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Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics! West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings! Contributors includ Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics! West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings! Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (As You Like It), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).


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Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics! West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings! Contributors includ Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics! West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings! Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (As You Like It), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).

30 review for That Way Madness Lies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    arc gods, hear my prayers Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch arc gods, hear my prayers Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  2. 4 out of 5

    ♡ jules ♡

    me: today is not a really great day that way madness lies cover reveal: me: TODAY IS A REALLY GREAT DAY

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    This anthology contains 15 retellings of Shakespeare's works. What's neat about the collection is it was created by YA authors. So most of the retellings have a modern contemporary feel to them and that's what made it a fun read for me. I'll admit I struggled a bit in school when reading Shakespeare, and I'm glad this book serves a purpose of presenting his works but with a modern spin. Some of the stories in this collection I enjoyed so much, I now want to check out the original version by Shak This anthology contains 15 retellings of Shakespeare's works. What's neat about the collection is it was created by YA authors. So most of the retellings have a modern contemporary feel to them and that's what made it a fun read for me. I'll admit I struggled a bit in school when reading Shakespeare, and I'm glad this book serves a purpose of presenting his works but with a modern spin. Some of the stories in this collection I enjoyed so much, I now want to check out the original version by Shakespeare. The list of contributors: Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (As You Like It), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest). Keep in mind I possess the average American's knowledge when it comes to Shakespeare's works. I know the plot of Romeo & Juliet and a few random facts about other plays, but that's about it. So you will have to seek out other reviews if you are looking to find out how each retelling measures up to the original. My favorites out of the bunch were Severe Weather Warning, Shipwrecked, I Bleed, Elsinore, and We Fail. The entire collection showed off the authors' creativity. I liked how some authors included a note at the end to give more insight into their writing process. (To be honest, I would have loved if all of them had done that as well.) Not every retelling had a traditional story format. There was an oral history format, a play/script, and in the case of the Romeo & Juliet retelling it was comprised of text messages. The stories on average were 20 pages. Recommend for Shakespeare fans as well as people who enjoy YA fiction. Thank you to Flatiron Books for sending me an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I only requested this anthology so I could read the Lear story and move on with my life (in my quest to read every Lear retelling I can get my hands on), but what can I say, once I had it on my Kindle I couldn't resist. Even though I don't particularly like YA and didn't have the highest of hopes that these stories would engage with the plays in particularly interesting ways. Still, there were some pleasant surprises here. That Way Madness Lies is a YA anthology by a handful of noted writers, eac I only requested this anthology so I could read the Lear story and move on with my life (in my quest to read every Lear retelling I can get my hands on), but what can I say, once I had it on my Kindle I couldn't resist. Even though I don't particularly like YA and didn't have the highest of hopes that these stories would engage with the plays in particularly interesting ways. Still, there were some pleasant surprises here. That Way Madness Lies is a YA anthology by a handful of noted writers, each retelling a different Shakespeare play. The selection of plays itself is very good--there are the crowd pleasers as well as a couple of unexpected ones. The organization of this anthology bothered me on a couple of levels--first off, why is The Winter's Tale placed in the Late Romances category but not The Tempest? We're also frequently treated to 1-page author's notes after stories, all of the same tenor; "this is why the original play was problematic and here's how I decided to fix it". Which, aside from being jarring and downright annoying, showed such a blatant disregard for Shakespearean scholarship that I had to laugh--yes, of course this is a commercial anthology intended for a young audience but my god, patting yourself on the back for being brave enough to consider The Merchant of Venice through Shylock's perspective as if scholars, directors, actors, and audiences haven't been doing exactly that for centuries is solipsistic to the extreme.  Anyway, as always with anthologies, it's a mixed bag. Some of these stories are unexpected and brilliant and others fall spectacularly flat. So, let's do this. Comedies "Severe Weather Warning" by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley (The Tempest) - 4 stars A nice and melancholy snapshot into sibling rivalry as a storm rages outside, delaying Prosper's sister's flight to a prestigious internship that she effectively stole from her sister. Really enjoyed this one and felt that it was one of the most successful stories in accessing the original play's themes even as a nonliteral reimagining.  "Shipwrecked" by Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) - 3 stars Twelfth Night meets high school prom--we've got some love and heartbreak coupled with mistaken identity shenanigans as one twin has recently come out as nonbinary and has started to resemble their brother. It's a bit corny but mostly harmless.  "King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night's Dream) - 1 star Midsummer from the perspective of the "Indian" child abducted by Oberon and Titania. Hands down one of my least favorites from this collection; it couldn't be more heavy-handed and patronizing if it tried. If you like McLemore's writing you'll probably like this story; I simply do not. "Taming of the Soulmate" by K. Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew) - 3 stars A soulmate AU where Katherine doesn't see color until she meets Petrucio at her sister Bianca's party; rather an inconvenience for her 5-year plan. I take umbrage at a modern retelling framing Petruchio as the Reasonable One, but I grudgingly ended up appreciating where this story arrived. "We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson (As You Like It) - 2 stars I found this story perplexing. As You Like It, as far as I'm concerned, is fertile ground for a reimagining that focuses on gender identity (a topic otherwise omnipresent in this anthology)--and instead we get... a story about summer camp nostalgia and daddy issues? Anyway, I'd be happy to put my expectations aside about what this had the potential to be if it were any good at all, but it was objectively one of the weakest in the collection.  "Some Other Metal" by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing) - 1 star I kind of hate Much Ado so I was probably never going to like this very much but... yeah, it was bad. It follows two actors, Tegan and Taron, who play Beatrice and Benedick on stage, and off-stage have an antagonistic relationship, but they’re trying to be set up by their director. The meta narrative was painfully obvious and would be more fun if you enjoyed Beatrice and Benedick's dynamic in the slightest which I can't say I do. This story is also set in outer space for reasons that are of absolutely no consequence?  "I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (The Merchant of Venice) - 5 stars Annoying author's note aside I honestly adored this. The Merchant of Venice + high school doesn't seem like a match made in heaven--right down to Antonio's occupation being declared in the title, this is an inarguably adult work. Part of the fun, then, becomes seeing how deftly Adler adapts this story's mature moving parts to a context which shouldn't work at all... but somehow does, brilliantly. It's a very literal adaptation which otherwise isn't my favorite approach in this collection, but I found this one very successful.  A Sonnet "His Invitation" by Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147) - 4 stars A couple take a road trip to California in the only story in this collection that tackles a sonnet. I have to say, this one didn't make a huge impression on me as I was reading (part of it due to being the shortest story in this collection), but interestingly it's really the only one I'm still thinking about after having finished.  Tragedies "Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow" by Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet) - 4 stars  Yes, the title is stupid, but let’s move on. White actually does a remarkable job at capturing the simultaneous foolishness and lovability of the titular protagonists. This story is told entirely in text speak which admittedly is not my favorite, but it makes for fast, feverish reading, which is probably the effect that White intended. This story I felt was one of the most successful at transporting the emotional landscape of Shakespeare to a much smaller and more modern setting, and hands down the most effective story in the tragedy section.  "Dreaming of the Dark" by Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar) - 2 stars Julius Caesar meets a private girl’s school and dark magic. The context of this one was so utterly contrived (Briony and Cassie have just killed Julia as a sacrifice to a dark god; Annamaria wants revenge) I couldn’t really take it seriously.   "The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" by Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus) - 2 stars  This one is probably better than I'm giving it credit for. Cameron Marcus, known by stage name Cory Lanez, is a rapper who was recently stabbed to death; this story tackles family, sexuality, and LA gang violence. Unfortunately it's also told as an oral history, and it's that format that I couldn't really get past--I don't think it works at all in short story form; the author hasn't earned the reader's investment in the character that we're mourning and the result is tedium. Which is kind of fitting for Coriolanus to be fair. "Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet) - 3 stars  Hamlet retold as a penny dreadful--we're in Victorian England, and Claudius is a vampire. Anne (Hamlet) and Camilla (Ophelia) team up to take him down. This will work for a lot of readers better than it worked for me, it simply wasn't to my taste. "Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough (King Lear) - 1 star Oh boy, HERE WE GO. I was already approaching this with trepidation after despising McCullough's bestselling Blood Water Paint, but I think my mind was as open as it could have been under the circumstances. Anyway, I remain unconvinced that McCullough has read anything more than the wikipedia summary for Lear as this really failed to engage with it on... any level deeper than 'three sisters whose names start with G, R, C.' Written like a play script, it's a snapshot piece where we see Gabi and Cora at their dying father's bedside at the hospital; Rowan, the middle daughter, bursts in and we discover that she's absented herself from the family to get out from under their strict minister father's thumb. Arguments ensue; Rowan is accused of being selfish, she retaliates that she had the fortitude to escape, etc., that kind of thing. Look, I'm sympathetic to the fact that Lear is one of the hardest plays to retell and I'm happy for a reimagining to be nonliteral, as long as it accesses some of the original play's themes, which this just didn't, at all. Ample meditation on truth, power, aging, justice, human nature, and cosmic inevitability to draw from and you opt for... three sisters with an over-controlling father? (The play script format was insufferable as well; if this were a real play it would be peak 'family arguing at the dinner table' theatre.) "We Fail" by Samantha Mabry (Macbeth) - 1 star  Just dreadful. Drea, a high school senior, has recently suffered a miscarriage, and her fiancé, Mateo, has been passed over for a football scholarship. When the two get in a car crash and their friend Duncan is pinned beneath the car, Drea convinces Mateo to wait before calling for help, so Duncan will die and Mateo can take his scholarship; and also because she's still mourning the loss of her child and needs to take control of their future. I really despise Macbeth retellings that have a hyperfixation on Lady Macbeth's fertility, and for that narrative to be given to a high schooler made it all the more perplexing and oddly melodramatic in a way that didn't show a similar self-awareness as the Romeo and Juliet story. This was too rushed as well; maybe it could have done something interesting as a longer story, but hurtling through the events of Macbeth at breakneck speed just didn't work. Late Romance "Lost Girl" by Melissa Bashardoust (The Winter's Tale) - 4 stars  This was a lovely story about Perdita who recently discovered the identity of her absent father, trying to cope with that as her new relationship with classics student Zal blossoms. It's short and sweet and a nice note to end on. Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    So excited to have another anthology coming, and now that eARCs are available, I wanted to do the same thing I did with His Hideous Heart and put CWs in my review in spoiler tags. (Assume "Death and/or Murder" for all of the Tragedies.) Ableism: (view spoiler)["Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell (hide spoiler)] Anti-Semitism: (view spoiler)["I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (hide spoiler)] Child Abuse/Neglect (primarily off-page): (view spoiler)["We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson, "Elsinore" by Patric So excited to have another anthology coming, and now that eARCs are available, I wanted to do the same thing I did with His Hideous Heart and put CWs in my review in spoiler tags. (Assume "Death and/or Murder" for all of the Tragedies.) Ableism: (view spoiler)["Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell (hide spoiler)] Anti-Semitism: (view spoiler)["I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (hide spoiler)] Child Abuse/Neglect (primarily off-page): (view spoiler)["We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson, "Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell, "Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough, "King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore (coercive adoption) (hide spoiler)] Emotional Abuse/Grooming: (view spoiler)["His Invention" by Brittany Cavallaro (hide spoiler)] Homophobia: (view spoiler)["The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" by Tochi Onyebuchi, "Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow" by Kiersten White (hide spoiler)] Miscarriage: (view spoiler)["We Fail" by Samantha Mabry (hide spoiler)] Parental Death: (view spoiler)["The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" by Tochi Onyebuchi, "Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough (hide spoiler)] Racism (including Microaggressions, Police Violence, White Supremacy, and Colonialism): (view spoiler)["King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore, "The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" by Tochi Onyebuchi, "I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (hide spoiler)] Self-Harm: (view spoiler)["His Invention" by Brittany Cavallaro (hide spoiler)] Threats of Torture: (view spoiler)["I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler (hide spoiler)]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    I did a quick review of each story in my updates, but to summarize: I loved most of the comedies, but the tragedies tended to not be as good. I'd absolutely recommend this to any Shakespeare fan, but the stories range from bland to amazing. My favorite stories of the collection are King of the Fairies, I Bleed, Some Other Metal, Elsinore, and Shipwrecked. I did a quick review of each story in my updates, but to summarize: I loved most of the comedies, but the tragedies tended to not be as good. I'd absolutely recommend this to any Shakespeare fan, but the stories range from bland to amazing. My favorite stories of the collection are King of the Fairies, I Bleed, Some Other Metal, Elsinore, and Shipwrecked.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This is everything I've ever wanted out of an anthology. This is everything I've ever wanted out of an anthology.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    I've been screaming ever since this got announced and will be screaming until I have it in my hands!!! I've been screaming ever since this got announced and will be screaming until I have it in my hands!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    talia ♡

    SEVERE WEATHER WARNING - 4/5 okay this was cute as hell... SHIPWRECKED - 3/5 Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, but this was not one of my favourite retellings. TAMING OF THE SOUL-MATE - 5/5 enemies to lovers soulmate verse is not the Taming of the Shrew retelling that i was expecting, but it's the one i deserve. Kayla Ancrum saw the chance and she fucking murdered it. i would literally read her grocery lists... KING OF THE FAIRIES - 4/5 a retelling of A Midsummer's Night's Dre SEVERE WEATHER WARNING - 4/5 okay this was cute as hell... SHIPWRECKED - 3/5 Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, but this was not one of my favourite retellings. TAMING OF THE SOUL-MATE - 5/5 enemies to lovers soulmate verse is not the Taming of the Shrew retelling that i was expecting, but it's the one i deserve. Kayla Ancrum saw the chance and she fucking murdered it. i would literally read her grocery lists... KING OF THE FAIRIES - 4/5 a retelling of A Midsummer's Night's Dream with TRANS faeries and queer Titania and Oberon (and Hermia, Helena, Lysander, & Dimitrius) ?? HELLOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WE HAVE SEEN BETTER DAYS - 2.5/5 this was nice and sweet, but pretty underwhelming for me. SOME OTHER METAL - 4.5/5 i am so happy with the genderfluid/trans/non-binary representation on this anthology. THIS is how you pay tribute to Shakespeare!!! I BLEED - 4/5 a super powerful (and quite emotional for me) retelling that uses and focuses on a modernized version of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice. cw: antisemitism A SONNET; HIS INVENTION - 4.5/5 this was hella dark and hella cool... PARTYING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW - 2/5 this wasn't necessarily bad or anything, i just feel like R&J has been milked completely into any and every possible retelling, and this one had nothing particularly special or memorable about it. it really was not my thing. DREAMING OF THE DARK - 3.5/5 very cool, very cult-like, filled with codependent bad girls. it's a yes from me. THE TRAGEDY OF CORY LANEZ: AN ORAL HISTORY - 3.5/5 i'm a sucker for stories written as oral histories/interviews OUT OF THE STORM - 2.5/5 ehhhhh ELSINORE -2.5/5 i'm like,,,,a Huge sucker for Hamlet, and while i love vampires and think they're cool and sexy, i wasn't too keen reading a (literal) vamped up version of the OG emo boi. WE FAIL - 3/5 i just didn't really feel anything with this one :/ LOST GIRL - 4/5 i've actually never read A Winter's Tale, so i can't really speak on how well this retelling was adapted, but i found it beautifully written and touching. definitely a strong closing story!! also the main character is Persian, and like, i am too,,,,so that was cool!

  10. 5 out of 5

    delilah ✿

    "To be or not to be, that is the question." Joking...Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or not, this is a lovely read. I love the idea of having a lot of different authors reimagine their favorite Shakespeare plays. I can only do this review justice if I talk about every story so prepare for a long review. Overall, this has it's high and lows. I am a sucker for a nice cover so bonus points there. I also like Shakespeare...hints why I'm taking a university course about it. :) "Severe Weather Warn "To be or not to be, that is the question." Joking...Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or not, this is a lovely read. I love the idea of having a lot of different authors reimagine their favorite Shakespeare plays. I can only do this review justice if I talk about every story so prepare for a long review. Overall, this has it's high and lows. I am a sucker for a nice cover so bonus points there. I also like Shakespeare...hints why I'm taking a university course about it. :) "Severe Weather Warning" by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka reimagining The Tempest: 4/5- It's the first story which means it has to draw the reader in and it does a good job of doing so. I liked the story and found it easy to get into even though I have never read The Tempest. The characters were great, maybe a bit cliche. I loved the cute romance between Prosper and Sam. Even though Benjamin wasn't suppose to be funny, I was laughing. "Shipwrecked" by Mark Oshiro Twelfth Night: 3.5/5 - I've never read Twelfth Night but I have seen She's The Man (2006) which is based on the play. I think the story is a great reimagine based on Vi and Seb where they are both hiding there feelings for the person they like. However, this story was lacking some excitement. I expected someone to confuse Vi and Seb for one another or maybe they swap places but that didn't happen. Olivia did mistake Vi for Seb but not for long since she knew it was Vi shortly after. It was cute though so bonus for that. "Taming of the Soul Mate" by K. Ancrum The Taming of the Shrew: 5/5 - I don't like the Shakespeare play of The Taming of the Shrew but I love this reimagining so much. I wish it a full novel because I love the concept of soul mates. This version of Kate and Petruchio was similar to Kate and Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You and I was living for it. Ancrum did a great job of adapting the play into a modern setting. I need more!!! "King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore A Midsummer Night's Dream: 4.5/5 - Definitely have to read A Midsummer Night's Dream after reading this because I am intrigued. All of the characters were interesting and like most of the past stories, they included LGBTQ+ representation and I feel this story did a good job of mixing fantasy of fairies with serious issues modern society struggles with. "We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson As You Like It: 2.5/5 - When writing this review I had to go back to even remember what this one was about. It follows Rosalinda as she tries to find her dad at the camp she use to visit when she was a kid. It started off strong but ended with a disappointing conclusion. For a book like this, the stories are all short meaning every sentence counts. I wish there was more to this story because it laid out the ground work to do explore more but didn't. "Some Other Metal" by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy Much Ado About Nothing: 4/5 - I LOVE Much Ado About Nothing, it's my favorite Shakespeare play! This was everything I needed for a Benedick and Beatrice enemy to lovers story with a modern re-telling. Taron and Tegan play the two on a theatre production and have a similar relationship like the characters off the stage. So adorable. "I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler The Merchant of Venice: 5/5 - SHOOK. The story follows racist white kid, Tony who bullies a jewish kid, Shai. I wasn't sure what to expect but Shai getting revenge was so satisfying to read about. One of the better serious stories in the book that handles serious subjects well. "His Invention" by Brittany Cavallaro Sonnet 147: 3.5/5 - I'm still not sure how to feel about this one. It's suppose to be disturbing since Michael thinks of Sophie as his invention and she appears to have limited freedom. When Sophie starts to bleed from her mouth, Michael doesn't see it or maybe he doesn't care? I don't know maybe I'm confused? I enjoyed the writing style a lot though. "Partying Is Such A Sweet Sorrow" by Kiersten White Romeo and Juliet: 5/5 - I go back and forth with loving and hating Romeo and Juliet but I liked this reimagining a lot. It stayed true to the play and the different format of writing, White (the author) used texting, was unique and fun to read. "Dreaming of the Dark" by Lindsay Smith Julius Caesar: 3.5/5 - The story is if Heathers and The Craft met Julius Caesar. Crazy combination. I didn't like the going back and forth between times of when Julia was alive and then she wasn't. It would have been better to stick to one time since it's a short story. I did like the witchy vibes it gave. Maybe if it was a longer reimagine it could have made more of an impact for me. "The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History" by Tochi Onyebunchi Coriolanus: 4/5 - A raw story about a rapper who was stabbed to death. The format is told as a news report which I liked because it's easy to understand and was still impactful in the message of gang violence and homophobia. "Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough King Lear: 2.5/5 - Written like a script, it follows three sisters at the bedside of their dying father. I've never read King Learbut given the information I do know, this is nothing like the play. It hints at a lot of trama and turmoil without revealing much. I was left wishing for more since it was just disappointing. "Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell Hamlet: 4.5/5 - The writing format of diary entries is okay but I wish it was just normal writing. I love Hamlet, it is one of my favorite plays. This reimagine captures the original play well. I liked the idea of the Duke (Hamlet's uncle) being a vampire as well as "Hamlet" being switched to a girl named Anne. It was a unique idea and fun to read. "We Fail" by Samantha Mabry Macbeth: 4/5 - A wonderful modern reimagining of Macbeth. It focuses on Drea's recent miscarriage followed by the death of Mateo's friend, Duncan. It did a good job of retelling aspects of the play into this modern setting. It was a bit rushed but it's short story so... "Lost Girl" by Melissa Bashardoust The Winter's Tale 4/5 - A cute story about romance! Loved the characters and story a lot. It was the perfect story to end the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Taasia ✨

    so how do i get an ARC of this excuse me brb screaming

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    hello i love shakespeare & i want this immediately

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alanna ❦

    Overall Rating: 4/5 Individual Ratings + Thoughts Comedies Severe Weather Warning by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka - The Tempest retelling - 3/5 This wasn’t a terrible story, but it felt too short to tell the story it was supposed to. The romance also felt weird because the characters didn’t have much chemistry. Shipwrecked by Mark Oshiro - Twelfth Night retelling - 5/5 This story was kinda insta-lovey, which I’m not a huge fan of, but I still enjoyed it. The characters had so much detail Overall Rating: 4/5 Individual Ratings + Thoughts Comedies Severe Weather Warning by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka - The Tempest retelling - 3/5 This wasn’t a terrible story, but it felt too short to tell the story it was supposed to. The romance also felt weird because the characters didn’t have much chemistry. Shipwrecked by Mark Oshiro - Twelfth Night retelling - 5/5 This story was kinda insta-lovey, which I’m not a huge fan of, but I still enjoyed it. The characters had so much detail in the short page count, and I wish this was a full book. This was a little predictable, but I didn’t mind because I was still excited to find out how the characters would interact with each other. Even though this is a Twelfth Night retelling, and I haven’t read Twelfth Night, I didn’t need to rely on the knowledge of that play in order to follow the plot. Taming of the Soul Mate by K. Ancrum - The Taming of the Shrew retelling - 3/5 This was kind of a repeat of the first one: I liked the characters, but the plot wasn’t very well developed. The idea was great, but it wasn’t executed very well. TW: brief mention of rape King of the Fairies by Anna-Marie McLemore - A Midsummer Night’s Dream retelling - 5/5 No surprise here, this is my favorite short story in the book. The writing was beautiful, as usual, and the characters were so unique. TW: colorism We Have Seen Better Days by Lily Anderson - As You Like It retelling - 3.5/5 This story was a little confusing, but I enjoyed reading about the characters. Some Other Metal by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy - Much Ado About Nothing retelling - 4.5/5 This story was so cute! My only complaint is that the retelling element wasn’t that great. I Bleed by Dahlia Adler - The Merchant of Venice retelling - 5/5 This is such an important story about anti-Semitism in a school setting. After I finished this, I just sat there staring at the page, shocked at how amazing this was. TW: anti-Semitism, bullying A Sonnet His Invention by Brittany Cavallaro - Sonnet 147 retelling - 4.5/5 This was amazingly haunting, and I liked the mysteriousness (is that a word??) of it. Tragedies Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow by Kiersten White - Romeo and Juliet retelling - 5/5 Oh. My. Gosh. Kiersten White you can’t do this to me. This was absolutely heartbreaking and I need to take a break from reading this because MY HEART TW: abuse, brief homophobia, violence Dreaming of the Dark by Lindsay Smith - Julius Caesar retelling - 4/5 This was sad, and I wish I knew more about the Dark, but the characters had a surprising amount of depth for such a short story. The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History by Tochi Onyebuchi - Coriolanus retelling - 4.5/5 The writing style of this was very simple, but enjoyed the way it was written more than I thought I would. TW: n slur, brief mention of homophobia Out of the Storm by Joy McCullough - King Lear retelling - 5/5 I like how this was written like a scene from the play, and King Lear is one of my favorite classics, so I definitely enjoyed this. TW: absent parent, dying parent, abuse Elsinore by Patrice Caldwell - Hamlet retelling- 4/5 I loved the vampire addition to Hamlet, but like most of these, I didn’t know as much about the characters as I wanted to. I did like that the characters’ roles were pretty accurate to their roles in the play. We Fall by Samantha Mabry - Macbeth retelling - 3.5/5 This one made me really sad, especially since Macbeth is one of my favorite works of Shakespeare. TW: miscarriage, death of a friend Late Romance Lost Girl by Melissa Bashardoust - The Winter’s Tale retelling - 4.5/5 I recently finished Girl, Serpent, Thorn and I liked the writing style, so I was excited to read this, and am glad it didn’t disappoint. TW: absent parents Overall, I definitely liked the retellings of plays I’ve already read more, so I’m curious if I might enjoy the other retellings once I’ve read the play they’re based on. My favorite stories were: • Shipwrecked • King of the Fairies • I Bleed • Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow • Out of the Storm

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    When you get a vibe and know it's good and then you read it and it's everything you thought it would be. Check! I've had this on my TBR forever, waiting first for cover art, then for more details, then for it to be available to read, and the Gods answered. Adler puts together a stellar anthology of re-interpretations of Shakespeare's beloved plays and sonnets with a lovely cast of authors giving it everything they've gone in terms of character, plot, setting. Each short story pulls its weight and When you get a vibe and know it's good and then you read it and it's everything you thought it would be. Check! I've had this on my TBR forever, waiting first for cover art, then for more details, then for it to be available to read, and the Gods answered. Adler puts together a stellar anthology of re-interpretations of Shakespeare's beloved plays and sonnets with a lovely cast of authors giving it everything they've gone in terms of character, plot, setting. Each short story pulls its weight and when anthologies become duds because enough of them are duds to pull them down, it's unfortunate. THIS BOOK is not that instance because each one is unique and full of voice and creativity. Some include an author's note, some don't. All include a part, act, scene, or quote from which they took inspiration and they're so contemporary that they're just so damn accessible. I stayed up way to late trying to get most of it read. Applause, applause to the master Bard and the fabulous authors who reimagine them. Super favorites included: "Severe Weather Warning", "King of the Fairies", there was *something* about "Some Other Metal", "His Invention", and "Out of the Storm."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn DeRouin

    you can read my full review here: https://teatimelit.com/2021/03/17/rev... As we have established, I love retellings and I will obsessively read anything that involves Shakespeare in any way. That Way Madness Lies had been on my most anticipated reads list for quite some time and it did not disappoint! I don’t read many short story collections, and I think this was the perfect introduction to short story collections for me. I’ve read many Shakespeare retellings over the years, and the works in th you can read my full review here: https://teatimelit.com/2021/03/17/rev... As we have established, I love retellings and I will obsessively read anything that involves Shakespeare in any way. That Way Madness Lies had been on my most anticipated reads list for quite some time and it did not disappoint! I don’t read many short story collections, and I think this was the perfect introduction to short story collections for me. I’ve read many Shakespeare retellings over the years, and the works in this anthology are some of the best. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I thought that all of the authors did a really great job of capturing the feeling of the original stories while keeping them new and relevant. There really aren’t any weak links in this collection, and while I enjoyed them all it’s not really surprising that my favorite stories in this collection are the stories based on some of my favorite Shakespeare works. My favorites were: Shipwrecked (Inspired by Twelfth Night) by Mark Oshiro, Taming of the Soul Mate (Inspired by The Taming of the Shrew) by K. Ancurm, Some Other Metal (Inspired by Much Ado About Nothing) by Amy Rose Capette and Cory McCarthy, and Dreaming of the Dark (Inspired by Julius Caesar) by Lindsay Smith. I thought that all of those stories were masterfully done and perfectly took inspiration from the original works. Those stories really left me wanting more and I would love to see them turned into full-length stories. This collection of short stories is full of complex characters and imaginative storytelling. I would highly recommend That Way Madness Lies to any avid Shakespeare reader, as well as anyone who is interested in Shakespeare’s works but is maybe turned off by the classical language. I know that this is a collection that I will be returning to many many times.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I loved Adler's compilation of Poe retellings in His Hideous Heart, and she and her authors didn't let me down with their YA retellings of the Bard! I loved Adler's compilation of Poe retellings in His Hideous Heart, and she and her authors didn't let me down with their YA retellings of the Bard!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

    I am actually screaming internally with excitement for this because I love Shakespeare, or at least, the stories (I haven't read too many of his actual works, but I want to!!) This is going to be EVERYTHING. I am actually screaming internally with excitement for this because I love Shakespeare, or at least, the stories (I haven't read too many of his actual works, but I want to!!) This is going to be EVERYTHING.

  18. 4 out of 5

    elisabeth

    Okay so: A) an anthology of Shakespeare retellings B) written by some of my favorite authors In conclusion, tHIS IS ALL I HAVE EVER WANTED

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristīne Vītola

    The story by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy has a demisexual MC https://twitter.com/MissDahlELama/sta... The story by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy has a demisexual MC https://twitter.com/MissDahlELama/sta...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellyn → Allonsythornraxx

    05/04/2021 3 ⭐ I am traditionally not a short story reader - I usually DNF collections like these or just ignore them altogether since it's so rare for me to read a short story and enjoy it. But, then I heard about a collection inspired by Shakespeare's works and on top of that, that some of my favourite authors would be a part of it and I knew this would be the be all end all for myself and short stories. I still think that I am 99% not a lover of short stories but, I did genuinely enjoy some of t 05/04/2021 3 ⭐ I am traditionally not a short story reader - I usually DNF collections like these or just ignore them altogether since it's so rare for me to read a short story and enjoy it. But, then I heard about a collection inspired by Shakespeare's works and on top of that, that some of my favourite authors would be a part of it and I knew this would be the be all end all for myself and short stories. I still think that I am 99% not a lover of short stories but, I did genuinely enjoy some of these which I think was entirely down to the writers. I genuinely think that I would read a shopping list if it was written by K Ancrum or Anna-Marie Mclemore. TW: racism, antisemitism, homophobia, child neglect, physical abuse/violence, child abuse, emotional abuse, grooming, loss of a loved one, self-harm, miscarriage Comedies "Severe Weather Warning" - Emily W and Austin SB (The Tempest) ↣ 3 ⭐ Fun. I loved the storm and the forced discussion trope. "Shipwrecked" - Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) ↣ 2 ⭐ I couldn't keep track of who any of the characters were but I did really enjoy how diverse the characters were along with the talk about how love doesn't need to be romantic or compulsory. "Taming of The Soulmate" - K Ancrum (Taming of The Shrew) ↣ 3.5 ⭐ When your favourite author champions the ultimate fanfic soulmate trope! I don't even like this trope but this is one of my favourite stories in the collection so far, I LOVE how K Ancrum writes characters! "King of The Fairies" - Anna-Marie Mclemore (A Midsummer Night's Dream) ↣ 2.75 ⭐ Definitely interesting, I really love AMM's writing and it's what kept me reading the story. "We Have Seen Better Days" - Lily Anderson (As You Like It) ↣ 2 ⭐ +0.5 stars just for Lily Anderson supporting Solo: A Star Wars Story. Otherwise, I didn't like this one. "Some Other Metal" - Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing) ↣ 1.5 ⭐ Too meta for me. I thought I would love this because I usually love Much Ado but this was a no from the very beginning. "I Bleed" - Dahlia Adler (Ther Merchant of Venice) ↣ 3 ⭐ Very disturbing and hard to read, but this was definitely one of the better stories in the collection. A Sonet "His Invention" - Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147) ↣ 4 ⭐ This was so good! Disturbing and a bit confusing in the beginning but definitely my favourite story in the collection so far and one I'd actually read again! Tragedies "Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow" - Kiersten White (Romeo + Juliet) ↣ 3 ⭐ Texts are one of my least favourite ways to tell a story but, this was actually really good, which is even more surprising because I am not an R+J fan. I loved the characters and how ridiculous Romeo was and I really think this story put in perspective how quickly the R+J story moves. "Dreaming of The Dark" - Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar) ↣ 3 ⭐ Spooky vibes. I think I liked this one but I'm not really sure. "The Tragedy of Cory Lanez" - Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus) ↣ 3.25 ⭐ I felt a bit detached from this one but I think that was just because it's music-centric which I'm not usually a fan of, otherwise this was really good. "Out of the Storm" - Joy McCullough (King Lear) ↣ 3 ⭐ That moved very quickly and was very hard to read. "Elsinore" - Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet) ↣ 1 ⭐ So so SO boring. "We Fail" - Samantha Mabry (Macbeth) ↣ 3.5 ⭐ One of the best Macbeth retellings I've ever read! Late Romance "Lost Girl" - Melissa Bashardoust (The Winter's Tale) ↣ _ ⭐ This was cute. I loved the addition of all the other little stories and mythologies. Blog | Letterboxd | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    now, I don't read anthologies but this one... this one sounds so cool now, I don't read anthologies but this one... this one sounds so cool

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    Ever since reading "Star Crossed" by Barbara Dee in fourth grade, I have loved Shakespeare. So, although I don't always like short story collections because it's harder for authors to do thorough character development and plot, I was extremely excited to receive and ARC of this book. Like all short story collections, there were some stories that I liked better than others, but overall, I really did like this collection, my favorites being "Partying is Such a Sweet Sorrow" and "I Bleed." And alth Ever since reading "Star Crossed" by Barbara Dee in fourth grade, I have loved Shakespeare. So, although I don't always like short story collections because it's harder for authors to do thorough character development and plot, I was extremely excited to receive and ARC of this book. Like all short story collections, there were some stories that I liked better than others, but overall, I really did like this collection, my favorites being "Partying is Such a Sweet Sorrow" and "I Bleed." And although I do love Shakespeare's plays, I do agree that he wrote very white, straight characters, so I was so glad that this book succeeded in changing that. My biggest problem overall with this book was that most of the stories tried to fit too much of the plot of a Shakespeare play into them, but seeing as Shakespeare's plays have so much plot and these are short stories, not all were successful. But overall, I found this to be a great collection with some extremely well done retellings. COMEDIES "Severe Weather Warning" by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, "The Tempest" Retelling, 2/5 Stars I know this author duo does Shakespeare retellings, and although I didn't like "If I'm Being Honest," their "Taming of the Shrew" retelling, I was hopeful that I would like this one. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Part of the reason why I didn't really like this one was because I've never been the biggest fan of the plot of "The Tempest," but the main reason is that I couldn't stand the characters. This story follows a girl who has a rivalry with her sister, but gets locked inside the house with her during a storm, along with her sister's ex and the ex's brother. One of my biggest problems with this story is that the main character was awkward around a guy because they kissed in seventh grade, and that awkwardness lasted through senior year. Then they had one conversation, and suddenly (view spoiler)[they were madly in love. (hide spoiler)] Also, this plot was driven entirely by the fact that none of the characters would communicate, and I hate it when the only reason why a plot is progressing is because the characters are petty and refuse to talk. I know this happens quite a bit in Shakespeare, but there is usually a reason why they can't sit down and talk, unlike in this story, where they had so many opportunities to speak, and just refused, until one day they just randomly decided to. But I do feel like if it weren't for the odd setup of this plot, the main character would have actually been interesting to follow. "Shipwrecked" by Mark Oshiro, "Twelfth Night" Retelling, 4/5 Stars I love the plot of "Twelfth Night," and while I do feel that this story rushed it to fit everything in and had lots of overexplaining in the beginning, I loved the representation and the characters. This follows Vi, who has just come out as nonbinary to their twin Seb. At a school dance, the two are mistaken for one another by Olivia, who Vi has always liked, but who Seb's best friend, Antonio, is trying to set Seb up with, despite being in love with him. There were three characters in this who I know were supposed to represent characters from the play, but they were just so pointless. Yet I did really like this, and I honestly think I would have absolutely loved this if it were a full length novel so that everything wasn't so rushed. "The Taming of the Soul Mate" by K. Ancrum, "The Taming of the Shrew" Retelling, 2.5 Stars This story follows a world where everyone sees in black and white, but when a person finds their soulmate, they can suddenly see in color. Katherine think the whole thing is pointless, but when she surprisingly runs into her soulmate at a party, she is forced to reconsider her future plans. This had an interesting concept, but it got a bit boring near the end, when Katherine had a huge change of character. I know this happens in the play, but there are things leading up to that change of heart, while in this, Katherine suddenly just changed her entire personality and outlook on life. I can see other people liking this one, it just wasn't for me. "King of the Fairies" by Anna-Marie McLemore, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Retelling, 4.5/5 Stars This is the first piece of writing that I've read from Anna-Marie McLemore, but this had such beautiful writing that I now want to pick up more stuff by them. This was more of a continuation of the original play than a retelling, because it is told from the perspective of the "Indian" child after the events of the first play. I liked the main character, and, unlike some others, this worked incredibly well as a short story. "I Bleed" by Dahlia Adler, "The Merchant of Venice" Retelling, 5/5 Stars I loved "Cool for the Summer" by this author, so I expected to love this one, and luckily, it didn't disappoint! This takes place in highschool, and follows the original plot pretty closely, where one character wants a piece of the other's flesh. I liked the way that the author changed the story and retold it mostly through the eyes of the "villain." Despite this play being considered a comedy, I have always thought of it as more of a tragedy, and am glad the author chose to tell it this way. I don't have a lot of thoughts for this one, just that I really loved it. "We Have Seen Better Days" by Lily Anderson, "As You Like It" Retelling, 1/5 Stars "As You Like It" is my favorite Shakespeare play, so I had high expectations for this one. But I absolutely hated it. It had a great chance to explore gender identity, and instead it was a girl walking around in the woods, complaining about her life to her two friends. That's it. It also completely messed up the relationship between Rosaline and Orlando, and it had a terrible resolution with her father. The only thing that it sort of got right was her relationship with her cousin, but even that was a bit questionable. "Some Other Metal" by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy, "Much Ado About Nothing" Retelling, 3.5/5 Stars This story was fun and enjoyable, although a bit forgettable. It follows two characters that work in a theater company, who, although they have a well-know rivalry, the rest of the cast is trying to set up. Once the two of them find this out, they decide to pretend to be together in an attempt to make the rest of the cast regret their attempts. Despite the fact that I was confused as to why it was set in space and that the authors tried to add in slightly too much drama at the end, I loved the fact that it was set in a Shakespeare company and found this story to be entertaining. SONNETS "His Invention" by Brittany Cavallaro, "Sonnet 147" Retelling, 3/5 Stars This story follows two people on a road trip. It was intriguing, but for its full impact, it needed to be longer. I know it's based on a sonnet, but it was so short it seemed almost pointless. Tragedies "Partying is Such a Sweet Sorrow" by Kiersten White, "Romeo & Juliet" Retelling, 5/5 Stars This short story was so amazing! I feel like it was one of the only ones that was able to follow the entire plot and not just part of it, while still making it unique and interesting. I feel like "Romeo & Juliet" is an easy play to retell the basic storyline of, but this story was able to include all of the characters and then do lots with each of them. This pretty much follows the same story as the original play, but was able to give each of the characters their own backstories without it feeling rushed. For example, Tybalt was actually given a different backstory than in the actual play, which I liked, even though it was quite sad. And Benvolio was there to do more than just be a shoulder for Romeo to cry on. (view spoiler)[ I also like how in the end, he chose to be there for Mercutio rather than Romeo, because that made it feel like he was actually capable of making his own decisions. (hide spoiler)] Plus, I was extremely happy that it actually gave Rosaline a character, even if she wasn't the nicest. In the original play, although Romeo talks about her plenty in the beginning, she never actually makes an appearance. But in this one, she's actually given good characterization. So although the characters actually had the same personalities that they had in the original, this story did a great job of still making them unique. I also really like what this did with the original story. It was actually able to keep some of the original dialogue, yet still make the story feel very modern. For example, parts of the Queen Mab speech were still there, but it was done in a way that didn't feel forced. Also, it was told entirely in text messages, which I usually don't like, but this one was done well. I'm also quite glad that it kept in the parts where Benvolio and Mercutio make fun of Romeo for how crazy he's acting over one girl, because he needed a few sensible people in his life. And lastly, (view spoiler)[I really like how the author did the ending. In the original, it's Friar Lawrence who finds them, but that isn't what happened in this, making the ending more realistic. I also found it interesting how the author left Mercutio and Tybalt's relationship unresolved at the end, with people finding out about it, but without seeing another conversation between the two of them over what happened, since they were both in the hospital and they both had reasons to hate each other. And I also like how it ended without us getting to see the reactions of people when they found out what happened to Romeo and Juliet, except for Juliet's aunt. (hide spoiler)] "Dreaming of the Dark" by Lindsay Smith, "Julius Caesar" Retelling, 2.75/5 Stars This story follows a group of girls trying to harness a dark power in their town, but after one of them dies, the main character is intent on getting revenge. One thing that I did appreciate about this was that it was able to fit a lot into a short amount of pages without it feeling like too much was going on. But besides that, it felt like every other basic young adult witch story that I've ever read. Honestly, I was pretty bored until the end, where it actually got interesting. I also wish that we'd gotten a bigger focus on the main character and her relationship with the girl who died, because it felt like that was kind of brushed over. "The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History" by Tochi Onyebuchi, "Coriolanus" Retelling, 1/5 stars I'm pretty sure that this follows Cameron as he becomes famous, but it left so little of an impact on me that I'm not entirely sure what it was about, since both the plot and the execution were boring. The characters were all so 2 dimensional and I couldn't tell the difference between any of them. If you're going to do an oral history, you need to build up all of the characters that are talking and give them each their own personalities and development to make the story intriguing. Not just that, but the characters NEED to have different opinions to make the story interesting, otherwise doing an oral history is pointless. But instead, all of the characters agreed on everything, so much so that they all could have been the same person. An example of a book that actually does oral history well is "Daisy Jones & The Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, because that one actually gave each of the characters a personality and they all saw each situation differently. This story also needed more than one plotline, for example the characters could have talked about how Cameron effected their personal life, but they only ever talked about his rise to fame. "Out of the Storm" by Joy McCullough, "King Lear" Retelling, 3.5/5 Stars This story is told in a script format and follows three sisters waiting in a hospital as their father is about to die. Although writing in a play script can lead to the story feeling emotionless, this one actually did it quite well. I really liked the dynamic between the three sisters, as they all had very individual personalities, although I do wish there was more exploration into their past. Overall, I feel like this worked well as a short story. "Elsinore" by Patrice Caldwell, "Hamlet" Retelling, 4.5/5 Stars This story retells parts of "Hamlet," but with vampires. "Hamlet" is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so I'm so glad that I liked this one! I found the combination of vampires with the original story to be interesting, as well as the fact that it was told in journal entries. My only two problems with this is that Ophelia's brother ended up on their side, and (view spoiler)[the ending, which is one of the best parts of the play, was completely cut out and everything was left unresolved. (hide spoiler)] "We Fail" by Samantha Mabry, "Macbeth" Retelling, 1/5 Stars This is probably my least favorite story in the entire collection. I had high expectations for this one, since I think out of all the plays, "Macbeth" is the most interesting to retell, but I had so many problems with this story. It follows Drea, a highschool student who suffered a miscarriage and whose life with her boyfriend, Mateo, has gone downhill ever since. When they get into a car accident that leaves their friend, Duncan, trapped under the car, Drea convinces Mateo to wait to call for help so that Duncan will die and Mateo will be able to take his football scholarship. First of all, I don't understand at all why Drea and Mateo liked each other. Maybe if we'd seen more of their relationship before the car accident I would have understood, but in every scene in which they were together, they seemed to dislike one another. Second, I didn't like Drea at all, which is odd because I loved Lady Macbeth in the play. Also, I wish there was a bigger focus on the witches. They have always been some of my favorite Shakespeare characters, and yet they were hardly in this one. I'm also confused over why the characters of Duncan and Banquo were combined, since they were so different in the play. I'm also not a fan of how this story kind of framed Duncan's boyfriend as the villain, when he had the right to be extremely upset. Plus, Duncan's death scene should have been SUPER dramatic and intense, but instead we're just told what happens later. And I get that the author wanted to include the dead bird, but the whole point of it in the play was that Macbeth killed it, not that Lady Macbeth just found it. And lastly, I feel like this story kept focusing on all of the unimportant things from the play, while not caring about the most important parts. Late Romance "Lost Girl" by Melissa Bashardoust, "Winter's Tale" Retelling, 2/5 Stars This book follows a girl learning about her father and developing a relationship with a classmate. The reason I didn't like this much was because I didn't really care about the characters, but I know other people will like it. Overall, this was a pretty great short story collection that I entirely recommend it if you like Shakespeare!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kait Goodwin ★Kait Plus Books★

    SO FUCKING AMAZING I LOVED IT!!!!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Giulia

    Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ Comedies Severe Weather Warning by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by The Tempest Ridiculously short synopsis: Patience and Prosper, Sam and Benjamin. Two sets of siblings, a lot of emotions and a tornado warning. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was enjoyable. I liked the writing style, the overall story and the characters. I was not a fan of the romance as I found it was just a bit out of the blue, in my opinion. And I think that’ Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ Comedies Severe Weather Warning by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by The Tempest Ridiculously short synopsis: Patience and Prosper, Sam and Benjamin. Two sets of siblings, a lot of emotions and a tornado warning. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was enjoyable. I liked the writing style, the overall story and the characters. I was not a fan of the romance as I found it was just a bit out of the blue, in my opinion. And I think that’s because the story was too short to properly develop what it wanted to, and because there was no chemistry. But all in all, this was a good beginning! Shipwrecked by Mark Oshiro: 3.5 ⭐️ Inspired by Twelfth Night Ridiculously short synopsis: It is prom night and the lives of six students are about to change. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was so darn cute! But, alas, I found some of the relationships too insta-lovey to bear. I loved the diversity and the representation, though. Taming of the Soul Mate by K. Ancrum: 4 ⭐️ Inspired by The Taming of the Shrew Ridiculously short synopsis: Life is all in grays, until you meet your soulmate. Then colours explode. But maybe not only that. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was nice! I thought it lacked a bit of development – in other words: I would love a full-length novel, lol. I really liked the characters and the concept. Overall, this was a very pleasant reading experience. King of the Fairies by Anna-Marie McLemore: 5 ⭐️ Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream TW: colonialism, racism, coercive adoption Ridiculously short synopsis: The court of Titania and Oberon is about to be shook. And I’m here for it. Ridiculously short personal comment: The best of the best. La crème de la crème. One of my favourite authors and one of my favourite Shakespeare’s plays. What could go wrong? Yes, you guessed it: absolutely nothing. Loved this short story to pieces and I would not change a thing. Magical, whimsical, unique whilst also tackling important topics (such as colonialism and race and gender) in a gorgeous way. My heart is aching, and I simply adored how the story took place after the events of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and thus also integrating its characters and plot. I am enamored. We Have Seen Better Days by Lily Anderson: 2 ⭐️ Inspired by As You Like It TW: child neglect Ridiculously short synopsis: Hiding away at the old summer camp, Rosie’s father is escaping reality. And it is Rosie’s task to look for him with her old and dear camp-friends. Ridiculously short personal comment: A bit confusing and a lot underwhelming. The romance was surface level, in my opinion, and the plot was not remarkable or memorable :/ Some Other Metal by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy: 4 ⭐️ Inspired by Much Ado About Nothing Ridiculously short synopsis: It was a Much Ado About Nothing inception. Ridiculously short personal comment: This is another one of my favourite plays and I truly am satisfied by this short story. Loved the diversity, loved the angst, loved the energy. Was not particularly a fan of the retelling aspect (it was a bit too much obvious), and I found the storyline to be ever so slightly confusing, but this was truly a breath of fresh air regarding the representation! I Bleed by Dahlia Adler: 5 ⭐️ Inspired by The Merchant of Venice TW: racism, anti-Semitism, bullying, white-supremacy Ridiculously short synopsis: The Merchant of Venice in a modern, high school setting. Ridiculously short personal comment: Oh yes. Oooooh YeS! Oh Yeeeeessss! Oh HARD YES! I am so happy that my favourite play has been revisited in such a wonderful way. This was truly and plainly perfect. Powerful, thought-provoking, unfortunately and sadly timely. Unforgettable, marking, flawless. You name it. This short story was spectacular: the characters, the writing style, how the original work was wonderfully woven and adapted…I am blown away. Sonnets His Invention by Brittany Cavallaro: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by Sonnet 147 TW: emotional abuse, grooming, self-harm Ridiculously short synopsis: Is it love or is it just a toxic relationship? Ridiculously short personal comment: This was an interesting one. I cannot say I fully grasped what it wanted to achieve, but I still very much appreciated the haunted and nostalgic vibes that this short story oozed. Tragedies Partying Is Such a Sweet Sorrow by Kiersten White: 4 ⭐️ Inspired by Romeo and Juliet TW: homophobia, parental abuse Ridiculously short synopsis: Romeo and Juliet’s romance through text messages. Ridiculously short personal comment: Colour me impressed. I am not a fan of Romeo and Juliet and, in general, I am not the biggest fan of Kiersten White’s writing style. But this short story, fam, she delivered. I loved how she decided to narrate the story through group chats and messages. So clever and addicting! Fantastic. Dreaming of the Dark by Lindsay Smith: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by Julius Caesar TW: blood Ridiculously short synopsis: Dark magic and its possibilities intoxicate a group of friends and everything falls apart – tragically. Ridiculously short personal comment: I am confusion. But I also am intrigue. I liked the concept and the characters, but I was also lost and things were just too murky to be fully appreciated. The setting though was mysterious and on point. The Tragedy of Cory Lanez: An Oral History by Tochi Onyebuch: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by Coriolanus TW: homophobia, parental death, racism, white supremacy, police brutality Ridiculously short synopsis: The life of Cory Lanez told by people close to him. Ridiculously short personal comment: The writing style was simple and effective. And I liked how the story itself was narrated: it was like an interview in the sense that people who knew Cory shared their stories. It was a good and, yet again, the topics tackled were (unfortunately) very timely. Out of the Storm by Joy McCullough: 2 ⭐️ Inspired by King Lear TW. Parental abuse, parental death Ridiculously short synopsis: Three sisters meet after years in front of their father’s deathbed. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was a bit of a miss for me – and maybe that was because I am not a fan of King Lear to begin with. I liked the way in which the story was narrated: as if it was a play. But I found the plot itself to be slightly underwhelming and chaotic. Elsinore by Patrice Caldwell: 2 ⭐️ Inspired by Hamlet TW: parental abuse, parental death, ableism, Ridiculously short synopsis: Hamlet but with a touch of vampirism. Ridiculously short personal comment: I was not blown away by this short story. I appreciated the adding of the vampire-aspect, but apart from that I found this to be unremarkable. I am sure it did not help that I do not particularly vibe with the original play… We Fail by Samantha Mabry: 3.5 ⭐️ Inspired by Macbeth TW: miscarriage, mentions of suicide, grief Ridiculously short synopsis: A car accident can change your whole entire life. Pain and guilt can indeed change your whole entire life. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was haunting – which is highly appropriate! I liked how the author’s note explained the general idea behind the short story because I would not have known otherwise (yes, I am an ignorant slug). The explanation, then, further deepened my appreciation for the short story. This was, all in all, a good one. Late Romance Lost Girl by Melissa Bashardoust: 3 ⭐️ Inspired by The Winter’s Tale Ridiculously short synopsis: You gotta fight for your love. And maybe you gotta fight with your family for it. But families are full of surprises, and things can change quickly. Ridiculously short personal comment: This one was okay; ever so slightly predictable. A somewhat underwhelming ending to the anthology since I loved the first stories much more. But this one was nonetheless enjoyable and easy to read. Overall Rating: 3.33 ⭐️ I refuse to round this down. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology and I honestly recommend you pick it up. If you love Shakespeare. If you love retellings. Heck, if you love some good freaking diversity and representation. This anthology is for you.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mishma Nixon

    I am a Shakespeare junkie, and this anthology is going to be everything I’ve ever wanted. I adore Shakespeare retellings, and the authors (and tales) in this line up sound amazing! I can already predict that Anna-Marie McLemore’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is going to be a fav, and Melissa Bashardoust is the certified retelling queen, and super intrigued by Brittany Cavallaro’s story, because sonnet 147 is one of my favourite sonnets! Check out my most anticipated releases from 2021! I am a Shakespeare junkie, and this anthology is going to be everything I’ve ever wanted. I adore Shakespeare retellings, and the authors (and tales) in this line up sound amazing! I can already predict that Anna-Marie McLemore’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is going to be a fav, and Melissa Bashardoust is the certified retelling queen, and super intrigued by Brittany Cavallaro’s story, because sonnet 147 is one of my favourite sonnets! Check out my most anticipated releases from 2021!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Silva

    This one was delightful! I am a sucker for everything that makes people interested about Shakespeare in the 21st century. I was obviously going to love this. I did like some stories more than others, but I had a great time with this anthology in general. The only overall complaint I have is that these stories are so diverse that not getting an Othello retelling was a little disappointing for me – including a Shakespearean work majorly about prejudice would’ve fit perfectly here! Anyways, check o This one was delightful! I am a sucker for everything that makes people interested about Shakespeare in the 21st century. I was obviously going to love this. I did like some stories more than others, but I had a great time with this anthology in general. The only overall complaint I have is that these stories are so diverse that not getting an Othello retelling was a little disappointing for me – including a Shakespearean work majorly about prejudice would’ve fit perfectly here! Anyways, check out my brief review of each story below. As there are many, I will not be checking back on the audiobook each particular title or author and I will mention each story based on the play they were based on: The Tempest: 4 stars This is one of my favorite plays. Unfortunately, the story didn’t go too deep with the intertextuality. The parallels with the original plot were very shallow, but as an individual work it was a very fun read! Twelth Night: 3.5 stars God only knows how much I hate Twelfth Night, but this retelling was very interesting! More characters and plots from the original play are considered here, and that particular romantic subplot was finally solved after 400 years! Taming of the Shrew: 4.5 stars I think the choices the author made to raised some social aspects of the play here were very creative. Also, the characters were very fun to read! A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 5 stars, if not one thousand My favorite play ever, and also my favorite retelling in the bunch. The author’s take was very unpredictable and SO satisfying. I’ve read a lot about this play and I had never come across a narrative like this. The author clung on such an underrated aspect of the plot. I was very impressed and found myself thinking about this story even now, days after I have read it. As You Like It: 3.5 stars Damn, I also hate this one play too. The story, however, with the camping set, was genius. I love the way the line “all the world’s a stage” was recreated here. Much Ado About Nothing: 4.5 stars THIS. IS. SO. META. And that’s all I’m going to say because anything else would ruin it. SO SO SOOOOO GOOD! The Merchant of Venice: 4.5 stars Heart-wrenching. Knowing that the author is actually jewish and decided to give her own take on this story about antisemitism gave me chills. I love the play, and this story did not disappoint one bit. I can’t think of any other word other than powerful. Sonnet 147: 2.5 stars Very short, considering it was based on a poem. Good, but not long enough to make a statement. A little confusing too. R&J: 4 stars I love how, regardless of how you look at Shakespeare’s stories, they still most likely will resonate with you as timeless. This one is the perfect example. I love the way the author reproduced many lines from the play and it STILL sounds familiar and natural, even today. Julius Caesar: 2.5 stars Pretty Little Liars, but make it supernatural. Most parallels with the play were lost on me, and I couldn’t really connect with the characters. Still enjoyable, though! Coriolanus: 3 stars This is the only Shakespearean work I wasn’t familiar with. I love the structure in interviews and I really want to read the play now. King Lear: 4 stars This story takes the blame from the ambitious daughters and puts on a Lear who is a corrupted religious figure and an abusive father. It definitely left an impact on me. Hamlet: 4 stars Hamlet meets Vampire Academy. I love that the main character here is a girl and that she and “Ophelia” are friends. Macbeth: 3.5 stars I was fascinated about the author’s interpretation that Lady Macbeth had lost a child just before the plot of the play begins and how she incorporates that in the story. Many changes didn’t make sense to me, but I love the point of view. Winter’s Tale: 4 stars The author decided to focus on Perdita and Florizel’s romance and they did such a great job! This is one of the stories I felt most compelled with.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maabena Nti

    I am a huge fan of Shakespeare.I love him.I read at least one of his plays before I go to bead.When I saw this anthology I screamed my head off in joy Severe weather warning-4/5 This a really good loosely based retelling of the tempest.I loved it it was a great start to this anthology . Shipwrecked-3/5 Kind of cliché but also not because of the non-binary and queer representation.Twelfth night Taming of the soul mate-2.5/5 I don’t really like the whole soulmate and not seeing color thing it just felt I am a huge fan of Shakespeare.I love him.I read at least one of his plays before I go to bead.When I saw this anthology I screamed my head off in joy Severe weather warning-4/5 This a really good loosely based retelling of the tempest.I loved it it was a great start to this anthology . Shipwrecked-3/5 Kind of cliché but also not because of the non-binary and queer representation.Twelfth night Taming of the soul mate-2.5/5 I don’t really like the whole soulmate and not seeing color thing it just felt too dumb and kind of a cheap generic cop-out.I really wanted them to do something more with taming of the shrew because it’s my most hated Shakespeare play and I wanted them to redeem it.Taming if the shrew King of the fairies-3.5/4 I thought this was a really ingenious way of retelling a midsummers night dream through the eyes of the Indian boy they were fighting over I also loved the trans fairies. We had seen better days-3/5 Meh retelling of as you like it Some other metal-5/5 This was really all I needed to be happy.This retelling was destined to have 4 or 5 stars even if it was mediocre or generic because that’s how much I love much ado about nothing.It’s my favorite play. The merchant of Venice-4/5 A lot of people don’t understand that the merchant of Venice is supposed to be a commentary on anti Semitism.I like the way this retelling deals with it .It’s really thought provokingAlso tackles white supremacy His invention-4/5 Gothic and dark in a like Edgar Allen Poe way Partying is such sweet sorrow-4/5 Really captures the youthful foolishness of Romeo and Juliet Dreaming of the dark-2/5 This was kind of a wtf for me.The whole witches and human sacrifices just don’t go with Julius Caesar The tragedy of Cory lanes-an oral history-2/5 Way too confusing and kind of hard to read for me which is fitting for Coriolanus.I’m actually surprised to m is that Coriolanus is a popular play because I really did not think it was. Out of the storm-2/5 Not a good retelling of king Lear for me.I was dissatisfied.I did like the script format tho.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Macmillan Audio for an ALC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I really enjoyed this anthology, though I wasn't as invested in the stories that came after Dahlia's reimagining of The Merchant of Venice. I blame it on my sleep deprivation. There were 4 stories that stuck out to me and that struck me on a visceral level: Much Ado About Nothing by AR Capetta & Cory McCarthy: This story was the reason I was interested in the anthology to begin with. AR & Cory wrote Thank you to Macmillan Audio for an ALC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I really enjoyed this anthology, though I wasn't as invested in the stories that came after Dahlia's reimagining of The Merchant of Venice. I blame it on my sleep deprivation. There were 4 stories that stuck out to me and that struck me on a visceral level: Much Ado About Nothing by AR Capetta & Cory McCarthy: This story was the reason I was interested in the anthology to begin with. AR & Cory wrote one of my favorite duologies ever: Once & Future, ever since that I am on a quest to read all their books. I loved everything about this story and the fact that it's based on their real life romance makes it even sweeter. SWOON. A Midsummer Night's Dream by Anna-Marie McLemore: AM is quickly becoming a favorite author. I love how they mix whimsical elements into their storytelling effortlessly. In this we see the changeling daughter of Titania and Oberon deal with her feelings of insecurity and what her world is. I love the trans character in this. Everything about this was beautiful and I love that AM points out the colonizer roots of this story. Twelfth Night by Mark Oshiro:/i> Twelfth Night is one of the original Shakespeare tales I do enjoy, probably because I refuse to believe they're all straight lol. This story was filled with some drama, but mostly just wholesome content. I enjoyed of every sentence. The Merchant of Venice by Dahlia Adler: Adler gives agency to the Jewish character in this retelling. I didn't know there was a Jewish character in the original, but I loved how this was a story of destroying stereotypes. I loved the ending message about how you can practice Judaism as visibly or non-visibly as is comfortable for you. Your faith is always your own personal journey.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Chapman

    This is an anthology - a collection of short stories, all by YA authors, on retellings of Shakespeare. They are all contemporary remakes (along the lines of the movie, 10 Things I Hate About You). They’re set in modern day times, about modern day times - first kisses, going off to college, summer internships, road trips, school dances. And WAY more diverse - vampires, nonbinary and LGBTQ characters, BIPOC characters… and not just played by white dudes like the originals. There are romances, trag This is an anthology - a collection of short stories, all by YA authors, on retellings of Shakespeare. They are all contemporary remakes (along the lines of the movie, 10 Things I Hate About You). They’re set in modern day times, about modern day times - first kisses, going off to college, summer internships, road trips, school dances. And WAY more diverse - vampires, nonbinary and LGBTQ characters, BIPOC characters… and not just played by white dudes like the originals. There are romances, tragedies, and comedies. The stories ranged from super popular plays like Romeo & Juliet (imagined by Kiersten White to more obscure plays like Coriolanus by Tochi Onyebuchi. What was really cool was that they were told in a variety of different ways - oral history, a play/script, a series of text messages. Some stories I liked more than others (as with any anthology). One of my most highly anticipated was As You Like It - I am not sure if that’s because it was my very favorite Shakespeare Play, and the first I saw in 7th Grade (shout out to Mrs. Scroggs, the best English teacher ever), AND it was all about summer camp. My favorite was maybe Shipwrecked by Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night) - I love the characters Mark develops - I think could read this as a long form YA book. Severe Weather Warning (by Emily Wibberley & Austin Sigeemund Broka) — the Tempest. I would say that this would be great even if you have NO knowledge of Shakespeare (like me!) It makes me definitely want to check out Adler’s other anthology of Poe’s retellings. I will definitely be recommending this to teachers, too. I think it would be a great pairing with those who teach Shakespeare. *I listened to this as an ALC from Libro.fm*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    THAT WAY MADNESS LIES is an enthralling YA short story collection of Shakespearean retellings. With many notable authors on the docket, the book is divided into comedies, a sonnet, tragedies, and late romance. Each story has its own flavor, as per the different inspirations and the different authors. Similarly, the variety means there will be stories to suit different readers throughout. Some of the stories really blew me away, and I would have loved to have read a full novel in their worlds. For THAT WAY MADNESS LIES is an enthralling YA short story collection of Shakespearean retellings. With many notable authors on the docket, the book is divided into comedies, a sonnet, tragedies, and late romance. Each story has its own flavor, as per the different inspirations and the different authors. Similarly, the variety means there will be stories to suit different readers throughout. Some of the stories really blew me away, and I would have loved to have read a full novel in their worlds. For instance, "Severe Weather Warning" inspired by The Tempest features a depth of character that I really enjoyed with a character dealing with her feelings about her sister, the boy who was her first kiss, and the tornado watch that is preventing her from taking her sister to the airport. I also really enjoyed "Elsinore," a story inspired by Hamlet with vampires. I'm a big fan of Twelfth Night, and I also appreciated the story inspired by it, "Shipwrecked," and I would totally love to read a whole book about Vi. The book also contains excerpted texts from Shakespeare that add to the overall inspiration of each story and fun for fans of the Bard. Some short stories also include an author's note which provides additional context and was really interesting. There are dark stories, light stories, compelling stories, and plenty to enjoy throughout. I would highly recommend for fans of Shakespeare and short story collections. THAT WAY MADNESS LIES is a delightful and enthralling new collection. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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