I normally put down any book that I realise is written in first person, with a few exceptions. It takes a certain amount of skill to write in the first person and sound like a character, a character I am willing to deal with for an entire book.
Ophelia's voice in "Dating Hamlet" was at once engaging and easy to follow, inspite of a pretty good attempt to mirror Shakespearan english. (Mind you it isn't perfect and the characters do not, except when being a bit silly, speak in verse). The book is the author's effort to give the power back to the female characters that she had encountered in the classics, Ophelia is one of the most unempowered women in Shakespeare's whole opus. To empower her took alot of back plot that was not in the original work.
With few exceptions it works really well, in my opinion. One example being when Hamlet is making his first mad speech to himself in the court and looks up (a gesture I remember) he is actually speaking to Ophelia who has hidden herself up in the gallery of the throne room. As I was reading this I was imagining how this could be staged in tandem with the play, how a director might alter Ophelia and Hamlet's actions to allow the audience to know, that Ophelia was in on the plot. (I am inclined to this anyways, having in yesteryear written a paper taking that side, just for the outrageousness of the idea)
Mind you, a few moments are a bit too contrived, but it wasn't so painful as the rest of the book was very enjoyable, and remarkably realistic. The ending is probably the most contrived bit about the whole work, but I am not going to argue with it, in fact I wouldn't mind reading her other book about Juliet.
It was also amusing to see that the crux of this book rested on a frequent plot device of Shakespeare, one that is utilized in Hamlet. That being the play with in the play. We have here, the traditional play used to catch Claudius, and Hamlet's play acting at being mad but also--Ophelia, Laertes, the Gravedigger, Horatio and Ophelia's lady in waiting, Anne, in on the plot. A whole new cast of inner play players.
The book is an easy read, I picked it up on my dinner break and finished it before going to bed. Enjoyable, probably more so for anyone who is rather more than less familiar with "Hamlet."