Monday, December 17, 2012


Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
4/5 stars
Merit Press, 2012
181 pages
YA Contemporary Shakespeare

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love when contemporary YA novels take the classics and twist them to creative something different and fun. Unfortunately I thought I knew the story of "The Tempest" better than I actually did because I'm not really sure how this book relates to that play beyond a few shared character names. Fortunately that did not impair my enjoyment at all, as I found this a fun fast read.

Miranda Prospero used to be one of the most popular girls in school until one of her ideas is exposed as a cheating scandal jeopardizing the future college prospects of several of her classmates. Now she is ostracized and forced to work in the food court to repay her debt to society. The trait that always gets her in trouble is her ability to manipulate situations, arranging them to her satisfaction but sometimes with unintended consequences. However this actually comes in handy when a snowstorm leaves her, her coworkers, and many of her peers stranded at the mall. As her angry classmates take over one corner and a burglar runs rampant, Miranda takes matters into her own hands (while being handcuffed to the annoying but cute magic shop guy) to wreak vengeance and track down the thief.

I think what I liked most about this book was the fun writing. The two authors wrote very seamlessly and very polished. The plot itself is also cool. Although perhaps slightly overstuffed, there is something very compelling and more than a little wish fulfillment about staying overnight in the mall with all the food and fun contained within. Beyond stuffing themselves silly, there is looting and a rock concert. I shudder to think of the mess that would need to be cleaned up afterward but it's all alright within the confines of the book.

Miranda is of a very different personality to myself but one that I found most compelling. She is so good at sizing people up and although her former self was incredibly selfish, this new personality she is forging is more humble while still retaining her strength and sense of self. Ariel is Miranda's coworker, a home schooled sheltered sweetheart with a surprisingly deviant sense of humor. That girl is just so cute and I loved her! The last character to mention would be Caleb, the boy who is handcuffed to Miranda for much of the story, is the main person capable of standing up to Miranda's machinations and is (*surprise*) her love interest. He was perfectly acceptable in that role.

Overall: A really fun story-great for a quick read! I would love to know how it compares to the actual story if there is anyone who has read both.


  1. I have not read The Tempest but this sounds like a fun spin on the story. It is a very short book! Maybe that will increase the appeal to teens. As a teen I would have loved being in the mall like that but as an adult it doesn't sound appealing at all :)

  2. It really doesn't have much to do with the play. ^_~

    I did like that the book frequently referenced the mess and that someone would have to clean it up. Still wish fulfillment, but the story does acknowledge that there are consequences to teens going crazy in the mall all night.

  3. I did not read the Tempest, but I do love the idea of modernized retellings!

  4. I reviewed this book today and I, like you, found I didn't remember The Tempest as well as I thought I did. I didn't take the time to refresh my mind on it because the book was a fun read on it's on. I concur with your review completely! Great review!


  5. My knowledge of the Tempest is a little sketchy--and I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan anyway--but I think this books sounds like a lot of fun. Especially the part about being handcuffed to a cute guy :)

  6. I really like the sounds of this one. Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can't wait for my library to carry this.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  7. Nice to see this one is written with fun in mind. Sometimes when there are two authors I feel as if things were mish-mashed together, seamless writing is great!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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