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burtybookworm

burtybookworm

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Reviews written

since 02/09/2008

138

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup 02/05/2012

"I'm all the rage!"

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup So if you have read my last review you will know that I had a bit of a spend up in benefit courtesy of my husband for my birthday. Although I am fairly stubborn when it comes to changing my mascara, I'm pretty fickle when it comes to foundation and will switch to whichever I feel is more suitable! The past couple of months I've gone through a few, mainly because I'd started to put fake tan on and so I found my usual foundation was too light, then the one I bought afterwards was too dark when the fake tan faded! I was about to stick to the old faithful You Rebel tinted moisturiser by Benefit when this new foundation caught my eye. I'm in my thirties now and if I am honest, I need a stronger foundation than You Rebel anyway. Skin Test & Shades I did already have foundation on but the Benefit woman applied several different shades anyway on top. There are 9 different shades from ivory through to nutmeg, and I think the counter lady was flirting between two of the shades for me; Beige (tagline - "I'm all the rage!") and the slightly darker shade Toasted Beige ("warm me up"). After showing me both shades on my face, we settled on beige, it seemed the most suited to my skin tone. Application I really was pretty happy with how it looked on my skin but was apprehensive about how it would look with no other foundation underneath. It comes in a standard tube format with a pump top. Applying it myself the next day, I found the consistency to be runnier than I expected, but on the ...

Benefit They`re Real Mascara 04/04/2012

Mostly just underwhelmed!

Benefit They`re Real Mascara On saturday, I had £150 to spend courtesy of my husband for my birthday. I need new makeup and I am tempted to go luxury for once and buy my favourite Lancome Hypnose and then my mum spotted a poster for this mascara. The image showed a picture of someone without mascara and then one with - and stated underneath that there were no photographic enhancements etc. The lashes on the second picture were pretty amazing so after picking up some other bits from the benefit range I decided to take the plunge!! These mascara's aren't cheap.... This little silver tube will set you back about £18, and although not expensive compared to the one I was going to buy from Lancome, it does really need to live up to all it's claims and the poster boasting it's cleverness on lashes. At the counter, just to make sure I wasn't making a terrible mistake and being fooled by some huge marketing ploy, I asked the benefit lady (ok, so someone that isn't totally impartial!!) if it really was any good. She stated, rather matter of factly, that it has recently been voted the best mascara on the market or some such line. I have to say this was good enough for me - plus I was curious - so I bought it. I am very fussy when it comes to mascaras... I've written several reviews on mascaras and really only two get the thumbs up from me and that is my regulary mascara, maxfactor masterpiece (which is considerably cheaper) and when I'm feeling indulgent, the aforementioned hypnose by lancome. I have fairly decent ...

Room - Emma Donoghue 24/05/2011

Lovely little Jack.

Room - Emma Donoghue Triggered by the real life events of the Josef Fritzel story, “Room” is the tale of a mother trapped in one room after being abducted off of the street at the age of 19. After being repeatedly raped by her captor over a seven year period, she is kept company by her five year old son Jack – the narrator of their story. All that Jack knows is his life inside this room. “Outside” is another realm and the only real people are him and his mum and the man he calls “Old Nick” who is their captor. When things change for them, will he be able to cope? I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t know a great deal about the actual story before reading the book; I remember it being praised a lot and that at the time it had been long listed for the Booker prize and so I bought it. This was probably a good thing, as the first chapter I didn’t have a clue as to whether I would stick it out or not! As I have mentioned, this story is narrated by five year old Jack and the first couple of chapters are pretty hard going. Having no clue why they were trapped in a room, I found Jacks language and the style of writing pretty difficult to follow at times. If I had known from the beginning that it was a story of a mother and child trapped by their abductor I would have perhaps thought twice about reading it; I’ve read those true story books before and I find them too harrowing and too depressing to continue with! However – please do not be put off, I am so glad I wasn’t. At first Jack’s ...

The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha 01/05/2011

Weepy

The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha Summary 6th May 1985, Nate Stanley returns to his home in Oregon to find that his fifteen year old son, Shep has been shot during an apparent robbery. Despite trying to revive him, Nate cannot and Shep dies at the scene. 1st October 2004, Superintendent Tab Mason receives notification that, after nineteen years on death row, the man accused of Sheps murder, Daniel Joseph Robbin, will be executed in less than a month. When told the news of his imminent death, Robbin barely acknowledges his fate. Starting his prison sentence at the age of nineteen, he has spent most of his life in prison and is tired of fighting the system. When the Nate and Irene Stanley and their daughter Bliss find out that Robbin is sentenced to death they look forward to the day when justice is served and the man convicted of murdering their teenage son. However, the American judicial system doesn't appear sympathetic to their keeness to be rid of Robbin, and as the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years, they turn angry, tired and eventually depressed that nothing will happen. Except for Irene Stanley. At the brink, one day she decides to write to Robbin and from this unravels truths and lies that could potentially blow everything apart. Strong storyline now what? I suspect that there are several books out there that have tackled this subject; the problems with the American justice system, forgiveness, betrayal and family secrets, for me, I try to avoid it as much as possible – ...

Burned (House of Night Novels) - P.C. and Kristin Cast 11/04/2011

Yawn on a treadmill

Burned (House of Night Novels) - P.C. and Kristin Cast I have now finished the seventh book in the House of Night Series, "Burned" and I think (finally) my desire to read more and more is waning - reasons why? Well let me explain... Seven books on, we are following the same gang with a few amendments here and there. Following straight on from the dramatic end to "Tempted" (of which I won't go in to as I'll probably get told off for spoiling things) Zoey's soul has shattered and she has gone to the other world. For all intents and purposes, she is dead - although her soul, spirit, whatever you want to call it is wandering free until someone can work out a way to save her. Queue Stark. Stark is a late addition to the gang at the House of Night and although he has had several ups and downs, it is only in the last book that we really see him take a step into the foreground in terms of important roles. Stark - who has taken it upon himself via an oath to become Zoey's guardian - is beside himself with guilt for not protecting her from what happened with Kalona. Therefore to redeem himself he is determined to bring Zoey back from the other world, despite the risk that she may come back a changed person in terms of her feelings for him. With the help of Stevie-Rae and Aphrodite, Stark figures out a way to get Zoey back even though it puts him in great danger. IN the meantime, Stevie-Rae is having her own issues. Her (quite frankly bizarre) relationship with Kalona's half-bird half-man son is still going strong and now she ...

Tease - Immodesty Blaize 27/02/2011

Old Hollywood Glamour

Tease - Immodesty Blaize The Story Tiger Starr has bewitched an adoring public by bringing old Hollywood glamour back with her amazingly glitzy and sexy stage shows. It appears that she has it all; the riches, the fame and any suitor she pleases. However, Tiger never lets anyone get too close; there are secrets she wants to keep buried. As she prepares for the most important show of her career to date; it seems that someone is out to spoil her carefully constructed life. Tiger's immense success has attracted a lot of jealousy, and so there are many likely candidates – could it be a discarded lover, a rival show girl or even her jealous little sister? Tiger will have to fight for survival by giving the performance of her life... The Author - Immodesty Blaize The author of this book is a well known British burlesque dancer, and that for me was enough for me to want to read this book; there is something so glamorous about burlesque dancing; I just love the sexiness of it; the beauty and yes, all the glamour! Having read a couple of reviews, I could see that this would be a book that would stay true to the style of burlesque and fall into that glitzy chick lit kind of book – the perfect relax-in-a-bubble-bath book! Descriptive Glamour Did it disappoint? No it didn't. From the very first page, the author delivered on the glamour aspect, creating the perfect backdrop that transported me to the world of burlesque and into the life of Tiger Star. The author Immodesty Blaize has a real knack for ...

Mountbatten Sports Centre, Portsmouth 19/02/2011

Mountbatten facelift = decent enough gym for me!

Mountbatten Sports Centre, Portsmouth Having been fairly recently given a multi million pound facelift, the Mountbatten leisure centre is now hoping to be a training centre for the Olympics and pull in new members to use its upgraded leisure facilities. Previously, I had been using the more elite and incredibly expensive David Lloyd leisure centre in Port Solent – convenient for me at a 15 minute walk especially as I didn't have a car at the time. However, paying £67 a month for the privilege just wasn't worth the effort, and having switched jobs and gotten a new car, I could now afford (or the opposite as the case may be) to look elsewhere for a fairly decent gym. Location & Access Mountbatten is situated next to Alexandra Park, its a great location for me and I should imagine anyone who lives in and around central Portsmouth. I tend to go first thing in the morning and from Port Solent it takes me less than 10 minutes in the 6.15 am traffic. However, getting out of Portsmouth is a nightmare at the best of times, and as I work on a business park in Whiteley in the other direction, leaving Mountbatten at 7.45 on a weekday can be stressful. Generally speaking, for most people going in their leisure time, this location is convenient, has several large car parks (being a leisure centre it can get very busy there on Saturdays) and best of all, has a fairly decent view from the treadmill! You can see the motorway crossing into Portsmouth, but underneath that, you can see the lake and in the dark winter mornings, it ...

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo 07/12/2010

Appropriate title considering the weather lately...

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo It is safe to say that the only reason I picked up this book is because it was on my like for like list - reviews saying that the author, Jo Nesbo, is the "next Stieg Larsson". I enjoyed all of the Millieum books from the late Larsson and obviously its sad and a tragedy that he is no longer with us and so the chance to try a new author whom some say could take his place was a definite pull for me. During the first snow in Oslow, a young boy wakes to find that his mother his missing. Upon looking outside, he discovers a single snowman with his mothers scarf wrapped around its neck. Soon, DI Harry Hole realises that this is not just a one off case; that many women have disappeared over the years; all wives and mothers. A further connection is established when Harry receives a mysterious note signed from "The Snowman" and Harry realises that all the women have disappeared at the sign of first snow. As if it couldn't get any worse: a gruesome discovery is soon made - the severed head of the latest missing woman....placed on top of a Snowman. So, does it live up to the Larsson comparisons? Yes and No. There are certain aspects of this story that make it completely obvious why this connection has been made. Firstly, this book is set in Norway, and so the Scandanavian connection is clear between Nesbo and Larsson. Other obvious connections are the inigmatic main character of DI Harry Hole who has some similarities (and many differences!) to Mikael Blomqvis, the journalist ...

BeneFit You Rebel 03/12/2010

Benefits of Rebellion

BeneFit You Rebel Over the years the quality of my make up has improved drastically and I put this down to getting older! My complexion, although generally good (not really spotty plus I am blessed with an olive skin tone) is getting older and I have found that I need much more coverage than I usually do. I have spent the past year using a foundation from Max Factor but I felt that this was actually too heavy for me. Having used different kinds of Benefit products and liking the results, I had what I would consider a massive benefit spending spree a month or so ago after having a make over. I am just a sucker when it comes to someone telling me what suits me, and so I literally bought everything the bloody woman put on me, including "You Rebel"! At my consultation with the benefit lady in Boots, I told her that I needed enough coverage to even out my skin tone (I am a bit red across my nose and on my chin) and cover any occasional spots, but I didn't want to feel caked as I had felt with my current foundation. The result was that she suggested You Rebel as it is a tinted moisturiser and therefore would provide me with the coverage I needed but would feel lighter on my skin. Packaging & Ease of Use For anyone who hasn't heard of the Benefit range or seen any of their branded stuff, it really is a treat for the eyes; most of the packaging for the make up is a little bit retro and very very pretty for those magpies out there! However, You Rebel doesn't really fall into this category and is ...

We'll Meet Again - Mary Higgins Clark 23/11/2010

Mollys six year hell

We'll Meet Again - Mary Higgins Clark Summary Dr Gary Lasch is found dead at his desk after his skull was crushed by one of his sculptures. His wife is accused of his murder and the news stuns the elite community that they live in in Connecticut. His young, beautiful wife, Molly, claims that she has no recollection of the event but the evidence against her is overwhelming - she was found in the house covered in his blood. To escape life imprisonment and a murder conviction, Molly accepts a plea bargain of manslaughter and is sent to prison. It is now six years later, and Molly has been released from prison. Those who love Molly plead with her to move on with her life now that she is free, but she is determined to prove her innocence some way or another and makes a public declaration to that effect in front of a group of reporters gathered at the gates of the prison waiting for her release. Amongst the reporters is old school friend Fran, an investigative reporter for a true crime television series. Molly convinces Fran to produce a programme on her, and although reluctant and convinced that Molly did commit the crime but under some kind of stress or pressure at the time, she soon begins to think that there might be something else to it...but who wants Fran from finding out the truth at any cost...? **** I'd read a book by this author on holiday and when someone requested a book swap with me for one of my older books that wasn't shifting on RISI, I decided to go with her again to see how it compared. ...

Mathilda Savitch - Victor Lodato 15/11/2010

Wacky little Mathilda

Mathilda Savitch - Victor Lodato Who Is Mathilda Savitch? After the death of her older sister Helene, Mathilda is trying to negotiate her way through adolescence and come to terms with the fact that Helene is never coming back. Her parents – especially her alcoholic mother – are not able to comfort her as they struggle with their own grief over the death of their daughter. With America about to delve into the biggest national tragedy they have ever experienced, Mathilda fights to find out the truth about what happened to her sister when all is crazy around her. The writer of “Mathilda Savitch”, Victor Lodato, has achieved great success with this book being praised across the board for his careful and thoughtful use of language throughout. Mathilda is the narrator of her own story, and the inner workings of her mind are laid out on the page making her an insightful, quirky and independent character. I'll say now that my opinion on this book changes greatly from the first half to the second, but for the beginning half, I feel that the author pitched her voice just perfectly. Not only does her voice come across believable, but she is one of those characters that a reader is unable to forget. The book blurb will have you believe that this is a book about mathilda discovering what happened to her older sister a year ago – the story that Mathilda tells at the beginning of the book is that her sister was pushed in front of a train and she is determined to find out who did it. What is clear from Mathildas ...

Tempted (House of Night) - Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast 16/10/2010

Back to form!

Tempted (House of Night) - Kristin Cast, P.C. Cast BEFORE I BEGIN, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS THE 6TH BOOK IN THE SERIES AND THEREFORE THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN INFORMATION REVEALED IN THE BOOKS LEADING UP TO THIS POINT - I'LL TRY NOT TO SPOIL TOO MUCH, BUT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO REVIEW A BOOK WITHOUT REFERRING TO STUFF THATS HAPPENED PREVIOUSLY! What Is Zoey Up To Now? It feels like Zoey and gang have come a long way from the very first (cringeworthy) books in this series, especially since, when you look at the timeline a bit closer, she could only have been in the vampire school a mere couple of months! Zoey has had to deal with a great deal in this time frame, and despite sending Neferet and kalona away from the house of night (and it appears out of the Country) Zoey and her fledgeling gang are far from safe. THis story picks up mere few minutes after the drama ends in the 5th book and Zoey and friends are left exhausted but relieved but knowing the war is still on. The Cherokee legend continues in this book and remains its central focus, with Zoey coming to terms with the fact that she is the reincarnation of A-Ya (created by the Cherokee women out of clay to trap Kalona). With this knowledge comes a problem not even Zoey thinks she can fix - due to her ties with A-ya, she isn't sure how long she can resist him, as A-ya was created to love Kalona as well as trap him. With Kalona getting into her dreams and with him teaming up with Neferet to take over the world (oh so cliched baddies but it works!) how will ...

Fear The Worst - Linwood Barclay 30/09/2010

Fearing the worst for believability

Fear The Worst - Linwood Barclay Tim Blake’s worst fear is realised one afternoon when his daughter, Sydney, fails to return home from her summer job at a local hotel. After visiting her place of work, Tim becomes even more concerned when they insist they have never heard of her; that she has never worked there. Frantic, Tim and his ex wife begin asking everyone Syd knew to find out where she could have gone and Tim starts to worry that she might not even be alive. That is until Tim starts to get threats against his life and realises that there are people that want to find Sydney as much as he wants to and it becomes a race against time to find her before they do. Yet another book by best selling crime/suspense/thriller novelist Linwood Barclay that has been hyped so much it is hard to avoid it when you walk into book shops! But does it live up to the hype I hear you ask? As always, Barclay sticks to his tried and tested formula – someone close to the main character goes missing; the main character becomes determined to track them down and then becomes the main suspect in the crime. All this happened in the previous book I’ve read (Never Look Away) and this formula remains a fixture in “Fear the worst” storyline. As much as I’d like to complain about this, it is a fixture that he uses to great success even if it is a tad frustrating and predictable. Barclay always manages to create a strong, usually male, lead character and Tim is no exception to this. Strong, a good father figure by all accounts ...

Silk - Rupert James 26/09/2010

Silk? more like cotton.

Silk - Rupert James Determined and career-driven Christine is a barrister who believes that nothing will get in her way of being appointed to the Queens Counsel and taking silk. Her daughter Isabelle is an up and coming designer who has a huge amount of talent but who keeps on making mistakes which is stopping her making it to the top. Victoria is the mistress of multi millionaire Massimo Rivelli. Constantly frightened she will be replaced by a younger model, jealousy and greed often cloud her judgement and soon she is interfering in both Christine and Isabelle’s life. But do all three of them know they are in more danger from Rivelli than they could ever imagine? Written by Rupert James has done a very risky thing by writing a book like Silk. Falling firmly into the sexy sizzle side of womens literature, he is up against successful writers such as Tilly and Louise Bagshawe amongst others who managed to combine sexy and determined characters, glamorous locations and raunchy, powerful storylines. So can a man write a successful book in this genre...? The answer is no...not really anyway. Firstly, I do think this book is a bit let down by the back page blurb. When I actually got into the story, I realised that there was a lot more going on than the back page led me to believe, and so I think a lot more people would pick this up if they knew this! Despite that, the book was overall badly executed and could’ve been written so much better in terms of characterisation and ...

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver 08/09/2010

Falling Over and Over Again...

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver What would you do if you only had one day to live? Better yet, what would you do if you could re-live your last day on earth? This is the question that Samantha Kingston must answer when she finds herself repeatedly going over her very last day before she died. Samantha is a popular high school student with solid friends and a hot boyfriend. The morning she dies, her only concern is losing her virginity later that night, but after her death, Samantha gets a total of seven chances to change the way she lives her last day on earth. Although an average teenager, there are many things she could do differently it seems. Before she knew that was her last day, she cheated on a test, skipped out on one of her classes and was generally not a very nice girl to other students – and to one in particular. So what would she do differently given all these extra chances...? At the start of this book, I wasn’t convinced that Samantha was going to be the type of character that I would like enough to care about what happened to her. Far from the average American teen, Samantha is cast as a standard movie stereotype; pretty, popular and down-right mean. As mentioned in the summary of the book, Samantha spends her day pretty much not caring about anything other than worrying about her first time with boyfriend Rob and it is not so much the cheating on tests but more her attitude to fellow students and her relationship with her closest friends that put me on edge. Reading about Sam and her ...
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