Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen. The moment I saw the cover for this book I knew I had to read it – such a cute, fun looking cover. I’ve shared my thoughts of the book below, along with a mood board. Don’t forget to check out the Book Tour Schedule at the bottom, along with giveaway options!
Meet Dani Jansen
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).
About The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
Title: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life
Author: Dani Jansen
Publisher: Second Story Press
Publishing Date: September 22, 2020
Page Length: 304
Age Range: YA
Rep: Queer, Gay, Lesbian, Pansexual
Synopisis: 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.
Content/Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, racism, toxic masculinity, internalized homophobia, cultural insensitivity (from the teacher)
This book made me so happy (despite the triggers mentioned above). It was so positive the entire time. I actually thought Dani handled a lot of the above mentioned triggers really well and addressed them in the book. People were called out to their insensitivities and incorrect responses.
Alison (Al) was an A Typical student who also happened to be a perfectionist. This caused her a lot of stress and anxiety – I really felt for her. I found that a lot of her actions are similar to how I handle things (not always the healthiest). But I also found that she grew during this story arc. She learned from her mistakes and learned a lot, which I loved seeing her go through it.
Al’s friends and family were by far the best. Actually, the entire supporting characters were absolutely amazing. They were written realistically and I could picture each of these characters in high school (and could even pinpoint those characters in my own high school experience). Even some of the side characters had their own growth and I loved that we got to see that.
Dani’s writing style is approachable and enjoyable. I found it easy to read and was able to finish it in two sittings. I started and before I knew it I was well over halfway through the book – if I hadn’t needed to get up and work the next day I would have likely finished it that night. I was really happy with how Dani approached character’s being outted. One character was not out yet and had confided in Dani. When it the situation was asked about later by friends, she was decent enough not to blab to the friend. She recognized that it wasn’t her information to tell. I don’t remember the last book I read that respected a person’s choice to disclosing their sexuality – I’ve found most YA books tend to use forced outting as the tension point. Actually, looking back on the book, Dani did an amazing job at handling different states of being out and how it is viewed and different states of acceptance.
Despite my positive reviews, I still felt I wanted a little more. This was a light, fluffy read that had some harder topics within it, but still handed in a lighter/positive manner. I really enjoyed the book and I would highly recommend it, but the lightness of the book made it a 3 star for me. If you like the theater I think you would really enjoy this book. If you like LGBT to be in your YA then you’ll love this book.
Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Book Tour Schedule
Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile (Promo Post)
Pagcturncr (Promo Post)
The Book Dutchesses (Promo Post)
Colleen is Booked (Promo Post)
Between Folded Pages (Promo Post)
Fangirl Pixie Blog (Promo Post)
Shelf Blame (Review)
Sophie’s Reading Corner (Promo Post)
Mel And Her Books (Promo Post)
Rajiv’s Reviews (Promo Post)
Wonder Struck (Promo Post)
Yna the Mood Reader (Promo Post)
And On She Reads (Promo Post)