!)

on Books Take You Places
Hamlet Review (by Katherine)
Sonnet 130 (by Emma)


  1. Christina @ Between BookendsApril 27, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Still Star-Crossed is a fantastic book. It takes place after the events of R&J so it has the freedom to become it's own story. Also, the author writes great dialogue that has the feel of Shakespearean language.
    I read Eyes Like Stars years ago and I loved it, but it is steampunk and I had trouble understanding the later books when I read them because I had never heard of steampunk let alone understood what it was.

    I'm hoping to read Ophelia soon since I actually have it in my bookshelf, and someday I'll get around to reading Juliet Immortal. I hope you enjoy the books :)

  2. I've read Ophelia and REALLY enjoyed it! I always thought there was more to her than what was shown in the play and this book really develops her character. I'd definitely recommend it!

  3. I haven't read any of these, but I do have a couple on my TBR. I had no idea that there were so many. Wonderful post!

  4. Eyes Like Stars was so much fun! I should really go back and re-read it since it was over 5 years ago or so when I first read it. I love retellings and different interpretations and Shakespeare is rad so I'll definitely be adding some of these to my list. This was such a cool idea for a feature!


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