1.23.2013

Book Review: Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein


Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  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. Lisa Klein's Ophelia tells the story of a young woman falling in love, searching for her place in the world, and finding the strength to survive.  Sharp and literary, dark and romantic, this dramatic story holds readers in its grip until the final, heartrending scene.
My Review: I'm a HUGE Shakespeare fan, but this is my first experience with a book based on one of Shakespeare's plays (Hamlet). It was rather fluffy, but I enjoyed reading it a lot more than I thought it would. (This is going to be one of those bullet list reviews). 

What I liked: 
1. I really, really, really liked Horatio. Like, a lot. 
2. The castle/court. It was really well-written, and interesting, and intricate, if that makes any sense...
3. Ophelia as a child, and the take on her family. It was really cool to see more of her background (there isn't much about it in the play), and see what made her Ophelia. It was really well-written. 
4. The relationship between Ophelia and the Queen. It was nice, and amusing, and sometimes petty. :)
5. I love that the author referenced parts of the play directly, and the parts she referenced were the clever parts. That made me happy :)
5. I LOVED the ending. It was perfect! 

What I didn't really like:
1. Hamlet. Hamlet is my favorite character in the play. Ophelia has her shining moments, but mostly she's an idiot. Hamlet is a genius. I guess what I didn't like about Hamlet in this book is that he wasn't there enough. I know it's Ophelia's story, but I really sort of like Hamlet. 
2. Ophelia's ''voice'' when she gets older. It didn't seem very genuine, and sort of grated on my nerves. 
3. The pacing. It was a bit off. It couldn't hold my attention very well in some parts. 
4. Claudius. Eraurghhhh. He just wasn't, erm, bad enough. He wasn't convincing enough. 
5. I wish there had been a lot more of the actual play in there. I liked what was in there, but I needed more! Haha. 

After reading this, I still definitely prefer the play, and I probably won't read this one again (I probably wouldn't have read it in the first place if a friend hadn't let me borrow it), but it was a good and enjoyable read! I'm not really sure what kind of readers this would appeal to... If you've read this book and liked it, let me know! I'd love to hear what you thought of it!




Thanks for reading!


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