Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! 
I finally finished this book!!!
*Does happy dance* 
It only took me four months, but hey! I read it!!!! That's another book off of my TBR mountain. 
Woot Woot!

(I actually finished the book a week ago. I'm barely getting to the review)
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.

Amazon * B&N

*slight spoilers*

My Thoughts: "To be or not to be." This is one of the most famous lines from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. In the classic play, we got to witness the tragedy that surrounded the Prince of Denmark. What would the story be like if it was told by another character instead? In Lisa Klein's book, we got to witness this tragic tale through Ophelia's eyes. Hamlet was one of my favorite plays, so I was looking forward to reading this book.

In Ophelia, Ophelia talked about her life before, during, and after Shakespeare's story. Ophelia recounted how her father Polonious arranged for her to become one of Queen Gertrude's ladies-in-waiting. She also described how she met Prince Hamlet and fell in love with him. This part of the book was interesting to read since it was never discussed in the original play how Hamlet and Ophelia fell in love. The second part of the book really grabbed my attention since it focused on Shakespeare's play. I was fascinated to read Klein's interpretation of what happened. It had me wondering how the story was going to work since it was told in the first person narrative and I knew Ophelia's outcome according to the play. Though I somewhat guessed how everything was going to get resolved, I was satisfied on how it turned out. However, my least favorite part of the book was the last 100 pages. Ophelia discussed what happened to her after all of the deaths of the royal family. I liked how it ended but I did not like how it was told. New set of characters, that I did not care about, were introduced. A new plot emerged, which dragged for me, instead of the story getting wrapped up. It was too long for my taste; it simply felt tedious to read. Though I wished the last part was told in less pages, I still liked how it ended.

My favorite character in the book turned out to be Horatio. What I remembered about the play was that Horatio was Hamlet's best friend who stuck by Hamlet's side. In this book, one was able to witness how loyal Horatio really was. He was brave, courageous, kind, and caring. Though Ophelia was supposed to be with Hamlet, I could not help but hope that Ophelia would end up choosing Horatio instead. His character really surprised me.

Overall, this was a decent retelling of Hamlet. I enjoyed reading the tragic tale through Ophelia's eyes and I really liked Klein's spin on Shakespeare's play. The last part of the book did not sit well with me as much, thus I gave it a lower rating. I'm just thrilled that I was able to read this book and mark another title off my TBR pile. I rate it:


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