Monday, June 24, 2013

Who is the real ripper?

The Name of the star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson

Rating: 3 out of 5 hearts
372 pages
Released: September 2011
Buy it @ book depository

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


"The Name of the star is what you fear"

I have wanted to read this one for such a long time! A Jack the Ripper story sounds really creepy and I like a good creepy tale. But I was a little disappointed. The blurb promises: edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance but all of this was on the slight side.

Yes, there were moments of suspense and humor but the romance was on the cool side and there were small amounts of gruesome horror. I hadn't really read any reviews about this book and didn't know what the mystery behind the story was. Unfortunately that's what let the story down a bit, I was able to pick up on what the mystery was very early on in the book. I don't know if I'm getting better at figuring out the mysteries in books these days or it wasn't hidden very well. I guess after reading that blurb and seeing what the series is called could make you figure it out quite quickly but I never read the blurb. All I knew was that it's a book about Jack the Ripper, so I was expecting lots of horror and suspense.

Rory was a pretty cool character though. She's from Louisiana, so her trying to get used to British slang and sayings was quite funny. I realised that England & Australia have quite a few things in common, like calling it 'Maths' instead of 'Math' and drinking lots of warm tea, not iced tea. I also liked how the book gave us plenty of time to really get to know Rory and the place she spends a lot of her time, it helped develop who she was and let us as readers make a connection with her.

I read this a few weeks ago and I'm finding it hard to bring any feelings back to me, which is probably a bad thing. It shows it was a little forgettable. I did enjoy this and plan on reading the others as it turned out to be a good story, I was just a little let down because it wasn't what I was expecting. So if you're a gore, horror fan then you may want to sit this one out.

On the cover

Everytime I see this cover I think how creepy it looks. So perfect for the feel of the book. One thing though, if that's meant to be Rory on the front cover why is her hair red? Because her hair is brown in the book...

What I'm listening to next: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mars Bar Slice Recipe

Hi Everyone! I have been making my Mars Bar Slice recipe for quite some time now and some people have asked me how to make it. My secret ingredient is using Cadbury chocolate as the top layer instead of cooking chocolate because Cadbury chocolate tastes SO much better. I thought I'd share my recipe so you can enjoy the delicious treats at home.

Makes: approx 25 (it all depends on how big you cut them up)

Prep & Cooking time: approx 30mins

Setting time: Min 3hrs


1 bag of 12 mini mars bars
1 350g block of Cadbury Chocolate (or use two 200g blocks if you like more chocolate on top)
90g butter
3 cups of rice bubbles


1. Melt all 12 mini mars bars (cut up) and butter (cut up) in a saucepan over another saucepan filled with water on the stove.

2. While this is melting, cut or break up all the Cadbury chocolate & set aside then pour the 3 cups of rice bubbles in a big bowl.

3. There's a bit of mixing involved to make sure the mars bars and butter combine. Once it looks smooth with no lumps pour it over the rice bubbles and mix, mix, mix until the rice bubbles aren't white and they are evenly covered in the mars bar/butter mixture.

4. Transfer the mixed mars bars/butter/rice bubbles into a prepared slice tray, even out with a wooden spoon and set aside.

5. Melt all the chocolate in the same saucepan as the mars bars and butter. Then pour over the rice bubbles and smooth out with a spoon.

TIP: Drop the tray onto the bench a few times (from not too high!) and this should help even out the chocolate layer.

6. Put this into the fridge and let it set for at least 3 hrs. Remove, cut up & ENJOY!

Let me know if you make it and if it was a success

Monday, June 17, 2013

I went along for the ride

Along for the ride by Sarah Dessen

Rating: 3 out of 5 hearts
424 pages
Released: January 2010
Buy it @ book depository

Ever since her parents began fighting, Auden has been unable to sleep at night. Now, spending a summer at a charming beach town with her father and his new family, she has to find new places to pass the time she spends awake. And so she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac who becomes her nighttime guide. Together, they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she has missed; for Eli, to come to terms with the death of a friend. In her trademark blockbuster-style, Sarah Dessen creates a powerful and irresistible story of two people learning how to connect. 


"So I decided to relax into it, bumpy and crazy as it might be, and try for once to just go along for the ride"

This is my first Sarah Dessen book and I wasn't won over. I've been wanting to read one for quite some time now and felt like this was a good one to start with because I had been recommended it. Not to say I hated this book, it's just that I found myself thinking it was a little mediocre.

The story started off pretty boring and I believe this is because Auden was a boring person. Perfect student, always studying hard, never goes to parties and does things by the book. Because she has always tried hard to be perfect and make her mother proud she never got to experience normal teenage life. As the book progresses though, Auden changes, she and the story start to transform. She becomes friends with girls from her stepmother's clothes shop and Eli, the quiet and brooding guy, who teach her how have fun, ride a bike, become a store goer and maybe even fall in love. The transformation of Auden is one of the things I really enjoyed about this book but something (more like someone) I really fell for was Eli. I don't think I would've liked this as much if Eli wasn't in it. He is sweet and makes rice crispies from scratch! How can you not fall in love with that! There's also that mysteriousness about him, there's something about his past that is slowly revealed and makes him all the more dreamy for his reasons behind his mystery.

As I was reading I was thinking to myself that this would make a perfect summer movie - It's set in a town that's close to the beach, a girl who meets a boy, they go on nightly adventures together and of course there's a prom like party towards the end of the book. It would be the perfect Chick flick to cuddle up with, eat popcorn and maybe even need some tissues...

One minor character I want to mention is Auden's father. I hate him, he's selfish and so horrible. He deserves a bad father award...BOO to him! The book was enjoyable but I've only given it 3 stars because it was slightly predictable and long winded. I've read other reviews where people have enjoyed the slow unraveling of the characters, but for me I felt that over 400 pages was too much. I will probably try another Dessen book, I've got my eyes on Dreamland as I've heard interesting things about it.

On the cover

The cover above is ok, but I saw the same cover with a white background and it made the cover so much nicer. There are two other covers which feature a girl on a bike which would be better covers than this one because the book is called 'Along for the ride' and bikes are a main part of the story. To the left is one of the new covers which I LOVE! Blue is my favourite colour so I love this cover a lot!

What I'm reading next: Two & Twenty Dark tales by multiple authors

Sunday, June 16, 2013

BYS Caviar beads & Glitterdust swatch

I recently discovered BYS new range of polish range - caviar beads & glitterdust. I picked these up in my local K-mart for under $8.00. In the package you get a nail polish, a pot of either caviar beads or glitter dust and an application brush.

These are the colours that I chose but there are so many to choose from it was hard to pick. To see other colours then click on the links above. They come in really nice packaging too, which on the back gives you very simple instructions about how to apply the beads or glitter.
I used the caviar beads kit first and I absolutely love the coral colour nail polish that comes with it. The beads and polish suit each other really well.

It was so simple to apply the beads to the finger and the brush is so soft and easily sweeps the leftover beads off your finger and back into the pot.
One thing to mention is don't put a top coat over the beads because it wipes away the colour. But! I found that the other hand that didn't have a top coat on it didn't last as long, after a shower quite a few of the beads came off. So, I guess it's up to you if you want to put a top coat on or not.
To the right is the final product - I decided to only put beads on my accent finger. What do you think?

To apply the beads or glitter you paint your nail and while it is wet you dip it into the pot like in the first picture on the left. The next step is to take it out of the pot and let it dry on your nail - you will notice there will be a lot of glitter all over your finger like in the top right picture. The last step is to use your application brush to brush away the excess glitter back into the pot. Ta-da! You have a glitter covered nail like in the bottom right picture. Do not put a top coat over the glitter! It takes away the awesome effect.

The finished product - Glitter on the pointer & pinky finger, with a striped accent finger and the middle finger & thumb have silver holographic polish over black.

Have you tried this new range? What did you think?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Will Finnikin reclaim his land?

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta

Rating: 4 out of 5 hearts
416 pages
Released: September 2008
Buy it @ book depository

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.


Finnikin of the Rock is brave, loyal and a true warrior. His beloved land of Lumatere is taken over by an imposter king and all who live outside the walls of his land are exiled and known as exiles.

I decided to finally give this book a go because I've always loved the front cover and I am drawn to a lovely front cover. Also, because a friend of mine finished the last one in this series last year and raved about it. So, as with other books I may find difficult to get into by reading I thought I'd give it a go on Audiobook seen as though it was sitting there on the shelf at the library.

This is one of those books that all fantasty lovers should read. It has such strong voices and characters along with a landscape filled with all sorts of sights and smells that seemed to jump off the page. Melina Marchetta worked her magic and took me by the hand into her marvelous world. I loved the idea of weaving different voices through out the book. Finnikin's voice was the main one but every now and again we hear from a few different characters points of view, which I thought was clever and helped with the pace of the story.

Something else I adored was the different languages used for each of the different places. As there weren't any different types of races of beings ie. dwarves or elves like in Lord of the rings, instead each place had their own native tongue. None of these languages were ever spoken (it was all in english) but I could still imagine what each of them may have sounded like.

There were a few moments of tingling feelings of romance, which were all the more exciting because the pacing was so slow and I believed that maybe nothing would ever happen - spoiler alert! - it did. Yay!
There's a twist towards the end, which I didn't see coming at all! We as readers were lead to believe something, along with Finnikin, and not once did I have any inkling of what was really the truth. I decided to give this only 4 stars instead of 5 because it took me a long while to get into the book and at times I found myself daydreaming, but mostly I loved this book and really recommend it. Looking forward to listening to number two and all other Melina Marchetta books I can get!

On the cover

This cover is so cool and I was always drawn to it. Blue is my favourite colour so I was drawn to it for that reason and I also like the flower and tree design.

What I'm listening on Audio to next: The Name of the star by Maureen Johnson

Monday, June 3, 2013

Little Felt Friends: Miss Foxy & Mr Raccoon

Check out these absolutely adorable little felt friends I made over the weekend. I saw these cuties featured on the front cover of the Mollie Makes magazine and thought I might give it a go at making them. The template and write up is in Issue Twenty Three.

On the left is the finished product and down below is a picture I took in the making. The fox is about 13cm high while the raccoon is about 12cm high and now I'll have to find a place for them.

I have also shared a video that the Mollie Makes team made with their little critters. So cute!

What did you get up to on the weekend?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Embracing Angel books

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1) by Jessica Shirvington

Rating: 3 out of 5 hearts
382 pages
Released: October 2010
Buy it @ book depository

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…


I'm not a huge fan of angel books mainly because I hate how they sometimes push God & religion onto me but I didn't find that with this book. There were quotes at the beginning of every chapter and sometimes those chapters were from the bible but no matter where it was from it gave you a sense of what you are to expect from that chapter. 

The main reason I decided to read this was because it was recommended to me and I thought I'd get it on Audio and see what it was like. I was pleasantly surprised. The story wasn't all that bad, the only issue I have is when Violet 'embraces' her guardian angel duties. I'm so used to reading books that have an epic quest before the main character is awarded their 'prize', in this case it's Violet proving herself to become a guardian angel. Well Violet's quest felt easy and anticlimactic. A simple jump off a cliff and walk through a desert to become someone who will guide over the human race...hmm ok!

Now we come to the love interests, Phoenix & Lincoln (yes another love triangle). Phoenix is your stereotypical bad guy, an exiled angel with opal coloured hair... while Linc on the other hand is the nice guy. Violet has awesome chemistry with Lincoln and he is also VERY cute! I usually swoon over the nice guy, I'm always rooting for them because most of the time "nice guys finish last" and I hate that! But don't let that make you think that Lincoln finishes last because maybe he doesn't...(I'm giving nothing away!) Something that bugged me a lot was how easily Violet gave her virginity away (which I also won't tell you who to). It did become part of revealing something really important later on in the book but I simply didn't like, my opinion.

I feel like all I've done is complain but I did enjoy this. I liked the idea of someone being a guardian angel, the author did a good job at making the idea more believable and easier to digest than other angel books. I plan on reading the next one in the series on Audio, hopefully the story will get a bit better instead of getting worse. On a side note: I had no idea this was written by an Australian, I like it when I know it's written in Australia because it makes me get all patriotic and want to love it even more.

On the cover

I love this cover! I think it's the purple and the smoky wings, they are so cool! Although Violet never actually gets wings and neither do any of the angels.

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Finnikin of the rock by Melina Marchetta

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