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mmepapillon
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Member since: 03.11.2009

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      30.12.2011 15:26
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      Recommended, even if it is just to fall in love with Henry

      After Cassie's 10 year marriage ends unexpectedly, rather than let her dwell in her misery, her three best friends decide to take her under their wing and transform her, three times over in the hope that Cassie will discover the person she wants to be and live happily ever after. No carbs, fast moving, glam New York; chic, sophisticated, culinary Paris; down to earth yet eventful London - we are taken on Cassie's journey to recovery, self discovery and new love with old flame Henry, quite the charmer, quite the man of Cassie's dreams even if she doesn't know it herself. Yet will it all work out like the fairy tale it sounds? I had never read any of Karen Swan's titles before, however being advertised all over the London underground and winning me over with a festive scene and the name Tiffany's, I had to read it. The book is simple to read, easy going and I had it finished within days, although it is perhaps a little too long for a book of its kind. Cassie's three city-life experiences are all unique, and whilst at first I didn't quite grasp what was going on, it did make for a light-hearted, entertaining read, and, being written so well, you do feel as though you know Cassie and are walking her path with her, through the ups and downs, decisions and changes she faces. I did however feel that more should have been made of her self discovery and the lessons that she had learnt. Although this is chicklit so I guess the lack of wisdom, moral and indepth encounters with oneself can be overlooked. The three parts were very well written, Swan certainly has done her research and as far as I can tell there were a great many accurate portrayals of the three cities, all of which I have been to and love, so it made it nice to have three of my favourite places in one girlie novel. It was also good to read the contrasts and see the transformation in Cassie, particularly the story in New York with temporary lover Luke. I found the story of Claude slightly odd - probably the least believable of the three, although it did make for a few twists and turns. And the ending made for an exciting, happy-ever-after finish that I'm sure will make women everywhere go gooey with emotion. Although I don't want to spoil it for you! Overall it was a pleasant read with a good ending which I really enjoyed. I can't fault the plot or the author herself, although I do wonder whether the title was for marketing purposes rather than as an insight to the book. Christmas At Tiffany's wasn't really about Christmas at Tiffany's, so that was a bit misleading, although it doesn't 'not' fit. In addition I suppose the book does follow the stereotypes and current trends that seem to be appealing to women at the moment - cupcakes, Tiffany's, Paris, New York.... I would recommend it though, even if it is just to fall in love with Henry.

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        30.12.2011 13:53
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        Overall, a good, different and clever read, but not book material.

        I'm not a huge crime and mystery novel fan. I don't really know much about the author, Jed Rubenfeld. In fact I probably wouldn't have chosen this novel had it not have been one of the chosen books in a book club I belong to. However I am glad I read it as something a bit different. The instigators of the Wall Street bombing of 1920 never did get found out. Rubenfeld does his best to explain his theories in this thrilling novel. His piecing together of factual information, his exploration of the term 'terrorist', his imagination and his own personal twist, all make for an exciting read. His blend of fact and imagination are incredible, and the backdrops he uses and the little twists and turns he adds really do make for a succesful story. You will definitely find yourself saying 'oooooh, really' and 'wow, I never thought of that'. The leads he takes and portrays are exceptional and after finishing you really do feel like you have been part of the detective story yourself. However I will say this: Despite it being a good read, there are far too many characters, you can't possibly follow them all. I had to reread several pages and even whole chapters to understand who was who at times. Other characters barely had any significance. In addition the book contained at least two stories in one. It was almost as if Rubenfeld had so many ideas and stories, but only time to write one book, so he included evereything in one. A shame really, as if these had been written separately they could have been really good. Due to this 'cramming' there were questions left unanswered, missing parts, leads that never got followed up, and an overly clever ending which actually just got too lost and incredulous to be believable. Personally I feel the book was written like a film, and what a great film it would be. But it just doesnt work in book format. There are too many 'scripts', too many visuals and too much confusion to take in through prose. You definitely need a visual aid at times. It really is too much to take in all in one read. Overall, a good, different and clever read, but not book material.

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        30.12.2011 13:08
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        An overall good read for a rainy day

        Overview What happens when, after an unexpected road accident, two Tiffany's bags, with two very different gifts get mixed up? Will anyone notice? Is it 'fate'? Well this is exactly what happens to Irish, 'not-really-ready-for-a-full-on-engagement' Gary and English lecturer, 'I-think-I've-found-the-one' Ethan cross paths, (and bags) outside world famous Tiffany's in New York on Christmas Eve. Will their girlfriends Rachel and Vanessa notice? Can they keep the secret safe? And what do you do when you find yourself unexpectedly engaged or on the receiving end of a charm bracelet when you were expecting a rock on on your ring finger? Is it happy ever after or will the secret be let out of the bag? Aaah the mysteries and the 'magic' of that little blue box. Review I love a good girlie read, particularly when the word Tiffany's has anything to do with it, so when receiving this book as a present for Christmas I was more than happy to start reading it. I had never read anything by Melissa Hill before so was eager to see what she was like. The story is a good one which ticks all of the boxes of a good chicklit book - Tiffany's, love story, girl gets guy, twists along the way, happily ever after - and more. It has allusions to the classic Cinderella 'does it fit' and also scratches the idea of fate, both of which add a certain depth to the book rather than it being all goo and no spine! The characters were generally good and well scripted. There was no confusion over who was who and neither were there too many characters. Each was developed just enough so you felt you understood them well, even to the point of anticipating their reactions. Over all it was a good, pleasant read; I couldn't put the book down as I wanted to know what happened! However, whilst it ticked so many boxes, there were several things which were a bit annoying, the first one being Daisy, Ethan's daughter. How can an 8 year old be so literate and so grown up? For me she wasn't realistic and her character was more that of a wise old woman, rather than a little girl. This, for me, spoilt the book somewhat. Secondly, whilst the storyline was good, and whilst I loved the twists at the end and the intrigue Hill created in the way she developed the plot, 404 pages of recovering a mixed up bag when you meet up with the victims several times was way too much and a bit incredulous to say the least. I did want to shout out loud 'just switch the bag back you fool'! The movie Dumb and Dumber does spring to mind. However I did enjoy the way Melissa treated the story and overlooked my annoyances to see how she would portray the ending, which was super. Any 'oh this is so predictable' thoughts which were also an issue for me about two thirds of the way through were quickly dampened by the twists at the end. Well done! Overall This is a great book and a good read on a rainy day. It is well written and the twists and turns at the end do make the book more fulfilling. Would I recommend it? Yes I would, if there was nothing better.

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        22.12.2011 22:27
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        enjoy a great Christmas!

        So I don't have a huge amount of ideas or tips. Neither do i have a huge amount of advice for Christmas although here are some ideas... January There are so many things you can do in January to help you prepare for next Christmas! Stupid I know but we all know how busy can get, so doing as much as you can straight after Christmas will help you to save time. Old cards 1) when you take down your old cards, make a list of everyone who sent you one (and any notifications of address changes) this way you have your Christmas card list sorted for next time round! 2) invest in a pair of crimping shears and cut up any old cards to use as pretty gift tags for next Christmas. You can also save the white back to use as scrap paper. Decorations Keep all of your decorations in a labelled box and make a note of anything you need to buy or which may need replacing for next year. That way you hopefully won't get the decs out only to realise you are missing something half way through decorating the tree Sales See what items you can buy for next year in the sales for next year, although do be careful - we can often tell when you use last years M&S Christmas cards which you bought in the sale!!! February Saving Ok I know Christmas is the last thing on people's minds here but why not start saving stamps or vouchers from supermarkets in a safe place so you can spend them near Christmas and reduce your bills in Decemer? Collecting If you are anything like me and like to make your own gifts/cards/etc you can begin saving scraps, ribbons, wrapping paper, etc. It is my birthday this month so I often have quite a few bits and bobs I can stash away from presents. August Staff party Definitely not the time to be thinking of Christmas but this is the month when a lot of restaurants and functions will begin to advertise and take bookings for December. If you are looking to book a big night out, now is the time to start making enquiries. September Early bits to save money Nobody likes a huge credit card bill in December. You have enough outgoings this month as it is, so why not start to buy in Christmas presents now to save money and time? I took the months September, October and November and bought a present per family member each month (luckily there were only three main presents to buy). This allowed time to shop around without being last minute and also took the stress off my finances at the end of December. October Outfit Yes, I know its early but you literally have one month until Christmas partying begins, so start keeping an eye out for that Christmas party outfit now. Not only will it spread out your spending, but there is nothing worse than getting to a week before the event and still have nothing to wear. I'm not saying you have to buy, but looking won't harm. Hair Hair salons usually get booked up during December, so start trying to work out possible appointment dates in your diary now to avoid disappointment. Cake and Pudding Now is the time to start making your Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. The fruits and alcohol will need time to breathe and mature, so making them a couple of months in advance will assist this no end. Food Shopping Again to spread the cost of your outgoings and avoid a huge bill at the end of the year, and also to avoid the crowds, why not try to buy in some dried foods and long sell by date foods such as tins of biscuits, crisps and alcohol. Don't be tempted to open them too soon though! November Cards WRITE YOUR CARDS! Honestly, writing your Christmas cards now will take a huge weight off your shoulders in December. If you're anything like me you'll be way too booked up with social events in December to have a spare weekend to do this. Do it now. Home made gifts I love to make sweets/biscuits/cakes/gingerbread/gift boxes at Christmas and give them as gifts. Why not have a trial run now to make sure they are a success nearer the time. You could also taste the alcohol you purchased in October to make sure it's ok! Films A Christmas film at this stage is a must to get you in the Christmas spirit Advent Calendars BUY THESE NOW! December Well, what is left to do now? You've done everything! Although there are a few things I would suggest. Diary Check your diary and organise all of your dates. Plan in time to do Christmas things such as bake/food shop/wrap presents so the time doesn't creep up too fast. Wrapping Try to leave wrapping Christmas presents as long as you can, without being discovered by peeping eyes! Wrapping them too early risks damage and also forgetting what you have bought! Also you never know, you might need to return something still at this stage. Testing Test any electrical products you are giving as presents where possible to guarantee they are working when you give them at Christmas Enjoy With all of your advanced preparation why not plan a night in and put your feet up with a nice glass of mulled wine. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

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        • Dell Inspiron 15R / Laptop / 36 Readings / 28 Ratings
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          22.12.2011 11:44
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          Not buying this make again!

          Well, I could write about the 2nd generation intel core processors, or the 15.6" display, or the 500GB hard drive or the many other impressive technological, big word things which this machine posseses, but being someone who doesn't really care as much about the fangle dangles as I do about the fact that this laptop comes in pink and has the Internet and switches on... I won't bore you. Consider this the review for dummies. So when my Compaq whatever it was starting taking over 20 minutes to load up, I thought it was time for a change. I had about a £500 budget (I think this was £400 or so) and wanted something basic, yet with memory enough for all of my music. I also wanted to run Microsoft Office for work purposes, and wanted something that was aesthetically pleasing. Call me an idiot but the pink and the sleek, sophisticated, sexy design really were selling points. Oh, it also had a disc drive and 3 USB ports which were useful. So here I am with the instruction manual out having located the charger and pressed the on button. Problem number one and two and three I guess. The on button - what is wrong with it?! You have to hold it down for about 10 seconds at a funny angle and still you are lucky if it switches on. It's a bit of a random - 'do I feel like switching on today or not' scenario. Let me know if you can master this one. The second problem of course is the battery life. 'Up to 4.5 hours of batter life' - excellent I think - I like to sit infront of the TV and use the computer where there is no free socket to plug into. Mistake. About 2 hours later I find a warning sign saying '17% left, 10 minutes battery life remaining'. And even then the charger doesn't always work - I even ended up in one of those situations where you take the product back for not charging properly and as soon as a proper person looks at it, it works perfectly. Thanks Dell. Not only a rubbish product, but full-on embarrassment also. Thirdly was the initial setup programme. One false move and you could lose everything. It was not easy to follow and I ended up having to restart and restore to original settings several times before it worked properly which also meant I lost one of the 3 attempts at my Microsoft Office passkey things. GRRRRRR!!! Ok ok, I know they can do it instore, but as a young independent women on a budget I want to and should be able to do these things on my own right? Next thing - loading up. So having altered my 3.5 year old Compaq for a faster running machine, I expected better. Load up time is about 4-5 minutes, but this is still too long for me. It definitely should not take this long for a computer to boot up. Although I do like the Hbernate function which halves this time. Still, not impressed really. If I need to check my emails in hurry for my highly busy job where time is essential, I do not want to wait 4 - 5 minutes to do so. Infact I'd rather use my phone now as this seems quicker. Another problem is the keypad. The keys stick! If I didn't apply so much force or make use of the 'backspace' button so much my typin ould proably be full of missd out letters a it like this because they get stuck and do not prss down fully (and now for the proper, heavy handed translation which should be included anyways - 'my typing would probably be full of missed out letters a bit like this because they get stuck and do not press down fully' - a great way to burn calories however). Definitely a no no when you type as fast as I do and need to get a job done without any problems. So I think the programmes all run ok and it doesn't seem to freeze a whole lot. I've only had 2 blue screen messages so far saying I'm about to die or something if I don't press any key - I never really pay much attention and am probably making the situation worse by pressing the on/off button (if it works) but still. Those moments have fortunately been few and far between. So I guess overall it's a pretty poor model from such an esteemed brand name. I certainly won't be buying this make again. Although at least it works, which is more than the Samsung model I bought did - that one had to get sent back altogether!

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            22.12.2011 10:48
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            A super book with some really nice treats - you'll be amazed at what you can do

            I first got into Lorraine Pascale one sleepless night when I decided to watch an episode of her 'Baking Made Easy' cooking programme on catch up TV. I was hooked after the first 5 minutes. So I watched another episode, and another, and another! What really stood out was the ease and the basic ingredients Lorraine used to make outstandingly good, mouth-watering dishes. You can imagine my delight when I found all of her recipes in one book. No more pausing and rewinding her video clips. Baking Made Easy published by Harper Collins in May 2011 is a hardback yet affordable recipe book consisting of 256 pages and available from most book retailers. I purchased mine from Selfridges for £6.99 (reduced from £18.99) although if you shop around you can get it for around £5. The hardback cover is definitely a bonus when cooking in a messy kitchen as it keeps the book in much better condition! Unlike most of the 'jumping-on-the-bandwagon-baking-is-the-new-black' pink and flowery baking books which mostly consist of 100 different ways to decorate a cupcake (aka fairycake - where has this sudden cupcake obsession come from?) Pascale's Baking Made Easy is an excellent guide which relives the joys of good, solid, all-round baking. Not only are there many scrumptious desserts and cakes, but there are also delicious savoury recipes, which have been seemingly forgotton in the art of baking. In fact not only this but the book is set out in 6 sections all dealing with different things you can bake and inspiration for how to use your baking - 'breads, cakes, savoury baking, desserts and patisserie, dinner party, sweet treats'. In addition there are some great sections on tips and the basics of baking, so whether you are a well established baker or new to the art, this book has something for everyone. What I love about each of the recipes is that they are easy. Ingredients are kept to a minimum, and there are no weird and wonderful items which you can only get from the bottom of a valley in Thailand or from a certain soil in the Outer Hebrides. Each product is readily available in a local supermarket and will be used again, so you are not wasting money on something which you use once and then throw out when you find it 3 years later at the back of the cupboard. Additionally all of the recipes are things that you would most probably eat at some point in your life - bread, croissants, victoria sponge... none of this weird world food, cant pronounce the name type stuff, although there are one or two surprises for fun. So far everything I have made from the book (apart from the Macaroons which are an art-form in themselves and need their own degree) has been amazing and worked out beyond my expectations. I cannot wait to try more and am working through the book during my Christmas holidays! Whilst there are many positives, there are also a couple of negatives, although I shall keep these to a minimum. The step by step instructions can be quite hard to follow as they are quite wordy - not something I welcome when covered in flour and needing 4 pairs of hands. Also the 4 pairs of hands thing can be an issue - some of the recipes, whilst trying out new ideas and tips, can be quite complicated and use methods which I find difficult to carry out. Finally I love Lorraine and she is very beautiful - but the book seems to be overtaken with photos of her modelling a sieve rather than what the food should look like. Not each receipe has a picture. Although these are only minor issues compared to the great stuff you can make. Overall I love the book and can't wait to buy her second one 'Cooking Made Easy'.

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            22.12.2011 10:02
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            How To Be A Woman is a must read for any modern, feisty woman who is bored of traditional feminism a

            Outline - How To Be A Woman is a new title from TV critic, columnist and broadcaster Caitlin (pronounced Catlin) Moran. Released in June 2011 it has fast become a best seller and features on the 'top 20' best selling books in most high street book stores. Caitlin cleverly takes us on a journey of her lifelong discovery of 'How To Be A Woman' starting from age 13 and ending with her outlook on her latter years to come. Whilst exploring the highs and lows of her self discovery and self awareness and graphically looking at common issues nearly all women face such as furry bits, bleeding and the ups and downs of childbirth, Caitlin outlines her perspective on today's woman in light of years of feminist waves. Positives - The book is superb in many ways. Not only does it confidently approach a great deal of issues previously avoided, such as 'what to call your vagina' it also outspokenly but very aptly demolishes the over-the-top political correctness that can often be applied to feminism and women in general. ('Having a (female) cleaner is nothing to do with feminism'). The book will make you laugh, make you nod in approval and make you want to stand on a soap box and shout at the top of your voice 'I AM A FEMINIST'. Caitlin is brutally honest and open in her approach, sharing both intimate details about her life to illustrate her point and bold, much-needed yet refreshing opinions about twenty-first century feminism. Whilst I am no expert on feminism and do not scour the bookshelves reading every book I can, to my knowledge there has not been a book like this for quite some time. And the ones that do exist can often be so wishy washy, that they never really have any impact on society's potentially inaccurate and still dreadfully stereotypical knowledge of 'women'. I love this book for the very reason that Moran does not pussy-foot around the issue, discussing various approaches to feminism; she boldly states it how it is, not how it should be once society has added a lot of PC, and minused the sexism and stereotyes. Her bold statements such as 'the purpose of feminism isn't to make a particular type of woman' and 'what is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men' are dynamic, impacting are a breath of fresh air in an other wise stale and outdated era. Negatives - A book definitely not for the faint hearted! In as much as Caitlin is bold, brave and outspoken in a good way, she is also a bit to over the top at times. Whilst this is good for the most part as it portrays her points well, I do feel that these same points could be made without the brutality, crudeness and cringeworthy detail which most women would be ashamed to admit. Maybe this is part of the book's success, however it does limit it's audience; definitely not a Christmas present for your mum! In addition, there are definite parts which should be in a book entitled 'How Not To Be A Woman' - the drug taking, the neglect of antinatal classes and the promotion of going out on the pull. A matter of opinion, but this did ruin the book for me a bit. Conclusion - Overall, whilst the book took a while to get into and a while to get into the swing of Caitlin's style of writing I loved this book, particularly the postscript which was a fantastic summary and evaluation of feminism and what women should be - 'just human'! It laughs in the face of years of dedication to such a movement and reveals its essence in the simple phrase - that women are not arguing for a 'take over from men... just our share'. How To Be A Woman is a must read for any modern, feisty woman who is bored of traditional feminism and wants someone with the 'ladyballs' to say something. A definite no no for your Gran however!

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            20.04.2011 12:00
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            Definitely something I will listen to over and over again!

            Underoath are a six piece band from Tampa Florida. Despite some minor changes to their members, particularly over the last few years, they are currently in their fourteenth year as Underoath. Their band philosophy and lyrics are largely based on their Christian faith, which they are fairly open about at times when performing live also. They're Only Chasing Safety is the third and probably best album in Underoath's musical career to date. Originally set to be recorded with former vocalist Dallas Tailor under the name Dear Misery, the plan changed when new vocalist Spencer Chamberlain joined. It was eventually released as 'They're Only Chasing Safety' under Solid State Records in June 2004 and rereleased through Tooth and Nail Records in October 2005 by which point Underoath had gained a wider fan base and recognition. To date the album has sold over 500, 000 copies in the US alone, and has done remarkably well in the UK since their explosion onto the UK hardcore scene in 2004. The album is often considered as a pioneer in metalcore, screamo and melodic hardcore. Despite being released during the hardcore metal explosion, Underoath fused hardcore sound, ear splitting riffs and vocals with melodies (A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White) and gentle, yet emotion filled sounds (Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape) which were to be borrowed by future bands in the now labelled 'post hardcore' movement. Such a sound was fairly unique at the time, which is probably what has gained Underoath such wide reaching success and acknowledgement. This, together with their incredible stage presence, even in the smallest of venues (as seen in their Only Chasing Safety Promotional UK tour in which they played to crowds of no more than 150 people in most venues) is what has made this album a landmark in Underoath's musical career, and also in the post hardcore movement in general. Despite the fact that the band has now opted for heavier, less melodic sounds in their latest releases, (probably due to the departure of lyrical and drumming genius Aaron Gillespie), They're Only Chasing Safety is still the album which the fans want to hear and sing along to at gigs, as demonstrated in their current 2011 UK tour (still ongoing). This only serves as further proof of the success of the album. Overall, and in my opinion, this album is by far Underoath's best. There is something for every lover of the hard rock scene, songs you can sing to, noise explosions, technical guitar work, blasting drumming and inspiring lyics. This is something I will listen to for years to come. Tracklist 1. "Young and Aspiring" 2. "A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White" 3. "The Impact of Reason" 4. "Reinventing Your Exit" 5. "The Blue Note" 6. "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door" 7. "Down, Set, Go" 8. "I Don't Feel Very Receptive Today" 9. "I'm Content with Losing" 10. "Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape" (featuring Aaron Marsh of Copeland) Length 35:50

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              20.04.2011 11:14
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              Some good bits and a nice ending, however I'm not sure I want to be welcomed to your world this time

              Harriet (Harri) Langden works for a local travel agents in the quiet, sleepy village of Stone Yardley. She knows everything there is to know about all things travel, yet she has never ventured out of the UK herself. Desperately wanting to, she is constantly dropping hints at boyfriend Rob to take her somewhere, particularly Venice, the capital of her dreams. Best friend Alex adds irony to this tragic affair with his tales of his round the world adventures and when her other friend Stella (ironically an air stewardess) runs off with Harri's dream date - a travel writer, things just seem to go from bad to worse. Harri has little else to do than wait for the right time. Yet when Harri enters Alex for a magazine dating article which goes horribly wrong, things seem as though they have hit an all time low. But could this just turn out to be her ticket to freedom? When my mum told me she had bought the new Miranda Dickinson book I couldn't wait to get my teeth into it seeing as I had thoroughly enjoyed her first book 'Fairytale in New York'. I loved Miranda's style of writing and her magical twists and plots. She seems to have an excellent ability to keep all of the juicy outcomes right until the last chapter which only serves to make you want to read on. The fact that my mum hadn't read it because she couldn't 'get into it' didn't deter me. The storyline is sweet and again Miranda manages to keep you waiting with baited breath until the very last couple of chapters in which she unravels all of the twists and turns the story has been building up to. The characters are likeable and the setting is well portrayed. However, throughout this book I got rather frustrated at several things. First of all, my mum wasn't wrong about being difficult to 'get into'. Had I not got 2 weeks off work, I would have left this book after the first few chapters as it really is a difficult one to get into. Furthermore, there are far too many characters to keep track of. We are constantly introduced to more people, and expected to remember who they are. Not only are there Harri's friends, but there are her work colleagues, family members, friends of friends, dates and so on. It really did get far too complicated and I had to keep going back and rereading bits to find out how everyone was related. Finally, I do think that the plot is way too dragged out. On the one hand what should really be done and dusted in several chapters lasted the whole book through, so it did get rather tedious. Yet on the other hand, important events such as Harri's first trip abroad were given way too little importance. I think there are definitely a few unbalances here. Saying this, however, I did enjoy the final product and the ending where everything did seem to come together and make sense. However it took 416 long, hard, over informative pages to get there. I would recommend this book, but only for lack of something better to read. Sorry Miranda.

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            • katesclothing.co.uk / Online Shop / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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              12.04.2011 22:28
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              Definitely my number 1 alternative store

              I adore Kate's clothing. From the age of 13 I have always been into the alternative, gothic culture, yet have never managed to find a UK based website which sells everything I like in one place. Normally many of the alternative websites are tacky and poorly encoded with pixelated pages and clothes that look like they came from a fancy dress shop. Not Kate's Clothing. I stumbled across the website in 2007 when a friend recommended it to me. It now appears fairly high up on the list when you look for 'gothic or alternative clothing' in a search engine, such has popularity and awareness of the site grown. The website is clearly laid out with a suitably chosen font which is clear and easy to read. Fortunately, despite being a more gothic site, the page design is not so dark you have to squint to read the writing, yet it still boasts an alternative, attractive design. The range of clothes, footwear and accessories for both males and females is extensive and very different from your average gothic and alternative stockists who tend to stock the same items. I actually like the clothes on this site as they are a lot more tasteful and less like a transvestite in drag. You can perform searches in a variety of ways - by product, by price, by most popular.... it really is useful, practical and easy to navigate. The clothes are most excellent ranging from beautiful victorian steampunk style corsets for elegant evenings, to trashy but tasteful tutus and vest tops for going out. Not only this, but there are more sophisticated tailored style garments for those who like to carry the alternative look into a more high brow scenario like work for example. I have bought several items which could pass in my workplace. Prices are phenomenal. It is doubtful that you would come across more reasonable prices in the gothic clothing scene. Even Camden market which occasionally stocks some of the items found here bump the prices up by at least 20%. Furthermore, Kate's Clothing regularly modify their site to account for new stock, which also means regular sales and clearout prices! This, I love! Delivery can take a few days, but you never have to wait longer than 3 - 4 days. This too is very low priced and returns are simple (not that you will need this option!). Overall, I love Kate's Clothing and would recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative alternative store. It manages class but cult, alternative yet attractive, and elegant whilst excellently priced. Also fantastic for funky stockings, accessories and reasonably priced fancy dress attire. Definitely my number 1 alternative store.

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              • Blindside - Blindside / Music Album / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                12.04.2011 22:07
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                A must have in a range of musical collections. Never off repeat!

                Unbeknown to most people and following their EP Empty Box released in 1997, Blindside's self-titled album was first released in Sweden in 1997, and followed in the US under Tooth and Nail Records. Most 'post' hardcore/grunge/emo fans would only recognise the re-release of the same album in the mid 2000's after accumulating a wider fan base and matching the music demands of this time. Blindside was way ahead of its time when first released and pre-dated many of the nu-metal successors which it is often likened to. The band first formed in 1994 and so, by the time of this full album release, they already possessed quite a unique, personal sound. It was a shame that the album gained little acknowledgement (other than in Christian circles) until later on with the second and more so third album releases. A pioneer in the fusion of melodic vocals and blood curdling screamo sounds, Blindside tells of lead singer 'Christian's' life and walk in his Christian faith. With outstanding, thought provoking lyrics taking you through the highs and lows of life and laced with passion, this album is a must have in a number of musical collections be it grunge, nu-metal, hardcore, screamo or even Christian. A superb mix of tracks with play with your emotions and take you through a whirlwind journey of love, hate, redemption, growth and inspiration. I absolutely love this album, and almost 15 years later, still have it on repeat in my CD player. This is one album you will not regret buying. Track list: 1. Invert 2. Born 3. Empty Box 4. Superman 5. Nerve 6. This Shoulder 7. Replay 8. One Mind 9. Liberty 10. Daughter 11. Teddy Bear 12. Never 13. Liberty 14. Superman 15. Stolen 16. Forgiven

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                12.04.2011 21:35
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                A super read with a happy ending

                Juliet (we all guessed that would be her name didn't we?) is fed up of her mundane relationship with two and a half year long boyfriend Will. It seems their relationship has lost its sparkle. Instead of receiving flowers and love notes like she used to, Juliet is now faced with flatulance and dirty underwear. Where she used to be wined and dined, a take out for two and a night slobbing on the sofa is all she has to look forward to these days. Until 'he' catches her eye. After almost literally being knocked head over heels, successful Italian stallion Sykes is the kind who holds the key to every girls heart, and Juliet's apparently. Being lured in by sun soaked Italian weekends and posh wine bars, Juliet starts to fall in love once more. But is a sordid affair the answer to her relationship problems, or is it too good to be true? What about Will? Is it a case of where there is a Will there is a way? Or is a Latin lover what it takes to win a girls heart these days? I loved this book. I bought it on impulse in an airport with the intention of killing some time on a long flight. But once I started reading I could not stop. I like Alexandra Potter's works, and have read several of her books, this being my favourite. I love Alexandra's way with words, her outlook on life, and the realistic qualities she gives to her characters which makes you feel like you know them personally. I definitely think there is a little bit of all of us in the roles she creates. The book is fairly long and did take a while to read (it is 368 pages long), however the chapters are very short which is what I love about these books because you can read a little at a time and not lose your place. My only criticism is that the chapters do jump scenes quite dramatically and it takes a while to figure out which character you are reading about upon chapter changes. I particularly enjoyed the twists on the storylines and her leading you in to thinking you knew what was going to happen, but then the story went a completely different way. Very well done. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants a good chick lit read with a happy ending.

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                12.04.2011 21:16
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                A good read but nothing to put on a wish list.

                Do wishes really come true? They seem to for thirty year old wedding photographer Heather Hamilton. Slightly bored of a mundane life and struggling financially Heather decides to magic some changes in her life to spice things up. After being persuaded to buy a posey of heather from a gypsy lady, Heather (yes, how original) is warned to make sure she is careful what she wishes for. Yet, being the wishful thinker she is, she has her list planned out - lose 5 pounds, manage to get a seat on the tube, be able to park in a space outside her house, eat maltesers without putting them on her hips, meet mr perfect... Yet with stunner Gabe responding to her advert for a flatmate, her clothes starting to become loose, meeting the breathtakingly perfect neighbour James and a whole succession of other uncanny occurances, things seem to be looking up in the Hamilton household. Yet is the old chestnut 'your wish is my command' really the key to happiness? Is having all of your wildest dreams come true really the answer in life? Read on to find out if this book is all you ever wished for. I am a fan of Alexandra Potter's works having read several over the last couple of years. I enjoy the ease with which her words flow, her quirky take on her characters, her ability to relate scenarios to every day life and relate to the reader as a person who 'know's what life is really like'. When I found 'Be Careful What You Wish For' for only £2.99 in a gift shop, I had to buy it, however part of me wishes I hadn't. Don't get me wrong, the book is good. But that is about it. Fairly like most of Alexandra's other writing it is a clichéd romance with a fairly similar plot to the other books - desperate for a relationship career girl, ex boyfriend shows up, new guy in town, love triangle and, oh no, happily ever after ending having learnt a thing or two about life and men on the way. It really isn't something to shout about or add to a wish list. The book comes in paperback in 2 sizes, one being a more compact size which slips easily into a handbag. The 368 pages of girly goo are easy to read - I read it in a few hours. The chapters are very short so it is very good to read if you are on the go, however be careful you don't read the sad scene whilst on the tube as you may need a tissue! Overall, a good read with a few good twists and a fairly good message. Ideal to spend a few carefree days with on the beach if you have nothing better!

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                26.12.2010 18:40
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                A gentle no no

                Introduction I don't like to use facial wipes too much as I find they can clog up your pores and don't always remove as much dirt as a facial wash, however they are useful to have in for ease and speed. I chose Olay as the wipes were on half price offer at around £1.54 per pack. I tend not to use this brand, however thought I would give it a try as the value was great and it is a reknowned brand - good for younger looking skin which I need to start thinking about! The product The packaging is cheerful and a calming blue colour which goes well with a bathroom feel. There are about 25 wipes per pack and they have a soothing aloe addition to help calm skin also. They are gentle and extremely soft on the skin, yet are also supposed to lift dirt and even waterproof mascara. My opinion I have to say that although the wipes are soft, gentle and pleasantly fragranced, I was not impressed. The wipes were very dry and lacking in moisture enough to lift the dirt off of the skin. It was only the last few cleansers which had any decent amount of moisture. Furthermore, they were useless at removing dirt, let alone waterproof mascara! They also seem to leave a slight oily residue on the skin which was annoying. Overall, yes they are gentle, but definitely not cleansing.

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              • Sex And The City 2 (DVD) / DVD / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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                26.12.2010 18:11
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                Better than the first!

                I was never a fan of Sex and the City whilst it was on the TV in season format. Infact I only started to get in to it after receiving a DVD of the first film for Christmas last year. Reluctantly I watched it, and from then on I was hooked! I couldn't wait to see SATC 2 when it came out in the UK cinemas in April 2010. I didn't know what to expect seeing as everything I thought could happen had happened in the first film; I didnt know where the plot could go. However what a surprise! The film opens in reflection upon the previous 20 odd years of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte's (Kristin Davis) lives in NYC. It tells the complete but abridged story and history of SATC in the first ten minutes; so if, like me, you have never seen the previous seasons or film, fear not. The story unfolds with the now matured, (in part), and mostly married (except Samantha of course) four all discovering new life problems - Carrie's marriage seems to have lost the sparkle, Charlotte is finding it hard to cope with her kids and the new nanny, Miranda battles her job and family life and Samantha is fighting the menopause in her own way. They need a break, and a good get together. Where better to go than the 'New Middle East' state of Abu Dhabi, courtesy of Samantha's sexual encounters. Staying in the country's most luxurious hotel, complete with on-hand service and all the luxury they could want, the four embark upon a new life journey, one of discovery, friendship, tears and laughter. But what happens when Carrie's previous 'sparkle' pops into the equation? How will Miranda cope without her job and main focus in life? Will Charlotte get a well earned break and overcome her crisis of confidence? How will Samantha cope with the illegal displays of sexual contact? Will the test of love and marriage survive? Riddled with typical anecotes, hilarity and cringe worthy moments, this film is superb. From lost passports, to mid-life crisis, infidelity to gay weddings, this is the must see film of 2010. For SATC fans everywhere, and even those yet to be converted. I personally think it is better than the first. Oh ding ding ding!

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