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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/purplesunday
Review Requests: OFF
1,323 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I tend to write in depth reviews, discussing all aspects I feel need addressing. I am always positive and encouraging, but I'm also honest. If I feel something needs looking at, I will mention it.
I'm good at...
I'm a grammar and punctuation fiend. It is always one of the first things that strikes me about a piece of writing. I'm also good at offering suggestions to back up any comments I make. I'm always happy to re-review once changes have been made.
Favorite Genres
Dark or emotional poetry. The same goes for short stories; I like writing that makes me feel something. I love to read mysteries, thrillers, romance. I'll give anything a go, though.
Least Favorite Genres
Steampunk, sci-if.
Favorite Item Types
Emotional or dark poetry. Heart warming short stories.
Least Favorite Item Types
Chapters from the middle of books.
Public Reviews
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1
1
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi Emily the Enigma

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Oh, I love this story! You have made me feel for a pumpkin in a way I never thought I would! This story is a really enjoyable read, and it had me chuckling and feeling love towards Harold the whole way through.

Plot: The personification of a pumpkin being bought and carved for Halloween. At first, we see Harold in the field, longing to be chosen by a human. Despite the warnings he has been given about Human people. The way he melts into the little girl's soft caress is really touching. I think that was the point where I fell in love with him. Following him through the pain of having his innards scraped out and his skin being carved, then seeing the warmth of the candle burning inside him, is so lovely. All the time, he loves the little girl and, as long as she is happy, he is happy.

Characters: Harold is a great character. His feelings are human and his love, genuine. I felt so sad when he became ignored and discarded once Halloween was over. You do a fantastic job of showing his loneliness and emotional hurt. It's easy to forget he is a pumpkin! I have to mention the little girl, also. She is written beautifully. She seems so innocent and excited about Harold. The fact that she wears a butterfly costume adds to this. The moment where Harold sees his reflection in her costume, and he realises they both have gaps in their teeth, is fab.

What I liked: Harold. He is such a great character, and you've written him in a clever way that makes him relatable and likeable. I love this description of the Halloween Trick Or Treaters: "Vampires and ghosts, superheroes and puppies waddled through the streets as if in a parade." It creates a great visual. Also, this part is brilliant: "Harold’s stem practically spun from joy! She loved him! She really, really loved him!" Aww, Harold was happy with his fate as a pumpkin because his girl loved him. That's so cute.

There is nothing I would change about this story. I absolutely love it. I see it is a contest entry, and I wish you the best of luck. Not that you will need it. It's a fantastic story. Love it!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi Dark Fae 🎴

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. This is your second Marzipan Fancy review.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: This is a lovely, little story about the importance of family. I enjoyed reading this.

Plot: A young couple in Ireland in 1542 discover they are expecting a baby. It is a scene, more than a story. We see the woman carrying the secret of the child, ready to tell her husband after they eat. He, also, has a surprise. He has been carving a statue of a mother and baby bird. This is a great ending. I didn't see it coming. I love the way it feels like some greater force was at work when he chose to carve this statue of motherhood. If I'm honest, I didn't understand the importance of Ireland in 1542. It didn't seem to play a big part in the story other than the brief description mentioning it.

Characters: These two characters are a sweet, young couple who, I think, are probably newlyweds. What I love the most is how you show the promise and hope for the future that they share through this news of the unborn baby. The love they share shines through, and that is a joy to read.

Grammar: I have quite a few grammar suggestions, so I'll put them in a dropnote that you can ignore if you so wish.
Grammar Suggestions

What I liked: The love and the feeling of safety and hope and new life. The characters are great. They are both likeable and I feel I want things to work out well for them. So, great job of getting me to care about your characters. They are nicely written.

Suggestions: My main suggestion is to try to get away from starting most of your sentences with, "He did, she did, etc." These sentences put you in storytelling mode, which reminds the reader that you are a narrator and we are not part of the story. By using the five sentences to describe more of the things your characters see and smell and hear, and using these descriptions to tell the story, will be a much more immersive experience for the reader.

I enjoyed this story. It would be cool to read more about these characters and the problems they might face living in such a time as 1542 Ireland. I really like the characters, and it would be great to see how they grow into being parents. As it is, though, I really like it. It's a feel-good read. Nice work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Dog Tags  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi Dark Fae 🎴

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is the first of your Marzipan Fancy reviews.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Wow. This poem is so emotive. For just twenty-four syllables, you create a great deal of emotion from your reader. It's really well written.

Voice/Tone: The tone is reflective. I love how you use the dog tags to symbolise the sacrifice made by those who go to war. It's something that we all know what it looks like and what it means. The "spec of blood" is a great contrast, both visually (red on silver) and metaphorically. (Although, it should be speck.) The last line is perfect: "strategic or folly." It highlights the question so many have about how much of war is actually worth the sacrifice, and how much just for politician's egos. Ultimately, though, this poem honours those who have given the highest sacrifice.

Mechanics: Your only brief was to write a poem of exactly twenty-four syllables. This means every single word has to count, to make it work. And you have nailed it.

My Favourite Part: I really like your opening line describing a family heirloom. I can imagine how important this dog tag would be. It's all that is left of the person who died, and therefore, it becomes super important. I can relate to that. Not with a dog tag, but with other items.

Suggestions: If I'm super picky, the only place I would maybe change is to say, "Stark reminder of war," rather than "Harsh reminder ..." But, that's just how I would say it. Not necessarily how you would.

I see you won the contest with this poem, and I'm not at all surprised. It is fantastic. So clever and beautifully written, and it really does evoke a lot of emotion. It's fantastic!

Keep writing!

Choconut


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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of The Passage  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hi Jace

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. This is your second Whisky Liqueur review.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: I am reviewing this as a short story, as that is how it's described. However, I suspect every word of it is true. The emotion is tangible, and the love shines through. It gives the whole story of this road trip a touch of magic. It really is a delight to read.

Plot: This is a rite of passage story about a young boy who goes on a road trip with his family. But, more than that, it is about love and family and learning things about yourself that will set you in good stead for the rest of your life. The trip itself sounds amazing. I've seen road trip movies and listened to my hubby (who is American) speak of days-long road trips, and I would love to have the chance to do that. We keep promising ourselves we will do Route 66 one day. We'll see. Anyway, my point is, I'm British, which means a day of driving, and you can get from one end of the country to the other! So, this story really intrigues me. The descriptions of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Trail and all the historic sights sounds so exciting. It's the kind of experience I would have loved as a child (and, also, as an adult).

Characters: The young boy who is (almost) eight years old is likeable and has such a thirst for learning. I love the relationship he has with his father. When they went for a coffee and a shared donut, I actually had a lump in my throat. I could imagine how special that must have been, and how special it still is to this day.

Grammar: Only one part I would change: "Dad was gone a lot, up before we rose for school." I tripped over this when I first read it. I would change the comma to a colon. At the moment, it is a comma splice.

What I liked: The relationship between the boy and his father. It's endearing and beautiful to witness. In terms of specific lines, this is a fantastic description: "We never wanted it to end with darkness having the final say." That's so evocative of childhood and makes me feel a little nostalgic. I also love the humour here. Speaking of the middle seat in the car, you say: " It was not a choice seat as anyone sitting there was well within range of Mom's backhand." That made me smile. As did, " And baths. Boo!" Very funny!

I loved this story. It's got so much heart. The whole road trip sounds magical, and I'm a little envious, I have to admit. It's beautifully written and the descriptions are rich and compelling. A really great read!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Back to School  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Candycorn Dragon-buy @2060413

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is the second of your Orange Creme reviews.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I love this poem! As I first read through, it made me smile. Big time. It took me back to my own summer holidays from school. We used to get six weeks' holiday, and the days seemed endless and lazy and filled with sunshine. Even though, the return to school always rolled around too quickly. So, this poem really resonated with me.

Voice/Tone: The tone is fairly light, even though the narrator longs to have more holidays from school. I'm guessing the voice is pretty much your own. It sounds like it's written from experience. And, what I love the most about it, is I know most people will have also experienced it.

Mechanics: This poem is free verse, which I love. It works really well in this poem. I love your line breaks, particularly in the first verse.

My Favourite Part: "sleeping in / doing nothing / hanging with friends / playing games all day." These lines sum up perfectly what it is like to be a carefree child in the summer holidays from school. They are the essence of summer holidays if you like. I also love the lines that read, "Getting up early and driving to school / when morning is still night." Unfortunately, that doesn't really ever end.

I really like this poem. It paints a vivid picture of childhood and how great lazy, hazy days of summer are when you are at school. It took me on a trip down nostalgia lane, and I enjoyed that. Nice work.

Keep writing!

Choconut


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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of The Boxing Match  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Jade Amber Jewel

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. It is the last of your Hazelnut Praline reviews.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: This story is really clever. On the surface, it is about a girl (you) who is taking part in a boxing match with a really tough opponent. Then, it appears to be an internal daydream. But, what it is actually about is the struggle the girl (you) has with anxiety when it comes to auditions. This visualisation helps you to conquer your anxiety. I suspect it's based on your own experiences.

Plot: A girl boxer, fighting a tough opponent. She has her parents calming her down by loving her. I really like the dialogue of your father. He sounds like such a huge source of support. Your mother, also. This line brought a lump to my throat: "'I'm proud of you. No matter what happens, you'll always be my star.'" That's beautiful. It makes me miss my dad. As I mentioned above, the story appears to be about a boxing match. I guess it is, really. It's about a fight between yourself and your audition anxiety. I love the metaphor. It's really nicely carried throughout.

Characters: Jade Amber Jewel is the star of this story. She (you) comes across as being strong and brave. You feel the anxiety (and I know how crippling that can be!), but you don't let it stop you from doing what you love. Your parents are clearly key to your courage. Their love and support helps to give you the confidence to do the things you love.

Grammar: I have a few comments in relation to grammar. I've put them in a dropnote so you can ignore them if you want.

Grammar Suggestion

What I liked: I love, love, love the end! "'You do not mess with Jade Amber, 'nuff said. Ha.'" This is a great mindset to have. It's a really positive message to send to others who have any kind of anxiety issues. It shows how you don't have to let it rule your life. It also shows how the support of your loved ones makes all the difference in the world.

I love this short story, Jade. It's a great read. I love the message, I love your strength, and I love your writing. Great work! ('Nuff said.)


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Family Tree  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Jade Amber Jewel

I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. It is the first of your Hazelnut Praline reviews.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: This is a great poem about family and how important it is. It also makes you think about where you came from; not just our parents, but their parents, too. I never knew three of my grandparents, and the older I get, the more I would like to have known them. Like you, though, I'm glad they married. Otherwise, the result would have been "too sad."

Voice/Tone: The voice in this poem is clear, and I believe your own. I love the end, where you write: "This is / Jade Amber Jewel, the Writer / signing out." That really made me smile. Although your tone is serious, moments like this ending also show a little humour in the narrative. You are respectful of those who came before you, and I really like that.

Mechanics: There is no set structure here. However, the rhymes that you use give the poem a really good pace. It has a great rhythm that is pleasant to read.

My Favourite Part: I love this line: "and my mouth full of drought." When I first read that, it made me smile. Then, when I thought about it, I realised how clever a simile it is. It's a fab description. I also really like this part: "Just the three of us, you see, / Mother, Father and me." This made me think of my family. It was just my Mum, Dad, and me for a long time. We were a great little unit, and reading this makes me feel quite nostalgic. I love how you acknowledge that a time will come when you leave home and your parents return to being just the two of them.

Suggestions: The only lines I'm not really sure about are these: "I could keep going on and on and out, / but I feel the need to walk-about." They work, in terms of rhyme and rhythm, but I'm not sure how they relate to the rest of the poem. It feels like you included them because they rhyme, and not because they enhance the poem. The first line, in particular.

I really enjoyed this poem. You have clearly inherited your father's talent for writing poetry, and it was a pleasure to read. Nice work.

Keep writing!

Choconut




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Stars And Stripes  
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi FrANGUStein

I am reviewing this on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. It is the second of your Hazelnut Praline reviews from "Rach's Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: I don't think I've ever read your poetry before. I have to say I'm impressed. As I first read this poem, I love the blue and red. It looks appealing, and that's why I chose to read it. The words and fab, too. Your love for your country is a pleasure to read. It's nice to read positive things, with all the bad happening at the moment. This poem is a wonderful tribute to your country.

Voice/Tone: The tone is celebratory and joyful. The theme of vibrant colours runs the whole way through, and it makes the poem really come alive. When I read it, I feel like you had a smile on your face and a glint in your eye when you wrote it. It makes me smile, as well, even though I am one of those British your forefathers fought off *Laugh*. I love how this poem reflects on the meaning of the Stars and Stripes, and what was sacrificed in order to be free. But, in the end, I love the joyfulness.

Mechanics: I don't think this poem is any specific form, but there is a rhyme scheme abcb defe, etc. This rhyme scheme gives the poem a wonderful rhythm and a great pace. It runs smoothly with no bumpy parts, making it even more of a joy to read.

My Favourite Part: I love the whole poem! I could quote each verse and give my reasons why they are my favourite. But, the verse that begins, "Hamburgers, hot dogs / Laughter and smiles," is probably my favourite. This verse represents what 4th July is all about. "Politics forgotten / At least for a while." I love that. Everything else is put aside in order to have this day of unity. I have to mention the last verse, as well. In that verse, you paint the picture of the flag flying, then write: "It’s our day to celebrate / This land of the free." That's a great way to end; a wonderful image to leave with your readers.

I really like this poem. It's filled with colour and happiness (and hamburgers and hot dogs!). It creates such a warm feeling in me. I've never been in the U.S. for 4th July, but David has some great tales of celebrating when he was younger. One day, I would love to experience it. But, back to this poem. I love it. Great job!

Keep writing!

Choconut




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of No Internet  
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Candycorn Dragon-buy @2060413

I am reviewing this on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. It is your Strawberry Surprise review from "Rach's Chocolate Emporium.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Oh, I can relate to this poem so much! I love it. The humour, the accuracy of your descriptions, it all comes together to make a funny, brilliant poem. The thought of having no internet is one that spreads fear through my body now. Our internet provider went down a few months ago, and it didn't start working again for four days. At the start, I thought it would be nice to just read and watch TV, go for a walk. No! By the end of the first day, my hubby and I had fallen out and we both sulked the rest of the time it was out. I felt like an addict who was jonesing.

Voice/Tone: The tone is one of someone who is irked due to a lack of internet. I love how you list all the things you tried to do instead, but none of them came close to having internet. These lines made me laugh out loud: "For 96 hours, I was bored out of my wits- / I even considered learning how to knit." I love it! So funny. The voice is definitely snarky, but still, your humour shines through.

Mechanics: I don't think this poem is any specific form, but there is a rhyme scheme of aabb ccdd, etc. The rhyme helps give the poem a great pace. It zips along with wonderful rhythm, and it's a pleasure to read.

My Favourite Part: I love how you rhyme media with encyclopedia. That is inspired! Also, these lines in the last verse are hilarious: "My sister started crying when her videos disappeared, / and we all missed when Pitch Perfect 3 premiered." The picture you paint is of an unhappy family wanting to kill each other because none of them has the internet. It's a funny picture, but it's so relatable.

I loved this poem, Dragon. It's funny, it has a great pace, and it comes across as being real. It reminds me so much of our four days without internet. Great work!

Keep writing!

Choconut




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi amy-Very Very Busy

This review is in affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

Please remember these are only my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

I am reviewing this article as per your request.

*Starv* This is a great message: get people buying your book, and your business will grow. I like how you discuss the importance of using books as a marketing tool. I'm not sure if you have spoken about what kind of books work in a previous lesson? But, that might be something to think about. Have you offered any advice on writing a book because, I'm sure, a lot of the people who read this won't have done that? It's a daunting task to undertake, and I'm sure they would appreciate any insight you may have for this.

*Starv* While I like your message in the second paragraph, it would be good if you could back it up with evidence. Like, where did you get the figures from? Which bookstores did an average of $50,000 in sales between February and June this year? And, according to whom? Also, who is saying that half of those customers could be "clamoring" to buy their product? It just feels a little vague. Like, anyone could say this, but why should they choose to believe you and take your advice and your lessons? (I appreciate, they probably already are taking your lessons at this point, but I just feel like it could use a few more specifics.)

*StarV* One typo. In the first line: "Does it feel like you're spend most of your time ..." It should either be "you're spending" or "you spend"

This is an interesting article. I love the idea of using books to sell your business to new, as well as older, clients. It sounds wonderful. It would just be good to see some more specific information. As it is, it doesn't really give any specific pointers or things to do.

I hope this helps.

Rachel



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Here In the Quiet  
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi 🐔 Scrooge-o Ho Ho Ho 🐴

I am reviewing this on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. It is your final Chocolate Fudge review.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Ahh, this is a lovely poem. I love the sentiment and the message: that love is not about grand gestures, especially when they are about making up for wrongdoings, but it is about the quiet, everyday times. That's so true. At least, in long-term relationships. Just spending time with each is what matters. Connecting. So, my first impression of this poem is, it's a beautiful tribute to love.

Voice/Tone: The narrator is speaking from personal experience. The tone is soft and loving and happy. The words sound as though they are almost whispered in their sensuality. I love how you call your lover, "my love, my heart, my other self." That description is perfect. Reading this actually makes me feel warm and fuzzy about my hubby, and I'm not usually a romantic person.

Mechanics: This poem is free verse, written in a series of non-rhyming couplets. The rhythm of the poem works really nicely, and the poem moves along at a great pace. There are no bumpy places. It flows.

My Favourite Part: These lines: "We lie quietly, each listening / to the other one breathe." This is so simple but so beautiful at the same time. You have captured the essence of love. Similarly, these lines are fabulous: "Listening, watching, attentive / to my every movement." The connection that you feel to your lover (or, the narrator to her lover—are they the same?) is huge. It is what makes the relationship work.

This is a beautiful love story told through poetry. It's nice to see this side of you. Personally, I find it really hard to write anything romantic because it feels like laying myself bare. I don't know if you feel that, too? But, it doesn't matter. This is a really great poem. Love it!

Keep writing!

Choconut




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi 🐔 Scrooge-o Ho Ho Ho 🐴

I've just finished reading your short story, "The Case of the Glowing Trees, and I'd like to offer the following comments as your first Chocolate Fudge review.

My first impressions: I really enjoyed this story. Right from the start, I was hooked by the premise of the two ghost hunters and the mysterious glowing trees. As I read through, I was desperate to know why they were glowing and what would happen to the two men trying to find their secrets. I forgot this was written for the Cliffhanger Contest, so when the story ended just as I was about to find out, I believe I may have said, "No!" out loud. It's a fantastic cliffhanger.

Plot: Two ghost hunters are investigating some trees that are glowing white for no apparent reason. The leader, Jim, seems fearless and takes charge with taking samples and testing them. Seth (who is physically the bigger man) is afraid the whole time he is there. It made me chuckle that he had this job of hunting things that terrified him. Although, maybe he wasn't scared when he first started, and it was memories of, "the baby that came out of the bathroom wall and the dog with no head." It is funny how frightened he is, though. I wonder whether the two men have a longer connection that just this job.

What I really liked: The mystery, the intrigue. I loved Seth. I felt so sorry for him because I could imagine I would have been just as frightened as he was. I also loved the cliffhanger, although, I hated it at the same time because it left me hanging. But, it worked really well for the contest. If you ever think of expanding on this and telling us what had Jim's eyes so wide, let me know. My favourite line of the story is this one: "And warmth can mean life and the last thing he wanted was to make a tree angry by copping a feel without asking." I laughed out loud at that!

Readability/Grammar/Punctuation: Just a couple of minor points ... "He often thinks their is, but Jim's taunting of him ..." It should be there. Also, "Yet Jim only removed the outer layer, something a normal tree wouldn't weep from--Not to mention ..." It should be a small n. Lastly, this line confused me a little: "'Nothing. He pressed the vial against the tree again and scraped some of the bark into it.'" I don't think this should all be in the speech marks. I think, "Nothing," is the only word spoken here, so you need to move the closing speech mark.

Suggestions: I struggled a little with the present tense narration. It seemed a little awkward if I'm honest. In one place, you actually switch to past tense ("He awaited the smart aleck response ...") and it sounds much more natural. I would change the tense if you ever wanted to revise this story. That is my suggestion.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this. It's a great suspenseful story with some humour that works really well. I love the character of Seth. His relationship with Jim is nice as well. All in all, a great read.

Keep writing!

Choconut



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of Private Eye  
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Genipher

I've just finished reading your short story, "Private Eye, and I'd like to offer the following comments as part of your final Orange Creme review.

My first impressions: I was intrigued by your Dick Casey investigations when I first started to look around your port. So, I wanted to review one before I leave. I chose this one because it is the first. And, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the first two words ("The dame ...) I knew I would love it. This set the scene really well, and without being told, I knew I was in a hardboiled detective story. I love this kind of story, and you have done a great job with it.

Plot: A broad goes to see private investigator Dick Casey because her sister has gone missing. She was supposed to arrive on a flight to hear the reading of their father's will. But she didn't ... Or did she? Dick comes to the conclusion she killed her so she could inherit all the money. I love seeing Dick's interactions with Babyface Jane (his informant) and Tony the policeman. If anything, I felt it could have been a lot longer. There are lots of avenues he could have taken in trying to figure it out.

What I really liked: Dick Casey. He is a great character. Again, you had me reading the whole piece in a Humphrey Bogart-style accent (which is interesting, I can tell you!). I love the twist; that the woman shot her own sister. I love the excitement when Babyface gets shot.

Readability/Grammar/Punctuation: Just a few minor typos ... "'My sister, Tina,' she pulled out a hanky and dabbed her baby-blues,' She was supposed ..." It should be a small s when the speech is continued if you have a comma after, "baby-blues." However, I would probably place a period after "Tina" and also after "baby-blues." That would read more smoothly. Also, "'Plane, train, or automobile?' I ask." It should be asked because you have been writing in the past tense up until this point. Lastly, "'She never showed,' I crushed out the butts, 'Let ...'" Again, I would place a period after "showed" and also after "butts."

Suggestions: It would have been great to see Dick confronting the sister in the end and to see some kind of struggle. I imagine she would be carrying the gun she used to shoot Babyface, so it could have been a really exciting climax. My other suggestion is regarding the language used. At first, I loved it, and it really set the scene well. However, there was an awful lot of phrases I didn't understand. Most of them, I could guess their meaning, but not all of them. It meant I was constantly being jolted out of the narrative trying to figure out the meaning. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely right that you use some of the hardboiled language. It gives an authentic feeling to the story. But, I would say maybe dial it down a little.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this story. I love Casey's voice and I love his sarcastic humour. I love the story and the twist. Great work!

Keep writing!

Choconut



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of What have I done?  
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hi Chris Boo!reva - JackOLantern!

I am reviewing this on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. I found this review on the Read & Review page.

Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

First Impressions: Wow. Just ... wow. This poem is dripping with emotion. By the time I finished reading it, I had tears in my eyes. It's beautifully written.

Voice/Tone: I don't know whether this is personal to you, but it sure sounds like it is. The narrator's voice sounds so unhappy, so full of regret and remorse. Yet, from what I've read, it doesn't sound like there is anything to feel regret or guilt about. It sounds as though you had the toughest decision ever to make, and you made the right one; the one that took away the suffering of your loved one. That's brave. I know because I had to do the same for my Mum. I felt guilty, but I knew it was the right decision. And these kinds of decisions are never made lightly.

Mechanics: The form is simple. Two quatrains with an aabb ccdd rhyme scheme. It gives the poem a wonderful fluidity. It flows and the rhythm is spot on. There is nothing to pull the reader out of the poem.

My Favourite Part: The whole poem! The last two lines, though, are the ones that I find most upsetting: "I simply had to let you go / I could not help feeling I killed you though." We are very good at feeling guilty, and blaming ourselves in these situations is probably very common. From the sound of it, though, I think you did the loving, right thing for your loved one. I also love these two lines from the first stanza: "You would have given your life for me / All I could do was set you free." This is a great way of showing the love you had for each other. It brings home how this was a real relationship.

This is such a beautiful poem. I may have it wrong, and this is not based on your own, personal experience. But, it just feels as though you have lived through this. It feels as though you have poured your heart onto the page in writing this, and the result is an incredibly moving poem.

Keep writing!

Choconut




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
In affiliation with PDG Rockin' Reviewers'...  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi Soldier_Mike 🇺🇸

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "PDG Rockin' Reviewers' Group. I found this piece of flash fiction on the Random Read page.

My first thoughts: I really enjoyed this. I love the way you write the voices. They really sound like teenagers, and it is easy to place yourself in the school hallway with them. I could imagine the group of lads standing around, drinking in Tommy's story of his encounter with Julie Hogeboom.

Plot: This is a slice of a scene in a high school. A group of boys have gathered around as one of them tells of his magical moment when he spoke to the super popular Julie. This is so realistic. I love how, in the end, it doesn't matter that Tommy was almost flattened by Julie's boyfriend, and it doesn't matter that he isn't going to the dance with Julie. He spoke to her. That's all that counts. Oh, to be a teenager again!

Characters: If I'm honest, I felt there were a lot of characters, and in such a short piece it got a little confusing. Especially, as most of it is dialogue. It was a little hard to remember who had spoken to Julie. When Stevie appeared and spoke near the end, it really confused me. He just appeared from nowhere, then was gone again. I would maybe keep the group, and maybe show physical reactions from them, but only use dialogue from two or three.

What I liked: I love how true to life this is. I love how you have captured what it's like to be a nerdy teenager who can only ever dream of hanging out with the beautiful and cool kids. This story made me smile. I like that.

Suggestions: As I mentioned above, there were some places where I got a bit confused. For example, at the end, Eddie tells the group what Julie said as she walked away. Then, Tommy says, "'A set up, huh?'" This made me go back and question who had spoken to Julie, as it reads as though it was Eddie.

I really enjoyed this flash fiction. I love your humour and I love how much it made me smile. Great work!

Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Genipher

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is your second Orange Creme review.

My first thoughts: What an enchanting story! Right from the start, you hooked me with the two sisters squabbling. They could be any siblings anywhere. Most people will relate to this. However, as I read on, I discovered they aren't just any children. They are children in the Great Depression.

Plot: This is the story of a family moving to Arkansas during the Great Depression. I love the way you show the journey they have to undertake. You show how little food they have, how they don't even have enough money to get horses to pull the wagon. The father and older brothers have to pull it. Yet, at the same time, family life goes on as normal, with the two sisters squabbling and doing exactly what sisters normally do. I love this juxtaposition. It highlights how difficult the situation is. The theme of angels runs throughout, with Gladys saying that angels are always watching over them a few times. In the end, when they see the angel, it's a really nice touch, and it makes the reader think the family will be okay.

Characters: I love Gladys and Sissy. What I love most is how you write their accents into their speech. It makes them real and gives them flavour. It meant that this English girl read the whole story with an (interesting) Southern accent in my head. I love their Daddy, too. He seems fun and not too serious. I imagine him to be a cool daddy.

Grammar: Just one point: "Mama walked alongside her mate, hollering out the occasional reprimand when the kids got to bickering, while Glady's eldest brother walked behind ..." It should be Gladys's.

What I liked: This line stands out as my favourite: "'Always callin' me a country bumpkin and makin' fun of my hair. I cain't help that it turned out red.'" This made me laugh out loud. I can picture the young girl cursed by the colour of her hair. I love the relationship between all the family, in particular, Gladys and Sissy. Despite the bickering, there is so much love between them, which is highlighted at the end when Gladys pats Sissy's hand.

Suggestions: I found the description of the angel at the end could have been a little fresher. For example, "Elegant, massive wings ..." Massive is a pretty generic term and elegant is used quite a lot for angels. Also, "With wide eyes, Gladys watched the being fly slowly over her family." Being is quite a bland word for an angel. I just feel like you could have described her a lot more creatively because I know you write fantastic descriptions.

I really enjoyed this story. I could picture everything, and I loved the two, little girls. A lovely study of sibling relationships, and an entertaining story with a sweet ending.

Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Genipher

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This is the first of your Orange Creme reviews from "Rach's Chocolate Emporium

My first thoughts: I found myself instantly hooked on this story. The tale of the strange creatures living in the forest intrigued me. And when your main character, the young Herlee, decides she (or maybe he, I'm not sure) will go alone to find the creature, I had to read until the end. Great hook.

Plot: I'm not sure when this is set, but I don't think that really matters. It's in a fantasy world. The mention of "several viral bombs" having exploded a few years ago adds intrigue to this story. So, this story sees Herlee travel through the forest to the cabin near the cornfield where the creature is believed to live. I held my breath as she stepped into the cabin, then slowly turned around. And the creature? A human. This, I thought, is a great twist! I loved it. I loved how Herlee says, "'It's true, then,' I whispered. 'Your kind does exist!'" Brilliant! As I read on, however, I discovered that this wasn't the big twist. "I reached up self-consciously with one free hand. The snakes that looped over my scalp hissed at my touch." These sentences are fabulous! I love how you casually drop them into the narrative as though they are perfectly normal. It really made me smile.

Characters: Herlee is really appealing and she carries the narrative well. I may have missed it, but I don't think we know for sure whether she is female or male. I think she's female because of the way she feels she has something to prove, and also the way the other tribe members are shocked she will go to find the creature on her own. Either way, I really like the character. Her bravery is a great quality. I also really like the human at the end. He is unafraid of this Medusa character. I can see romance in the cards for these two.

Grammar: Just a couple of points ... "'But if it doesn't cooperate...' the knife glinted under the sun ..." It should be a capital T in the. Also, "'Right away,' I glanced at the sky, noting how the sun stood directly overhead." It should be a period after "Right away."

What I liked: I love your descriptive narrative. In particular, the way you describe the woods and how Herlee comes to a cornfield and a bit of a clearing. There is something about that cornfield description that I love. I could see it clearly. The cabin, also. You do a great job of putting the reader into the story. I also love the double twist at the end. It goes to show we never really know who people are.

I loved this story. I felt I was walking alongside Herlee. Your character is a great narrator. Nice work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of A Week of 18  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi The StoryMistress

This review is in affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

*StarV* I'm going through WDC's birthday celebrations and sending out a few reviews of activities. I wanted to send you a review for this item because I think it's brilliant. Before I get into the content, I love the visuals. The banner you have created is vibrant and eye-catching. It draws people into the activity to take a closer look.

*StarV* This is such a generous activity. I love how simple the idea is: throughout WDC's 18th birthday week, eighteen reviewers will be randomly chosen each day to receive 10,000GPs. It's simple, but it's also a great way of encouraging people to write more reviews. And, at the moment, there is so much more to review. I feel spoiled for choice. I want to review everything. This activity, though, it shows that you and The StoryMonster care about your members. You understand that reviews are at the heart of this community, and to show your recognition in this way is really cool.

*Starv* I was one of the lucky people who received one of the prizes a couple of days ago, and the buzz it gave me was huge. I'm not generally a lucky person when it comes to raffles and prize draws, so this was a lovely surprise. And, it did make me feel as though my efforts are appreciated.

So, this review comes with a thank you, for all you do for your members. This activity is a wonderful gift to us.

Choconut

19
19
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi 💀 Pat-o-lantern 🎃

This review is affiliated with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group.

*StarV* I wanted to send you a review for this as I've just placed a couple more bids, and I realised I'm in love with this auction. Before I even get into the content, the visuals are fantastic. I love the pastel-colour balloons that shimmer at the top of each package. The colour scheme, in general, is very soothing and very appealing to the eye. Your images fit perfectly, too.

*Starv* This auction is clever and unique. Yes, there are the auction packages we can bid on and hope to win, as with any auction. But, you have added into the mix one guess for every bid as to the ice cream flavour of the day. Each day, the winning flavour is drawn by random and whoever guesses that flavour goes into the hat for a merit badge at the end of the auction. So, there's a whole sub-game going on. Personally, I love this game.

*StarV* You have some great packages on offer here. A lot of people have donated, and there is a wonderful mix of different prizes. I'm sure there is something to tempt everyone. Indeed, you have had a lot of bids, and you look set to raise a lot of funds. I love that you reward the package donors by placing their names in the draw for your exclusive WdC Ice Cream Social Merit Madge (which is really pretty, by the way).

*Starv* The groups you have chosen to support through the auction are great causes. They are all focused on supporting and helping the members of WDC. Each group contributes greatly to this website.

What more can I say? I love this activity. I hope you raise a ton of funds for the groups you support. I hope you continue to serve ice cream every September for many years to come!

Choconut

20
20
Review of Ghostly Campfire  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi That's Coach Robin to you

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. I am reviewing this as one of my challenges in "The Hunt for the Rhyming Rascal.

My first thoughts: I love a good ghost story, and this one did not disappoint. I love the suspense of the story, and whether or not something will happen to the group around the campfire.

Plot: A ghost story told around a campfire. But, the question is, is it a true story? I love the concept of Patrick's story. He tells it well, and it's different to other stories I've read. The twist at the end of fabulous! I loved that. We all thought it was Juliana making the Crazy Cat Lady sounds in the woods, but then we see she is stood next to Patrick! Nice twist! I loved the ending!

Grammar: I have a few grammar suggestions, which I'll put in a dropnote. I haven't included all the points I noticed, but I'm happy to give you more details if you want. (I appreciate you wrote this a long time ago, so if irrelevant, please ignore them.)

Grammar Suggestions

What I liked: I loved the originality of this story. I loved the twist at the end. I loved the story itself. I am intrigued by this cat lady, and I'd love to know more about her story. She's an interesting character.

Suggestions: I thought the order of the story was a little odd. You mention the Cat Girl seeing the boys in her house and scratching at their clothing, and then the boys have a look around. Surely, they would have run away at that point. They wouldn't stay for a snoop.

I really enjoyed reading this story. I'm glad I stopped by your port for this challenge. Nice work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Dark Fae 🎴

I am happy to be reviewing you on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group [E]. This review is part of "The Hunt for the Rhyming Rascal.

Please remember these are only my opinions and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

My first thoughts: Ahh, lovely Darcy. I really enjoyed reading this story about one of the greatest love stories ever. It was good to see it from Darcy's point of view instead of Elizabeth's.

Plot: This is the story of Darcy's love for Elizabeth, a woman below his social standing. He knows he shouldn't love her, and at first, he resists his own feelings. But, that can't last forever. Love is love. And you don't choose who you fall in love with. The plot is familiar, but with a slight twist: Darcy is the narrator. This means we see things from his perspective. We see how he loves Elizabeth before she is aware of the fact.

Characters: Darcy. I loved how I could see Darcy's desire to do the right thing and to tell Elizabeth he loved her. His character comes across as a little stuffy but also filled with love. I love his resolve. He will make Elizabeth understand his feelings and his past actions. He is determined. She will be his wife and mistress of Pemberley. The other characters, we didn't really learn anything about. It would have been nice to see some of Elizabeth's character. I would have loved to see her stubbornness through Darcy's eyes.

Grammar: In general, you changed tense a few times. I kind of got a bit lost at some points because you changed from past, to present, and back to past tense again. Also, there are a few places where you used dialogue but didn't place any punctuation before the end quotation marks. There should always be punctuation there.

What I liked: The story. Because it is a familiar one, it was easy to get lost in your narrative. I don't know if there was a word limit on this, but I would have loved to read another 1,000 or so words. I love how you incorporated the prompt. It works really well.

Suggestions: It would have been good to see a little more of Darcy falling in love with Elizabeth. This story is very matter-of-fact. You tell us about the events that happened, but you don't show us those bottled up feelings Darcy has. I'm not sure your last line makes sense: "My most memorial day is the day she said yes." Should it be memorable?

I really enjoyed reading this. It's a great twist on a famous love story.

Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut *SuitHeart*





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Kimbug

*Vine2**Burstp* An *Burstb**Vine1*
August
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group
Review Raid

*Vine2**Burstp**Burstb**Vine1*


Please remember these are purely my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Starv* This is a really enjoyable story about how love can straighten you out. The main character turns his life around because he wants to be able to attract a girl he likes. I love how his brothers have previously teased him, making him act the way they wanted and preventing him from being himself. But his Uncle Tex lets him know he has to change if he wants to get the girl.

*StarV* I really like how you show that race shouldn't be an issue. Again, Dallas's brothers had beat him, saying he shouldn't like Quinn because of the colour of her skin. But, Dallas didn't care, and neither did Uncle Tex. He told him it's okay to like whoever he wants. I love the relationship between Dallas and Uncle Tex. And I love how Dallas is brave enough to go against his brothers and become a good student and love whoever he wants. It's a great message.

*Starv* The place where I struggle a little is the end. You build this great relationship between the two men and write their characters beautifully. Then, suddenly, it's over. You sum up what happened after their talk in one paragraph. And this paragraph is a lot of telling and very little showing. I don't understand why you did that because you could have easily written something more fitting. I don't know if you had a word limit? If so, maybe you could expand the end when the contest is over. The last sentence is this: " His brothers used to tease him about his curly hair, which is why he used to keep it short." This isn't even the end of a paragraph, let alone the end of a story. If I were you, I would work on the ending.

I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of this story. I enjoyed your writing style and I loved your characterisation. If not for the end, I would have given this a 5* rating.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of Christmas Trivia  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Frighten Dead the Witch Warp

*Vine2**Burstp* An *Burstb**Vine1*
August
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group
Review Raid

*Vine2**Burstp**Burstb**Vine1*


Please remember these are purely my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Starv* I spotted this on the Power raid list, and I couldn't resist taking a look. Unfortunately, I didn't realise I've already taken this quiz (my fault, I know it tells me that I have at the start of the quiz) and I went through answering again. I would love to know the right answers.

*Starv* You have a fantastic mix of questions in here. There is something for everyone. Christmas carols, films, traditions, history, general Christmas knowledge; something for everyone. I really enjoyed going through and answering the questions again. It's made me feel all Christmassey, even though it's only August. Maybe I'll watch Scrooge later today.

*Starv* You have included some great, festive emojis in the quiz header, and I like the use of red and green writing. However, have you considered using a picture as well? Like, a Christmas Tree or Father Christmas? That would make it really eye-catching.

*Starv* One other suggestion, and this may be purely my own personal taste, forty-seven seems like an odd number for questions. I would add three more to make fifty. It just seems to make more sense to me.

I love this quiz. It's one of the most comprehensive and interesting quizzes I've seen here. You clearly put a lot of time and thought into it. Great work!


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut

24
24
Review of First drum set  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Kåre Enga busy in Montana

*Vine2**Burstp* An *Burstb**Vine1*
August
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group
Review Raid

*Vine2**Burstp**Burstb**Vine1*



Please remember these are purely my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

*Starv* This poem is fantastic! It's funny, entertaining, and so easy to picture. From an adult's point of view, it's wonderful. From a child's point of view, it works equally well. I had a big smile on my face as I read it.

*Starv* Your use of sounds to tell the story really appeals to me, and I know it will appeal to your target audience of children. "Rat-tat-tat and a boom-boom-boom / crash-crash-crash cacophonous tunes." It puts your reader right into the story. I could hear the drum sounds. When reading this to children, they will love that part.

*Starv* Your use of repetition works really well, also. Again, it gives the poem a rhythmic feeling. It's really clever how you've done that, and I love you placement as well. It sets it apart a little, and I like that. The rhyming at the ends of the lines is another great way to make the poem flow beautifully.

I really love this poem. I'm sure your friend must have thought it wonderful. Does Gary III still play the drums? I love the mention of earplugs, by the way. That really made me chuckle. Great work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of Time is Ticking  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi paileykristine

*Vine2**Burstp* An *Burstb**Vine1*
August
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group
Review Raid

*Vine2**Burstp**Burstb**Vine1*


Please remember these are purely my opinions, and any advice given is with the sole intention of being helpful.

*StarV* This poem is a story of a relationship that didn't last and the pain it caused. I love the image of the ticking getting louder and louder, but because you were in love you didn't notice your time running out.

*Starv* In this poem, you speak of love as though it is passionate and violent in its intensity. That's exactly how it is. I really like this metaphor. I also love how you write, "The door caved in, / and our time ran out." This makes me think that a relationship can only take so much "pounding," so many arguments and ill-feeling. Eventually, it will have to collapse.

*Starv* My favourite verse is the last one. You write about colliding the two of your universes together to make one, happy relationship (that, actually, isn't that happy). Even though the idea of universes colliding to make one is romantic, it's still violent and combative. And it can never last.

*StarV* My only suggestion is to take out the first line: "Why?" It isn't necessary to include this, as you repeat the word in the next line anyway. And the next line is a better hook into the poem.

I enjoyed this poem. I think you have some nice imagery there. Great work.


Most importantly, keep writing!

Choconut



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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