November 3, 2013

Love Disguised by Lisa Klein

Love Disguised
Love Disguised by Lisa Klein
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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.


  1. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)November 3, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Sloppiness in language use can ruin a book for me in a heartbeat, especially in historicals. That's a deal-breaker right there and reason enough for me not to read this, even if everything else worked.
    Great review, Megan.

  2. Aww no, it looked like such a fun book too. But I agree, if you're going to adapt something from the Elizabethan era, you need to do your research properly. I hate stories where the two characters blend into each other - it feels like a cop out in character and personality development. Thanks for a wonderfully honest review lovely! I'm sad it disappointed you. :(

  3. First of all, I love this review! It's so well written! <3

    Second, what is it with bad girl friends all starting with the letter V?...

    As for the dialect... did they at least talk accurately to the time? No 'like's and 'totally's and such things? I hate when periodic stories talk in today's language. It's something I have always had issues with.... it can make or break an historical story for me :/

  4. Megan@The Book BabeNovember 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Aww, thanks Nitzan! I don't know about it being well written, but I'm glad that you think so!

    I HAVE NO IDEA. And I didn't notice that until you said it, LOL.

    They had a very polished writing, there was no "likes" or "totallys" but... they were both supposed to be from the lower level of society, so they should have had a less polished and distinct way of talking. In my opinion, at least. It seems to be something that I have an issue with too! :/

  5. Megan@The Book BabeNovember 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    It did look like such fun! The research wasn't all that bad, I just feel like the dialect could have been truer to the time line. I hate that too, it totally is a cop-out! Thanks for reading it, Joy! (:

  6. Megan@The Book BabeNovember 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I absolutely agree! (And then look how I talk. LOL.) I love historicals, but if the language isn't right... just no. Thanks, Maja!

  7. I do think so! <3

    Well, Vee's trauma is fresh in my mind, so...
    I think the letter V might be cursed. Just saying.

    You're right. The "slams" talked differently than the elite, and were one of the ways to know a man/woman's standing. In a lot of the "make over" stories of the past, they have to teach the subjects to talk right because of that.

  8. This one sounds interesting.I have a thing for strong and kick ass heroines.Maybe I should request it in Netgalley.

  9. Megan@The Book BabeNovember 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Thank you! <3

    Hahah, that's why. But... my LAST NAME STARTS WITH A V. AM I CURSED?! O.O

    Yes. Have you seen My Fair Lady? I used to love that movie, and that's one of those "make-over" stories. :) I just assume that they have different inflections, you know?

  10. (aaaaaaaand, I am 1 month late to reply. Yay me!)

    Nope, it's only cursed if you're the best friend and your first name starts with a V, so you're safe

    I haven't seen that, but the name sounds very familiar. "Used to"? What changed?

  11. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Haha, okay. I'll remember that - I just can't be friends with no Veronica's or Victoria's, then. It's a really awesome old movie - and used to meaning I just don't watch it very much anymore. Nothing really changed.

  12. Well, in real life it's a different story - but book wise this seems to be a good rule to follow LOL (I have a feeling that just to prove me wrong, the universe will make my next read have a really awesome best friend with a name starting with V)

  13. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Haha, well. I hope that happens, just because it would be funny! :D But I can't think of one awesome best friend who's name starts with V... probably because I'm trying too hard. :P

  14. Stared Fangirl a few minutes ago and so far it's V free... Sorry :)

  15. Megan@The Book BabeDecember 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Teehee. I'm interested to see how you like Reagan. :) It's actually a pretty good book - the longer it's been since I read it, the more I like it more than I did at first. It's weird.

  16. So far I like her plenty. She's bitchy, and a bit controlling, but I think she's actually really good for Cath.
    Hmm... well, we talked about it before - how it seems like the longer it has been since you read a book, the clearer you can grasp what you really felt toward it. What was just something that pissed you off at the moment, or what was effected by others' thoughts and opinions, or what we thought at the time wasn't what we were looking for in the book, but looking back was good on it's own. Stuff like that.

    Like, I'm thinking about my list of recommendation from 2013, and the first name on my lips was The Raven Boys, but when I went to my review I realized I gave it 4 stars. And now it feels like a 5 stars. I don't even know why I gave it 4. So, I guess it's something like this :)

  17. I think that she is too - I know people like her, and it's good. They break shy people out of their shells, which is just awesome. Of course, some people just hate them... but not me. ;)

    Yep. ;) (Literally, we have the longest book conversations ever. I wish that I lived near you - it would be awesome.) Definitely I do that all the time - get really pissed by something and then the longer I think about it... the more I realize that it didn't matter and I actually loved the book. Like, for instance - Anna and the French Kiss. That used to be a three star read, but I love love love it now! 4, easily.

    O.O I gave it four stars too. But I really do think it was four stars - five rarely happens with me. The only ones I can think of right off are Out of the Easy and Life After Now. (Both really good, and you should definitely read them!)

  18. I might need a Reagan around me lol - especially is she'll come equipped with a hot, adorable best friend who'll fall in love with me. Just saying.

    (I wish that too! A lot, actually. It would be so awesome. We'd spend hours talking about books, and our friends will all shake their head and wonder what's wrong with us. Bliss. lol there's no one here in my life to really talk books with :/)

    Haha, I loved Anna and the French Kiss from the beginning, Just curious; what pissed you off about it when you wrote the review? :3

    :O Haven't heard of any of them? xDD I'll check them out :3
    Hmm... 5 stars is not impossible with me. I have 73 5 star ratings on GR, from 390 books. Which is about... 18% percent (though as we've just discussed, if you asked me today I'd say at least half of those is not real 5 star) - I guess I'm easier to impress? xD