Review: srsly Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Courtney Carbone

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: srsly Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Courtney Carbonesrsly Hamlet by Courtney Carbone, William Shakespeare
Series: OMG Shakespeare
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on May 26, 2015
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
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Hamlet, one of the greatest stories ever told . . . in texts?!

Imagine: What if Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and the tragic Ophelia had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

A kingdom on the brink of war.
A stolen throne.
A boy seeking revenge.

and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)

tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.

A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

I’ve always been fascinated by Shakespeare’s plays. But, like many, I find them confusing and hard to understand. I’ve taken classes on Shakespeare, purchased “Shakespeare for Dummies,” Googled translations and even watched the movies. But I still have a hard time grasping the language. srsly Hamlet broke the play down into its most basic elements, making it less confusing and highly entertaining.

When I first went to read srsly Hamlet, I felt a little overwhelmed; I remembered a lot of Romeo & Juliet, but not a lot of Hamlet. Mostly, I had some trouble remembering all the different characters, so I was grateful for the character descriptions in the beginning of the book. I definitely had to reference that a few times! But once I got into the book, I sped through it in roughly an hour and a half. For some reason, I was even more entertained by srsly Hamlet than I was by YOLO Juliet. While YOLO Juliet was great, I found myself laughing out loud at srsly Hamlet. Shakespeare characters cursing autocorrect? Too funny for words! Breaking down these famous, epic monologues into notes with emojis? Epic and hilarious! Apparently, emoji’s turn a tragedy into a comedy!

Like with YOLO Juliet, srly Hamlet took something complex and broke it down into an easy-to-understand language that teens today will be able to connect with. It made Hamlet fun (and hilarious) to read, even with the tragic events that take place in the play. I LOL’d (see what I did there?!?) more times during srsly Hamlet than I can count! My brother teaches English and he definitely wants to add these to his classroom library – something I think every teacher should do!

So, whether you want to learn Shakespeare or teach Shakespeare, I highly recommend this book. You’ll never view Hamlet in the same way, ever again! And you’ll enjoy reading it!


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