Review: McKelle George – Speak Easy, Speak Love

I was sent a digital ARC of this book through Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. It’ll be released on September 19th, so check it out!


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. Set during the era of Prohibition in the glamourous 1920s, this uproarious battle of wits is Bright Young Things meets Anna and the French Kiss.

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.


A retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, set in the Roaring Twenties? This book caught my attention the moment I read the description. I haven’t read the Shakespeare play, but I do have a thing for retellings. And I love any story set in the ’20s, it’s such a fascinating decade.

It took me a few chapters to wrap my brain around the story, but once I did, this proved to be such a cute read. Beatrice is a really bad-ass character, who knows how to stand up for herself in a time where women weren’t expected to, to say the least. This book touched on a lot of subjects that were important for the time and age, but mostly, it was a story about friendship and romance. The characters were all full-bodied, even if they didn’t have the biggest roles, and the six most important characters were all loveable in their own way.


Do I want more YA set in the past? YES PLEASE! Especially this decade is really interesting!


3 thoughts on “Review: McKelle George – Speak Easy, Speak Love

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  1. I hadn’t heard of this book before, but your review made me really curious. This is definetly a book I would like, I am also a fan of (Shakespeare) retellings! One more book on my growing TBR, haha.


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