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Debbie S (Kent, England)

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Klorane Nettle Sebo-Regulating Dry Shampoo 150ml
Klorane Nettle Sebo-Regulating Dry Shampoo 150ml
Offered by CRM Global Ltd
Price: £9.94

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 15 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my go-to dry shampoo. As a teenager with perpetually greasy hair and having tried nearly every dry shampoo recommended to me by my friends and sister, I was looking for a miracle. Luckily I found this shampoo mentioned in an article online a few years ago and I've never looked back. The shampoo isn't heavily fragranced (I'm looking at you Batiste) and makes my hair look clean and healthy. Definitely recommend it.


Immortal City
Immortal City
by Scott Speer
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Celebrity angels!, 3 April 2012
This review is from: Immortal City (Paperback)
Read more of my reviews at my blog, Forever Reading: [...]

When I first read the synopsis for this, I was skeptical but still interested. I wasn't sure how the concept of celebrity angels would work, and to be honest it sounded like a bit of a cliche. I was pleasantly surprised, and it was actually a very good story.

In the world of Immortal City, angels have revealed themselves to the mortal world and have started saving lives for money. Beautiful and powerful, they are the ultimate celebrities living in the City of Angels, L.A. Jackson Godspeed is the most eligible young angel in the city, and he's on his way to achieving the Guardian Angel title. Under unusual circumstances, he meets Maddy. Maddy doesn't follow the countless gossip blogs and news channels dedicated to the lives of the angels. From the moment they meet, Maddy is swept up into Jackson's world, but there's more at stake from them being together than either could have ever imagined.

Immortal City was reminiscent of Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy series for me, except that it had an angel twist. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Immortal City may come from a similar background, but the story is so much better. It also possesses the same slightly addictive quality that L.A. Candy had.

Maddy was a very down-to-earth character. She made the most of what she had in life, and she was happy. Maddy didn't care for the angels and what they did like everyone else, and I liked her for that. However, she was also a very stubborn character. Again though, that's not always a bad thing. She had good reasons for reacting to situations like she did, and she held her ground. I liked Jackson from the beginning. He wasn't like the usual celebrities, and he felt like he didn't belong, which is something he and Maddy had in common. He was very sweet, especially in his relationship with Maddy. He was a fun and calm character, except when he got angry, of course.

I wasn't very keen on the sub-plot of the angel serial killer, though. It was only mildly interesting, and didn't really hold my attention. Even when bad things happened and people turned up dead, I felt slightly detached from it. I ended up skimming the sub-plot chapters. When I find out who the serial killer was, I was shocked, and it was a great twist but overall, I wasn't really impressed by the sub-plot.

On the other hand, this does have its fair share of action and suspense along with plenty of romance and overall, I did actually quite like this book. There is room for a sequel, and I guess I wouldn't mind reading it, although I wouldn't be drooling over it if Scott Speer did decide to write one. This was an enjoyable read though, and it was worth reading.


Before I Fall
Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and inspiring, 18 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Before I Fall (Paperback)
Before I Fall is Lauren Oliver's debut novel. Having read both Delirium and Pandemonium before this, I had high hopes. I wasn't disappointed and I loved it. Lauren Oliver is quickly becoming another one of my favourite authors.

Before I Fall tells the story of Sam Kingston. She has everything a girl could want in high school: she's pretty, popular, has a good-looking boyfriend and amazingly fun friends. Friday, February 12th starts out normal, but it turns out to be the last day of her life. She ends up having to relive her last day seven times, in which she gets the chance to make things right and evaluate the choices she's made in life.

Before I Fall was beautiful and inspiring. On the night of February 12th, Sam and her best friends: Lindsay, Ally and Elody go to a party being held by Kent McFuller in his house while his parents are away. On the way home from the party, Sam and her friends are in a car accident and Sam dies. The catch: she wakes up in the morning, seven times. Sam doesn't start out very likeable and is the typical high school mean girl. As usual, she is a bully along with the rest of her friends, and never questions it. She stays this way throughout most of the book, and I resented her for most of it. She realises that she's living the same day over and over, and she ends up doing what she likes and trying different ways to go about the day. This, I liked. I liked how even how the tiniest change or adjustment could change something dramatically, and I liked seeing how it would play out.

Of course, Sam does try to prevent her death in a few ways, such as staying home the night of the party or skipping school altogether. But even this has a dramatic outcome and something terrible would happen in the place of Sam's death. Sam continues to try other tactics, and she learns quite a few things along the way, growing as a character. Gradually, she realises that she needs to make things right before she dies with some of the people in her life. I think this really showed how much the little things matter in life, and Oliver created very relatable characters in both the bully(ies) and the bully. At this point, I was really rooting for Sam and she was likeable and relatable. This is also when the romance comes into play. It was sweet and touching, and Sam knew she was completely undeserving of him because she had treated him badly for years although he was always nice to her. It makes the ending all the more tragic.

Overall, this was fantastic and it really is a must-read for people in secondary school/high school. Before I Fall was full of drama, tragedy and startlingly relatable characters. It deals with the effects of teen bullying and suicide, how much everything means in life and how it feels on both sides.


Pandemonium (Delirium Trilogy 2)
Pandemonium (Delirium Trilogy 2)
by Lauren Oliver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, romantic and jam-packed with action, 13 Mar. 2012
Pandemonium is set out very differently to Delirium, with the story being told in alternating chapters of "Then" and "Now". The chapters of "Then" refer to Lena's new life in the Wilds and how she adjusts, and the chapters titled "Now" refer to the present day and what Lena is currently doing. Pandemonium starts immediately after where Delirium ended, with Lena crawling through the woods and into the Wilds.

In the sequel to the amazing Delirium, Lena is faced with the challenge of adjusting to her new life in the Wilds, and what comes with being part of the resistance. There are many obstacles Lena has to overcome, and in the midst of it all, she finds new love.

Pandemonium is most certainly a better book than its predecessor. I think that choosing to tell the story in alternating chapters was an interesting and smart choice, and it definitely made for some amazing reading. In the chapters of "Then", we see Lena being introduced to a completely new life in the Wilds. I loved seeing her mature into the person that she presently is, and how she persevered in order to survive. I also really liked Lauren Oliver's descriptions of the Wilds and what it's like to live there. She showed the harshness and the hardship very well, and this was only strengthened by the number of deaths in the "Then" chapters. It was very sad and heartfelt. A whole host of new characters also came with Lena's new life. I enjoyed all these characters very much, and I liked how they were like a very tight-knit family; they looked out for each other and showed Lena the ropes. Lena also goes through the grief of losing Alex while adjusting, and tears welled up occasionally as I read anything Lena thought or said that made her think of him.

The "Now" chapters focus on what Lena is doing in the present day as part of the resistance. You can really see how much Lena has changed in terms of the way she acts and speaks. Life in the Wilds has hardened and defined her. She's no longer afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and overall she's very strong and smart. Oliver did the job of showing us how the resistance had managed to infiltrate the cities and "ordinary" life really well, and how many flaws there were in the government system. While doing work for the resistance, Lena meets Julian. It certainly is a forbidden romance, and at first, I couldn't really see how it was going to work. But work it did, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow. However, while Julian is a great guy, he is no Alex.

Pandemonium had masses of action in it, and quite often I was at a point where I wanted to immediately know what would happen next in each chapter. I literally couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And then, there are the last few chapters leading up to the ending and the ending itself. I was on the edge of my seat. There were a few revelations and all of them were quite explosive. I didn't see them coming. The ending literally made me scream -thank god I was at home when I was reading it - and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next (and final - sad face!) book. Pandemonium is a brilliant book filled with action, deep thought and romance. Lauren Oliver, you are an amazing, amazing writer. Requiem, hurry up and get published!


Warm Bodies (The Warm Bodies Series)
Warm Bodies (The Warm Bodies Series)
by Isaac Marion
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not "just another zombie novel", 5 Mar. 2012
This is not just another zombie novel. It's entirely original and it's the first zombie book I've ever read. Isaac Marion created two unique characters so unlike the zombie cliche. R is not the typical zombie; sure, there's the usual zombie motions like moaning and walking all weird and eating brains but it's so much more than that. R was such an endearing character and I really rooted for him in the beginning. Even though he's a zombie, he was the most humane of all. And Julie is not the typical girl one falls in love with in a romance. She's strong and fiery and isn't mushy at all. It's a great journey that they experience and I found the story really hopeful in contrast with the bleak post-apocalypse world the book is set in. I also liked how Perry fit into the story but I felt his interruptions mid-story a little bit annoying; although I guess it was necessary in order to tie the story together. I loved how the zombies lived in their new "life" and I found it really sweet and again, hopeful because most of them did still possess hints of humanity, and that's shown in how they all live together. I also really loved how this book managed to be quite humourous and I found myself laughing more often than once. The use of Frank Sinatra throughout the book was also really sweet and at times really funny as song lyrics were sometimes quoted by R at inappropriate times. It also helped bring about just the right amount of cheesiness. Overall, I really enjoyed and loved this book and I look forward to seeing more of Isaac Marion's books in the future.


The Goddess Test (A Goddess Test Novel, Book 1) (The Goddess Chronicles)
The Goddess Test (A Goddess Test Novel, Book 1) (The Goddess Chronicles)
by Aimée Carter
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great take on Greek Mythology, 5 Mar. 2012
I love Greek Mythology wholeheartedly which drew me to this book in the first place, so this review might be slightly biased.

That aside, I have to say that this book is fabulous. There's plenty of romance and twists and turns. Kate was likeable and relatable, although her reactions sometimes didn't suit the situation. Henry was a swoon-worthy love interest (I want my own Henry) and he was very sweet, despite being the God of the Underworld; nothing like what I'd expected, which goes along the lines of the Hades presented in Disney's version of Hercules. I think the book's blurb is a bit misleading when describing Henry. Yes, he's dark and tortured, but not in the Edward Cullen sort of way some people might be lead to believe. The book was also quite dark and the plot was mesmerising. I couldn't put this book down and I had to force myself to stop reading to eat and stuff like that. Carter had me guessing throughout the story and it made me second-guess myself just as Kate was as she was trying to figure out what was going on. I also loved how the primary relationship within the book was given room to develop and blossom; this wasn't "insta-love", which I appreciated. Carter has successfully managed to craft an original story involving the Greek myths and I loved it. The only flaw, I would say, was that there was talk about the tests, and worrying about the tests, but I never really felt as if the tests were actually present in the book. However, this does add up in the end and makes sense; it completely caught me off guard and I didn't expect any of the twists and turns that Carter wove into the story. Needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting to see where she'll take the story next and can't wait for the next book. The Goddess Test definitely makes it into my read-2011 top 20.


Glow (Sky Chasers)
Glow (Sky Chasers)
by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but slightly disappointing, 5 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Glow (Sky Chasers) (Paperback)
I was skeptical about this book at first, and then once I'd seen quite a few positive reviews for it, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy. To be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. The beginning is very slow. It took somewhere between 170-200 pages to get into and I almost considered not finishing it. Reading it was like trying to walk through a river of mud. I also thought the name of the main protagonist was ridiculous. Who names their child Waverly? But once I got over that and got through the slowness, I found Waverly to be a headstrong and fierce main character. I really found myself rooting for her and the girls who were imprisoned. She really came into her own whilst struggling to survive and escape her captors on the New Horizon. She never once came across as a damsel-in-distress. Kieran was also a great leader; I thought he was doing a great job with the boys. But as the story went on, I felt conflicted about Kieran's leadership and his choices. I thought maybe Seth was doing a better job than he was. It kept going like this; going back and forth between Kieran and Seth - who's side are you on? Seth was the complete opposite of Kieran. He had, without a doubt, a strong mind and seemingly good ideals about where their new situation was going and how they were going to handle it, but ultimately he was a very dark and angry person. Kieran was kind but somewhat weak. The villain of the book, Anne Mather, captain of the New Horizon, was a true villain and just plain evil in a sly way. I felt as if I wanted to beat her to death through the pages. Once the slowness was over, the story really picked up and it was a roller coaster of determination. I couldn't put it down. I think anger really drove this book because it was present throughout the book in a very strong way; I felt angry. There were also a lot of losses and sadness. Overall, the first half of this book was slow and boring; the other half was one heck of a roller coaster. Despite what the description says, it didn't really feel like The Hunger Games though. I will be reading the sequel because I'm really interested where this will go and I have a lot of unanswered questions.

3.5 stars *Rounded down to 3*

P.S. The tagline on the cover had nothing to do with the story whatsoever...


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E Smith
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful love story, 5 Mar. 2012
I've been feeling the love for contemporary fiction lately, and this book was no different. First off, it's aeroplane love. Who's never dreamed of having that? Plus the sypnosis makes the book sound incredibly cute and interesting.

Hadley misses her plane by 4 minutes. She has to get the next flight out to London but she might miss her dad's wedding the next morning, to a woman Hadley's never met. Luckily, she does manage to get a seat on the next flight out. While waiting to board, she meets Oliver, who just so happens is going to be sitting a seat away from her on the plane.

This book was adorable. The romance was light and heartfelt, with lots of humour. Hadley was a nice character despite being the typical cliche of a girl in young adult books - blonde hair and blue eyes (not that I have anything against that). I found her easy to sympathise with, and I liked the way she handled the different situations she was put in, along with how she handled certain feelings. Oliver was undoubtedly a charmer - he was smart, funny and good-looking. I was grinning while reading his and Hadley's interactions throughout the book. However, this book also had quite sad undertones. This did add to how heartfelt the book was in the end but I felt like it kind of ruined the book a bit for me. Hadley did have bitter feelings about the wedding and her father which were understandable and Oliver had feelings of his own, but once they became more prominent than Hadley and Oliver's story I found myself distancing from the book a bit. Nevertheless, the story was full of satisfying romance with lots of heartfelt moments and I definitely recommend it to you.


Enclave
Enclave
by Ann Aguirre
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.51

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique dystopian world but was slow at times, 5 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Enclave (Hardcover)
Enclave was filled with action, violence, blood and lots of gore, combined with the need to survive.

It takes place in New York City, where after the apocalypse, people have had to move underground and life-expectancy is only at 25. These people live in small communities called enclaves and life is for the most part very basic, with only the simplest of technology. Outside in the tunnels, creatures called Freaks, that were once human before contracting the plague, eat humans and any meat they can find. Children also only receive their name if they survive their first 15 years of life. Before receiving your name in a "naming ceremony", you are simply known as a "brat" or your gender and exclusive number. When Deuce and her Hunter partner Fade find out that the Freaks are getting smarter, the elders don't believe them. But when Deuce and Fade become exiled, they have to face going Topside: where nothing and no one survives.

The main character is called Deuce, and her story starts shortly before her naming ceremony, and until then she was simply known as Girl15. She's trained her entire life to become a Huntress, and after her naming ceremony becomes so. Deuce was very determined, mostly in proving that she wasn't weak and she wasn't to be underestimated, despite being a "new blood". I found that to be her most favourable and significant trait. She was very persistent on following the rules and her way of life though, so you could see how much the elders' rules had tainted her outlook on how things should be. Fade is an initial outsider, from Topside, found by Hunters and brought in. He was a very different character; in the beginning, we don't really know anything about him but as we learn more about him as the story goes on; he had the right morals and he could clearly see what Deuce could not: that life in the enclave is not how life should be, and things with the elders and how they acted were getting out of control. For this reason, I liked him a bit better and connected with him more. However, the thing I liked most about them both was their companionship. They combined their skills and ultimately made a great team; they learned things from each other. Fade also helps Deuce "see the light" on how things are in the enclave, as it were. Things started to pick up at about page 80 or so, and especially when Deuce and Fade go Topside. Their companionship grew with their need and struggle to survive, and I liked how they supported each other. Together, it's safe to say that they kicked some major ass.

However, I thought the pace in the beginning was far too slow, and I got really frustrated. I also read the word "brat" so many times that it pretty much lost all its meaning and it seemed like it was no longer a word. I also didn't like how the monsters in the tunnels were called "freaks", although there are more names for them later on. I also found the names the characters had in the book to be quite weird. Had moving underground suddenly made people lose the ability to give children normal names in a normal way? I mostly liked the supporting characters, although I found that accepting Stalker into their group after what he'd done just seemed too easy to me. The romance was also shaky - it didn't really connect for me, although we don't really see much of it. Overall, this book was a good read, but I didn't find the story very realistic in some aspects and it was somewhat frustrating. I can see that this series has a lot of potential though, and I want to see where it all goes.


Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks Book 1)
Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks Book 1)
Price: £1.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Girl power for the win!, 5 Mar. 2012
This was nothing short of amazing and made me feel a lot better after having read two rather disappointing books. I also have some cover love here; it's simple but sweet at the same time.

Jordan Woods is the quarterback of her high school football team; the only girl. The guys on the team respect her for her amazing talent and leadership skills, and she's got big football dreams for college. Enter Ty Green: former quarterback of his high school team back in Texas, he's just moved here and now he's threatening her position on the team.

I loved this book so much, it's a new favourite. It was a kind of different read because it involved sports and I have very limited knowledge of American football. However, this wasn't an issue. Miranda Kenneally explained along the way, and managed to not make it boring. Jordan was also a brilliant character; she was strong, a good leader and she wasn't afraid to say what she was thinking in front of the guys on her team. She also had a great sense of humour and this made the book laugh-out-loud funny. Jordan also grew as a character, especially regarding her college decisions and how she wasn't going to let anyone and control her. She had real ambition and focus when it came to football, which I really admired about her. I also really liked how the whole team was like a big family. They all looked after each other and looked out for each other. They weren't afraid to be themselves in front of each other and weren't afraid to mention touchy subjects, which again made for some hilarious reading. It really made me want to part of the gang. Jordan's best friend, Sam Henry (simply referred to as Henry) was definitely my favourite character. He was funny and sweet, and I admired the strong bond that he and Jordan had; their friendship was sweet in general. The love triangle was also done really well here, and I understood Jordan's frustration. However, for me, it was a no contest. I knew who I wanted Jordan to end up with and the ending left me with a smile on my face. Overall, this book was awesome because Jordan was badass and proved that a girl can take down a guy any day, regardless of gender, and the book also had a real family feel with lots of humour. I loved it!


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