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The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
Cover of The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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.

About the Author-

  • 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).

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2020
    Give her your hands, if you be friends; and Alison shall restore amends. Alison Green has a mission. She intends to graduate as valedictorian and will do whatever it takes to get there. When a teacher asks her to help produce the school's spring play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, she jumps on the opportunity, thinking it'll help boost her scholarship applications. But she quickly finds herself overwhelmed by the challenges of producing "Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster," from uncompromising artistic egos to funding troubles to relational tangles and triangles that seem pulled directly from the pages of the script. And if that weren't enough, she still needs to make valedictorian. Any reader who has ever struggled with overcommitment will recognize quirky, quiet Alison's struggle to keep her newly hectic life in check. The constant balancing act between a need for assertiveness and the drive to please everyone provokes responses--and sometimes negative consequences--that feel keenly relatable. Alison's first-person narration is pensive and raw, capturing well the circuitous, flighty nature of her anxious thought process. Her flickering confidence and glee over small victories imbue the pages with warmth, making the pain of setbacks and new complications all the more poignant. Jansen crafts a tale both modern and timeless, exploring as it does sexuality, friendship, family relations, and trust. Alison is White and lesbian; there is diversity in supporting characters. In the words of the Bard himself, most wonderful. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 24, 2020
    High school senior Alison Green wants nothing more than to be valedictorian, so when Mrs. Abrams calls her in for a meeting, she quickly agrees to coproduce the school play, which turns out to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Enlisting her best friend, Becca Choukri-McArthur, and her younger sister Annie to help, Alison tackles the role of coproducer and embarks on a “battle royale against the Red Binder,” the supposedly helpful resource necessary to produce the play. Battling her perfectionist tendencies, Alison struggles to recruit actors, interface with the stage manager and director, budget, and juggle the many egos involved. Technically out but not “ready to be open about feelings,” Alison distracts herself from her crush on Charlotte Russell, the “coolest girl in school,” who was recently cast as Hippolyta and Titania, by meddling in Becca’s love life. True to Shakespearean form, her interloping does not go as planned. Though plotting feels somewhat methodical, debut novelist Jansen crafts a relatable heroine whose anxious first-person narration carries the debut, while the diverse supporting cast rounds it out. Readers will root for Alison as she learns to collaborate, manage others’ expectations, accept failure, and, ultimately, to love. Ages 12–up.

  • Publisher's Weekly, September 1 2020 (D)ebut novelist Jansen crafts a relatable heroine whose anxious first-person narration carries the debut, while the diverse supporting cast rounds it out. Readers will root for Alison as she learns to collaborate, manage others' expectations, accept failure, and, ultimately, to love.

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    Second Story Press
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The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
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