July 10, 2013 by Alice in Readerland
Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname “Long Meg” for her height. She’s also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as “Mack,” Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as “Mack” again–telling Will that Mack is her twin brother–in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?
What ensues is a tale involving love triangles, mistaken identities, and the pursuit of hapless villains, as Shakespeare becomes a key player in a lively drama that could have sprung from his own pen.
Special thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. Love Disguised will be in stores July 30th, 2013.
First things first: I enjoy historical fiction, I enjoy books about Shakespeare, and I enjoy books about mistaken identities. The synopsis also gave off a Twelfth Night vibe, which (along with Much Ado About Nothing) is one of my two most favorite Shakespeare plays.
So, did this book seem like a good match for me?
Was it a good match for me?
Er, well, here’s a Sleepy Kitten gif. What does that tell you?
I tried to like this book, I really did.
Here’s what I liked:
There were some really fun Twelfth Night allusions, which I enjoyed. I was happy to see that Meg wasn’t a weak character; she held down a job, persevered and picked herself up when things got bad, and was street-wise. I also really, really loved the prologue. It presented me a mystery, intrigued me, dealt with mistaken identities, and of course, ended on a huge cliffhanger. The plot idea was absolutely wonderful. However, it went downhill from there for me.
Cynical Cindy Says
My major complaint about the book was the long beginning/introduction into the story. The prologue is amazing and intriguing, but after the prologue we get Meg’s long back-story. Then, after Meg’s long back-story, we get Shakespeare’s long back-story. After we’ve been through all of that, we still have to “meet” the current Meg and have to see her current lifestyle and it feels like it’s a story setup after story setup after story setup instead of an actual story. Because of this, I lost interest in the book rather fast. Which is a shame, since the book did eventually pick up and get more interesting, but by then, I didn’t feel excited about/invested in the story. The dual Meg and Shakespeare storylines also felt choppy and disjointed.
This has been one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to post, since I have read Shakespeare’s plays, loved the synopsis, was really looking forward to this book, and generally really enjoy Bloomsbury’s books. All in all, it had a fantastic premise, but the actual story felt bogged down by the long (and multiple) intros.
Do you have any good fictional YA/MG books involving Shakespeare to recommend? Also, what’s your favorite Shakespeare play?