Thursday, September 27, 2012

There and Back again...

Since the release of "The Fellowship of the Ring", the first movie in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, I have been a huge fan. I know I'm not like those people who read the books first and was a fan because I was only 14 when the first movie come out so I hadn't even heard of the books. But that was what started my love for J.R.R Tolkien's world. Now with the release of "The Hobbit" coming ever closer I'm getting excited that I can once again step into this world for another adventure. Below are the two trailers that have been released so far. It gives me shivers watching them.

With about 11 weeks to go til the movie is released, I know my excitement is building.

Are you looking forward to 'The Hobbit'?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I've had better

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Review: This started off so well, but by the end I was thinking "Just get on with it already!". I've read a couple of fiction books on Aspergers and when I saw that Picoult (a favourite author of mine) had written a book on it too, I had to read it. I was very let down I'm afraid (it seems my favourite authors are doing that to me lately). So as always with Picoult's books we have different characters telling their story. In this we have 5 characters: Emma (the mother), Jacob (the son with Asperger's), Theo (the younger brother of Jacob), Rich (the policeofficer) and Oliver (the lawyer). What I found very frustrating (that I haven't found with her other books) was that sometimes one of the characters would repeat something that has already been said by another character. I don't think it's necessary for another character to mention something again, it just bogged down the story for me. Another thing that got frustrating was Jacob. I don't know anyone personally with Asperger's but I didn't find it believable that someone who had Asperger's would be speaking the way he did. I've read "Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon which is from a young boy's point of view who has Asperger's Syndrome, for me that felt very believable while this didn't. Another rant moment that I got so angry with was when the lawyer and the mother never wanted to ask Jacob what he actually did! I thought to myself "Come on people, he told you he tells the truth", fair enough the lawyer didn't want to know how he commited the crime but as a mother wouldn't you want to know what your son did. But, I guess if Jacob told them what happened truthfully then the book would've been a lot shorter and everything would've been wrapped up quicker (still annoyed me though). I hope you've been able to follow this review because I wrote it still fuming....

Overall I think this book went far too long and it could've been finished in less pages. On a side note Jacob reminded me so much of 'Sheldon' from the "Big Bang Theory", I swear Sheldon has Asperger's!

On the cover: I assume that's the mother wrapped in her son's patchwork blanket. She's looking off in the distance probably wishing her life had turned out differently...

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Have you read any books my Jodi Picoult? Which is your favourite?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Anyone hungry for some M&M's?

Wow I haven't posted anything in a while so here's a post about some nails I did a while back. I have always wanted to do this nail art design but never got around to it. I thought that now is the time! And to top it off, it was so easy and effective! To achieve this manicure I picked five M&M's colors - yellow, green, orange, brown and red. I painted each colour on and once they were dry I drew the M's on with my white nail polish and my dotting pen. As always I add a top coat to finish it off and that's it really! I wished that my 'M's' turned out a bit better but otherwise I like this as a quick manicure. You could do the same with Skittles. Pick 5 of the Skittles colours and the instead of whie M's you do S's. That would look very cute.

What do you think of this manicure?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wickedly boring

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.

Review: Firstly, let me say the first book in this new series released by Janet Evanovich was really enjoyable. I don't know what went wrong with this one. Was I in a different mood when reading the first one or have I simply read better books since then and this just doesn't make the cut?

It's been two years since Evanovich released the first book and I read it around that time and I can't really remember much of the quality of the book. I did notice I gave the first book 4 out of 5 stars, then why was this one so bad for me? Don't get me wrong it was fun at times and made me laugh but the story was lacking in excitement. I'm used to a book building up the suspense and giving you tastes of what is to come. This on the other hand moved quickly but it all felt too easy for the characters. There weren't any bumps in the road or anything getting in the way of our heroes from achieving their goals. Ok, there were two evil people trying to find the treasure but it never felt like they were in the way and they could be overcome quite easily. See what I mean about it being easy. This book is all about finding clues and figuring them out to move onto the next step in finding your treasure but each clue was figured quickly and simply and then everything was wrapped up nicely at the end of the book - too easy!

Will I keep reading this series or just stick to Stephanie Plum books? I don't know, Evanovich has always delivered a quick book with lots of laughs and a good old mystery but I'm a little let down by this one. So if you're looking for an exciting thrill ride brimming with romance and huge cliffhangers, look elsewhere because for me it wasn't in this book.

If you would like to read my review for the first book "Wicked Appetite" click here

On the cover: I love the font and the cover does stand out with it's bright blue and green but why didn't the book feel as magical as it looks.

What I'm reading next: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

Have you read the Stephanie Plum series? What do you think about this new series?

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Nana's on the bus go.. Knit, Knit, Knit

Knitting isn't only for Nanas these days, everyone is giving it a go. Many years ago I went through a knitting craze and knitted myself three scarves. I recently caught the knitting bug again and went out and bought LOTS of lovely wool and different sized knitting needles. Scarves are as far as my knitting skills go but that doesn't stop me from knitting because it's fun and something to do with my hands while watching TV or a movie. Since then I have knitted two more scarves and onto my third. I decided that this time I can't keep all the scarves for myself so I'm knitting them for family and friends.

The first problem I faced when I started knitting again was that I had forgotten how to cast on, so I went on to trusty youtube to watch a video and remember how. Below is the video I found which was very helpful and shows how to cast on very simply. If you want to see other great videos from Knitting tips by Judy then click here for her youtube channel

Once I started I was on a roll! I took my knitting to everyone's places and knitted, knitted, knitted. I even inspired one of my friends to get back into knitting. Below is a picture of me modeling my first scarf I knitted since picking up the needles again.

What hobby have you recently started doing again?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Books I'm pining for! 9/9/12

"Books I'm pining for" is a feature for new and old books that I want to read. So I thought I would share with everyone these books and to find out what books you are pining for. Enjoy!

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
"‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again."

A friend of mine has raved about this book and I found myself a copy for only $5! So I'm looking forward to this one not only because it was a bargain but because it should be sad and romantic and all those things that make a book good.

The Knife of Never letting go 
by Patrick Ness
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I've heard a lot of good things about this book. It sounds weird and wonderful.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Fairies, destiny and romance - yes please! Such a pretty cover too.

Endlessly by Kiersten White
Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

This is the final in one of my much loved series. Evie you are awesome and it will be sad to say goodbye to you in this last book.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

How cool does this sound? Dangerous creatures and a main character named Puck, very cool! I enjoyed Maggie's series "Wolves of Mercy Falls" so I know I'll like this one. 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

This sounds like a cute, flirty and fun romantic story. What an interesting title too, the whole cover sucks you in.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgentern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

This has been on my radar for a while now, ever since the cover caught my eye in the book store. But the story sounds amazing, after reading 'Water for Elephants' I've been in the mood for another good circus story.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

How can you not want to read this book after simply reading the title and seeing that cover, It makes you want to find out more. It seems very quirky and maybe even heart warming.

That's it! What books are you pining for?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wishlist #2

1. Wooden Cameo brooch ~ $15 from madeit
2. Caelia Fairy by Selina Fenech ~ $28.70 from LaceyLady
3. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare ~ Released in 2013 info on goodreads 
4. "Ode to the elite" Nail polish ~ $10 from Etsy 
5. Red Fox Mary Janes ~ $24 from Etsy 

1. I love brooches. I have a very plain uniform that I wear to work, (yes that's right, I work at a library and wear a uniform - weird!) so I like to wear brooches to jazz it up.

2. Fairies are so beautiful and I have many collectable figurines among other things. I think this one is simply gorgeous and would be perfect for my collection (if my boyfriend would let me buy anymore)

3. This cover is divine! It's the newest book in the "Infernal Devices" series, need I say more...

4. I need this! It will dress up any color nail polish and be perfect for my polish collection.

5. How cute are these? I think I have a thing about foxes, owls are out - foxes are in. 

What is on your wishlist?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dimitri or Adrian?

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
by Richelle Mead
Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Review: Rose has graduated from St Vladimir's and has finally become a guardian, but will she become her best friend Lissa's guardian. In the previous book Rose was in Russia hunting down her beloved Dimitri after he had been turned Strigoi and while she was there she found out that it may be possible to turn someone from Strigoi back to their normal state. In this book Rose is continuing on her quest to find a way to make Dimitri himself again.

I loved the first three books in this series but found the fourth left me wanting. So I gave it a big break in between the fourth and this one. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed this. I had also started to read the graphic novels for this series so it got me back in the mood to start it up again. At the end of the fourth book Rose decides that she should give a relationship with Adrian a go, which I couldn't wait to read about because I liked Adrian as a character. I do really love Dimitri but I didn't think that there was any coming back from being a Strigoi so, I thought it was good that Rose was moving on to Adrian. But that wasn't to be, through the whole book Rose can't seem to decide who she wants to be with. I really felt for Adrian because he is super sweet and so forgiving of Rose. Lissa has become a more likable character for me because she has become a stronger person since she's been using her spirit powers more. It's a bit sad that she only became likable in the second last book, she has always seemed a bit of a weak character to me.

A very unique thing that I really like about these books is the way you read the book in first person from Rose's point of view BUT she can also look through Lissa's eyes at any time (because of their bond) which gives you a third person point of view too. I found this to be a good way to develop the story when Rose may not be there at the time. As your reading the last few chapters and thinking to yourself that it's wrapping up nicely you're thrown a huge curve ball! I was like "WHAAAAA....!!" It left the book with a massive cliffhanger so I'm dying to see how the author is going to wrap up the series. The next book is the last one in the series so it will be very interesting.

In regards to my title of this blog post I won't tell you who Rose does or doesn't choose between hunky Dimitri or sweet Adrian, you will have to read it to find out......

On the cover: Ok, so one thing that really bugs me about these covers is that the people on the covers always look different. The people never look like any of the characters or they're always mixed, So I'm not really sure which character they're representing. I think this is meant to be Lissa & Christian??? But the dude doesn't look anything like Christian to me, so then I think maybe it's Rose & Adrian but then the chick looks nothing like I imagine Rose to look? Confused. Also, this kind of looks like a Mills & Boon novel - luckily it's too thick for people to think it's a Mills & Boon....

What I'm reading next: Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Have you read this series before? What do you think of the books?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jelly Sandwich Tutorial

So I'm not sure if you've heard of the "Jelly Sandwich" technique when it comes to nail art but I heard about it and couldn't wait to give it a try because it's so easy and looks fantastic (when you have the right nail polishes)

My definiton of Jelly Sandwich:
Jelly Sandwich: Is when you have glitter nailpolish sandwiched between a colored nail polish.

Here is my first attempt at Jelly Sandwich and the step by step tutorial.

Step 1. Apply your color nailpolish
Step 2. Apply your glitter polish
Step 3. Put one more coat of your color polish over the top of the glitter.
Your all done {I also put a clear top coat on top}

I wasn't too happy with how this turned out so I tried it out with another nail polish I purchased. This time I used Revlon's Just Tinted range and the color is "Victorian".

This nail polish is very thin so I thought it would be perfect for attempting the Jelly Sandwich. It turned out ok, but still not what I was hoping for (I may have to get a more "jelly" type of nail polish). It also drys matte and I prefer a glossy look so I added a clear top coat for this manicure.

Below is another attempt trying out the Jelly Sandwich technique. I purchased a colorful glitter and thought this would be perfect for sandwiching between my Revlon Peach Smoothie #345 nail polish. This polish is part of Revlon's scented range so my nails smell really sweet and look really sweet, just like candy. The glitter made me think of a circus with the gold, red & blue and I liked how this turned out. I will keep trying to find other polishes that may create an awesome jelly sandwich manicure. Which manicure do you like the best?

Have you tried this technique before? How did it turn out for you?

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