Profile for Gabrielle O > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Gabrielle O
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,049
Helpful Votes: 1333

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Gabrielle O (London, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Etymologicon
The Etymologicon
by Mark Forsyth
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars An etymological pleasure... but somewhat stilted reading on audio book, 17 Aug. 2012
This review is from: The Etymologicon (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A very engaging and informative whirlwind tour of the English language, with all its quirks and vagaries. I had listened to an excerpt of this book being read on the radio and knew it would be fascinating. It was.

I wasn't so keen on the reading of this audio book by Simon Shepherd. Perhaps it is just me, but I found the reading style somewhat stilted and jarring. It wasn't a very natural style and it just didn't quite work for me. Perhaps worth listening to a sample first, before buying - the content is just brilliant, but this audio version might not be for everyone.


Bought, Borrowed & Stolen: Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef
Bought, Borrowed & Stolen: Recipes and Knives from a Travelling Chef
by Allegra McEvedy
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully quirky - part travelogue, part cookbook, totally inspiring!, 7 May 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a completely delightful, quirky cookbook - and now Allegra McEvedy is my current cookbook crush. What a fun book. I like how the book combines a selection of recipes with photos and stories behind the author's collection of knives. The knives are beautiful, unique - and most importantly, practical. The fabric cover is gorgeous and the book is beautifully produced with thick matte paper and gorgeous colour photos of food and knives, recipes interspersed with stories.

The 'travelogue' part of the cookbook means that the recipes take in a glorious varied array of cultural influences, from Turkey, the States, Burma, Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Cuba, Malawi, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Lebanon, China, France and Spain. Brilliant combination. Not everything appeals but it's a wonderfully readable and engaging treasure trove of inspiration.

I really don't agree with the reviewer below who thinks this is an enthusiast's book. I am a complete amateur and I loved this book and find it really easy to pick out every day recipes to make. In some ways it is a combination of cookbook and travelogue/autobiography. But that's one of the things I like about it most. I mean, do you really remember the food you eat completely out of context? Ok, maybe you do, but I don't. I remember eating things in context - who I was with, how it felt, what it looked like, the smell and taste and noise all combining into one heady memory. And I love this cookbook for sharing the author's memories with me - I can use them as inspiration for making my own new dishes and memories.

Like Leon (the restaurant chain that the author started) the flavours are big and punchy and the emphasis is on taste rather than looks. I'm vegetarian and I'm using it very much as inspiration - I don't always follow recipes exactly but often adapt general ideas and flavour combinations so I can make them vegetarian.

Also, I've been inspired to purchase my first really good knife! Thanks Allegra! I had no idea of what a big difference it would make. I'm a complete convert.


The Sea on Our Skin
The Sea on Our Skin
by Madeleine Tobert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of sunny Pacific island life, 7 May 2012
This review is from: The Sea on Our Skin (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Life on a remote island in the Pacific is strangely timeless - cut off from the mainland, the villagers live a traditional existence, happily trapped. But when Ioane returns from his travels to seek an island wife, he changes the lives of the woman he marries and her family. Starting a new generation, his family are torn between his stormy lust for travel and adventure, and Amalia's gentle settled calm.

I found this a problematic read. While I loved the start, and wondered what would happen next, I felt that the plot evolved in an unremittingly gloomy way. Beautifully written at times, I felt an overwhelming sense of futility reading about what happens. The descriptions of domestic violence were particularly upsetting, and Amalia's placid acceptance of it made for a horrible read at times.

At the end of the day, I disliked many of the characters (or, in Amalia's case, found her placid attitude in the face of her mistreatment almost unbearable to read about and impossible to understand) and found it hard to empathise with them enough to care how the plot untangled. I felt it was a sad, negative view of humanity and it left me feeling a little depressed. In stark contrast with the bright cheerful 'holiday read' look of the cover, the contents of this novel was unremittingly grim and hopeless despite the Pacific island atmosphere.


Snake Ropes
Snake Ropes
by Jess Richards
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.34

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curious, lovely fairytale..., 5 May 2012
This review is from: Snake Ropes (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Snake Ropes was a good surprise - a very readable, unusual first novel.

When young boys start going missing from a remote island, what's happening? Mary has lost her young brother Barney. And in a curiously fairytale-style house made of wood from a shipwreck, Morgan is plotting her escape from her narcissistic mother.

I couldn't decide if this was magic realism or not, but it made for a really good - and very lyrical - read. It reminded me a little bit of Jeanette Winterson. Very well written and engaging.


The Sultan's Wife
The Sultan's Wife
by Jane Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.54

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable and atmospheric, 5 May 2012
This review is from: The Sultan's Wife (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A delightfully readable novel about life in the Moroccan court in 1667. Relatively light but well-written, thought-provoking and atmospheric.

After Alys Swann is kidnapped while sailing from the Hague to England to marry, she starts a new life as part of the sultan's harem... sounds a bit like a pot boiler, no? Much better written than you would expect. I've read Jane Johnson's novels before and think they are a pretty impressive mix of historical fact and readable fiction.

Although the blurb on the back cover mentions a similarity to Philippa Gregory, I'd say Johnson's writing is head and shoulders above Gregory.


Burt's Bees Rose Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Burt's Bees Rose Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Price: £5.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous but subtle tinted lip balm, 28 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like all of the new Burt's Bees tinted lip balms, this is a very subtle shade - don't go expecting a deep tint! But the Rose tinted lip balm is my very favourite of the three that I own. Although it doesn't look as dark as the Red Dahlia shade, it is actually brighter so it stands out a bit more when you put it on.

A few things worth mentioning here. First of all, although it's not exactly cheap for tinted lip balm, this is a really high quality product. The packaging is gorgeous! I felt all special and spoilt as I opened the tube that the lipbalm came in. And it would make a really lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

This tinted lip balm doesn't have the typical 'Burt's Bees' minty taste - it's more of a sweet, floral, almost bubble-gummy flavour. I really liked it actually but think it might be worth mentioning so you don't assume it's the same as their normal lip balm. And the texture is different, a bit thicker (but not sticky).

All in all, a really lovely tinted lip balm. I own two others - one in Red Dahlia and one in Hibiscus - as well as this shade in Rose. None of them offer much of a tint, but just enough for a very subtle natural look. This one (Rose) is the brightest of the three and I like it best.


Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Burt's Bees Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Price: £4.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly light tint, but gorgeous lip balm, 28 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an incredibly subtle colour - don't go expecting a deep tint! It's really lovely, though, and gives a gorgeous spring tint to my lips. There's something slightly coral-coloured about this Hibiscus shade and it's perfect for spring and summer.

A few things worth mentioning here. First of all, although it's not exactly cheap for tinted lip balm, this is a really high quality product. The packaging is gorgeous! I felt all special and spoilt as I opened the tube that the lipbalm came in. And it would make a really lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

This tinted lip balm doesn't have the typical 'Burt's Bees' minty taste - it's more of a sweet, floral, almost bubble-gummy flavour. I really liked it actually but think it might be worth mentioning so you don't assume it's the same as their normal lip balm. And the texture is different, a bit thicker (but not sticky).

All in all, a really lovely tinted lip balm. I have ordered two more - one in Red Dahlia and one in Rose - as well as this shade in Hibiscus. None of them offer much of a tint, but just enough for a very subtle natural look. This is definitely the palest shade of the three, but still lovely.


Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Burt's Bees Red Dahlia Tinted Lip Balm 4.25g
Price: £5.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely product but very subtle tint, 28 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a gorgeous colour but not quite what I was expecting - it's really a very subtle, gentle tint. I bought this shade because it was the darkest of these tinted lip balms, but even so, it's practically neutral on my lips.

A few things worth mentioning here. First of all, although it's not exactly cheap for tinted lip balm, this is a really high quality product. The packaging is gorgeous! I felt all special and spoilt as I opened the tube that the lipbalm came in. And it would make a really lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

This tinted lip balm doesn't have the typical 'Burt's Bees' minty taste - it's more of a sweet, floral, almost bubble-gummy flavour. I really liked it actually but think it might be worth mentioning so you don't assume it's the same as their normal lip balm. And the texture is different, a bit thicker (but not sticky).

All in all, a really lovely tinted lip balm. I have ordered two more - one in Hibiscus and one in Rose - as well as this shade in Red Dahlia. Once I'd got my head around the fact that it's a very subtle tint, I decided that I really liked it a lot. It won't replace lipstick and it's not quite as dark a tint as I'd prefer, but is great for a natural look.


Dove Maximum Protection Original Clean Anti-Perspirant Cream (3 x 45 ml)
Dove Maximum Protection Original Clean Anti-Perspirant Cream (3 x 45 ml)
Price: £11.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smells nice but not much bang for your buck, 11 April 2012
I review products through a programme called Bzz Agent and received this product to try for free. In the past I have used Mitchum and Sure solid deodorants. I had never tried a Dove anti-perspirant or a cream one, so it was a new experience for me. I really like Dove hair products and think they smell fantastic, so I was hoping for great things from the anti-perspirant. I apply anti-perspirant in the morning and then reapply throughout the day if it's hot weather or I've been exercising.

On balance, I thought this was a reasonably good product. I didn't like the feel of cream anti-perspirant and wouldn't use it again, though - you have so little control over how much you put on. I also don't like the slightly damp feel as it goes on. The fragrance was, as I'd hoped, really pleasant - like so many Dove products. So, on that front, definitely recommended.

So, how effective was it? Well, on a normal day it seemed to work pretty well. I have to admit that I didn't think it worked as well as the Mitchum deodorant, though - it was fine for normal use but seemed to struggle a bit more when I was stressed or did exercise. And finally, I felt the product size was quite small - it ran out MUCH, MUCH more quickly than my usual solid deodorants do. As in, it ran out within weeks rather than months.

Overall thoughts? Well, I'm afraid I don't think I would buy this product again, even if it was cheaper. I'm actually quite shocked at the suggested retail pricing, given how quickly it runs out. It might suit somebody better if they prefer cream anti-perspirants. However, this is just not for me.


Kabuto Noodles Miso Ramen 100 g (Pack of 6)
Kabuto Noodles Miso Ramen 100 g (Pack of 6)

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - not much flavour, no veg, quite expensive, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read positive reviews of Kabuto Noodles, I was expecting great things, but these miso ramen noodles did not live up to my expectations.

On the plus side: these are very easy to carry around (I took them to work) and very easy to make. Just add a bit of hot water! I work in an office and have a long commute that means sandwiches aren't an ideal option. But I was keen to expand my repertoire beyond the 'cup of soup' options that you add hot water to, and Kabuto Noodles sounded as if they could be perfect. Unlike a previous reviewer, I didn't get a 'flavour packet' but instead the dried/powdered ingredients were included inside along with the dried noodles.

I'm also on WeightWatchers, and each of these noodle bowls is 6 ProPoints, so this would be a good filling but relatively healthy meal option.

The verdict? Yes, it was ok. But I'd paid around £2.95 for a single noodle bowl, and I didn't think it was that amazing. Mostly packed with carbs, the flavour was ok but a bit watery and nothing like the flavoursome broth I was expecting. There aren't many vegetables included either, so it is a very carb-heavy meal with little extra interest. The miso broth didn't taste very exciting. I can see why a previous review suggested adding some garlic chilli dipping sauce as I can imagine that would give the flavour a bit more punch.

I will be using my remaining 5 noodle bowls at home, where I can add soy sauce to taste and steam some vegetables to put on top. It would go really well with pak choi.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2012 12:42 PM BST


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20