From Goodreads, because I’m lazy, and it sums up the book nicely:
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 is kicked out of boarding-school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate in 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 may be quietly orchestrating in the background.
Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm.
In the end notes of this novel, McKelle George refers to Much Ado About Nothing as Shakespeare’s most romantic play. I don’t think she’s wrong, and despite Hero being rather a drip in the play (and the way her storyline resolves isn’t really romantic at all – she should have told Claudio where to stuff it), but the banter between Beatrice and Benedick is solid gold and one of the best examples of enemies to lovers I can think of. Back in December 2016, I read a modern YA adaptation of the play, The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You, which I liked a lot. When I saw this reviewed on Forever Young Adult, I was intrigued (1920s America is a time period I really don’t know all that much about). What I can tell you (having read the end notes and seen the bibliography at the back of the book), Ms George seems to have really done her research before writing the novel.
Full review on my blog.