A List of Shakespeare Retellings

This post will be exactly what it says on the label: a list of Shakespeare retellings. When it comes to Shakespeare there are a myriad of sources that borrow from the bard in storyline and content. A lot of the time the focus in on movies that are replicas of the plays or are modern retellings like 10 Things I Hate About You, Kiss Me Kate, and Gnomeo and Juliet, but there are a range of books that retell some of Shakespeare’s most famous works and rework them into completely new and wonderful stories.

There are far too many to create a list myself so this will be a post of mainly links but I am putting my faith in the internet for gathering up some amazing titles I never would have heard of otherwise. I am looking at a range of formats – I have fiction, YA, children’s books, graphic novels, LGBTQIA stories and yes, more film retellings so hopefully one, some or all of these will pique your interest.

Also, a few years ago I did an entire month long celebration for Shakespeare’s 400th birthday so feel free to check that out and find some more fun Shakespeare goodies!

Young Adult

Rewriting Shakespeare

13 Shakespeare-inspired Young Adult Novels

Best YA Shakespeare Retellings

13 Shakespeare Adaptations Aimed at Teens

As I Descended by Robin Talley



LGBT Related Adaptations of Works by William Shakespeare

Sapphic Shakespeare Retellings

That Way Madness Lies ed. Dahlia Adler


Graphic Novels

Manga Shakespeare

4 Graphic Novel Adaptations of Shakespeare

10 Best Shakespeare Comics and Graphic Novels



Shakespeare Adaptation Retellings



William Shakespeare Screen Adaptations

William Shakespeare Movie Adaptation Viewing Guide

15 Great Adaptations of Shakespeare

Shakespeare Movie Adaptations


Picture Books/Children’s Books

Teaching Shakespeare with Picture Books

William Shakespeare

Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex by Mo O’Hara

Ella Ballerina and a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare Adaptations for Children

Do you have a particular favourite Shakespeare retelling? Are there any amazing books you’ve read that do the Bard proud in how it has been reimagined? Let me know in the comments.

Star Crossed by Minnie Darke

book-bitePublished: 5th Mark 2019Goodreads badge
Michael Joseph
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
★   ★ – 2 Stars

Sometimes even destiny needs a little bit of help. When childhood sweethearts Justine (Sagittarius and serious skeptic) and Nick (Aquarius and true believer) bump into each other as adults, a life-changing love affair seems inevitable. To Justine, anyway. Especially when she learns Nick is an astrological devotee, whose decisions are guided by the stars, and more specifically, by the horoscopes in his favorite magazine. The same magazine Justine happens to write for.

As Nick continues to not fall headlong in love with her, Justine decides to take Nick’s horoscope, and Fate itself, into her own hands. But, of course, Nick is not the only Aquarius making important life choices according to what is written in the stars.

Charting the ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling, STAR-CROSSED is a delicious, intelligent, and affecting love story about friendship, chance, and how we all navigate the kinds of choices that are hard to face alone.

Why rely on fate when you can rewrite the stars?

When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into her old friend Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) it could be by change. Or perhaps it’s written in the stars.

Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star – and Nick, she now learns, relies on the magazine’s astrology column to guide him in life.

Looking for a way to get Nick’s attention, Justine has the idea of making a few small alterations to ‘Aquarius’ before it goes to print.

It’s only a horoscope, after all. What harm could changing it do?

Having read the blurb for this when it came out, I was really intrigued because it sounded fun and light-hearted. Unfortunately when it came to actually reading it, I couldn’t engage with the story and found myself skimming quite a lot. The story shows how changing something as innocent as the horoscopes can affect others, but it is long, clunky, drawn out and often uninteresting. The premise sounded great but the actual writing is what turns you off. I think it would have benefited from being shorter, to keep it a more succinct series of events. I understand you need to have it take place over a long time to get the benefit of multiple horoscopes but this could have been done without so much extra detail.

To Darke’s credit, I initially enjoyed the interweaving moments of other people’s lives to see how it wasn’t just Nick’s life Justine was affecting, but they had no connection to the story that I saw and I skipped those after a while to try and get through the story faster. Eventually I skimmed the last half to get the gist of the story and see how it concluded, but I had no connection to the characters or had any interest in whether they got together or not so sitting through page after page of the drama and lead up to that wasn’t worth the time.

You can purchase Star Crossed via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Wordery | Fishpond

 Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

The Younger Man by Zoe Foster

Published: February 2012 (print)/1 February 2017 (audio) Goodreads badge
  Penguin Australia /Wavesound Audio
Pages: 304/8 Discs
Narrator: Helen Atkinson
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Abby runs her own agency, providing beautiful girls for promotional events. She needs a new website and when she calls in the web contractors, none other than the gorgeous, sexy, young Marcus turns up. Abby had met Marcus at a party a few weeks earlier and they had an amazing one-night stand. Abby is not unhappy to see him again. He is rather divine, after all. It’s just that she’s 33 and he’s 22, so how can she ever expect anything to come of this relationship. But Marcus is determined and sets out to prove to Abby that he is wise beyond his years and knows what he wants. Abby is not so sure and when she escapes to Italy and meets someone else, she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.

I quite liked this book. I don’t think I liked it as much as I liked The Wrong Girl, but I did enjoy it. Helen Atkinson did a great job narrating the audiobook, she added emotions and emphasis to Foster’s words that add another level to each of the characters.

Abby is a woman in her mid-30s, accomplished, self-employed and not looking for a relationship. Naturally, this idea is challenged when she meets Marcus, a guy of 22 who was only meant to be a one night fling. I liked the dynamic between these two, Foster plays them off one another and as they clash and blend it’s a great read.

I liked that Marcus was mature and serious, but knew how to have fun as well. He reflected back against Abby’s insecurities and her constant doubts and it made the reader see Abby’s failings. The story wasn’t predictable to the point of fault; it was more like you knew where it was meant to go if only Abby could get her act together. She was the one that needed to learn and grow up ironically. But seeing her turmoil and the journey they go on is rewarding as well. The story isn’t will they/won’t they, it’s how long and what will we have to sit through before Abby gets herself together. Which was different, it didn’t have the usual climax and drama, I was almost starting to think it wasn’t going to have one to be honest.

Foster could have added more to the story but in a way I think it works, even with the abrupt ending she’s gone with. There could have been extra pages that wrap things up nicely, that give more details, hope, happy endings, but it works without it. Foster wraps things up in stages so there are a few mini conclusions before the book ends which until the end you don’t realise were mini conclusions. It was a surprise but when I thought it through it works quite well.

You can purchase The Younger Man via the following

Publisher | Amazon Aust

Booktopia | Book Depository

Fishpond | QBD | Audible

The Recipient by Dean Mayes

Published: 1st May 2016Goodreads badge
Central Avenue Publishing
Pages: 416
Format: ebook
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant – and a rare second chance to begin again.

Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realises her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book by the author for review.

I was engaged with this story from the beginning; Mayes’ narration pulls you in slowly and nicely into Casey’s life and the life of those around her. He tells the story with a great varying style and intensity based on what’s happening which really helps to enhance what’s going on.

Set in Melbourne it was great to read about trams and St Kilda and all these familiar locations, reading stories set in Oz is never tiring. Maye’s makes it feel like any other place though, and if you aren’t familiar with Melbourne or even Australia it doesn’t affect the story because Mayes creates a vivid picture in your mind.

Each character is interesting and defined, while not everyone needed a full back story their placement in the story and Casey’s life felt natural and solid. You easily accept the people around her and take them on their face value about who they are as a person. Seeing their patience tested and their love and support for Casey fracture  brings them to life and seeing them try to cope with her demons tells you a lot about them and their different relationships. This is also added to by the occasional perspectives we’re given of people other than Casey.

These point of view changes are seamless and mostly brief. Mayes doesn’t dedicate chapters to different characters; instead he weaves tiny snippets and thoughts around Casey’s. These small brief moments of insight into other characters offer so much and offer a nice outside perspective to what she is experiencing. I really loved this because if was so cleverly done, it suited the story so well, but also because it was interesting to see the world outside of Casey’s viewpoint. Seeing Casey’s struggle, seeing her trying to cope was captivating on its own, but having it offset with thoughts and observations of those around her made it something greater, especially with her reluctance to divulge any information. Casey doesn’t know what she is dealing with, but she also doesn’t share what she’s dealing with either which adds another layer of complexity to the story. Even though we know about the nightmares in part, it’s fascinating to see it from the other side, with parents and doctors trying to break through to her and find out what’s haunting her.

I loved Casey in this, as terrible as it sounds I loved seeing her struggle and her anguish, I think Mayes tells her story so well you can’t help but admire even the bad stuff. Her isolation and her fears come across so well on the page and when she reaches breaking point it feels real and you totally get why she shuts herself down from the world. I loved so many of the characters, even with their flaws, I loved Scott’s devotion and Lionel’s patience, I loved her parents who try their best but can only do so much. It was wonderful seeing everyone grow and change together, for better and for worse.

Mayes has created a great story, it’s engaging and compelling, and there’s a strange mysteriousness about it without it straying too far from the contemporary fiction side, just the hint of the unknown. This is a great story because there’s so much filling it but not all of it’s important detail; it’s just everyday life filled with bobble head sasquatches and tense relationships with parents, but sometimes seemingly unimportant conversations can take on new meaning and it plays with what you think you know. I liked that not everything that happened was supposed to have meaning; it brings it down to earth and makes you remember not everything has an ulterior motive.

Having said that, while it doesn’t read like a mystery there is a mysterious element that needs solving. It’s a story of a woman who is trying to stop her nightmares any way she can and this is the only way she knows how. It’s easy to criticise Casey’s choices in this, especially once she starts following the clues, but when you realise that while those around her only have been dealing with this for a few weeks, she’s been tormented with this for three years so you understand why she wants to solve this, and for that you can forgive a lot of her actions.

There are surprises and twists in this that you really don’t expect and the thrill only heightens the closer you get to the end. Mayes takes us on Casey’s journey, through the before and the after and from start to finish it helps you understand her, sympathise with her, and want to help her. It’s a wonderful read and one that keeps you entertained and guessing all the way through.

You can purchase The Recipient via the following


The Solomon Twist by Dan Hammond Jr.

Published: 17th February  2015 Goodreads badge
Solomon Texas Press
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction/Satire
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Twin sons of different fathers?

Sure, the chances are slim and none. But to Mazel McDonald, it sounds like a good idea at the time.

In the west Texas town of Solomon in 1965, Mazel doesn’t have many options being unwed, pregnant, and unemployed–due to being unwed and pregnant. When she finds herself in early labor with two men laying claim to the title of father, an unexpected situation arises. Mazel discovers she is having twins.

Jump to 1991 when Mazel’s husband, known as Daddy Two, is found dead in their living room. Who shot Daddy Two? That question acts as a loose backdrop throughout the novel as suspects come to the forefront. But deeper questions of identity, reunion, and recovery gain traction, transforming the story into one of self-realization and redemption.

Combining humor, exuberance, and an incisive poignancy, THE SOLOMON TWIST is packed with characters who are insightful, clueless, sensitive, and cynical. With two mysteries unsolved until the final pages, Hammond masterfully weaves a tale that leaves readers both satisfied and not wanting to leave the people of Solomon, Texas.

Who killed Daddy Two? The more important question becomes: who’s your Daddy?

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

Following a strange series of events, this story follows Mazel, her boys, and the town of Solomon from the 1960s to the early 1990s. There is no gradual progression through the decades, from introductions and scene setting in the 1960s the story jumps to the 1990s where the main narrative kicks off. I quite liked that this story was different and unconventional. The whodunit aspect was there and there were other mysteries to solve all wrapped up in this strange town with strange people, but Hammond uses this unusualness to his advantage and it works rather well.

The town of Solomon is filled with a range of people who are strange in their own way. Each character is unique and likable, even with their peculiarities and misguided moral compasses. There are a few characters to keep track of but they each fill their role and fall into place easily enough. Some characters also get more attention and depth than others but it’s not a real problem, Hammond writes it so it’s easy to gain an understanding of who these characters are and sometimes the little that is given is more than enough.

With every character their own version of peculiar, Mazel is no different. She is a sweet woman, a bit odd, but given how her life has turned out it isn’t surprising. She is kind of vague, not absentminded or dreamy so much as just there, participating and doing her job. There are moments when she is alert and involved, and it is moments like this where Hammond uses characters and situations well, demonstrating moments of freedom and release in who they are depending on their circumstances. Hammond also addresses these moments in character which give it another level, seeing Mazel analyse herself is great because it works in two parts, for her and for the reader. To credit Mazel though, she is not as daft as she appears, noticing things around her and making negotiations for the security of her boys. It’s these little moments that made her interesting and perplexing, she is difficult to pin down.

These strange characters and the odd way they live their lives are what make this novel. The interactions and connections between everyone also makes this work because it becomes a mixture of everyone’s lives, intentions, and self-interests, with this apparent murder to solve on top of that while still keeping everyone’s arrangements in place. Deals are made, situations are bargained, and everyone is in it for themselves.

I love how Hammond has constructed this and put this story together because it doesn’t go where you expect and yet it is oddly fascinating at the same time. Even with the death of Mazel’s husband looming in the background and suspects being questioned, it becomes second to the wants and interests of others, and a whole other story emerges.

The conclusion is where Hammond’s true skills shine. There is a moment when you think you are going to finish the book unsatisfied but suddenly everything comes together, things happen and pieces fall into place that provide a turning point not just for the story but for the characters as well, all the while maintaining the little eccentricities that have been present from the start.

This will certainly not disappoint as a whodunit, albeit in an unconventional manner, and the mysteries of fathers, and all the other quirkiness that goes on in Solomon makes this a read that is much more than it appears.

You can purchase The Solomon Twist via the following


Amazon Aust


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