Hello Bookworms, welcome back to yet another blog tour stop! I thought I was dreaming when I got accepted into this tour, this YA contemporary has my name written ALL over it! The cover is so gorgeous and cute, and the premise interested me right away.
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ+ Contemporary
Publishing date: September 22nd, 2020
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.
I don’t think I will EVER shut up about how cute this cover is! Maybe it’s just me, but the yellow and the adorable graphics are just UGHHHH! Anyways, what’s beyond the cover is just as lovely and adorable. This book is the epitome of a sweet and relatable coming of age story.
Alison is a well-rounded main character. The reader accompanies her through her ups and downs as she grapples with “normal teen problems“. I could relate to her as her biggest goal was becoming valedictorian, and she put school above all else. It’s very HARD not to enjoy this novel through her eyes, but towards the end of the book, the reader wants MORE. I wanted more romance, more aspects to her personality, more growth and just a little more complexity.
I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Alison and Annie. Their love-hate dynamic is just SO realistic among sisters(exactly me and my sister’s relationship), but this aspect also could have developed further.
The plot just FLEW BY! We follow Alison as she prepares for the BIG school play, and her efforts at getting donations, directing the actors and all the while balancing her normal life. This was my first YA novel involving a theatre performance, and all the aspects were VERY relatable. (as a high school student, I approve!)
Another pleasant aspect of this novel is the LGBT representation throughout the book. If I could ask for ONE thing, I would have wanted the author to have gone a little deeper in terms of developing the romance and even the friendships.
Overall, The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life is perfect for readers in high school or those searching for a quick and fast–paced contemporary read. I would recommend this to the ages of 14-17.
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).