The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

by: Dani Jansen

Allison Green is in her last year of high school and has one goal: becoming valedictorian. She has a younger sister, a comfortable house and a best friend with a junky car named Harvery who can only be coaxed to start via a series of very specific actions. 

She’s also gay and only really out to her family and best friend and at the beginning that seems like enough. After being tasked with helping to produce the school’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an event that started as volunteering hoping it would secure her place as number one student, she’s forced out of her comfort zone. 

An anxious girl, she has to deal with people she has no way to talk with, which is basically   everyone. Unless it involves texting which allows her the ability to edit her words before possibly saying the wrong thing. 

She ropes her best friend and younger sister into helping with the play and along the way things get hairy. 

She’s got a history of interfering in her oldest friend Jake’s love life. And due to her own inability to understand people (let’s be real, no one understood people in high school) it leads to a painful situation between her and Becca, Harvy’s owner. 

She has a crush on the hottest girl in school who, to her immense surprise, is into her. 

Allison starts the book with tunnel vision and grows from her mistakes and failings. The biggest question of what it means to be out and if she can handle it put her on the same page, mostly, with a student she absolutely couldn’t stand. There’s a lot of growth and Allison’s journey isn’t easy. 

Yes her family is understanding and supportive even though her dad is a little oblivious, she learns that it isn’t enough to be supported by others. She has to be okay with and support herself. 

Her grades start to slip, there’s trouble with the play due to the past of the drama teacher and then more personal drama on her end. 

Every character feels real and totally fleshed out. There were moments where I was desperate for Allison to stop talking so she would stop making mistakes, where I wanted to shake her and make her do the right thing. I was glued to this book. 

A fun read that’s impossible to put down, I give The Year Shakespear ruined my life a solid 4 stars. It’s a fun light read that just goes by quickly and for the positivity in it I give it four stars. However, if you’re looking for an LGBTQI+ experience that really gets down to the nitty gritty of what not being out when your partner is, plus not really being out at all, this isn’t it. 

It’s fun, is easy and kind of cheesy in how sweet it is but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. 

Author:

Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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