Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

OMG Shakespeare

srsly Hamlet

Rate this book
Hamlet, one of the greatest stories ever told . . . in texts?!
What if Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and the tragic Ophelia had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!
A kingdom on the brink of war.
A stolen throne.
A boy seeking revenge.
<3 and h8 . The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)
tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

128 pages, Hardcover

First published May 26, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Courtney Carbone

165 books20 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
249 (27%)
4 stars
306 (34%)
3 stars
244 (27%)
2 stars
62 (6%)
1 star
29 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 232 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,863 followers
September 13, 2015
This is not as good as YOLO Juliet. Perhaps because Hamlet is a much more violent play, or because Romeo and Juliet dealt with teenagers, so that construct of telling the play through texting made more sense... or something.

But this was much worse than YOLO Juliet. I only laughed twice. Once when

HAMLET: Mom. Look at this pic. Look @ Dad. Look how royal and regal he is. He LOOKS like a true king because HE IS A TRUE KING. This was your husband.

GERTRUDE: Aw. I loved that outfit.

HAMLET: Now look @ Claudius. See how many filters he uses? You can't honestly tell me you're attracted to him!

This is complete with pictures and it was pretty funny. The only other thing that made me laugh was

To Do:
1.) Have the King of England kill Hamlet.
2.) Upload more selfies on throne. Hmmm. Light day.

But overall this wasn't very funny.

However, I think the book still has merit. It gets the play across to the reader in a clear, straightforward and simple way (if you understand icons and text speak - there IS a text dictionary in the book if you need help). I didn't think this was as good or funny as YOLO Juliet, but it would still be a way to get people interested in Shakespeare and/or help them understand the play better if they have to read it for a class. I think this series is a good idea, generally speaking.
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah .
717 reviews479 followers
May 3, 2019
As a hardcore Shakespeare fan, this was so fun and entertaining. It made me laugh, it made me smile and it definitely was a good way for me to revisit one of my favourite plays.

What I liked:
- I really enjoyed how they played around with the different group chats, notes, status updates, etc.
- It was so funny how they decided to do some things and just to see the characters interact like this. - All the emojis :D
- It made me laugh and honestly, I need more funny books in my life.

What I didn't like:
- Sometimes I wondered why they were texting? When they could've been talking? Sometimes it made sense as the characters were on the way somewhere, or not in each other's presences. But sometimes they seemed to be and it didn't make sense for them to be texting in that moment when no explanation was given as to why they decided to instead...
- Sometimes the emoji use was overdone. No one really texts emojis instead of words ;.; But okay, I can suspend my disbelief a bit because this was TOO ENTERTAINING

In conclusion:
Yeah, I am so going to be getting the rest of these. :)
Profile Image for Licha.
732 reviews104 followers
August 31, 2015
This may have been worse than YOLO Juliet. As bad as YOLO was, the characters in the book were teenagers, so the emoji/text/facebook/tweet/etc. format of the book made sense. This book made the tragicness of Hamlet seem laughable.

I read Hamlet years ago when I was in college and can't remember much about it. I didn't realize what a death fest this story was. Everyone is dying back and forth in this book.

These were my daughter's books. I hope she doesn't bring anymore home. It's kind of like bad pizza. You know it's going to be bad, but yet you can't resist eating at least one slice.
Profile Image for Renata.
2,505 reviews337 followers
September 29, 2015
When these were announced I saw some hand-wringing about Kids These Days, Ruining Shakespeare, Blah Blah Blah. I'm here to say: this was hilarious.

also after I ordered it for the library's collection I did, in fact, burn all of our OG Shakespeare plays because these are all we need.

(j/k obv. but these would be really fun in a classroom to go along with reading the actual Shakespeare. They're probably not nearly as funny if you're not familiar with the originals.)
Profile Image for Meredith .
251 reviews146 followers
June 3, 2015
I’ve always been fascinated by Shakespeare’s plays. But, like many, I find them confusing and hard to understand. I’ve taken classes on Shakespeare, purchased “Shakespeare for Dummies,” Googled translations and even watched the movies. But I still have a hard time grasping the language. srsly Hamlet broke the play down into its most basic elements, making it less confusing and highly entertaining.

When I first went to read srsly Hamlet, I felt a little overwhelmed; I remembered a lot of Romeo & Juliet, but not a lot of Hamlet. Mostly, I had some trouble remembering all the different characters, so I was grateful for the character descriptions in the beginning of the book. I definitely had to reference that a few times! But once I got into the book, I sped through it in roughly an hour and a half. For some reason, I was even more entertained by srsly Hamlet than I was by YOLO Juliet. While YOLO Juliet was great, I found myself laughing out loud at srsly Hamlet. Shakespeare characters cursing autocorrect? Too funny for words! Breaking down these famous, epic monologues into notes with emojis? Epic and hilarious! Apparently, emoji’s turn a tragedy into a comedy!

Like with YOLO Juliet, srly Hamlet took something complex and broke it down into an easy-to-understand language that teens today will be able to connect with. It made Hamlet fun (and hilarious) to read, even with the tragic events that take place in the play. I LOL’d (see what I did there?!?) more times during srsly Hamlet than I can count! My brother teaches English and he definitely wants to add these to his classroom library – something I think every teacher should do!

So, whether you want to learn Shakespeare or teach Shakespeare, I highly recommend this book. You’ll never view Hamlet in the same way, ever again! And you’ll enjoy reading it!

You can also find more from me on my blog: Pandora's Books
Profile Image for Michael Kress.
Author 1 book11 followers
December 23, 2019
I was in the middle of reading Hamlet, and I saw this book on sale for $2.97 at BAM!, so I had to get it. It's a great novelty item, and I even used it as a fun way of revisiting the story to see what I missed after reading the (No Fear) Hamlet. There are some funny moments, and this part was hilarious:

But the novelty soon wore off and the joke didn't stay funny as the story progressed. The back cover of the book says "Hamlet just got a lot more interesting." This is probably a joke too, but in case you take it srsly, the other Hamlet is pretty darn interesting. Another small gripe I have is the excessive use of emojis. It wouldn't be what it is without those, but most texters I know don't use them THAT much, amirite? I give it 2.5 stars, which is good. (A 2 star rating on my scale is good.) Idk, it seems sacrilegious to give this a super-high rating compared to all the classical literature out there lol

Update 12/22/19: I'm actually just now finishing this and I'm gonna go ahead and bump it up to 3 stars. It was a kool refresher since I had finished reading the No Fear version a few months earlier. Ophelia's exclusive use of emojis after she went crazy was really neat-o. Now that I'm familiar with the No Fear and srsly versions of Hamlet, I'll probably give Shakespeare's original version a shot in 2020.
Profile Image for Ursula Uriarte.
194 reviews251 followers
May 22, 2015
This was soooooooo much fun! A super fun idea, and plain hilarious! I will have a review with my thoughts on this and YOLO Juliet with a picture feature both on my Instagram and the blog :)
Profile Image for Rachel.
57 reviews16 followers
June 21, 2015
I didn't enjoy Hamlet when I read it in high school, but I did enjoy this retelling! I wish these books were around when I was in high school.
Profile Image for Tawney .
144 reviews16 followers
May 22, 2015
These were hilarious books! Now Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet aren’t really comedies. They’re dramas, which may be the reason a lot of teens find them boring. The language can be foreign and drawn out. Sure it was understandable back then but in our present moment it has kids scratching their heads, wondering what the hell is going on.

In comes OMG Shakespeare series. A modern take of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet with text messages. In a world where most people prefer texting as communication, these books come at a perfect time. I think kids of all ages can read these books and enjoy them! The emojis are perfectly placed throughout the play adding some humor to such dreary stories. The story makes sense. I'm sure even Shakespeare would be proud!

Should you read it? Yes! A fun take on classics that any kid or adult would enjoy. And what's even greater? It's a quick read. No more looking up on Google the meaning of each scene. Just sit back and laugh.
Profile Image for Sara.
415 reviews
January 9, 2016
3.65 Stars

A funny, more modern of Shakespeare's classic: The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Told in the form of smartphones with plenty of emoticons, making it a story anyone can understand. I really enjoyed it and it made me laugh, uncontrollably at one point. The emoticons kept it intriguing but were sometimes hard to decipher along with some text speak ( luckily there was a glossary at the end for both but some were still unexplained and baffling. It also got a little annoying at time. But I have to say I couldn't put it down, I turned the pages feverishly desperate to know more ( and see what happens next even though I already know the story). I probably could have finished it sooner, say in like 2 hours if I read more of it. It was pretty true to the original tale. This version of it also missed out on a few things as did so many of the simplified or modernised versions of classics.
Profile Image for M.
675 reviews31 followers
June 25, 2015
I feel about this the way I feel about the TTYL series and the TweetHeart book. It's absolutely wonderful.

I don't like Shakespeare. I never have. I never will. I found his plays boring and the old-timey language is a snooze cruise for me. I hated being forced to read them in HS because I got nothing out of them.

But I seriously just sat down and read this whole stupidly awesome thing in like, a minute. It reminded me of those old puzzle phrases my mom used to make for us when we were kids, and it made me feel all warm and happy inside.

But mostly I'm totally into the gimmick and I love it and I hope this becomes A Thing. Next up: Pride and Prejudice. Maybe emojis can make THAT stuff tolerable for me, too.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,073 reviews92 followers
May 18, 2015
These were both hilarious and so much fun to read! Even my 10 year old enjoyed them. For me, reading and understanding Shakespeare has always felt like trying to read and understand a foreign language. What these two books offer is a fresh, fun and modern take on the classics. I can't wait to share them!
Profile Image for Micah.
29 reviews21 followers
July 1, 2015
I thought it was a fun spin on Hamlet I can tell you it was a lot easier to read that's the real hamlet but I liked it and can't wait to read Yolo Juliet
Profile Image for Completely Melanie.
579 reviews380 followers
February 11, 2018
I love these books so freaking much! They are so funny yet they still manage to get the actual story across. I totally want all of these books!
Profile Image for Faye.
246 reviews
December 26, 2021
My mom got me this for Christmas as (mostly) a joke, but I found it HILARIOUS and loved every second of it.
Profile Image for Barbara.
13.1k reviews271 followers
May 14, 2015
Although purists will certainly prefer the Bard's work in a less technical format, middle grade and high school readers will be amused by this account of Hamlet. Told through emojis and abbreviations used frequently when texting, the play moves swiftly through its various complications and angsty moments to its conclusion, with Fortinbras reflecting on Hamlet as "a good egg, scrambled but good" (p. 101). There are even "likes" and thumbs up for posts as well as a cheat sheet in the back for those who don't know what "srsly" or "SMH" stand for. Ah, the joys of Shakespeare in this much-abbreviated version! Do I love it for me? OMG, WTF! Of course not, but I would certainly suggest this one to my students who find Shakespeare heavy going. The author even manages to capture Ophelia's madness and Hamlet's confusing behavior perfectly here. Be sure to read this if you're an English teacher; if nothing else, you'll find out what you've been missing out on and discover some new uses for your Smartphone.
Profile Image for Blue Book Corner.
118 reviews
July 22, 2015
I have about the same thing to say about this as I said about "YOLO Juliet". Lacks authenticity, contains distracting emojis, and doesn't capture the true essence of the original. Not bad if you're looking for a quick lighthearted read, but I think it detracts from the story. If you want a better version, there are several sections dedicated to Hamlet in "Texts from Jane Eyre", along with a good portion of other classics, and I think it's a much better read.
Profile Image for Far.
201 reviews
July 10, 2015
I picked this book up expecting a good laugh, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. There are just emojis thrown in to replace words, and I don't think the kids talk like this... I cringed at every page, and feel that youth will be even more turned off by Shakespeare after reading this, which is unfortunate. I definitely prefer the original because this makes it look like a laughingstock. :(
1 review
June 15, 2015
In a word: Lovely.

This book is extremely witty and hilarious. It really gives you a lot of the plot line. However, you probably should read the real Hamlet, because it's beautiful. :0
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 109 books537 followers
May 31, 2019
I continue to be amused by the series. Each book transforms a Shakespearan play into very modern form through text messages and social media posts. The pages even reflect this format. It works surprisingly well--the gist comes across, and it's outright funny. This book on Hamlet is no exception.
Profile Image for Hannah.
657 reviews48 followers
December 19, 2017
This has mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I found it absolutely hilarious right after reading the original! And I learned a few more texting acronyms, so this is a win for relating to teenagers! 😆 Actually, I think this would be a good tool for introducing Hamlet to modern kids and teens. There’s a lot of depth you don’t get, of course, but afterwards they could read Shakespeare’s text and understand it better!
Profile Image for Undomiel Books.
1,076 reviews27 followers
May 2, 2021
This was a really quick read that I borrowed on a whim from my library's eBook collection as I wanted a book I could finish in one day before starting a weeklong readathon tomorrow. It was funny and entertaining, but not amazing enough that I'd reach to read the other book in the series. However it made for an entertaining quick 40 minute read.
Profile Image for Jenn.
896 reviews6 followers
May 16, 2020
I enjoyed it. It was a silly, fast way to read a Shakespeare play. My only gripe there weren’t autocorrect fails! It’s a rite of passage in the texting world. Lol
Displaying 1 - 30 of 232 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.