Blogs / Life, Book Reviews, Review, Reviews

Now Offering: Book Reviews

After getting some wonderful and insightful feedback from you amazing bloggers, I have decided to go forward with offering book reviews for up-and-coming authors.

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Do You Want a Book Review of Your Debut Novel?

  • If you are a first-time author or beginning author, I would love to read your published works and give an honest review.
  • This offer is primarily available for your DEBUT novel, even if it was written a year ago.
    • Not a new author? Shoot me an email anyway and if my load is light, I’ll still consider reviewing your book!
  • This offer is only available for published works (sorry, but I’m not currently offering a BETA reader services).
    • Your book can be self-published or traditionally published.
  • I am more likely to select a book that is a print version as opposed to PDF or files (sorry, but my eyes can’t read a whole book on a screen guys, it hurts.)
  • I am interested in all types of genres except for horror, gore, and erotica.

The Way it Works:

If you are hoping that I will review your work, please go through my Contact page and send me:

  • Your name (author pen-name is also fine)
  • The title of your book, when it was published, the length of your book in word count, and what format (traditional, self, print, electronic, etc.)
  • A short blurb about your book
  • It is the author’s responsibility to send the book to me
    • The author assumes all shipping costs
  • I will do my best to review one new book per month. Depending on the volume of requests, you may have to wait a few months.
  • Please be aware, I will be giving an HONEST REVIEW. This means that I may not love your book. However, I will always do my best to be professional and courteous in my comments!
  • Whether or not I am interested in reviewing your book, I will respond to your inquiry. Please be patient with me 😀

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I reserve the right to refuse any author and/or book based on personal preference. Please do not spam me with requests, it will only ensure that your emails get moved to my spam folder. It may take me a little while to get back to you, but I will get back to you.

If you intend to email me with a book request, feel free to drop me a comment below!

Happy Writing Everyone!

Review, Reviews

Listen to the Lyrics

Now that some time has passed I feel more inclined and open to discuss the lyrics of The Greatest Showman. You can read my original review of the movie here.

**********This Post DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS*********

The music of The Greatest Showman is half of its beauty! Yes the movie is wonderful, the plot is strong, and the characters are fantastic, but it is the music that people are most drawn to. Now, I cannot discuss every song in minute detail, otherwise you would all probably click away from this screen in seconds. So let’s just talk about three incredible songs (trying to cut it down to three was really difficult!)

Opening Song – The Greatest Show” (<- Click to hear song)

This is one perfect example of some foreshadowing. The movie opens with a song that features stomps, claps, intense moments, and high energy. It seems like the perfect opening talking about triumph and delight. However, half way through the song we come across these words:

“It’s everything you ever want

It’s everything you ever need

And it’s here right in front of you

This is where you want to be . . .”

In the opening, the song cuts short here with just Hugh Jackman (Barnum) softly singing and repeating these lines to himself as the lights dim, the circus disappears and he is left alone in the dark. This moment foreshadows Barnum’s ultimate conundrum: choosing between his family and the circus.

“Never Enough”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQWZK5U233s

Now the majority of this song is the repetitious phrase “never enough” which makes it seem like this song is talking about how Barnum can never get enough of the spotlight, never get enough of the praise, etc. And while that may be partly true, it’s important to take another look at the lyrics that lead up to that repetitious chorus.

“You set off a dream with me

Getting louder now

Can you hear it echoing?

Take my hand

Will you share this with me

Cause darling without . . “

When we remember these lines, the song becomes more about the person that Barnum wants to share his world with (his wife). Ultimately, while he continues to grow in popularity, the further he gets from his wife, the less satisfied he is. Because without his wife, “it’ll never be enough.”

“This is Me” (You know I had to talk about this one)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV9BmH0tuH4

This song is probably the most straightforward song out of the entire movie. “This is Me” is all about accepting who you are as a person and loving yourself for it! The scene in where they storm through the mob is seriously the definition of good cinema.

Well there you have it, just three songs from a musical in which every song is a hit! What was your favorite song and what do you think of my deductions about the lyrics?

Review, Reviews

The Greatest Showman: A Review (Movie)

After hearing so much about this movie, I was intrigued. Once my student told me I needed to see it, I decided to just go.

I was not disappointed.

 

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS!***

The Premise:

The movie is a historical period drama musical staring Hugh Jackman as the famous P.T. Barnum, the instigator of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The story opens on the circus at its height with Barnum as the ring-leader. The music is entertaining, starting with a stomp chorus that gets the blood pumping. Then all of the sudden, the lights, the colors fade leaving Barnum standing alone in the dark singing “It’s everything you ever want, It’s everything you ever need . . .” (Great moment of foreshadowing!)

Cue flashback to a young boy (our young Barnum) who is the son of a poor tailor. As a boy, he accompanies his father on his jobs. On one such job for the Hallet family (rich, white, snobby, first-class, cruel father), young Barnum meets young Charity (the daughter of Mr. Hallet). Naturally the two fall in love. The young actor and actress playing Young Barnum and Young Charity do a wonderful job with the sweet song “A Million Dreams.”

Time flies through the song as children grow into adults and marry (despite her family’s objections) and end up with two children of their own. When Barnum loses his job, he is inspired by a myriad of events to open up his own museum. The Barnum Wax museum, needless to say, it does not go well. However, when he listens to his adorable daughters who convince him that he needs something “alive” in his museum, his luck begins to turn.

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Barnum and family looking at Barnum’s Wax Museum 

Barnum begins collecting people who are “curious and abnormal” including: the African-American brother/sister duo acrobats, the dog-boy, the bearded lady, the tallest man alive, the heaviest man alive, and the smallest man alive.

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Barnum is a success! At last, he can afford the large mansion and ballet lessons for his eldest daughter. At last, he is accepted into society. Except… he isn’t.

His “circus” brings joy and entertainment to some, and for others it brings out anger and hate. People protest the show and Barnum is not quite satisfied . . .

But I’ll leave the rest for you to see!

My Review:

There have been mixed reviews of the musical. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an average rating of 55%, and yet, 90% of audiences LOVED IT! That should give a pretty clear message. Perhaps “professional critics” have the right to critique what they see as baseless entertainment; however, this movie was not meant to be “highbrow.” Much like Barnum in the movie who must deal with highbrow critics demeaning his work, this movie is an entertaining delight for people who want to be delighted. The movie celebrates unique individuality and cautions against extreme hubris and insatiable desire for MORE.

Some critics have said that Barnum’s success comes too quickly. I thought that at first too, until I realized that this movie is NOT about his success, it is about his failures as a man, a ring leader, and a father. It is a movie, with a subtle warning, about what happens after success!

Overall, I give it 5 out of 5 stars! 

If you love musicals, please go see this movie.

Review, Reviews

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Movie)

Warning: There are major spoilers for those who have not watched this movie.GOTG.jpg

After watching and loving the first Guardians of the Galaxy (rating it 5 out of 5), I decided to watch the second movie which I would have to rate as a 3.5 out of 5. Definitely worth the watch, but did not quite live up to the original (most sequels do not).

Baby Groot was most definitely the highlight of the movie.

gotg1

A Brief Synopsis

The story line of this movie was ALL about family relationships. We have our main protagonist Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who finally gets to meet his long lost father (aptly named EGO [Kurt Russel]) who is actually a planet (celestial-type of consciousness) which has been able to generate a type of physical appearance. Confused yet?

gotg2

In all fairness, it does make more sense as we move along. We also have Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who reconnects with her psychopathic, cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). There’s also an interesting father/son relationship happening between Peter Quill and his kidnapper/adoptive father Yondu (Michael Rooker).

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Plus, we have some identity crises happening with both Yondu and Rocket (Bradley Cooper). With all these relational dramas, there’s already enough going on, but for some extra fighting scenes, there is also a planet filled with “Sovereigns” (golden, genetically-engineered people who think they are better than everyone else) who are constantly attempting to kill the Guardians because Rocket stole some of their special batteries.

The Climax

The true climax of this movie hits while on the planet Ego. Gamora and Nebula discover a catacomb underneath the surface brimming with the skeletons of Ego’s children. You see, Ego has been traveling the universe, ahem, procreating with as many females as possible (including Peter’s mom) in order to find a child who would share his powers so that he could use their power in order consume the universe (ALL of the universe), but none of his children had enough power and so he killed them. To make Ego even more evil, he tells Peter that he is the one who put a brain tumor in Peter’s mom which ended up killing her.

GOTG

As the Guardians attempt to stop Ego from destroying the world and the Sovereign attempt to destroy the Guardians, all Hell breaks loose. Of course, the Guardians succeed; however, not without causalities. In order to save Peter, who successfully kills Ego, Yandu sacrifices his own life. This scene is perhaps the most touching of the entire series; although, it is sometimes hard to reconcile this image of a lovely father with the same man who kidnapped and abused Peter through fear.

GOTG

Apart from some great moments, the movie was a bit too cheesy (even for its genre). While it was entertaining, and I would watch it if it were on TV, I’m not sure I would buy it.

What did you guys think???

The Mythological Connection

I think the most interesting part of this movie to me was the father/son complications between Ego and Peter (ESPECIALLY because of all the god connotations floating around).

Greek mythology is overflowing with the fear of sons surpassing their fathers. Consider the beginning of Greek mythology in which Gai (mother earth) gives birth to Uranus who then grows and rapes her (yea, sorry, that’s Greek mythology). Gai then gives birth to the Titans. Among these Titans is the most famous one named Kronus (the father of the gods). Kronus or Cronus, wanting to be more powerful than his father, castrates Uranus and throws his genitals into the sea.

Castration of Uranus 01greek

Cronus too has children of his own who he fears will surpass him and so, he decides to avoid the problem by consuming them.

Castration of Uranus 01greek

However, this proves useless as Zeus eventually defeats his father and rescues his siblings who had been growing inside of Cronus’s body. Later on, the gods too begin to fear that the demi-gods will conquer them. It is a repeating cycle of sons surpassing their fathers in often violent ways.

Perhaps it is because I just recently finished a Mythology course that I could not help but to see this connection in this movie. While Ego considers himself to be a god, his son, the demi-god, Peter ultimately surpasses him by killing him with Groot’s help of course.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the movie? Did you think it was as good as the first?

 

Finally

Here’s a baby Groot to make you smile 😀

GOTG