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I had been following Maureen Johnson on twitter for a while before I read her work and this was the first novel of her's that I decided to read. I found it for a penny on Amazon so couldn't really complain over the price and as it turns out I can't complain over the book either.
Ginny is a high school student who's coming to terms with the absence of her eccentric Aunt Peggy. Aunt Peg is a free spirited artist from New York City who disappeared and was never heard from, until she sent Ginny a parcel containing thirteen envelopes that each contain instructions for her to follow. Ginny can only open the envelopes in succession of each other and she must do what each of the letters say. Through her Aunt's instructions, Ginny finds herself on a plane from New York to London before going into France, Italy, Greece, Amsterdam and a host of European cities in order to find out what her aunt wanted her to learn about life.
I read this novel within two days, it's aimed at 13 years and up (because there is a little teenage situations such as drinking etc that might not be appropriate for younger audiences), it's also available primarily on Amazon as I've yet to see it in a UK bookshop. The writing is very clear and straightforward but Johnson describes all of the cities wonderfully well. She's from New York herself so she's been able to add very accurate detail about her city as well as the foreign cities. It reads almost as fictional travel guide given how much detail is involved, from everything to what's inside the Louvre to the streets of Edinburgh.
The characters are also fleshed out and very believable. You want to find out what happens to them and become drawn into their world as they accompany Ginny on this adventure.
Maureen Johnson is a New York Times best selling author, she has seven books published in total with more due out in the future. She's originally from Philadelphia but as mentions resides in New York City.
She can be found online at : www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com / twitter : www.twitter.com/maureenjohnson
Pages: 320 (very easy to get through)
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens
Amazon Price: £0.01 - £3.99
I've never been able to use manual toothbrushes all that well as I have sensitive gums so I tried to give an electric toothbrush a try. When I began my search I was surprised by how much some of them cost! The cheaper ones started as low as £1 and I've seen some on sale for £45! I didn't want to spend too much in case it ended up not being right for my teeth.
This brand is mostly known for it's toothpaste but they've branched out into other dental hygiene products and naturally toothbrushes were the first to be developed. There are other brands such as Braun and Corel-B, but I figured I used Colgate toothpaste so why not use their toothbrushes as well? So far I haven't been disappointed and have found it to be a big improvement on the manual toothbrush.
My toothbrush is a little different to the picture but is the same make. I chose mine to be yellow, it came in a small package that was just enough for the toothbrush. It has the Colgate logo at the bottom on the front so you know it's a genuine product. There's also two button's just before you reach the neck of the head. The top button turns the toothbrush on while the button below it turns it off. It seems a little strange to have different buttons when I'm sure they could have made it into one. The buttons however, rest nicely against your thumb when you're brushing your teeth so it can be turned on and off with ease.
The bottom of the toothbrush can be removed to replace it with two small batteries. I've found that with it being used daily the batteries do tend to run out quite quick so it might be best to invest in a rechargeable toothbrush if you don't want to be changing batteries every so often.
As mentioned in the design, the functionality of this toothbrush is very straightforward. You brush your teeth much in the same way that you would a manual however you don't have to press down as hard with it as the rotating head replaces that function of a manual toothbrush which is good if you have sensitive gums.
This toothbrush is also easy to transport, it is a little thicker than manual toothbrushes because it has to have the batteries but it's not so big that it can't fit into a normal travel bag. It's also quite quick with the rotation speed, it can't be adjusted unfortunately but it's comfortable enough not to cause pain on teeth.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY:
I found this toothbrush at Superdrug that was around £10. I imagine it's stocked in other places such as Boots and other pharmacies on the high street.
I've never had to change the head on this toothbrush and I've had it for a year now, I don't even think you can change the head to be honest as it's only a cheap toothbrush after all. It's a good sleek design that's easy to hold and not too heavy. It's also good at getting to the back of the mouth and because the head is smaller than a manual and is round instead of square it can easily reach the back molars and cleans plaque with ease thanks to the rotating head.
Overall if you want a cheap electric toothbrush that doesn't cost the earth then this is for you. So next time you're in Boots or Superdrug see if they have this in stock - your dentist will thank you!
If you're a coke/pepsi fan then it's the general assumption that you like either one or the other or both. For me I used to be the type of person who liked both but now my preference goes towards Pepsi Max.
This drink was first made in America but it wasn't until 1903 when it became known as Pepsi-Cola and was seen as a rival to Coke. It of course is known for it's Pepsi ads that have starred the likes of Britney Spears, Pink and many more.
These smaller bottles can be found in a variety of places, including but not limited to:
- Corner shops (£1.25)
- Supermarkets (£1.25 or sometimes two for £2/£1.90)
- Poundland (2 for £1) - BEST DEAL I'VE FOUND SO FAR
- Vending machines (varies depending where you are)
(all prices are approximations)
The bottle itself has changed slightly over the years, the latest design is slightly larger than the previous, where as the one that proceeded it had a skinner feel to it where as this one is bulkier. You can still hold it easily but may not be so good for kids with small hands.
From the moment that you open the bottle and hear that familiar 'tss' sound of the bubbles escaping, you're greeted with the familiarity of a pepsi drink. I've found Pepsi Max to be less sweet than the full on Pepsi version as it's supposed to be. It also has slightly more flavour than the Pepsi Diet version. It's a strange type of taste to try and describe. It's definitely a sweet glucose type flavour that mixes itself with bubbles to add to that classic soda feel.
There are relatively few calories in Pepsi Max. According to the information each 250ml there's 1 calorie, 0g of sugar, 0g of fat, and only a trace of salt. As far as sugary drinks go I think it's one of the better ones out there and I seem to remember a few years back a dentist telling me that it was a soft drink he preferred his patients to drink if they had to (of course he advocated water and healthier options afterwards)
Overall, I generally like the design of this product, the colours have been very well matched and all the necessary information is there and of course it's widely available.
So next time you're out grab yourself a Pepsi and enjoy!
When I had first gotten a laptop I wasn't completely used to the mouse pad and back in the day I did a lot of graphic design work so wanted my old mouse back so that I could work photoshop the way that I was used to on a normal PC.
I had a look at a variety of sites such as Currys, PC World, Argos and eventually found this mouse. I parted with £29.95 of my hard earned money and three years later haven't been let down.
The mouse comes in a small box and the standard protective packaging so that the mouse isn't damaged. In the box you receive the mouse itself, a small USB stick and I got a cloth bag with mine as a way of storing it for when it's not in use. There's also an instruction manual but as women don't tend to need these I decided to forgo reading this and turns out I didn't need it anyway. I connected the USB stick to my laptop and turned the switch on the bottom of the mouse to the 'on' position. You are told it's working correctly when you see a red light on the bottom. When it's turned off this light goes off.
As it's been three years since I first used this mouse I believe that when I plugged it in I got an automated start up programme come up on my screen, I had to run through a few basic set up configurations but it didn't take too long and after that I've not had to use any software since.
When using the mouse it reacts as quick as you would expect it to. I've not had it freeze on screen and it follows my command as instantly as I make it. It's also not as sensitive as some mousepads can be. It only follows what you wish to do rather than what the mousepad thinks you want to do. This is the problem I've had with a lot of laptops where the mouse seems to like moving of it's own accord.
I've found this mouse can work on pretty much any machine, including PC's. I haven't tried it on a Mac but as they have their own mice I doubt this will be up to much on a Apple operating system, however it does work with any Microsoft OS (tried and tested so far on ME, XP, Vista and Windows 7).
You do need to change the battery every so often depending on how much you use it. It only requires one AA battery however, and mine seems to have lasted a few months at a time considering how much I use it.
The design itself is also very sleek. There's the standard right and left mouse button which are positioned comfortably for your fingers. There's also a rollerball in the middle that allows you to scroll webpages and documents with ease.
Overall I've had very few problems with this mouse. Yes it's stuck on a couple of occasions but that's because of wear and tear. So if you're looking for something simple and straightforward then I'd definitely give this a try!
When my laptop completely died last year I was in the middle of a very busy semester studying abroad and needed a laptop that would get me through to the summer. I was in the States so I had no choice but to get an American laptop and I decided to go with this one purely because it was the cheapest.
I ordered online from Target I believe and the price was around $199, and it was at a time when the exchange rate was pretty good so I thought it was a good deal. When it arrived I liked how it was small and lightweight, how it looked very stylish and I could easily take carry it with me to campus.
As you can see in the picture this is a pink netbook, it'll be perfect for a girl in high school or anyone who doesn't mind owning a piece of electrical equipment that's pink! The keyboard itself is white and the screen has a pink border round it, approximately half an inch if I had to guess. There is a webcam installed onto the top of the screen which I found very handy for programmes such as Skype.
The battery can easily be removed should it need to be and doesn't weigh as much as some laptop's do and is securely fastened. There are three USB ports available, two on the right hand side and one on the left. There is also space for a ethernet adapter as well. As like most netbooks however, there is no internal CD/DVD player, this would have to be bought separately and attached using one of the USB slots.
On my netbook I had Windows XP installed as this was before it started to get phased out. It was the standard XP design and came with a few things already installed such as a trial version of Microsoft Office, yet many needed to be added independently.
The Harddrive for the version I had was approximately 160GB, RAM was 1GB.
While the netbook ran fine for a few months I ran into trouble less than six months down the line. Suddenly the netbook doesn't go any further than the start up screen before it reboots itself. When I returned to the UK I took it into PC World who told me it could be a update problem. I have yet to get it fixed (as students don't really have enough money to spare for PC repairs) so I'm still unclear as to what happened to it. I have been told however, that XP can get a lot of errors in their system quite easily, so I'm thinking this might be the problem. With this in mind I would advise a only going with Windows 7 and making sure you have the right security for it.
Minus the problem I had I couldn't fault the design of this netbook. I did like the design and would get a netbook again. It worked quickly and never crashed, programmes could be opened without much wait time and a few could run easily at once and the wireless device was very handy as well.
In the future I might use a more trusted company such as Dell or HP to avoid encountering the same problem and I would advise you to do the same.
When I was in my second year of university I realised I needed to clear some space on my laptop so that it would perform better. I decided to invest in a external hard drive and after shopping around I found this model and it has served me well ever since.
The external hard drive has 1TB worth of space. It is a bulky size so is probably better to be kept at the house rather than to be used as something similar to a USB stick.
It is compatible with both Mac and PC's however, but you need certain amounts of RAM available with both. The recommendation is approx 250mb for a PC and approx 120mb for a Mac. This will help the hard drive run at its full potential and make it easier to use speed wise.
When you plug it into a standard PC OS (I haven't tested it on a Mac yet) you get the AutoPlay option which allows you to run the software to access the folder area. It's straight forward and you don't need to be a techie to understand how to work it. I usually access the files from the 'Computer' area.
One downside to this hard drive is that you not only have to connect the hard drive to the laptop or PC using a USB lead but it also has to be plugged into a mains socket meaning if you're on a laptop that's not plugged in this isn't going to be very helpful. The cables are all included in the box however and when I use mine I mostly use it when I have the laptop on the kitchen table so I've mainly kept is as a way to backup my files rather than use it as a portable device.
With this in mind if you're looking for something to carry your documents in then it's probably not for you unless you're happy to spend additonal money on a portable hard drive or USB stick. It is good if you've got a lot of media files or photographs which you don't want on your main computer. For documents I'd recommend the USB stick option and the external hard drive as a back up.
The price for this hard drive is quite reasonable however. For 1TB (1000 GB) I paid only around £60 and it's available from the likes of Amazon and a number of PC stores (Currys etc).
So, to sum up - perfect for large files, bad if you're on the move or wanting something light and portable.
3/5 Dooyoo stars!
After my last two watches broke and stopped working unexpectedly I wanted to invest in a watch that would go the distance. After reading reviews and seeking advice I exchanged my money for this little fancy number and so far it's still working and I'm very happy!
The watch is of a silver colour, and the strap is your typical link design. I found that it was a little bit bigger than my wrist and I needed it adjusting but I took it into a jeweller and they were able to change it without a problem. The clasp is a little tricky but it's one that needs to overlap itself and be pushed down before it fastens. Once it's there though it sticks fairly well unlike some others where it can come undone easily.
The face is easy to read. In the past I've always gone for watches that have the numbers clearly shown on the watch face but I thought I'd go for something different as this watch appeared to be more of an adult design than the previous ones I've worn. It took a little getting use to as if light is reflecting onto the watch face you sometimes have to tilt it to see where the hands are and what numbers they're overlaying as they're all different shades of silver.
The battery is easy to replace as well, it takes standard battery watches which can be bought fairly cheaply if you shop around. I haven't had to change the battery yet but it seems that you just pop the back off and can easily take out and replace the battery as you would with any other standard watch. The only fiddly thing I can imagine encountering is that the strap will obviously get in the way as it's attached and as it's not a buckle strap there's no way to part it from itself like you would with a buckle strap.
The time can be easily changed by using the little turning wheel that's on the side of the watch face. It works like most standard watches, you pull it out and twist!
I found the price fairly reasonable for such a stylish watch. I only paid around £21 for it from Amazon and with the name Sekonda attached to it I thought that was a good deal for what I guess is considered a 'designer' watch even though it doesn't automatically look like a designer watch.
As mentioned I found this watch on Amazon so I didn't have a problem with availability and I think there were a few still left on there if you do a search for it. I imagine jewellers and some catalog shops might have this in stock or something similar but ordering with Amazon wasn't a problem and the delivery was pretty quick as well.
Overall this is a snazzy little watch for a lady and goes well with most outfits and will work for most occasions so you can't really go wrong!
4/5 dooyoo stars - one lost because I had to get the strap size changed.
I recently finished reading this novel while I was on holiday and it's one of the few recently that have really stuck with me long after reading it. I originally started reading it a few months back but put it down as I didn't have time to go back to it so seeing as I am on break from university I decided to take it with me and I was very happy that I did.
Basically it's a man called Jacob Janowski who is remembering the time that he ran away from his exams to work with the travelling circus known as the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show On Earth. Jacob jumps on board their train after receiving some bad news and comes face to face with the colourful characters who run the circus.
It takes a while for Jacob to be accepted to the group and it shows the dynamics between the circus workers and their customers and how it's a hard circle to break into if you're considered a 'Rube' (member of the general public). Jacob has to contend with people such as Uncle Al and Kinko but finds solace in the horse trainer Marlena.
The novel is set during the Great Depression when Jacob is twenty three. It cuts at certain chapters to the present day when Jacob is ninety three and waiting for his family to take him to the circus.
The novel has been written by Sara Gruen who writes a lot like Jamie Ford and Audrey Niffenegger. She has written a number of books with animals as the subject and they also feature heavily in this novel given how her subject is a circus.
This book has definitely entered my top three favourite books of all time (my other two being Time Traveller's Wife and Hotel on the corner of the Bitter and sweet). The language is very similar to the other two and the imagery that Gruen creates is lovely. The love story in the book is also something that makes you continue to turn each page as you find yourself wanting to find out what happens in the end.
Gruen leaves a lot of the actual action to the final few chapters of the book but she does a wonderful job of setting up her characters and the story that she's going to tell.
This novel has won a number of awards and is about to be released as a major motion film starring Robert Pattinson and Reece Witherspoon. (Personally I think they should have chosen someone other than Pattinson for the part but because of Twilight I guess he's the go to guy these days!)
I bought my copy of the novel for around £6.99 and you can find it at any place that has a good selection of books available (Waterstones, Smiths, etc) but if you like literary novels and are looking for a page turner then you won't be sorry that you parted with your hard earned money on this book.
I recently went to New York for five glorious days to celebrate my 24th birthday. I knew I didn't want to take my large suitcase as I was only going few days and would be staying in a hostel. With that in mind I bought a smaller suitcase for the purpose of this trip.
The suitcase itself has one main compartment where you store your clothes. I managed to get it to hold two pairs of trousers, five tops, underwear and other smaller things such as gifts that I was bringing back.
The suitcase was handy as it was easy to carry it down to London, I didn't have to battle with a big suitcase through Victoria and I could easily carry it on either two handles that are provided on the top and on the side as my clothes didn't add a great deal of weight to it.
This suitcase like most modern day suitcases are now on wheels and the handle to pull the suitcase with has two different stages it pulls out at before it's at its full length. I found that the length provided was right for my height and I wasn't having to bend down to compensate for the lack of length that can be found with some suitcases.
This suitcase also fits with airline policy if you would like to use it as carry-on luggage rather than just your main bag. The zips can also be fitted together so that a small padlock can be fitted but I wouldn't add this before putting it through airport security as they'll only break it open.
The cost of this suitcase is fairly reasonable as I only paid around £25 for it at a local luggage store. I'm not sure how widely available this piece of luggage is but you can find a number of other similar suitcases that I'm sure are of similar quality.
NOTE: There are only two wheels on this suitcase so you can either only pull it at an angle or carry it via it's handles. If you're looking for something you can walk alongside you then it will probably be better to invest in a four wheel suitcase as these are a little easier for crowded places such as the London underground.
Over all I'm very happy with this suitcase, it fitted easily under my bunk bed at the hostel and the extra pockets provided space for gifts that I wanted to bring back. It was also less of a hassle to take from Leeds to London and for that aspect alone I would use it again for a short trip away.
I'm in my final year of university now and I've always used Jansport bags to carry my books to lectures. As I'm a literature student I've found this design by Jansport to be the most durable.
The first bag I had was the classic red one, I had this for at least three years, it didn't break and always held what I needed. The only reason I had to replace it was because a small tub of BBQ sauce exploded in the front pouch and I couldn't clean it!
But back to the basics:
The bag itself is your standard backpack, it has two sturdy straps that are easily adjustable, one large pocket where your main contents will go and a smaller front pouch for items such as keys and purses etc.
I've found that the bag itself can easily fit in an A4 folder and a few books after wards and a water bottle (perfect if you're buying it for a student or wanting it for work). It's also good for travelling as it meets the carry-on luggage requirement at airports and I've never had a problem getting it through security.
Despite how much I sometimes put in this bag it always handles the weight easily. Even my 11.7kg laptop doesn't seem to faze it!
The only problem that there seems to be with this bag is that it is not as widely available as I had hoped it would be. I think I purchased my first one on ebags.co.uk which is sadly no longer active but I have seen that they're still available on Amazon for the same price of £20. They're popular in America though so if you happen to be over there they average around $30 which is where I bought my second one.
The best thing about this bag is that it comes in a range of different colours. As mentioned I originally had the plain red one and now own a green checkered one. There's no difference between the bags except the colour and both fit in well on a university campus. There are the standard navy and black colours if you are looking for a backpack for work.
There is a bigger version of this bag available but 25L is bigger than a lot of other backpacks out there and I've found that there's not a lot of space that's wasted with either padding that isn't needed or smaller space that's taken over by design.
Over all this backpack is the best one to go to. I refuse to get any other brand after being with Jansport as I don't want to risk not getting the same quality.
AMAZON.CO.UK - £20 (approx)
US Campus bookstores - $30 (approx)
Navy, Black, Yellow, Red, Pink and an assortment of others
With September now in full swing and universities starting term again soon, I have recently moved house and so new appliances are needed for the house, one of course was the classic toaster.
Because I'm not a big toast eater I didn't want to spend too much on a toaster when I wouldn't get value for money so I turned to the Argos Value Range. This range of appliances for the home are very good for students and those on low incomes who don't need top end products for every day needs.
I bought my toaster from the Preston store, it came in the standard Argos Value packaging and was fastened securely so that it wasn't damaged with knocks on the way home. When I got back to the house, I turned to the scissors to deal with the hardwaring packaging and saw that the toaster was snuggly packed inside.
I have only ever had the standard two slice toaster and as there's three others in the house I thought that the four sliced would be more time effective and I was right! Since this appliance has entered our kitchen it's become a popular item.
As mentioned the toaster itself is the standard white, there are a range of settings available for those who prefer different browning levels. I prefer my toast very lightly toasted and after some trial and error I found that the way to achieve this was to end the time earlier than what was on the timer. This could be the same for other settings but so far no toast has yet to be burnt so it's a case of testing it for your own preferences.
You change settings through the easy to use dial that's on the right hand side of the toaster, on this side there's also the slider that loads the bread into the machine.
Thin slices of bread work best with this toaster, thicker slices tend to need work in getting out and apparently using a knife to get bread out of a toaster isn't safe so I'd go with thin bread just to be safe, especially if younger children are at that age where they make their own toast.
There's not much cleaning needed either for this appliance. There's a tray at the bottom which can be removed and cleaned and the surfaces can easily be wiped down for any smudges that it might get.
Available from: Most good Argos stores
Good toaster for the price. Looses a star because of being unable to handle thick bread.
The Vue at Leeds is my local cinema and as I've been at least twice this month, with a third trip planned on Wednesday it's time to review!
The Vue is situated in The Light complex on The Headrow in Leeds. There are a number of bus stops around and it's only down the road from the train station so it's easily accessible for out of town visitors. The complex itself hosts a number of restaurants, a few boutique shops and the Radision Hotel. It's also next door to the Art Gallery and Library so it's in a prime culture spot of the city.
But onto the cinema itself, you enter the Light and travel up a set of escalators (or lift for those with pushchairs/wheelchairs etc) to get to the ticketing office. There's the obligatory roped line system that's found in a lot of places (commercialised movement I call it). Once you've waited there's at least six to seven tills ready to accept customers. They take your choice of movie and time and it's also where you purchase pop corn. There's also the option to purchase ice cream or pix and mix as you exit the ticketing system.
Once you've got your ticket, huzzah! You can now find where your screen is. There's thirteen screens in total and 2,890 seats but I would certainly recommend getting their early as popular films that don't have many screenings during the day fill up quickly and if you arrive late you might not get a seat where you want or with who you want to sit with.
Ticket prices are fairly reasonable and there's three variations:
Adult £5.40 £6.45 £7.20
Child £4.10 £4.85 £5.40
Teen 13-18 NEW!
£4.35 £5.20 £5.75
Student £4.60 £5.50 £6.15
Senior £4.10 £4.85 £5.40
Family £16.40 £19.40 £21.60
The three categories are: 1) Super Saver (up to 25% off) Mon - Thurs before 5pm. 2) Saver (up to 10% off) Fri before 5pm. Mon - Thur 5pm and after. 3) Peak. Sat and Sun. Fri 5pm and after.
Leeds also partakes in Orange Wednesday which I've found a great way to see some top films this summer. I tend to split the cost of the one ticket you pay for with a friend so normally the price doesn't come above £3!
The One Problem With Vue:
Yes there is a fault with this otherwise okay cinema, and it's their VIP seating. I went to see Inception recently with my brother, we made sure to arrive early so that we could sit together and I could get an aisle seat, however, several rows behind us were cornered off for VIP seating only which you have to pay a bit extra for. Now with Inception being a popular film there was a lot of people who wanted to see it but there was only one midday showing. This meant the cinema was packed full and people were being turned away from sitting in the VIP area because they hadn't paid for the tickets.
I personally don't see the benefit of VIP seating. From all I could see you just got a slightly bigger and comfy seat and a place to put your drink! If it was only a couple rows it wouldn't be so bad but to take up half the seating area is a joke.
Overall though the Vue is a pleasant experience. The screening areas are clean and not a bad place to spend a few hours of your life to engage in the movie world. I would recommend utilizing the Orange Wednesday offer if you can if not go when it's cheapest because it's not worth spending a fortune on unless you are looking for a treat.
All in all, not a bad place but I imagine there's better companies.
As a mighty lion roars on Pride Rock it symbolises a new start for a pack of lions who have gone through quite a traumatic experience. The lion is Simba who we first meet as a newborn cub. He's taken from his mothers paws by Rafiki and displayed for all the animal kingdom to see as the next King of the Jungle.
A strong bond quickly develops between father and son as Simba looks up to his father Mufasa who is teaching his son what he needs to know to be a good king. In the shadows though lurks Mufasa's brother Scar who wants the throne for himself and he'll stop at nothing to get it.
Scar's plans to become King take a tragic turn for Simba who then has to build a new life for himself away from Pride Rock. It's only his childhood friend Nala who forces him to face his past and make the decision that will change their lives.
This is a brilliant Disney movie full of catchy songs and an easy to follow storyline. It was first released in 1994 and it's hard to believe that it was fifteen years a go! (I first saw it in the cinema so it makes me feel slightly old!) It's a classic movie that has stood the test of time and can be enjoyed by kids of every age no matter what year they were born.
The cast do a good job with the voices and the songs are definitely memorable and catchy. There was a second movie that followed a few years later but this is the film that everyone remembers.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas - Young Simba
Matthew Broderick - Adult Simba
Jeremy Iron - Scar
James Earl Jones - Mufasa
Moira Kelly - Adult Nala
Nathan Lane - Timon
Niketa Calame - Young Nala
Ernie Sabella - Pumbaa
Robert Guillaume - Rafiki
Rowan Atkinson - Zazu
Whoopi Goldberg - Shenzi
Cheech Marin - Banzai
Even though there are some great actors in this film it's not them who are the centre stage as with a lot of animations. The characters are what make you watch it again and again
Deep under the Australian ocean lies a life waiting to be discovered. Amongst the colourful coral reef you see an array of fish living out their lives unaware by most who live in the seas above them.
This is certainly true for a couple of clown fish called Marlin and Nemo. Marlin is a over protective father as he had a terrible encounter while living on the reef while Nemo was just still an egg. This encounter left Nemo with a smaller fin that makes Marlin even more anxious and over protective but Marlin has to be brave when Nemo goes to school for the first time.
Nemo happily enjoys his first day until he encounters a couple of divers who spirit him away from the coral reef to Sydney. All Marlin can do is watch on in horror as his son is taken from him. He then must find the courage to leave the comforts of the walls he's lived in for years if he wants to rescue hs son.
Both of the clown fish go on a spectacular adventure across the ocean and encounter a range of fish life that lives under the Australian ocean.
This is the story that I've come to love and has quickly become my favourite Disney movie. It's a type of film that you can watch on a number of occasions and never tire of it. I love how Marlin has to overcome his shyness and fear of the ocean to save his son and the character development of Nemo is also done well by Disney.
There's also a good supporting cast. Dory, the lovable fish who constantly forgets things, has become a Disney classic character and will be one of those who lasts in history for years to come so kudos has to go to Ellen Degeneras for pulling off the humour so well.
The funny lines in this film is also something that makes this film appealing, there are a few lines which older audiences will appreciate and this has become common amongst more recent Disney/Pixar films.
There's also the setting, Disney have perfected water effects in CGI and there are scenes were it looks like actual water rather than just an animated sequence. The exterior animation of Sydney is also something that has been done well, after living in the city I was very happy to see how accurate it was and it actually made me miss the place.
At it's core though Finding Nemo is about a parent's love for their child and how by trusting people (or in this case fish) you can make friends in the most unlikeliest places. After all how many small fish would befriend three sharks at their equivalent of a AA meeting?
The DVD can be purchased at most good retailers at a resonable price. As it's been out a few years I've usually seen it sold at around £5 and there's a lot of extra content on the collector's edition such as interviews and animation processes which is interesting.
So find a place in your heart for these fish as once they're there they'll stay forever.
I finally finished reading this book yesterday and so it's time to review! I reviewed the first book in this trilogy "The Demons Covenent" a few weeks back so that tells you what book one is all about, but this is about book two, so here we go!
The story basically picks up from where it left off in book one, the difference is that this book is from the viewpoint of Mae rather than Nick. This is because in recent weeks her younger brother Jamie has found himself with magical powers and he's being pursued by the Magician Gerald who wants Jamie to join his circle. This is very bad as the Circle's are Demon Circle's that feed off human life.
Mae turns to brothers Alan and Nick (who are the lead characters of the trilogy) to help her save Jamie from the Magicians but it's possibly not the best choice as Gerald also has his sights set on Nick.
About the Author:
Sarah Rees Brennan is in her early 20's and from Ireland. She was discovered on the slush pile by the Nelson Literary Agency but many knew her online as she was considered a 'top fan' of the Harry Potter world as she wrote numerous fanfiction stories under the name of Maya. This earned her a cult following on the social networking site livejournal where she still blogs at:
She has a MA in Creative Writing and apparently is now a resident of Ireland again. The Demons Lexicon was her debut and this is the second novel she's published.
I thought this book was very different to the first. Obviously this is mostly because it's from a different character viewpoint and more of a female lead than two males. Brennan has a great wit about her though which is seen in her blog posts as well as her writing so you can instantly tell it's her 'voice'.
I did like the fact that this novel featured a gay character as it's not one I've seen in many YA books. It also plays into the conflict of the storyline really well as it contributes to the theme of head verses heart.
I do like the character of Mae though, she's quick witted and cares about her brother. She's also feisty as well though and is a strong female lead in a small army of men.
Brennan handles the story very well however, she writes the story easily into the world she's created and she's changed the landscape of England to suit her needs and it does pay off. She makes you believe that you are in a fantasy version of England and there's nothing that seems over the top or too extravagant.
It did take me a while however to get through this book and I'm not sure why that is. It's an easy enough book to get through but maybe it just wasn't the type of book that held my attention for very long. I'm still glad I read it however and am looking forward to seeing how the series wraps up.
Pages: 440 (paperback)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Average customer rating on Amazon: 4.5/5
4 out of 5 DooYoo stars from me. It only looses a star because it took me so long to get through.
Thanks for reading!