Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Another Day, Another Book
I recently finished The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne, and I rather enjoyed it. It was written for a younger audience than I usually read, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Kind of reminded me of my middle school days. Blech.
Here's what the book says: Hamlet, named for her Shakespeare-obsessed parents’ favorite play, is starting the school year with the goal of fitting in. Not so easy when her parents walk around in Elizabethan garb and her seven-year-old genius sister, Desdemona, will be beginning eighth grade alongside her. Hamlet’s two nemeses immediately befriend her sister and her crush doesn’t notice her (though her male best friend is supposedly crushing on her). The final straw is the Shakespeare festival at school. When selected in class to read from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet proves to be a brilliant reader of the Bard, a skill she quickly tries to hide. Unsurprisingly, she must decide if it’s better to shine as herself, both at school and at home, or to blend in the background. Hamlet’s parents and circumstances feel over the top, but her emotions will resonate with anyone who has been embarrassed by family or confused by boys. Dionne’s (Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies) pacing is a bit slow (the story is structured in three acts), but her voice is relatable and engaging.
Putting horrible middle school memories aside, this book was entertaining, but I wouldn't suggest it to most readers. If you generally enjoy a good YA book, then give this one a shot. Keep in mind that it's written for a younger audience.
I'll be posting again relatively soon...and by relatively soon, I mean either later today or tomorrow.