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Snow Lily (England)

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Final Fantasy X-X2 HD Remaster Official Strategy Guide (Offical Strategy Guide)
Final Fantasy X-X2 HD Remaster Official Strategy Guide (Offical Strategy Guide)
by Joe Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.03

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shameful, 21 Mar 2014
This guide is utterly shameful. It does not even deserve one star. I haven't played much of the game today, therefore I haven't looked at the whole guide, but I don't need to.

The print quality is cheap, and they have mustered what looks like a teenage GCSE effort. They had a wealth of beautiful art work they could have chosen from, but no, instead they've copied and pasted some blurry unrepresentative pictures (for the aeons in particular). If effort was a strenuous issue they didn't have to look far, they could have just googled some better pictures!

I was looking forward to starting work on getting trophies for FFX, but had a shock when on the contents page there are only trophies for FFX-2. I spent about ten minutes being confused and looked online, because I was certain I had read FFX has trophies. Once I confirmed online that there were, I flicked through the book twice and finally found a lackluster trophy list put together, which had not been listed on the contents page. When you're buying something 'official' it's not a nice feeling to spot blatant lazy errors like that in the first five minutes.

Everything from the maps to the bestiary are represented in what looks like some ancient paint program. I think I would have considered the look really cool when I was about 12 years old and had no computer skills. Speaking of maps, they don't even put the items on them. If I drew the map myself and used some highlighter pens it would look far more exciting than these maps do.

When I play, I'm dazzled by the PS3 2014 HD remaster and then I look down to read this lazy, cheap looking guide that looks like it was made 18 years ago and it just doesn't feel right. This HD remaster has been huge with fans and it deserves a much better guide than this. I'm actually surprised Square Enix allowed this. The old guide was made in 2002 and it looks far nicer. If I'm really honest, if I was being paid to make this guide, and I knew that a vast amount of people were highly anticipating it and it was celebrating an anniversary of a staple game, I'd be quite ashamed. This is a company that makes strategy guides and have far better resources at their disposal.

Don't even get me started on the punctuation errors.

Like others have suggested, I honestly think that if you want quality you should stick with, or try to attain, the piggyback versions because if you use it a lot it does have an impact on your gaming experience. There's little content that is new, which with the internet nowadays can be found online in two minutes. I do understand that collectors will want it regardless (I know because I'm one of them) but it will be a stain on what has so far been a polished effort on Final Fantasy strategy guides.

Gustav Klimt: Painter of Women
Gustav Klimt: Painter of Women
by Gustav Klimt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.58

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting light reading, 2 Jan 2014
I bought this book after visiting the Facing the Modern: Portrait in Vienna 1900 exhibition at the National Gallery, because I am interested in Klimt's depiction of women amidst the rise of the New Woman in Viennese society.
Given the amount of glossy pictures, I would say it's worth the price, however it is a light read (I finished it in an hour). It mostly explores Klimt's relationships with the women in his life, notably Emile. It also has some close analysis of his work, I was quite interested in the author's interpretation of the link between The Kiss and The Three Ages of Women.
However, as a whole it didn't quite meet the expectations the summary on the back of the book gave me. I think I would have liked it to explore a bit more it's significance within its socio-cultural context. For instance it says on the first page that Klimt's work was rather controversial, but never explains why.

Freedom (Deluxe)
Freedom (Deluxe)
Offered by FLASH
Price: 10.00

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force, 2 Dec 2013
This review is from: Freedom (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I received my signed copy this morning (thank you Rebecca!) and I'm not one to put albums on repeat but the whole album has been on repeat at least 6 times today, no songs skipped. Some people have said that some of the songs are "samey" but I cannot point out a single filler on this album.

Personally for me as a listener it's important for me to like the singer and what they represent, and ever since her X Factor days it has been such a pleasure to see this shy, unassuming young woman staring at the floor to blossom into the lady she is today. This album ties in so well with her last album and grows from it, translating to so many women predicaments and feelings we know all too well from our relationships, our love, our resilience and above all our capacity to forgive ('I Hope'). In one of her interviews Rebecca said this album was about her growing into a woman, and while I listened to the album there was definitely a stronger woman, but it wasn't until the end that her title track Freedom connected all the threads together with its bittersweet victory, 'Freedom'. Not only did this make me cry every time I listened to it, but it just reflects what a rounded, polished work this is. I always wished for a song that reflected her vulnerability through her voice, not just her lyrics, and the effect in this song is incredibly potent.

Every song but one has been painstakingly written by Rebecca, bringing up difficult emotions and sharing it to her audience with transparent vulnerability. I know this will resound in other people like it has in me and that others will relate and empathise just as I have. I hope that this will continue to help her grow in confidence and self-belief, because she doesn't realise how inspiring she is. This is the genuine, grounded voice of experience that is missing in a lot of contrived music today. Thank you Rebecca.


Bionic [Deluxe Version]
Bionic [Deluxe Version]
Offered by barcode bargains
Price: 4.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great, 5 July 2013
This review is from: Bionic [Deluxe Version] (Audio CD)
I am a huge fan of Christina Aguilera, I love her voice, and how much of herself she puts into her music and makes herself accessible to her fans. She really takes you on a journey with her when you listen to her music.

Unfortunately, this album has not done as well as it should, for a number of reasons. Firstly, she postponed the release date for this album and the promotion because of Burlesque. In this time, Beyoncé among a few others released their music portraying futuristic women, which made Christina look like she was following the trend. This is not the case because a while before starting this album she released some incredible music such as "Genie in a Bottle 2.0" and "Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)". I absolutely loved this foray into a futuristic, femme fatale figure, even if it was putting her real vocals on the side for a while. I also loved the fact that she re-did Genie in a Bottle, as she has always said that she never liked the way she was manufactured on her first album, and by doing this she was taking possession of her music and making her mark as an empowered, successful woman.

The other reason this did not do well is the promotion itself. Coinciding with her divorce from her husband, Christina really struggled to promote this without looking like she had a serious attitude. Even I was entirely put off getting the album just by watching one particular interview. After putting so much thought into her album and the image it was going to take, and making such a brave step into a different musical direction, at this point of promotion she seems to have lost a lot of inspiration and motivation. We see her with terrible outfits that don't really fit the theme of her album at all, and even the repetition of some outfits for different performances. This was not her at all as for her Back to Basics album she was really on it.

She has said she's a fan of Goldfrapp and I liked how she was inspired by Goldfrapp's album Black Cherry. When you compare the back of both their albums, the image is virtually the same, except that Christina's is futuristic and Goldfrapp's is reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood. I really love the idea of the picture on the album cover. As for the music itself, the songs were overall hit and miss. But I like Bionic and Vanity (a song not to be taken literally!) for their personas, and All I Need and I Am as ballads. The single Not Myself Tonight I personally found atrocious, but she didn't even write it and it was added quite a while after she finished her album. So how and why it became the lead single I have no idea, but I think the video put the nail in the coffin for that one (my personal opinion).

Overall a misunderstood album that could have been a lot stronger had it been given the chance. I would have also liked to hear more music like the futuristic ones I mentioned earlier. In terms of the music I'd give it a 3/5 but I'm giving it a 4/5 based on the concept of the album and its potential.

Price: 5.93

2.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame, 5 July 2013
This review is from: Glassheart (Audio CD)
I am a fan of Leona Lewis, I think she's down to earth and has a beautiful voice. However, I really feel like she's struggling with her musical direction. I can understand her wanting to move away from the ballads (as much as everyone loves them) because she wants to experiment a bit and explore the wider range of her empathic singing.

Prior to releasing this album I heard her cover of Color Blind, which I thought was great. Hurt and Iris also expressed her new foray into deeper emotions. This made me hopeful for the album, but to be honest I've listened to it several times and the only songs I can remember are Trouble and I to You. In both of these songs I liked that she was trying something new by inhabiting more questionable personas, and all credit to her she does make them sound quite haunting. Otherwise I hope she manages to get it right for the next album, as I really do like her.

This is now the second time that she has released (or not released and it's leaked online) great songs that she hasn't put on the album. I wonder who is having the biggest say on her uninspiring track list, it's such a shame because she's capable of much more powerful music than this.

Wooden Reading Rest - Adjustable Cookbook Holder
Wooden Reading Rest - Adjustable Cookbook Holder
Offered by Gizoo - Gadgets & Gifts
Price: 19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for academia, 2 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After reading some of the reviews I almost didn't purchase this as I was concerned that my wooden rest would also be broken. However it came in perfect condition within a plastic cover.

I'm only sad that I hadn't found this sooner, because as an English Literature student I was spending hours bending over my book and maintaining a bad posture for my back and neck. Now that I have this I can sit up straight and read more comfortably. I prop it up with a couple of books underneath to make it eye level when reading which helps. It is also brilliant for when you want to type up notes from the book onto the computer, as the rest holds the book open for you and you don't have to open and close the book repeatedly or damage the spine by forcing the book flat onto the table.

It truely does look better than in the photo and it's made with a beautiful, smooth wood. I think for what it is, the price is completely reasonable as it is adjustable, sturdy, well made and you can make it flat and carry it around with you (I take it with me in my bag to the library). It's also very light. I would easily recommend this and may even buy it as a gift in the future.

KTC Pure Coconut Oil 250 ml (Pack of 6)
KTC Pure Coconut Oil 250 ml (Pack of 6)
Price: 11.78

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Hair Product, 7 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After reading the reviews on this item, I was worried that I too would receive a broken bottle, but I'm happy to say that today I've received the package with no breakages at all.

For people who are wondering how you get the oil out of the bottle, you need to fill your basin with hot water, and leave the bottle in the water horizontally for a few minutes. After that it will become liquid, and easily applicable to hair. You will have to do this every time but it's not difficult or time consuming. You can just start separating your hair in the meantime.

When used for hair, people use it in different ways. For applying, you can pour some into your hand and then apply to your hair (which is messy and greasy, but works) or some people buy a stiff paintbrush, apply the oil to the brush, and then brush it along their hair. It has to be a stiff paintbrush, because the softer ones tend to soak up a lot of the oil.

Finding this oil has been one of my best discoveries. I have thick, curly hair, and have thrown away s on expensive hair products that don't do what they say, and then s on the hairdresser getting my hair cut because it becomes dry so quickly on the ends from the hairdryer. The shop equivalent to this coconut oil is those little 50ml tubs of cream that they retail to you for 10-15. This product does the same job.

I personally put it in my hair before bed, tie my hair up into a bun (to avoid the grease giving me spots overnight) and then I wash it out in the morning. You may have to wash your hair with shampoo twice to get all the oil out, otherwise your hair will appear greasy. But the results are instant, and I received so many compliments on how shiny and thick my hair looked. It also gives hair a lot more life and bounce.

So all in all, yes there are a few annoying time consuming elements, but when I consider the hundreds of pounds I've saved, I have no complaints to make. I will definitely be buying it here from now on.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2013 9:36 PM BST

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