|Reviews for Contemporary Jazz|
| HelloBeautifulChild chapter 40 . 6/9/2017
Hey there! I read your other story, Suzie Darling's Flying Saucers, and after loving that decided to read this one. Boy, am I glad I did! This story is so good, the plot moves well, the characters are well made (which is not surprising in the slightest to me, as the character development was my favorite part of Suzie Darlling's Flying Saucers), and the tone of the writing kept everything interesting.
Jazz's parents are delightfully odd, and their relationship with both Arjen and Jazz was worthy of applause. I also liked that you used Nathaniel's parents to show what could have happened to Nathaniel. Obviously Nathaniel would never be that bad, but the comparison was valid.
Not to mention that Felicity is just perfect. The grandmother who raised them watching out like a mama bear but still kind and soft like a grandmother.
The surprise that Arjen had a daughter was a good one, it surprised me way more than him being in love with Bell. It explained a lot too, about his personality and why he kept everything so close to the belt. What I love about him is he is private without being broody. He doesn't fall into a troupe that is, honestly, kind of lazy writing.
Monnie is a cute little girl, if written a little older than I would have expected. (Of course, she is a little older than her years.) I really enjoyed the arc where she was disappointed that Jazz wasn't going to be her stepmom, and that she felt comfortable to tell Win about it.
Knowing that, I still think Bell will be a good stepmom. More of a cool aunt type, but still. She's very strong, but unlike a lot of strong women that you find in stories, she is smart. She had the patience to wait a day for the planned blow out with her parents, something not many would have. Not to mention that, geared up for the fight of her life, she wasn't angry with Jazz for dropping out.
Nathaniel was also a good character, and I loved him for Jazz. His desire to get everything out in the open, his willingness to marry someone on the first date, all of these form a fairly emotional man, something that suits his composing abilities. I do wish that his OCD had been brought up earlier on. It felt like an add on, and it would have been a lot more natural if more quirks had been mentioned early on.
Jazz was fantastic, quirky and honest and wonderful. She's so kind, and really grew as a person with better friends around her. The backstory on her fashion (which I appreciated and cringed the more I heard about) was something that I think everyone can relate to, and really started her on a good foot. Not to mention that it's translation to her re-design work on furniture was flawless. I'm sure her and Argy-Bargy will run that shop splendidly.
Finally, on her childhood friends... It is a plot that has been used many times before, because it is a plot that most people go through at some point in some way. I think you did it fabulously. Their blindness to their own flaws in relation to Jazz is typical of people who find themselves in 'friendships' like that. What I really like is that, while they were absolutely in the wrong, they're not irredeemable. Giving Jazz the presidential suite doesn't make up for what they did, they ought to have noticed she was missing, but it shows that they have a desire to grow. I doubt Jazz will ever be besties with them (I'm sure Bell and Win would beat them away with a bat, and Arjen would yell at them, and Nathaniel would take advantage of the distraction to whisk Jazz away somewhere), I like to imagine they redeem themselves and maintain a decent long distance friendship.
Also of note, I loved the translations with Winter's brother. They were hilarious and well done and , well, bravo!
OVERALL- Sorry for the long review, I just love this so much! Thank you for writing, and putting it out for free. A story like this could make you money, and instead you put in all of your time and let us enjoy it for nothing more than a digital favorite and a "good job" review. Your writing is so so good, and I loved this story.
| alchem chapter 40 . 4/29/2017
Thank you for sharing this story. I really don't want to leave their universe. .
| Cassadaga chapter 40 . 4/28/2017
Aw, that was a very sweet ending. Im glad it didn't end with Nate and Jazz's wedding because that mightve been too cliche. (Though I'm sure I would have enjoyed it either way, to be honest). I also liked the theme wedding idea because it seems very much like Iesobella, but also somehow uncharacteristic (she loves old fashions, but I wouldn't have expected her to take it so far). (Then again maybe theme weddings are very common and I've just never heard of one, so it seems stranger to me)
I liked the bits about Jazz's parents in this chapter, and I've come to realize that maybe it makes sense for them to be so weird and forgetful because Yasmine gets it all from them.
Oh I just thought of something! Jazz calls Winter 'Winter'...wasn't she going by Cassandra now?
Anyway, this was a very sweet story and I love how your main character is so bold and odd and still likable, with great morals and decency. I really enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing it with everyone!
| Cassadaga chapter 39 . 4/23/2017
Hmm ok, so I was expecting the showdown with the parents to be something we witnessed, not just heard second hand. I don't think the way you did it was wrong, just not what I was expecting. Also, the parents' wish to convert the house didn't seem as awful and conniving as I expected. It seemed kind of reasonable to want to use a big ol' mansion as a wedding spot or tourist spot...Even though I understand why Nate and bell wouldn't want this (they live there, their Nana lives there, their brother died there so it's kind of sacred grounds sort of). I guess I expected something more explosive,And I think hearing it second hand from Bell dulled the impact a little as well. also, because the parents were brought into the story late (though they were talked about early on), they seemed kind of like a final boss battle lol.
That said, clearly all of my gripes have been because I expected something else. So probably if I didn't go in thinking one thing, it would have been different.
One little thing. This sentence has the word screwdriver thrown in:
"Are you okay?" she asksscrewdriversand he leans back into the couch
As usual I liked the interaction between Nate and Jazz!
| Cassadaga chapter 38 . 4/20/2017
I understand Jazz's point of view and reasoning, but I'm not sure I agree with it. Or at least, I'm not sure I'd do the same. I feel like she should be there for Nathaniel's sake...she doesn't have to argue, just be there for moral support. I do like that she pointed out how Monnie shouldn't go, though.
How many chapters are left? (If you're willing to say)
| Cassadaga chapter 37 . 4/17/2017
I'm sad to hear it's coming to a close, but Im ok with it because we've gotten answers and everything is coming together nicely. Plus I've got your other story ready to go so I've got something to turn to!
Cahoots sounds like cagoules which is (I think?) A British term for a Windbreaker jacket. I heard it in the song "she does the woods" by the last Shadow puppets and had never heard the word before so I assumed it was a British thing. I was going to say that might be why Jazz (or you) suggests cahoots sounds like a clothing object, but the more I think about it, cahoots doesn't sound much like cagoules at all lol. (This has been my Yasmine-esque tangent lol)
And hey, was that a shoutout to me at the end? That's so nice of you! I feel like reviews are the least I can do for authors posting on this site. This story brought me a lot of entertainment and also it's made me want to get a little weird with my writing and my characters because you did it so successfully. So thank you for that!
Looking forward to the final chapters
| Cassadaga chapter 36 . 4/17/2017
I loved the scene with Monette and Cassandra. I was wondering how Monnie felt about everything they talked about and Cass had good advice.
My guess about what the parents want...Maybe they want the house back in their name. Or maybe they're running out of money and are trying to get in Nan's good graces again to get back in the will. If they're out of money, that would explain them hurrying home on short notice.
I'm wondering if the engagement news will make the parents falter with their friendly facade, or if they will be really happy about the news. Maybe Yasmine will act extra crazy to force them to be mean again. Or maybe Bell will get it out of them like Nate says. However it happens, I'm sure it WILL happen. Can't imagine they'll convince anyone they've really changed.
| Cassadaga chapter 35 . 4/16/2017
This was such a sweet chapter
| Cassadaga chapter 34 . 4/16/2017
"Winter is not only over, it's far behind her"...What a great line!
The swear-translations were funny and had great commentary, but it felt like breaking the fourth wall, like suddenly the author was talking to me and it was the first time this was happening. I didn't dislike it, though.
I'm excited to see them interact with their parents. I wonder if Jazz will be there and if she'll be like a good-natured suit of armor for Nate. Although it does worry me that their parents are scheming...But I'm sure the kids aren't dumb enough to fall for it, and the parents probably won't be convincing enough to pull it off.
| Cassadaga chapter 33 . 4/16/2017
I'm going to have to re-read this to see all the times the family was partaking in their secret drinking game!
I like how Yasmine and Nathaniel have semi-lovey-dovey conversations in front of everyone shamelessly. Related: I like how Yasmine is open with her feelings for him. Nate is the same. It's not this coy game of "will she won't she" that I am used to, and I appreciate it a lot.
Another thing I love: the ongoing theme of Yasmine questioning the origins of phrases. Its organic how they come up in the story, so it doesn't feel forced, even though it's happened a few times.
| Cassadaga chapter 32 . 4/15/2017
Interesting technique to deal with some heavy stuff! Also, I liked seeing more of Winter this chapter.
I loved hearing Felicity's description of Nate's grief.
On a lighter note, I had my fingers crossed that the truth serum was a real legit potion because in the early chapters my reviews theorized that Nate and bell were time travelling mind readers, and if they brewed potions I think my theory would gain some traction. As it is, I grow less and less confident in my infallible theory every moment...
Also I keep wondering about something that was said a couple times and I don't know if it's just your writing style or a real "hint", but I remember bell saying something to the effect of "when I was twelve and Nate was...Not" as if there's something they're hiding about their ages. I don't know, and I very likely could be imagining things. Did I mention I read this in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep? It's very likely I've made everything up.
By the way, thanks for this story! I'm really enjoying it, if my chapter long reviews didn't make that obvious :D
| Cassadaga chapter 28 . 4/15/2017
This is my most favourite chapter yet!
What a roller coaster of emotions. I felt sooooo bad for Jazz to the point where I almost wanted to cry FOR her. It was just heartbreaking to read on and seeing the situation escalate to the point that she missed the wedding.
Then, Arjen is like a hero saying all the things we (the readers) agree with, but then yasmine is ANGRY. And that was my favourite moment because even though I've only read about a small portion of her life, I know immediately that anger is not something she normally feels or acts out. And as much as I agreed with Arjen, Yasmine is completely right and so mature about it. However right he was, it was wrong to do.
I loved this chapter so much ahhhhh
| Cassadaga chapter 27 . 4/15/2017
I love that game they played! And honestly, I can't get over how much I love Yasmine. She's so good and pure but nothing about her is annoying or boring.
Who will snap first? I imagine Arjen, but maybe it'll be a surprise outburst from Yasmine! I wouldn't mind that. I bet she'd be good at guilting people.
| Cassadaga chapter 26 . 4/14/2017
I've got to say, Yasmine's parents are annoying me a little bit. They just seem kind of dim and so oblivious to everyone's feelings but their own...Not in a malicious way, of course. I think you're writing them as comical characters but I feel like I haven't had the chance to get to like them as people, and it only makes me sad when they don't notice Jazz's concerns or how she tirelessly attempts to correct them on basic things. I think I just don't know them well enough.
But that's just my opinion! And you don't have to agree with it or change a thing :) I only say it in case you plan on further editing and need input like that. But honestly, this isn't something that's wrecked the story for me. In fact, I can't wait to continue reading! I really like the main characters (especially Jazz—for a character so flamboyant and all-over-the-place as her, I am never annoyed. She is insightful and very real despite her apparent quirkiness. She gets serious when she needs to be and she's smart, and I like that).
I also like her relationship with Nathaniel...And I like Nathaniel's relationship with Bell. I like all the little stories about their past and their childhood. They sound so genuine & I feel more connected to the characters because of it. Interested to see what his big secret is, and I hope it won't be a dealbreaker for Jazz :)
| Cassadaga chapter 22 . 4/13/2017
Hmmmm I think that's a good twist, my problem with it is that I didn't see it coming at all. It sort of felt like a deus ex machina situation, where a plot point is invented to speed the story along. I know this is not the case because you foreshadowed with Arjen holding a ring and talking to a woman on the phone about being together...But it felt a little forced to me. I think I needed more hints. Like Iesobella hinting that she had a secret, or whistful comments about love.
Also, I thought Arjen had a crush on Jazz. In the early chapters (maybe even the first one?) There was a comment something like "Yasmine doesn't notice the way Arjen looks at her". So I think my assumptions about his romantic interests were misconstrued and that mightve made it harder for me to comprehend the sudden twist of him and Iesobella together.
I still enjoy your writing so I hope this review doesn't sound super negative. Im just trying to give feedback in case you plan to further edit and one day publish.