“Wretched Waterpark” by Kiersten White | Book Review

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“The Sinister-Winterbottoms are looking forward to a family summer, but their parents abruptly change the plans in the middle of the night. Twelve-year-old twins Alexander and Theodora and their older sister Wilhelmina are dropped off with Aunt Saffronia, now stranded at a strange house in the care of a relative they’ve never met for the next few months. It quickly becomes clear she has no experience with children so her suggestion to visit a waterpark is eagerly accepted . . . until the siblings arrive at the front gates and realize Fathoms of Fun is equally as strange as their new accommodations. There are coffins instead of inner tubes and mausoleums instead of cabanas; the waterslides are tongues jutting out of the mouths of gargoyles sitting atop a tall, dark tower. Alexander, Theo, and Wil try their best to enjoy the vacation they’ve been handed, but the kookiness is too much to ignore and leads them to a disturbing mystery: The waterpark owner disappeared inside the Cold, Unknowable Sea, otherwise known as the wave pool. When Wil goes missing following a lead, the twins are left to sleuth on their own. Will they be able to save their sister and the waterpark before it’s too late?”

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*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Random House Children’s Books through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

I grew up in the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” era so the cover of “Wretched Waterpark” was enough to grab me, but the synopsis pushed it over the top. Lemony Snicket’s famous series has been mentioned along with Scooby-Doo for marketing purposes, but allow me to enlighten you on something even more synonymous with the Sinister Summer series: the Addams Family.  *snap snap*  Aunt Saffronia is Morticia’s twin with pale skin, long hair, and a black dress that makes her appear as though she’s floating instead of walking. Fathoms of Fun is a dream, nay, nightmare for the lost souls in search of a resting place . . . pardon me, vacation spot. The mystery is simple and easy to solve for adult readers, but I’m not holding that against a book aimed at a middle grade audience. The macabre atmosphere and humor are immaculate, and the tease of book two has me jumping out of my skin in anticipation of the September sequel. My rating is five stars, and I’m urging you to walk, DON’T RUN, to pick up this book if the summer heat has you missing spooky season.

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Content Breakdown:

*Disclaimer: I read an uncorrected ARC so certain things might change before the final copy is printed.

Adoption: It is briefly mentioned that the oldest Sinister-Winterbottom sibling Wilhelmina is adopted.

Blood: There is a conversation about blood in chapters 12 & 13.

Dark Humor: The siblings have to sign paperwork before entering the waterpark, & it mentions drowning & lost souls.

Upset about the summer plans forced on her & her siblings, Theo says she’s “gonna walk into traffic now.” Alexander responds by offering to test out the sharpness of a knife on her hand. When Wilhelmina doesn’t respond in a responsible way, they wonder if texting her about getting matching tattoos or ingesting small doses of poison would get her attention. Later on the twins tell Wil a man offered them candy & a ride in his van, which receives the same distracted response.

Disappearance: The owner of Fathoms of Fun walked into the wave pool one day and never came back out; this occurred off-page but is described a few times. More missing persons are mentioned later on.

Spooky: If you’re trying to gauge how dark this book gets, especially for young readers, I would recommend you compare it to things like “A Series of Unfortunate Events” & Scooby-Doo but especially the Addams Family. That is the exact level of macabre atmosphere & humor the reader needs to be comfortable with. Expect a casual mention of coffins or a character with the surname “Widow” or a joke about death. If you’re curious about the direction of the series, the next book is about vampires.

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🌟 Find author Kiersten White here:

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– Lauren Michele ❤️

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Farewell Rizzoli & Isles

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I know I’m a little late to the party, but wild horses couldn’t stop me from paying tribute to this show.  Rizzoli & Isles will always hold a special place in my heart because it is one of the few TV shows, if not the only, that I have watched from episode one to the show finale.  I finished what I started, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  The cast did not get half as much recognition as they deserved for their unbelievable chemistry.  There were many tears and many laughs, and I enjoyed every single moment.  To the cast and crew, thank you!!  I will forever be a Rizzoli & Isles fan. <3

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Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 - "Rebel Without a Pause" - Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/879191.

Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles – Season 2 – “Rebel Without a Pause” – Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/879191.

* * * I want to say a special thank you to the Rizzoli & Isles crew for including a mention of Barry Frost in the finale.  Lee Thompson Young will always be a member of the R&I family! <3

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Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles - Season 2 - "Sailor Man" - Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander and Lorraine Bracco. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/838943.

Hyun, Doug. Rizzoli & Isles – Season 2 – “Sailor Man” – Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander and Lorraine Bracco. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/rizzoli-isles/photos/304667/838943.

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– Lauren Michele

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Oscars 2015 Part II – Best Dressed

Here it is readers: Oscars 2015 Part II.  Tonight I will be discussing the top five dresses that caught my eye on the red carpet.  The following information and images are brought to you by the New York Times.  Let’s skip the chit-chat and get things started counting down from the #5.

Oscars 2015 Jennifer Lopez

Designer: Elie Saab.

Celebrity: Jennifer Lopez

The warm nude color is gorgeous against Miss Lopez’s skin.  Although I approve of the monochromatic details and minimal styling, this was not my #1 pick because I am not a fan of wide V necklines.  In my opinion, the neckline ruins an otherwise perfect Saab creation.

Oscars 2015 Anna Kendrick

Designer: Thakoon Panichgul

Celebrity: Anna Kendrick

This gown missed the top spot because of simplicity.  I find no fault in simplicity, but many of the red carpet looks this year were eye-catching because of the details.  However, Anna can do no wrong in my eyes.  The pink hue and jewelled collar, appropriately accentuated by soft neutral makeup, make her skin glow.  She did more than enough to make my top five.

Oscars 2015 Emma Stone

Designer: Elie Saab

Celebrity: Emma Stone

I am not a fan of the yellow-green color family therefore this dress is not my “Best Dressed” pick.  However, Miss Stone earned her #3 spot by miraculously pulling off this color and embodying the style and grace of “Old Hollywood.”  The styling– side curls, coral lips, and matching bracelets –was well done and assisted in making the color easier to accept.

Oscars 2015 Felicity Jones

Designer: Alexander McQueen

Celebrity: Felicity Jones

First of all, I am thrilled to see Felicity evolve from female lead in the British television film “Northanger Abbey” to Oscar-nominated actress in “The Theory of Everything.”  She was gorgeous then, and she is gorgeous now.  The color of the gown is surprisingly flattering.  It is light gray, and yet shine and a hint of periwinkle keep Miss Jones’ skin looking alive rather than washed out.  The detailing in the bodice is what edged out the competition for this #2 spot.  The color reminds me of space, and the bodice accents remind me of the ocean.  In a nutshell, this look is a chic ocean/outer-space hybrid.

Drum roll please!!  I am giving the “Best Dressed” title to…

Oscars 2015, Lupita Nyong'o

Designer: Francisco Costa, Calvin Klein Collection

Celebrity: Lupita Nyong’o

I stand and applaud Ms. Costa.  APPROXIMATELY SIX THOUSAND PEARLS!!!  I think we can all agree that not many people could wear this gown and pull it off effortlessly.  Mission accomplished Lupita!  The silhouette is elegant, and the pearls make Miss Nyong’o’s skin glow.

If you would like to see other red carpet looks, here is a link to the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/red-carpet-watch/oscars-2015/felicity-jones

I hope you have enjoyed my two-part recap of the 87th Academy Awards because I had a lot of fun writing it.  Perhaps I will do this again next year and add on more information such as a movie review and/or men’s fashion.  Until then, stay classy readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part I: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/oscars-2015-part-i-and-the-oscar-goes-to/

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Oscars 2015 Part I – And The Oscar Goes To

Oscars 2015(Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wxtzw0UVkcw/VMO4JhBZANI/AAAAAAAAMrc/_5CAcxONTrs/s1600/poster1.jpg)

The 87th Academy Awards took place last night, and all the media outlets are buzzing about the movies that got snubbed.  This year’s tight race was made up of outstanding nominees; no matter who won what category, the other nominees would have been snubbed in the eyes of the general public.  Congratulations to both the winners and nominees!!  Here is a complete list of winners, courtesy of ABC News and Washington Post:

– Actor: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

– Actress: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

– Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

– Animated Feature Film: “Big Hero 6”

– Animated Short Film: “Feast”

– Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”

– Costume Design: Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

– Documentary Feature Film: “Citizenfour”

– Documentary Short Film: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

– Feature Film: “Birdman”

– Film Editing: Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

– Foreign Language Feature Film: “Ida”, Poland

– Live Action Short Film: “The Phone Call”

– Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”

– Original Song:Common and John Legend, “Glory” from “Selma”

– Production Design: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”

– Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

– Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, “Interstellar”

If you would like to see the nominees in each category, ABC News has that covered: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/oscar-winners-full-list-2015/story?id=29148491

If you are like me and have, unfortunately, not seen any of the nominated films, here are the trailers for all the winners:

“American Sniper” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MItGoIxoVGk&index=14&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Big Hero 6” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcqbqeXIjZ8&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=2

“Birdman” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jAfBd3g6bA&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=7

“Boyhood” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiDztHS3Wos&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=9

“Citizenfour” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiGwAvd5mvM&index=4&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSxt1GNQX-c

“Feast” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAIf4aIOYyY

“Ida” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JIXxo8qUn0&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=3

“Interstellar” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LqzF5WauAw

“Selma” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

“Still Alice” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXrZ5iiR0o&index=10&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgGXL5lJ-6g&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=8

“The Imitation Game” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuPZUUED5uk&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=12

“The Phone Call” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0NggvtmNeg

“The Theory of Everything” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUayjO_KgsQ&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Whiplash” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHDEZXoh4-c&index=11&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

Stay tuned for Oscars 2015 Part II, which will be posted tomorrow.  I am warning you now: The topic is my best dressed pick as well as honorable mentions.  I am only discussing the actresses, not the actors.

“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”  – Meryl Streep

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part II: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/oscars-2015-part-ii-best-dressed/

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