After sustaining a head injury, a girl is plagued by hallucinations of Shakespeare’s players and soon becomes embroiled in familiar plots.
Upon awakening in the hospital after a traumatic skiing accident, all Jaye can think about is missing rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Finally, she’s been cast as a lead, and her estranged friend, Pierce, was to be the Oberon to her Titania. But Jaye’s injury has other plans. Her head swirls with familiar characters from Shakespeare’s works: Romeo finds her in the snow; Hamlet greets her in a dark theater; and even the Bard himself makes appearances. While Jaye struggles to separate hallucinations from reality, memories of her father, whose absence haunts her, cause fissures between her and her family. Pierce pronounces his newfound affection for her and suddenly shows up around every corner—and Jaye’s not sure if she likes it. To top it off, the new boy in her anatomy class happens to look just like her imaginary Romeo. Though the inspiration of the story will be immediately familiar to most readers, Jaye’s personal drama still sets an engrossing stage; her fantasy players add dark elements to an otherwise overdone plot. Reckoning with the death of her father brings an emotional release more potent than forbidden romance.
A dizzying new twist on one of the Bard’s most famous plays. (Fiction. 12 & up)