Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
Summary: 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.
The Good: I learned don't just a book by its cover (I really don't like the cover). I found myself wishing I had known about this book in May so I could've read it before performing 5-minute Hamlet with my Shakespeare class. I got a lot of new insight into Ophelia (and Hamlet and Horatio, for that matter). I enjoyed how the author left the original play intact whilst adding her own twists. And how stuff from the original was fit in. (Poor Yoricks! To be or not to be... The play. Ophelia and the flowers.)
The Bad: There was an added character (one of many to add to the story's modern feel) named Sebastian. He rubbed me the wrong way and felt so unnecessary to the story overall.
The Ugly: The language and levels of romance (and also some implied stuff) were a bit iffy for me. I've read the original, so I think Michelle Ray took a lot of what Shakespeare hinted at and translated it into actual scenes. Most of the language was tolerable. The worst words were used in textspeak abbreviations.
I truly liked Falling for Hamlet. It gets a B+ because of language and romantic content.
Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
Summary: Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love. But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking….
The Good: Pretty much everything. Michelle Dalton's characters are lifelike. I loved all the random little things, like the Mobius strip bracelet, ice cream, the picnic towards the beginning, and so much more. This was one of the sweetest summer romance books I've read. So if you hate summer romances, I guess this book isn't for you... I literally finished this book 20 minutes ago, and I'm still riding on that book high. I also think I'm still stuck in Anna's world. Which isn't a bad thing. Even her routine summer is more exciting than mine.
The Bad: I don't want to spoil anything, but let me just say that rain in romances is so cliche. I mean, it can rain, but it shouldn't automatically be this big romantic moment. Like I said, this is a summer romance, so if you go into it expecting much else, you won't get it. Yeah, there are mini subplots but they aren't the main focus. I would've liked something like in Nicholas Sparks's The Last Song where there is so much more than a summer romance. At the same time, I fell into Anna and Will's world and couldn't break out. I spent the whole book hoping and wishing for them.
The Ugly: Hardly anything. Only PG language, and the worst Anna and Will do is make out and kiss a lot. But it's sweet and romantic and almost movie-like.
The verdict: READ THIS BOOK. Seriously. It's going in my list of favorite books. I don't care if it's fluff. Sometimes a girl needs fluff. Life shouldn't be serious all the time.