Tag Archives: shakespeare

Book Review: Dark Aemilia (A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady) by Sally O’Reilly

 Picador Published May 27, 2014 448 Pages
Published May 27, 2014
448 Pages

This is the story of Shakespeare’s lady love. 

Aemilia Bassano, the daughter of a Venetian musician and the Queen’s favorite is known for her beauty, love of poetry and her sharp tongue and wit.

The mistress to Lord Hunsdon, Aemilia has been able to live the life of uncomplicated luxury. But when meets William Shakespeare who fuels her passion for words and for true love.

But fate has another plan for Aemilia and her ill-affair with William. Ten years later, her beloved Queen is dying, William hates her, she is married to a lame and she is taking care of her young son Henry.

When Henry gets sick, Aemilia must turn to unconventional methods in order to save her son.

I really enjoyed this book. Before this book, I never heard of Shakespeare’s dark lady so my curiosity peaked. The controversy surrounding Shakespeare is just as good as his plays. But anyway, what I enjoyed about this book was Aemilia herself. She was a woman defined and although she had a role to play she knew the role and played it better than anyone expected.

Her loyalty was something fierce and I respect that in anyone (fiction or nonfiction). Beyond her loyalty I love how realistic she was and how she wasn’t a linear character; she grew and developed into a woman I respect.

I also loved the fact that this book was less about the relationship between Aemilia and Shakespeare and more about Aemilia.

I love the attention to detail the author created. The scenery was perfect; you can tell that the author did some research to create this setting.

However despite the great story-line, character development and perfect focus this book was way too long . . . by like 300 pages too long.  Also the ending although, for a lack of better term, correct in

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but the length despite all the good qualities, made me lose focus and put the book down.

3.5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Rotten at Heart by Bartholomew Daniels

Exhibit A Published March 25, 2014 336 Pages
Exhibit A
Published March 25, 2014
336 Pages

Its London 1596 and William Shakespeare and his troupe are on a brink of ruin. To make matters worst he just lost his patron Lord Chamberlain. 

When Lord Chamberlain’s son comes to Shakespeare and states that he believes his father is murder and ask him to help find the murderer,  Shakespeare is put in a difficult position he cannot refuse. 

I love a good Shakespeare story but most importantly I love a good Shakespearean mystery. But not all Shakespeare stories are good even though their intentions are.

The story was beautifully written. The details would make Shakespeare proud. However, the book was slow and boring.

Shakespeare as a character was lifeless and didn’t really hold my attention which was really sad because I would like to think that Shakespeare had more life and spirit. I honestly didn’t feel much connection to him.

What I did like was the mystery. The author wrote the twists and turns very well and I was impressed. I just felt that the buildup took too long and by then I wasn’t really interested in the drama or the climax.

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me and I’m sad about it. 2 Pickles

Book Review: A Midsummer Night’s Scream by R.L. Stine

Ummm let’s just say this isn’t what I expected from the master of horror.

       Feiwel & Friends    Published July 2, 2013                250 Pages
Feiwel & Friends
Published July 2, 2013
250 Pages

Claire has the perfect life; her family owns a movie company (although on the brink of bankruptcy) and she has an amazing best friend Delia (who is the perfect image). The only snag in Claire world is Jake, the boy she is in love with loves Delia and Delia loves Shawn (Jake’s best friend) who is in love with Claire.

Although Claire and Delia are trying to get the attention of their boys of choice they are also trying to launch their movie career by staring in the remake of Mayhem Manor. Mayhem Manor is a haunted house in which three teenagers making a movie died accidently. Claire’s family owned movie company is trying to remake it when you guessed it accidents begin to happen and people begin to die.

This book had so much potential it was dripping from the pages. But R.L. Stine dropped the ball big time. This book was nothing I would ever recommend. There was no personal struggle. All Claire cared about was getting the boy she liked to like her back; when things starting getting weird it affected none of the teenagers. A costar died and you’re going to the cheesecake factory -.- or you’re making corny jokes after you beat the bad guy.

The book was cheesy and it was poorly written. You cling on and keep reading because it’s R.L. Stine and you’re hoping for the big horror of the book. But the biggest horror was how the crappy the characters were and their lack of substance.

The only good thing about the book was the idea itself, not the Shakespeare part because it was really unnecessary.  The idea of a movie company remaking a movie in which real deaths take place in a haunted mansion was pretty cool.

Overall, the book gets 4 out of 5. Sorry Mr. Stine but you fell short on this one big time. Also i really really think the Shakespeare aspect was completely completely unecessary.


Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles