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I have heard that this series took Stephen King years to complete, with a large gap between novels, but it was definitely woth the wait. These are by far the best books I have ever read. They follow the story of Roland, the last gunslinger, on his search for the Dark Tower. There are three other main characters:
Jake, a young boy
Eddie, a man with drug problems, in need of help
Detta/Odetta/Susannah, a wheelchair bound woman with multiple personalities
They are introduced in a really interesting way. In the second book, 'The Drawing Of The Three,' Roland is alone struggling along a beach when he comes across the first of several doors, in the middle of the landscape. Behind these doors lie other worlds...
The story follows their quest for the dark tower. They travel across many different landscapes, making the reader feel as if they have been transported to a different world. What is interesting is the jump between the land the gunslinger belongs to and our modern world and the similarities between both. For example, the song 'Hey Jude,' is known in both worlds.
For Stephen King fans, it is nice to see a drawing together of some of his books. Roland and his friends wander through a world where the plague has left many for dead, ('The Stand.') It features Father Callahan, from 'Salem's Lot,' and the story of the 'breakers' and the 'beam,' touched upon in 'Hearts In Atlantis,' is told in more detail. There are many other details that I am sure Stephen King fans will note.
I have paperback copies of the first three books and the rest in hardback. The hardback copies are really nice. They have full page colour prints spaced throughout the book, lighting the imagination further.
An interesting point to note is that the author himself features as a character in the story. I have never read a book that has used this technique before but I felt that it worked really well, making you feel the story could almost be real.
The reader is obviously aware throughout the book that the story is going to end at the Dark Tower, however the ending did still manage to suprise me. I also felt quite satisfied with the ending, which is not always the case after reading a series. I don't think he could have ended it any other way!
I have heard that there is to be another book in the series,(released April 2012) set mid way through the story, like a spin-off, and I will be buying it! This is a great series to collect, as I have re-read them many times.
I have never used a Herbal Essences shampoo before, however they were on a good offer, working out about £3 for the shampoo and conditioner.
I have quite flyaway hair, which is why I chose the Smooth and Soft shampoo. I was apprehensive, however it does seem to tame my hair, meaning that I do not even need to straighten it.
The packaging itself is fairly standard, although I do think it could be improved if it opened at the bottom, like the conditioner. (So that you don't have to wait ages for some to come out when you are nearing the end of the bottle!)
The shampoo itself smells pleasant, although not a particularly unique smell in my opinion. It lathers up nicely, meaning that you do not need to use lots of product. Used with the Herbal Essences conditioner, I have found that it does make my hair easier to manage.
I like to vary the shampoo I use, but I will buy Herbal Essences again, especially if I find it on such a good offer!
I have never seen an advent calender like this before, so I was unsure what to expect. It was actually a free gift from Toys R Us, because we spent over £50 on Playmobil. I think retail price was around £15, which I still think is reasonable, given the amount you get. It is packaged nicely, and the calender itself is made of sturdy cardboard, with a piece you can pull out to hang it from.
It comes with a 3D snow/house scene made of cardboard, which you slot together easily. This was an nice idea, because it gave my son somewhere to put the pieces each day.
The first door had a post box behind it. I was quite impressed with the quality of the items. The post box is really sturdy and slides open for easy removal of the letters. The second door contained letters to go in the post box. I found that it continued in the same way, with a larger item every few days, followed by several smaller ones.
The back of the main box it comes in does show you the order you receive the pieces in, however we found it was more fun to guess what it was going to be each day.
Some of the main bits you receive are: Post box and letters, desk and chair, Santa, Reindeer, Sleigh, Elf, Angel and Christmas tree. There are also many little bits to play with, such as a tiny working stamp and ink pad.
I will definitely be purchasing a Playmobil advent calender for next Christmas.
This is by far the favourite book in our household. The central character, Stick man is lovely. He lives in the family tree with his, "Stick Lady Love and Stick Children three." The story is about Stick Man becoming lost and trying to return back home. Along the way he is mistaken for a number of objects and there is a festive twist at the end. The pictures encourage the children to 'read' along and identify what object Stick Man is being mistaken for.
The language in this book is really nice. The rhymes make it easy to remember, encouraging children to read along with you. Since owning this book, my son is constantly quoting, "I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, that's me, and I want to go home to the family tree!"
As the front cover shows, this book is set in the winter. Although it does feature Santa, I would say that is is a fun read, all year round!
We bought this book for my son for Christmas and he loved it! He is four years old and started school in September, so he seems to be at just the right stage to really appreciate this book. It is about an old lady who keeps moaning her house is too small. A wise man advises her to take in her animals, one by one...
I really like the slightly repetative format and rhythm of this book - I thought it was perfect for children just starting to learn to read. It means that with the aid of the pictures, my son is able to read this book to me.
It is also lovely to read to him because he joins in frequently, eg, "My house is a squash and a squeeze!"
The pictures throughout are lovely and humourous, lighting up an already fantastic book!
Already this book has become a classic in our house, being read daily. We thought it was even better then 'The Gruffalo.'
I started reading this book around the same time as the tv series first aired, so it made for some interesting comparisons. I would say to anyone that has seen the tv series that the books are still worth reading - the storylines do differ somewhat.
'Dead Until Dark,' is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. It is a about a telepathic waitress, Sookie, living in a small southern town in American. What interested me about this series was the idea that vampires had 'come out' in society. Although characters are aware that vampires exist, it is interesting to read how they react to one when they meet Bill, the first vampire in town.
Sookie is drawn to Bill because he is the only person she has met whose mind she cannot read. While their relationship is starting, women in the town are found murdered with bite marks on their necks...
Overall I think that this is a fantastic start to a series. I like the fact that there are supernatural elements other then vampires, which have yet to be acknowledged by their society. It leaves plently of ideas for the other books in the series and is a good introduction to the supernatural world surrounding Sookie Stackhouse.
I have read 10 of the books to date and although I like the characters in this first book, I would have to say that by book 10 Sookie does start to irritate me slightly! I have also read the Twlight series and although I really liked both, I prefer this series. I connected with it easier, possibly because Twilight centers around teenagers.
I finished this book several days ago and it is the first Terry Brooks book I have read. It was recommended by a friend, who reads similar authors to me.
I was aware that this book is the first in a trilogy, so did not expect all to be revealed. I did find myself wanting to hurry along though, as it was rather slow building up and revealing things. It centers around a 14 year old girl with 'magic.' It linked this world with a future world, which I liked. The other central character, a Knight of the Word (good!) was interesting, but left me wanting more information. He dreams of the future, which I think was a really good way of linking the two worlds.
I find some fantasy novels a bit much, with different worlds, magic etc getting quite confusing, but this hit just the right note for me.
Although this is a good novel, there is a sense throughout that it is only part of a story (the slow build up) - I should imagine that you do need to read the whole trilogy to fully appreaciate it, and I will be doing so.
I received the small bottle of this as a christmas present last year, so I am unsure of the price. I am not a particular fan of JLO perfumes - this was bought as a gift based purely on the scent itself.
The presentation of this perfume is really lovely. It comes in a fairly standard box, but the bottle is really pretty. It is a dark purple at the base, fading up to pink. It comes with a ring on top, which is a large ball, dotted with pink jewels. Although I am a fan of big rings, I have to admit that I have only worn this ring once as it is a bit overdone. It does look nice of my dressing table though!
The fragrance itself is really nice- just the right combinations of fruity and floral. I do like quite strong, sweet perfumes, (Flower by Kenzo being my favourite!) so I would not recommend this unless you also like sweet scents. It seems to last a long time when it is worn, which is also a plus!
I have seen this perfume in several shops recently on fairly good offers, so I would buy it again.
This is the second Norah Lofts books I have read. The first book was called 'The King's Pleasure,' and focused on the first wife of Henry VIII. I found the first book slightly heavy going in comparison to other historical fiction I have read, such as Philippa Gregory. It was more factual than I expected and took more concentration, so I expected the same of this second book.
'The Concubine,' is the story of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. I have always found the story of Anne Boleyn the most interesting, with all the rumours of withcraft and adultery. I expected this book to present it from a factual point of view, however the author does make assumptions, giving this book more of a fictional feel then 'The King's Pleasure.'
Although I found this book a good read, I much prefered 'The Other Boleyn Girl,' and 'The Boleyn Inheritance,' by Philippa Gregory. They had more of a fictional feel and were easier to get into. In my opinion 'The Concubine,' was caught between fact and fiction and didn't fall far into either category, being to heavy for fiction and straying from facts.
I would only recommend it for serious fans of Henry VIII novels.
I found this range of products recently in Boots. I thought they seemed a really good price and spent ages smelling them all because I could not decide which one was nicest! I can't remember the exact price because I used the my Boots points to pay for it, but I remember being suprised how cheap they seemed for such a nice smelling, well presented product.
The bottle was a nice size, with funny statemements written on it. I opted for the Gingerbread bubblebath and took the product on holiday with me. This proved to be a big mistake because I was highly allergic to it and I came up with a rash all over my body and spent most of the day itching!
Regardless of this, I would say that it is a really nice product. The bath water actually smelt of the product (unlike some cheap bath products, where it doesn't smell of anything once it's been poured into the water.) I could also smell it on my skin for quite awhile after use. It was a nice consistency and provided lots of bubbles. If I was not allergic to the product, I would definitely buy it again.
This is a really good value item. I tend to have very sensitive skin, and often get eczema on my cheeks so I have to be careful what products I use. Although it does not advertise it, I would say that this is a product suitable for sensitive skin.
The main thing that drew my attention to this product was the price-very cheap! It is easy to find in the shops and comes in a range of colours. My skin is quite pale, so I usually find that most powders come up slightly orange on my skin. The palest colour in this range did not and I found it was perfect for my skin tone. It is easy to apply and lasts most of the day. I rarely bother to reapply any in the day. It also stays together, rather then crumbling after the first few uses.
I think that the only issue with this product is the packaging. It is not easy to carry around in your bag as I have had the lid come off before and found the powder crumbled all over my bag. It would be nice to have it in a flip top container, with space for an applicater.
Overall good value for money
I bought this conditioner for about £1. It appealed to me becase it is a spray- leave in conditioner for frizzy hair and I was looking to save time. It also claims to make your hair shine. I would say that it is good if you are in a hurry and do not have time for a normal conditioner, however I would not use it regularly.
It comes out of the bottle easily enough and the smell is pleasant. The problem I found was that it did not seem to coat my hair as a traditional conditioner does. I have fine flyaway hair, so I need a product which holds it down. This did not seem to do that for me. I have used varying amounts of it and still have not got the desired result.
My hair is straight, fine, flyaway and below the shoulders, so if you have similar hair I would not advise this product. I think it is probably more suitable for someone with curly hair, rather then flyaway.
Good as the occasional time saver, but not an everyday product for me.
I have naturally light brown hair, meaning that most dyes take easily. The problem I usually find is that, even permanent colours, tend to wash out/fade fast.
I was given a box of this in the shade Red Passion (think it was number 5.) I found it easy to apply and one box did the whole of my hair, which is below my shoulders. It took ages to rinse out, but I think most red dyes do. Although it said to rinse until the water ran clear, I gave up in the end because it was taking so long.
My hair felt really nice after using this dye and was easy to style. It did take me quite a long time to get the stains off my skin, however most hair dyes do. I would definitely advise to take your time applying it, because it would probably save time overall if you can avoid getting it on your skin.
The colour came out exactly as it was on the box, which, in my experience, is rare for hair dyes. It was very very bright, so although I liked the colour I ended up putting a darker shade over the top to make a slightly less bright. Not a dye for the faint hearted!
For about 6 weeks after the colour did seem to come out in the water every time I washed my hair. (Every other day.) Possibly because it was such a bright colour to begin with, it did still stay a nice shade of red, just not so bright. I did this colour several months ago now and my hair is still a shade of red, however it had faded in with my normal colour somewhat so that I have not had to redye my roots.
Overall it is a good dye, but I would be aware before using it that the colours DO come out as bright as they look on the box!
I have tried a number of different deodorants over the years and can definitely say it is the best. I first tried this several years ago and - generally- use this one all the time. The only exception is if I cannot get it on offer, as I would say that it is a bit expensive full price. It is usually on offer every couple of months, so I tend to try and stock up at these times.
Sanex appeals to me because it sounds like it would be gentle on your skin, claiming it is 'demologically tested.' I would agree that it is nice and gentle on my skin.
It also claims to go on clear and leave no white marks. I have tried several brands that claim to do this, but this one actually works. In the several years I have used it I don't think it has left a single mark on my clothes. It does not flake off as white powder, like some deodorants tend to do, even if you apply it too close to the skin.
I would also say that a little goes a long way. You don't have to apply too much and- for me at least- it lasts all day. The can lasts quite a while if you are able to get away with using just a little.
I would recommend this product, but don't pay full price- shop around for offers!
Having decided to purchase a DAB radio, a did a bit of research first. I found that the Pure Digital One Mini received good reviews on several websites. I ended up paying around £39 for it from Argos. The main reasons I selected this radio were the size, the positive reviews on quality of sound and the fact that you can connect your mp3/music device and listen to that through the radio.
I was aware before purchase that I was paying for a MAINS CONNECTED RADIO ONLY. This is a really important point to note, as on some of the reviews I read people had complained that they were not aware until after purchase that it does not take ordinary batteries. To make this radio wireless, you need to purchase a seperate battery. I have not done so yet, but probably will in the future because this is an excellent radio. I have found the battery for around £17 on Amazon.
Size and appearance of this radio is good. I bought it to use around the house, so I wanted something small and easy to move and this is just perfect for that. The sound quality is fantastic- more then what I expected for such a small radio. Even when up loud it is still clear.
Reception for a normal radio in this house is awful, but this radio has excellent reception-I found I only had to have the aerial extended all the way when tuning in the stations. After that I just have it up the minimum.
I have also read that some people found it slightly confusing to set up because the instructions are brief. I would not say that this is a problem. Beyond glancing at the instructions to see how to start it tuning stations in, I have not looked at them since.
To change stations, you simply press the buttons marked 'stations,' and twist the dial on the side. I think what some people found confusing is the fact that the dial is also a button and you push it in to select the station you want.
I would recommend this product to anyone wanted a good quality DAB radio. Although having to purchase the battery seperate can make it slightly more expensive then some, I believe it is worth the extra cost for such a good product.