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I had a fantastic weekend this year when Northchapel Working Steam Show came back under new Management on Saturday 11th August 2012 and Sunday 12th August 2012. The show was held at:
School House Farm,
Although the name of the show contains the words "Working Steam" this was certainly not the only thing to see and do on site. This show for 2012 was raising money for St Wilfrid's Hospice in Chichester and I believe speaking to the people who ran the show the following years will see funds raised for other charities.
The costs for the tickets were:
Adults : £6
Children : £4
Family : £16
Over 60's : £5
Upon arriving at the show I was directed into a field to park the car. There was a bit of a walk from the car park but there was a kind lady offering lifts to people who found the walk too much in a golf buggy. I was greeted at the entrance gates by a group of warm and friendly ticket sellers with programmes and raffle tickets (you could even buy your ticket with a debit card!)
So now I am on site and which way do I turn! I am totally awestruck by the size and the amount of things to do, there were four fields containing things to see, I don't know where to start. I decide to turn left and start in the main field with the many full sized traction engines, after this I came to the fairground, covering the left hand corner of the first field, which consisted of many different regular fairground rides like the big wheel and dodgems. After finally dragging my daughter away from the fairground I then came across the huge selection of stationary engines and in front of these was a model tent, St Wilfrid's, a bar, a selection of catering vans including stone baked pizzas, face painting, ice cream vans and wood turners. On the other side of the field I found a selection of fire engines and military vehicles and then up the centre there were vintage cars and motor bikes. In the centre of the main field behind the classic bikes there was an arena which had a list of events going on throughout the weekend, these were listed in the programme. Moving into the next field I was greeted with ploughing tractors, thrashing machines, a lady with bees selling honey and if I remember rightly a cider stand too. Down in the third field there were heavy horses, an archery team, birds of prey and a selection of old fashioned living vans. The final field was used for the heavy horses to plough and many of the tractors also took a turn there too.
Whilst walking around the site the thing that struck me more than the size was the fact that speaking to all the exhibitors they were so passionate about what they were doing, they wanted to tell you everything about their exhibits and guided you to other parts of the show they thought you would enjoy. All everyone wanted was for everyone to have a fantastic day and I can say they totally succeeded with me. Looking around me whilst I was there I could see so many smiling faces, for me there seemed to be a real buzz in the atmosphere. I thought that everyone working and exhibiting at this show were really friendly and very welcoming.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at Northchapel Working Steam Show. I will definitely be going back again next year and I look forward to them releasing the dates for the next show. I would definitely recommend this show to anyone looking for a fun filled day out surrounded by warm friendly people.
The Fever Tree is a first novel by Jennifer McVeigh and I hope she goes on to write many more novels of this quality. I look forward to reading more from her.
The Fever Tree is set in the 1880's and begins its journey in London with our main character, Francis Irvine. Francis finds herself with a very difficult decision to make following the untimely death of her father, should she live as a nurse maid with her Aunt or shall she move to the Cape to live as the wife of a man she dislikes? After deciding that emigrating to Cape is the option she will go with Francis begins her long trip to a new life. During the journey Francis meets another gentleman who has all the wealth and privileges she was used to prior to her father's death, Francis encounters a passion she has never before experienced but she is already promised to be married to a doctor who is awaiting her arrival. When she arrives the Cape seems to her to be another planet due to the contrast of the way of life between her old life and new life. The diamond mines are the main earner and Francis soon comes to see the horrific consequences greed has to the less wealthy. Francis has a hard time adjusting to life in a foreign country as a wife to someone with such strong beliefs and she feels such shame about her desire to be with someone else. Can Francis ever come to terms with such a devastating change to her life where destroying human life seems to be the only route to power and riches.
I think this book seems to be a fight between pride, power and survival with a young naive woman lost in the middle trying to find her place in life.
This book to me is a fabulous story, it is so heartfelt. I really found myself feeling and thinking hard about the emotions Francis was feeling. I really enjoyed reading this book from the very first page to the last page. I felt the emotions written in were immense.
I found this book to be easy reading, really enjoyable and very interesting. The way McVeigh writes her novel I could easily picture in my mind every scene she was trying to set which at times was not pleasant due to the undesirable areas this book walks us through.
With love, drama and excitement I found myself flying through this book always wanting to know what was going to happen next. It is the only book where I have gotten to the end and been disappointed that it had ended, I was enjoying the story so much that I just wanted to keep reading more.
I have already recommended this book to so many people so I would definitely be recommending this book to anyone and everyone.
The Fever Tree is due to be published by Viking on 29th March 2012. I have had a quick look around to see what prices are being asked for this book and the prices range from £8 to £13. This was a fabulous book but I think those prices are a little steep, I tend to stick to paying below £6 for a book.
This review can also be found on Ciao under the same name. Thank you for reading.
When Nights Were Cold is a book by Susanna Jones Published
01/03/2012 by Mantle.
I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of this book prior to publication to read and review. It might sound a bit strange but I was excited to be reading this book, this is the first book I have had prior to publication so it felt a little special to me.
The story is told by Grace Farringdon, a young lady who dreams of an Antarctic exploration and following the footsteps of her hero Ernest Shackleton. She can think of nothing better than pushing herself to her extreme limits.
The first stumbling block is getting out of her over protective home. Grace's parents want her to get married, run a household and look after her family but Grace has different plans.
Grace applies and gets accepted to Candlin to complete a science degree. After facing a battle at home to be able to attend the women's college Grace leaves her parents and her older sister, Catherine and finds herself nervous and alone in her room.
Once Grace has settled in at Candlin College she creates an Antarctic Exploration Society. The society is made up of four young ladies, Leonora Locke, Cicely Parr, Winifred Hooper and Grace Farringdon. During their weekly meeting the girls discuss how their trips would go and cover all the theory that is involved in an exploration. It is not long before the girls are desperate to put their theory into action and actually come face to face with the mountains.
Looking back, the memories from the mountains are terrifying but Grace has decided it is time for her to search the caves in her mind, to remember the past and re-live the events that went on to shape her future.
I could not begin to imagine what life was like for these girls being expected to watch life pass them by when all they wanted to do was get out there and enjoy life.
This is a story where I could not put myself in the position of the characters, but I think that is mainly because being cold and climbing mountains does not appeal to me. A lack of appeal for the hobby did not affect how much I liked this book though.
During the story there is a change in years quite regularly which did seem a little confusing at times but even still it was not too hard to catch up in my mind.
I also felt that there could have been more to the story, it had the potential to be a fantastic book but instead it was a good book.
This being said though I still really enjoyed reading this book, it was exciting, interesting and had a small amount of romance. I would read this book again as I feel that there were parts to the story that I may have missed and feel I would enjoy reading this book again.
I would recommend this book to someone who would like an easy and interesting read.
I flew through this book, it is the type of book that I would like to sit curled up in an armchair by a roaring fire whilst I relaxed and enjoyed the story unfolding in front of me.
This review is also on Ciao under the same name. Thank you for reading.
Firstly, this is a film only review as I don't own this on DVD.
Insidious is a horror film that was released in 2011. The film is centered around the Lambert family, when tragedy strikes the happy times and plans for the future in their new home seem lost forever.
Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson) Lambert move to a new house with their three children. Part of the fun for Dalton (Ty Simpkins) is exploring all the new rooms and so he heads up to the attic after hearing a noise up there, but something spooks him and he falls down a ladder in the attic. That night the Lambert family go to bed as usual, everything seemingly a normal evening. The following morning Dalton does not wake up. Once arriving at hospital Renai and Josh are informed their son is in coma.
Eventually a couple of months later Dalton gets to go home, although he is still in the coma. Upon Dalton's return strange things start to happen and Renai believes her house is haunted and seeks help from paranormal investigators, Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her team. This only proves to scare Renai much more than she ever thought possible, as she struggles to open her mind to the possibilities of the situation, the hauntings are becoming increasingly distressing. The fight to wake their son is going to take everything they have, but do they really have what it takes to save their family.
Insidious is around 100 minutes long it was written by Leigh Whannell (who was also part of the cast) and directed by James Wan.
This film for me is kind of judged in two parts. My overall view of the film is good. I really enjoyed the experience of watching this movie and I would watch it again however the first half and the second half were very different. The first half was really good, tension built well and it was very jumpy, it certainly sets the heart rate up a notch, but then we come to the second half as we start to uncover the reasons behind the storyline and that is where the film weakens and contains a few cheesy moments, not enough to ruin the film for me though, there are still many jumpy bits but the storyline turns a little silly.
I am a fan of horror movies although I quite often find myself disappointed by a film due to them failing on building suspense enough to make me jump and I quite often forget them soon after they finish but Insidious was different.
I managed to see Insidious in the cinema with a friend and I was not disappointed with the scare factor at all. I thought they managed to pack all types of scare in from physical jumping (and screaming in some cases) to that nasty cold tingle down your spine. Even now thinking back to watching one specific scene I can feel the chill on my spine!
I would recommend this film to people who like a good horror movie for the scare factor.
This DVD can now be found in places like HMV for around £6. As I said above I saw this film at the cinema so I paid around £8 to see it and I did not come out feeling that I had wasted my money so I would certainly say around £6 would be good value if I were to purchase this DVD now.
This review can also be found on ciao under the same name.
My Sister's Keeper was written by Jodi Picoult in 2004. It is a book that gets you asking yourself questions. If you don't like a book that may get the tears flowing then this will not be the book for you due to the nature of the story.
The main plot for this book is about Anna Fitzgerald, who at the age of 13 is claiming medical emancipation from her parents.
Anna was genetically chosen to be a donor for her sister Kate who has leukemia. The plan was to harvest blood from her umbilical cord to treat and save Kate's life. The treatment was successful but Kate has since relapsed many times.
Kate's relapses have also taken Anna into hospital so that she can give Kate what is needed to save her. Even though these treatments have sometimes been very painful Anna has never questioned this process, it is all she has ever known and she loves her sister so much.
During Kate's latest relapse Anna is told that she will have to donate a kidney. This will mean both girls undergo major surgery. In their mothers eyes there is no question to whether the surgery will go ahead or not.
Anna takes herself off to the office of Campbell Alexander and asks him to represent her in a law suit for medical emancipation. Anna's mother, Sara, is served the court papers and she cannot believe what she is reading, Sara believes Anna is acting selfishly. In Sara's mind she cannot see how Anna can refuse this one thing that will save Kate's life. Sara is very one track minded all she wants is for Kate to get better but she doesn't think about how it will impact Anna.
To add extra stress on this fragile family, Anna has a strong bond with her father Brian and he and Sara don't always see eye to eye with the best treatment of Kate and the court case does nothing but highlight these opinions that have always gone unsaid. Meanwhile Anna's older brother Jesse is running wild as he has always been the forgotten and ignored child, the Fitzgerald's are too wrapped up in helping Kate to see what is going on right under their noses with Jesse. The court case is tearing the Fitzgerald's apart and the hearts of each family member is breaking a little bit more every day.
This book covered areas where I was so torn, every page had me changing my mind as to whether I was on team Anna or team Sara. On the one side Anna donating saves Kate's life but on the other side that same process that saves Kate could take Anna's life as no surgery will ever be risk free.
This was a heart wrenching story where tears flow regularly. I liked the way Picoult wrote this book. I really like the way each chapter was written from a different characters point of view, although this probably contributed to my constant change of mind. Through the words on paper I could visualise this family and it was brought to life so well.
This is one of my favorite books by Jodi Picoult. Overall I personally found myself on team Anna, give the book a go and see which team you find yourself on. Don't forget to have tissues to hand though as you are likely to need them.
If you have seen the film and think you do not need to bother with this book then I believe you will be missing out on a lot that this book has to give, the book is very different and I felt the film did not show the individual bonds between characters well enough to do this book justice.
You can find this book online from around £4 which I think is a very reasonable price to pay for a book especially as I enjoyed reading it so much.
Also on ciao under the same name.
To me Pandora says charm bracelets, that is the first item I had heard of when I decided that I would like a Pandora bracelet for Christmas. One of my friends had one and I thought it was a lovely idea, it was something that could be made totally individual and entirely of my own taste. I added a sterling silver bracelet to my Christmas list and dropped loads of hints running up to Christmas. One of my hints was "just imagine how easy present buying would be for you if I had a Pandora bracelet, you will always have a charm for my bracelet on the present list"
Christmas arrives and it was time to exchange gifts (it was total chaos as there were around 15 of us opening gifts together) My last gift was handed to me and as soon as I saw it I knew it was my bracelet (still being in the bag it was bought in kind of gave it away as it was a small cream bag with Pandora written across it) I took my parcel out of the bag and unwrapped the ribbon and paper then I was left with a cream box with the Pandora symbol (an O with a crown) on the top. I opened the box and revealed my new gorgeous sterling silver charm bracelet, it also had my first charm attached which was a cute dangling heart in the middle of my bracelet. The bracelet is fairly thick with a clasp permanently attached to one end, the other end has a piece that sits inside a gap whilst you fasten the clasp. The clasp itself was the name Pandora written around it. When it comes to adding your charms to your bracelet you have to twist them on, I think that is a great idea as sometimes I find it a little hard to put the bracelet on myself and occasionally I let go of one end, if it wasn't for the twisting I would have had to spend ages fishing my charms out from under the bed etc, that being told means the charms do not fall off easily either.
There is a wide selection of charms for these bracelets so far I have stuck with the sterling silver charms some of which have coloured gems. There are also attractive safety chains to keep the bracelet in place should the clasp pop open without your noticing (this is my next Pandora purchase).
I think these Pandora charm bracelets are fantastic for creating something personal to me. My sterling silver Pandora charm bracelet has a big space in my sentimental valued items, for one it was a statement of love from my partner and secondly I lost my Grandad this year so I bought myself a charm in his memory for my bracelet so I always feel he is near by, I chose a sterling silver patterned charm with red gem stones (the reasoning behind that is he was a Liverpool football fan) I just love how it is something so simple and yet so versatile.
This charm bracelet is something that can be altered to match every outfit you own. It can also be altered dependent on your mood or the season or what ever other ideas you have. Your Pandora bracelet will be as individual as you.
At the moment you can get the sterling silver bracelets at to following sizes / prices....
16cm - 23cm £60
40cm 42cm 45cm £100
You can buy these bracelets from Pandora branded stores or a few specially chosen jewellery stores. For your nearest sales branch check out the official Pandora website.
To get the correct size bracelet for yourself, when it is on you should be able to get 2 or 3 fingers in the bracelet, if you can't get 2fingers in it then you will not be able to get your bracelet filled up with charms as there will not be room. If you can get 4 or more fingers in then there will be a risk that your bracelet may fall off and get lost.
Would I recommend this to others? Yes I would it is a great idea and looks gorgeous for every occasion with every outfit.
Is the bracelet good value for money? I personally say yes, I adore my bracelet and it is worth a lot more than that to me, also if you consider the fact that most of the little charms for the bracelet start at around £30 taking that into consideration it makes the bracelet seem much better value.
This review can be found on Ciao under the same name.
Firstly I would like to say this is a FILM ONLY review as again this was a rental and I didn't check out the extras.
Hotel for Dogs is a children's comedy based on the book by Lois Ducan. I rented this movie for my daughter and she absolutely loved it even though there were one or two occasions when I caught her crying at a few emotional bits. She watched this film over and over during the week we had it. I found Hotel For Dogs to be good fun and very enjoyable to watch. This may sound funny but I felt like I could really see a bond between the two leading children Andi and Bruce and the leading dog, Friday. The acting of the foster parents was a bit cheesy but that seemed to fit in very well with how I expect the producers wanted to portray the couple. Overall I thought the acting was very good and there were bonds between all the actors.
The first scene opens with Friday, a Jack Russell, standing tied up outside a shop looking for food. Friday manages to get out of his collar and goes on a hunt for food and finally finds a man with a hotdog to bug. Meanwhile Bruce, Jake T Austin, is in a public toilets putting rocks in various electrical goods boxes and wrapping them in cellophane then holding them under a hand dryer to make it melt and look like an unopened item for his sister Andi, Emma Roberts, to then sell to a pawn shop in order for them to raise enough money to buy their dog Friday some food. Their scam is eventually rumbled and they find themselves in the local police station where Bernie, Don Cheadle, their social worker collects them and takes them back to their foster home where the children find themselves again in trouble, this time for being late and delaying band practice. They spend the rest of the night in their room where they are hiding Friday. The next morning Friday goes on a hunt for food in the flat and nearly gets caught by Lois, Lisa Kudrow. Later on that day Andi and Bruce find themselves on the edge of trouble yet again when they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. To avoid being accused of a crime they didn't do they hide in an old abandoned hotel. Friday runs off to investigate and whilst looking for him the children come across two more dogs hiding in the hotel. They decide that here would be a good place to keep Friday safe and he stays with the newly named Georgia and Lenny.
Whilst shopping for dog food Andi lies to the pet store manager and says her parents rescue dogs all the time, Dave, Jonny Simmons, offers to donate bags of food if Andi would agree to taking three more dogs Cooper, Shep and Romeo. When they arrive back at the hotel they find that Dave's employee Heather, Kyla Pratt, has followed them. Before long Mark, Troy Gentile, joins them and the five children vow to rescue every stray dog in the city. With all the amazing contraptions 11 year old Bruce builds to keep the dogs looked after while they are away they feel nothing can go wrong, I would call it a recipe for disaster.
I would just like to say a little bit about the dogs who star in this film, which I researched about, before I tie this review up,
The dogs were selected with a mixture of breeds and colors so to create a better view of everyone being accepted no matter what or who they are. Most of the dogs in this film were in fact rescue dogs. The leading dog, Friday, was rescued around six months before they started filming. All the dogs received training from Mark Forbes, who also assisted in the training of the actors with the dogs. After this film was finished the crew helped to find new homes for all the dogs and some dogs were even taken in by various members of the film crew as they had grown so attached to the dogs.
If anyone out there was worried about what happened to these lovely dogs after filming ended I hope this puts your mind at ease.
As I said before this film is great fun and very enjoyable and the contraptions made to keep the dogs entertained were amazing, it is filled with energy and mischief and is a lovely film about two young children who don't give up no matter what life throws at them. I would recommend this to parents who are looking for a film to keep their children entertained or for a family movie afternoon. As my daughter loved this film so much and as I said above she watched it over and over during the week we had it, I decided to buy it for her for christmas, I bought it from dvd.co.uk for £4.95 and at that price, knowing how much my daughter loves this film, it is a bargain. Hotel for dogs lasts for approx 1hour 40 minutes which in my opinion seems like a long time for a children's film (as my daughter usually gets bored and wanders off leaving me wondering what I'm doing watching a children's film alone!) but the time certainly flies by and it does not seem like it has been on for that long, my daughter did not wander off and do something else at all during the many times she watched this.
This review can also be found on ciao under the same name.
First off I would just like to say I rented this film from Lovefilm and I did not use any of the extras so this review is about the Film Only.
Chasing Liberty is a romantic comedy starring Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode as the lead characters. The acting of these two lead characters was good and you could see the chemistry between them, the acting of the two agents Weiss and Morales was very cheesy, I'm not sure if this is how they were supposed to be acting or not but the cheesiness made them amusing in places.
Anna Foster wants a normal teenage life where she can go on dates and socialize with friends in peace but being the daughter of the President of the United States this is not a reality for naïve Anna. After secret service agents ruining a first date Anna goes to her dad and insists that she should be given some freedom. Her dad agrees to step down on the security he sends out with Anna and they decide that two secret service agents will suffice, they choose Alan Weiss and Cynthia Morales as Anna's personal security. On a trip to Prague with her family Anna arranges to go to a concert with her friend, Gabrielle. Upon seeing his daughter ready to head out for the concert her new look worries him and he decides to go back on his word, so he sends more secret service agents. Needless to say he gets found out, when Anna realises there are many agents around her she is very hurt and angry with her dad. Anna enlists the help of Gabrielle to make her escape from the agents. Anna comes running out of the concert and asks a young man with a scooter, called Ben, to whisk her away. Weiss and Morales are following Anna and regularly checking in with the President. With Anna finally feeling free she tours the city and ends up watching an opera from a rooftop and falling asleep. In the morning Anna calls her parents to do some damage control but when she finds out that her dad has had her call traced Anna decides to run again. Anna decides to meet Gabrielle at the Love Parade in Berlin and she boards a train with Ben following her. At this point Anna is unaware that she has only just shaken Weiss and Morales off and they have to try and find Anna with the help of someone Anna trusts. Scotty McGruff joins them on the train he is an excessively jolly character who informs them that they are on a train to Venice. As the three friends travel around Venice Anna has the freedom she wished for but will it become too much for her to cope with if things do not go to plan?
I found this film to be nice and lighthearted and very easy to watch, if you miss a few minutes it doesn't seem to matter as you catch up quickly. Although it is classed as a romantic comedy there is not quite as much comedy as you would expect. At times the storyline gets washed out by the scenery, there are times where the background in Prague and Venice is more capturing than the storyline on screen. I loved the scenes that were set on a gondola in Venice, this film has made me really would like to go back there again someday as I was too young to remember my last trip over 20 years ago.
I did enjoy this film as it was so easy to watch, Out of my friends I would only recommend this film to ones who I know their taste in films well. Other than that I would recommend this film to teen girls as it has the teen chick flick feel to it. Chasing Liberty is rated 12 as there are a couple of moments where Anna and Ben get too close for younger viewers.
As I said before I only rented this dvd but I did some research in to the cost to buy it and the cheapest place I have found to purchase this is at Amazon where it is currently available for £2.99. I think this is a reasonable price for this film and would maybe make a good stocking filler for a daughter at Christmas.
This review can also be found on Ciao under the same name.
In this review I am going to cover book three and four of the Vampire Diaries The Fury and The Reunion. These books follow on where we left off from book two. I have tried to be very careful as to not give away any major storylines from the first two books, I have not written about how things happened but the outcome for the characters from the end of book two is written below.
This book as did the previous book has a gothic feel to it, the cover is again black and has a large white lit candle on the front and where you would expect to see melted wax in a pool on the top of the candle there is a red pool which again I feel is to relate to the blood loss from the vampire theme of these books. The book is 416 pages long but once you are addicted to it you will be wishing for more.
Elena finds herself in a very confused state, she is a newly turned Vampire. She is watching two people savagely fighting. Suddenly she realizes that one of the fighters is being hurt and needs help so she jumps in to rescue him. Upon realizing that Elena needs to have human blood to complete her change and save her from dying Stefan now enlists the help of Matt and persuades him to let Elena feed from him. After Elena feeds Damon takes and hides her in Alarics attic where she rests and her mind becomes clearer and her memories start to return. Elena wants some time to figure things out as she is very upset by the events that occurred so she leaves Alarics and starts to wander around until she comes across her own memorial service. Stefan and Damon both find themselves drawn to her side. The strange goings on in the town start again while the memorial service takes place, the three vampires are distracted from the service by a large pack of dogs who belong to various families in the town. They are all sitting waiting for a command. One of the owners approaches his dog and suddenly he is mauled by the pack. The three vampires and Elenas friends find themselves again on a mission to save the town from an unseen power destroying them all.
With the vampires gone Bonnie, Meredith and Matt find themselves trying to protect their town after Bonnies dreams become frightening. Bonnie finds that her psychic powers are working in her sleep and warning her of the danger the town faces. The group of friends realize they cant do this alone and Bonnie uses a summoning spell to get the help of the people they came to rely on greatly. After some research they find that a few of the towns residents have a dark secret. With these new revelations and some old friends added to the mix the towns future looks very bleak and there is power like they have never seen before. With the twists and turns along the way will their plans and tricks work or will they get caught out. More importantly will they ever be strong enough to beat the increasing power that has arrived in Fells Church.
This book only Cost me £3.59 from the waterstones website so as with the review I wrote on book one and two I feel this book was really worth its money and again it has been added to the list of books to lend to a queue of friends. I really enjoyed this book again but my personal favorite was the previous book. It has not stopped me from being totally addicted to these books though I still couldn't put them down. I will have to wait patiently for book seven as its not published yet. I have found these books to be totally addictive they are nice easy reading with plenty of action and adventure, you never know what is going to come next you really can let your imagination run wild with these books.
This review is also on ciao under the same name.
I started reading the series called The Vampire Diaries after the TV series finished season 1 on ITV 2. I can't wait for season 2. Anyway after it finished I thought to myself where am I going to get my weekly Vampire Diary hit from so I decided it would be a good idea to read the books. Since I started the first book I have not been able to put them down and am now on book 5. I'm not reading the TV tie in books though and there are many big differences to the TV series, to start with it seemed very strange but now I'm used to the differences. In this review I will be talking about books 1 and 2, The Awakening and The struggle because both books came in the one actual book.
This book has a black cover and the Title is in White, there is a big red apple with a bite taken out of it with what looks like a few drops of blood running from it. In my opinion the cover gives a gothic style of feeling to it. This copy is 416 pages long (but remember it contains both book 1 and 2)
The Vampire Diaries is written by L.J Smith, The awakening and The Struggle were published in 1991 along with The Fury, which I hope to also review soon, to this date L.J. Smith is still writing more books to follow on the Vampire Diaries series. (I can't believe these books were published all those years ago and yet I'm only now discovering the wonders of them) The Vampire Diaries follow the lives of Elena Gilbert, a group of her high school friends and two brothers who are vampires.
Here is where our story begins, a new student named Stefan Salvatore starts at Robert E Lee High School, Elena finds herself drawn to him and vows to her best friends Meredith and Bonnie (who claims to be a white witch) to make him hers even after the repeated snubbing that she gets from Stefan. Stefan finds himself making friends with a lad on the football team called Matt who happens to be Elena's ex boyfriend and Elena uses this to her advantage. Eventually after Elenas attempts at winning him over it seems that Stefan softens to her and they become close, although there is still a part of Stefan that is very reserved and Elena can sense that he is not totally relaxed around her. Once she finds out the secret that he never wanted her to know everything falls into place for her and now knowing Stefan is a vampire it explains all the things Elena couldn't understand about him.
Stefans brother Damon also appears on the scene, he seems hell bent on making Stefan as unhappy as he possibly can and Elena can't understand how two brothers can hate each other as much as these two do and that is where she finds out the story of how they became Vampires.
In the mean time there are some very peculiar goings on in Fells Church, there are people getting hurt and killed by random animal attacks and this turns the town into a frenzy, with no one feeling safe in their town anymore they go on a witch hunt and blame is thrown around where ever possible. Stefan disappears and as the town always thought there was something strange about the new comer they decide that this proves his guilt.
The town ends up in a very dark place, can Elena and her friends figure out what is happening before their lives are changed forever?
This book starts again exactly where the first one finishes, Elena questions Damon about why Stefan disappeared and where they might find him but Damon refuses to help in the girls search for Stefan. Bonnie uses her psychic powers to help find Stefan.
Elena has been keeping a diary and she finds this missing, before she knew Stefans secret she used to write thing about him and she realizes that the things she wrote could prove his guilt to the town who still believe he has something to do with the brutal attacks and Elena finds out that her old friend turned enemy has hold of it and is going to read it on Founders Day.
Again Elena has to enlist the help of her friends to try and avoid tragedy, there is a race against time for them to avert disaster. Can the friends win their fight or will the sinister being triumph against the friends futile attempt at beating the unknown?
As I have said previously once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I have become totally addicted to these books. It was very exciting and there is always a new strange happening going on and I wanted to know what was going to happen with every new chapter. I would definitely recommend this book and have already done so, I have recently lent this book to a friend and she has read almost the whole book in a week (she is also addicted to these books) and on my recommendation I have another two friends in a queue to lend this book to. With that being said I feel this book was extremely good value for money, it only cost me £3.59 at the time from the Waterstones website.
This review is also on ciao under the same name.
This is a FILM ONLY review.
I recorded Music and Lyrics on sky plus a good few months ago and every time I was looking through my planner for something to watch I thought to my self "no, I don't really fancy watching that one" I don't know why I recorded it really as the biggest put off for me was the fact Hugh Grant was the lead character. I don't really like him much, I'm not sure what it is about him I dislike. Anyway last night whilst home alone I decided to watch something from my planner, movie wise all I had were either scary or this film. (I can't do scary films when I'm alone!) So Music and Lyrics it was. I am so glad I watched it, I really enjoyed the film. Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant worked well together There seemed to be a connection there, there wasn't smoldering chemistry there but they seemed to act well off of each other.
Alex Fletcher was a teenage heartthrob in the 80s when he was part of a band called Pop. When the band dissolved Alex found that his career took a dive unlike his fellow band member who became successful as a solo artist. Now Alex is asked to write a song for Cora a teen star in the height of her career. They do not allow much time for Alex to come up with this song and as he was always better composing the music rather than writing the words Alex finds himself struggling.
Alex has a new lady called Sophie come into his flat to water his plants and she is there one afternoon whilst Alex is working on the song, he sings a few words but then trails off and hears Sophie add a few extra words to the end of where he has gotten too. Alex discovers that Sophie was a creative writing student and talks her into assisting to write the song.
Music and Lyrics was written and directed by Marc Lawrence. The cast included: Hugh Grant as Alex Fletcher, Drew Barrymore as Sophie Fisher, Brad Garrett as Chris Riley, Haley Bennett as Cora Corman
As I said previously I really enjoyed this film, it was a pleasant surprise. It was a nice fun light hearted romantic comedy which was easy to watch and draws you in. It is a predictable storyline, as most of these types of film are, but even still I found myself waiting to see how they conclude the film. I would definitely class this film as a chick flick and would recommend this film for either a night in alone or with the girls or as a movie to watch the morning after a night out just relaxing on the sofa not having to think too much as me and my friends like doing.
This review is also on ciao under the same name.
Firstly, this is a film only review, I don't own the dvd so will not comment on the special bonus features.
Lovewrecked is a romantic comedy about a teenager obsessed with a rock star and the lengths she would go to so she can spend time with him. Who better to get stranded on an island with other that your idol. It is such a gorgeous beach too! What more can be desired.
Like all teenage girls Jenny (Amanda Bynes) has a crush on a famous rock star, Jason Masters (Chris Carmack). She is totally obsessed by him. Jenny and her best friend Ryan (Jonathan Bennett) get a summer job in a gorgeous Caribbean resort. Ryan and Jenny set off together for their exciting summer jobs. When they arrive they get given their jobs for the summer and settle in to their new daily routines. Then Jason and his crew arrive at the hotel and as soon as she notices him Jenny does everything possible to put herself in front of Jason. One evening Jason and his crew are going on a boat trip and Jenny poses as a waitress, that night there is a storm and Jenny and Jason fall overboard and float way on a life raft to a deserted island. On this deserted Island Jason breaks his ankle, this means leaving his survival up to Jenny. Jenny goes to investigate the island and try to find some food or some inhabitants to help them. Jenny finds a shocking discovery about her and her rock stars deserted island. Will this teenagers infatuation with a rock star lead to something real or land her in hot water.
Jenny - Amanda Bynes
Jason - Chris Carmack
Ryan - Jonathan Bennett
Milo - Joey Kern
Alexis - Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Directed by Randal Kleiser.
When I sat down to watch Lovewrecked it was late at night after I had watched a horror movie. (I like to watch something nice calm and happy to unscare myself after a scary film). I didn't expect much from this film it was just yet another teen movie classed as a comedy which probably won't be that funny and that I would fall asleep half way through due to it being very late. I was wrong! The film totally had my attention from beginning to end, I really enjoyed it, the storyline was far fetched and the comedy was quite slap stick but it gave me quite a few laughs. Adding to my reasons for liking this film was that there was some gorgeous scenery, the beach looked so nice and inviting. I would love to be laying on a sun lounger on that beach with a nice cocktail soaking up the sun. In my opinion this film would attract the attentions of young teenagers. It was a nice lighthearted fun film and good fun to watch.
I would recommend this film to anyone who is looking for an easy light hearted teen style film.
This review is also on ciao under the same name.
This is a Film only Review so I cant comment on any extras on the Dvd.
The Orphanage (El Orfanato) is set in an old orphanage where a family moves to with hopes of re-opening as a safe centre for disabled children. The Orphanage is Spanish speaking and it has been categorized as a horror movie.
At the moment I'm into looking through love film for some different films to watch, eventually I came across the orphanage which I had not heard of before, I read the basic plotline that love film offers and thought yes this sounds like a good film, but then I realised it was in Spanish and would be using subtitles, I must admit at first I was unsure as to whether to still add this film to my rental list but now I am so glad that I did decide to rent it. I was very pleasantly surprised by this film. I really enjoyed the film, the plotline was good and it was a very intriguing film. The overall acting in this film was very good but I thought Belen Rueda played her part of Laura fantastically, you could really sense what her characters feelings were and how deep her anxiety went. The tension throughout the film was held well and I never once got bored with waiting to find out what happens.
Laura and her husband Carlos move with Simon their young adopted son to the orphanage where she grew up. Laura has a dream of opening the old orphanage as a place for disabled children. Laura goes about getting the orphanage ready to open again, during this time she finds out that Simon has a friend called Tomas. When drawing pictures of his new friend Simon always draws a mask shaped like a bag over the head of Tomas. Laura starts to become worried about Simons behavior but Carlos is adamant it is just Simons way of trying to get attention. One night Laura finds Benigna, a social worker who previously visited them for Simon, wandering around outside, she tries to catch her to find out what she wants but is not quite quick enough. During a childrens party where Laura hopes to advertise her new centre for disabled children Simons behavior takes a dive for the worse.
Will this families life and dreams ever come back from the nightmare to be the same hopeful happy dream again?
The Orphanage was written by Sergio Sánchez and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. The main actors in this film are Belén Rueda as Laura, Fernando Cayo as Carlos, Roger Príncep as Simón, Montserrat Carulla as Benigna.
As I said previously I really enjoyed this film, I felt like I could relate to the state of mind theses characters encounter on the psychological side if you consider how you would feel in similar circumstances. They used typical horror film scenes for example dark gloomy grey weather and high suspense at night time. All round I felt that the film had been written, produced, directed and acted to a high standard.
I would and have recommended this film to many friends, provided you either speak Spanish or you are happy to have subtitles then The Orphanage is definitely worth a watch. I was in doubt to begin with but my thoughts are the film was well worth reading the subtitles for me.
Also on Ciao under the same name.
A Perfect Getaway is a great a psychological thriller with a few jumpy moments and some very well acted action scenes. I really enjoyed this film from beginning to end. I liked all the characters and how they were portrayed, you get to know the personalities of the individual characters and then at the end you realize you know how the dynamics of the relationships work for them as couples. The scenery was gorgeous throughout the film. I felt the acting was consistently good and the actors suited their characters well. The final twist was built very well but with plenty of clues along the way for you to piece together although I did feel that this could have been explored more deeply to give a better understanding of the situation and the state of mind.
Cliff and Cydney are spending their honeymoon hiking in Hawaii. On their way to the beginning of the trek they come across hitchhikers, cliff pulls the car over for them even after Cydney voices her worry over picking up strangers and how dangerous this can be, this is where they meet another couple, Cleo and Kale, after a bit of a scene they realize its not a good idea and drive off without Cleo and Kale. Once they begin their hike they come across another group of hikers who are worriedly talking about the murder of a honeymooning couple in Honolulu. Cliff and Cydney are unsure whether they should go back, they decide to continue but they have all their senses on edge waiting for something to happen and not trusting anyone they come across. A bit later Cliff and Cydney then join up with another couple, Nick an Iraq war veteran and Gina, but unsure of who to trust they become very suspicious of them. With danger everywhere will they ever make it home again or will they meet a gruesome end on this gorgeous island at the hands of a murderer?
A perfect getaway was written and directed by David Twohy. The 6 main characters in this film were played by Steve Zahn (Cliff), Timothy Olyphant as (Nick), Milla Jovovich (Cydney), Kiele Sanchez (Gina), Marley Shelton (Cleo) and Chris Hemsworth (Kale)
I watched this film with 3 other people and we all have a very different taste in film but we all enjoyed a perfect getaway very much. I felt it was very entertaining and highly interesting trying to keep the pieces of the puzzle together as the movie progresses. A perfect Getaway kept my full attention all the way through. Another reason I really enjoyed this film was that if it were not for the crazy people and the murders I could imagine myself there in person enjoying the trek they are taking and could almost sense the relaxed atmosphere that would normally surround me there.
I would definitely recommend this to friends and family, it works well when you are watching it with others with different taste in movies as it has a little bit of everything for everyone. (except young children obviously)
When sitting down to watch this film I had no idea what to expect, I was told it was based on rival racist gangs. Which is basically what its about but I was not informed of the level of violence I was to expect. If you don't like violence or your squeamish this probably is not the best film for you. I personally enjoyed the film, I did need to look away a few times though, the plot was well written and the lead actors portrayed their characters very well.
American History X is about two brothers, the eldest being Derek Vinyard and the youngest is Danny Vinyard. Before his incarceration Derek is looking for retribution for the murder of his father. Eventually Derek becomes entwined in a Neo Nazi group which leads to brutal murders, attacks, his leadership and finally his arrest.
Dereks brother Danny is showing signs of trouble while his brother is in prison by making it apparent he believes in the same ideas as Derek. The head teacher decides a good way to deal with this is to get Danny to write an essay on his brother.
When Derek is released from prison after three years he returns home a changed man, prison life seems to have set Derek straight and he now realises its not a race which is bad news it's the individuals, including himself, who are in the wrong. He now realises how wrong his actions were and he is ashamed of who he was. What he finds when he gets home though is that his younger brother Danny is intending to follow his footsteps as he looked up to Derek and his Neo Nazi ideas. Danny can't understand why Derek has such a change of heart and feels he now owes it to his father to get revenge. Danny still has the pent up anger that Derek had before his prison spell. Derek finds he has a battle on his hands proving he has changed and to save his family from all the violence he started.
There are many flashbacks throughout this film with the violent acts committed by Derek, they show all the racist attacks this group try in order to gain the run of their own turf. The most memorable being the act that gets Derek put in prison (just a quick warning, if you are squeamish this scene will turn your stomach).
I would recommend this film it will keep you on the edge of your seat, mainly thinking what horrors are coming next.
Approx running time 114 mins.
Dvd extras, deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, cast and crew.
This film can be found on HMV at the reasonable price of £3.99
This review can also be found on ciao under the same name.