I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth, a fun modern take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet (with a pinch of time traveling). Check out our review and enter to win a copy of your own:
Saving Hamlet features Emma, a theater-lover trying to find her place in the hierarchy of high school. High school isn’t easy for any girl, especially when your best friend stops talking to you, the play you’re stage managing turns into a disaster, and you start time traveling back to Shakespeare’s time. That’s Emma’s predicament throughout Saving Hamlet – and it’s one that isn’t going to go easy on her.
I loved Emma. She’s very relatable for the reader: a slightly awkward teenager trying to navigate through friendships, crushes, and commitments. Emma is very passionate about theater and Hamlet and is the perfect main character for this story. Booth navigates the challenges of friendships and boys in a very natural and engrossing way.
The time travel component is a lot of fun. Emma manages to fall through the stage trapdoor that her friend Stanley builds and into Shakespeare’s first performance of Hamlet. I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of present day with the first performances of Hamlet; it makes the stakes for Emma feel much higher. Plus, with all of the uncertainty surrounding Shakespeare’s real identity, it’s perfect material to have fun with without having to be 100% historically accurate. The chaos of the Globe Theater and Shakespeare’s original productions is really amusing to watch through Emma’s experience traveling back and forth. I would have loved for the time travel to start just a little sooner – the beginning felt a little slow to me.
However, what really makes Saving Hamlet stand out is Emma’s growth throughout the story. She goes from shy and embarrassed in front of her peers and teachers to confident and knowledgeable about her role as stage director. Watching Emma find her place and her identity is rewarding and it’s a great positive message for readers of all ages. It’s a fun story of friendship, identity, and theater.
Saving Hamlet is a perfect read for Shakespeare experts and newbies alike.
ABOUT SAVING HAMLET:
Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.
One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater.
It’s London, 1601, and with her awesome new pixie cut, everyone thinks Emma’s a boy–even Will Shakespeare himself. With no clue how to get home, Emma gamely plays her role as backstage assistant to the original production of Hamlet, learning a thing or two about the theater, and meeting an incredibly hot actor named Alex who finds Emma as intriguing as she finds him. But once Emma starts traveling back and forth through time, things get really confusing. Which boy is the one for her? In which reality does she belong? Will Lulu ever forgive her? And can she possibly save two disastrous productions of Hamlet before time runs out?
ABOUT MOLLY BOOTH:
Molly Booth grew up homeschooled in Massachusetts with her four boisterous siblings. She stage managed for three different community theatres in high school. Her first college was Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA; she then went on to study writing, literature, and Elizabethan history on a very cold hill at Marlboro College in Vermont. There, she wrote the first drafts of Saving Hamlet, her debut novel, coming 11/1/16 from Disney Hyperion. Her second book, Nothing Happened, will be coming spring 2018.
Molly also writes for The Mary Sue, and sometimes other sites like HelloGiggles, The Tempest, and McSweeney’s. She spends most of her time snuggling her adorable dog Suzie, pet rats Meg and Marigold, and Harriet the queen cat.
3 Finished Copies of SAVING HAMLET (US Only)