Official Review: Hollywood Riptide by Joseph Sciuto

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Camille Turner
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Official Review: Hollywood Riptide by Joseph Sciuto

Post by Camille Turner » 06 Sep 2018, 16:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Hollywood Riptide" by Joseph Sciuto.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Hollywood Riptide by Joseph Sciuto lives up to its namesake in every sense of the word as the story plunges you into the deep waters of 1980s Hollywood where conflicting desires and characters will collide headfirst in the most unexpected of ways. The novel opens with a glimpse of Nick Caggiano, a sweet, aspiring writer from the Bronx who is just trying to make it in Los Angeles while holding on to his morals and Catholic faith. Things start to spiral out of control after he encounters the troubled Nicole Weiss, a 21-year-old beauty with endless money and drugs and a whole past’s worth of trauma. The two head into a whirlwind of passion and instability as they navigate the turbulent ocean that is their relationship.

While this may sound like the traditional ‘good boy meets bad girl story,’ it is much more than that. The book delves into the worst parts of Hollywood culture, including sexual abuse and drug addiction. Additionally, readers are privy to many characters’ perspectives, including that of Nicole’s father, a former soldier and current movie industry tycoon, Richard Weiss. Apart from his thoughts on and reactions to his daughter’s rash behavior and harmful decisions, Richard brings the realities of WWII, and war in general, to light. As the book develops, other soldiers’ stories begin to shine through as well, adding yet another layer to this unique novel.

One of the things I liked most about this book was that it gave me many intense emotions while reading it, even if those emotions were largely anger, disgust and frustration. I’ve always stood by the idea that a novel should make you feel something strongly, and this one did just that. I appreciated that the story didn’t shy away from difficult subjects but rather attempted to portray the darker moments in an honest way. The novel itself was well-written, with but a few unobtrusive typos.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because I think it successfully reveals a story that, while so unlike anything most of us will ever experience, gives us insight into Hollywood in the 1980s (and today, in my opinion). As for the type of reader this book will appeal to, please note that there is a high level of graphic adult content related to abuse, sex and drugs. A large portion of the book is dialogue between Nick and Nicole interspersed with long scenes from the past and some looks at the lives of the other characters. I felt that these many fast-paced dialogue scenes echoed the drug-addled minds and unstable feelings of the characters, but do keep it in mind when wondering if this is stylistically the right book for you.

Personally, I enjoyed this rare glimpse into Hollywood and its many victims and villains, but also into the lives of people who have endured far too much. I believe Sciuto did his homework on the subject and has presented an accurate portrayal of the times and themes. Interestingly enough, I believe the content and style of Hollywood Riptide would do well if turned into a screenplay—though perhaps that’s just the theme making me biased—and I would love to see it as a movie someday!

******
Hollywood Riptide
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amadichizi
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Post by amadichizi » 07 Sep 2018, 04:36

Great review! I'm now definitely interested in reading the book.

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Post by topdan30 » 07 Sep 2018, 07:06

This book offers alot as you point out. will sure be interested. Great review

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Post by Bluegirl53 » 07 Sep 2018, 07:21

Great book I really like it I read it to my daughter and grandkids and they like the book it hand good idea in mind :tiphat:

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Post by mac83 » 07 Sep 2018, 08:56

This sounds like a good book. Your review makes it sound like something I would quickly get pulled into and end up reading until I finished it. I like that it triggered such emotions. Those are my favorite types of books!
Mac :techie-reference:

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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Sep 2018, 09:20

I agree completely that a novel should make you feel something strongly. It sounds like there's a lot more to this novel than meets the eye. I'm just not ready to feel frustrated at the moment. I need a feel good read. :) Still, I appreciate your review. I'll keep this one in mind for a future time.
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Post by SKS94 » 07 Sep 2018, 14:39

This sounds great! Your review makes it sound like a breath if fresh air to the stereotypical 'good, honest boy meets bad, damaged girl' story - I definitely want to read this.

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 08 Sep 2018, 20:05

amadichizi wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 04:36
Great review! I'm now definitely interested in reading the book.
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it.

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 08 Sep 2018, 20:06

topdan30 wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 07:06
This book offers alot as you point out. will sure be interested. Great review
Thanks!

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 08 Sep 2018, 20:07

mac83 wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 08:56
This sounds like a good book. Your review makes it sound like something I would quickly get pulled into and end up reading until I finished it. I like that it triggered such emotions. Those are my favorite types of books!
They're my favorite types too! Thanks for reading my review and commenting. :)

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 08 Sep 2018, 20:09

kandscreeley wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 09:20
I agree completely that a novel should make you feel something strongly. It sounds like there's a lot more to this novel than meets the eye. I'm just not ready to feel frustrated at the moment. I need a feel good read. :) Still, I appreciate your review. I'll keep this one in mind for a future time.
I understand that! Sometimes, I'm in the mood for a feel-good read too. :) Thanks for commenting, and I hope you enjoy the book if you ever get to read it!

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 08 Sep 2018, 20:09

SKS94 wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 14:39
This sounds great! Your review makes it sound like a breath if fresh air to the stereotypical 'good, honest boy meets bad, damaged girl' story - I definitely want to read this.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

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Post by Eva Darrington » 21 Sep 2018, 19:24

Nothing like a Hollywood drama to provide a nice distraction. This sounds like a good writer with an difficult and important story to tell. I have a really good sense of this book from your summary and analysis. Beautiful review.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

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Camille Turner
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Post by Camille Turner » 22 Sep 2018, 17:42

Eva Darrington wrote:
21 Sep 2018, 19:24
Nothing like a Hollywood drama to provide a nice distraction. This sounds like a good writer with an difficult and important story to tell. I have a really good sense of this book from your summary and analysis. Beautiful review.
Thank you, Eva! Yes, it was a very well written book, and the story was quite captivating. Thank you for reading my review and commenting.

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