Saturday, 17 March 2012

We went to London to see the Queen!

We had a big day out this week and went sightseeing in London!

First of all we popped up to the Queen's house to see if she was in. I think she was as the flag was up, but we didn't get to see her. I was impressed with how clean her net curtains were though!

The Queen's Guards were putting on a bit of a parade outside. The American's were complaining that they weren't wearing red, but I bet it gets a bit nippy outside in the winter, so they had long coats on. There were loads of people outside. It was like a match day or something. I bet the Queen gets annoyed at having so many people hanging round outside all the time. It's bad enough for me when the kids are on the trampoline next door.

We went along to look at the Houses of Parliament too. I've seen them before, but I'm generally in a rush. It was nice to have a proper look. Although the smell of partially treated sewage from the Thames wasn't the most pleasant.
The floating restaurant in this picture was pretty impressive. I'm not sure I would like to go on it though as I like to eat my food without the smell of poo surrounding me generally.
When we were crossing Parliament Bridge we noticed that the sunshine made some interesting shadows on the pavement. We had a bit of a giggle at what are now known as the Westminister Willies!

 We visited Nelson's Column, looked at the Olympic countdown clock in Trafalgar Square and went up to Picadilly Circus. We also saw a lot of other cool stuff and did a shitload of walking! We have come to the conclusion that we need to go back and spend some more time enjoying the best of British!
Oh and I know they say the Welsh are short, but this bloke takes the piss!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just as I did with the first book, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me gripped all the way through, but I have given it 4 stars as I didn't think the ending was strong enough.

I like that there is a cliffhanger and I couldn't even begin to guess what will happen next, but I think it is a little rushed. I also think that the writer may have forgotten that although this is part of a trilogy, it is a story in it's own right and the ending should be a little more rounded, yet still want readers wanting more.

Despite this one tiny thing, I still loved the book and have no idea what will happen in the next one.

I would recommend it.

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Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was looking forward to trying this book as I had heard so many good things about it. I was a little apprehensive as it is totally outside of the type of books I normally read and I usually avoid young adult books.

I had a very pleasant suprise with this book.

It is really well written and creates vivid imagery for the reader without being over descriptive. It is fast paced and gripping and accurately portrays the relationships between characters.

I thought that the story itself was really well thought out and I liked that it was a really well rounded story that could be a stand alone as well as part of a trilogy.

The main character Katniss is stuboorn, but very likeable and I think she would appeal to most people in one way or another. Her relationships with other characters are really well described and you can feel her happiness and pain throughout the book.

I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Book Review: Look at Me

Look at MeLook at Me by Jennifer Egan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book took me a while to read as I found it really hard going. The first 20% of the book was really promising and I thought I was on to a winner. But unfortunately I was disappointed.

The story follows two characters, both called Charlotte and their lives get more intertwined as the story goes on. The older Charlotte has been in a road traffic accident and no longer recognises herself and also has to find whether her career as a model is over. I enjoyed reading about this Charlotte at first, but as I learnt more about her, I liked her less and less and found it really hard to connect with her. I think this is what spoilt the book for me and made me less desperate to know her story. The truth was I just couldn't care about her.

The younger Charlotte was the only reason I wanted to keep reading. A teenage girl who is struggling with herself and looking for acceptance, both from inside and outside of her family. Her story interested me most and I cared about her. I would have preferred this story if it had been pitched differently and focused more about the younger Charlotte, with the older Charlotte as a sub plot.

I'm sure there are people out there who would like this type of book, but I am not a fan of this kind of characterisation. So this one was just not for me.

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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book Review: Pear Shaped

Pear ShapedPear Shaped by Stella Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had read some good things about this book and managed to get it fairly cheap on the Kindle.

I enjoy chick lit as long as it's not too fluffy and has a good story. This was exactly this. It has a few underlying storylines which work well with the main plot of the romance. The main character is well formed and likeable, even when she was doing things that you knew wouldn't turn out too well.

The story is well paced and kept me wanting to read more. I believe Stella Newman is good enough to be up there with Marian Keyes, Jane Costello and the other chick lit greats.

I would definitely read more of her work as it has everything I like in a good piece of chick lit, humour, romance and a bit of a serious side.

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Book Review: Loose Connections

Loose ConnectionsLoose Connections by Rachel Trezise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book really quickly and really enjoyed it.

Rachel Tresize is a local writer and I thought this short story was the perfect opportunity to try her work.

I'm glad I did as this story was fast paced, witty and very dark. It is about a woman who has heen having issues with her internet connection and is a bit on the edge for reasons which unfold. These reasons become apparent when she has to deal with one repairman too many who has the unfortunate pleasure of being at the receiving end of her frustration.

Funny yet very dark, and very well written. I will definitely be reading more from this writer!

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