Hot Best Seller

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

Availability: Ready to download

Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she's crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as "Ye Olde Shakesp Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she's crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as "Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster." Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she's going to survive the year. She'll also have to grapple with what it means to be "out" and what she might be willing to give up for love.


Compare

Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she's crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as "Ye Olde Shakesp Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she's crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as "Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster." Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she's going to survive the year. She'll also have to grapple with what it means to be "out" and what she might be willing to give up for love.

30 review for The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kathryn Wright

    This book was honestly not the right thing for me because I don’t think I am the target audience. This book is said to be for young adult readers but honestly I would says it’s better for older side of middle school. Because this book really dramatizes what high school is like and how teens act. And with this being so dramatized it made most characters annoying and stereotyped. With how dramatic and very descriptive it made everything feel so cringey. I felt that none of the characters were full This book was honestly not the right thing for me because I don’t think I am the target audience. This book is said to be for young adult readers but honestly I would says it’s better for older side of middle school. Because this book really dramatizes what high school is like and how teens act. And with this being so dramatized it made most characters annoying and stereotyped. With how dramatic and very descriptive it made everything feel so cringey. I felt that none of the characters were fully developed and this book did not show much, but it tells you everything. The ending felt very weird and rushed, and I’m not sure it felt right. And the main relationship in this book I did not really see it, it kind of progressed out of nowhere to me. I saw more of a connection of Allison, main character, with anybody else. The only relationship I liked was Ben and Zach, and you only hear about it. But I honestly did kind of like Mr. Evans because he was funny and I think him being dramatic was well for him. And I did like that this was an lgbtq+ representation but in comparison to other books this felt off to me. Overall, this wasn’t the right book for me but it is a cute read that I could see my cousin reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, pan li, Korean American side character, Moroccan American side character, gay side characters Galley provided by publisher I started a tally reading this book, and it went like so: Times failed to use the word lesbian: 13 Times the word lesbian is used, but not by the MC to refer to herself: 3 Times the MC uses the word lesbian about herself: 3 Because I have read way too many YA books which refuse to use the word lesbian at this point to have any sort of patience, to b On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, pan li, Korean American side character, Moroccan American side character, gay side characters Galley provided by publisher I started a tally reading this book, and it went like so: Times failed to use the word lesbian: 13 Times the word lesbian is used, but not by the MC to refer to herself: 3 Times the MC uses the word lesbian about herself: 3 Because I have read way too many YA books which refuse to use the word lesbian at this point to have any sort of patience, to be quite honest. And, with 3 of the 19 mentions of the word, this book is actually doing way better than a lot of them. But not enough that I wasn’t frustrated by it. See, I know that in real life, people choose to use/not use particular labels however they wish. But, in fiction, the almost complete absence of the use of lesbian (especially compared to other labels), speaks such volumes. The use of a particular label in a positive context is going to help people who might not feel okay just yet about their identity. I mean, part of the reason they might not feel okay is a society that tells them “lesbian” is a dirty word, so continued use of that word in a positive context is only doing good things. And like I said, this book didn’t do terribly on that – at least not as bad as I’ve seen – but I still want to see more characters who claim the word lesbian and claim it proudly. Who use it over and above every other term they could use. And that’s what this book didn’t give me. But that wasn’t all the problems I had. It also very distinctly propounds an idea about being out and coming out that I hated. Namely, that you can’t be with someone if you’re not out. And that being out to a single person somehow “isn’t enough”. Let me take the former to begin with. In two cases in this book, a character wants their love interest to be “more out” if they are to continue being together. Because they have this idea that not being out equates to shame. With the MC, it comes along the lines of being pressured to be “more out” by her girlfriend, which she goes along with easily enough, but I don’t know how to make it more clear that it is not being a good partner to pressure someone in this way. With the gay side character, who is closeted and self-hating and spends his time being openly misogynistic to put people off guessing he is gay, it’s the classic case of his boyfriend breaks up with him, because he’s not out, because it feels like shame. And sure, I guess there’s a story to be had there, but I think it’s one that involves a lot more introspection and time, and doesn’t end up being this character being pressured into coming out to everyone in a very public way, just for this guy. (Not to mention, if he really is so closeted, I doubt it would be so easy. I mean, struggling against something you’ve internalised is really fucking hard.) The second part of the problem was when, having come out to her best friend, said best friend goes on to insist she comes out to her parents. Said straight best friend. Surely you see how bad this is, surely I do not need to explain it. No one decides when you come out but you. Absofuckinglutely no one. And this book does not just have one person decide when someone comes out, but three. While passing zero judgement on it. So sorry if I lack patience for the rest of the damn thing. As for the remainder of the book, there were two things that irritated me the most. Firstly, that the MC is so pretentious and just doesn’t really feel like a teenager because of it. I know, I know, it was a facet of her personality, and I really think it wouldn’t have bugged me quite so much if it weren’t for the above issues, but. It did. And then there was the fact that they had one argument and then “broke up”. But they’re teens. They’re going to be melodramatic. Though the theatre mafia did give me a good laugh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    its.me.the.bibliophile

    **Thank you to NetGalley, the author, & the publisher for a chance to read & review an E-ARC of this novel!** This was a fun contemporary read with LGBTQIA+ representation as well as themes of challenging our own thoughts about success, expanding our comfort-zones, & being honest with those closest to us. Please find my extended feedback below...along with some spoilers (beware). . . . . . . . . . . . Things I Liked: -the honesty regarding the high school experience...it felt like a genuine portrayal of al **Thank you to NetGalley, the author, & the publisher for a chance to read & review an E-ARC of this novel!** This was a fun contemporary read with LGBTQIA+ representation as well as themes of challenging our own thoughts about success, expanding our comfort-zones, & being honest with those closest to us. Please find my extended feedback below...along with some spoilers (beware). . . . . . . . . . . . Things I Liked: -the honesty regarding the high school experience...it felt like a genuine portrayal of all the weirdness that is high school & adolescent without being over done or (for lack of a better word) dramatic -Mr. Evans was hilarious! -how descriptive the writing was about the experience of producing a play -it was an easy read with short chapters...I like shorter chapters as I feel more invested in continuing to read cause "JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER" :) Things That Didn't Sit Quite Right With Me: -how annoying Allison was at points...I found myself wanting to take her by the shoulders & shake her while yelling "what are you thinking!?" -the awkward date/non-date scene...cringe -the ending felt sort of anti-climatic...I felt like the play (one of the main plot points of the story) was sort of brushed over in the end -the ending also felt a bit rushed in my opinion...all of a sudden everything sort of wrapped itself up & then it was over Overall, I gave this novel 3 stars. It was a fun & relatable read that made me laugh out loud many times. I think it would be a great read for those interested in reading novels with LGBTQIA+ representation or themes including theatre, comedy, or coming of age.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Flor

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange of an honest review. How do I start? The idea of book appealed me at once, I really love theater and having been in a school play myself I was really excited to see a group of kids bond together through the development of the book, however, that wasn’t quite what I got. The beginning was nice, felt like a high school movie and I love those so I was flying through the pages in this light hearted and charmin Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange of an honest review. How do I start? The idea of book appealed me at once, I really love theater and having been in a school play myself I was really excited to see a group of kids bond together through the development of the book, however, that wasn’t quite what I got. The beginning was nice, felt like a high school movie and I love those so I was flying through the pages in this light hearted and charming story but those fun times changed when our protagonist started making really bad decisions. There I just started disliking her and stopped caring about her life. Not the mistakes themselves but that the fact that she couldn’t even owned them and do something about it. The relationship was okay, it had some cute moments but overall forgettable, which is a shame cause I was excited about reading a F/F romance for a change. But all of that wasn’t my biggest problem, the thing is that this book has so much potential and unfortunately, on my perception, it was wasted. The characters I cared the most about were the secondary characters that were there just to add up a bit to Alison’s story but I would have loved to learn more about them, to see their point of view and for this book to have several main characters instead of just one. A pansexual character with unsupportive parents, a closeted gay and outed gay relationship issues, a girl classified as weird with a painting passion, a nice school developing romance, a girl outshined by her perfect sister, an ex actor now directing the school play. They all had so much potential, they sparkled but couldn’t shine cause they had no time. Everything was focused on Alison, so they only appeared when interacting with her and I think that was a big mistake, cause if by small glances I was already interested in them, seeing their own stories develop could have made that ending emotional and this book memorable. Anyways, I did enjoy it but it needed more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marjolein

    I was looking for some light escapism to read over the weekend - I have been feeling slightly reading slump-ish and I wanted to reverse it as soon as possible. Than I saw The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life popping up all over my feed, and remembering that I still had an ARC of it, I decided to quickly read it. The main character, Alison, is busy preparing the best possible starting points for college applications, when she decides to produce the school production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. H I was looking for some light escapism to read over the weekend - I have been feeling slightly reading slump-ish and I wanted to reverse it as soon as possible. Than I saw The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life popping up all over my feed, and remembering that I still had an ARC of it, I decided to quickly read it. The main character, Alison, is busy preparing the best possible starting points for college applications, when she decides to produce the school production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. However, as she is navigating it trying to make it work, she has a lot of other things going on as well. For me, this was certainly a quick and easy read. I finished it in under 24h which is something considering the slumpish-ness that has currently overtaken me. As such, I am very grateful for reading it. On the other hand, there is only so much teenage angst I can handle at any given moment. A lot of it was based on miscommunications and assumptions and that's a trope I really don't like. I also think "ye olde Shakespearean Disaster" is a missed opportunity to call it "ye olde Shakespearean Tragedy" but that is probably just me. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Find this and other reviews on my blog https://www.urlphantomhive.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    *My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review* ⭐⭐⭐ ! Very cute! The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is a YA contemporary about a girl named Alison who so desperately wishes to end her high school career as Valedictorian. When she's roped into (co)producing A Midsummer Night's Dream, she has to learn to balance the show, her school work, her friends, and the love life she's not sure if she's ready to fully explore yet. This was a sweet, rela *My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review* ⭐⭐⭐ ! Very cute! The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is a YA contemporary about a girl named Alison who so desperately wishes to end her high school career as Valedictorian. When she's roped into (co)producing A Midsummer Night's Dream, she has to learn to balance the show, her school work, her friends, and the love life she's not sure if she's ready to fully explore yet. This was a sweet, relatable coming of age story. Alison was full of teenage dreams and not lacking in the sarcasm department. She was an enjoyable character to follow. and very much about her journey is something I think many of us can recognize trying to get through during our school years. Her interactions with her friends Becca and Annie were some of my favorites. There's always a need for solid female friendships in YA, and really, the world. The "romance" aspect fell pretty flat for me. Charlotte seemed a bit of a cut-out character and I just could not connect to her or the development between her and Alison. I was happy *for* Alison when she finally kissed her crush, and later when she started to feel more secure about herself, but I did not have that same happy, bubbly connection that comes with a new ship. Aspects of the writing felt almost middle-grade to me, and I am not sure if that is because YA has been leaning towards the upper end and I simply am not used to it anymore or if it simply allowed the naivety and youth of the characters come through in a very obvious way. It could be a bit of both. This flew right by. It was quick and sweet and full of charm. Definitely something young teens might see themselves in, with a youthfulness that's been slowly seeping away in YA. All around, it was a refreshing read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sophie's Reading Corner

    Alison's goal is to be the valedictorian this year and she doesn't want to stray from her goal. Sadly, she ends up becoming a producer in the school play of A Midsummer Night's Dream and her hands are full. Apart from the play, Alison is getting to know Charlotte and she doesn't know if her interest is mutual or not. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's a YA contemporary and our heroine is homosexual and out to her friends and family, yet there's a really good question concerning what out means Alison's goal is to be the valedictorian this year and she doesn't want to stray from her goal. Sadly, she ends up becoming a producer in the school play of A Midsummer Night's Dream and her hands are full. Apart from the play, Alison is getting to know Charlotte and she doesn't know if her interest is mutual or not. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's a YA contemporary and our heroine is homosexual and out to her friends and family, yet there's a really good question concerning what out means to her and in general. Especially with her concerns regarding her attraction to Charlotte and wondering if she knows she's attracted to girls and not boys or later on if she would be okay to be publicly dating another girl. I enjoyed the variety of characters and I loved all the secondary characters and how some of their stories also gave depth to the story. I liked the character development of our heroine, but I wish that it would have happened a bit earlier in the story. She could be a better friend, sister, girlfriend. I needed to see more of that. We learn from our mistakes and she's a young one, but I just needed to see more of her better version or at least after the mess she had made to try and make better amends and show that she's learnt from her mistakes somehow. Also, the ending felt slightly rushed, but other than that, it was an amazing read. It was cute and funny and I definitely recommend it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book for exchange for an honest review. Alison Green, a perfectionist and runner for her school's valedictorian agrees to help a teacher "co-produce" the school's production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. Alison quickly realizes that she must take on the sole role of producing the play and ropes in her best friend and sister to help her. However, as time goes on and the play nears opening night, Alison finds th Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book for exchange for an honest review. Alison Green, a perfectionist and runner for her school's valedictorian agrees to help a teacher "co-produce" the school's production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. Alison quickly realizes that she must take on the sole role of producing the play and ropes in her best friend and sister to help her. However, as time goes on and the play nears opening night, Alison finds that producing a play is not as easy as she thought it would be. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is full of heartache, laughter, and rewarding outcomes. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I've found that I absolutely love stories that are either inspired by or involve Shakespeare in some way or another. The plot and characters made this story great to read and I'm glad to have read this novel. Alison was a very relatable character, a high schooler who does not know how to balance school and her first love. She is also supportive of her friends and makes sure to fix her mistakes even when that means she has to accept she screwed up. The plot mainly revolved around the production of the play but there are smaller subplots revolving around her and her friends' lives. The story and characters were a little simple but it did not necessarily take away from the novel. At some points, the characters were a little flat and cookie-cutter-esque but at other times, they were unique to themselves. There was great representation in this novel and would be relatable those in high school, especially fellow theatre nerds. A strong debut!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Have you ever had a big goal that you felt was attainable and you decided that one more extracurricular would look great for that goal/application?  But then everything starts to go wrong despite your best intentions and hardwork.   As if high school isn't hard enough as a transition period in your life.  But add in navigating relationships, feelings, schoolwork, studying, friendships, influencing teachers to vote for you as valedictorian and produce a school play. We get to watch Allison co-produ Have you ever had a big goal that you felt was attainable and you decided that one more extracurricular would look great for that goal/application?  But then everything starts to go wrong despite your best intentions and hardwork.   As if high school isn't hard enough as a transition period in your life.  But add in navigating relationships, feelings, schoolwork, studying, friendships, influencing teachers to vote for you as valedictorian and produce a school play. We get to watch Allison co-produce a Midsummer Night's Dream and what she thinks will be an easy addition to her application is proving to be so much more work when the other co-producer falls back leaving her in charge. I always wanted to be in a school play but was too intimidated by our theater group, they were amazing. Getting a backstage look at productions is always fun for me, I did get into a couple of productions eventually outside of school. I was more on the jock path and those two departments weren't lenient with eachother. I enjoyed this coming of age story of friends making mistakes, putting their foot in their mouths, flirting awkwardly, first crushes, first dates in the midst of pressure of high school of coming out and being out fully. Rating ⭐⭐⭐💫

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I knew I was going to fall in love with this book the moment that I read the title and it absolutely blew me away. I loved everything from the characters, to the atmosphere, to the plot. Every aspect of this book came together to form this wonderful book that I wish I had read as a teenager and that I think will be really important to many teenagers today. The characters are all really well rounded and individual, but they have some great dynamics and friendships. They are not perfect, they make I knew I was going to fall in love with this book the moment that I read the title and it absolutely blew me away. I loved everything from the characters, to the atmosphere, to the plot. Every aspect of this book came together to form this wonderful book that I wish I had read as a teenager and that I think will be really important to many teenagers today. The characters are all really well rounded and individual, but they have some great dynamics and friendships. They are not perfect, they make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences of their actions, and they really show that this is okay and that the world won’t end because they did something that they regret now, like accidentally agreeing to a date. Alison, the protagonist, in particular shows this with her dating misadventures and the hurdles that she constantly has to overcome with the production of the play. This book is all about a group of misfits putting on a school play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream while dealing with all the drama of school life behind the scenes. The cover and title really holds true to the comedy and the atmosphere that Shakespeare’s comedic plays possess and it was so easy to get lost in the world. I found myself constantly rooting for the play to go well, for the relationships to happen, for the characters themselves to learn and grow. The main and side characters all give a really diverse look at teenagers and people in general. There are several LGBT+ and POC characters who contribute so much to the story. Their sexuality and/or race are important to them, but there are never reduced to this characteristic alone. The characters also show how diverse people can be in their interests, styles, priorities etc., but how people can still come together on common ground for common goals. I read the whole book in one day, almost in one sitting with just a few breaks in between, and it gave me everything I wanted. Sapphic romance. Great friendships. Shakespearean comedy. Appreciation for the arts. I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    A huge thanks to Netgalley, Second Story Press, and Dani Jensen for the eARC of this book. All opinions are my own. 3 stars for this one. This was a short, cute read, and I enjoyed the overall story line. Alison was an enjoyable MC, though she could have been a bit more fleshed out. In fact, despite liking the characters in this book, I didn't LOVE any of them, and they just didn't quite stand out on the page as much as they could've. Alison gets roped into producing the school play her senior ye A huge thanks to Netgalley, Second Story Press, and Dani Jensen for the eARC of this book. All opinions are my own. 3 stars for this one. This was a short, cute read, and I enjoyed the overall story line. Alison was an enjoyable MC, though she could have been a bit more fleshed out. In fact, despite liking the characters in this book, I didn't LOVE any of them, and they just didn't quite stand out on the page as much as they could've. Alison gets roped into producing the school play her senior year, while vying for the Valedictorian title. Of course, things turn out to be far more difficult than she could have imagined and has to question what's important to her. She drags her best friend, Becca, and her little sister Annie into the play as well, both of whom I enjoyed for their bluntness with Alison, she needed it at times. I won't say much more on the storyline, but it was a good read. The plot flowed well over the course of the book, and I did like seeing how the story progressed, BUT, I also feel like it was predictable. It was short, I feel like it could've been fleshed out just a little and hit some more stuff more solidly on the head. That being said, I did enjoy it and it was a cute read, it just fell a little flat for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I absolutely flew through it. On the other hand, it wasn't actually . . . good? Which isn't even to say I don't recommend it—it's an over-the-top, fluffy, vaguely trashy sapphic read, and if that's what you go into it expecting I doubt you'll be disappointed. The fact is, whatever else you say about it, it's fun. I don't have a lot of coherent thoughts about this boo I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I absolutely flew through it. On the other hand, it wasn't actually . . . good? Which isn't even to say I don't recommend it—it's an over-the-top, fluffy, vaguely trashy sapphic read, and if that's what you go into it expecting I doubt you'll be disappointed. The fact is, whatever else you say about it, it's fun. I don't have a lot of coherent thoughts about this book, so let's just dive into a list of things now: - the writing is . . . truly horrible? Maybe I'm being a bit harsh (and it does get better as the book goes on), but I almost DNFd this within like three chapters because I was so deeply not here for it. It was just . . . sort of really juvenile and rough, like something you'd find in a high school creative writing assignment from someone who didn't really want to be doing this. I do understand that's an ARC, and it's possible that the final copy is written better, but . . . it didn't feel like the base was there—this wasn't just rough from lack of polishing, I don't think. - the characters are pretty well written, and I liked the main cast. I wouldn't say they were super spectacular characters, or that I'll think about them constantly, but . . . I liked them. I will say though, that I thought these decent-but-not-amazing characters carried the book and . . . I think that tells you all you need to know. - I appreciated aspects of the rep, however I had an issue with the way this book discussed outness. I didn't like the way it was handled. Every queer character in this book who wasn't fully out was constantly pressured to come out, to be more out—and worse than that, it was never called out. I would love to read a book that examines the pressure to be more out than you're ready to be, however this book was definitely not that book. - theatre! I may have found a few details a little . . . over-exaggerated . . . but overall I really loved the depiction of theatre in this book. I am weak for a theatre book, and this book delivered. Reading about theatre feels like a warm hug, and I really loved seeing that in here - also though there was one scene, and it was just like a page or two but . . . I don't think it's okay for the white character to wish her friend, aka the token poc, would be more tactful when calling out cultural appropriation. this book clearly tried to make some points, but then it did things like this and made them fall flat Overall? This was okay. I didn't love it, I don't exactly recommend it, but I'm going to say oh don't read it either. It was decent, fun, but ultimately deeply forgettable. Initial reaction, August 29, 2020: this was wild. it wasn't particularly good but it sure was fun. also though can I just say that I have been in a play with like at least fifteen 8-10 year olds and it wasn't anywhere near as much a disaster as this play was, so I am . . . a tiny bit skeptical but okay.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life was pretty interesting. In it, you will meet Alison Green. She has hopes and dreams of becoming her class valedictorian. So she honestly will say to any teacher willing to give her recommendation. It just so happens that she said yes to becoming the producer of the school's play. Now without going into too much detail, this book was cute. I adored some of the friendships and the relations I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life was pretty interesting. In it, you will meet Alison Green. She has hopes and dreams of becoming her class valedictorian. So she honestly will say to any teacher willing to give her recommendation. It just so happens that she said yes to becoming the producer of the school's play. Now without going into too much detail, this book was cute. I adored some of the friendships and the relationship being formed throughout it. However, I kind of feel like some were forced upon me or they just kind of fizzled out at one point. It honestly didn't matter if certain people were still together at the end or not.. things just weren't adding up for me. I did, however, really enjoy all the LGBT representation throughout the book. There was even a point in the book where a teacher was completely ignorant and no one really did anything about it. I mean, yes, someone gave some sass.. but no one really put them in their place (in a way?). Not sure how I feel about that even now. In the end, I am happy that I got a chance to dive into it. This book was cute and the ending was even cuter. I just feel like it was missing something for me in order to fall in love with it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vaishnavi

    This book was a fun treat filled with unexpected turns in the story. What I loved most in the book would be the fact that it is centred around a play in high school which will focus particularly on a set of students. This theme being the forefront brought out the capability of the author to do complete justice to those dorky, fun, superb characters. I expected a little more details on the play that they were producing but sometimes that was a good thing that not much of the play was stressed on This book was a fun treat filled with unexpected turns in the story. What I loved most in the book would be the fact that it is centred around a play in high school which will focus particularly on a set of students. This theme being the forefront brought out the capability of the author to do complete justice to those dorky, fun, superb characters. I expected a little more details on the play that they were producing but sometimes that was a good thing that not much of the play was stressed on and instead the same amount of importance was given to the individual characters. The book on the whole was a humorous treat for me and j think I laughed aloud twice when our lead was unable to control the situation. The fact that life is full of defeats and embarrassment and how we live up to that is so well detailed. This story of LGBT+ people who have so many varying mentalities and social pressures is seen in this book and this was quite a differently written book. The amount of love, care and acceptance shown in this book is heartwarming and I was engrossed throught the entire read. It was well written and I would recommend it for a light and fun read with a touch of emotion. Thankyou netgalley for the copy #netgalley #theyearshakespeareruinedmylife

  15. 4 out of 5

    Axellesbooks

    Thank to Netgalley for this e-arc. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is about Alison who agrees to produce the school's play. That's not the first mistake she makes, when her best friend Jack asks her on a date she realises that was also a mistake. But luckily she gets help from her best friend and sister. But even with them, she makes mistakes. Alison has a crush for Charlotte and she tries to get her attention. There's a lot of drama going on, not only in the play. To start with, this was suc Thank to Netgalley for this e-arc. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is about Alison who agrees to produce the school's play. That's not the first mistake she makes, when her best friend Jack asks her on a date she realises that was also a mistake. But luckily she gets help from her best friend and sister. But even with them, she makes mistakes. Alison has a crush for Charlotte and she tries to get her attention. There's a lot of drama going on, not only in the play. To start with, this was such an enjoyable story to read. It is an easy read and it's lovely. You get to see a lot of the drama that's been going on in Alison's life at the moment. That was interesting to read about. But, I wish there was a little bit more of a depth in the drama. I wish there was a little bit more depth in the love story too. It felt a little bit too fast pacing and I couldn't connect to Alison a lot because of that. If the love aspect of this story was more discovered, it would make it a lot better. Dani Jansen does know how to write because it's easy to read plus, it's also a little bit a fluffy story which makes it so enjoyable. This book could have been a little bit longer though. I do recommend reading this book when you're looking for a fun and enjoyable read that goes around a play and two girls falling in love. I just couldn't connect to the main character because I missed depth, but don't let that keep you from reading this! Three stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rach

    Alison Green is wanting to be a Valedictorian. She agrees to produce the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream hoping it will give her an edge on everyone else to be Valedictorian. Once she starts she wishes to hadn't said yes. Various things happen while Alison is trying to make the show happen including her crush Charlotte getting a part. Alison must decide what she really wants in life. It was enjoyable reading how the production came together and you don't realise how much work go Alison Green is wanting to be a Valedictorian. She agrees to produce the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream hoping it will give her an edge on everyone else to be Valedictorian. Once she starts she wishes to hadn't said yes. Various things happen while Alison is trying to make the show happen including her crush Charlotte getting a part. Alison must decide what she really wants in life. It was enjoyable reading how the production came together and you don't realise how much work goes into a school production. The only thing i found fault with is wouldn't there have been adults involved in the production e.g. teachers. Alison sometimes made things harder for herself in the book but i suppose the message was to ask other people for help not just take it on all yourself. Alison and Charlotte relationship was sweet. There are various side characters in the book which i thought could of done with more exploring a bit more but maybe the author didn't want the book to be to long. I received a ARC from Netgalley and Second Story Press for an objection review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Attack Salmon

    I am glad I read this. This book is something I needed this time around. Its cute. It makes u feel good. Only thing that I didn't click with is Charlotte and Alison. I don't feel any chemistry between them (could be FF wasn't really my thing )and Alison barely known Charlotte then suddenly they are together. Charlotte also didn't strike me as someone with a personality. She was really bland The play itself is fun. I enjoyed reading about how Alison manage to bring together a play despite having z I am glad I read this. This book is something I needed this time around. Its cute. It makes u feel good. Only thing that I didn't click with is Charlotte and Alison. I don't feel any chemistry between them (could be FF wasn't really my thing )and Alison barely known Charlotte then suddenly they are together. Charlotte also didn't strike me as someone with a personality. She was really bland The play itself is fun. I enjoyed reading about how Alison manage to bring together a play despite having zero experience and she faced with some bumps along the way. Her cast Ben is moody and even more so when he broke up with their costume designer Zach. Set Designer Jenny is emo and rude all the time. Alison also have fights with her prop master / sister Annie and her best friend Becca who help her along with the way. Their play wasn't like crazy good but what this story shows us is the friendship made and lesson learnt in the process of creating a play. And it was so cute and feel goody

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen is a light and cute YA contemporary. It follows the misadventures of Alison, a high school student who is producing her school's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. She's got a lot to cope with if she's going to make it through the school year. The overall story line of novel is fun and goes pretty quickly, but I was never all that invested in any of the characters to become attached I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen is a light and cute YA contemporary. It follows the misadventures of Alison, a high school student who is producing her school's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. She's got a lot to cope with if she's going to make it through the school year. The overall story line of novel is fun and goes pretty quickly, but I was never all that invested in any of the characters to become attached or really care all that much one way or another about their fates. It also never managed to surprise me, but in the end it was still fun to pick up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nad

    3,5/5 it was a fun and cute story overall

  20. 4 out of 5

    Smriti

    I thought this was super cute! Maybe because I found this *uber* relatable (apart from the LGBT bit). lol. More cohesive review coming up. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hira Chaudhary

    I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This was a cute, light story filled with play hijinks, miscommunication, chaotic love, and a cast of characters you will really like. (I say like and not love, because while they were all great, they weren't the kinds of characters that stick with you after you've closed the book). Allison was a fun protagonist and I liked her quest to get with her crush, Charlotte. They were cute and I liked how they were toge I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This was a cute, light story filled with play hijinks, miscommunication, chaotic love, and a cast of characters you will really like. (I say like and not love, because while they were all great, they weren't the kinds of characters that stick with you after you've closed the book). Allison was a fun protagonist and I liked her quest to get with her crush, Charlotte. They were cute and I liked how they were together. But Charlotte was a lot more secondary than some of the other secondary characters, and as a result, she felt like a very flat character who just existed. She was cute and sweet, but there wasn't a lot more than that to her character. But I liked getting a lesbian MC and watching that romance play out. Ben was kind of the character who took center stage for me. I could tell from the beginning that there was something more to his story and I liked learning more about him and the friendship that formed between Allison and Ben. I liked how Ben was figuring himself out, and my heart went out to him and all the internalized homophobia he lived with. The characters were all cute and the story was sweet and I loved all the queer rep, but it was just one of the stories that you enjoyed reading, but that you probably won't think about too much once you've finished.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christie McLaughlin

    The concept of this book sounded great, a LGBTQ+ romance involving a girl who has been put in charge of producing her school's production of Midsummer Night's Dream. However, this book fell flat in terms of characterization. All the characters felt very flat and stereotypical. You knew this character was the Cool Girl, and thus was going to act in such and such a way. This character was the Goth Girl, and was going to act this way. This left the book feeling very predictable. The romance also fe The concept of this book sounded great, a LGBTQ+ romance involving a girl who has been put in charge of producing her school's production of Midsummer Night's Dream. However, this book fell flat in terms of characterization. All the characters felt very flat and stereotypical. You knew this character was the Cool Girl, and thus was going to act in such and such a way. This character was the Goth Girl, and was going to act this way. This left the book feeling very predictable. The romance also fell flat as a result of this. I just didn't see the connection between the two girls except our main character idolized the Cool Girl, and even when they got together, still treated her like she was an idol. Overall, I think the target audience of teens would enjoy this book and not so much mind the flat characters. It was a cute high school story that I think teens would enjoy. Personally, it just wasn't for me. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    2.5 Stars - DNF The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life follows Alison, who desperately wants to be valedictorian, and who is given the role of producer of the school play - A Midsummer Night's Dream. Despite all the chaos that comes along wish producing a play, Alison is also facing some craziness in her personal life - the girl she has a crush on is starring in the play and let slip that she thinks Alison is cute but Alison has accidentally landed herself on a date with her oldest friend, Jack, eve 2.5 Stars - DNF The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life follows Alison, who desperately wants to be valedictorian, and who is given the role of producer of the school play - A Midsummer Night's Dream. Despite all the chaos that comes along wish producing a play, Alison is also facing some craziness in her personal life - the girl she has a crush on is starring in the play and let slip that she thinks Alison is cute but Alison has accidentally landed herself on a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though her best friend has a not-so-secret crush on him, and Alison herself is most definitely gay. This book had such a fun premise - I absolutely love books where the main character is involved in some way with a play or a movie, and as someone who went to drama classes and was in a couple of shows growing up, school plays are something that I love to read about. Plus, this book has one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen, so of course I had to request an ARC! However, this book fell extremely flat for me and it got to the point that I couldn't continue reading without outwardly cringing at some of the characters actions. From the get go the writing style feels almost juvenile, which I feel bad saying, but it's true. I normally don't mind if the writing style of a book isn't lyrical, flowery purple prose, as it isn't something that really affects my enjoyment of a book. However, this felt - and no offense to teenagers! - like someone had written it for a creative writing project in school. Everything about it, from the characters to the plot, felt so underdeveloped and it just jumped from one scene to the next, focussing, for the most part, on the play. I definitely feel like the writing could have done with a bit more editing before being released into the world, but do take this with a pinch of salt as I read the ARC and it could be that there have been some amendments to that in the finished copy. As I mentioned, the plot was something that really stood out to me when requesting the ARC for this book. I absolutely love seeing how hectic school plays are in literature, and this had the added bonus of the main character being dumped with a large part of the work, after a teacher decides to shunt it all onto her. I think the author managed to capture this hectic atmosphere really well and I think it's one of the highlights of the book for me - you can feel the stress emanating from Alison as the play keeps spiralling into chaos. Despite this, the characters really didn't do it for me. Our main character Alison feels like every other YA contemporary protagonist. She's nerdy, she's going for valedictorian, she's not like other girls (aka wearing purple and silver nail polish is too outlandish for her). In all fairness, I didn't mind Alison. At times she frustrated me but that's to be expected from a main character, particularly when you look at the situations she is put in. But every other character felt like a caricature - you have the gay guy who is in charge of costumes because he's dressed really well, you have the goth girl who sits by herself at lunch time and is moody all the time, and you have the asshole who draws boobs all over folder (although if you've met any teenage boy, you'll know its another type of anatomy they like to draw everywhere). Outside of the play, these characters also had no development - from what I read of the book, I couldn't tell you anything about Alison, other than she's gay, she wants to be valedictorian and she hates that red folder containing tips about producing a play. As someone who loves character driven books and well fleshed-out characters, this was a real disappointment to me. I don't want this review to all be doom and gloom, but I do think it's important to discuss a couple of the themes that popped up in the book. I've seen a couple of reviews on Goodreads mention this, but the word lesbian is never used in the novel. I understand that there is some nuance that needs to be had with this discussion, in that for young lesbians, as was the case for me for many years, it can be difficult to identify with that word because of the negative connotations placed upon it by cishet members of society. However, one way that this stigma can be fought is by having characters that proudly use lesbian to describe themselves, instead of just saying that they don't like guys, or in Alison's case, that she's gay. I think particularly since this is targeted at a teen audience, this would have been very important to see. Furthermore, it is mentioned that when Alison first comes out to her (cishet) best friend, her best friend tells her that it's not enough to only be out to her and that she needs to tell her family. It is never okay to decide when someone else comes out, and it is never okay to assume that people are comfortable doing so. Although I didn't get that far in the book, I have seen reviews mentioning that this happens again later in the book with a closeted character. This is not something that should be shown as okay in a book that is marketed for teens. Finally, cultural appropriation is touched upon, which I appreciate and think should be discussed more in YA. However, the situation it is brought up in feels so exaggerated and over-the-top ridiculous that it just seems implausible and almost takes away from the power of the scene. Although this book has its faults, and was really just not for me, I think it's important to note that I, as a 22-year-old, am not the target audience, and I do think that someone in that target audience would really enjoy this book - it has an engaging plot and realistic teen dialogue that would appeal to many teens today! Thanks to Edelweiss and the publishers for an ARC copy in return for a review

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dini - dinipandareads

    I read this as part of the blog tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 2 stars I was so looking forward to reading this because it sounded like it would be a very cute YA contemporary set in high school, but in the end, it just wasn't for me. This was due, in large part, to my inability to connect with and care for the MC, as well as the lack of development in the relationships and other characters, I read this as part of the blog tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 2 stars I was so looking forward to reading this because it sounded like it would be a very cute YA contemporary set in high school, but in the end, it just wasn't for me. This was due, in large part, to my inability to connect with and care for the MC, as well as the lack of development in the relationships and other characters, which is a shame because I do feel that this started well. It was a pretty quick and easy read that had some funny moments, and I'm sure I could've easily finished it in one sitting. I also learned a lot about what it takes to produce a play, and you can tell it's something that the author is knowledgeable about and feels passionately about too. It takes so much work, and I give props to Alison's character for being able to handle this on top of being a "perfect valedictorian level" student. I could definitely see this playing out like a "She's All That" movie in my head because all the stereotypical characters and high school drama were there, and I think it might even be better suited to the big screen. That said, what didn't work for me outweighed what I liked. Alison was a tough character to root for. She's self-centred, petty, selfish, and frankly, her internal dialogue was more than a little annoying. I initially liked her and thought her awkwardness was quirky/cute, plus I can relate to being socially awkward. But as the story went on and she made some pretty horrible decisions, I found it difficult to empathise with her character and by the end, neither did I want to. I think being stuck in her head (when she's as self-centred as she is) did this book a disservice because it meant that the side characters got zero development, and were merely there to prop her character up and to keep the story rolling. Which brings me to another sticking point: there was a lot of "telling" in this book and not nearly enough showing. We're told that Becca and Jack were her best friends; we're told that Charlotte, the crush, is super amazing and wonderful; we're told that the group of actors in the play form such a close bond that someone feels comfortable enough to come out to them by the end. But I didn't feel any of that. I wish we had seen how close the friendships were through more interactions, and seen the group bonding through more than just warm-up exercises. This also made it hard to feel invested in the romance. Alison idolises Charlotte, but I didn't see any of her amazingness on-page. I was intrigued by Charlotte's character but sadly I didn't feel their chemistry. I also experienced some uncomfortable moments while reading this, especially relating to the LGBTQ+ rep and some comments about Asian culture and cultural appropriation that was brushed off. I think the latter point was meant to be "funny", but it was just shocking (especially as it came from a teacher), and I was disappointed that the MC didn't speak up on it even as she thought it was wrong. As for the LGBTQ+ rep, I'm not OV so I feel like I can't say too much on it, but some of the discussions about the experience of coming out and being out felt off to me. I understand that the MC was questioning a lot of this herself, especially about being out; however, peoples' experiences in various situations will be different, and yet here it seemed to be presented in a "one-size box" and it felt uncomfortable. TL;DR: While some things did work in this book, it wasn't the cute YA high school experience that I was expecting, and I was a little disappointed. I wish that Alison was a much more likeable character and that the relationships and romance were more fleshed out because it would've gone a long way in making me care about the story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rowan

    Thanks to NetGalley and Second Story Press for providing me with an e-arc! I loved the title to begin with, so I was very excited to read this book. Meet Alison, a teenage girl in her senior year. To add a little extra to her university applications, she volunteers / gets tricked into becoming the producer of the school play, which happens to be A midsummer nights dream by Shakespeare. I loved the outline of the story and the general idea of it. At some points the story is a little flimsy but it h Thanks to NetGalley and Second Story Press for providing me with an e-arc! I loved the title to begin with, so I was very excited to read this book. Meet Alison, a teenage girl in her senior year. To add a little extra to her university applications, she volunteers / gets tricked into becoming the producer of the school play, which happens to be A midsummer nights dream by Shakespeare. I loved the outline of the story and the general idea of it. At some points the story is a little flimsy but it holds up. It portrays the life of teenagers in high school very well. It shows how busy and stressful it can be, as well as the importance of friendship. I loved that that was the main focus of this story, and not just the fact the main character was gay. It did play a role, of course, as it would in a young girls life, but it felt like just another fact about Alison. Like it's normal. Which, obviously, it is! Alison learns a lot about leadership and friendship in this story. I would have liked to see a little more character development in the other characters too, though. The story didn't delve all too deep into their feelings. Overall this is a cute story with a nice bit of sarcastic humor!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Varsha Sabarinathan

    Alison aims high always, she wanted to be the best, she wanted to give her best. Everyone around her acted like high school was easy even her girlfriend thought she was over reacting but maybe it was easy for them but definitely not for her. But one thing that she was fortunate to have was a loving family who supported her when she told them she was gay and a best friend who always was there for her. Now, she is presented with an opportunity to produce the school play, the play her sister called Alison aims high always, she wanted to be the best, she wanted to give her best. Everyone around her acted like high school was easy even her girlfriend thought she was over reacting but maybe it was easy for them but definitely not for her. But one thing that she was fortunate to have was a loving family who supported her when she told them she was gay and a best friend who always was there for her. Now, she is presented with an opportunity to produce the school play, the play her sister called ‘Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster’. But she can’t let that happen. With the help of a Red Binder and her friends and the cast she tries to give her best yet again. I liked the story very much for its about Shakespeare and how he ruined Alison’s life which basically is me. I still can’t recite one line from his work. It’s always hard for me to get the Shakespeare kind of English. Also its Pride Month and this book qualifies for that also🌈. Her struggle to get things done are so real. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the threat call Alison got cause nothing of it was said after that. As if it never happened. But on the whole it was a simple, light read and a funny high school play.

  27. 5 out of 5

    bianca

    my request for this ARC has just been approved by netgalley, i'm excited !! *** Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! rep: lesbian mc, pansexual li, korean american side character, moroccan american side character, gay side characters actual rating: 2.5 stars This book follows the story of our main character, Alison. She is really fixed on getting to be valedictorian at graduation and, to make it happen, she agrees to co-produce the school my request for this ARC has just been approved by netgalley, i'm excited !! *** Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! rep: lesbian mc, pansexual li, korean american side character, moroccan american side character, gay side characters actual rating: 2.5 stars This book follows the story of our main character, Alison. She is really fixed on getting to be valedictorian at graduation and, to make it happen, she agrees to co-produce the school play. Little does she know she will end up pretty much directing the whole thing almost by herself and getting to hang out with her long term crush during rehersals. the plot This is a typical Young Adult book, from the plot to its characters and everything in between. I've been feeling a little distant from YA books for a while now, so I will try not to be too harsh on the typical things of the genre, since the things that bothered me related to that are my problem, not technical problems. That being said, I did find parts of the plot to be underdeveloped. The 300 pages or so go by mostly on Alison's inner monologue worrying about everything. We should get less talking and more doing. Let the actions and the images speak for themselves. I feel like the book as a whole would have gained a lot from this. For example, the whole story leads us to opening night, but there are so few scenes where we get to see the cast actually interacting. This makes some scenes feel forced, like one moment where one of the actors comes out to the rest of the cast. It should be a really emotional, moving moment but, sadly, it's not. Also, there was an attempt at introducing a theatre mafia? And this ends up being forgotten without further explanation. It was a way of explaining why Alsion couldn't get any budget money from local stores, but it was kind of ridiculous. the characters I will keep this short. So. Many. Stereotypes. We have: - The Gay Guy - The Jerk Guy (who turns out to be not so bad) - The Goth Girl - The Best Friend - The Good Guy - The Theatre Freak - The Cool Girl (also known as The Crush who you've never talked to in your whole short life but still is the love of your life) It was too much. I really think I would have enjoyed the book much more if the author would have stepped out of these common places a little bit. The only attempt I saw at achieving this was making the love interest pansexual instead of gay, in spite of her being seen as "the stereotype of a lesbian" (based on her haircut) (this is actually adressed at one point in the book) but it still wasn't enough. About our main character. Alison is such a dull character. What we know about her: she is gay, she wants to be valedictorian and she is a good student. Oh, and she cleans her room when she gets overwhelmed. That's it. I really wanted to emphatize with her and her motivations, but I never got to feel like I knew her. She doesn't like visual arts or sports or theatre. She has no real interes, no depth. Also, I found her to be a little infurating at times. She's not exactly easy going. I was really let down by her as a character, I felt she could have been better developed. She goes through some character developments by the end of the book, but it wasn't enough for me to care about the rest. the relationship Listen, I'm here for the Gay. No point hiding it. And I got so little of it. I had similar problems with Charlotte as I did with Alison. We see Charlotte through Alison's eyes, and Alison ideolizes Charlotte a lot. Charlotte is this really cool, exotic girl with a tattoo and expanders. In the first descrpition we get about her, I got the "not like other girls" vibe and I really disliked that. I was kinda hoping the idealization would fade once Alison got to meet Charlotte, talk to her and hang out for a while but, unfortunately, it didn't. Their relationship, much like their characters, also fell flat. They go on one (1) date, they interact so little and most of it is texting. At one point in the story they have a fight and it all feels so forced because of the little build-up. I did find myself rooting for them at the beginning, but by the end I didn't really care anymore. some silver linings - cute family dynamics !!! alison's parents are so nice and open-minded - there's a male corgi named "princess sunshine" - multiple lgbt+ characters - a really nice teacher - the importance of friendship <3<3<3 final thoughts I can't say I liked this, but I didn't hate it. I enjoyed it at times. This isn't an amazing read but if the synopsis calls your attention, by all means give it a go. Maybe I became a sour person who doesn't experience joy anymore. You might find it more charming than I did. I really hope you do, because LGBT+ stories are always important, even when they're not exactly our cup of tea.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laurence R.

    This is a cute novel! I could relate a lot to the main character since I was valedictorian too. I really liked how the story took place around a play, since I never got to participate in one during my school years. I wasn’t a fan of the love interest because this particular character felt a bit one-dimensional to me, but part ot that might be because the interactions with the main character were not always described. Overall, this is a nice high school novel and I’d recommend it! Thank you NetGal This is a cute novel! I could relate a lot to the main character since I was valedictorian too. I really liked how the story took place around a play, since I never got to participate in one during my school years. I wasn’t a fan of the love interest because this particular character felt a bit one-dimensional to me, but part ot that might be because the interactions with the main character were not always described. Overall, this is a nice high school novel and I’d recommend it! Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    moonie

    3/5 ★. it was okay??? i don't really know how to feel about this book honestly. it was entertaining but i didn't really care about the characters and the plot felt rushed and as if it was lacking something. but hey, lesbian representation is always welcomed!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “I learned to accept imperfection, both in myself and others.” When valedictorian-contender Alison Green agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she finds herself on a daunting path of misadventures. Alison has a full plate on her hands between meddling in her best friends’ love lives, finding herself a girlfriend, learning how to produce a doomed play, and figuring out how to balance school, the play, and her social life. Sexuality plays a central theme throughout “I learned to accept imperfection, both in myself and others.” When valedictorian-contender Alison Green agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she finds herself on a daunting path of misadventures. Alison has a full plate on her hands between meddling in her best friends’ love lives, finding herself a girlfriend, learning how to produce a doomed play, and figuring out how to balance school, the play, and her social life. Sexuality plays a central theme throughout The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life—but not in the healthiest light. We learn that Alison only came out to her family after Becca, her straight best friend, convinced her that coming out to just her was not enough. Then, we see the play’s costume designer struggling in his relationship because his boyfriend is afraid to come out; by the end of the novel, the latter character comes out to the whole cast of the play so that the couple can reunite. Alison also grapples with her under-the-radar sexuality when she starts dating actress-slash-crush Charlotte Russel, who is more comfortable than Alison in her pansexual identity. Furthermore, Alison indirectly refers to herself as a lesbian not more than three times throughout the book, but rather constantly calls herself and other queer women characters “gay.” It’s clear that the author is attempting to explore sexuality through a young adult lens, but I’m just not sure it’s the most positive portrayal and fear what kind of message this could send to LGBTQIA+ readers. Overall, this was a mostly lighthearted, quick-paced read. The characters felt authentically teenaged and their issues very young adult. Trigger Warning: Mention of homophobic parent (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.