Dani Jansen is a teacher and writer who lives in Montreal. She should probably be embarrassed to admit that she has performed as part of her school’s Glee Club for eight years. She should probably also be ashamed to tell people that she named her cats after punctuation symbols (Ampersand and Em-Dash, in case you’re curious).
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.
Pub Date: September 22, 2020
Two Finished Copies of The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life. The giveaway ends on September 15th. Click here to enter.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to be a part of this book tour, and thank you to Netgalley,and Second Story Press for the advanced reading copy so I could share my review with you all.
I was a bit worried about reading this one because of the focus on Shakespeare and knowing how much I am not a fan of him. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book even if I’m unsure if this book resembles the Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night Dream.
Thoughts and Themes: I actually really enjoyed this book and liked the struggle that Alison has with being out but also being closeted. While she is out to her best friend and family, they are the only ones who know about this. I know one of the issues that people may have with this book is the lack of the use of the word lesbian but I felt that this is a choice that was made because of the main character.
I thought it was important that Alison never really referred to herself as a lesbian and just kept saying gay or referencing that she didn’t like men. I think that this really added to the complexity of her figuring out how to let others know and how her being unable to put the label on herself contributes to this.
Characters: In this book you get a range of characters and I thought that was great. I thought it was good to see that you had different races/ethnic groups represented through the different characters. I really like all of the characters that are introduced throughout the book and especially enjoy their interactions with each other. I liked the relationship that Alison has with her friends and how supportive they are of her in the thing that she enjoys.
Something else that I liked is the way that Alison has to deal with the mistakes that she makes with her friends and others. I like reading as she deals with this and grows as a person through these errors that she makes. I like how you get to see the complexity behind some of these characters anger towards Alison and how she doesn’t seem to always understand their anger.
Writing Style: This book is told in the perspective of Alison and you don’t really get to know anything from the others. I thought this was great because you get to see a lot of the things that are happening in her head as it is told in first person.