Genre: YA

Review: Shakespeare Burning by Charisse Moritz

Posted on May 25, 2020 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 12 Comments

Review: Shakespeare Burning by Charisse MoritzTitle: Shakespeare Burning
Author(s): Charisse Moritz
Published by Amazon Digital Services on November 29, 2019
Pages: 325
Genre(s): YA
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: eBook
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

He’s the boy who wants to disappear.
One mistake and seventeen-year-old Shake LeCasse lost everything. Now there’s no going back and no way to move forward. The once-popular Varsity hockey captain is living in the basement of a grandmother he barely knows, ditching school, avoiding friends and working hard on self-destruction.
She’s the girl nobody sees.
Cleo Lee survives however she can. Lie, cheat, steal, whatever it takes, and saving Mr. Popular isn’t part of the plan. Telling him the truth about the night that destroyed his life is downright dangerous. She needs to keep quiet, be smart and let the guy she’s been half in love with since middle school throw away a future she’d do anything to have. Too bad she sucks at playing it safe.

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I picked this book because I was in the mood for something than my normal reads. Young Adult is not a genre I naturally gravitate towards, but something about this book called to me. I am glad I heeded the call. Shakespeare Burning by Charisse Moritz delivered an unforgettable story of two lost and broken souls who developed an unlikely friendship, which became so much more.

Shake Lecasse was a star hockey and one of the most popular kids in school. All that changed in the twinkling of an eye. All it took was one tragic incident and now he has hit rock bottom. Living in his grandmother’s basement, ditching school and doing drugs became his new norm. However, there was one person who knew the truth of what happened that fateful night and she made it her mission to steer him away from the path of self-destruction.

Cleo Lee is from what is considered the wrong side of the tracks. Not a girl with whom Shake would associate. She lies and steals not because she wants to, but as a means of survival. She had an awful home life; one she was desperate to escape.

Despite knowing that a guy like Shake would not have given her a second look, she wanted to help regardless of the physical and emotional risk.

Cleo is a friend you would want in your corner. I admired her Loyalty, dry sense of humour, strength, selflessness and independence. She has been through a lot, but she doesn’t allow her circumstances to break her. My heart broke for her when I learnt of her situation. No one should ever have to go through what she did. She wanted to save Shake, and I loved how they ended up saving each other.

My heart bled for Shake. Losing someone is never easy and worse when it’s your entire family in one fell sweep. I saw first-hand the devastating effect of survivor’s guilt.

Despite the emotional upheavals these two faced, they shared some light moments between themselves and their friends, which had me laughing out loud. We also had teenage angst that came with the whole high school experience. Fans of Shakespeare would love the Shakespearean quotes sprinkled throughout the story.

I became immersed in this wonderful coming of age story of loss, grief, friendship, love and finding oneself. Shakespeare Burning is a story I recommend without reservations.


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About Charisse Moritz

Emily Award Finalist and Melody Of Love Award Finalist, Charisse Moritz divides her life between upstate NY and northern Florida. When not barricaded inside her writing cave or enjoying every possible minute with her husband and three kids, you’ll find her listening to 60’s music, singing off key and looking for new reads.

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading