Shakespeare’s Secret and Half Upon A Time-Two Book Reviews Rolled into One

24 Jul

Shakespere's SecretShakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

Being stuck with a name like Hero means that moving again is bad news. For Hero Netherfield, life at school is the complete opposite for her compared to her bubbly, and energetic sister, Beatrice. After endless teasing and annoying jokes,  the only thing that keeps her going is the thought of learning more about the mysterious diamond that is supposedly hidden in her new house from her neighbor Mrs. Roth. Not only is the necklace’s history strange, (it was inherited by the lady who had lived in Hero’s house previously, and just may hold the secret to who Shakespeare really is), even stranger is the fact that the most popular boy in school wants to find it with her…Will Hero be able to find the necklace, and solve all of the many mysteries it brought?

My Thoughts: Oh, a great book…isn’t it wonderful to come by one of those? Well this certainly was one, complete with an entertaining mystery backed up with interesting history facts that don’t take over the plot, plus it was so, just…I don’t really know how to describe it, but it just has something that makes it so good, and keeps you reading on, not wanting to stop. Hero wasn’t the greatest main character in the whole world, but let me just say that she was pretty great with her smart, brave, and relatable personality. Mrs. Roth was one of those people you wish could actually come to life and tell you one of her stories because she was so nice and still could make something sound so exciting. I didn’t like Danny very much, just because he was sometimes really annoying, but he did have his moments. Anyways, I’m getting very tired, (I thought I would be down with this review by now!) so I really don’t feel like telling you all about the rest of the supporting characters, so let me just say that they were developed wonderfully and were written about with great detail. Before I forget, let me just tell you how helpful the timeline in the back was! I was referring to it constantly to make sure I didn’t just randomly forget an important part of this history mystery that combines suspense and historical fiction to create one amazing book that I give four out of five stars.

Half Upon A Time By James Riley

When your dad disappears after climbing up a magical beanstalk and stealing from a giant, plus you have a grandfather pressuring you to get out and find an adventure and a princess, you don’t really have a lot of time to sit back and relax. And that’s when Jack catches a princess falling from the sky, who claims that her grandmother has been taken by a huntsman and that she was told to run into the dangerous Black Forest for help, and because that mysterious princess’s grandmother might just happen to be the missing Snow White, well obviously Jack would be swept into a magical adventure, and of course, it will be nothing like he expected…

My Thoughts: I actually just finished this book about an hour and a half ago after starting it just this morning, and I have to say after the long wait to read this book that it definitely impressed. This was a wonderful fractured fairy tale, (and trust me it was, I have read tons of different fairy tale versions, so for this to stand out it must have been pretty good.) The characters were refreshing and fun, and well, they were just so entertaining and memorable. The whole story might seem like it has been done in very similar ways, but this had so much suspense, surprises, and new ideas that make it a read that will leave you wanting to know what happens every time you turn the page.

Jack was an interesting character, and was very likable, (don’t you just hate it when you have a MC you can’t stand?) Anyways, he was very entertaining, and kept you wanting to keep reading, plus he had some good character qualities like keeping you laughing, (Again who likes a boring main character?), but still being able to have clear ideas. May was another great character, (Probably my favorite in the whole book) because of her wit and  adventuress and bold ideas, but still being able to make smart decisions and having quick reflexes. Phillip wasn’t the best person in the whole book, but there wasn’t anyone in the story like him, and I do want to see what will happen with his storyline. The supporting characters of this book though are really what made it so amazing, because of how distinctive and unexpected they were! All the surprises they brought made the book exciting, and more interesting. Anyways, I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy as mud as I do, and for fans of other adventurous fractured fairytales. I give “Half Upon A Time” four and a half stars out of five.

Now, off to read the next book in the trilogy!

P.S. Tomorrow is my sister’s B-Day, so I just wanted to send this special shout out to her!

One Response to “Shakespeare’s Secret and Half Upon A Time-Two Book Reviews Rolled into One”


  1. The Return Of The Fantasy Books-Books I Really Think You Should Read / Volume 16 | theawesomeadventuresoflulu - May 19, 2014

    […] Half Upon A Time Trilogy by James Riley / Read my reviews of the first two books here and […]

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