Malorie Blackman’s brand new novel, ‘Chasing the Stars’, is a gender-swapped re-imagining of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ – we know, so cool, right? It got us thinking about how many other amazing YA novels have stemmed from Shakespeare’s stories. Here are a few of our favourites!
Some of these modernise the classic tales, others take characters and plot points from the originals and others focus on side characters that never quite got to tell their stories… But they’re all awesome.
‘Prince of Shadows’ by Rachel Caine
Based on ‘Romeo and Juliet’
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honour and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet.
‘When You Were Mine’ by Rebecca Serle
Based on ‘Romeo and Juliet’
Rosaline is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends….
‘Eyes Like Stars’ by Lisa Mantchev
Based on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
All her world’s a stage. Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. That is, until now. Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book–an ancient and magical tome of scripts.
‘Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty’ by Jody Gehrman
Based on ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
Geena can’t wait to spend summer vacation with her two best girls: her friend Amber and cousin Hero. All three are working at the Triple Shot Betty coffee shop together, but the moment Amber and Hero meet, the claws come out. Geena’s dream summer flies out the window, and threatens to disappear completely when a few cute guys come along to woo the Bettys. But all is not what it seems, and in a story of mistaken identities, crazy summer high jinks, and enough romance to make Shakespeare proud, Geena and her friends learn that when Bettys unite, they can take on the most powerful force in their world: a hot guy.
‘Falling for Hamlet’ by Michelle Ray
Based on ‘Hamlet’
Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend’s fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course.
What’s your favourite YA Shakespeare re-telling? Share it with us @maximumpopbooks!
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