Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Bard Like Never Before


As readers of this blog will know, I am a big fan of William Shakespeare, the Bard himself. I've always found myself drawn to his work, particularly attracted to the heart, humor and clever wordplay that he employs. While it has admittedly been quite some time since I've read the actual plays, I have read a set of books that are modern iterations of four of his most famous works --- Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet. So, what are these novels? The OMG Shakespeare series!

The OMG Shakespeare series is a brand new series from Random House that takes these classic works and translates them into a modern format that includes text messages, Facebook status updates, tweets and emojis. There are currently four novels in question - srsly Hamlet, Macbeth #killingit, A Midsummer Night #nofilter and YOLO Juliet. At the beginning of each story, there is a list of characters (along with corresponding emojis used for them). The stories are still split into acts, and the scenes are broken up by a change in format or an indication of a different thread of text messages. 

Now, this is not guaranteed to be a format that works for everyone, I do think these are delightful updated takes on Shakespeare's classic plays. They truly make the main themes of his work easy to digest, especially because the language is fairly accessible. And while details are cut (out of necessity), the main characters arcs are still very much in play. Basically, these are really excellent books for readers - whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or totally new to the Bard. I'd highly recommend checking these out (though I will say that majority of the adult themes are still very much present, so... be wary of that).


srsly Hamlet & Macbeth #killingit by Courtney Carbone and William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night #nofilter & YOLO Juliet by Brett Wright and William Shakespeare
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 26, 2015 / January 5, 2016
Source: Finished hardcover copies from the publisher (Thanks!)

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