Friday, 26 August 2016

Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan

Eden SummerEden Summer by Liz Flanagan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shy, gothy Jess and stunning and popular Eden are best friends. They've supported each other through some of the hardest things you can go through – death, bullying, love, heartbreak. They know everything about each other.

But then Eden goes missing and Jess knows she has to find her, and fast, because the longer someone is missing, the more likely it is they won't be found. So Jess starts exploring her memories, things Eden said and did in the last few months and she starts to realise that maybe they don't know each other as well as she thought.

Set in the beautifully described stunning countryside of West Yorkshire, an incredibly pacy page turner as the clock runs down on the likelihood of finding Eden alive.



I really wanted to love this book, after picking up a sample of the first chapter I was hooked and couldn't want to continue the story.

This has everything needed for a great mystery/thriller, Eden has had a lot go on over the last few months and is finding it hard to cope with the loss of her sister. Jess and Eden's boyfriend Liam are there to support her through this time. One day when Jess arrives at school she finds out Eden is not there and she never went home last night.

I began racing through this book as I was eager to find out what had happened to Eden, I really enjoyed the chapters, where we learnt more about Eden through Jess' memories and thoughts. I did have issues with this book though. I thought at times the pace wasn't good, I started to switch off a bit in the middle as I felt it was just a bit repetitive and slow. It was slow compared the the pace before, it did pick up a bit towards the end again.

I also thought that Flanagan could have done so much more with the story line, I thought the final was a little flat. It felt like we had been building up to finding out exactly what had happened and the reader was left with an anticlimax. I was disappointed with this as I thought it could have been so much better, it could be down to the title being a young adult book and perhaps the content needed to be a bit 'milder', however I have read other thrillers in this genre with more punch and Eden Summer just didn't give me this.

Jess' relationship with Liam was a little predictable, but it was still enjoyable. I did think at times in the story Jess came across a little desperate, a bit of a cling on and that trait in her personality was not likable. She needed to develop into her own person and not believe that she is nothing without Eden. This annoyed me about her.

Overall this is a good YA, I really like that this is set in the U.K and it British. There is not enough UKYA and this is a great addition to the genre. I would like to read future work by Flanagan as I think she could be big in the YA genre. I would give this 3.5* due to my issues with this book.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

The Darkest SecretThe Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help.

My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family's holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday August 29/30th, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.

When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.

But what really happened to Coco?

Over two intense weekends - the first when Coco goes missing and the second twelve years later at the funeral of her father - the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed...



I really enjoyed this intriguing dark novel with a quite frankly unlikeable dysfunctional family and their damaged friends whose flawed personalities proved to be very absorbing and fascinating. The subject matter of a child who goes missing is distressing and riveting for the reader who desperately wants to know what has happened to this 3 year old child. Coco is an identical twin to Ruby her sister and she seemingly disappears on her fathers' 50th birthday party weekend away.


The story is told in the past and in the present so we get to know about that birthday weekend, learn about the characters who are really not a nice bunch and more importantly what Alex Marwood wants you to believe happened. The present is told by Milly one of Sean the fathers' daughters from a previous marriage. Sean has been married 4 times and the twins Coco and Ruby are the youngest and the product of his 3rd marriage to Claire.


The tragedy of what happened to Coco binds the family and friends together while they each keep secrets and lies from each other that culminates in the truth coming out after Sean the father dies suddenly.


I liked Milly (Mila) and her half sister Ruby and in the end I also felt immense empathy and sorrow for Rubys' mother Claire. I also liked the way the releationship built between the two girls as they got to know each other bound together by the death of their father. The other characters were so self absorbed, selfish and manipulative that it wasn't possible to like them but my goodness they were addictive and I had to read on to the end. The pace was just right for this type of novel, slowly building, tying up all loose ends and just when you think all has been revealed in comes the curve ball - great twist and end to this novel. Completely unexpected and a great way to finish.


This is what I look for in a thriller where nothing is as it seems and the writer plays with emotions and guides the reader up the garden path until she is ready to let you know everything - clever and well written. Clever plot lines make this an addictive read and such a tangled spiders web of family insecurities, misplaced loyalties and innocents that get caught up in this sticky web make this a gripping read.


Really unexpected ending and a great way to end the novel - brilliant. Has to be a 5 star rating from me as it ticks all the boxes; highly recommended.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 22 August 2016

MelodySusie Mini Portable Handy Nail Dryer Review

MelodySusie® Nail Dryer Portable Mini Fan Nail Lamp - Handy and Compact for Drying Regular Nail Polish (Silver)


videoMelodySusie - Bring Your Beauty Salon Home 


Product Highlights: 
1.Fan installed, ideal for drying nail polish and Acrylic nail
2.Mini-sized with dimension: approx. 12cmW x 12.4cmL X 8cmD, portable
3.Perfect for home use and travel 
4.Battery operated or DC adaptor (not included in the package) 
5.Color: Silver 



Notice:
1. Before you use this nail dryer, please kindly make sure the nail polish is suitable for this nail dryer. This is a fan nail dryer, it works for all general nail polish.
2. The dry time will be different according to the thickness of the nail polish you applied. We recommend thin polish with multi-times.


Operation:
Step 1: Put 2 "AA" batteries into the battery slot (Battery is not included) or connect the 3V DC Adaptor (not included).
Step 2: Put your hand on the Easy-switch until the nail polish is dried.


Package Includes: 
1 * MelodySusie Mini Nail Dryer 
1 * User Manual


My Review:


This nail dryer came wrapped in bubble wrap and in a sturdy box. There is also instructions in there and a feedback card in case you want to get in touch with the company.

On first impressions I was very impressed with the product. It is small enough to fit into a bag for travelling and looks very sturdy. Once I looked at the product I realised that I would need 2 AA batteries, these are not included so make sure if you purchase this and want to use it straight away you have these to hand. I also noticed on the back of it there is a small electrical hole, I believe this is for you to be able to plug it in, however no cable is included. In the user manual it does state which adapter you would need in case you wanted to use that feature.

I began by painting my nails and having a go at using it. To make the fan work you just need to press the base of the unit down as you put your fingers in it. The dryer is only big enough to fit 4 fingers in at a time, so I dried my thumb nail after. I have also used the dryer for my toes, my foot fit in perfectly to dry it. After I had dried my nails I inspected them and I could see no smudges at all, so was rather impressed.

The negative I have with this product is the noise the fan makes, I did expect it to make a noise but it is so loud, please see my video and you will hear it. I also am unsure at how long the batteries last for as I have only used it the once at the moment.

Overall this is a really nifty gadget, it is perfect for travelling and great for children, who love to paint their nails but don't have the patience to wait for them to dry! (I remember this from my own childhood!) At £9 you really can't go wrong, I would recommend this product to others as I have had a successful experience with it.

I hope my review has been helpful to you.
I would like to thank the company for sending this in exchange for an honest review. I was provided with a sample product at a complimentary or discounted rate in exchange for a fair, unbiased, and honest review.






SIXPLUS 12PCS Shining Handle Soft Horse Synthetic Hair Eye Makeup Brush Set With Case(Black & Blue) (blue)

SIXPLUS 12PCS Shining Handle Soft Horse Synthetic Hair Eye Makeup Brush Set With Case(Black & Blue) (blue)

£35.99 from amazon.co.uk


Description taken from amazon.co.uk
  • The High Quality:all the brushes are handmade;the bristles are made of horsehair and synthetic hair, they are soft silky and resilient,easier to pick up powder
  • Special Design: Shining handle+royal golden ferrule +a multifunctional makeup bag ;wherein 3pcs eyeshadow brushes bristles are horsehair,other brushes are using high quality synthetic hair, also equipped with portable travel lip brush
  • Professional Makeup Brush Set:this brushes set pay attention to eye makeup;include powder, foundation, blush, highlight,eyeshadow,eyebrow, eyeliner brushes, satisfied for daily makeup, in the same time make your eye more beautiful;SIXPLUS focus on provide professional makeup brushes to makeup beauty easier
  • Multipurpose Makeup Bag: use high quality smooth leather, all brushes are in this bag,convenient to carry them to anywhere, satisfied for daily use;also it has large space can use a travel makeup bag,can storage many other tools, such as foundation, mascara ,lipsticks even your phone , it isn't only a brush pouch, also can manage your daily life
  • Our lifetime guarantee: your satisfaction is our greatest honor, if you are unsatisfied with our brushes after get it within 30 days, we will provide unconditional 100% refund for you
My Review:

The first thing I noticed about this set was that it comes in a high quality case, perfect for travelling. I travel a lot and I struggle to take my brushes with me as I don't want to damage them or carry them in a giant set, so this is perfect. 

Once I opened the case I was presented with a beautiful set of 12 brushes. These are all very strong and study, the handles are in an unique blue with Sixplus written on them, they have a rose gold head holding the bristles. 
I have really pulled at the hairs in the brushes and not one has fallen out of place. They are extremely soft to touch and when make up is applied to them there is not a lot of waste of product, they only absorb what you need. On applying make up the application was good and I got a full coverage, better than I have achieved with a sponge such as The Beauty Blender. 

I couldn't believe the range of brushes in this set there is:
A powder brush
A liquid foundation brush
Angled brush for blusher
Highlighting brush
Small highlighting brush
2 eye shadow brushes
Blending brush
Small eye shadow brush
Eyebrow brush
Eyeliner brush
Lip brush

This is a great face make up set as it includes everything you could want from a set. There is only one downside to this brush set and I am being a bit picky now... On the back of the box there are the instructions to which brush is which, there is also the information about which brush is used for. I would have liked to have seen this as a small leaflet included inside the set, I would find that really useful but obviously I won't be keeping the packaging. I would have also loved a few brush guards included to make sure the brushes stay nice. Like I said though these are minor personal things that I feel could have improved this product further. 
Overall these brushes are excellent, gone are the days of boring coloured brushes! These really brighten up my make up bag and are going to be a firm favourite for travelling. I would recommend these brushes to everyone, they would be a perfect addition to your make up brush collection, I think these are priced well for the level of quality. 

I received these free in exchange for an honest review. 











Friday, 19 August 2016

Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner

Can't Look AwayCan't Look Away by Donna Cooner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Torrey Grey is famous – at least, she is on the internet. Thousands of people watch her beauty vlog for tips on how to be popular and pretty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident her world implodes, especially as she feels partly to blame. And that’s when the trolling starts

How can Torrey mourn her sister in private, when her bubbly public persona is all over the web? Then she meets Luis, whose family owns the local funeral home, and he challenges all that Torrey thought she knew about love, life, and loss.


This is a book that I had been sent to review ages ago and just never got round to it...Sorry! Finally I have though and I thought overall it was an O.K read. I actually give it 3.5* however have rounded it up to 4 for Goodreads and Amazon.

I thought from reading the blurb that this book was going to be about a YouTube vlogger and this made me excited as I haven't read any books like this before, yes I know there are tons out there based on this theme but I haven't yet got to one. However I found this more emotional than expected and the YouTube vlogging aspect didn't have such as a prominent part in the plot as I expected.

Torrey and her mother and father have just moved to Texas, there was an accident which killed her sister in their home state and have gone to live near her fathers brother for a new start. Torrey finds it difficult to have a new start due to her popularity on her channel and many people know who she is, some are sympathetic, however others blame her for the accident.

This novel is about how Torrey copes with her sisters death and dealing with the other issues that being a teenager brings. There are times through the book which slip back into the past, where Torrey is remembering something that has happened with her sister. This was quite nice as her sister is quite a main part of the story and the reader gets to know her a little.

I didn't like how shallow Torrey was for the majority of the story, being an internet sensation and popular was not the be all and end all and at times I thought she was mean to others. I guess this was Torrey just trying to find her feet, however I also think that if she had just lost her sister that should have put things into perspective for her and realise that those things are really not important. This may though come with age and Torrey hasn't got there yet.

Overall it was a quick, easy read and relatively short, I managed to read this in a couple of sittings and the only reason I couldn't finish it in one go was because I had to visit people. I didn't love it but at the same time it wasn't dreadful either. I think this book would appeal to those who are trying to become 'famous' or being popular at school. I feel the book is very current with the use of YouTube and perhaps would help deal with cyber bullying.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The One With The Engagement Party by Erin Lawless

The One With The Engagement PartyThe One With The Engagement Party by Erin Lawless
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Save the Date

For fans of romantic comedies like Bridesmaids and Four Weddings & a Funeral, and bestselling authors Mhairi McFarlane and David Nicholls, this is a hilarious new romantic comedy series about one bride and her four best friends.

Nora Dervan is ready for her Happy Ever After. With her darling Harry waiting at the altar, and all her family and friends around her. She is certain that her special day will not be forgotten/will be one to remember…

But with her four bridesmaids hiding more secrets, than bottles of champagne. Will her big day be remembered for all the right reasons?

Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are dating, and now they’re engaged, whilst cupid’s arrow points in a forbidden direction for Cleo. She is so distracted by her off limits, hot new colleague that she has forgotten Daisy, who has been left dreading the singles table. There’s more romance in the cheesy pick- up lines than Sarah’s own marriage, which hasn’t turned out as she hoped it would be.

With her wicked sense of humour and refreshingly honest voice, Erin Lawless brings to the life the romance (and horrors!) of wedding season.



This was the first book I have read by Erin Lawless, I knew this was going to be a series of 4 books, which I enjoy so couldn't wait to get started with it.

The book has got a really good premise and I thought it was going to work really well. This story is about the bride and the bridesmaids discussing the wedding and scouting out locations for the big day. There are lots of characters in this novella, obviously the bridesmaids and their partners as well as Nora the bride and Harry her other half. This was an issue I had as I got a little lost in places and couldn't remember who was with who. This could have been done to the fact I was reading it late at night just before sleeping, however this is why I enjoy novellas as I feel I can accomplish something after work.

I did enjoy the novella and I will hopefully continue with the series.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicola Doherty

Love and Other Man-Made DisastersLove and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicola Doherty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Juno is scared of a lot of things. Climate change, urban foxes, zombies - the usual. So when she goes on a skiing holiday with her mum's adrenaline-mad new husband and his tearaway twins, she doesn't hold much hope of surviving. Then she meets Boy. Gruff, hairy and thrill-seeking, he's everything Juno doesn't like. Or is he? Juno's about to discover there's nothing more scary than falling in love.


I have read many Nicola Doherty novels before and I have loved them all, so when I knew she was going to be writing a young adult novel I couldn't wait to get into it.

First of all I was a little disappointed as I sat down to read this in the height of summer (I know not much of one in Britain) but it was set in Austria on the slopes. This was something not mentioned in the blurb or anything, had I of known I would have saved this to read over the winter as I think I may have enjoyed it more.

This is a very easy to read book, and I read it just as quick as Doherty's adult novels, there was a little bit of humour. Juno is forced to go on a skiing holiday with her mum, stepdad and his two boys. This is the last thing she wants to do and has a mountain of studying to do before her exams and isn't thrilled that she has to spend more time with her stepfather and his two kids. Over the course of the book Juno changes her mind about the skiing.

The story covers a short period of time, I am not exactly how long either 2 or 3 weeks I think and the romance in the story felt like it happened quite quickly and the turn around of events - I am trying to explain without actually giving any spoilers! Saying that, it was a while ago I was Juno's age and perhaps romances happen that quickly and younger readers will relate to it more. I didn't really let the love story part affect my opinion of the story as I enjoyed it regardless of the time span.

This is a really cute, fun book that older readers would enjoy. The characters are very down to earth and Juno is likable. Juno experiences the beginning of growing up, having a little freedom but also realising life is not all a bed of roses and that sometimes there is heartache along the way. This is a book I would recommend, however I would suggest over the winter period to really get you into the mood for that time of year. I can just imagine being snuggled up in front of the fire with a hot coco and fluffy slippers on reading this.

I would like to thank Nicola for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.