Book Reviews

Review: That Way Madness Lies edited by Dahlia Adler

A Shakespeare anthology of re-tellings from some of my favorite authors ever?! I needed a copy of That Way Madness Lies the moment I heard about it. Then that gorgeous cover appeared on my feed and I was hooked. What I love about this anthology is, not only how unique it is, but how it captures this essence of what draws people to Shakespeare. Keep reading this book review to see my full thoughts.


West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings!

Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (All’s Well That Ends Well), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: sexism, anti-semitism

That Way Madness Lies captures this essence of what hooks people about Shakespeare, while also acknowledging the problematic elements. It embodies new angles and ways to re-imagine a canon. Packed with authors I loved, this anthology allowed me not only to re-visit favorites – like Anna-Marie McLemore – but also new authors like Patrice Caldwell. While not every story was a hit run with me, which is extremely difficult for an anthology, the ones I loved, I adored.

Some of the stories felt like they didn’t have enough space to expand, to grow into part of why some of the originals resonate with readers. At the same time, I enjoyed the ways authors captured a moment from the story. Looked at different characters and moments within the originals. Some stand outs from this anthology had to be from Dahlia Adler, Lindsay Smith, Joy McCullough, and Patrice Caldwell. That Way Madness Lies is a abulous anthology from anyone with favorite authors inside or wants to see Shakespeare shook.

Find That Way Madness Lies on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite writer you’d want an anthology for all their stories?

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