Hello, bookworms! I’m super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George! Keep on reading for a few of my favourite quotes, my full review of the book (spoiler: heart eyes), and a giveaway! But first, what is the book with the gorgeous cover about?
Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.
Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.
I know that synopsis certainly got my attention! With the book having so much excellent banter, narrowing down my favourite quotes was really difficult to do but I somehow managed. Here are just a couple of my favourites.
He held out his hands, every bit of his oily, dirty, sweaty, ruined clothes on display. “What about me is clearly rich?”
Beatrice laughed. Her laugh was as uninhibited and untidy as the rest of her. “Mr. Scott, even if a little ground ends up on your clothes, it doesn’t stop you from walking on it as if you owned it.”
“The next time she says something to me, I’m going to smile and say, ‘That’s nice.’”
“An excellent plan.” Prince pushed himself up. “And now’s a good time to put it into practice since she’s coming over here.”
In his haste to sit up, Benedick slipped and smacked his elbow into the wall. “Shit—damn.”
“Yes, that’s how we say, ‘That’s nice,’ in Italian, too.”
Her teeth ground together. As calmly as she could manage, she said, “Even if he was flirting, I am not the kind of girl to be flattered into forgiveness, so you may take your concern and shove it elsewhere. I do have some suggestions if you’d like directional advice.”
I only really noticed one trigger/content warning that would be necessary for this, but I want to go ahead and mention before I list it that if this weren’t represented in this book, it would not be an accurate representation of the time period the book is set in.
The characters were all pretty well developed. I really cared what happened to them, even if I wanted something bad to happen to them. The main characters and some of the secondary characters were developed enough that I could imagine holding a conversation with them and their individual personalities. I feel like the characters of Much Ado About Nothing were brought into the 1920s very well.
The world of 1920s New York City was developed in a way that allowed it to be slightly immersive without giving too much detail. Just enough was given to allow my mind to fill in the gaps, even though I’ve never been to the city and certainly not in the 1920s. It was very easy to picture the characters moving through the space.
I have never read or seen Shakespeare’s Much Ado about nothing, but I’ve had great experiences reading Shakespeare retellings in the past so when I see one I just get excited. The plot of this story was just enough to hint at Shakespearean influence while seemingly following its own path. The pacing of the story is nearly perfect, picking up as soon as I got comfortable and keeping me excited to find out what happened next.
And then there’s the banter. As you can see in the quotes I chose, the sarcasm and wit only gets better as you keep reading. I had trouble putting Speak Easy, Speak Love down and ended up reading it at every possible moment.
There was only really one thing I saw room for improvement with. The point of view changes with each chapter, which is fine and I’ve greatly enjoyed books that have done this in the past. The one thing I didn’t like is that the points of view are not labeled so you’re left to read the first paragraph and guess who the point of view character was for the chapter.
Overall, I rate Speak Easy, Speak Love 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it! Preorder a copy for yourself so you can read it when it’s published on September 19, 2017! A few places you can reserve your copy are:
About the Author:
McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and reference librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is an awesome giveaway attached to this blog tour! Here’s what you all have the chance to win:
- 1 ARC of Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George
- Preorder swag including:
- 1 Speak Easy, Speak Love bookmark
- 1 signed Speak Easy, Speak Love bookplate
- 1 signed Speak Easy, Speak Love postcard
- The full set of Speak Easy, Speak Love character cards
- You can find more details about the prizes here.
There are so many fun posts coming your way on this tour! Not to mention the fact that you’ll be given more chances to enter the giveaway with each tour stop you visit! You can find the full tour schedule here.
Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of the post! I hope you had as much fun reading it as I have writing it. A special thank you to McKelle George for writing this beautiful and fun novel. Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to participate in such a fun blog tour. And thank you to Harper Collins for so generously giving me a digital review copy of Speak Easy, Speak Love.
That’s it for me today, bookworms. Happy reading!