Customer Reviews for

West Side Story

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    the musical may be a copy of Romeo and Juliet, but you have to take into consideration that Shakespeare didn't make up Romeo and Juliet ALL by himself. It ORIGINALLY came from an epic called 'Romeus and Juliet' by Arthur Brooke, so it really isn't plaigarism, it is merely 'fixing'.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2010

    See the movie or the musical before reading the book!

    West Side Story, by Irving Shulman, is the novelized adaptation of the popular Broadway musical. Written almost 50 years ago, it is the "modernized" version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and portrays aspects of forbidden love caused by racism and old-fashioned ideas. The book tells the story of Maria, a first-generation immigrant from Puerto Rico, and Tony, who was born in America. They are both connected to rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Maria sees America as a beautiful place where nothing bad can happen, even though she lives in a poor neighborhood where her brother is the leader of the Sharks. I like the way the author wrote Maria's character to be very innocent and blind to the racial discrimination that she faces. She sees America as a wonderful place even though her neighborhood is anything but wonderful. Tony's gang member friends don't know how to solve problems other than through violence. Following the plot of Romeo and Juliet, Tony and Maria fall in love, which creates uproar to their family and friends. I've seen the musical and the movie, and I have read the book, and I was disappointed with the book. Often a book will deal with conflicts more effectively and in greater depth than a movie or musical can, however I didn't feel that way with West Side Story. For this story, I think that the singing and dancing brought the passion and serious issues to life better than written words. Although I liked the musical better, it was not a bad book! It was interesting to read about issues such as racism and interracial love and to see how far society has come in the past 50 years!

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    The Understanding of Differences

    "West Side Story" does a nice job of explaining the love and conflicts that arise between people of different ethnic groups. The story appeals to teenagers of middle school probably to those in the nursing home. "West Side Story" appealed to me in seventh grade and is still in my interests today.
    "West Side Story" took place in the bitter streets of New York City. The book, of course, consisted of two gangs with different races. There were Pollocks in one group, Puerto Ricans in the other. There was no significant reason for the gangs to battle, but just that each gang wanted the streets of New York City to be made their own. Of course the groups could not mingle with any member of the opposing ethnic, but two people, Tony and Maria, ignored this rule. The author, Irving Shulman, did a terrific job of explaining the emotions inside the gangs, the emotions during the gangs' rumbles, and the feelings of Tony and Maria. "West Side Story" is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet, explaining the situation of love in a more understandable way.
    In this action drama, many emotions jump out of the pages, while Tony and Maria not only battle with the hatred between the gangs but keeping their love strong through it all. Tony and Maria are forced to sneak around and secretly love each other. Both know that if they are caught, nothing good will arise. Neither Tony nor Maria approve of the gangs. They see eye to eye despite their ethnic, and see no reason why everyone can't just get along. They want the streets of New York to be a place for friends not rivals.
    I am definitely a fan of "West Side Story," and I recommend the book to those who want a good action, love story with a hint of dispense. Once you read the first few pages, you'll never want to put the book down.
    If you are ever looking for a fun book to read that will keep you on your toes, you might want to highly consider reading "West Side Story."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2009

    Good Book

    Good book for Middle school and High school kids NOT elem. school i really don't know what to say ?? sorry

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Nice Romantic Story

    This is a love story like Romeo and Juliet. I read the book and watched the movie. We read this book in 10th grade. Couln't put the book down I liked it very much. All these years later I read the book again recently. It's truely amaizing for all ages!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    Does Art Copy Life or Life Copy Art?

    A great read and paralell to Romeo and Juliet. Set however, in more modern times. It holds up over time, to interacial love and conflict, to a gang homicide by shooting. It was ahead of it's time and is today still, right on time. It goes down like this in California in real life like, all the time. An excellent story then and now.

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    Posted August 5, 2010

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    Posted July 20, 2009

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    Posted April 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

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