Sentenced to Shakespeare
by Iris Dorbian
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: July 19th 2019
“Sentenced to Shakespeare” is a contemporary young adult novel set in suburban New Jersey. The story revolves around Leah, a smart and sensitive 15-year-old girl who is pushed too far by a bully and snaps. Arrested for assault and battery, Leah is sentenced to an unusual form of rehabilitation—she must take and complete a Shakespeare workshop or else risk incarceration. Ostracized by her classmates, abandoned by her only friend, Leah finds comfort and solidarity with the other juvenile offenders in this same program, with one offering her something she’s never experienced before—love.
Excerpt from “Sentenced to Shakespeare”
Then, there were the prank phone calls: the stupid breathing, the hang-ups, and the taunting texts, each a deeper stab in the heart.
“Hey, hottie! How many boyfriends do you have?”
“Don’t you vomit when you look at yourself in a mirror?”
“You really are a joke. I’d kill myself if I were you.”
It got to a point where Leah couldn’t cry anymore. Either her tear ducts were worn out from crying so much or she was numb. And, even if she did cry, that would only make Dede and her followers ridicule her even more.
Sometimes, if the weather was permitting, Leah would hide near the local VFW hall rather than go to school, which was within walking distance to her house. It was safe to play truant there as usually, no one was around on the weekdays. Within the bowels of a staircase that’d slope into the subterranean entrance of the building, she’d seek refuge. Her legs splayed out on the concrete, Leah would huddle in the corner, staring at her watch, waiting for each minute to pass into the oblivion of another minute until she knew her parents were out of the house and on their way to work. Then she’d return to the safety of her home, away from Dede and the harassment. Free and happy.
About the Author
Iris Dorbian is a business journalist/blogger who has covered a wide range of sectors that include small business, media, private equity/venture capital and theater/the arts. Among the outlets she’s written for are Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Buyouts, Venture Capital Journal, Investopedia, DMNews, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Media Industry Newsletter, PRNews and Stage Directions (where she served as editor-in-chief for eight years). She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater,” published by Allworth Press/Skyhorse Publishing in August 2008. Her personal essays and short stories have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Gothesque Magazine and Jewish Literary Journal. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.