Something is Awesome in the State of Denmark!

Something is awesome in the state of Denmark! Also, FALLING FOR HAMLET by Michelle Ray.

No caption needed, yo.

Yes, in fact I AM going to use “something is awesome in the state of Denmark!” at every conceivable opportunity, just because I love that such a gleeful mutation of the Bard’s eternal prose can be found in a review of  Michelle Ray‘s FALLING FOR HAMLET (in this case by Mandy Boles of Young Adult Smash). And if you’re thinking “well geez Mike, that’s just blatant book-review favoritism,” my response is YES. YES IT IS.

But enough about me and my favoritism, we’re here to talk about miniskirts! As in, the one I didn’t photograph myself wearing in homage to FALLING FOR HAMLET. I found the perfect skirt! And it’s not available anywhere in the United States in my size (extra-ginormous). Yes, I could have had it shipped from the U.K., but you people are forgetting what a miser I am. So, um, sorry? Trust me, the world’s better off without seeing me in a too-short miniskirt designed for flirty high schoolers.

Trent Reedy and Al Roker on the set of the Today Show.

NO, that's not Hamlet and Horatio, it's Trent Reedy and Al Roker.

Anyway, what we have here is a roundup of some internet chatter about our debut EMU’s Debut debut novel. Mandy Boles’s declaration of awesomeness afoot in Denmark is my personal favorite, but there’s plenty of other stuff. For example, this is what fellow EMLA client, Al Roker honoree, Arthur A. Levine Books author and all-around superstar Trent Reedy had to say last week:

FALLING FOR HAMLET is on store shelves starting today! This is a stellar novel, a chance to look at the events of Shakespeare’s HAMLET in a modern setting and from a different perspective. It’s great if you love HAMLET, great YA novels, or if you’ve just never been satisfied by Queen Gertrude’s fishy explanation of Ophelia’s “death.”

Yes, I would have rocked this skirt, but is it my fault the XXXX-large size is sold out?

Other reviewers have made their own contributions too. Eve’s Fan Garden has added FALLING FOR HAMLET to their Tree of Knowledge; Katie B. at Mundie Moms declares it “a great modern twist on a classic story”; the Chesapeake Public Library’s Bottom Line Book Reviews recommends the book to “those who like to read about the affects of fame on people, or anyone who likes a good tragedy”; the good people at Tucker Free Library Teen Readers are not afraid to acknowledge the hoary root system of the source play, saying “Over all, this is a wonderful retelling of a Shakespeare play that has been poked, prodded, stretched and beaten to death”; Word for Teens posted my second-favorite review, emphasizing brevity and directness; Sarah at The Reading Zone says “how much would Shakespeare have loved the addition of tabloids and paparazzi?” – good point, yo; and Mrs. V’s Reviews eponymous Mrs. V. “love, love, loved this book.”

Michelle is also touring the blog interview circuit, dishing up answers and sharing her creative process. From the Mixed-Up Files of Jennifer Bertman has a peek into Michelle’s creative workspace and process (with a special hidden butt imprint in her living room couch); Peter Salomon fired off three questions about the author’s personal history; Penny Blubaugh does some insightful dissection of the book; Qutessy gets emotional with the character love questions; and Elizabeth Eulberg  didn’t just interview the author, she also blurbed the book, and elicited a mention of R.E.M.’s Find the River, one of my own favorite tunes and a highly appropriate choice for writing about a girl like Ophelia.

“But Mike!” you say. “We want your opinion!” Okay, let me quote Michelle Ray’s latter-day Ophelia – or, as I will now forever call her, Phee – and say that “man cannot live on coffee alone.” Sometimes a brawny, strapping knuckle-dragger like myse–HEY, STOP LAUGHING–sometimes a man’s just gotta take in a contemporary Shakespeare retelling with a generous dollop of writerly zing, a blend of old-school Bardian poetry and newfangled YA attitude, and a teenage girl in a short skirt who figures out she’s way more than a nutty prince’s arm candy (no matter how sweet said prince might be when he’s strumming a guitar). FALLING FOR HAMLET is as fabulous a novel as we EMU’s Debuts could hope to send out into the world as our first debut. There’s no doubt, people. Something is awesome in the–well, you know.

Yours in paparazzi-dodging good humor,



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14 responses to “Something is Awesome in the State of Denmark!

  1. Cynthia Levinson

    Great post, Mike! I’m guffawing and trying not to wake the baby.


    • Mike Jung

      Thanks Cynthia! As someone with a baby of my own, I consider it a high compliment that you had to work not to wake the baby up. 🙂


  2. My daughter is 12 and totally into Japanese manga. I may have to get her that skirt as part of her back-to-school wardrobe. However, I think we are all happier that it was only available in man-size over in England…


  3. J. Anderson Coats

    The butt imprint was a favorite of mine as well, and I’m glad someone else noticed the fact that Shakespeare would have been elbowing starlets out of the way to put himself in front of the paparazzi given half the chance.


  4. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    It’s okay, Mike. We know the *real* reason you didn’t pose in the skirt. You just don’t wanna shave your legs, do you? That’s okay. You definitely made up for the lack of photos by posting all those grand words that have been scribed thus far about Michelle’s book. To shave, or not to shave. That really isn’t the question, is it? 😉


  5. When I saw this post I simultaneously “squeed,” hit bookmark post and grinned from ear to ear. Then blasted it all over the internet. Thank you for the blatant favoritism. You are now my new favorite person ever!
    I loved this book so much. It needs to be on the bookshelf of every junior high and high school English teacher and it needs to be assigned in conjunction with Hamlet. Love it.


    • Mandy — I sent the link to yours to everyone I know. (My parents were very pleased by your assessment.) Thanks again.
      Mike — This is the first time I’m seeing this post. Rather amusing.


    • Mike Jung

      Oh geez Mandy, you don’t want me as you new favorite person ever! I’m a basket case. MICHELLE should be your new favorite person ever. (and you’re welcome!)


  6. Mike, thanks for this great rundown of the various reviews and comments of Michelle’s book. The disappointment of NOT seeing you in that skirt is still crushing me, or else I’m jet lagged after getting home from a 27 hour travel day at 1:30 AM last night. But don’t worry. Photoshop can fix all!

    And Mandy, so glad to hear your rave reviews, and read your great review. I too loved this book. Weird how hard it was to put down, considering I already knew the plot!


  7. Pingback: THE GRAND FINALE: in which prizes are given, promises are fulfilled, and a new character is inexplicably introduced. | EMU's Debuts

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