TITLE: There’s Beauty in the Struggle: A Vixen Tale
AUTHOR: Simply Shonda
PUBLISHER: Loyalty Reigns Publications
PUBLICATION DATE: September 8, 2017
PAGES: 96 (Kindle)
COVER DESIGNER: Outsourced Designz
SYNOPSIS: We first met Vixen in Karrington's Story but this time around Vixen has her own story with her best friend Shamir. Both friends are looking for a change but are unsure on how or where to start. Enter Mez and Ryan, two men desperate to show Vixen and Shamir the beauty and strength in their struggle.
EXTERIOR / COVER DESIGN: The cover of this book is nice. It displays two half-dressed women and one appears to be attractive. Based on the imagery of the cover, you wouldn’t be able to tell what the story is about. The subtitle A Vixen Tale would lead the reader to believe the women are using what they have to get what they want. We read the eBook, so it is unknown what the spine and rear cover look like.
INTERIOR FORMATTING: The interior of this eBook was normal. It is unknown what the interior of the paperback looks like.
REVIEW: The main characters in the story were Vixen, Shamir, and Mezeker (Mez). Vixen was a young woman that works at The Wet Hole, which is a strip club. She used to also be a prostitute but has since stopped those extra activities and only stuck to dancing. She lives with her drug-addicted mother and pays most of the bills. Vixen takes care of her mother because she is the only one who will put up with her other’s sneaky habits. Although the story focuses on Vixen, we are introduced to her best friend, Shamir. Shamir is caught up in a bit of a love triangle and needs Vixen’s support to get through it. Mezeker comes in the story and becomes Vixen’s love interest. He goes above and beyond to get her attention and when her heart.
In the story, Vixen struggles with depression as the fast life catches up to her. She reminisces on the girls that started dancing with her that have since moved on and started normal lives. One of those girls is her little sister, Jordan. Vixen and Jordan haven’t had much of a relationship since Jordan stopped dancing. Vixen goes from hating her life to loving the money she made in the club. It is interesting to see the constant change of emotions she goes through. I believe those changes draw readers towards her character. While reading, we literally hoped for something positive to come into Vixen’s rough life. This is a testament to the writing and creativity of Simply Shonda’s story and the relatability to the characters.
There’s Beauty in the Struggle: A Vixen Tale is a quick read and we feel it should have been a full-length novel. The story jumped around and we didn’t get to enjoy key moments in the story. There was mention of Shamir catching her husband in bed with their neighbor’s daughter, but it was only a mention with no description. We would have loved to know how she felt at that moment, where she though he was, has she seen the girl around him before, etc. There was also a moment when Vixen and Mezeker first locked eyes in the strip club. Vixen says everything stops briefly and she thought he was attractive, but a moment like that should have been “showed and not told.” Readers should have been able to visualize each scene: in the neighborhood, inside the strip club, and in everyone’s home, but we didn’t get that from the author. The story started off slow with us learning about Vixen and Shamir’s pasts and presents, but once the drama kicked in, we couldn’t put the book down.
There were a lot of grammatical throughout the story. The typos were consistent and a few of them threw you off from the story, because you were trying to figure out what the writer meant. There were also some inconsistencies in the story which confused us as readers. Vixen literally made $40,000 in a week, but didn’t have a car and it was never aelaborated on what she was saving her money for. She also mentioned putting all her money in the bank, but we all know how hard it would be trying to deposit $40,000 into a personal back account. I wish we would have gotten a little more ellaboration on a few of these issues because they left unneccesasry gaps in the story. At one point, I figued she just didn’t want to buy a car because she also caught an Uber, but once she was so happy to get a car I was confused to as why she didn’t just buy once. Especially if it meant so much to her to have something of her own for once. Besides two surprises in the middle of the story, everything else was very predictable (in a good way). You would root for Vixen and because of the predictability of the story, you knew something good was going to happen which made you want to read more to see what was going to happen and how she would react. If these gaps were filled and the typos were corrected, this would easily be 4 or 5 star read. It would also make the story longer, which it needs to be.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 STARS
The Critique Kings
The Critique Kings are Creedom's book reviewers. They consist of a group of avid readers and writers, which include young readers. Reviews are also posted on Amazon, GoodReads and social media.