Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?
What ensues is a tale involving love triangles, mistaken identities, and the pursuit of hapless villains, as Shakespeare becomes a key player in a lively drama that could have sprung from his own pen.
I am not Mack; I am only Meg.
Honestly, I'm not at all sure of what I want to say about Love Disguised. I wish I could tell you that it was brilliant, or that the characters blew me away... but that would be a lie. While I liked this one, I didn't find it particularly or interesting or ground-breaking.
I really liked it in the beginning; it had a certain charm about it, what with all the characters referring to themselves in third person, and the alternating points of view. But the more I read, the more I started to notice things. Like the fact that the writing style itself was a bit odd. I couldn't really get into it, and I never figured out why!
The alternating points of view (though a plus in the beginning) soon became a hindrance. They sort of bled together, and I couldn't differentiate Will's voice or Meg's in all the ruckus; which I felt was a shame. As characters, they were okay, maybe even good; but as narrators they lacked a certain wit. I mixed them up more times that I could count!
Will had a wonderful sense of humor, and I enjoyed his jokes... but how could someone so happy write such tragic literature? I never quite understood that, though I did like this "lighter" Will Shakespeare. There is, however, something that happens towards the end that I assume makes him the "tortured" man that we see in his work. (Something that I respect his decision about.)
Meg was also a good character. She had spunk, and I found her to be very brave. She wasn't whiny at all, but her friend Violetta was terrible! I couldn't stand her constant whining and bossing. And her man? Don't even get me started on how lovesick and annoying he was!
While I found several parts of this book to be rather entertaining, I didn't believe the story. *gasp* The idea that a woman could be friends with a man as a man? No. Several times throughout the book Mack was recognized to be Meg, and yet Will never saw it? That doesn't make sense to me, but it was a minor issue.
Another minor issue that I had was the dialect. I felt like it wasn't exactly authentic for that time frame. People from poorer areas would speak in a less polished tongue than those from richer areas, but that "tongue change" wasn't shown. It was easy to read, though.
All in all, I just didn't love this one. I liked it, and that's all you'll be getting from me on the subject.