Speak Easy, Speak Love
Author: McKelle George
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Synopsis: Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.
Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.
This is one of those cute and funny retellings that combine humor, charm, and quite a bit of Shakespeare – one of those books that you can’t help but fall in love with. The perfect read for any occasion (especially one curled up with a mug of hot chocolate), this book is brilliantly written and full of characters that will make you smile the whole way through.
There have been quite a few YA Shakespeare retellings out there lately, and this is another one to add to that list of retellings that are simply wonderful. From that gorgeous cover with the pretty colors, swirls, and two characters on the front, it kind of makes the book seem a bit floral and fluffy. But what it is is actually a fun and powerful story that easily showcases the love of the jazz age – anyone who has a weak spot for this time period will be drawn to this book! Personally I have a huge love of books that take place during this time and I have read quite a few and always enjoy them, so I knew right off that this was going to be a book I could easily get lost in.
There are six main characters in this book, and at first I thought this was going to be an issue because I was going to have so many characters to keep up with, but honestly – it wasn’t a problem at all. I fell in love with all of them because they were SO well written and had so much to bring to the story. I loved watching how all of their lives intertwined in this story and really brought it to life. After reading for a while, I had no problems keeping up with their lives at all, so if that’s something that worries you, please don’t let it deter you from reading this one!
McKelle George’s writing style is so easy to get into and you will be able to ushered into this amazing 1920’s world full of characters who feel so alive and exciting. Just the way that the writing flowed made this book even more lovable. The whole idea for the speakeasy was original and I didn’t expect it to play out just as well as it did, but it was just so much fun.
To be completely honest, I had no idea how this book was going to end up working out the way it did, but it was such a treat. If you love Shakespeare, this is probably something that you are going fall head over heels in love with!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and reference librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.
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