Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George | Review + Giveaway

Title: Speak Easy, Speak Love

Author: McKelle George

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 12, 2017

“The line between like and dislike is almost invisible when attraction is involved.”

Massive thank yous to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this tour, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the tour for this amazing book!


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.


This was such a fun book. It was glitzy and charming and had all the whimsy you would hope for from a 1920s Shakespeare-inspired retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. With strong personalities and insane chemistry, this story captivates you from the first page. Speak Easy, Speak Love follows the lives of 6 teens in the summer of 1920s New York as their lives converge in the rundown and past-its-prime Hey Nonny Nonny mansion, with it’s own struggling speakeasy. The group spends their summer trying to save the speakeasy and wonderfully misguided misadventures ensue.

Things I Liked 
I really loved all of the characters in the story! They all have such strong personalities, and are clearly distinct individuals. I thought the story was incredibly well-balanced for having such a large main cast of characters. I really loved Beatrice – she was so inspiring!

Along with the fantastic characters, the relationships in the story were so dynamic and vibrant! I love that the story focused on romantic AND platonic relationships. Yes we get amazing flirting and witty banter, but we also have wonderful friendships and found families too. And all of the relationships feel genuine, they have history to them.

I love that we get to see characters confront the less glamorous side of the time period. We get to see how the characters confront racism, classism, and sexism in their lives. It created an earnestness and honesty to the story that was great in the midst of the glitz and glamour.

One of my favorite parts of the story was definitely the setting. Hey Nonny Nonny was an inspiring location! It was a home for the misfits and the downtrodden, and really became a character all on it’s own.

Things I Didn’t Like 
Hero fell out of favor with me a bit in the last half of the story. I just started to like her a little less. I also felt like the other characters pandered to her a bit, even through all of the misunderstandings.

This was such a bright and happy read. I had such a fantastic time. This might just cement the 1920s as my favorite historical time period to read. And I always love a retelling! Speak Easy Speak Love has all the shine of the 1920s to captivate you – the energetic characters and the lively setting all create a rich world you want to be a part of!


About the Author


McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and reference librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.

Check her out on Twitter @McKelleGeorge or her website: http://mckellegeorge.com


The Giveaway includes:

  • 1 ARC of SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE by McKelle George
  • Pre-order swag including:
  • 1 SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE bookmark
  • 1 signed SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE bookplate
  • 1 signed SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE postcard
  • The full set of SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE character cards


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Click HERE to enter the giveaway!


Make sure you follow along with the rest of the tour schedule to see more about this hilariously engaging books from some amazing bloggers!

Click HERE to check out the rest of the tour!


Don’t forget to grab you copy of this awesome read!
I received a copy of the book from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from an ARC and are subject to change.

5 thoughts on “Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George | Review + Giveaway

  1. thecursedbooks says:

    Great review, the book sounds very interesting (especially how the characters are seen struggling and fighting against racism, sexism and classism, that’s always a great thing to see in books). Definitely goes on my TBR! Also, thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

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