The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen – ARC Review & Dreamcast

Book Info:

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ+ Contemporary

Publishing Date: September 22, 2020


Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she’s crushing on Charlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as “Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster.” Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she’s going to survive the year. She’ll also have to grapple with what it means to be “out” and what she might be willing to give up for love.

ARC Review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alison’s goal is to be the valedictorian this year and she doesn’t want to stray from her goal. Sadly, she ends up becoming a producer in the school play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and her hands are full. Apart from the play, Alison is getting to know Charlotte and she doesn’t know if her interest is mutual or not.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It’s a YA contemporary and our heroine is homosexual and out to her friends and family, yet there’s a really good question concerning what out means to her and in general. Especially with her concerns regarding her attraction to Charlotte and wondering if she knows she’s attracted to girls and not boys or later on if she would be okay to be publicly dating another girl. I enjoyed the variety of characters and I loved all the secondary characters and how some of their stories also gave depth to the story.

I liked the character development of our heroine, but I wish that it would have happened a bit earlier in the story. She could be a better friend, sister, girlfriend. I needed to see more of that. We learn from our mistakes and she’s a young one, but I just needed to see more of her better version or at least after the mess she had made to try and make better amends and show that she’s learnt from her mistakes somehow. Also, the ending felt slightly rushed, but other than that, it was an amazing read.

It was cute and funny and I definitely recommend it!

View all my reviews


I’m not sure if I pictured them correctly to be honest, I just tried to find some actors / actresses that fit the description. I loved the diversity in these characters and I think that the whole cast of characters deserves a collage. But for now, this is how I imagined these characters – well, more or less – Alison definitely was more brunette than Emma in this picture 😉

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Barnes and Noble:

Book Depository:


About the Author:

Dani Jansen is a teacher and writer who lives in Montreal. She should probably be embarrassed to admit that she has performed as part of her school’s Glee Club for eight years. She should probably also be ashamed to tell people that she named her cats after punctuation symbols (Ampersand and Em-Dash, in case you’re curious).

Author Links:




Tour Schedule:

Giveaway (US/Canada Only):

Two Finished Copies of The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life. The giveaway ends on September 15th.

Embedded Link: <a class=”rcptr” href=”; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”fc15a5955″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_tw0ba8a7″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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