READ THIS BOOK // ARC Review: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Title: Speak Easy, Speak Love
Author: McKelle George
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books // Harper Collins
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Edelweiss (Thank you McKelle George)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository ||Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books

Blurb Description: Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.
Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.
READ MY INTERVIEW with the author, McKelle George and enter an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY where you can win an ARC of Speak Easy, Speak Love + other goodies here

 “Words. What a tricky, tangled science.”

When the AMAZING McKelle George got me approved to read an eARC of her debut, Speak Easy, Speak Love, I WAS OVER THE MOON. The cover was beautiful, I don’t remember the last time (if there ever was one) that I read a book set in the 1920’s during the Prohibition and DID YOU SAY SIX MISFITS FALLING IN LOVE BECAUSE I COULD NOT BE MORE ON BOARD WITH THAT.

When I flipped open Speak Easy, Speak Love, it took me all of three chapters to get hooked and read it all through my most recent trip and two flights back home whenever I wasn’t being made to socialise (SO RUDE – WHY CAN’T I READ IN PEACE?) and now, McKelle George is on my auto-buy author list because I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN.

Let’s break it down:
“What are you rambling about, you nonsensical contradiction?”

McKelle George writes from the viewpoint of three different characters – Benedick, Beatrice and Maggie – and tells a story through them about other characters; about their lives, who they are, where they came from and who they want to be and it was BEAUTIFUL. She managed to capture the eccentricities of the 1920’s with the booze and the jazz and the love. I was so in awe because every time I picked it back up again, I found myself transported as if in a movie flashback and I LOVED IT!


More than anything else, Speak Easy, Speak Love was a coming of age story of six teenagers, one of whom was trying to run her dead mother’s illegal speakeasy, one was trying to become a female doctor, one a writer, one a professional singer even though people didn’t accept her because of her skin colour and it was AMAZING.

I loved getting to know Prince, Claude, John, Maggie, Beatrice, John and Benedick and the chemistry and camaraderie they had with each other. It felt like a privilege, getting to see a little bit of their lives and I COULDN’T RECOMMEND IT MORE.

I think I especially loved the sparks that flew between Benedick and Beatrice when they met, because they were such different people, with such different backgrounds and world views and them clashing was one for the history books!

More than that, I ADORED JOHN AND MAGGIE’S ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP. It was EVERYTHING to me and I flailed about when I realised that they were romantically inclined.



Not only will you have, on your hands, a COVER THAT IS TOO BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS, but also a GORGEOUS retelling about Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and characters with such life and chemistry, they’ll stay with you for a long while! 4 stars. 
McKelle George
McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/ HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.
Have you had the chance to read an early copy of McKelle George's debut novel yet? What did you think of it?
What are some of your favourite Shakespeare plays? 
What are some of your favourite retellings?
I can't wait to hear from you!

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