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amylou-86

amylou-86
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Member since: 13.11.2009

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      19.05.2010 10:49
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      A good read but sometimes a bit confusing

      ~The plot~ Katie is a mother, a sister, a journalist and a loving friend. However, her life is now counted as she has been told that she has untreatable cancer. Scared for her daughter, Molly, Katie gets in contact with her only living family member, her sister Michelle. Michelle currently lives in Afghanistan trying to help sickly children. Unfortunately Michelle and Katie have not been in contact for many years as their personality clashes forced them apart. Katie wants Michelle to look after Molly when she has passed away. Michelle goes to catch the first available flight home after saying a tearful goodbye to her friend Tom. However, her flight is delayed and Tom kindly asks Michelle if she would like to stay at his house until she is able to catch the plane. During this time, Tom and Michelle's true feelings come out, and after years of denial, they realise they are in love with each other. This makes it harder for Michelle to leave, but knowing that her sister needs her, she arrives in England. However, Michelle doesn't arrive at Katie's when expected. A worried phone call from Tom puts Katie on alert. Michelle definitely caught the flight, but where is she? Katie becomes even more worried when Tom explains that his apartment has been ransacked. He is also a journalist, and he has had documents anonymously sent to him. Tom is worried that whoever ransacked his apartment is now after Michelle to shut her up about these documents. Michelle eventually arrives at Katie's and their relationship is put under strain once again as an FBI agent and loads of British policeman turn up at the house and demands an immediate search of Katie's house. Katie demands Michelle to tell her what her and Tom have done. Michelle explains that the Tom has received highly classified documents that would put the world into uproar and threatens to explain the truth behind the American government. Katie decides that she would like one more chance at helping to save the world before she passes away and she uses her contacts as a journalist to call in Laurie Forbes and her partner Elliot (also journalists) to help. Tom is forced into hiding whilst the truth is found out. They then have the impossible task of trying to persuade the world that the American government are putting Britain under threat. As well as trying to help Michelle and Tom not only publicise the truth, but to save their lives, Katie has the hard task of trying to make sure that Molly would be looked after when she dies. An easy enough task if only Molly would accept Michelle into her life. But Molly has her own problems, as all 14 year olds do. Katie's life is ebbing away, and all she wants is to make sure her family is safe when she has gone from both the American and British government, and each other. Will she get her last dying wish? ~My thoughts~ Again this was another riveting read from Susan Lewis. A story of life, death, love and a bent government. Not a normal mix, and not one that I thought would work well, but it surprised me! The book was very well written, and all the stories were connected in a way where the storyline could almost become real! Even though the book is focused mainly around Katie's life ending, it is not thrown in your face too much. However, the end did put tears in my eyes. There were certain times during reading that I got a little confused. It was when the characters were explaining the official documents. I couldn't make heads or tails of what the documents could mean, and why they could be so devastating to the world. However, about halfway into the book one of the characters explain the devastation in a way that I could understand. If only this could have happened at the beginning when the documents were first revealed! I wouldn't have been so confused! If someone asked me to compare Susan Lewis to another author, I would put her in the same category as Jodi Picoult. If you're a Picoult fan, then I'm more than certain that you will enjoy Susan Lewis. I have given this book 4 out of 5 dooyoo stars. It lost a star from me as at times the book was quite confusing when they went into 'government oficial talk' but other than this slight little blip, the book was a great read.

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        17.05.2010 22:20
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        Nice, citrusy bath melt

        I know this sounds quite odd, but I normally shy away from Mango scented products, but when browsing through the website, I couldn't help but place an order and this was one of them. Lush made it sound so delicious that I felt like it was my duty to give it a go! I've never really come across Mango scented things before and I'm the kind of person that stays with scents I know, so this was an unusual order for me. But, the product arrived and just like every other product from Lush, I was eager to try it. ~What do Lush say about their product?~ Lush are not only a high-street retailer, but also an online retailer that are well known for their handmade cosmetics, using natural ingredients, and are also known for their lack of packaging to help the environment. Unfortunately, the nearest Lush shop to me is about an hour and a half away, so I have to look online instead. Whilst browing I came across You've been Mangoed. This is what Lush say about their product: "Cheery, fruity mango butter melt. You've Been Mangoed is bright and breezy, with nutritious mango and avocado butters to make your skin feel as if it's just had a really healthy breakfast and is all set up for the day. Its fruity scent comes from skin toning lemon and lime essential oils with a drop or two of invigorating lemongrass to get things going. Everyone should know the joys of being well and truly Mangoed." Now you can see why I decided to try a Mango product. After placing the order, I could hardly wait for the postman to get here with my order, and nearly jumped him when I saw he had a parcel! ~My bath~ With my partner on the Xbox 360 and my son in bed, I made myself a cup of tea and went off to the bathroom to try something from my Lush order, and this one stood out. I unwrapped the bar from its paper wrapping, got a knife and cut it in half. When the bath was about half full, I held the Mango bar under the hot water until it melted which didn't take too long. I got into the bath and settled myself in for a relaxing hour. After I had been in the bath for about 5 minutes, my skin felt quite oily. When I got out of the bath, my skin felt really soft and well moisturised, and this lasted for the whole of the next day which was lovely. Unfortunately though, when I let all the water out of the bath, there was a ring of orange going all the way around. I was a bit unhapy at the thought of having to clean the bath after I was trying to have some 'me' time and to relax, but after getting a cloth, I only had to have a quick whip around and it was done so it didn't annoy me too much after all! ~Scent~ Like all products from Lush, they are really strong smelling before you put them into the bath and You've been Mangoed is no different. Normally though, once the product is in the bath, the smell is not too overpowering, but this is where this item is different to others. The aroma was still overpowering, and stayed like that for the whole time I was in the bath. It smelled really strongly of Mango's, but I couldn't smell any lemons or anything citrus-y for that matter. I will use this product again, but next time I will cut the bar into 3, so that hopefully the mango smell will not be too strong. I would advise that if you haven't used this before, then you should also cut it into 3. ~Price~ I split my mango bar into two and when it costs £2.80 for a 30gram bar then its not that expensive. However, the next time I use this product, I think I will split it in 3 instead so that the smell is not too overpowering.

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          15.05.2010 19:00
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          try it and see for yourself!

          This was an absolutely amazing read and the suspense is brilliant. I'm actually excited to write this review and try and get other people to read it. ~The Plot~ Melanie Stokes thinks she has everything she could ever have asked for. After being adopted aged 9 by Dr Harper Stokes (a leading cardiologist), her life turns into a fairytale. She has a loving mother, brother and godfather and a father who works all hours under the sun to provide for his family. Melanie was not the Stokes' family's first daughter. Meagan Stokes was brutally killed and dismembered by Russell Lee Holmes when she was just 4 years old, as well as 6 other young children. At least, thats the story the newspapers printed, and the police believed. Harper is apparently a very successful cardiologist who has made himself rich, but the police are suspicious. Just how has he made all this money? FBI Agent David Riggs is put undercover to monitor Harper, but the past starts rearing its ugly head, and before long a 25 year old homicide is put into question. This doubt rises when Melanie receives a visit from a Texan reporter claiming that he has proof of who Melanie really is. She's intrigued. At aged 9, Melanie was found drugged and abandoned in a hospital unable to recall anything of her life up until that point. And 25 years later she is still none the wiser about her early years. The reporter claims that Melanie is the daughter of serial killer Russell Lee Holmes, and that Melanie's adoptive parents knew this. But, why would they willingly adopt the daughter of the man who killed their little Meagan? David Riggs tries to help Melanie remember her life before the Stokes', but maybe the past should stay in the past ... ~Layout~ All of Gardner's books that I have read so far tend to have nice short chapters, making it easier to finish a chapter before you call it a day and go to sleep. This would be great in a book that was mediocre, but the chapters keep floating by as I turned page after page after page! The story does flick between all the main characters, but the switch is easily identified within a few sentences. Needless to say, the majorty of the chapters are written from Melanie's perspective, after all, she is the main character! ~My thoughts~ Where to begin? I have praised Lisa Gardner's work in previous reviews of her books, but this is my absolute favourite of hers, by far. From the minute I read the first word I knew this was going to be a book that makes me question every single character, and I did! Gardner couldn't possibly have created even more suspense without me going into shock overload! In fact, the only chapter where I had to stop guessing was the epilogue! Even though the book is based around the murder of a 4 year old child, it was not too gruesome. It tells you a little about her body when it was found, but other than that the gore is left out of it. I prefer it this way. I would hate to read a book that is going on and on about a little girl who has been murdered. But it seems Gardner knew where to draw the line, and she did not pass it. Like other Gardner books, I had it in my head that I knew who the culprit was, but then one tiny little sentence would put a halt to that thought, and then make me start suspecting another character. Then yet again, my thoughts would start reeling in another direction. I wanted to be smart and figure out how the book was going to end. So, either I'm not smart, or Gardner is a very, very talented author as I was in complete shock when the truth finally emerged. Or maybe its a bit of both ... A very well-deserved 5 out of 5 dooyoo stars from me, and one I would recommend to anyone who would like a suspense novel that keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

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            12.05.2010 21:34
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            not one I'm going to use again I'm afraid

            This is yet again another product that was in the Serenity gift box that I got for Mother's Day. I haven't come across anything like this with Lush before, so it was a new for me! ~What is Ceridwen's cauldron?~ This is what Lush say about their product: "Magical, relaxing melt for softer skin. It could be the ultimate bathing experience, but we won't know that until we finish inventing them. For now, it's as wonderful as you can get. We recommend lots of candles around the bathroom and the phone turned off for this one. Each melt is wrapped in muslin, dipped in wild flowers and tied with a ribbon. According to the spell it is based on, if you spit three times in the water, your wish will come true. Cocoa butter and walnut oil melt into the bathwater, frothing slightly, leaving you a muslin bag of whole oats to give your skin a soothing and gently-scented scrub. It's truly lovely." This sounds absolutely lovely, just like they say! I like the idea of the bath melt being a 2-in-1, which I will explain later. So, yet another night of peace and quiet, and off I go to the bathroom. ~What do you do with it?~ As your bath is running, pop the melt into the bath (still in its muslin). As the hot water seeps through the muslin, it begins to melt leaving the aroma of all ingredients used. With other Lush bath melts that I have tried, it doesn't take too long to melt, but when my bath had finished running I noticed that the whole bath melt hadn't yet finished melting. By the time I went downstairs, made a cup of tea and got my book, my bath was ready for me to jump into. I left the muslin in my bath to make sure that if there was anything left to melt, it would do so as I was relaxing. After about three quarters of an hour, I had finished my relaxing and was ready for the washing! I grabbed the muslin bag and started using it as a scrub like explained in the products description. I noticed that as I was washing, it was leaving a smear of white creamy liquid on my skin. This must be because the item hadn't finished melting like I thought it had. So after I had used the muslin bag to wash myself, I rinsed with water and out I got. ~My thoughts~ I was really excited to try Ceridwen's Cauldron, and unfortunately after having my bath, I don't think I will be using it again. As I have mentioned in another one of my Lush reviews, I do not particularly like the smell of sandalwood, and even though there was a lot of other ingredients put into this bath melt, the sandalwood stood out quite strongly. This might be because I don't like the smell, that I can sense it a mile away, or it might be because they have used quite a lot of sandalwood oil in it. Unfortunately, because of the sandalwood I wasn't able to smell any of the other scents that I was looking forward to smelling not only whilst I was in the bath, but after, on my skin. Another thing I noticed when I was using the muslin bag to scrub my body, is that it didn't really 'scrub'! It just glided over my skin due to the amount of oil in it. This was a tad bit disappointing. When I had used the muslin over half of my body I noticed that the bag had started splitting, and I had to rush the rest of my body so that I would hopefully feel smooth all over! Again, this was another disappointment. When all my bathwater had gone down the drain, I noticed that the bath looked really oily and greasy, so off I went to get some cleaning products, and scrubbed the bath. Not something I wanted to do when my main aim for the bath was to relax, not clean! However, even though Ceridwen's Cauldron has the downfall (in my opinion) of the sandalwood, it did leave my skin really soft to touch for the rest of the night and the next day. I did notice, however, that unlike other Lush products, I was unable to smell the product on my skin about an hour after I had got out of the bath. But honestly, I think this was a bit of a blessing rather than a curse as I didn't want to have the smell of sandalwood under my nose for hours! I have given this item 2 out of 5 dooyoo stars. It lost stars due to the sandalwood, the muslin bag splitting, not actually being a 'scrub' and of course having to clean the bath straight away before the oil seeped in everywhere! It got 2 stars from me for leaving my skin soft and feeling lovely for about 2 days. ~Price~ If bought separately, this bath melt will set you back £3.95 for 80grams. For some this might be about an average price for a Lush product, but for me it's a bit too expensive especially when I hated the smell! If Lush took the sandalwood oil out of this bath melt, and let the other ingredients release their aromas then they could be on to a winner, but as it is, I won't be either buying or using this one again.

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            • Hide - Lisa Gardner / Fiction Book / 33 Readings / 31 Ratings
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              10.05.2010 13:22
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              If you enjoy crime/thriller books then this is one you can't miss out on

              I am a big fan of Lisa Gardner after reading a few of her books, and this is the latest one of her books that I picked up from the library. ~The Plot~ Annabelle Granger is having a cup of coffee one morning and reading the newspaper. Then she comes across her name. She's dead. Instead of being confused and scared, she feels relief! All her life Annabelle has been on the run with her mum and dad, trying to get away from someone. Moving home every 18 months to 2 years as a rule. But nobody ever tells her who. Then when she was still young, her mum commits suicide after the pressure of their life of lies gets too much for her. Later, when Annabelle is older, her dad is killed by a speeding taxi. Now that both her parents are dead, she realises that she will never find out the truth of who wants to hurt them and why. Annabelle decides to stop running after all whoever posed a danger to her and family must think that she has been murdered like stated in the newspaper. However, Annabelle decides to tell the police, and the police only, that the body they found is not her. The real girls family deserves to know the truth. The police tell her that 'her' body has been found in a mass grave at a mental institute with 5 other young children. They also tell her that a necklace was found on the body with her initials on. Now things start coming back to Annabelle. When she was younger, presents started being left on their front doorstep for her, but they were left anonymously and no-one ever sees anything. The necklace was one of them. Did someone murder the anonymous the girl thinking it was Annabelle or was it more sinister? Fed-up of being forced to run all her life, she decides to help the police find the murderer in the hope that she will get some answers. But she does this with shocking consequences. ~My thoughts~ This book had me gripped from the first to the last word. So much so that I sat on my big, comfy leather armchair with a cup of tea and this book and just read all day long! I finished the book in 2 days, and the ending was a complete shock. I never would have imagined who the murderer was, and who had stalked Annabelle so much during her life that she was constantly on the move. Once again, Lisa Gardner has pulled another brilliant book from her hat. In fact, I have already ordered my next lot of her books from the library (its only small in our town, so I had to order them in from other libraries). Gardner writes so well, that just as she gets to the point where you are certain that you know who the killer is, it switches path and there becomes another suspect. I love these kinds of books, and love the fact that I have to guess who the culprit is. But, with all books that I've read by Gardner so far, I have never been able to guess who the murderer is. Same with this book. 'Hide' gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 dooyoo stars from me, for the suspense angle and also the way the whole novel was so well-written.

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                06.05.2010 14:24
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                It won't be one I read again

                This is the first book I have read by Val McDermid, and only got it because there was an offer in WHSmiths of buy one get one free on the top 50 paperback charts. So I got this one because the write up on the back seemed like a good storyline and it was a bonus being free! ~The Plot~ DCI Carol Jordan has yet another murder case to try and solve. A 14 year old has been murdered and their genitals removed. Normally, Carol gets help from a clinical psychologist called Dr Tony Hill who helps in murder cases by being a profiler. Unfortunately though, Carol is denied permission to use Dr Hill in the latest murder. Within 24 hours another 14 year old has been found murdered, again with their genitals removed viciously. Carol has to admit that they could have a serial killer on the loose. Unable to use Tony, he accepts another case - a 14 year old has been murdered, and yes, their genitals have been removed. This has happened in another county though, so the two cases have not been linked together. Unable to discuss cases between each other, Carol and Tony set about finding the murderer separately. Nobody knows the link between the 14 year olds and finding this out might be the key to finding their killer. They hope that no more bodies will turn up, but then even more 14years olds disappear, and they have to work against the clock. Finding the link is now even more important than before otherwise they could have more dead teenagers turning up. ~My thoughts~ The book had a really good storyline and I didn't figure out the possible link between the victims until it was revealed. However, because the book kept flipping between all the victims, Carol and Tony, I found it really hard to keep up. The storyline was brilliant but in my opinion it could have been put across a lot more easily. As well as having the storylines of all the victims, there is also background information from Tony's life. Even though it kind of links together at the end of the book, I still think that all of his background information could have been taken out of the book and the story would have still have been as good. However, all this information coming in from every possible character in the book really confused me and after putting the book down for even an hour, I had to go back and reread some of the last chapter so I knew where I had got to. I think I would read another one of Val McDermid's books because sometimes authors can have a confusing book that is not really reader-friendly even if they are top authors (as Val is). My all-time favoutire author at the moment is Jodi Picoult and I found one of her books to be a bit confusing but in the long run, her books are brilliant. This may just have been one of McDermid's downfalls, so I will try and read another one to see if her other books are easier to read and understand. I give this book 3 out of 5 dooyoo stars. If there wasn't so much irrelevant storylines then I would have given it 5/5 because the overall storyline of the murders was fantastic. I wouldn't recommend this book if you want a book that's easy reading, but if you don't mind having to think a lot about your books, then try this one.

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                  04.05.2010 11:27
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                  a great read from Lisa Gardner ... again!

                  ~The Plot~ Tess meets her ideal man. A handsome cop who is her knight in shining armour, Jim Beckett. He rescues Tess from her demanding family, and Tess believes her life will never be the same again. It isn't. Jim starts treating Tess like a slave rather than a wife. That is until she realises what he's really hiding in the basement. Scared of her husband, but wanting to protect their daughter, she goes to the police and tells them what she has found out about her husband. He's a killer, and now he's a killer on the run from the very people he worked with. Being a cop, he knows how to keep himself 'invisible' and he uses this to try and kill his ultimate target - his wife, Tess. Jim is eventually caught and sent to prison. Unfortunately, he manages to escape and wants to finish the job he started. Tess finds herself on the run again, whilst trying to protect their daughter. However this time, Tess has got a trick up her sleeve, surely even Jim can't get past her secret tool? ~My thoughts~ Please note : we find out within the first few chapters about Jim being a murderer, so this is not a spoiler. As well as the book being a thriller, there is also a love story brought into the book, so the book has the storyline of murder, relationships and also a background story of one of the characters. 3 stories rolled into 1, and written in a way that makes it all relevant. This book had me gripped from beginning to end, by keeping me guessing of what could happen next. But even I could never guess some of the twists and turns throughout the book, and this is what made it gripping. I was also able to have a feel of the characters, making me feel real emotion towards them such as sympathy. Not many authors can make me feel this but Gardner pulled it off brilliantly. After reading a few of Gardner's books, she has never failed to let me down as a reader, and I will be looking at reading more of her books. ~Price~ This book is available on Amazon from only 1p second-hand (delivery prices on top, as usual). If you prefer a new book then the price is from £3.62 - a bargain for such a good read!

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                    01.05.2010 19:49
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                    Amazing

                    After reading a review from Nixtee on here, I really wanted to stay away from Butterball as she had nothing but bad reviews for it, and as she has been using Lush a lot longer than me, I wanted to take her advice. Then mother's day came along. I went on to the Lush website and decided to get a gift for my mum who has never heard of Lush before and see if I could turn her into a Lush addict! I came across a gift set called Serenity and out of the 6 products in there, 1 of them was the Butterball. I rang Lush to place my order and also to enquire if there was any chance they could take the Butterball out and swap it for something else as I really liked the sound of the other products in there. Unfortunately though, the gift boxes were already made up and therefore they were unable to swap any of the items in there. I decided to order one for my mum anyway, and as I'm a mum I thought I would treat myself and buy my own mother's day gift! ~What is Butterball?~ This is what Lush say about Butterball: "The bouncing Butterball is chock with chips of cocoa butter to melt all over your hot body in warm water and smooth you all over like a master masseur. It will fizz joyously, scenting the water with sweet musk and vanilla and softening you up nicely." I can't stand the stink of vanilla and I stay away from anything that even has a tiny bit of vanilla in it. The smell is just too much and gives me a bad headache. If you take away the vanilla from the butterball, then it sounds absolutely amazing, but because it did have the vanilla in it, I was not looking forward to this one! ~My bath~ If you have read my reviews before, you would know that I only use Lush products when I am able to have a bath in peace and not be hounded by either my partner or my son. I know this might sound a bit mean, but my son has a habit of running in and out of the bathroom with something that I have to eat (he has imaginary ice-creams in all flavours you know!) and I just can't relax. So, Callum was in bed and I sent my partner out for a few hours so that I could have a bit of peace. I thought I would try this one out of the gift set first so that if I didn't like it, I could drain the bath and use something else. When the bath was half full, I threw in the whole ballistic. The minute it hit the water it started fizzing and spinning all around the bath, letting off an amazing aroma. There was also tiny little flecks of cocoa butter coming off the ballistic. I figured this must be the bit that would give me soft skin. I stayed in the bath for an hour and a half and I have never felt so relaxed! ~Aroma~ I was dreading this product quite a lot, but the smell was absolutely amazing! I could smell plenty of musk but hardly any vanilla, which was the prefect solution for me! If you have used Lush before, then you know that most of the items smell really rich, however this one is subtle but noticeable. ~Price~ The Butterball costs only £2.25 and is one of the cheapest items I have come across in Lush. I wouldn't recommend halving the ball before putting it in the water. I think you do need the whole Butterball in order to give the effect that Lush promises. Also, if only half is used, then I think the smell would be nearly non-existent. ~My opinion~ My skin felt amazingly soft, and out of all the Lush products I have tried, I think that Butterball has given me the softer skin. I felt like I had been beautifully exofiliated by a professional! Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but I did have gorgeous feeling skin after the bath which is great for me as normally my skin is very sensitive and dry. The next day everyone was saying I had a lovely prefume on, when in actual fact I hadn't put on any perfume as the smell of the Butterball was still on my skin. Now that's an achievement! I thoroughly enjoyed Butterball and the next time I place an order I think I will chuck a few of these in as they are so cheap and the smell was amazing. I think it just goes to show, that even if some people don't like them, it doesn't mean that it is hated by everyone. A well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars from me.

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                      30.04.2010 18:30
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                      A different kind of murder book

                      ~The Plot~ Susie Salmon was a high school student. 'Was' because she was brutally raped and murdered. Susie feels her spirit leave her body and go to heaven. The story is told by Susie from 'her heaven'. She explains that everyone's heaven is different depending on what kind of place they want to live, and she reveals to us what her heaven is like. The story follows Susie from heaven, watching out for her family and how they react to her murder, and also following the man that murdered her. We find out very early on who murdered Susie, and what happened to her body, but Susie's family are unaware who their daughter's killer is. Each member of the family is affected in different ways. ~Characters~ Jack, Susie's dad, is obviously distraught by his daughter's murder, but instead of grieving he is determined to bring Susie's murderers to justice, whatever the cost. He quickly fixates on one of their neighbours who is a social recluse, and wakes up every morning determined to bring the neighbour to justice, but also about trying to convince the police that he is the murderer. Susie's mum, Abigail, finds it hard to cope with the loss of her eldest daughter, and quickly becomes upset with her husband, Jack for fixating on one of their neighbours as being the murderer. It all gets too much for Abigail, and she runs away from her youngest children (Lindsay and Buckley) and her husband to try and find some peace and solitude in her life. But, something happens that brings Abigail back to the family home, and we are then made to wonder if she can cope with being in the very place that is full of her daughter's memories. Lindsay, Susie's sister, is also distraught with her older sisters death. Every time she goes to school the other children look at her as a victim not as a person, and this obviously distresses her. As Susie watches her sister from heaven, she is reminded of all the things she will never be able to do, like grow up, have a boyfriend, first sexual experience, marriage and children. Lindsay also starts to try and help her father to prove their neighbour's guilt. Buckley was Susie's younger brother. He was very young when Susie died, but he was never able to forget her. Jack and Abigail keep saying that Susie has gone away, but soon he learns that Susie is not going to come back. Buckley tells his family and his best friend, Nate, that he can see and speak to Susie. Holiday, the Salmon's pet dog, is very suspicious of their neighbour, and it is Holiday's actions that cause Jack to focus on their neighbour as the suspect. Ray was Susie's geeky friend in school, and is the person that Susie first kissed. Ray becomes a suspect in the book, with Susie watching from above and trying to get the police to move their suspicions. Susie watches Ray as he moves into adulthood but is unable to forget about her. Susie wants to be able to go back to earth to have her first and last sexual encounter with Ray. Ruth, a girl Susie knew from school, but wasn't friends with. When Susie died and her spirit left her body, she briefly touched Ruth as a spirit form. Ruth knew something had happened the day Susie died and tries to stay in contact with Susie after she has passed. There are many moments between Susie and Ruth throughout the book. ~My opinion~ Even though I read a lot of murder books, and this is a book about murder, because it is written from the perspective of the murder victim from heaven, it is a kind of book that I have never read before. I thought that it might be a real tear-jerker, but even though it was emotional in some places, it didn't make me reach for the tissues. I hate crying over books so this was definitely a bonus for me! My only gripe with the book is that it has really long chapters. I'm one of these people that can't finish reading for the night halfway through a chapter, I have to keep going until I have finished the chapter. This meant that I was reading a lot longer than normal just to reach the end of the chapter! However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I think it is suitable for a lot of people. Even though it is a murder book, it doesn't just fall under the 'murder' genre, but could be classed as many other genre's therefore suitable for a lot of avid readers. Now I have read the book, I am going to try and watch the film. I prefer it in that order!

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                        26.04.2010 12:39
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                        A great read that I would definately recommend

                        This is the second book I have read by Lisa Gardner, and after enjoying her other book (which I have reviewed) I had high hopes for The Survivors Club. ~The Plot~ Meg, Jillian and Carol all have something in common - they are survivors of the College Hill Rapist, and set up The Survivors Club to not only help each other through their ordeals, but to help catch the man that brutally raped and assaulted them. The rapist is caught and is due to stand trial in court, that is until he is murdered on the courthouse's steps in front of various news stations trying to get his trial on camera. The police automatically look at his victims - Meg, Jillian and Carol as the suspects in his murder. Eddie is murdered in the morning, but that evening another rape takes place. And all things point to the College Hill Rapist being the suspect, even DNA evidence. But how is that possible? Sergeant Griffin becomes the lead cop on the case. But this is no ordinary day on the job. Griffin has just had 18mths off after he became mentally unstable over the rape and murder of children committed by the Candy Man (Griffin was again the lead cop on the case). The Candy Man is in prison, but soon Griffin's thoughts are telling him to look again into the peadophile. ~Layout of the book~ The book flips chapters between characters to try and help us understand how the rapes have affected Meg, Jillian and Carol. However, a lot of the chapters are written in the perspective of Sergeant Griffin, who talks us through the loss of his wife, and the dark chapter in his life when he was not only trying to capture the Candy Man, but trying to stop himself losing his mind completely after the Candy Man was caught. ~My thoughts~ From the start of the book, I took an instant liking to Sergeant Griffin and as the books goes on, I found myself hoping that he would be able to keep things together and not lose his mind again. Not many authors make me have strong feelings for the characters, and when they do, in my opinion their book becomes successful in trying to achieve the whole point of reading books - to get you away from reality for a while. When some books flip from one person to another, I get all confused with myself and have to go back and remind myself what happened the last time we heard from their perspective. But this book was so gripping, and written so well, that I could leave the book all day, pick it up at night and not have to backtrack to see where the story had got to! Like I said at the beginning, I had high hopes for this book, after previously reading another Gardner book that I had thoroughly enjoyed, and it lived up to my expectations. I will definitely be looking for other Lisa Gardner books, and she really does seem to know what the readers want in a good book. If you like crime and thriller books that really do keep you guessing until the very end, then this is a book that should definitely be on your book list. The book couldn't have been anymore gripping or seem more real than the way in which it was written, so this makes the book a huge success in my mind.

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                          21.04.2010 11:16
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                          A good book but the comic strips should be removed

                          ~Plot~ Trixie Stone is 15 years old, and her life changes forever. After coming home from a party, she breaks down in the bathroom and tells her dad, Daniel, that she has been raped by her ex-boyfriend Jason. Daniel takes Trixie to the local hospital and police to report the rape, but that's where Trixie's life starts to get even worse. Jason is one of the most popular lads in the school who plays ice hockey so well that his coach thinks Jason could make a living out of it, but when Trixie's schoolmates and the town hear what has supposedly happens, they all think that Jason is innocent. After all, she was asking for it wasn't she? And she did go to the party wanting to get Jason back. This is just part of the story and even though a lot more happens, I don't want to tell you too much otherwise it will ruin the book. ~Layout of the book~ This book is not a typical Picoult book. For starters, there's no court case, and second this book has comic strips in it! From the beginning right through to the end, comic strips appear that try and depict the nine levels of hell. I got frustrated with the comic strips after reading the first one, as the writing was so small, and as I do not read comics, it was confusing at times, which picture I should be looking at next! At first I didn't know what relevance the comic strips had, but after reading on a bit more, we find out that Daniel is a professional comic strip artist, and Laura (Trixie's mum) is a teacher specialising in Dante's portrayal of the nine levels of hell. Even though there are links as to why the comic was there, I still don't think they are necessary to be a part of the book. This is because there is switching between characters, where we find out Daniel's background and snippets of Laura's seminars, which pretty much explain the comic strips in writing anyway. Again, from the beginning, we were introduced to Daniel and throughout the book we are told information, in great depth, about his background growing up and how he used to live in Alaska with the Yupiit. I didn't know the relevance of this either until about three quarters of the way into the book, but again, Picoult could have cut most of these bits out and it would still be a good read. In my opinion, the comic strips and the revelations of Daniel's past are not useful to us as readers, and was just deviating from a good storyline. I even started to get a bit frustrated when I saw a comic strip, or Daniel's background was coming up, which has never happened to me with Picoult's books before. ~My opinion~ Even though there were parts of the book that I think Picoult could have cut out, it was still a good read. In my opinion though, we should not have deviated from the storyline, as it would have made a much better book that was easier to read and get into. The storyline itself was amazing which is what I have now come to expect from Jodi Picoult's books, and this book would not make me stop reading her books. If you have never read her books before, then I would advise that this wouldn't be your first experience of Picoult as a writer as it may let you down, but if you have read her books before and are used to the way she writes, then try this one as it is something completely different from her other books. I have given this book 4 out of 5 dooyoo stars. It lost a star for me because of the comic strips and the unnecessary information about Daniel. If this wasn't in there, then the book would definitely be 5 out of 5. Overall, minus my few whinges, the storyline was great, and I am glad that I read it.

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                            16.04.2010 21:40
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                            still a good read

                            Mary, Mary is another book in the Alex Cross series. I have not read these books in order and I can still understand the background plots well, so I don't think its necessarily important to start from the beginning of the series. ~The Plot~ Alex Cross is a leading detective for the FBI, and after solving the case of a nationwide hunt for a serial killer decides to take his children on a well-deserved holiday to Disneyland. Unfortunately, work soon gets in the way again, and he is brought in on a case of a high-profile female celebrity who has been murdered by gunpoint and her face being horribly disfigured with a knife. The LAPD would like his professional opinion on the case. Thinking that this will only last one day as they just want his opinion, he sets off, leaving the children with Nana mama (Alex's Nana who has raised him from a young age). But, yet again, there is another serial killer on the case with even more female celebrities being murdered, but this ones got a twist. Emails are being sent from the so-called killer to a journalist. These emails read like a personal letter, all addressed to the victims, and signed by Mary Smith. Apart from the victims being celebrities, females and mothers, there doesn't appear to be any other link. Then Cross' expertise are put into use. The police are quite certain that the killer is a female, but Cross doesn't. Once again, he tries to prove his theory before another innocent woman is murdered. But then the LAPD arrest a suspect. All fingers point at this woman, and her background gives them even more reason to suspect her. But again, Cross' instinct gets in the way. He thinks the LAPD have got the wrong woman, and is determined to find the 'real' killer. But who is she? Or he? ~My opinion~ Yet another quick and easy read by James Patterson. I enjoyed the way that Patterson created the storyline, but also allowed us to have some personal information about Alex Cross, the much-loved 'hero'. The story of Cross' children is brought into the book very well, and even though the two storylines are very different, Patterson was able to bring them together in an exciting way. The reason I said easy read was that you don't really have to use your imagination in this book as you might do with others. This makes the book sound very dull but it doesn't. It might just be me that finds this as I'm more used to books that allow you to really think about suspects and how the story will end. But I find that quite a few of Patterson's books which I have read, didn't really use my imagination, it may be just his style of writing. This is why I have given it 4 out of 5 dooyoo stars. I think this is more a book for holiday reading, or light and easy reading before bedtime rather than a gripping story that you read on the sofa with a cup of tea, every chance you get! I still think its worth a read though.

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                              12.04.2010 12:30
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                              Give it a go ...

                              ~The plot~ David and Melanie have just got married, and are planning to 'finish' their wedding night in their honeymoon suite of the Grand Hyatt hotel. They are about to show how much they love one another when there's a knock on the door - a bottle of expensive champagne is thrust into David's face, and a knife in his chest. Melanie comes out of the honeymoon room's bathroom suite to see David dead by the door, and a madman standing in front of her with a knife covered in her newlywed's blood. She's next. But the killer doesn't just want to kill her, he wants to kill her and then humiliate her in a way that will shock the city. Lindsay Boxer, a homicide inspector, is called onto the murder case. Just when she thinks things can't get worse, another newlywed couple are killed miles and miles away. They have a serial killer on their hands, who's travelling the country and seems to have a personal vendetta against the brides and grooms. As Lindsay's trying to solve multiple murders with the same M.O. And no DNA evidence, her life is thrown into shatters. She has a rare blood disorder than could prove to be fatal. This doesn't stop Lindsay though, and with the help of a newspaper reporter, a district attorney and a chief medical examiner, she is determined to find the killer, before her own luck runs out. ~My opinion~ This book had me gripped from beginning to end, and had me feeling emotions that I never knew I could have for characters of a book. The sympathy I have for Lindsay was as if she was a real person trying to hide her own personal demons to bring a criminal to justice. Patterson has a very well-written, exciting and gripping style to his writing that made me stream through the book at a 100mphs to see if everything is OK in the end. But I'm not going to tell you if it is or not! Another plus to Patterson's books are the short chapters. This book is no different. Even though there are 127 chapters, the book is still not too long, and instead of finishing a night of reading on a chapter, I'm more inclined to read the next one as I keep telling myself "it's only 3 pages until the end of the next chapter". Problem with this is that I can never read just one more chapter! The book is just too gripping for me to do it! Thats why it only took me 2 days to finish the whole book! However, if you like to take your time with books, but hate finishing in the middle of a chapter, then Patterson should be on your 'next author to try' list. I had an inkling that I knew who the real killer might be by the time I got about halfway through, but something throws this into serious doubt a bit later on. Then just as I've realised I was wrong about who the killer was, the book turns again. This means that until very close to the end of the book, I was still none the wiser! I say 'real' killer because at the start of the story we read that the killer is Phillip Campbell, but he's not real, is he? A great short read, that keeps your mind ticking, and your emotions running. Definitely one I would recommend to other people who love crime and thriller books.

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                                07.04.2010 16:26
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                                I will definately buy this again

                                Karma bubble bar was the next product in my Lush collection to try. After trying a few Lush products already I was really, really keen to try this one as all the Lush products are .... well, lush!! So, on one of the rare occasions that I had a day off (I tend to work 7days a week, most weeks), I got my son into bed, and sent my partner packing to his friends house so that I could have some peace and quiet, and enjoy my bath like you are meant to when using Lush's stuff. ~What is Karma Bubble Bar?~ Just like the name suggests, it is a bubble bar. It is basically bubble bath in a solidified form, with all natural ingredients and perfumes. This is what Lush say about this product on their website: "Our signature fragrance for bath-time: oranges and multi-layered spices. Karma is a fragrance that keeps on giving. Each time you catch a whiff of its many-layered fragrance you notice yet another thread in its multi-stranded personality. Top notes, middle notes, base notes and all the notes in between disentangle themselves before you. Bathe in a fluffy Karma bath and you'll generously perfume the whole house with its fragrance (and yourself, too)." Sounds intriguing doesn't it? Well, thats why I ordered it, and this description made me desperately want to try it out for myself. As Lush post their products to you with no packaging it doesn't have any information about individual products, so before I run my bath, I look at what I've got and look at it on their website so I know what kind of bath I should expect. So, after reading this delightful paragraph, I quickly ran up the stairs to get Karma into my bath! ~How do you use it?~ After hearing about Lush through dooyoo reviews, I had also read that it is sometimes best to split the bar into 2 or sometimes 3. This does make sense as the products are quite expensive for one use only. So, I split my bar into 2, and run it under the hot water tap into my bath. I did find with this one that the water didn't dissolve bar the itself, so I had to help it along by crumbling it as well. As with many other Lush products, I noticed that little chunks of it were sitting at the bottom of my bath, but by the time the bath had completely finished running, there were no chunks that I could feel in the water (I had to feel as there were so many bubbles!) ~My bath~ Like I just said, I had to feel along the bottom of my bath for undissolved lumps of Karma because of the amount of bubbles. I think half my bath was water and the only half was bubbles! Now, don't get me wrong, I love bubbles in my bath like most other women, but as I got in and tried to read my book, I had to lift my book up in the air slightly to make sure it didn't get wet from all the bubbles! Towards the end of my bath (about an hour later) I parted the bubbles so that I could have a look at the colour of my bathwater to make sure that I would write a good review and give you a true experience of Karma. It was slightly orangey which would make a lot of sense because of the ingredients used. ~Smell~ If I could use one word to describe the smell of the Karma bubble bar it would be citrus. I could smell all sorts of citrus fruits, like orange and sometimes I could even smell some lemon. My bath and my bathroom smelled like I'd walked into a citrus haven and it was absolutely gorgeous. The smell lasted the whole way through my bath, and even into the next morning. I got up, went to go and brush my teeth and as I walked into the bathroom the smell was still as strong as ever, so it makes a lovely air freshener for your bathroom too! ~Price~ Karma bubble bar costs £2.95 for 100grams which does seem a bit expensive, but if you take advice on dooyoo, and split it into 3 chunks then its not that expensive at all, just under £1 per bath. And in my opinion, if you can get a relaxing and peaceful bath for under £1 its a huge bonus! ~My opinion~ I'm glad I only used half the bar for my bath, otherwise I would have had to swim through the bubbles with goggles on to find where the bath was! Next time, and yes there will be a next time with this product, I will only use a third of it. If you are not really a citrus person, or you don't like strong smelling products in your bath then I don't think this product is for you, but otherwise its something that I think Lush fans should definitely try.

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                                  06.04.2010 13:14
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                                  If you are a crime thriller reader then this is definately a book worth reading.

                                  I popped into WHSmiths last week and noticed that the top 50 paperback chart were on buy one get one free. Always up for a bargain I decided to get 4 books. My first 3 books were by authors that I had heard of, but unfortunately there were no other authors up there that took my fancy. I picked up this book just so I could get the BOGOF offer, but I am so glad I did! ~The story~ Sandy is a young and beautiful mum and wife to 4 year old Ree, and Jason Jones. Sandy and her husband work opposite shifts so that their daughter can be cared for by them and them only. Not really surprising as most parents want to do this, but when you add to the mix that their house has all windows sealed shut, and steel-enforced doors, it makes you wonder who they are trying to keep out. Unfortunately the "security" they have doesn't work, and with Jason in work one night as a reporter, Sandy puts little Ree to bed, and retires to bed herself. Until she hears a noise. Someone is in her bedroom... Jason comes home to find Ree in bed sleeping, but Sandy missing. He doesn't report her disappearance until 3 hours later. This happens in the first few chapters of the book, and the rest of it is all about finding out why Sandy is missing, who took her and what happens to her. ~The characters~ {Sandy} A teacher, a mum to Ree, and a beautiful wife to Jason. She disappears from her home in the middle of the night. Throughout the book, there are some chapters from Sandy's perspective, but it doesn't let on whether she's dead or alive. Sandy explains her childhood of the physical abuse she received from her alcoholic mother, who eventually killer herself, and her father who turned a blank eye to it all. She also explains about things that have happened in her marriage. These chapters are easily distinguished because they are written in italic font. {Ree} An adorable little 4 year old daughter of Sandy and Jason. She is portrayed as very "cutesy" which definitely comes across well, you almost wanted her to be real so you could pinch her cheeks granny style! She is the only possible witness in her mother's disappearance. {Sergeant D.D. Warren} The Sergeant appointed to investigate Sandy's disappearance. She is bewildered by why the house is so security-bound, and is determined to get to the bottom of not only what happened to Sandy, but why it seems like the Jones family is trying to keep something or someone from getting to them. You don't really get any feelings for D.D. as she's not the sort of character the author wants us to think about too much. To be honest, there's enough to think about already without another character to think of! {Jason} Suspect number 1. Wife of Sandy, and dad to Ree. Statistics show that when a wife disappears then it is normally the husband who is responsible. Add to this that he has a secret stash of $4 million hidden away, an identity that doesn't seem to have any trail before he married Sandy, and his D.I.Y skills on the house, makes him the number 1 suspect with D.D. {Aidan} Suspect number 2. Aidan is a sex offender who lives a few doors down from the Jones'. The book does a brilliant job in explaining sex offenders, and the fact that even though they are all put under the same category of being a "sex offender", they all have different styles. From the paedophile, to a flasher. Aidan became a sex offender because he was in a relationship with his 14 year old stepsister when he was 19. Even though I agree that what he did was wrong, the author makes you feel sorry for him. He did something wrong, went to prison, and is trying to change his life. This all comes out in the first few chapters as background information so I'm not giving the story away. Sergeant D.D. thinks that as Aidan and Sandy are the same age, and are both very beautiful people, they may have had a relationship with each other which has gone wrong. {Ethan} Suspect number 3. Sandys 13 year old pupil in school. He admits to D.D. that he is infatuated with Sandy. During free periods, Ethan has been helping Sandy with computers - trying to show her how all data is stored even when the user believes it has been deleted. Sandy found something on her home computer which can only have been done by Jason, and she is determined to get to the bottom of why he had a particular image on the computer and also what he does on the computer in the early hours of the morning when Sandy is sleeping. Ethan tries to help Sandy with this, and in his first interview with D.D. he tells her that he suspects it is the husband, and explains what Ethan and Sandy have been doing. {Wayne} Suspect number 4. Ethans uncle and a Certified Forensic Computer Examiner. Ethan asks Wayne to help him and Sandy with finding out exactly what Jason has been doing on the computer, when it becomes clear that Jason has been able to hack into the computer database and removed all aspects of what he does on it. Jason knows his way around a computer and a lack of data on the hard-drive is very suspicious. Wayne and Sandy start meeting up on a Thursday night to try and resolve the computer problems. {Maxwell} Suspect number 5. Sandy's father, grandfather to Ree and a court Judge. Sandy has always explained to Jason that she never wants her father anywhere near Ree but won't explain why. After having no contact from Sandy for 5 years, and not even knowing that he had a grand-daughter, he sees the disappearance of Sandy on the news, and turns up on Jason's doorstep to try and take Ree away. D.D is suspicious that after not searching for Sandy for the past 5 years, he has just turned up to take Ree away. She is not sure whether he is a protective father and grandfather or whether he has taken Sandy in order to gain custody of his grand-daughter and teach Sandy a lesson. ~My opinion~ This book is too gripping to try and explain. From the minute I started the book I wanted to know what had happened to Sandy, and the ending couldn't have been anymore shocking. I normally find that American authors' books are predictable in who the criminal is, but this is nothing like that. I never saw the end coming, which was amazing. I will definitely be reading more of Lisa Gardner's books. ~Price~ Like I said in my introduction, I got this as part of a BOGOF offer in WHSmiths, which makes books well worth buying. So if you like the sound of this book, get down there quick before the deal ends! Otherwise the books RRP is £6.99. I normally don't like spending this amount of money of one book, but after reading the book, I would have been more than happy to pay the full price, and I am willing to pay full price for other Lisa Gardner books.

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