Book Review – Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination By Helen Fielding

I think this is actually an interesting contrast to my last book review…

As always we begin with the Goodreads blurb…

At the close of the last millennium, Helen Fielding debuted the irrepressible (and blockbuster-bestselling) Bridget Jones. Now, Fielding gives us a sensational new heroine for a new era…Move over 007, a stunning, sexy-and decidedly female-new player has entered the world of international espionage. Her name is Olivia Joules (that’s “J.O.U.L.E.S. the unit of kinetic energy”) and she’s ready to take America by storm with charm, style, and her infamous Overactive Imagination.

How could a girl not be drawn to the alluring, powerful Pierre Ferramo-he of the hooded eyes, impeccable taste, unimaginable wealth, exotic international homes, and dubious French accent? Could Ferramo really be a major terrorist bent on the Western world’s destruction, hiding behind a smokescreen of fine wines, yachts, and actresses slash models? Or is it all just a product of Olivia Joules’s overactive imagination?

Join Olivia in her heart-stopping, hilarious, nerve-frazzling quest from hip hotel to eco-lodge to underwater cave, by light aircraft, speedboat, helicopter, and horse, in this witty, contemporary, and utterly unputdownable novel deluxe.

It may seen ironic that the last book I reviewed I complained about the plot being too far fetched but while the other die so within the thriller genre here in Rom-Com/Chick-Lit it works perfectly, the author mocks the very absurdity of the plots within the actual title, but here mixed with comedy it works brilliantly. The Bridget Jones author manages to create another cast of characters that grab the imagination though I have to say the lesser characters are less rounded than in the first Bridget Jones book, however it is not really an issue, as unlike those others, these are not likely to feature again. I did really enjoy this book, it is fun and an easy read which provides perfect escapism, it is definitely the perfect holiday read, there is a but though!

I was happily engrossed in this book until I noticed that I was running out of pages and seemed a long way from the story being resolved. The action in the last section of the book seems a little hurried and lacking in the detail and atmosphere building of the earlier sections, it is almost as if she was busy writing a great book and then it was pointed out she was reaching her word quota and had to finish it off quickly. I am not sure if the answer would have been to leave the last section for a next book and build up the previous action to the climax of this one or to just have risked making this one longer, I certainly would be happy to see Olivia have more adventures but only the author knows what her intentions are in that regard.

So to scores up until that last bit this would have had the perfect score but because I felt the last bit was on diet rations it gets 4.5 starts out of 5.

Advertisements

Lazy Sunday #35

I have had a really busy weekend, actually make that week lol so I have not read many blogs but I have quickly picked out a couple then I have a video for your viewing pleasure…

  1. First up being overweight I get totally how hard it is to take those first steps and also the stigma that surrounds fat people exercising, the same people who tell you to lose weight and exercise are the ones who taunt you when you try so I have so much respect for anyone who is willing to share their journey https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/inspiring/
  2. I have to confess I very rarely take the time to treat myself in terms of someone else performing treatments on me, I might throw on a face mask at home, or, file and paint my nails  but I feel guilty spending money on luxuries like that unless it is a special occasion but I had to goggle at this description https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/lucys-diary-25032017/

I am going to leave it at just the two blog posts because yesterday this happened…

It was day two of the day jobs Comic Relief fund-raising and I ended up joining in doing a little wiggling, the video is quite long, 27 mins but that is because it does show two days of activity so you can either watch through and see our fund-raising fun or skip forward and watch me embarrass myself lol

Glossybox Review January 2017

So the first box for 2017 arrived, was I impressed?

dsc02293

I am going to be honest I was really underwhelmed by this box when I first opened it, lets begin with the first reason why…

dsc02297

Hairon Zero Crease Hair Tie

I have received these previously in a Glossybox, my opinion does not change just because they are pink this time instead of white. While they do what they say in that they do not leave a kink in your hair the fact is they are still no good for putting in my hair, they do not hold the ponytail tight enough to stop the shorter bits falling out and after a couple of uses they stretch and become even less effective. They are £3.99 for three so not overly expensive but to be honest I might use one once in a blue moon if I am maybe going out after work and have to cope with a few stray hairs to avoid kinks.

Next…

dsc02294

NIP-FAB Kale Fix Moisturiser

I was quite intrigued by this right up until I opened it. The first problem I found with it is the smell, it smells of kale, aloe vera and vegetation generally, and I have t say I hate to think how much more it would smell if it was a hot summers day. The actual product (yes I did test it still but only on a night) works quite well on dry skin areas however you should avoid any greasier areas with it, I have quite a greasy forehead at the minute and it did bring out a few spots when I trialled it, at £19.95 it is cheaper than some moisturisers but personally for me not one I would buy again.

Next up…

dsc02302

THEBALM Meet Matt(e) Trimony Single Eyeshadow

I loved the packaging for this and was really looking forward to trying it, it came in this lovely aubergine shade…

dsc02303

Now this is a little harder to assess as a whole as the shade is part of a palette which sells at £34, for me I felt the colour pay off was not good, initially the pigment seemed good but the minute I started blending it disappeared, I will say I have not tried it wet, generally I never use my eye-shadows wet I know it is supposed to intensify the colour but I really shouldn’t have to especially at these prices.

Next…

VITAMASQUES Manuka Honey Face Mask

I do like face masks so I do enjoy getting them in the box but I have to say this one really had me annoyed..

When I went to get it out it was literally dripping and the mask itself was crumpled within the packaging which was quite hard to actually quite hard to unfold and unstick. Once you do get in straightened out it really did not fit very well and I had to lie down to stop it sliding off.

As you can see it barely touched my nose which is one of the driest parts of my face but what makes it even more frustrating is that the actual formula made my face feel great, it really did seem to work and at £3.99 it is cost effective to use on a regular basis. I know getting a shape that fits everyone is impossible but think this one could be improved then I would definitely buy it again.

And the final item for this month was…

UNANI Illuminate Milk Cleanser

I have to say I really like this product and it reminds me very must both in terms of product and packaging of the products I regularly use by Naobay. At £14 this is around the same price as similar products I use, I would certainly use this and may buy it again once I run out depending on how much shipping etc is (this is a problem with the brands you can only get online) and would certainly be happy to try out further products from this range.

A – Z Challenge 2017 – Theme Reveal

So in the past I have done places, animals, artists and I was hoping to come up with a really cool theme for this year but it just has not happened. You may have noticed there was no vlog or Lazy Sunday this last week, well the truth is our week was thrown into turmoil with the passing of one of our little furries, Buddy age 6 (a good age for a guinea pig) was dead when we got up on Thursday morning and although I hid the fact from Monster until after school there were lots of tears and as you can imagine we have been busy trying to ease his upset, which to be honest is not helped by ,the remaining piggie, making lots of noise in his distress at now being a lone piggie.

Anyhow back on subject A – Z theme, I have been racking my brain this morning but it was not really complying and I kept wondering off on strange trains of thought. The it came to me, that will be my ‘theme’ stream of conciousness! I am going to open the dictionary at random for each letter and and stick my finger on the word and that will be the starting point for that day. I will give the word and the definition first, then from there I shall allow my mind to wander wherever it so desires for 500 – 1000 words.

Now you all know me, so you can’t hold me responsible for any rabbit holes we may journey into, they may be fun and frivolous, or, dark and dangerous. I have no idea how well this will work but I think it will be fun finding out lol

Resolutions 2017 – February

Another month gone and I feel I have not been particularly productive this month but we shall see

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

No change or should I say no weigh, I have had a really weird month and I have avoided getting on the scales, I have changed a couple of things in terms of routine and with half term everything has been up in the air, I have a feeling I may have put weight back on as I feel really bloated but I will get my backside on the scales for a fresh start on Sunday then really need to get a move on with shifting some weight for Darker I need to get into that dress lol

2017-02-01-2

02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I am still down on where I want to be but I know that by focusing and getting stuck in I can get back on track next month, I just need to get my time managed better and get my focus back.

03) Exercise more

I have managed a couple of trips to the pool this month though still not as much as I should have. My average step count over the 28 days is actually down as last months was 6,740 however in my defence you will notice a whole day missing there on the Thursday of week 19th Feb – 25th which was as a result of me heading off for a day out without checking it was sufficiently charged, also that whole week is down overall with the fact it was half term and therefore no school run.

2017-03-01

04) Blog at least four times a week

Failed terribly again but now feeling much more positive about what I want to do with both the Vlog and the blogs, it can be quite difficult sometimes thinking what to write but I also have the A – Z to start thinking about and planning.

05) Get out more

Nope not been anywhere though I am guaranteed to have at least one for next month, and the following month. I blame the fact I am single and the big event this month was Valentines!

06) Write every day

As you can see I have had a terrible start to the year in terms of productivity/word count but I have done some plotting in on paper a lot of mental brain storming and plotting now just to get back to getting it all on paper.

07) Work on my self belief

I know this month I have fallen short of my goals but carrying on from last month I am not getting stressed, instead I am looking more at what I can do to change my own actions to achieve what I want and to accept some things are beyond my control and I just have to deal with that.

08)  Time management

I just reinstalled my Pomodoro app to help me focus on set tasks for periods of time and set my Freedom app back up, both these help with focus and productivity so fingers crossed next moth you will start to see results.

09) Update my wardrobe

Because my weight has not changed I have not really thought much about this, other than drooling over clothes in the Joe Browns leaflet that fell out of the paper if you are unaware of this company you can take a peek here, I love the books and tweed type jackets.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

Two weeks into March and I am ashamed to say that the newsletter has not gone out yet however it is on my list of things to do in the next 48 hours so do not despair also need to try to contact last months prize winners again as they have not responded to the email.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

My personal life is still stalled but I think it will be a case of if/when it happens it happens. I have so much going on, so many exciting things coming up with signings, new books etc and of course would love to have someone to share them with but it is not the end of the world, would rather wait for the right person than settle for just anyone.

12) Keep my website up to date

As I write this need to post two updates, to be fair I had done one of them and saved it but because I didn’t hit publish for some reason it did not save properly and it wiped it, lesson definitely learnt, if I am not ready to publish then write the post in word and copy and paste at the appropriate time.

Book Review – Call After Midnight By Tess Gerritsen

This book is a stand alone novel and not part of the Rizzoli & Isles series

As always let’s begin with the Goodreads blurb…

THEY’D SAID HER HUSBAND WAS DEAD … SO WHY WAS SHE SURE HE WAS STILL ALIVE?

A ringing phone in the middle of the night shakes newlywed Sarah Fontaine awake. Expecting her husband’s call from London she hears instead an unfamiliar voice. Nick O’Hara from the US State Department is calling with devastating news: Geoffrey Fontaine, Sarah’s husband of two months, died in a hotel fire … in Berlin.

Convinced her husband is still alive, Sarah forces a confrontation with Nick that finds them crisscrossing Europe on a desperate search for Geoffrey. Trying to stay one heartbeat ahead of a dangerous killer, they become quarry in the clandestine world of international espionage, risking everything for answers that may prove fatal.

When you love a series by someone you can find their stand alone novels lacking, however I have read a couple of others which I had really enjoyed so I was optimistic about this one.  Sadly for me this book was a bit of a flop, the plot is a little implausible, well more than a little to be honest, but more than that the characters themselves just do not ring true.  Had it remained steadfastly a thriller, spy drama it might have been more engaging but the sub plot of a romance between the two main characters just makes it so hard to believe. We are asked to believe that the grieving widow, whose reaction to her husbands summons is to jump straight on a plane can fall in love with another man within a few weeks. I accept her husband is not who he pretends to be, nor does it turn out they had the happy marriage she thought they had but the reallocation of affections is too swift without the soul searching one would expect.

The pacing is fast and furious, in places a little too fast as you barely get time to get a real feel for places and situations before we are torn away to the next, I do love Tess Gerritsons books but for me this one just did not grab me the way her others have,

So time for a score and I hate having to give this score but I have to be fair so I award it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Lazy Sunday #34

Apologies for missing last week but as I had a busy weekend I had been trying to catch up on housework when my daughter rung to take me out for dinner, you can see what I ate over on instagram and if you don’t follow me there and have an account that look me up here hopefully over the next few months I will have far more to share there.

Today is the first day of the year where I have been able to get some washing out on the line with the hope of it drying and I want to get some extra washing caught up with today so forgive me if this ends up being posted late as I am back and forth between writing and house work.

So what do I have to share today…

  1. Last week at the Leeds ticket launch I met the lovely Nadia and it gives me great pleasure to introduce her blog here through this very heartfelt post about self published authors https://nadiaworldsite.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/online-writing-authors-commitment/
  2. As Saint Patrick’s  day is just around the corner I thought it would be cool to hare this, not that I think you really need a recipe to make stew but because the recipe featured is over a hundred years old and also because despite my Irish heritage it is one I will never make, the truth is I don’t like lamb in fact if I ever have to eat it the only way I can get it down is to drown it in mint sauce https://marthareynoldswrites.com/2017/03/12/irish-stew-1908/
  3. The wonderfully talented Lucy has a new facebook page so visit her post like her poem then head over to her facebook page and give her a like you won’t regret it https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/poetry-69/
  4. I love it when people I have been lucky enough to get acquainted with are successful, not only is it obviously fantastic from them but it also allows you hope that one day it might happen for you too https://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/i-love-dubai-dubailitfest/
  5. A final link for today but it is mainly the link within the link you need because we all like to read a good story especially if it is a freebie https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/under-cover-free-to-read-in-the-indie-publishing-newsletter-issue-10/

I hope you enjoyed these, I really should go outside and do a little gardening while the weather is good but to be honest I am not really in a the gardening mood, instead I think I might sit and write a little more.