Official Review: Masquerade Ball by Peter Rouleau

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
User avatar
CommMayo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1185
Joined: 22 Oct 2017, 14:19
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 103
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 183
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-commmayo.html
Latest Review: An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody by C.J. Heigelmann
Reading Device: B00G2Y4WNY

Official Review: Masquerade Ball by Peter Rouleau

Post by CommMayo » 15 Sep 2018, 10:30

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Masquerade Ball" by Peter Rouleau.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Masquerade Ball by Peter Rouleau is an eclectic collection of seven short stories that range from touching to hilarious. One story is told from the perspective of speeches being given at a wedding, with flashbacks spanning decades to provide the reader with a full picture of the lives of the brides being toasted. A particularly outlandish, yet believable, story details how a group of teenagers faked an alien abduction to bring attention to their town in an attempt to bolster its failing economy. Other narratives span from a nervous man on his first blind date to a woman forced to make tough decisions after an unplanned pregnancy.

Varying in length, each story is written in a creative voice that completely draws in your attention. Despite the short story format, each unique piece finds the reader intrigued and completely invested in all of the characters. There are unexpected twists and turns that will invariably have you laughing out loud one minute and wiping tears from your face the next. Many of the stories focus on handling the curve balls that everyday life hands you: layoffs, divorce, and family relationships. Other stories gently tackle major social issues like reproductive rights, religion, and gay marriage. All subjects are handled with grace, aplomb, and just the perfect amount of humor.

Each story I read had me instantly connected. Rouleau softened me up with a cute story about a nervous man’s first date after he jumps into the world of Internet dating. The further I read, the more significant the messaging of each story became. It is instantly clear that the author has a connection with the Washington DC metro area. Many of the stories are set in Maryland, Virginia, and the Eastern Shore. Any local to these areas will appreciate Rouleau’s well-incorporated references to local places and events.

This book was so thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing that it demands a rating of 4 out of 4 stars, and I happily acquiesce. The writing style was sharp and clean; I never found myself bored or looking forward to the end of the book. While I found a few missing or mixed up words, it is obvious that this book has been professionally edited. Residents of Maryland would delight at all of the local references, and anyone who enjoys reading about the human condition will become completely absorbed by this collection of stories. Some of these stories put very human faces on the talking points we hear in the national news; this is integral to helping us understand the complex issues behind what have become overly simplified political pawns.

This collection of stories can be taken at face value as a fun way to spend a few hours immersing yourself in stories about everyday people. However, upon finishing the book I noticed a major theme running through all of the stories. Every person we meet has a story, a past, and an inner conflict that is driving them. We need to take the time to really see each other as individuals and treat each other as such. Take time to slow down and see each person for the tremendous, complex individual that resides within all of us. Like a masquerade ball, we are all hiding our true faces from each other.

******
Masquerade Ball
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like CommMayo's review? Post a comment saying so!

420waystoreachthesun
Posts: 200
Joined: 20 Mar 2018, 11:47
Currently Reading: Bomb Goggles
Bookshelf Size: 50
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-420waystoreachthesun.html
Latest Review: The Complete Thief Series: Boxed Set by Michael Dirubio

Post by 420waystoreachthesun » 15 Sep 2018, 23:28

I really love the idea behind this book. I also love the title! Thank you for this beautiful review. I'm definitely going for this book.

User avatar
Rosemary Khathibe
Posts: 467
Joined: 05 Jul 2017, 16:48
2018 Reading Goal: 55
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 64
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rosemary-khathibe.html
Latest Review: The Next Door Raghu by Biju Vasudevan

Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 16 Sep 2018, 05:32

I enjoy books with short stories, and to learn that some are humorous piqued my interest. I like it more for a man going on a blind date. Excellent review!

User avatar
sharkyjen998
Posts: 195
Joined: 28 Jul 2018, 14:23
Favorite Book: Apollo's Raven
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sharkyjen998.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by sharkyjen998 » 16 Sep 2018, 08:49

Thank you for your insightful review of this book. I enjoy reading your reviews! The story about faking an alien invasion simply to provide national media attention to the small little town sounds really interesting. I'm usually not very big on short stories, but you really sold this one to me. I used to live in Lusby, Maryland, so I can't wait to hear some of the references to the area. I may have to give it a read. :)

User avatar
CommMayo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1185
Joined: 22 Oct 2017, 14:19
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 103
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 183
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-commmayo.html
Latest Review: An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody by C.J. Heigelmann
Reading Device: B00G2Y4WNY

Post by CommMayo » 16 Sep 2018, 09:22

sharkyjen998 wrote:
16 Sep 2018, 08:49
Thank you for your insightful review of this book. I enjoy reading your reviews! The story about faking an alien invasion simply to provide national media attention to the small little town sounds really interesting. I'm usually not very big on short stories, but you really sold this one to me. I used to live in Lusby, Maryland, so I can't wait to hear some of the references to the area. I may have to give it a read. :)
I live just south of Annapolis, so I was practically a perfect person to pick this book to review. This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read through this site.

User avatar
sharkyjen998
Posts: 195
Joined: 28 Jul 2018, 14:23
Favorite Book: Apollo's Raven
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sharkyjen998.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by sharkyjen998 » 16 Sep 2018, 10:00

CommMayo wrote:
16 Sep 2018, 09:22
sharkyjen998 wrote:
16 Sep 2018, 08:49
Thank you for your insightful review of this book. I enjoy reading your reviews! The story about faking an alien invasion simply to provide national media attention to the small little town sounds really interesting. I'm usually not very big on short stories, but you really sold this one to me. I used to live in Lusby, Maryland, so I can't wait to hear some of the references to the area. I may have to give it a read. :)
I live just south of Annapolis, so I was practically a perfect person to pick this book to review. This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read through this site.
Nice!! :)

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1338
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: William and Tibby Forever by Lynda Hamblen

Post by Cecilia_L » 16 Sep 2018, 12:02

This sounds like an engaging collection that I would enjoy reading. Thank you for your excellent review.

User avatar
mariam olawale
Posts: 1
Joined: 16 Sep 2018, 14:26
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by mariam olawale » 16 Sep 2018, 14:43

This book and stories are obviously engrossing and captivating.I loved each of the stories.The settings are just spectacular.And I am glad about the fact that this great review is well deserved. I think everyone should read masquerade ball.Its a really good book.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6098
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 224
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 16 Sep 2018, 19:05

Short story collections can be fabulous. I love even more that this seems to have an overarching theme throughout. Still, I'm not sure I would enjoy this specific collection. I'm glad you did though.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Debjani Ghosh
Posts: 665
Joined: 18 May 2018, 05:51
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 162
Favorite Book: The Lord Of The Rings
Currently Reading: The Evacuees
Bookshelf Size: 86
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-debjani-ghosh.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by Debjani Ghosh » 17 Sep 2018, 01:42

I was drawn to the book by it's title. Your review has me sold on to check out a copy of this collection of stories. Hope I enjoy it as much as you did. Thanks for the review!

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1953
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 95
Currently Reading: The dandelion bouquet
Bookshelf Size: 291
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: The Invisible Realm by Evelyn Louise Dunbar-Webb
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by kfwilson6 » 18 Sep 2018, 09:04

This is such a great review. I rarely ever read short stories, but I like the story lines you discussed here. The masquerade reference is wonderful. I'm intrigued by this book.

User avatar
Sarah Tariq
Posts: 1305
Joined: 17 Mar 2017, 02:17
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 15
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 80
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 46
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah-tariq.html
Latest Review: Learn to Play Guitar by Gareth Evans
Reading Device: PDF

Post by Sarah Tariq » 18 Sep 2018, 09:26

I really enjoy books which contain different short stories in one book. You find different tastes in one plate. I think I should give it a try. Thanks for this awesome review.
Make your ideals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you.

User avatar
Julie Green
Posts: 542
Joined: 31 May 2018, 17:36
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 72
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-julie-green.html
Latest Review: Friends by Gary Hope

Post by Julie Green » 21 Sep 2018, 14:21

What a great review. I normally don't give short stories a second glance but these sound awesome!
Latest Review: Friends by Gary Hope

jcoad
Posts: 513
Joined: 28 Jun 2018, 12:28
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jcoad.html
Latest Review: The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov

Post by jcoad » 21 Sep 2018, 14:41

My only issue with short stories is they are short. Sounds like these deliver a great story in a small package. Glad I found this review and this book. I will be adding this one to my list. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
Miriam Molina
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4298
Joined: 02 May 2017, 20:17
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 147
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Currently Reading: A Stained White Radiance
Bookshelf Size: 545
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miriam-molina.html
Latest Review: Killing Vincent; The Man, The Myth, and The Murder by I. Kaufman Arenberg MD
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Miriam Molina » 21 Sep 2018, 16:16

I am a fan of short stories, and this book seems to be a wonderful collection. I like your parting paragraph. Indeed, we are all participants in a masquerade ball. I don't think it is because we particularly like to hind behind masks. Sometimes it helps to escape our realities for a short while, so we can better bear them.

Wonderful review!

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”