Book Review

Book Review: It’s Always the Husband

Book Review:  It’s Always the Husband

By Michele Campbell

Kate Eastman, Aubrey Miller and Jenny Vega are assigned to room together as freshmen at Carlisle College.

Kate is popular and from a rich family.

Aubrey is dirt poor, at the college on a scholarship and ready to finally get a life and start living it!

Jenny is a townie from a loving family who dreams of making it big after college.

Lucas is a jock who secretly dated Jenny in high school until Jenny broke up with him. In college Lucas is one of the guys Kate dates.

Tim is Lucas’ cousin.

Griff always loved Kate but Kate only tolerates him because he is rich.

One day, Kate and Lucas get into an argument when Lucas tries to break up with her. Kate gets really angry and pushes Lucas off a bridge. Tim, Aubrey and Jenny witness it. Tim runs into the water to save Lucas, Tim gets a head injury and does not remember that night. Aubrey was there to commit suicide but changes her mind. Jenny was there to stop Aubrey from committing suicide. Lucas dies.

Twenty years later……

Kate is unemployed, married to Griff, an ex-rich kid. Kate does not love Griff. She has numerous affairs. Her most recent affair is with Ethan (Aubrey’s husband) and she ends up pregnant.

Aubrey owns her own yoga studio, she is married to Ethan, a doctor who constantly cheats. Aubrey secretly loves Griff.

Jenny is mayor and married to Tim a construction company owner. Jenny has hidden the truth of how Lucas died from Tim and Tim still does not remember how Lucas died.

Kate ends up dead and it could have ties to Lucas’ death twenty years ago or it could have been a suicide.

Owen Rizzo has just been hired as the town’s sheriff. He met Kate for a brief moment before her death. Now as sheriff he is determined to find out who murdered Kate. But he could be so fixated on saying that this was a murder when it could have been a suicide.

Themes I saw:

Loving someone who does not care about you

Aubrey loves Kate but Kate is selfish.

Aubrey loves Griff but Griff loves Kate.

Ethan loves cheating and is currently cheating with Kate.

Kate loves Ethan.

Secrets

Aubrey, Jenny and Kate hold the secret of what really happened to Lukas.

Money

Having lots of money gives the person access to the best of everything.

Kate’s dad is rich and so he was able to quickly get Kate out of the country to a place that she would not be extradited from. He then had the family lawyer handle the “new truth” of what happened to Lucas.

Money doesn’t automatically equal happiness

Kate’s family has a lot of money but Kate is a damaged kid. She lost her mom at a young age, she believes that her dad hates her and so she drinks a lot of alcohol, attends all the parties and does lots of drugs. When Kate is older she gets married to Griff a guy she does not love but he has a lot of money. Kate cheats on Griff all the time, she continues with drinking and doing drugs.  

There was friendship, murder, suicide, revenge, betrayal, love, drugs, and the ending surprised me because the explanation of how Kate died was not what I though. I loved the book!!!!

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Thriller (2018)

Movie Review: Thriller (2018)

Director – Dallas Jackson

Characters/actors:
Lisa Walker – Jessica Allain
Lisa Walker (13years old) – Teshi Thomas
Derrick Jackson – Luke Tennie
Derrick Jackson (13years old) – Marcus Ryan Doyle
Ty Reynolds – Mitchell Edwards
Ty Reynolds (13years old) – Noah Abbott
Gina Brown – Paige Hurd
Gina Brown (13years old) – Jordan Alexa Davis
Tiffany Rodriguez – Chelsea Rendon
Tiffany Rodriguez (13years old) – Reggie Zavala
Andre Dixon – Tequan Richmond
Andre Dixon (13years old) – Charles W. Greer IV
Amani Morris (13years old) – Bria Singleton
Kim Morris – Pepi Sonuga
Kim Morris (13years old) – Brooke Singleton
Chauncy Page – Jason Woods
Chauncy Page (13years old) – Zachariah Waller
Ronny De Berry – Maestro Harrell
Ronny De Berry (13years old) – Philip Solomon
Eddie Gomez – Michael Ocampo
Eddie Gomez (13 years old) – Angel Bonilla
Principal Hurd – Rza
Unique – Chauncey Jenkins
Mrs. Cruz – Valery Ortiz
Detective Johnson – Mykelti Williamson

Chauncy Page is a sweet 14-year-old who stutters. He bought a hot dog, he sees a homeless man and gives that man the hot dog. Other kids make fun of Chauncy. A girl asks Chauncy to help her find a cat in an abandoned house. Chauncy goes in and a bunch of students in skull masks taunt and chase him through the house. At one point Chauncy ends up upstairs and pushes one of the skull mask wearing kids. That kid falls down to the first floor and ends up dead. The kids gather by the not yet cold body and decide that they will say that Chauncy did it. Chauncy is arrested and spends four years in juvenile detention. I appreciate the fact that they did not show us all the horrors Chauncy went through while in juvenile detention. Instead they eluded to what he went through by showing moving comic like pictures – getting on the prison bus, someone spitting on him when he gets in, getting kicked while on the floor and locked in a cell with a bunch of stronger/older men. I feel that if Chauncy’s mother had money to hire an expensive but competent law firm. Those lawyers would have investigated and figured out that Chauncy was not to blame for the death, it was an accident on his part and so he should not be the one getting punished. But unfortunately, Chauncy did not have a good defense lawyer, the cops heard from the other kids that Chauncy did it and they did not dig any deeper, and the prosecutor charged Chauncy and he ended up in jail.

The next scene is four years later and Chauncy is free! He goes back home to his mother who might be an alcoholic – it was during the day and she was drinking from the bottle but it’s understandable because her son was sent to jail. Chauncy’s mom is happy that he is back but she continues to drink alcohol. At one point Chauncy’s mom tries to get Chauncy to dance and when he refuses she gets really upset with him and verbally puts him down. Chauncy’s mom has issues that she needs to deal with being a single parent, trying to raise a boy into a man as a mom, her son went to jail, not having a great job, living in a not so great neighborhood, etc.

The kids who blamed Chauncy for the death, have continued with life and currently attend Compton High School. Once Chauncy is out, the kids who put him in jail begin to die one by one!

The themes I saw in this movie are:

Bullying – Chauncy was bullied by the neighborhood kids because he was a sweet boy who stuttered. Kids can be cruel and those same kids grow up to be adult bullies.

Feeling stuck – all the kids feel stuck in Compton and some are trying to get out while others have given up.

Ty Renolds is a football star and his chance to get out is through getting recruited by a big college to play football for them.

Lisa Walker got into Spellman and her family is trying to figure out how to pay for it.

Derrick on the other hand, is smart but has been letting his grades slip because he will end up dead soon anyway so as he put it – “what is the point?”

Revenge – Chauncy lost four years of his life because the kids who set up the messed up prank blamed him for it and now when those kids begin to die, they are getting their just desserts!

The ending surprised me because the killer was not who I expected it to be and the one who saved the day was not who I thought it would be! I really liked the fact that all the characters were African American in this movie and I could just enjoy watching brown skinned people just living life and it was wonderful! I would recommend this movie for people who like movies with killers and murder.

 

Book Review

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Book Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Written by Ruth Ware

Harriet “Hal” Westaway is a 21 year old college dropout trying to make enough money to afford to pay for her apartment, pay off her loan shark and to eat. Hal took over her mom’s tarot reading booth on Brighton Beach. Hal’s mom (named Maggie) died three years ago after she was hit by a car in front of their apartment and the person left the scene.

Hal is really struggling financially and she sees no way out. One day she receives a letter from a lawyer named Mr. Treswick. In the letter Mr. Treswick tells Hal that her grandmother (Mrs. Westaway) recently passed away and left Hal some money so Hal should go there for the reading of the will. Hal believes that the letter was not meant for her but she decides to play along so that she can get a little money to help with her debt.

When the will is read, Mrs. Westaway’s grandchildren and maid are given money and the rest of the estate is given to Hal! Mrs. Westaway left nothing for her sons – Abel, Ezra and Harding. Abel is gay and his partner is Edward Ashby so Mrs. Westaway disowned him years ago and he was not surprised that he got nothing in the will.
Mrs. Westaway had a daughter named Maud (she’s also Ezra’s twin sister) who left years ago and no one knows where she is. It is important to note that Hal does not know who her father is.

Themes I saw:

Family shame – Mrs. Westaway locked Maggie up when she found out that she was pregnant. This was done in the hopes that Maggie would tell her who the baby’s father was. The pregnancy was the shame.

Friendship – Maggie and Maud are good friends and runaway together so that they can have a good life away from Mrs. Westaway.

Love – Maud loved her friend Maggie so later on when Maggie does not come back, Maud raises Maggie’s daughter as her own.
Mrs. Warren the housekeeper loved Ezra. She never told on him for the murder.
Mrs. Westaway loved her son Ezra and never turned him in.

Self-preservation – Hal found an opportunity to make some money by inheriting some money and she ran to take it. Ezra killed Maggie because she came back asking for money to raise his infant daughter. Ezra then kills Maud so she will not tell Hal that Ezra is her dad and that she suspects that Ezra killed her mom (Maggie). Ezra attempts to kill Hal because she was figuring out the truth and he kills Mrs. Warren because she knows most of the truth even though she (Mrs. Warren) would never have told anyone.

I think that Mrs. Westaway wanted to do the right thing by her daughter but still not hurt her most beloved son so she left all her money to Hal. Also, family secrets cause so much pain and they have to be addressed in order for healing to finally start – which is what ends up happening in this book.

All in all – I loved this book because in the end Ha’s situation is better than she started which I absolutely love!!!!