Tempestuous: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's The Tempest (Twisted Lit #1) by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

9:25 PM

Title: Tempestuous
Author: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Publish Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 224
Other Books in the Series: Exposed
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★★

Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

I love when people take older books -- classics -- and modernize them. It definitely isn't an easy task to redevelop a well-known plot to make it original while still holding true to the main plot points. There is no doubt in my mind that I basically don't have the patience required to do something like that. 

Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes is a retelling of sorts of Shakespeare's The Tempest. The basic plot, if you remove all of the details and ignore the modern take on it, remains true to the namesake of the story. If that makes any sense. It tells the story of Miranda, a once well respected and popular girl turned social pariah, as she deals with her new social status and her desire to make certain people pay for what they've done to her. Everything seems to fall into place when she along with all of the group of misfits are trapped in the mall with those she wants to enact revenge upon. Brian, Rachel, Britney, and Whitney. If only everything was that simple.

Miranda takes the helm of this story with fiery dialogue and a superior attitude that turns out to be a defense mechanism. She is constantly in everyone's business whether to be helpful or to hinder. It's funny though because in spite of all her flaws, I had no difficulties connecting with her. If someone were to approach me and explain Miranda to me, I would have no interest in reading the story but she is so much more than that. She has a tough exterior, an act that she needs to put up to protect herself from harm, yet she is also a complete softy when it comes to people throughout the story. There is something very real about her and her attitude although I can't really explain what it is. I have nothing in common with her and yet I loved her.

I loved the rag-tag group of misfits that encompassed the mall but I think it would be hard not to love them. You would think that with all the different characters and the battling personalities that it would be easy to forget a character. They stick with you and there is no forgetting any of them even by the end of the novel. I just enjoyed the fact that instead of focusing on a few characters and giving them greater emphasis than all the others, they all had some sort of part to play. No one fell into the background. And let's just cover this one thing, this was the perfect size for a cast of characters but if you were going to throw anymore into the mix, it would've gotten a little confusing.

Ariel, the greatest misfit of all, filled the void left by Miranda and the two characters meshed together perfectly. Those two had the sort of friendship that a lot of people search for all the time. She wasn't afraid to call Miranda out when she was being a little to self-involved or any selfish stuff like that. She was also the most innocent, lovable, happy, and surprising character in all the story. Ariel is the type of person you are friends with just to talk to her and have her call you out on everything you do. The side plot of romance for Ariel was fun because then it wasn't so focused on Miranda.

Caleb was a good love interest. He wasn't totally fangirl worthy but he was pretty cool. I could see myself being friends with a guy like him. The romance didn't really instill a deep need to see what happened between them. It was a comfortable relationship that would've been cool to follow, yet I don't feel like I would miss all that much. Don't get me wrong! I just didn't have that urge to pull Caleb from the page and make him my boyfriend. 

Overall, it was an awesome read. It was well-rounded. Honestly, it's a great short read (is it sad that 224 pages is a short read for me?). Definitely worth checking out.

About the author

Bailee is the type of person you would expect to find with her nose buried in a book or a notebook and a pencil in hand. She loves reading and she loves reviewing the books she reads. This is certainly becoming a passion of hers.