Princess

Princess is a modernized children’s series based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic: A Little Princess.

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Author: Gabrielle Charbonnet

My Rating: 5/5

 

I first came across the first book: #1 Molly’s Heart, when I was very little, and fell in love with the story. At the time, ebooks were not a thing, and I couldn’t find the other two books in the series.

Recently, I have been getting back into reading on my kindle. While browsing the amazon ebook section I was delighted to find the two remaining books in the Princess series were available to download; and at a great price! I quickly downloaded them both and finished the series in less than a week.

To sum up the series in one word for me would be “cute.”

Molly is a young girl who is the daughter of a very successful and wealthy film director. When her father is called to film a documentary in a location that isn’t best suited for children, she is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Boston.

If you have read A Little Princess, you will find this retelling adorable and entertaining. I generally do not enjoy retellings of classics, but this one was so charming and excellent.

The series is broken into 3 children’s chapter books. From looking at the back of the first book, it says the series is aimed towards an 8-12 reading level age.

I liked how the author of this series kept the characters very similar to the characters in the classic. Molly is imaginative, loving and caring; just like Sara Crewe in A Little Princess.

I really enjoyed the modernized version and would recommend this to any young girls or those like me, who love the original classic.

Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

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Author(s): William Shakespeare (Creator) Richard Appignanesi (Adaptor)

Illustrator(s): Sonia Leong

My Rating: 1/5

 

My past few book reviews have all been all 5/5 reviews, so I figured it was time I review something I just detested.

First things first, I did not take the illustrations in account for this 1/5 rating. If I was to rate the story just based on the illustrations, I would give it 4/5. The illustrations were great.

For the story/adaption side of things, I just couldn’t finish the book. I only give 1/5 stars for books I just can’t finish out of boredom or frustration. (Sometimes both.)

Because I didn’t finish this manga, this review is going to be pretty quick.

I read Romeo and Juliet when I was in 7th grade, and when I came across this manga at work I wondered how a combo of Shakespeare and Manga would turn out. For me, they just don’t mix.

The Romeo and Juliet of this manga is sped up to modern times. I don’t think that was the problem. I just couldn’t like it or bother to continue and finish the story.

My take on this manga is this: If there is a recreation of one of the world’s biggest classics; especially turning it into manga form, there are always going to be a ton of mixed opinion about it. Some will love this story as it is a neat new spin on such a well known play. Some will think it was a meh attempt. Others just don’t think something as classic as Shakespeare should be adapted, period. And then some readers just didn’t like it; which is the category I fell into. I don’t know exactly what it was, I just couldn’t get into. I’d rather reread the play, to be honest.

However, I am writing this review to mention how I think it is very important and an excellent idea of putting classics such as this one, into a manga/graphic novel form. It is a great idea way to get kids, teens, adults (anyone really,) introduced to the world’s greatest classics.

For my personal reading enjoyment though, I won’t be picking up another classic-themed manga anytime soon.

 

The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World

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Author: Nancy Jo Sales

My Rating: 5/5

My favourite movie director is without a doubt, Sofia Coppola. (I loved her Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides; my two favourite movies of all time.) Learning she recently directed a film starring Emma Watson kind of made it impossible to turn it down. At the time, it was on YouTube, but a couple of days after I watched the movie, it had been taken down. I’d just like to say that the soundtrack for Coppola’s Bling Ring, was epic. Also, Emma Watson starring in it was a gift from the heavens, god bless.

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*Swoons*

The movie trailer.

Anyways, a few weeks passed and while in the Bargain Books section of McNally Robinson, I stumbled across The Bling Ring…the book edition. It was written by the same author who wrote the article that Ms Coppola based her film on.

Let me just start off by saying the book is a very light and has a teenage-magazine kind of vibe. It certainly is not a great piece of literature, but that is why I liked it. It felt like I was reading a reality tv show instead of watching one, which was a new experience for me.

In case you are not familiar with “The Bling Ring,” it is a story about a gang of teenagers who broke into the homes of Hollywood’s rich and famous back in 2008-2009. They robbed Paris Hilton’s house multiple times, and stole Orlando Bloom’s Rolex watches.

The teenagers themselves, are very self-absorbed and Hollywood obsessed kids. This made them feel like any ordinary group of spoilt rich kids trying to reach A-list fame through a ridiculous avenue.

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Above: The Hollywood portrayals.

Below: The Real Bling Ring.

The book itself, was engrossing. I gave it 5 stars for that reason. The Bling Ring has a fairly low rating on Goodreads, and I can understand why. The book feels chopped into multiple articles; but I feel given the story, the style worked.

While the real kids above really did break into Hollywood’s rich and famous (including Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Audrina Patridge, to name a few,) I kind of felt myself cheering them on.

Obviously, there is nothing right about breaking into people’s homes. But when you find out how much designer crap Hollywood stars have, you can’t help but not feel any sympathy for them.

ESPECIALLY given the celebrities never turned their alarm systems on and Paris Hilton left her friggin house key under her welcome mat!!! I shit you not, this is how the Bling Ring kids got into her mansion multiple times. While every celebrity mansion had a high-tech security system, none of them were turned on. Some of the doors weren’t even LOCKED! Dude, I’m sorry, but if you don’t even bother to lock your doors, what do you expect would happen?

The Bling Ring had the assumption that since these celebs had so much materialistic things, if the Bling Ring only took some stuff, the home owners probably wouldn’t notice. And you know what? They were right. They robbed Paris Hilton multiple times before she discovered she was a victim of the infamous Bling Ring.

I’ll be given crap for this, but I really have no sympathy for Paris Hilton or the other celebrities they robbed. (I won’t give out any spoilers as to what happens in the end.) All I can say is I didn’t find them terrible criminals. This may be because most of my True Crime reading involves murderers. They were just thieves; stealing from people who honestly could do just fine with a fraction of what they own.

What I took away from this story is really how much the Hollywood elite has. The Bling Ring stole millions of dollars of jewelry along with tons of designer clothes and accessories with none of their victims noticing in the beginning. They have THAT much designer crap.

The ultimate 1%.

The characters were vain, narcissistic at times, but hey, I think the celebrities they robbed deserved it to some degree.

I also have to give these kids credit for actually having the guts to pull these robberies off.

And hey, they kind of got what they always wanted, they got their 15 minutes of fame in the end.

I recommend this True Crime story to people who like trashy Hollywood stories, rebellious partying teenagers and just generally can’t stand Paris Hilton and her stupidity.

Criminal Minds: Finishing School (Criminal Minds #3)

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Author: Max Allan Collins

My Rating: 5/5

In case you are new to my blog, I am a true crime addict. I research serial killers in my spare time. I read case files. I love documentaries on famous murderers and villains. I even check out /r/CrimeScene on reddit. This subreddit allows redditors to submit crime stories with actual crime scene photos.  (View at your own risk, it is NSFW.) I have a fascination with the darkest of human nature. This all started when I was 12 or 13 years old when I was flipping through tv channels, I stumbled across Criminal Minds. I can confidently say this show has changed my life.

If you are unfamiliar with the television show, it centres around the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU.) They investigate and solve the most complex murder cases. They deal with terrorists, pedophiles, murderers and their specialty: serial killers. Now, I am going to admit this book review will be biased because Criminal Minds has always been my all-time favourite show. I can honestly say I have watched every single episode at least three times. (And to give you an idea of the episode count, the show has been renewed for it’s 12th season.)

Because I have been a fan of the show for so long, I was quite surprised to find out I didn’t know there is a book series based on it. I came across this book at my local thrift store and squealed. So as a die-hard Criminal Minds fan I had to get it.

Even though this is the 3rd book in the series, (and to my recent discovery, the last,) you do not need to read the first two to understand what is happening in this one. Like the television show, the book begins with the BAU team given a new case to solve.

The first thing I noticed and liked about this book is that the author gives you a quick rundown on what the BAU is and does; as well as explaining each member of the team. So, if you have never watched the television show, you will still understand the characters and what they bring to the team as individuals.

On the flip side, if you are just as a massive fan of the show as I am, you will be pleased to find out this book does NOT repeat an episode from the show, it is a brand new case! This book features my personal favourite BAU team combo. We have: David Rossi, Aaron Hotchner, Derek Morgan, Emily Prentiss, JJ Jareau, Penelope Garcia and Dr. Spencer Reid. (Who are all briefly described in the first chapter.) Whether you know about the tv show or not, you can pick up this book and understand it.

For a quick summary of the book, here is the rundown: The BAU is called into Minnesota where a horrifying graveyard is discovered in a forest. Three bodies are found, each a young girl wrapped in blankets and sheets. The BAU soon discovers that each girl disappeared ten years ago from different parts of Georgia. They also find out these bodies are not the only victims of this perpetrator.

The BAU works on building a profile of the unsub. (Unknown Subject.) Who he is, his background and why he is taking these girls and holding them for a decade before killing them. Hence, Criminal Minds‘ tagline: The way to a criminal is through his mind.

I gave this book 5/5 because of it kept my interest all through the story. There was no fluff/fillers and the author did an excellent job of portraying the characters. He clearly did his research on the show and characters, as everything was spot-on all through the story.

As I mentioned earlier, this case has not been an episode of Criminal Minds, which impressed me. The case is just as twisted, unique and complex as the ones on the show.

That being said, this story is very dark and parts are very graphic. If you do not like stories about children being abducted, murdered etc, then this is not a story for you. Trigger warnings for this book would be sexual abuse.

However, if you like dark fictional crime books, this is definitely something worth considering picking up.

The Dead House

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Author: Dawn Kurtagich

My Review: 5/5

I’ve never cared for YA novels. Even when I was a young teenager myself, I could never see the appeal of the same old fantasy love triangle scenarios. Those were really big in my day, maybe they still are, who knows. When you start to not recognize the Disney Stars on the J-14 or Tiger Beat magazines, you know you aren’t hip with the kids anymore. And since I don’t know who the hell Ross Lynch is, I guess I’m old now. All I know about him is he is some Teen Beach hottie who is going to be playing Jeffery Dahmer in an upcoming movie. Teen Beach hottie to now play a cannibalistic serial killer? This guy better have legit acting skills or I am going to be seriously pissed off when I see the movie.

ANYWAYS, I decided to take a break from reading my typical true crime cases to something lighter. I’m snickering at myself now for thinking that because I thought The Dead House was going to be a “light scary teen read.”

Boy, was I very wrong.

For one, I had no CLUE this story was the author’s debut novel. You would never guess considering it is an incredibly written story.

The formatting was very different, which I loved in the end. The book is compiled of diary entries, psych therapy sessions and police interrogation interviews. It kept the story fast paced and with so many twists, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. That must have been how I finished the book in only two days.

I won’t give out too much about the story, but the jist of it is the tale is told from the perspective of Kaitlyn Johnson (for the most part,) who attends Elmbridge High. Except, many claim she isn’t real; and she might not be, because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. They consider themselves sisters who share a body. Carly gets the daytime, Kaitlyn gets the night and considers herself “a child of darkness.” Carly is the good, shy and quiet one while Kaitlyn is stubborn, rebellious and self harms. And then one day, Kaitlyn wakes up in the morning to find Carly gone.

This was an insane read, but so amazing and I’ve NEVER read anything quite like it. The truth is, you don’t really know what is happening in the story. Is Kaitlyn real? Is she telling the truth? Is Carly real? Is Kaitlyn and Carly’s psychiatrist lying to them? Is there something paranormal creeping in the shadows?

The protagonist is sometimes so lost in her own thoughts you can’t even consider her reliable; so actually summarizing this book would be very difficult because you don’t for sure what is going on.

Bottom line, I just loved this novel. It’s a horror, but whether you consider it a psychological thriller or a paranormal story depends on what you think happens. And I think that is why this story is so deliciously addictive.

AliExpress is the New Crack

So I’ve never been a huge online shopper. Apart from books, I rarely considered ordering anything online mainly because everything seemed so damn expensive. (And most of it still is.) I’m sure this has something to do with me working at a thrift store AND benefiting from the 50% off employee discount. Aka, I am not spending more than seven dollars on a t-shirt, no matter how cute it is.

 

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This isn’t EVEN a cute t-shirt; and damn, then there is shipping as well. I rest my case.

 

There are many websites I love to browse such as Etsy and Storenvy. But unfortunately Etsy can be quite expensive because most of the items on that website ARE handmade, so the pricing is justified (most of the time.) Although, the shipping can get quite extreme. I saw a really cool zombie girdle the other day and the shipping ALONE was over 40 dollars.

And then out of nowhere, the solution to all my online shopping problems were resolved. It was the day AliExpress entered my life.

 

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The first AliExpress wig I bought

 

Now, to be fair, if I stumbled across AliExpress with no prior knowledge, I would’ve easily assumed it was a scam website. Why? Because the website carries everything. And I mean, everything. Not only that, the prices are super low and almost everything comes with free shipping. Even though there is so much to choose from, the website offers tons of filters such as if the item is in your price range, the colour you are looking for, the material, style, if it comes with free shipping or not and more! Fortunately, one of my friends had purchased a few items from the site and was quite pleased with what they received, so I decided to give it a shot.

 

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An American Horror Story t-shirt for five dollars

 

AliExpress is basically my worst nightmare at the same time. Because so much on that website is cheap and the shipping is free, I tend to spend WAY too much too fast. When you buy 9 things that are each five dollars you are still spending 45 dollars, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time!

I’ve mostly been getting into their wigs. The selection is massive, and the wigs can run super low. (I got one for five dollars with free shipping, naturally.)

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^This is the one^

Of course, like anything when you shop online, you have to be smart. Check the ratings and reviews for the item. I never order something off the website that doesn’t a decent amount of positive ratings/reviews. I also like to check how long the “shop” has been open on the website.

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I got this meter long wig for eleven dollars and the black lipstick for one dollar

 

The downside to this website? You pay with your time. You can be waiting up to a couple of months for your items to come, and at least none of my items have come with a tracking number. However, some of my items have come in just a couple of weeks, so the shipping time will vary. If you don’t mind waiting the extra weeks to save money, then AliExpress is for you!

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My favourtie wig so far

Girdle Review from Coco’sRetroCloset!

I’ve been pining for a girdle for a while now, and after months of image binging on gorgeous vintage lingerie I can now say I own one.

I had the initial fear that the girdle I would receive in the mail would not be the same one that I saw on the screen, but I am pleased to report that the two looked exactly the same.

 

It’s comfy, cute and gets its job done by making my butt look perky and wonderful. It can be worn as the everyday underwear garment or a whole new spin wearing it as a sexy miniskirt.

I highly recommend Coco’sRetroCloset, and will purchase again from them without a doubt. (Maybe the matching bra this time?)

For now, I am quite positive that retro lingerie is going to be adding onto my never-ending lingerie collection :p

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CocosRetroCloset?ref=l2-shopheader-name

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/256075602/black-or-white-obg-pull-on-light-control?ref=shop_home_active_4