Review of “West Side Story” (1961)

West Side StoryG      Crime/Drama/Musical      MGM
Starring: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer …

A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang members falls in love with a rival’s sister and tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.


Musical Cinema Review by Audrey

Musicals are usually enjoyable. They over exaggerate situations and play on the stereotypes of life, adding humor and drama.  Obviously, this is not the case for every musical or play out there, but it is a good majority. The charm that musicals hold is irreplaceable and West Side Story captured this perfectly. Since it is based off of Romeo and Juliet, I was expecting the theatrics and over-the-top infatuations. I believe that the actors and actresses portrayed their characters and acted out these situations very well.. I can honestly see why this is such a high profile movie.

Throughout the movie, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Whether it be more witty comments or wanting the story to progress slightly faster, the movie was just not hitting the mark for me. Being such a famous musical, I was expecting it to be great and maybe a bit timeless. I was pretty surprised that it felt like just another musical that didn’t hold anything amazing and didn’t elevated it to another level. It was just another ‘good’ musical.  Now, I know that many others do not hold this opinion and do in fact put West Side Story on a pedestal. I believe that if I hadn’t gone into it expecting it to be on a level with other spectacular musicals, I would have enjoyed it a bit more.

As a lover of movies, one of the worst feelings is to feel distracted and check to see how much time is left. While watching West Side Story, I found myself doing this. When I check the time during a movie, I know that I am disengaged and just bored.  I had hoped not to be. Like I said, this is one of the worst feelings while watching a movie, and I hated that I felt this way while watching this movie musical.

Audrey’s Rating: 3/6

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“West Side Story” (1961)

West Side StoryG      Crime/Drama/Musical      MGM
Starring: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer …

A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang members falls in love with a rival’s sister and tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.


Musical Cinema Review by Wendy

When I was in Junior High (AKA-Middle School), my choir put on a production of the musical West Side Story. This story and the music have since been on a pedestal in my mind for over 25 years! (Holy Crow! That makes me feel old!)

While putting our new MuviBox_Logo Dark to use, Audrey and I watched this epic musical together. I was so excited to experience it again and this time with my teenage daughter! The prelude into the show made me feel nostalgic just listening to a compilation of the score. I was excited, I have remembered West Side Story as among one of my favorite musicals for so long!

As we were watching the movie I was struck with a few thoughts:

  • Why are these “gang members” referred to as kids? The actors all look to be in their 20’s some even approaching 30!
  • Why are they all so dirty? Audrey noticed this first, but after she brought it to my attention, I couldn’t get past it… Their clothes and faces are in serious need of washing! I understand it was probably meant to emphasize their poor and less fortunate status, but seriously, poor doesn’t = dirty.  I think adding some visibly worn clothing to the performer’s costumes would have gone a long way!
  • How is it possible for this movie made in 1961 to present ideas in such an outdated and cliché, almost crude depiction and yet over a half a century later, many of these controversial issues still have relevance today! These are major societal issues like…A ‘gang’ family replacing a blood relative family, questionable treatment by law enforcement, ethnic prejudices, all delinquents come from underprivileged and broken homes…the lyrics from “America” are sadly still applicable to some degree, today.  Through comedy and a catchy melody, this performance (my favorite song in the musical) presents opposing points of view, both persist to be valid, even now. For the most part, I believe over the past 50+ years as a whole, society has positively evolved our opinions and attitudes regarding prejudices and stereotypes. Unfortunately, I also see many instances where, as a society, we haven’t yet advanced far enough beyond these primitive beliefs.  Seeing West Side Story, a film that was originally released in 1961again in 2017,  has opened my eyes to this revelation.

It has been more than 25 years since I first fell in love with West Side Story and its amazing score.  After re-watching it I have realized that I still appreciate this story, although now for different reasons and I still consider this sensational soundtrack among my favorite musicals.  My rating was greatly influenced because analyzing this film has challenged me and because I love this musical score.

Wendy’s Rating 5/6

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Review of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye
Title:
The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J.D. Salinger
Series: N/A
Release Date: July 16, 1951
Pages: 214


BLURB:

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Classic Challenge – Book Review by Audrey

My first impression of this book was not a very good one. The famous rule of never judging a book by its cover is one that I did not put into use. I was not very excited to read it as it was assigned reading for school. I mean who ever gets excited about a book they have to read for school?  As I read, I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the book.

Although Holden was a high schooler full of sass and also a rule breaker, I related to him as he was struggling with inner demons. This is something all of us can relate to without having to say it out loud or shout it. We all have something that is a daily struggle for us, and for Holden it was a few different things. Salinger could not have created a better  main character for the story. On top of having Holden, minor characters pop up and every chapter introduces a new people that have shaped him to be the person he was. As the story progresses, I will admit, weird scenarios come up, making the story something quite unique.

At the beginning, you know that Holden is in a hospital of some kind, and the whole story is told leading up to why and how he is where he is. Clues are shouted throughout the book and his thoughts are not thoughts a typical person would hold. This only made me connect to The Catcher in the Rye even more.

I could talk for a while about this book because there were a lot of different emotions portrayed throughout, but I sadly cannot put all my thoughts into this review. All I can do is say that this book has impacted my life, mostly good but also in a way that can’t be explained but felt. I know that sounds cheesy but it is the truth.  I have discovered that these are the books that you strive to find in life.

Audrey’s Rating: 6/6

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Review of “Daredevil” TV Series

Daredevil TVTitle: Daredevil
Network: Netflix Original Series
First Aired: April 10, 2015-Season One
Status: 2016-Season Two, renewed for Season Three but will not air until after Marvel’s The Defenders is released on August 18, 2017.
Genre: Action, Superhero, Crime Drama


BLURB:

Matt Murdock, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a blind lawyer by day, and vigilante by night.

Current Crusades Review by Audrey

Walking into the darker side of the Marvel world, Daredevil depicts the ugly and gruesome city of Hell’s Kitchen. In this city, the rich feed off of the poor, but not everyone sees the bad and shady. Being a lawyer, Matt Murdock had hoped to shed some light of justice on his beloved city. The passion Matt has for his city is what makes him a great Daredevil and hero to Hell’s Kitchen.

While watching the show, I found that even though the beginning of episode one starts slower, it quickly speeds up and catches your attention. The bonds you start to feel with the main characters like Foggy, Karen and Matt are attachments that only strengthen as you continue to watch. Everyone knows that with amazing protagonists like these, villains of equal caliber have to hold up as well. Daredevil does not disappoint. On top of this, molding all of their other Marvel TV shows together is just another way that makes me love Daredevil even more.

The casting is another major appeal as the actors play their roles very well and bring out the emotion to their fullest. Even as new people are added, they still hold up the acting and make the show appealing and fun to watch. The enjoyment level I get from watching this show is pretty high, and I can’t wait for the new season to finally come one, whenever that is.

Audrey’s Rating 5:6

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Impressive Literary Parents/Guardians

Ten Most Impressive Literary Parents/Guardians

Parent Circus Monkeys

Codex by Wendy:
    1. Arthur and Molly Weasley – Parents of William, Charles, Percy, Fred & George, Ronald and Ginevra Weasley from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
      Magic-folk and Muggles, we all relate to this very endearing couple.  
    2. Kate Brown – Aunt of Audrey Marshall from The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davis
      Every girl needs an aunt like this! She becomes Audrey’s escape, safe-haven, support and friend.
    3. A tie between two different sets of royal parents…
      King Maxon and Queen America – Parents of Eadlyn Schreave from The Heir-Book 4 in the Selection Series by Kiera Cass
      Empress Rema and Emperor Darmik – Parents of Allyssa from Reign of Secrets Series by Jennifer Anne Davis
      After reading these (now parents) amazing stories, I feel a special connection to them and enjoy their parenting.  I love to read the “To Be Continued”… 
    4. Sam Riedel – “Adoptive” Father of Gabrielle Winters from Hope(less)-Book 1 of Judgement of the Six Series by Melissa Haag
      Sam is the epitome of what an ‘adoptive’ father should be.  He is Gabby’s rescuer, her protector and his love for her is pure.                                            
    5. Abby Johnston and Tommy Stevens – Parents of Keatyn Douglas from The Keatyn Chronicles by Jillian Dodd
      Famous movie star parents who are super cool, loving, not crazy, and don’t over-parent…Wow, who knew?…oh, wait…these are fictional characters.  
    6. Lilly Pierce – Mother of Jaques Pierce from The Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis
      L
      illy is a tender mom who is made relevant because she feels youthful.  She becomes more influential throughout the story, eventually becoming a heroine herself!
    7. Jocelyn Fray and Luke Garroway – Mother and Step-in Father of Clary Fairchild from The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
      In-spite of the deception, these two genuinely love and fiercely protect Clary.
    8. Mr. Bennett – Father of Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine and Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
      Mr Bennett is one of the few adults in this book with redeeming qualities and he is a master of sarcasm before it was ‘a thing’. 
    9. Carlisle and Esme Cullen – “Adoptive Parents” of Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper from The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
      I’m making a list of cool parents who fiercely protect their family…these two beautiful parents have got to be included!
    10. Grandma – 70 yr old, Asian grandmother of Maya Lindberg from All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang
      She feels so genuine and she may have some of the funniest lines ever! 

Parental Quote Believe

 

 

 

    Review of “Shadowhunters” TV Series

    Shadowhunters

    Title: Shadowhunters
    Network: Freeform

    First Aired: January 12, 2016-Season One
    Status: 2017-Season Two, renewed for 2018-Season Three
    Genre: Supernatural Drama, Action, Fantasy, Romance


    BLURB:

    Shadowhunters is an American supernatural drama television series, loosely based on the popular book series The Mortal Instruments written by Cassandra Clare.  The story follows Clary Fray who discovers a surprise concerning her life. The teenager is not who she thinks she is — she comes from a long line of human-angel hybrids, called Shadowhunters, who hunt demons.  Clary relies on fellow hunters Jace, Isabelle and Alec to help her navigate the dark world. While living in this new world among creatures like vampires, werewolves, fae and warlocks, Clary and her best friend Simon, who is also thrust into this dark world, work together to protect mundanes (humans) and down-worlders alike. 

    Current Crusades Review by Wendy

    When Audrey and I first learned there would be a new TV series based on Cassandra Clare’s world of The Mortal Instruments, we were pretty excited.  A little apprehensive because, the attempt to translate The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones into a box-office hit, didn’t exactly live up to expectations.  Like many other millions of fans, we fell in love with the Downworld Cassandra Clare created and the characters she conceived.  The Mortal Instruments is one of Audrey’s very favorite book series and The Infernal Devices is one of mine! We DVR’d the first episode and together watched it with skeptical eyes and hopeful hearts.

    Fortunately, the show actually delivered!  I think we had both lowered our expectations on what we would see, but after watching that first episode, we were pleasantly appeased.  The story line in the first season followed the book’s version for the most part, but not rigidly.  The producers, directors and actors of this series have managed to interpret the essence of each character and capture the spirit of the overall story.  As we are watching this second season, I am really engaged as unfamiliar situations develop.   While some events still emulate the original, I love that each episode is not just a mirror image of the book’s chapters unfolding.  I prefer the television series cast of Shadowhunters to that of the movie, City of Bones.   Don’t get me wrong, I fully recognize that the acting isn’t always stellar but I find myself invested in these characters and eager for each episode.  For me, the one exception is Magnus Bane.  Godfrey Gao, who portrayed Magnus in The Mortal Instruments movie, felt more believable to me as Magnus than Harry Shum Jr. who is Magnus in this TV series.  Harry Shum Jr. is okay as Magnus, but because I love the Magnus Bane Cassandra Clare created, I want to see him eloquently portrayed, with all the magic that IS Magnus Bane.  The brother/sister duo of Alec and Isabelle is so spot on!  This Jace and Clary were cast fittingly and even though I was initially timid about Alberto Rosende as Simon because I thought Robert Sheehan, who played Simon in the movie was close to perfect,  this new Simon has won me over too!  The onscreen chemistry of this TV cast as a whole seems to override any of my negatives.  Fingers crossed this series continues for many seasons to come.

    Wendy’s Rating: 4/6

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    Movie Review of “Pride and Prejudice” (2005)

    Pride & Prejudice Movie
    Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

    PG      Drama/Romance      Focus Features 
    Starring: Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Matthew Macfadyen…

    Classic Challenge Cluster: Cinema Review by Wendy

    After finally finishing the book, Pride and Prejudice, this movie was fun to watch.  I imagine if I would have watched the movie prior to reading the book, I would not have enjoyed it in the same way, or maybe not even much at all.  The version we watched from 2005, was very close to how I pictured scenes unfolding in the book.  Most of the movie cast fit well with how I interpreted each character from the book.  Donald Sutherland seemed a bit older than how I had pictured Mr. Bennett and no offense to Matthew Macfadyen, but I had depicted Mr. Darcy a bit more chiseled and maybe a little more…striking?  

    Clearly this film was well executed, using talented actors and actresses.  The characters were believable in conveying even subtle emotions usually saved for readers.  Other than a few omissions, and the scene where Elizabeth meets Georgiana Darcy, I didn’t notice many changes from the book.  I am glad we watched this movie, especially after reading the classic book.  A couple of months have passed since we read and watched Pride and Prejudice, the movie seems to have the same effect on me as the book. My opinion of both the book and film have improved as time passes.  I originally would have given this movie a 4/6 rating, but now as I recollect it, I am rating it a 5/6!  Next task is to watch Pride and Prejudice And Zombie’s and maybe the BBC America TV series…

    Wendy’s Rating: 5/6

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    Most Disappointing Book Series

    I think we have all had them…those books that seem to have so much potential.  They peak our interest, connect us with relatable characters, engage us in their lives, keep us  in anticipation, and then…fizzle out, wither the emotional bond that had felt so strong and then eventually leave us disenchanted and indifferent.  These are the Book Series that captured our attention, sucked us in and then just didn’t live up to that standard in the end. 

    Most Disappointing Book Series

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    By Wendy:
    By Audrey:


    1. The Marked Ones Trilogy by Kat Vancil   The Marked Ones Trilogy
      • From the beginning, the one-page Prologue intrigued me.  I quickly connected to each of the characters, comfortable with their sarcastic banter and easily visualized their world.  I found myself immersed in each situation through almost all three books.  In the last few chapters of the third book, one character just vanished! No one seemed disturbed by this at all!  The remaining characters each greedily took their happy ending and neglected to acknowledge the one missing!   I believe the author was supposed to continue the story in a new series, but I was so annoyed by this ending that I haven’t even thought about reading more.  
    2. Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson  Maximum Ride Series
      • I understand this is a popular series and James Patterson has topped Forbes’ list of highest paid authors… for many years! I just couldn’t continue reading this series.  I enjoyed it initially, but found myself annoyed with the story and eventually the characters too!  I understand the main characters are kids; I expect them to be juvenile (I am the mother of two boys and one girl, I have a pretty high tolerance for rambunctiousness).  As a reader, I want them to grow and evolve and not so they can find romance! I found myself angry at the manipulative adults and the atrocities they commit against these hybrid ‘kids’ and I lost interest.
      • The first book was a good start that left me wanting to read more.  As I continued to read this series, there was a lot less focus on the oigin of the hybrid kids and more focus on smaller, insignificant things like their love lives and bickering amongst each other. I found myself constantly hoping for the reminisiance of the first book to flow over and to make the other books more enjoyable to read. 
    3. Unenchanted Series by Chanda Hahn Unenchanted 1 Fairest 2 Fable 3 Reign 4 Forever 5
      • The first book was mostly fun and interesting.  I was only mildly annoyed with the lead protagonist, Maya.  By the time I was a few chapters into the second book however,  I personally couldn’t get past Maya’s immaturity.  Her decisions and thought processes drove me crazy!  Again, I understand she is young, but as a young lady, learning to navigate these incredibly dangerous situations and ideas, shouldn’t she be able to learn from her unique experiences?
      • I was not so bothered by the immaturity of the main character, Mya as my mom was. Though, her naivety left holes and troubling situations throuout the story. With trust issues, Mya was constantly switching sides, muddling up good relationships that would actually help her. One of the most difficult things to get through was her lack of a thought process. Running in head first with no understanding of the consequences of her actions. 
    4. River in Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren River in Time 1 River in Time 2 River in Time 3-4 River in Time 5
      • This one breaks my heart to include on this list, but I can’t deny the disappointment I felt in how this incredible series wrapped up.  I absolutely loved the people in this book, especially sisters Gabi and Lia!  Lisa T. Bergren describes historical Italy in a completely relatable way.  About 3/4 way through Deluge, the final book, I became frustrated with multiple characters. It felt like the story was condensed and maybe even altered in order to squish in the conclusion by the last page. Why??? It was easily one of my favorite series until that point.  
      • These books were easily one of my favorite series. I read the first book in a night, quickly transitioning into the second. This well told story sucked me in instantly and didn’t let go the entire way…that is until the end. The last book Deluge started out strong like the rest, but around the end, felt rushed. Finishing the series was not rewarding as my favorite character Gabby, was no longer a major role. On top of this, situations altered the other characters’ actions, which would be okay but they were no longer remotley the same person as before. 
    5. Kihanna in College of the Kihanna Saga by Mercy Amare The College Life I'm Over It 
      • I didn’t immediately connect to these characters or the writing, but as I continued to read, I found I wanted more and more of Kihanna’s life and her story.  I guess I wanted a lot more, because I read all seven books in this series! My disappointment comes because the author quit writing Kihanna’s saga. Her blog states that she may re-write some of her books by removing bad language and content while keeping the same basic story with a more Christian view.   September, 2015, was the last time her blog was updated, so not really sure where she is with the process…
    6. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass Crown of Midnight Heir of Fire Queen of Shadows Empire of Storms
      • This series was beautiful at the beginning. The main protagonist was relatable and the storyline gripped my attention, sucking me in. Sadly, when the scond book hit, this amazing and strong leading character changed within a drop of a dime, leaving me baffled. I tried so hard to power through it, but even I, the person who begrudgenly pushed through the Maximum Ride Series could not push through this hump to finish reading the series. 

     

    Review of “Black and Green- The Academy, Ghost Bird Series” by C.L. Stone

    Black and Green
    Title:
    Black and Green 
    Author: C.L. Stone
    Series: The Academy – Ghost Bird Series
    Release Date: June 20, 2017
    Pages: 435


    BLURB:

    Sang Sorenson’s father abandoned her and her sister, leaving them to fend for themselves for months. He’s returned, and finds Sang is missing. He demands she return. Right now.  Her Academy team doesn’t want to risk losing her ghost status and she doesn’t want to put them in danger, so she reluctantly returns home, but is comforted that she will still be monitored by them.  But the second she opens the door, she discovers her father has made changes that will affect her entire future. His decisions will make them a normal family.  Normal is no longer what Sang wants. It would kill her Academy career before it ever started. Not to mention it would end the special, new, and still-fragile relationships with the guys.  Sang struggles with her family, her identity, and where she truly belongs. Now that the entire team knows about their romantic relationships with her, tensions are mounting, tearing the team apart from the inside.  Only, Dr. Green isn’t going to lie down and roll over by playing by the rules. Not anymore. Not while Sang is at risk.  His heart can’t take leaving her in that house one more minute. He needs her. They all do.  

    Chronicle Review by Wendy

    This is the first review I am writing of this book series, although it is the 11th book in this saga.  Eventually, I would like to write a review for each of these books (yeah, okay…let’s just say it’s been added to my ‘To-Do’ List).   

    I love this story! The characters in this series are relatable, each having flaws and strengths. Sang is one of my favorite protagonists. Even though I am fortunate in never enduring a fraction of the abuse she has suffered, I strongly connect with her thought processes and understand her actions  This book picks up exactly where the previous book left off (The Academy – First Kiss).  C.L. Stone does an excellent job of making seamless transitions from one book to the next.  Each book is a continuation in the story line. At times I feel like the story timeline is moving too slow.  This is probably because the events in each individual book seem to happen over a period of days or weeks compared to the reality of waiting for the next book release, which covers so many more months!

    Black and Green goes more in depth into the up-bringing of the adorable Dr. Sean Green.  Until this point, only little snippets of his back-story were revealed. In this book, Dr. Sean finally crossed the invisible line that has separated Mr. Blackbourne and Dr. Green from the rest of the family.  For multiple reasons, Dr. Green will understandably still have to keep one foot on the other side of that invisible line, but I am so glad that his character feels like a more integrated part of this Academy family.

    This book series has a lot of characters to keep straight, but C.L. Stone somehow introduced two new characters and made them an exciting and unexpected addition to this story.  We meet another imposing mother-figure for Sang to assess and be tortured by (Oh, sorry, I mean deal with), fortunately this time she has the help of her new-found Academy family for support.   Jimmy turned out to be completely opposite of my expectations when he was first introduced.  I was surprised by his refreshingly non-cliché personality and actions.  I also appreciate how C.L. Stone resurrects characters who have taken a bit of leave of absence. 

    Just as each of the other books in this series has ended, Black and Green’s conclusion leaves me anticipating the next installment of this intricately woven story with it’s endearing characters.  The Academy-The Ghost Bird Series-Love’s Cruel Redemption, book 12, is “coming soon”.  Here’s to hoping that doesn’t mean an entire year from now!  

     

    Wendy’s Rating: 5/6

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    Review of “Sold to Him” by Wattpad Author nightimeshadows

    Sold to Him

    Title: Sold To Him
    Author: Wattpad Author – nightimeshadows
    Series: N/A
    Status: Ongoing
    Parts: 46+
    Genre: Romance

     


    BLURB:

    Daren Night is ruthless, cruel; one of the most feared men in the world, but he has always been intrigued by the idea of having someone of his own. Someone he could take care of and love. Someone he could show a different side of him to. Someone who would love him endlessly.  He’s had his eye on one girl in particular. A girl who has been broken beyond extent and torn to pieces by her drug addicted mother, who owes him for all of the drugs she’s taken from him without pay.  Due to this, he’s found a perfect time to get what’s his. He’s given the mom a chance to pay him back by something other than money: by giving him her daughter…

    Wattpad Review by Audrey

    I wanted to read this book since I was and still am currently have troubles with one of my own stories. I am constantly trying to find and scour Wattpad for anything to help me with character development and themes. Starting this book, I was fairly excited. Not only was the primary character the author chose to write out of a male, but the topics of abuse both mentally and physically I thought would really help me and shed light on how I can write some of my own scenarios.

    Sold to Him, without a doubt, was way different than I was expecting it to be. Right off of the bat, the beginning left me startled and confused. The emotions the main character, Daren, was feeling, although human, baffled me as he claimed that he “loved” Aria, the main female lead. Going back to my memory of Romeo and Juliet, this fast startling proclamations left me a little angry. Daren had not even talked to Aria before saying this. On top of this, Daren was meant to be a gang leader, and even though I respect the author’s choice of not making him the typical gang leader, I felt that he was too emotional. I found contradictions like this throughout the book. He would think one thing, but act on a completely different instinct.

    Like stated before, I was excited that a male was the lead since most stories are written out of a female’s point of view. Though, as I read, I couldn’t help but feel that Daren was closer related to how a girl would be portrayed. I wasn’t expecting the book to be void of emotion, or be all about women, but I would have liked to see a more true representation of how a man thinks. Having two older brothers, I am not lost on how they think either.

    I know this review can be looked at as harsh, but not every book you read is a grade A book. I commend nightimeshadows for writing her story, it takes guts. You have to take all Wattpad books with a grain of salt since nothing is a final draft, but the grammar and sentence structure was not distracting and it was one of the things that the author did a pretty good job with.

    Audrey’s Rating: 2/6

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    REVIEW OF “ILLEGAL MY ASS” BY WATTPAD AUTHOR MAKEANDOFFER

    Illegal My Ass

    Title: Illegal My Ass
    Author: Wattpad Author – makeandoffer
    Status: Completed
    Parts: 52
    Genre: Humor


    BLURB:
    Mia Hastings was never one to follow the rules.  Her brother knew it, her best friend knew it. Everyone knew it. She lives for the moment, doing whatever she feels and thinking of the consequences later. Her main goal in life is to live it.

    Mia’s brother’s best friend Drake O’Connell was never big on rules.  The judge who sentences him to 2 years in prison knew it.  He is known for being the badboy, partying and womanising. His charm, good looks and obnoxious behaviour made his life pretty easy and his main goal in it was to have fun. He had lost 2 years of his life locked up, so he was determined to make up for lost time.

    So when these two people are thrown together, both without a care in the world, issues of their own and more secrets than an episode of Pretty Little Liars, you can expect a story full of laughs, tears, arguments and felonies.  They might be breaking the law, but both Mia and Drake are about to find out that when it feels wrong, it is ALWAYS more fun

    Wattpad Review by Audrey:

    Illegal My Ass was funny from the start, straight to the finish. Living up to it’s Humor genre, I found myself laughing at the comments the characters would make throughout the story. Although the humor was crude, it is what made the story, and I am a person never to stray away from crudeness. I have read more from makeandoffer and her style is not limited to this one book.

    I commend the author for her use of characters. Often you will find that with many people being introduced, it gets confusing and you wish for a more simple cast. Even though Illegal My Ass had a lot of characters and parts within it, I was able to keep the people straight, only mixing things up every now and then. Throughout the book, I noticed that most of the characters were moderately the same. Drunk teenagers that were living their life to the fullest.

    The situations these characters encountered were all over the place, but in a good way. Sometimes it felt like there was no major conflict, but as the story progressed, the outcome became clearer and clearer. Because of these situations, your liking for the characters was strengthened, but not to the point of loving them like you do with your favorite novels.

    As I said earlier, makeandoffer is a very talented writer that brings life to her books by using wit and humor. Very wisely is I may add. Illegal My Ass is not my favorite book that I’ve read on Wattpad, but it is definitely going onto one of my Reading Lists.

     

    Audrey’s Rating: 4/6

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    Review of “Cage of Darkness” by Jennifer Anne Davis

    Cage of DarknessTitle: Cage of Darkness
    Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
    Series: Reign of Secrets (Book 2)
    Release Date: April 4, 2017
    Pages: 219

    Blurb:
    While traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar are hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything.  Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar.  In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive.

    Chronicle Review by Audrey

    Allyssa is a girl of quick wit and an uncontrollable mouth. Being caught in a situation where she must only rely on her wit and inner strength to guide her as she is caught in enemy territory. Being alone with no one to trust, Allyssa has to face all of her fears, some that she didn’t even know that she had. Adding in a new alliance with a possible friend, Allyssa is in the middle of a family affair that may end her life.

    Once again, Jennifer Anne Davis didn’t disappoint. Cage of Darkness is a book that once you start you cannot put it down. I know this personally as I finished it in one day, start to finish. I can not tell you how many times I chanted in my head for something to happen, or for one of the characters to achieve their goal. Of course, a book would not be a good book without some twists and turns throughout. Adding in the element of a new alliance with a prince, my mind started to root for a new outcome as my alliances changed (this does not happen very often to me).

    I am a sucker for adding in the beloved characters from the previous series (True Reign). This adds in a feeling of home and comfort that books like these need throughout. The ending especially! The cliffhanger end made me smile, laugh, and have to breathe in and out a couple of times. I am anxiously waiting for the third book coming out later this year!

     

    Audrey’s Rating: 6/6

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