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I've had my BaByliss Pro 230 hair straighteners for around 3 years now and they still haven't let me down. I got them as a Christmas present and they are probably one of the best/most used presents I have ever received.
I used to have pretty long hair that was neither straight, curly or wavy; just kinky and frizzy so I had to straighten every time I washed my hair. These straighteners worked wonderfully then and they still do even though I have short pixie hair now so straightening isn't as necessary for me as it used to be.
They heat up very quickly, I only tend to wait 10 seconds if that, there are different heat setting you can have them at and despite the high amount of use they have had they work just as well as they did 3 years ago. The only bad point I can think of is that I occasionally press the off button by accident in the middle of straightening as the power buttons are on top rather than on the side.
I admit I occasionally read classics such as this because I feel that I ought to, not because I actually want to. Reading this novel though I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how attached I had become to some of the characters, and I found myself telling my boyfriend about what had been happening in the village of Highbury like I was gossiping about old acquaintances of my own.
A couple of chapters in, I could easily imagine myself being a part of their world - wondering when Frank Churchill would come back (being completely shocked at his secret engagement with Jane Fairfax), increasingly disliking the Eltons, finding Mr and Mrs Weston a wonderful couple, and hoping that Mr Knightley was actually in love with Emma Woodhouse and not Harriet Smith. Not that I didn't like Harriet, but she was much better suited for Robert Martin; therefore the ending of the book left me perfectly happy with the way things worked out.
I would highly recommend this book (even though I've just spoiled it, but I can't be blamed for that - it has been out for over 195 years), however it is not an easy read if, like me you are used the modern novels which once your attention has been grabbed, you can read in one sitting. I found myself reading a few chapters at a time but nonetheless once I picked it up, I was transported to a wholly different world and I couldn't wait to find out what Austen had in store next.
(Also on my Tumblr)
Beginning this book I could tell it was one of those books that I will have finished in a few hours times; it was easy to read and enjoyable. I had been meaning to buy this book for a while - being a big fan of John Green (Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns) I had heard of Maureen Johnson's name repeatedly.
From the blurb I was intrigued by the plot: the protagonist Ginny receives 13 blue envelopes and she can only open them one at a time, having to complete the tasks her aunt gives her. The first one takes her from New York all the way to London and following on from that there is Scotland, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Denmark and Greece and a number of tasks to do in each place.
Although I would say that overall I enjoyed the novel, I couldn't help but think that things were missing. Usually reading a book I become attached the characters, feeling like I have got to know them throughout their journey but with Ginny I did not feel like there was any depth to her character. Other characters such as Keith (the boy she falls for) and Richard (her aunt's friend in London) I felt were left too unexamined; I would have liked to know more about them but the story itself was too jumpy.
I wasn't sure what to make of the end of the book. Part of me felt that I just didn't "get it"; the last letter gets stolen with Ginny's bag and therefore she is not sure what it says. However when she has returned to London she realises what her aunt would have said to her in the last letter anyway. I was left unsure as to whether the last little blue envelope was about the hidden paintings and the fact that Keith was her uncle, or whether it was something deeper than that which I didn't grasp or wasn't supposed to grasp.
Nonetheless, there is a sequel coming out - The Last Little Blue Envelope in Spring this year which will hopefully provide an answer to the questions in my mind. As I will be reading the sequel I can't say that I didn't enjoy 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and I would recommend it to people who want a nice, easy to read, young adult book.
(Also posted on my Tumblr)
I literally could not stop reading this book; it's thrilling, gripping, exciting and touching. When I first began I wasn't sure if it was for me, yet I found myself turning the pages and suddenly I did not want to stop. The Passage is the only post-apocalyptic novel I have read and I'm not entirely sure what made me want to read it start with. Of course I was intrigued by the blurb, making me want to know more yet giving limited information about what the novel was actually about. To be honest though, what probably made the book stick out to me was it's size; it's like a brick. Bigger than average sized pages and 766 of them. I'm a fan of big books; they promise an in-depth story, the creation of a whole new world - and Cronin definitely did not let me down.
The story begins with Amy Harper Bellafonte, the main character in the story who ends up also being known as The Girl from Nowhere, the One Who Walked In and a variety of other names - after her mother leaves her, no one really knows who this mysterious girl is. Brad Wolgast is an FBI agent employed to bring death-row inmates to Colorado, he's not sure what for and isn't supposed to ask questions. When asked to bring Amy to the military camp in Colorado, however, he finds himself attached to the girl and helps her. This is before the outbreak of a virus which began as an operation for a new immunity boosting drug. Afterwards the book goes ahead 90 or so years in a post-apocalyptic world where remaining colonies of people live their lives hoping the millions of virals (vampire like creature who have become infected with the virus) don't get to them. The novel at this point focuses on a group who have left their colony in California in an attempt to get to Colorado - Amy has come to them and the people believe she has to get back there.
The book is written in numerous different styles: emails, journals, newspaper reports but for the most part it is written in regular narrative prose. I found myself enjoying the narrative prose parts about Amy the most. I found myself becoming more and more captivated and intrigued by this girl who hardly talked, yet was undeniably a pivotal character in the plot. Some parts of the novel did confuse me and it was hard to keep up with all the characters mentioned yet this did not bother me as I knew whilst reading that I would happily read the book again at some point to understand it even better.
In my opinion this is a fantastic book and I am highly looking forward to the next in the trilogy being released in 2012. I was relieved when I discovered it was part of trilogy once I had finished reading the novel; there is so much more I want to know about Amy, what happens to those in the colony and what else happens in this dark world created by Cronin. Whilst reading I was so absorbed in this world that I found it hard to get my mind back into the real world, and to be honest, I didn't really want to.
(Also posted on my Tumblr account)
This novel whisked me away from home to war-time Berlin, in the midst of the brutal and terrifying regime of Hitler and the Nazis. It was a fantastic and devastating read that had me gripped from the start and the sheer number of characters made the plot gripping and interesting. The characters were written in such depth; giving a fantastic and touching insight into what it was like to be everyday citizen in Nazi Germany and how different people coped with the pressure to conform to what was expected of them.
At the centre of the story is Otta and Anna Quangel - a quiet couple, going day to day with work at a factory for him and housework for her. Never doing anything out of the ordinary and some days not even speaking a full sentence to one another. They soon receive news of one of their sons dying "for Führer and Fatherland" and Otto begins to feel that he should try to do something, however small, to resist the regime that not only brought about the death of their son but the death of hundred of thousands of others. Otto begins writing anonymous postcards with messages to whoever finds them, denouncing the Führer, the war and the regime and he leaves them in random buildings for others to find.
The novel then interweaves a vast array a people who have all been affected by the writings of these postcards. The hope of Otto and Anna is that the people who find these postcards will acknowledge the messages and then pass them for others to consider. However, they underestimate the terror that possesses people in this time of darkness and out of over 200 postcards dropped over 2 years only a small number of them did not get handed in to the Gestapo. The way Fallada linked these different types of people: criminals, SS, Gestapo, whores, and everyday honest working people amazed me. Fallada understood how different people behave in different ways to pressure depending on their background and past experiences, and at the base of it how strong of character people are when it comes to facing up to what they believe in.
Reading this novel I felt I understood more then before what it must have been like to have been in the situation of the German people under the Nazi regime. Fallada lived in Germany during this period and was frequently under observation due to his writing which at times had political undertones; he knew what it meant to live in a terrifying and unjust society and this shows in this outstanding novel.
(Also posted this review on my book review Tumblr)
I adored this book, it's sweet and funny, touching and heart-wrenchingly sad. I had seen the film when it was first released, and being an animal lover I thought it was great. It wasn't until the other day however that I decided I would read the actual book, mainly because I needed a book to read over the weekend and my younger sister had just finished reading it; warning me that it was even sadder than the film, although I knew it would be - books are always sadder than the films.
It's definitely an easy read novel but that doesn't take away from the quality of the story; I found myself attached to the couple - John and Jen and in love with Marley (and I'm not even a dog person). It's a book that literally makes you laugh out loud whilst reading, I found the part about Marley getting half way out the car window whilst they were driving particularly amusing. The novel is also very moving and I enjoyed getting to know how John and Jen moved on in their life from a young newly-wed couple to extremely loving and caring parents.
It's a heart-felt book and you can feel the emotion of writer John Grogan on every page; his love for his wife and kids and especially for Marley and it is filled with amusing anecdotes. The book is also full of meaning and once you finished you must have a heart of stone not to be touched by the story - I admit that I was crying for about 20 minutes when I was making me way through the end of the book. I call myself a cat person but I felt as though it was me who had lost this amazing and loyal companion at the end of the book, and I wanted nothing more to have my own little Marley.
Currently being in my 2nd year of University, I could understand and relate to the main character of the book, Brian, very easily and the story had me laughing throughout the most of it. Having read David Nicholls 'One Day' I expected that this book would be one I would enjoy and I did, but in all honesty it's not a mind-blowing story; an awkward teenage protagonist starting University and having to deal with the problems that comes with falling in love with a beautiful blonde girl. Yet it's something that most people can relate too - it is honest about sex, acne, partying, drinking and relationships. I found myself embarrassed for Brian and wishing something would just work out for him. Caring about the characters is surely a sign of a good novel, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read an entertaining, lighthearted story but it is not a ground-breaking novel.
I've suffered from breakouts and extremely oily skin for many years now, and I've been hoping that my skin would just calm down but I'm 20 now and it's just as bad as when I was 14. I tend to get spots on my chin, blackheads on my nose and my skin is constantly oily.
Since using this product (about 5 weeks) I've hardly had any new spots, even when pmsing, and the ones I did have are slowly but surely going away. I use it both morning and night, it's not too drying on my skin and feels like it is giving my skin a deep clean and it makes my skin tone more even and healthier. However, it has not done much for the oil my skin produces which is a shame as it is a major concern of mine. My skin is insanely oily though, so I imagine it will work on skin that is oily but less so than mine.
It's quite expensive to buy, especially on a student budget like mine, but I do think it is worth it, and I am going to continue using it.
I have normal skin that does not tend to get too dry anyway, but with winter approaching I figured it would be best to find myself a body lotion just in case and I'm glad that I did. It smells lovely and the smell lingers on your skin for quite a while, but not too overpowering, so you can go around smelling awesome all day. I found that it absorbs quickly and easily meaning I didn't have to wait around for it to dry before I could get ready. Best of all it made my skin feel lovely, not at all sticky, just soft and smooth and after using it for a week I found that my skin had started to look healthier with a nice glow about it. I would definitely recommend this body lotion and I've already told quite a few of my friends to go and try it.