Blog Tour: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George (Review & Giveaway!)

Speak Easy, Speak Love

Publisher: Greenwillow Books/ HarperCollins
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Retellings, Historical


Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website: 
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. 
"Does it make you feel very clever to use words like postulate in normal conversation?" asked Benedick. 
"Being clever makes me feel clever," said Beatrice. "But next time I educate you, I will be as monosyllabic as possible." pg. 90, ARC

I don't know where to even begin with this review because this book - McKelle George's Speak Easy, Speak Love -  is just amazing - so amazing that I can't even begin to form a coherent thought besides, "OMG EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK!"

So lets begin with my favorite part of the book: Beatrice.

You know what I love, truly 100% LOVE, in books? Sassy, strong willed, and too smart for their own good characters. The kind of characters who not only speak their mind no matter the consequences, but also don't let other people stop them from being 100% uniquely themselves.

That, my friends, is exactly the sort of character Beatrice is, and honestly, I couldn't get enough of her. There's so much to utterly love about her - her love of science, her determination to be a doctor, her unwillingness to conform to social norms. She's the kind of person I aspire to be - fearless, spunky, brave.

In addition to Beatrice, we also get the pleasure of becoming acquainted with 5 other incredible characters  - Hero, Prince, John, Benedick, and Maggie - and while I didn't love any of them as nearly as much I loved Beatrice (sorry, she was an incredibly hard act to beat!) I did like them a whole heck of a lot. I especially loved how through them, McKelle addressed so many aspects of the 1920s - Jazz, mafia relations, organized crime, new feminism, and the new literary age. Each character brought a unique viewpoint of the time period to the table, and I loved not only seeing their thoughts on it, but how their respective stories developed because of it. I rooted for Maggie to get her big Jazz debut, for Prince and John to successfully avoid the prohibition agents and stay out of the mafia's way, for Hero to show that not only could she hold her makeshift family together but also run a speakeasy, and for Benedick to write the next great American novel.

This brings me to another one of my favorite parts of Speak Easy, Speak Love: the time period. The 1920s is an era I'm simply obsessed with, and because of that, I welcome any opportunity to read, watch, and learn more about it. I thought McKelle Geroge did an amazing job of capturing the feels of the 1920s not only through her character's lives but also her fantastic descriptions & world building.

The plot in this is also addicting. It's the perfect combination of character driven and action driven, having not only a slow, easy going nature but also a fast going one as well at times. I especially loved the drama surrounding Hey Nonny Nonny - I was never quite sure how everything was going to end up, which made some of the twists and turns associated with it's very existence so incredibly nail-bitting. Also, while I don't want to say too much about the variety of romances in this one, I will say this: I loved them so, so very much. They not only didn't have the classic insta-love feel but they also had the perfect endings.

Beautifully written, feisty, and spellbinding,  Speak Easy, Speak Love is a book you SIMPLY MUST have on your TBR lists this fall! I'm already planning on buying myself a copy so I can re-read it!  

"Miss Clark," he said, "have we just made the hard turn from enemies into friends?"
"I'd like that," she said. "If you don't mind being wrong and inferior most of the time because that's not something I can help." pg. 172, ARC

Grade: A+ 

Speak Easy, Speak Love is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by publisher for blog tour 

About the Author: 
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.

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• 1 ARC of SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE by McKelle George
• Pre-order swag including:
• 1 signed SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE bookplate
• 1 signed SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE postcard
• The full set of SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE character cards

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I am not sure that I would have given this book much of a chance since I am not really too much of a Shakespeare fan but it sounds great after reading your review.


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