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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet


Author: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Originally Published: 2013
Publisher: Merit Press, an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.
Source: Provided by the authors

The Story

ExposureFrom the back of the book:

Beautiful introvert Skye has a crush on the most popular boy in school – and a crushing secret: he might be a murderer! Desperate to escape entanglements that seem both fated and potentially fatal, Skye must face off against a deadly serious social climber with Prom Queen aspirations. Someone’s courting disaster. Will it be Skye?

The Response

Shakespeare! Macbeth! All the awesome things!

When Askew and Helmes contacted me to review one of the books in their Twisted Lit series, I positively jumped at this one. The series also includes Tempestuous (a retelling of The Tempest) and Anyone But You (a retelling of Romeo and Juliet). Seeing as Macbeth is one of my all-time favourite plays, I knew this would be a positively delightful introduction to their series.

I was not disappointed!

Exposure is an absolutely adorable book. The authors did a really good job adapting Macbeth so it would work for teens just being introduced to the Bard’s work now. The authors have definitely done this play justice, and I’m looking forward to reading more of their book. It was true to the spirit of the play. (Side note, I really hope the didn’t come across any bad luck due to curses while they were writing it.)

The way the story was brought to life in high school showed just how well Shakespeare can be applied to life even today. Could you imagine Lady Macbeth as a high school cheerleader who just wants to be prom queen? I can now. Really, the scene where she is trying to wash the blood of her hands in the play translated so well to a psychotic break in this book. And the competitiveness of reining supreme in the high school court? Yeah, I’m certain that there are some people who would do anything to get ahead in high school. In all honesty, the cliquishness and backstabbing that I remember of high school was portrayed so very well.

The characters were wonderful. I mean, it’s hard to go wrong when you start off with Shakespeare’s characters, but the modernization and adaptation definitely worked well for these characters. The main character, Skye, was an original character which allowed us to to view the story from an outsider – which I just realized would be exactly how we would be seeing it if we were seeing the play. Ha, that’s genius! She was also really well developed and seemed to play off the other characters to show their true selves.

My favourites were who the three witches were translated to – three Inuit girls. This adaptation allowed for a very interesting weaving of their mythology into the story… comparing that to the Scottish lore in the play is actually very interesting. While we did get a brief glimpse at the relations between First Peoples and people with European descent, and did slightly see the struggles between the two cultures, I really wish that we had the opportunity to see this explored a little more.

The one thing that I really didn’t enjoy about the book was the prologue and epilogue of the book. I felt that they were unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the story. We were introduced to three characters that have no other purpose for being there, and it only sets a scene for Skye to tell us the story, which would have worked just as well without being set up as a story.

The Bottom Line

Really liked this book! I’d recommend it to anyone who loves Macbeth or who wants a good introduction to the stories of Shakespeare (not that I’d recommend this as a replacement for his work though!). Personally, I’m going to be keeping my eyes on this series for more adaptations of my favourite plays. (Seriously, as soon as Hamlet and Twelfth Night get adapted, I will be ALL OVER that stuff.)

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:33 am April 23, 2014.
Category: Young Adult
Book Author(s): ,
Publisher(s): ,

  • Bibliomama

    I am totally smitten by the entire concept. Can you bring this book to Blissdom in the fall so I can borrow it? :)

  • Courtney Wilson

    Remind me in October and I will for sure bring it!! :)