Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Book review: Murder Under the Midnight Sun by Nicholas Rhea

Murder Under the Midnight SunMurder Under the Midnight Sun by Nicholas Rhea

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Murder Under the Midnight Sun by Nicholas Rhea

I feel really bad for giving this book two stars because it's the only rating on the page! But unfortunately, it's deserved. The idea, that a murder is commited on a cruise ship is brilliant. It's on the levels of Agatha Christie in that the detectives are isolated WITH the killer. But it wasn't executed very well. To begin with, I didn't get a good feel of the characters. I had no idea what DS Mark Pemberton or DC Lorraine Cashmore looked like at all, and despite them being partners I felt no romantic connection between them.
A great deal of time was spent describing the detectives get on the cruise ship and what they did, so it took a while to actually get to the murder. When the person was eventually killed, Rhea spent a great deal of time describing the various procedures. I just wanted to skip a lot of unnecessary words. Furthermore, pretty much all the characters sounded the same. I didn't see the point of half of them either, especially Pemberton's partner. And despite it taking me an age to read the book itself was actually quite short. Some parts of it could have been fleshed out better. In a lot of cases, Rhea just stated what happened rather than described it.
The actual plot was well thought out and I didn't see the culprit coming, but it was a bit of a letdown.
Overall, it could have been a lot better. I'm not sure I will look at Nicholas Rhea again.

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Monday, 23 May 2011

We're all going on a Summer holiday...

With this crap weather, the subject of holidays is bound to come up. For a while now, I've been planning to go away with my best friend, sounding board and full time agony aunt, Kieran (pictured to the left). To begin with, it was Mallorca, but after a lot of umming and aahing and the film PS I Love You, we switched to Ireland. That film can make anyone fall in love with the beautiful country. Kieran also has family there. We're planning to visit Dublin to see the sights for a few days and then retire to Cork for a bit of R&R. I've let him organise everything, because it makes life a hell of a lot easier! This will be my first, non-supervised holiday. At aged nineteen, it should have happened by now, but lack of money got in the way. Hopefully, some other friends will be joining me and Kieran for an amazing week across the Irish Sea.
As well as me going away, some other family members are coming to us in October for my mum's birthday. My nan, aunt and uncle will be staying with us for a week. My mum is planning on hiring a canal boat for a day while they're here. This sounds like a great idea, but with my nan, who is afraid of water and my aunt, who once fainted on a bus boat in Venice, it's not exactly popular. However, my nan has changed her tune, she's talking about steering the thing! If that's the case then I will definately be investing in a life jacket! 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Book review: The Tree of Season by Stephen Gately

The Tree of SeasonsThe Tree of Seasons by Stephen Gately

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Tree of Seasons by Stephen Gately

Until I found this book in my local library, I was unaware that Stephen Gately had written a book. He's a man I very much admired and I was saddened to hear about his passing.
The book was a great surprise. It started off a little slow, but for these last few days I've been reading it as much as possible. He's a good writer, which somewhat suprised me, and the story was excellent, full of wonder and magic. My only criticism is that there are some events which I wish were told with more detail. Instead they're passed by rather quickly. It's not a masterpiece, but it is a lovely novel. It will be adored by children. I just don't understand how it wasn't promoted in the months after his death, maybe then more people will of heard of it and read it.

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Friday, 20 May 2011

The New Me

I'm taking a leaf from Miranda. The comedy genius that is, not our chicken. Last night I decided that The New Me would go into effect today. As regular readers will know, I had a job interview. Part of my change was that I would ace the interview and get the job. Well I can tick them off the list as I did both! Whoooohoooo! The second part of The New Me, was joining the book club at my local independant book store, Booka. I can tick that off too! I bought the book that they're currently reading and need to catch up before June the 2nd, their next meeting. The third part of the The New Me was taking the dogs for a walk this weekend, so hopefully I can tick that off the list too. Embrace the change!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Chickens are mean... OFFICIAL

Now that my mum has a job, there are quite a few days where I'm left on my lonesome to get on with things. Today is one of those days. Mum often asks me to do a few things around the house and the garden. One of those things is to collect the eggs that Miranda and Mavis lay every day. So, at any point after 10:30am, I go down there, collect the eggs and put them in the tub we are currently using to store them. It sounds simple and normally it is, I've done it half a dozen times.
Today though, was a different matter. I opened the gate, walked in and used the wiring to fasten the gate on the other side. I made sure it was secure, double checked even, then I went to the chicken house to get the eggs, being careful not to bang my head. All was going well when a sudden gust of wind came along and the gate to the chicken coop flew open. I ran as fast as I could to the gate to close it before any chickens could get out, but I wasn't quite fast enough. Cristina managed to escape. So I spent a good twenty minutes chasing her around the garden. She went underneath the shed next door and started to giver herself a mud bath. Everytime I got near her, she would flap so I couldn't pick her up. Knowing the simple 'chase and grab' routine wasn't working I thought I would lure her to me, so I picked up the chicken feeder from the inside and put it down near me, hoping she would come over to it and then I would grab her. Needless to say, it didn't work.
Eventually, I managed to guide her around the back and then put her over the fence in the extra section of the chicken coop that we don't use. Cristina was in! Hurrah! Now I'd go and enjoy my cup of tea after I put the feeder back. That was my mistake. You have to lift the feeder with two hands, so after I'd opened the gate I had to lift the feeder, then shut the gate before any more chickens went rogue. Did I manage it? No, of course not. Out popped Miranda, who is possibly the biggest chicken I've ever seen. She wasn't as bad as Cristina, she didn't go off hiding, but she still flapped constantly. She kept shoving her head through the fence to try and get back in, but obviously she couldn't get through. Finally, I picked her upm, slung her over the fence and left. There you have it. That is why chickens are officially mean!

Book review: The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan

The Thin ExecutionerThe Thin Executioner by Darren Shan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan

I've always been a big fan of Darren Shan ever since I read Cirque Du Freak, so I was looking forward to this when it was recommended. At first I was so overwhelmed by all of the names. You're introduced to at least half a dozen characters within a few pages and you also have to learn about their ways and beliefs. However, after you get used to the different names it becomes a lot easier and a very enjoyable book! Shan manages to combine humour and adventure with important lessons in tolerance and faith. The characters of Masters Blair and Bush are also genius!
Overall, it's an exciting book full of wonder and action. A definite recommendation and I look forward to reading more Darren Shan in the future.

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Friday, 13 May 2011

Heigh-Ho, it's off to work we go (hopefully)...

Things might have just turned around on the job front! Going to this Routeway Training Programme seems to be paying off. I've got a job interview next Friday at a care home in Oswestry. From what I can remember it's the first interview I've got since I've been living in Weston Rhyn. The first one where they've actually looked at my application and narrowed me down for an interview. The only time I came close to a job was an open day for the new McLarins building.
Part of me is mega-excited about the idea that I could be working very soon, but the other part of me is as nervous as hell! Plus it's been great to meet people around my age group at Routeway. I know I'll have to move on eventually.
Even if I don't get the job, getting this interview has been a great reassurance. Sometimes when you don't hear back from an employer it makes you feel useless, like all the stuff you've done so far in your life doesn't amount to anything. It's good to know that what I've learnt and my experiences are giving me a chance.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Book review: The Stand by Stephen King

The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Stand by Stephen King

When I started this, I expected this to be my favourite King book, if not my favourite book of all time. I'd read Under The Dome first and the readers of that recommended this. I must admit, it took me a while to get into it. It seemed like the book started three or four times as it introduced all the main characters and I really struggled. However, as soon as I got over that hump I was in! The Stand just draws you in, you're completely absorbed in the storylines, the characters and the whole world that King creates. As soon as I finished it, the first thing I wanted to do was start again, but thanks to the growing heap of to-read books it'll have to wait.
I found myself holding my breath and on the verge of tears, smiling at the characters' accomplishments. And for once there was a proper ending, which normally King doesn't do. Having read a number of forums and message boards I know a lot of fans want a sequel and I second that! For King addicts, this book is like a bible and I completely understand that. I'm now officially a disciple of Stephen King. It doesn't get better than this.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Sweet Home Oswestry...

It's taken a while for me to get used to Oswestry town. It's certainly bigger than Uckfield or Lewes and is a wonderful mix of old and new. There are some buildings from the 17th century, next to ones that have been built within the last few years. It's a wonderful, but very confusing, place. There's a market on Wednesday and Saturday which I absolutley love! It makes me feel as though I've stepped back in time, despite the butcher wearing a headset to promote his produce and all of the tarpaulin. There are certainly some characters in Oswestry. Take for example the woman on her motorised scooter. She charges about, forcing people to jump out of the way. I've never been more scared of an old woman before in my life! As well as the market, there's practically everything else you need, we have Superdrug, WHSmiths, Wilkos (and every other discount store). I like being so close to such a charming little town. All I need now is a job so I can pay for all the stuff I want!
I thought this post should be more about my surroundings so that my friends and family have an idea about where I am. I can't wait for them to come and visit. More posts will be here soon! Much love x.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Losing my blogging virginity...

So, here we go. Let's not beat around the bush, I was nervous about starting a blog. I know my values and opinions are important to me, but I'm not sure everyone else wants to read about them! But in the end, I just took the plunge and decided to go for it. I read somewhere that if you want to get anything published the best thing to do is write a blog. I also love the fact that there is proof of your existence somewhere, even if it's just a blog amongst thousands. The internet is a wonderful thing (even when it breaks down) that lets us communicate across oceans. Only fifty or so years ago, the idea of something like this was pure science-fiction. I'm not going to delve into a debate on the internet here and now, I just want others to appreciate something that we take for granted.
Anyhoo, I'm going to start wrapping this up. Check out my profile and pop back when you like to see what I've been upto. There will be more Wadey Words and Wonderings coming your way. Much love, x.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Book review: The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1)The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

Like I always do, I read the second book first, so this book was a little odd as I already knew the characters, but they were a step backwards from the ones I'd met. I didn't enjoy it as much as the The Fourth Bear, but I'm not sure why. I love the idea that nursery rhymes are real and their deaths have to be solved, but this one seemed over complicated. Sometimes I couldn't remember which character went with which name. As much as I love Ashley, I don't get why aliens are in this universe. They're completely unrelated to nursery rhymes. Overall an enjoyable book that has the much needed 'pull', but isn't as good as other works of Jasper Fforde. Regardless, I'll still be on the hunt for the third and fourth books.

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