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lilysmum "lilysmum65" (uk)
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Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm Stain, Demure
Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm Stain, Demure
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice minty taste and quite moisturising, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first ColourBurst I have ever tried from Revlon, which is surprising, because I have heard lots of people rave about this lip product, such as SprinkleofGlitter, Tanya Burr and Zoella. I think this is a lip product for people with cooler skin tones, because it can leave a pinky mark on your lip line. I really enjoyed the minty taste to it, it is very subtle and not tingly which I like, because it is quite pleasant. The colour is a sparkly, nudey pink shade, which is perfect for everyday use. You could even apply it with no mirror. It doesn't stay on for a very long time, but I have never found a very moisturising balm to stay super long on my lips. It has a slight bit of glitter in it, which I find a bit much, but there is not much but there is no graininess to it and the glitter grains are not too big. I have found this quite moisturising, but I wouldn't use it instead of my everyday lip balm which is also from a drug store. If you have enjoyed this lip product, I would also recommend the Revlon Lip Butters. I think they are their most popular product.


Jekyll's Mirror
Jekyll's Mirror
by William Hussey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Twelve school kids go berserk... and more, 17 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Jekyll's Mirror (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book appealed to me from the blurb. Cyberbullying as a theme, taking the classic gothic tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde into the 21st century... what's not to like?
Sam is a boy who is suffering the grief of losing his mum. It seems she's been killed by his dad, who is in prison, and it seems that Sam was there when she died and is suffering the guilt of not being there to help her. In good Darren Shan style he is walking home one day when he meets a strange girl outside a shop called Phantasmagoria. He senses something awful around the shop entrance and it's not something he has ever encountered before. Soon events take over and Sam's teacher invites him to take part in an internet cyberbullying experiment which she says she hopes will prove the premise of the Jekyll and Hyde story - that when you can hide your identity, you discover a dark and deformed side of yourself. It's ok to bully in the experiment, the teacher says, because the kids being bullied aren't real, they are avatars. In addition, some of them are writing racist or prejudiced messages on the social network that Sam logs onto, so it seems easy to troll them. As time goes on he becomes addicted to flaming online, until he finds out the truth.
Coupled with this storyline, is the story of Jekyll and Hyde and an intriguing story of a mirror that was bought for Robert Louis Stevenson by Henry James. This is woven into the storyline in a chilling way.
There is lots of horror in this book, and a scene near the start set in a café with a disturbed, and possessed waitress, is truly gory. It should satisfy readers of Darren Shan who are a bit older - say Year 8/9 and over.
A page turning thriller with lots of gothic ideas and the added interest of cyber bullying issues.
I do like books like this that hopefully lead teen readers to perhaps explore classic fiction. I also like the way the cyberbullying story is woven in as it is thought provoking and will, I hope, make some readers consider the impact of a careless criticism made on a social network.


Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition
Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition
by John Geiger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by Margaret Atwood..., 1 Jan. 2015
...who wrote the introduction to this paperback edition, which I could not put down, and stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish.
It tells the story of Franklin's doomed expedition to discover the North West passage, using the brand new invention of canned food, which the Victorians believed would enable sea voyages of much longer duration, as well as putting paid to scurvy, the scourge of sailors. However, the canned food - or more accurately, the cans themselves, turned out to be the silent killer lurking in the hold or the ships Terror and Erebus.
The section of the story that deals with the exhumation of three sailors who'd been buried since 1846 is very sad and absolutely gripping. I could not put it down. I had read advice to not look at the pictures of the dead until I got to those pages and I would say that is excellent advice. It really is uncanny looking into the faces of men who have been dead for 150 years. And to think that Hartnell's great-great nephew is there when he is dug up, is spine tinglingly exciting and moving all at the same time.
If you like history, forensics, or sea travel, then you will love this book.
Margaret Atwood has written a fascinating introduction as well as a short story about the disaster.
A fantastic story of heroism, courage and adventure.


The Book of Strange New Things
The Book of Strange New Things
by Michel Faber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a curate's egg, 1 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I will be honest, I haven't read any of Faber's other books but I fell in love with the cover of this one and thought, "I've just got to own that beautiful book". Inside the dust jacket the boards are pure white and embossed onto them are some of Jesus' words, "I am with you until the end of time" which lends the book a really atmospheric feel.
The story is about Peter, a Christian missionary who chooses to leave his wife - at first I thought he was leaving her permanently but then later on I realised he was planning on returning from his destination some months later. The destination planet is called Oasis and it is inhabited by other people from Earth as well as the aliens who live on the planet and whom Peter refers to as "Oasans". Where the planet is, and how Peter manages to travel so far in such a short time, is never fully explained, but I guess some kind of time warp is hinted at because the journey is called "the jump" and it makes travellers feel very ill for a time after arrival on Oasis.
Faber spends an awful lot of time describing the Oasans and the surroundings, which are outlandish and uber-ordinary by turns. The Oasans' faces, for example, are compared to a pair of foetuses nestling knee to knee, in one of the more memorable descriptive passages early in the book.
Peter writes to his wife on the computer and she can reply, though pictures and photos cannot be sent between them. In this way Faber uses their correspondence to map Peter's emotional journey as he attempts to take God to the Oasans. Inexplicably, they profess themselves Jesus lovers and indeed their names are Jesus Lover One, Jesus Lover Five, and so on. Peter then discovers that the aliens have already had contact with another pastor and seem to have taken Christianity on board in a totally child like and naïve way. They don't seem to have many human foibles. They don't seem to get angry, or express sadness or resentment, and they don't seem to live in the past or the future, but seem to accept what life brings them in a way that Peter seems perhaps to envy.
At the same time as all this is going on, Peter's wife Beatrice, a nurse, writes to him about the seeming approach of the end of the world - earthquakes, natural disasters and the consequences like supermarket crashes and so on. Then she gives him a piece of news he really isn't expecting.
Peter's struggles to help the Oasans are counterpointed by his distress at knowing what his wife is coping with alone on Earth. He misses her. At times he appears to be attracted to one of the Oasans and also to Grainger, the human on Oasis who has been charged with looking out for him.
The weather and the buildings on Oasis, and the aliens themselves, are carefully described. In fact, at times there was so much description that I thought some of it could've been edited out. However, I did think the most thought provoking bit of the book was in looking at the aliens and their unquestioning acceptance of Christianity. It all seems so easy to them. I wondered if the writer was making a point about us, here on Earth, and what a mess we have made of things.
I am sure I heard Faber say on the radio that he doesn't believe in God and so I found his decision to write about a missionary interesting. At times, I didn't think Bea's responses to Peter's messages were realistic, but the whole exploration of what God might mean to a people who seem never to have fought or become angry with each other was absorbing.
All in all I am glad I read the book, and it is very good in parts. In my opinion, it is more fantasy than science fiction, because there isn't a lot of science in it. It's never fully explained how people can breathe the Oasan air - or why the rain tastes of watermelon, and that's why I feel it is more a fantasy novel than true Sci-fi. Still, an enjoyable and absorbing read.


Karcher WV2 Premium 2nd Generation Window Vacuum Cleaner
Karcher WV2 Premium 2nd Generation Window Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £79.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is fabulous, 1 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was quite sceptical about this but it has greatly speeded up the time it takes me to clean windows and shower cubicles. You just wipe the surfaces down with soapy water and then use the cleaner to suck all the moisture off the windows. It's rechargeable so that we don't have to buy batteries all the time, and it is really quiet to operate. It also has a smaller head which works on tiny narrow window panes or mullioned glass. The smaller head is wider than a CD cover but smaller than a paperback book spine. So about 5 inches long I guess.
I am a convert - I think this could actually change the way I feel about cleaning glass, which is my least favourite of all household tasks.


Escape Fitness GripR Soft Weighted Bag - Green, 4 Kg
Escape Fitness GripR Soft Weighted Bag - Green, 4 Kg
Price: £32.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my home gym kit, 27 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really have found this useful for bicep curls, as well as other exercises I do at home when I haven't time to go to the gym. I am trying to get fit after having chemo and so this is quite useful. In fact my son has taken it into his room and he's been using it too. It's handy and versatile. Well worth having at home and the weight is ideal for me and my son too.


Pereira Maintains
Pereira Maintains
by Antonio Tabucchi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, spare novel seething with menace from the start, 14 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Pereira Maintains (Paperback)
I was sent this novel by Canongate as part of their Christmas deal - buy a book and get a handpicked novel free. I'd never heard of Antonio Tabucchi but I read the introduction to this edition by Mohsin Hamed and had to read it. It's a fantastic little novel, a real page turner. It tells the story of Pereira, a journalist who runs the arts page of a newspaper in Portugal during the turbulent year of 1938. He clearly has been wrestling with his conscience for some time, and misses his wife (we don't know the reason for her absence) - so he talks to her photograph. When he travels, he places her photo face up in his suitcase "because she always liked having plenty of air to breathe", a small but menacing detail.
As the novel proceeds and Pereira gets himself into hotter and hotter water, I found myself almost holding my breath as I read. The dénouement, when it comes, is expected but still savage and harrowing.
An absolutely stunning novel. One of my favourites of the year because it is so sparely, but beautifully, written.


Rooftoppers
Rooftoppers
by Katherine Rundell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

3.0 out of 5 stars Sophie is an amazing little character, 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rooftoppers (Paperback)
I was sent this as a gift. It tells the story of Sophie, a little girl who is found after a ship sinks in a cello case by a kind man called Charles, who takes her in. Sophie is an amazing little character, very resilient and feisty, but she longs to find her mum, who she believes was the cellist on the ship.
The search for Sophie's mum, and a threat by Social Services to take her away from Charles and his somewhat unconventional parenting style, take the unlikely couple to a dreamy Paris where Sophie explores every inch of the city, including the rooftops. There she meets Matteo, a roof dweller who exists on pigeon and rat meat. If you want to know whether she ever finds a happy ending to her fairy tale, you will have to read the book!
I was a little surprised by the typos and misspellings in this book, for which I blame the copy editor - practice/practise should not be confused in a book of this calibre that has won so many plaudits. That wasn't the only mistake either, there were plenty of others.
I haven't given the book five stars because I found the story a little disjointed and I had the feeling, especially towards the end, that the writer had got a little lost along the way. It was as though she had almost come up with ideas to move the plot along on a whim. However, as an extended metaphor of the search for your self and your family history (whilst chased by a meddling grown up), this was a pleasant read, suitable for bookish youngsters.


Tacwise 0396 18G/ 25mm Nails (Box of 5000)
Tacwise 0396 18G/ 25mm Nails (Box of 5000)
Price: £3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Great and easy to use galvanised nails., 13 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I used these nails with the Tacwise 191 ELS pro nail gun. These are easy to load into the gun and, being galvanised, are ideal for use outside. I used them to repair many fencing panels in the garden and they were very effective. I am glad I won't have rust stains to look at in the future. Using the nail gun, it was easy to adjust the power, and after a little experimentation, I got the result I wanted.

These nails are compatible with other brands of nail gun but I can recommend the Tacwise because it did the job perfectly.


The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
by Holly Bourne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of teen appeal!, 10 Dec. 2014
First of all, this is a very attractive book that straight away catches your eye with the red page edges. The blurb is on the front as the rules that the main character, Bree, concocts are listed.
Bree is a geek girl. She has been bullied and isn't one of the "popular possie" - every teenaged girl will recognise this. She has a friend, Holdo, who has named himself after Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. She has a good time being friends but doesn't fancy him. She does fancy her English teacher, Mr Fellows, and flirts with him. They are attracted to each other by their mutual interest in creative writing. I found this bit of the book very uncomfortable to read. I was relieved when Holly Bourne pointed out through Mr Fellows that he "could go to prison" for what he does with Bree. Bree also tries to get in with the girls in the popular possie, and this results in some funny episodes which really ring true.
Bree is a self harmer and unfortunately her relationship with Mr Fellows plays its part in taking her to the edge of a total breakdown. It's a gripping read and you can see how Holly Bourne has used her experience as an agony aunt to really understand what makes teenage girls tick. The book faithfully represents what life is like today if you are 17 years old and trying to get along with your life.
It's worth pointing out that the book carries a warning "Not suitable for younger readers" as there are some strong sexual references in it.


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