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elizabethcullen

elizabethcullen
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Member since: 22.03.2009

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    • 20Q Game / Board Game / 50 Readings / 48 Ratings
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      29.11.2011 23:42
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      Good concept but doesnt really work as a product

      A few years ago these were all the rage and I remember that so many people used to have them, it was dead exciting to go up to someone and get their 20Q to guess what you were thinking, indeed for it to read your mind! However these seem to have gone into decline now, but I got one as a Christmas present a few years ago.

      Rather than being a board game, this shows the technological advancement and the changing nature of presents and games now this is an electronic machine. It is a small device that can be easily held in the palm of your hand, but unfortunately the size means that it could also be easily lost!

      The concept of it is that you pick an object and then think about it in your head for a while. You then start a new game with 20Q where the automated computer inside it will ask you 20 questions in order to try and guess what you are thinking of. If the computer does not get your answer within 20 questions then you have won and beaten 20Q! However this doesn't really happen at all often.

      It is a nice concept but for me it doesn't really work. Currently on amazon it is costing £5.50 for the normal version, or around £10 for an updated version. This isn't too bad, but I just don't feel that the product has enough longevity to buy it, there is probably something else a lot better you could buy. This is because once you have gotten over the initial novelty of it reading your mind, you won't really be wanting to constantly use it - I know I certainly didn't! However it is good in a way for only children to have a game they can play alone!

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      • ELC Honey Bee Tree / Board Game / 39 Readings / 39 Ratings
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        28.11.2011 23:24
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        Good game!

        When I was younger I was really into board games, I loved everything from monopoly to scene it to this game, although I was probably a bit younger playing this than playing monopoly! This comes from the early learning centre, a shop I was in a lot when I was younger- it always seemed very appealing to children and had a lot of things that I wanted from board games to toy animals!

        There are quite a lot of small parts to this game, as there are to a lot of toys and I think over the years we may have unfortunately lost the odd bee or leaf! In the box the game contains the tree which is main piece in the game, effectively the 'board' in this game. It also contains the honey pot, the base of the game, 30 of the small bee pieces and 32 leaves. However, the good point about all of the pieces is that apart from losing the odd one they do seem to have stood the test of time and have shown themselves to be quite strong - they are all made of quite sturdy and colourful plastic.

        The concept of the game is one that has happened many times before, this is just a different take on it relating to bees! For example pop up pirate is very similar to it, this is a very popular Hasbro game. The set up is relatively simple, you connect the tree to the base and the honey pot before putting the leaves in all of the holes. After putting the leaves in place you pour all of the bees on top of them. Game play is simple; there are 2-4 players and they each choose a base bit to sit at (best to put the game on a table really) then you take it in turns to remove a leaf from your section of the tree. You need to do this carefully so that as little bees fall down as possible, because the person with the most bees at the end loses! In a way this is similar to jenga!

        I really enjoyed this game when I used to play it, and I still believe that it would be great for young children now. In addition to being fun for children it will also build up many important skills such as turn taking, conversation (when they are playing the game) and counting because at the end they will need to count up all of their bees! It is still being sold by the early learning centre so it must be a timeless product! They are charging £12.

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        28.11.2011 20:22
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        Good Christmas gift

        This was a Christmas gift one year, at the time I had heard of whittards and had a good impression of them as a brand but hadn't actually sampled any of their products. However, I was a great fan of hot chocolate, particularly Starbucks; I just didn't seem to like the instant hot chocolate from supermarkets that you make at home that much in comparison.

        It is a large box with a see through bit so you know what you're getting, and whittards logo. It is called the chocolate sins gift set as each different flavour is personified with a different deadly sin. There are 7 flavours of hot chocolate in the box which are; mint, caramel, luxury (milk chocolate flavour), white, ginger, 70% cocoa (dark chocolate flavour) and atzec chill. I feel like this is a good selection, with some safe flavours everyone will like such as luxury then some less appealing ones. I didn't use all of my flavours, but the rest of the people in my house liked them so it was okay! In addition to this you also get dark and milk chocolate sprinkles with this.

        It is very simple how to make this hot chocolate, and instructions are provided on both the big box and the individual box (however a weakness of the product is the way they are all in individual boxes, if they aren't used quickly they could go off). You simply get 4-5 heaped tea spoons of the hot chocolate and stir it into hot milk. I think it is implied you have a cup of hot milk and then stir the powder in, but I find this too messy and would rather just heat the milk up in a pan and then whisk the powder in before pouring into the cup!

        The product itself is also really good, I didn't like all of the flavours but that is just my taste; the ones that I did like were lovely. The luxury hot chocolate in particular was just so much better than your normal powder hot chocolate, it just tasted so chocolatey and creamy not at all like the weak substitutes you get! It is on the website currently for £22 but is on promotion this week with £10 off, I'd definitely recommend buying it now; it is a good way of trying all the different Whittards flavours.

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        28.11.2011 17:20
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        Quick and convenient - not much more!

        Although I don't actually drink coffee I have used this machine a few times. My mam really likes coffee but at home she doesn't really seem to like drinking instant - she wanted a coffee machine to replicate that authentic coffee shop feel! This was the brand she had decided upon, so it was her Christmas present.

        It came in a really massive box but this is more due to the size of machine rather than it coming with a lot of different accessories; in the box there was mainly just the machine, instructions and 2 boxes of 6 pods which you use to make you hot drink with, a bit like powder from instant coffee. This means that really if you're giving it to someone you should buy them some extra pods since for some coffee drinkers 12 pods may not even last a week, and it would be good to have a variety since I think they just put a random 2 flavour in the box, and if you don't like that sort of coffee then it's unfortunate as you won't be able to try it out.

        Unlike some other high tech coffee machines, once you have this one set up it is relatively simple. The drinks come in boxes of pods. Once you have made sure the water level is right, you get your pod and place it in the area where they go on the machine. Then you press the button and these are brought up into the machine, where the pod is pierced and the contents added to boiling water, you will need a cup waiting for the contents to come out of the machine into a cup ready to drink. There is a plastic bin type thing provided for the used pods but I saw this as pretty pointless -why not just use your actual bin!

        You can get a variety of different flavours of drinks for this machine, and you can only use the pods for it, nothing else will work. Examples are the classics such as latte and cappuchino, however since I'm not really a fan of coffee I enjoyed the chocochino flavour which is just similar to a hot chocolate. It was nice enough but it wasn't anything amazing, I think you are more paying for the simplicity and the convenience than the taste of the end product.

        If you wanted to buy it from amazon it is currently available for £49 which is a reduction from the rrp of £119 so quite a good deal really! In addition to this you will have to spend around £3.50 on each box of coffee pods.

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      • Archers Aqua / Liqueur / Cocktails / 36 Readings / 30 Ratings
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        27.11.2011 20:07
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        Nice girly drink

        I don't drink a lot, but when I do I really quite enjoy fruity drinks - Caribbean twist in the mango flavour is a particular favourite of mine. I really like Archers peach schnapps as a spirit where you add different mixers to it such as lemonade and orange juice so when I saw that they do a version which is basically already diluted for you in a bottle I decided to give it a go.

        The drink comes in an archers branded bottle, it is glass so remember to take it to your bottle bank when you're done drinking! It is a 70cl bottle, this is the only size that you can get this drink in - there are no multipacks of small bottles as there is with Smirnoff ice and wkd. The bottle has things such as the name, ingredients and alcohol percentage on it just as you would expect.

        The alcohol content is reasonably low at just 4% in the bottle, this equates to maybe 2 units if you drink the full thing so its really not too bad since you can feel like you've drank a lot and probably wont actually be that drunk. The taste is also very nice, Archers aqua is basically Archers plus lemonade mixed together in a bottle so it is fizzy and this means it is best served chilled with some ice! This means that as well as tasting nice it is very refreshing, particularly on a hot night. I haven't really seen this when out and about, just in supermarkets. In sainsburys it is around the £3 mark and often on offer 2 for £5. Overall I think I'd probably rather have actually Archers and mix it myself, but this is a good cheap alternative.

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        • Hedbanz for Kids / Board Game / 21 Readings / 19 Ratings
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          27.11.2011 14:48
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          Great game

          This a game I remember playing fondly as a child, unlike other board games it seemed generally just a lot simpler with no little parts to go missing etc! You can also get the adults version of this which is also very popular and is an iconic board game.

          The game comes in a small ish box for most board games with the name and a picture of the game being played across it. The box suggests that it needs 2-6 players, you could play with more I suppose if you wanted but this would have to be in teams since there are only 6 head bands. It also suggests 6+ which is fair enough since you will need to be able to concentrate on it for a while and remember the answers to the questions. However, I don't see an age limit on it!

          The box contains a set of counters, a pack of cards, some cards with hints on them, 6 head bands, instructions and an egg timer. This means that is a lot more simple than other board games without the risk of losing many little pieces, but also there is one thing missing that board games usually have - a board! The aim of the game is to guess what is on your head band, you have to put a card with a picture into your headband without looking and then place it on your head. Then you go around the other players, asking them questions in order to try and guess what you are wearing! If you get a correct answer before the egg timer runs out then you can put one of your counters into the middle; the winner is the one to get rid of all of their counters.

          This is a very good game, as is its counterpart for adults but to be honest both could really be played by any age- the only difference is that the cards that you are guessing what you are have slightly simpler concepts on the childrens game since they may not have heard of all the cards from the adults section but this could probably be easily overcome. Its also a good game for kids with promoting social interaction and the rules of conversation.

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          • The Switch (DVD) / DVD / 20 Readings / 19 Ratings
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            27.11.2011 13:07
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            Good film

            The switch is a film that I saw in the cinema a while ago, due to having free tickets to go and see it through see film first which is a website I often use. However, if I hadn't had these free tickets I probably would have still went to go and see this film and paid for it since it seems to be my sort of film as I often go and see chick flick films.

            The movie centres around Kassie, played by Jennifer Aniston, living in New York city and constantly single but dreaming of bigger things. She is desperate to be a mother but doesn't have the father to go with it, so decides since she wants one so much she will go along with a sperm donor despite the objections of her best friend Wally (partly because he has always had feelings for her, but never quite been able to express them). However, plans go awry when Kassie organises a party for her insemination. The sperm donor called Roland produces the donation, and leaves it in the bathroom but then drunken Wally enters the room and plays with the cup and accidentally spills it. He panics and replaces the sperm with his own, not telling Kassie who leaves New York a few weeks later. 7 years later Kassie returns with her son, but will they ever discover the true parentage?

            I did really like this film, although because of the nature of it being a chick lit film I could pretty much guess a lot of what was going to happen such as who was going to get together but this didn't detract too much and it was still enjoyable to watch! The leads worked well together, but I felt the star of the film was Kassie's son Sebastian who was totally brilliant, and played by a relatively unknown actor Thomas Robinson. He was a really unique character since he was a bit neurotic but this also made him be really endearing and quite likeable. I'm not sure if I would buy this film because there are other films that I haven't seen that I'd want to spend money on rather than an alright one I've already seen, but wouldn't mind it! Its available on amazon.

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            26.11.2011 22:50
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            Alright but wouldn't buy again

            For my birthday this year I received the soap and glory big pink box which included full size versions of about 10 different soap and glory products. I have been making my way through them lately, particularly liking the shower gel that was in it. I came to these wipes the other day when I needed to take my make up off after a night out, it was quite unusual because I normally just use cotton wool and make up remover, but this seemed quicker at the time - however if it wasn't there I wouldn't be bothered.

            The packaging is good, but it doesn't seem to embody the usual quirky/vintage feel that I have come to expect from soap and glory nowadays. The packaging has 'S&G' all over it in the usual pink colour of soap and glory, and is designed in such a way to keep the face wipes fresh so that they don't lose their moisture as it has an air tight seal with the white plastic flap that is on top of the packet with the product name written on it.

            But does the actual product work? When I took one the other day it seemed pretty good for getting make up off my face, but I was wearing quite a dark red lipstick and this took a while and some scrubbing to get off using the wipe - this could be a weakness of the product but I'm not sure if it was just because it would be quite hard make up to get off anyway. The make up wipe was a good thickness though, and it seemed to have quite a lot of moisture in it. However while it did mainly do the job, there are cheaper brands out there that do the exact same job - these normally cost £4.50 which to me seems far too much!

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            • Waterstones Card / Credit Card / 30 Readings / 27 Ratings
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              26.11.2011 17:20
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              Getting a bit back

              I thought this was a relatively new concept that I'd picked up a few months ago but have since found out that it has actually been around for a while, would have been useful in the time when I shopped there a lot!

              It is very easy to get a card. I got a form because the person serving me asked if I would like a waterstones card, but I'm sure they would be happy to give you one if you decided to ask for it. It is just a form with your basic details on such as your address and email, it doesn't take very long to fill in and it is important that you do this so you can get all the different offers through via email. In addition to this, there is a plastic card attached to the form which is unusual to get the actual card straight away, quite convenient.

              Everytime you shop in waterstones you use the card, just hand it over when making your purchases and the sales assistant will put your points onto it for you so its nothing too hard. For every £1 you spend you get 3 points and each point is worth 1p, so for example if you bought a book that was £6.99 then you should earn 18p back. This isn't really a fantastic sum of money, but getting 3% back is better than nothing so every little helps really. While it is good if you are getting something anyway, don't go out of the way to shop at waterstones because of the card - I don't use this a lot because I often find it many times cheaper to just shop on amazon.

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                26.11.2011 14:09
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                Buy it

                We generally always seem to get Tropicana when we buy orange juice during the weekly shop because we all like it and see it as the best brand of orange juice, but it is quite expensive for juice when there are a lot of different brands that have similar things that we haven't tried before so this basics one was put in the trolley!

                It is a sainsburys basics product so the packaging reflects this, it isn't quite as fancy as the premium brands. Rather than in a carton, it is in a see through container with a handle which is in some ways quite a lot better because then you can see how much is definitely left in rather than guessing and it is easier for pouring. It also has the white and orange sainsburys basics colour scheme, with the ingredients on the back of the bottle.

                Taste is obviously the most important thing regarding a drink, and I have to say this pretty much matches up to Tropicana. It may be a basic price and brand but it overall really exceeds my expectations. It is a really juicy and strong orange taste that is really enjoyable and quite sweet. It is nice by itself or it can also be good as a mixer with things like vodka or peach schnapps.

                It costs just 68p for a litre which I really don't think is bad considering that premium brands can be around £2.50 and not too much better. I would definitely recommend trying this!

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              • John Tucker Must Die (DVD) / DVD / 43 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                22.11.2011 22:05
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                Good teen film

                I think this has to be a classic teen film now, just about everyone that I know has seen it as it is really quite popular! I got it quite a few years ago and have just rewatched it now, not sure if it is quite as good upon numerous viewings.

                At the start of the movie, Kate and her mother Lori have just moved to a new town. Kate doesn't make much effort with making friends because she knows any that she does make will just be short lived and she has become pretty used to that; her mother gets in relationships with bad guys and when they dump her she packs up and moves towns. However, this town is different. Kate realises that the popular boy in school is dating 3 girls at once, all from different cliques so that they don't realise. She confronts them with this information when they all meet together, and they decide to take him down. The plan is to make him fall for Kate and then expose him when he is most vulnerable, but will it really work like that?

                I really enjoyed this film when I first saw it, I watched it with my friends and it was a good girly film that didn't require a lot of attention. Therefore its not really for everyone as some people prefer more intellectual films where you actually need to engage properly with the film to realise what's going on! It has some good laughs in it, and while it is a good teen film it isn't really inappropriate since there isn't any sex just hints of it. I really liked the trio of girls, played by Arielle Kebbel, Ashanti and Sophia Bush (who I recognise from One Tree Hill) but I didn't think that Kate played by Brittany Snow was as good as these 3 since they had a lot more chemistry with the lead than her. John Tucker was also definitely a plus, Jesse Metcalfe brought some great eye candy to the film!

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              • Two Weeks Notice (DVD) / DVD / 32 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                22.11.2011 19:41
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                Enjoyable but predictable

                I love a good chick flick and buy them on dvd every so often because I prefer just having them there in my collection to watch whenever I fancy rather than having to commit to watching them at a certain time on TV or at the cinema! This was one I just found when browsing amazon as the website recommended it to me.

                The film has some moral undertones but its ultimately a romantic comedy. Sandra Bullock plays Lucy, a lawyer working in New York city who specialises in environment law, she just wants the best for everyone. While Hugh Grant plays George who is a bit of a playboy, he isn't too bothered about the environment with his status as a billionaire business tycoon. They meet when Lucy is attempting to stop George destroying the community centre that she loves from her childhood. George agrees to this on one condition, that she work for him. However George proves to be completely impossible to work for, ringing Lucy up at every single moment and so she gives him her two weeks notice.. just as he realises that he could have feelings for.

                I did enjoy this film, it will be staying in my DVD collection but I don't think it is the best thing Hugh Grant's ever done compared to Love Actually, Bridget Jones etc and it wouldn't be one of my favourites overall. It seemed to be lacking a certain something. This is probably because it was quite predictable in places, pretty much as soon as it turned on I decided that the two main characters were going to have feelings for each other and of course I was right! However even if it was predictable the characters in it were good because I felt that Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant had pretty good chemistry. Available cheaply on amazon, £2.99 or used from 1p.

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                21.11.2011 21:14
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                Good book

                Waterfall is a book that I stumbled across when browsing amazon and I'm really glad that I did! I usually enjoy books that are either chick lit or historical with the odd one that isn't, and in addition to this despite probably being too old for it I still really like young adult fiction. This is a book that combines all 3 of those genres very nicely! It seems pretty unique because there doesn't seem to be an awful lot of historical young adult fiction.

                This is a new series, and it is the first part of what will hopefully have 3 parts. There isn't a lot of introduction before we get into the main plot which I liked because it just got straight into it. Gabi Betarrini and her sister are American sisters that are sick of being dragged around dusty Italy by their mother every summer vacation so that she can try and dig up some old relics as part of her career as an archaeologist. She's bored out of her mind on the latest dig, until she goes exploring in a cave and ends up in the 14th century! Once there she must discover how to get back to normal life, but she didn't count on love getting in the way.

                I enjoyed this book, there seems to be some really quality stuff appearing for free on kindles lately! It was a good example of young adult fiction since it was totally appropriate with not really any sex yet there was still romance and there was violence since there was medieval fighting yet there wasn't extreme blood shed or anything. I also feel that it would probably be quite relatable for young adults because while at points Gabi did quite like the medieval times, she was often talking about how she missed, for example her hairdryer. There are probably a few historical inaccuracies as mentioned in a review I read, but I wasn't massively bothered by these since I wasn't very knowledgeable about the period.

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                20.11.2011 21:18
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                good example of chick lit

                This is a book that I have been tempted by for a while since it is the sort of book that I tend to enjoy with just a really easy chick lit novel; similar to the likes of Louise Bagshawe or Lauren Conrad's books. However there was only one review on it on amazon and this was a one star review so it put me off buying it, but when I looked the other day it was totally cheap so I thought I may as well just risk it.

                The plot is very light and fluffy, if I'm honest there isn't really a massive amount of substance to it but still it kept my interest just like an episode of the hills would! So therefore its not really for everyone!

                It revolves around 3 girls living in Hollywood all with very different circumstances and levels of success; Lola who was born into Hollywood royalty on Oscar night and now is just trying to find her way in the world without everyone judging her by her parents. Kate is Lola's best friend and now a successful agent just trying to cope with the pressures of her clients while looking for mr right and Cricket is Lola's other best friend, trying to break into acting. The majority of the book happens on Oscar week with the odd flashback because we are waiting to see whether Lola can achieve her aim of dressing the a list!

                I have to say that this definitely exceeded my expectations; I don't think that it deserved the one star review. However it did have its flaws, the main thing about I didn't like was the constant name dropping. Every other word seemed to be a celebrity's name! They were all pretty current so anyone reading the book in say 10 years wouldn't have a clue who half the people mentioned in the book actually were! The characters did seem a good point of the book, they were fairly developed and the only one I didn't really like was SMITH. I got this really quite cheaply, for 94p from amazon.

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                  19.11.2011 20:57
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                  Good, just not great

                  There seems to quite a lot of paranormal books on kindle, its a really big market since the explosion of popularity for twilight. As usual this was a free book, you need to get these as soon as you see them because when I checked on amazon before it was no longer free so its not a guaranteed price.

                  This book starts off normally enough with no hint of the supernatural as a lot of them do. We are introduced to the protagonist, Zellie Wells; she has a protected existence with a father who is the priest of the local church, where her 16th birthday party is happening. Things totally change at this party, Zellie has had a crush on Avery (son of her mother's childhood sweetheart) for ages and they make a connection at her party, she finds out the feelings are mutual. However from there things take a strange twist, when they dance she has a horrible vision of the couple in their mid 30's, Zellie is pregnant and covered in blood. However she thinks nothing of it, but when their parents forbid them to see each other they realise something is up!

                  I enjoyed this book, although not as much as some of the other books that I have read lately. It is appropriate for the majority of ages, with the type of characters that are in the book it is very young teen friendly - it is hard for much bad to happen when the protagonist has their birthday party in a church and is just 16! There is no sex or violence in it. The book sort of brings the readers back to a more simple time, with a story of star crossed lovers. I did really enjoy it overall, but I preferred the first bit - I wasn't as keen on the section where Zellie is in a different setting. There are two more books in the series which I will be getting when I've finished the books I already have! Currently it is 86p on amazon.

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