Review: This Must Be Love by Tui Sutherland
Title: This Must Be Love (Or how I made my midsummer dreams come true . . .)
Author: Tui Sutherland
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books (9th September 2011)
I know most good books explain a bit about the story on the back. And they often begin mid-conversation, but I think that for my story it is important to know that cast first, or else you’ll be like, “Who?” Or, even worse, you’ll get them all confused and think Dmitri and Alexander are the same person, which is SO clearly not the case, because Alex is the light of my life (even if he doesn’t know it yet).
Also, I wouldn’t want anyone calling Helena “Hermia” bt accident, or thinking I’m her, because I am the ONLY Hermia, and that’s all there is to it.
OK. Is everybody clear now? Good.
Hello? Why are you still reading this? Star the book!
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
This Must Be Love (Or how I made my midsummer dreams come true…) is Tui Sutherland’s debut novel, and is a brilliant re-telling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is one of my favourite plays (as it has some of my favourite characters).
This is a brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. It is told from the points of view of Hermia and Helena who are two sixteen year-old high school students. The story is told through a series of diary entries, emails, instant messages, notes, and letters which pass between the girls over the period of five months. The story is split into a series of acts like a play, and even starts with a dramatis personae. The story itself sticks pretty close to Shakespeare’s play, with a few twists which help to make the story unique to Sutherland. You don’t need to have read Shakespeare to enjoy this, but knowing how A Midsummer Night’s Dream goes definitely adds a level of enjoyment to your read.
This is a really fun book. Brilliant for a read on the beach, or in the park. On several occasions it made me laugh, and it also made me want to yell at some of the characters. Both Hermia and Helena were very likable characters (though I will admit Hermia is my fave) and I thought Sutherland showed their closeness and friendship brilliantly. They seem like two teenagers talking about life – school, parents – and love. I also liked the fact that even though they were friends, they were very different personalities. I loved the way Sutherland wrote Hermia and Helena and their relationship/feelings about Alex and Dmitri – it was quite brilliant the way they danced around one another. I also want to say that I loved the character of Theo Duke, Athenwood High School Theatre Artistic Director and English Teacher, and Nick Weaver was adorably cute.
I liked the way This Must Be Love focuses on the relationships of The lovers in Shakespeare’s play (Hermia, Helena, etc.) and the rest of the cast act as a sort of backdrop to their story. I particularly enjoyed the way The fairies were used in the story, and how Sutherland used them to further the story. I also enjoyed the fact that the book uses Romeo and Juliet as a means of bringing everything together.
This is definitely a book you should try, whether you are a Shakespeare fan or not, if you like reading romance books. Or if you’re looking for a light summer read, then you definitely should give this a go.
Becki is the owner and blogger on The Flutterby Room. She has an MA English through the Open University, and she gained her BA (Hons) English with Creative Writing from University College Falmouth. Books have been a huge part of her life for as long as she can remember, and although she is primarily a reader she does occasionally dabble with writing. When not reading (which isn’t that often) Becki can be found cooking, baking or listening to music – and sometimes doing two of the three at once.
The Flutterby Room is on hiatus throughout the month of March 2015.
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