Review | Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Speak Easy

About the Book: 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.

YA Historical
Greenwillow Books | September 19, 2017
amazon2 bn2

Speak Easy, Speak Love is another book I picked up from Mandy at Book Princess Reviews, because some how she continues to suck me in.  She adored it, and it’s about the roaring 20’s and speakeasies.  Plus, that cover is seriously gorgeous!  I had to read it!

With everything going on in my life it’s been really hard to read.  Prior to Speak Easy, Speak Love I’d DNFed three books, unable to read because I couldn’t stop my mind from spinning.  It took me a long time to read this one too, but I knew I liked it enough that I wanted to finish.  Mandy was right, it was really good!

I’ve never read, or seen any adaptation of, Much Ado About Nothing so I went into the story without any expectations.  I didn’t know any of the romances or characters.  Without anything to compare it to, I thought Speak Easy, Speak Love was fresh and interesting.  It was set in one of the best era’s in history, and was written with a believable voice.  I felt like the slang and rhythm of the prose was a perfect representation.

I guess the main relationship in the story was Benedick and Beatrice, and they were cute, but I was more caught up in the other couples.  I liked the slower burn of Hero and Prince.  Actually, it was more about Prince.  I was pretty caught up in Prince.  The best couple was Maggie and John, especially in this setting.  They were so quietly passionate about each other, and about their dreams.  When I was reading about the two of them I was the most invested.  I loved thinking about Maggie’s dreams, and reading about John and Prince’s bond, or lack of one I guess.

Speak Easy, Speak Love was the first book I’ve read set in the 20’s, but it was a great starting point.  I hope when the author writes her next book, she stays right there.  I want to read more, but I want to read more by McKelle George.



About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

10 Responses

  1. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I’m so, so, so glad that you liked it and I didn’t lead you astray. XD I will admit that it did go a little slow for me, too, but I’m super glad that didn’t stop you. Prince really was such a fascinating character, and the slow burn was sooooo good between him and Hero. In Shakespeare’s original story, Benedick and Beatrice really were the focal point, but in this story it became far murkier on who the lead plot is supposed to be. Wonderful review, Birdie, and so glad it went good!! 😀


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