shakespeare retellings

There was no concept of time in Heaven, but it seemed years before Julianne found it. Buried underneath a pile of twisted black hourglasses with starved-looking glass. Carved from fine, deep walnut, with thorny posts and dusty bowls. Rubix Grosvenor Saulus Jarhnam.
And it was empty. No Life Sand would ever fill this glass.
Julianne held the hourglass to her chest for a long, long time.

A sneak peek of “Angel & Demon,” a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, by Heather Dixon. Read it in Perchance to Dream, a YA anthology of Shakespeare adaptations, releasing June 30!

Image credit: almudena stock

Review- Simon by Michael Mullin

Title: Simon

Author: Michael Mullin

Rating: 4/5 stars


His father is dead. His mother has remarried. His uncle is … his new stepfather? When the ghost of Simon Elsinore’s father returns and claims he was murdered by his own brother, the nineteen-year-old film student must determine what is true and exact the revenge his father demands.

My thoughts:

To tell the truth I have my issues with modernized Shakespeare, but from time to time I pick up a book or watch a film adaptation that sets one of the Bard’s story in modern times just to see if I can take anything away from it. Very often I don’t like the whole setting, the whole atmosphere of these works, simply because I adore the mood that Shakespeare originally created so much, it’s hard for me to stop expecting it to be there.

Now what is extremely interesting in the case of Michael Mullin’s Simon is that my favourite thing about it was the alienation I experienced when reading it. I kept pushing the story away to a safe distance where I could look at it with an analytical eye without having to be a part of it.

When I became conscious of my withdrawing from the happenings in Simon I started thinking of its reason – you see, I never felt the need to ’keep away’ from Shakespeare’s Hamlet this way, I was always eager to brood over matters of life and death together with the Prince never feeling the weight of it… and ay, there’s the rub… Simon, being set in today’s America, in our time, made Hamlet’s story REAL.

Simon begins with the end: from the news we get to know a massacre happened in the suburbia of an American town. Isn’t it something we hear in the telly every day? Murders, massacres, mayhem. It is too familiar and too tangible. In Simon the safety that the distance in time provides in the case of Hamlet disappeared and it made me feel uneasy. It may sound a bit contradictory, but the need to distance myself from the events of Simon brought me closer to Hamlet and made me see it from a different light. I think if a retelling opens new, interesting, windows on the original work it is well worth reading.

The story is well known, but of course you can’t rewrite it in the 21th century without making certain changes. I think Mr. Mullin did a good job with the little bits that eventually made this old tale adjust to the present. I especially enjoyed the usage of media and technology. I felt the book wanted to put an emphasis on the shift in communication that took place between then and now (Hamlet’s time and today).

I liked how the film as medium was represented in the book. Inserting the grave-digging ’scene’ was a phenomenal idea. Speaking of grave digging… the metaphors and symbols were very strong in Simon, sharp even, which I loved. The depiction of the wedding/funeral got me hooked in the very beginning.

The reason why I didn’t give 5 stars to this novel was Simon. He didn’t strike me as a Hamlet figure despite him being the title character. For me there was too much doing and too little reflecting when it came to him. Maybe I missed something, but he didn’t seem deep enough for me.

All in all, the stars and – I hope – this review tells everything. Happy reading, Shakespeare geeks!

Goodreads link

Read my other reviews on  Paradise Found

Something wicked this way comes..

So it’s thesis proposal season at Parsons, and I just finished off my last proposal with a retelling of Macbeth, but with cats. Duncan is a cat guarding a cake that two dogs, Mack and Beth, very badly want, so they push Duncan off the windowsill and spread the cake frosting on two other cats to put the blame on them.

This is the result of me trying to do something for children.

And I promise there were two very serious, very non-cat related proposals that came before this! 

The kinds of books I would love for you to send me

Hello, book-types! Long time, no tumbl. As summer wanes (haha jk it’s a billion degrees we are all going to melt and die) and I dutifully read through my submissions pile, I am back here to bombard you with my manuscript wishlist.

Cool fact: Quirk Books takes unsolicited (unagented!) submissions! Gaze upon our submissions guidelines here.


  • For YA: contemporary romantic comedies, especially with a fun high concept. Think classic Meg Cabot (girl save President’s life and falls in love with his son! Model and nerd-girl switch bodies!)
  • Alternatively: fun contemporary YA stories about female friendships! Romance optional. I’d love to see hilarious, voice-driven coming of age stories as part of a larger overall narrative.
  • Retellings (Shakespeare, classic Lit, Greek myth, what have you) with a fresh and truly-actually-new setting or twist, especially if it’s a story with…
  • …something geeky or pop-culturey as a setting or plot element! Cosplaying! E-sports tournaments! Renaissance faires (oh please oh please). Quirk Books readers are total nerrrrrrds and I live to serve.
  • A YA crime caper book, especially if things start to get screwball comedy-y. I love a good heist.


  • Books for/about snake people and the challenges of adulting
  • Subcategory to the former: funny and/or tongue-in-cheek books about women ~having it all~
  • Satirical/parody how-tos (like our Internet Cat and Internet Baby books) especially if the humor gets real real absurd and delightful
  • Anything that fits the “Women Are Awesome” category

He smiled, something he rarely did. When they’d first met, Dia had thought his hard face intimidating and harsh. Now that she knew the secrets his lips concealed, she appreciated his usually placid expression. It made his rare smiles all the more enchanting—a perfect display of white teeth against his black-as-night skin.
They called him an alien, which she supposed he was, being from another planet and all. Yet to her he seemed to possess more humanity than most people she knew. They called him odd, and believed him to be inherently evil just because of where he’d been born. But she knew better. With her, he’d never been anything but good—open, honest, loving. She couldn’t have asked for better if she’d tried.

A sneak peek of “Onyx,” a retelling of Othello, by Alicia Michaels. Read it in Perchance to Dream, a YA anthology of Shakespeare adaptations, releasing June 30!

Image credit: Random Acts Stock

Toshiro Mifune Gets Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

#nohgaku #noh [Bleeding Cool News]Throne of Blood is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, re-envisioned in the style of Japanese Noh theater. Mifune, playing a feudal warrior who rises to lordship in medieval Japan, may seem wildly over the top at first glance, but his intensity as his …

Mitch had the sense to keep his mouth shut until the door sealed. “She is totally and completely out of your league, you realize this. She’s never even given her phone number to anyone.”
“That’s about to change,” Tuck said.
“And you think no one is going to notice that the most unreachable girl in the school suddenly falls head over heels for the science geek? Coincidentally, on the one night he invited her over to try out the new virtual reality simulation with deep dark government brainwashing subroutines built into it?”

A sneak peek of “A Midwinter Night’s Brainwashing,” a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Allan Davis. Read it in Perchance to Dream, a YA anthology of Shakespeare adaptations, releasing June 30!

Image credit: SerialKillerStock

I’m also thinking about how now that I’m in the dbz fandom I’m unimpressed with some fic selections like where are my complete shakespeare retellings with these characters where