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ChibiNeko "Sooo many books, so little time!" RSS Feed (Whereever I go, here I am.)

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Curel Itch Defense Lotion, 13 Ounce
Curel Itch Defense Lotion, 13 Ounce
Price: $5.79
21 used & new from $5.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Both good and bad elements., April 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This lotion has its good points and its bad points, some of which may be things that people will either like or dislike depending on why you are purchasing the lotion.

The good is that this works very well and moisturizes for a very long time. It's unscented, which is going to be a key attraction for many people that can't wear lotion that has any bit of scent added to the formula. However unlike some unscented lotions it doesn't get that funky-ish smell later on, so that's a bonus. (By funk I mean that some lotions have something where it's kind of like whatever they used in the formula is reacting to your body scent. It's not bad, but it is a little strange smelling.) I do have itchy skin on occasion, particularly on my legs. It's not eczema, but it's dry skin that's bad enough to where the itch can be unbearable and I'll have to use anti-itch lotion sometimes.

This is kind of where the negative point may come in for some users: because it is oriented towards people with very dry skin or eczema, the lotion is incredibly thick. One time I put it on my arms and it kind of felt funny under my clothing since it took a very long time to absorb and my clothing stuck to my skin. Since my arms aren't very dry as far as skin goes, there's less need for them to absorb the lotion like say, the skin on my legs may absorb the lotion, so I noticed that they were sort of greasy feeling. However on my legs, no problem at all. This may be a deal breaker for people who don't need a lotion as strong as this one, especially since you will have to wash your hands off afterwards (or at least wipe them off somewhere) to get the remaining lotion off of them, even if it's just a tiny film. You can somewhat avoid this by only using the lotion sparingly or by only using as much as you need, but I know that this will annoy some. (I say "as you need" since many of us will just dispense lotion without really thinking of it, assuming that you can just rub it in to your skin until it's gone. You can't really do that with this lotion for the most part.)

Overall this was a pretty good lotion and if you have extremely dry skin then this is definitely a bonus. I didn't really notice any of the negatives when I only used the lotion on my legs and only used it in small amounts. One thing I can say that this will be excellent for will be cracked, dry feet and I'm planning on using the lotion one night with some socks for an overnight moisture treatment.

The Knockoff: A Novel
The Knockoff: A Novel
by Lucy Sykes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.23

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully wicked fun, March 11, 2015
This review is from: The Knockoff: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're like me, then odds are you were lured into this book with promises of it being a slightly different take on the "Devil Wears Prada" book, where the protagonist is the one wearing Prada and the antagonist is the brash new young thing. After reading this I can say that this is probably the best comparison out there, as Sykes and Piazza write a book that's so similar in spirit that the book has to have been an inspiration. No worries about this being a "knockoff" read, as the two bring enough to the table to make the book new and fresh.

I think that part of what makes this work so well is that Imogene is so relatable. Even if you're a tech guru, odds are that you probably know someone like her and also know what the non-tech savvy go through on a daily basis. I must admit that at times I was surprised at how little she knew about technology, but it's not completely unreasonable so it pans out well enough in the book. The real star of the book, however, has to be Eve. She's the epitome of every single "bad boss" letter that has ever gone viral on the Internet. Eve is so incredibly wicked that at times she's unbelievable, which works in Sykes and Piazza's favor since you *want* Imogene to succeed (while also kind of rooting for Eve to be evil again just so you can see what she does next).

The book isn't perfect, since at times the book does tend to kind of spin its own wheels. Occasionally you'll have moments where you just want the book to go on to the next bit, but it's never bad enough that you actually want to put it down completely. It's also sometimes over the top, but The Knockoff is so deliciously trashy (in a very, very good way) that you really won't care. It's the type of thing that you just hope gets turned into a movie.

Head & Shoulders Green Apple Dandruff Shampoo, 23.7 Fl Oz
Head & Shoulders Green Apple Dandruff Shampoo, 23.7 Fl Oz

4.0 out of 5 stars Smells nice and works well with additional conditioner, March 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit that I was pleased with this. Green apple scents tend to either be very good or very bad, so it was nice to open the bottle and have a nice scent that wasn't too overwhelming or fake smelling.

Scent-wise, this is nice. It's not too strong when I was using this in the shower and afterwards this was a light scent that you could pick up on, but wouldn't smell across the room. This is a plus for me since I like to be able to smell shampoo close up but not far away. The scent is nice in that while it is sort of a bubble gum type of green apple scent, it's not one that is so chemical-ish that I'd be put off by this.

Now as far as the dandruff properties go, it works relatively well. I still had some flakes on my head (not many, but a few), so those with more severe dandruff would probably want to use it twice. (If this doesn't do it then you will likely need something stronger.) However as far as the conditioning goes, I have to admit that I used my regular conditioner without thinking about it since it's turned into such a habit. The end result of that is that my hair was pretty soft afterwards, but not so soft that I'd end up wanting to avoid conditioner. My hair is pretty dry sometimes, so people with especially dry hair may want to use conditioner afterwards.

Overall this wasn't bad. It worked pretty well, smells nice, and worked well with my regular conditioner, so it's something that I'd likely purchase with my own money in the future.

The Royal We
The Royal We
by Heather Cocks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.43
31 used & new from $16.47

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, but a bit slow at points, March 8, 2015
This review is from: The Royal We (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to say that I was disappointed with this for the most part. I'm not sure what I was expecting- I think I was hoping that this would be the "Prince & Me" meets "Devil Wears Prada" and Sophie Kinsella. It has touches of all three, but in the end it just fell short of my expectations.

I think that part of this is because of the pacing. Sometimes you get some really great scenes in here that work incredibly well, other times this just feels like it's treading far too much water and as such, is taking far too long to get where it's trying to go. I couldn't help but occasionally wish that it was maybe about 50 pages shorter since it just seemed to be a bit tedious at points.

However that said, this isn't a bad novel in the slightest and for those with a bit more patience will probably find this more rewarding and for what's ultimately the two authors' first adult novel, it's a very good debut. (They have written some YA novels and a non-fiction book, but YA and adult fiction are two different writing spheres.) I also have to say that despite the occasional slow spots, the two authors have created some pretty good characters. I did feel like Bex was a sympathetic character and that's kind of what kept me going through the books- her interactions with her sister were especially the stronger parts of the novel.

Overall I think that I would recommend this, but as a library read. It's not bad and I have a feeling that this book is likely going to get a pretty big following, but I do think that this is going to be one of those "you like it or you don't" type of books like "Devil Wears Prada" or the Emily Giffin books. If you do want to buy this outright, read the sample first before deciding.

Sword Art Online 2:  Aincrad
Sword Art Online 2: Aincrad
by Reki Kawahara
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.08
71 used & new from $7.38

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll be coming back for more!, February 26, 2015
I have to admit that I'm still pleasantly surprised by this series, as I wasn't expecting to like the first volume and I was also somewhat unsure that I'd like the continuing volumes of the series since I don't always like ongoing series. However this really is a good follow-up to the first volume in that readers could still read this and not have to worry about continuing the series if they didn't want to (although odds are that you probably will).

Rather than have a volume with one story straight through, this is a collection of several shorter stories that center around Kirito's interactions with others during his time in SOA (so it's somewhat of a prequel instead of a sequel). I will admit that anyone familiar with the typical tropes of Japanese works of this nature (anime, manga, light novel) will be able to predict how many of these will end for the most part, but knowing the destination of the short stories doesn't ruin the enjoyment of them. They're just nice light stories that make for a pleasant read. I will say, however, that if you didn't like the first volume then odds are that you probably won't enjoy this one much more since it's the same type of dynamic here. Things will change up slightly in the next volume since the game field is also changing, but for now this volume's plot and motivations are the same as the ones in volume 1.

Now many may be tempted to skip this in order to start reading the second part of the SOA story that begins with volume 3, but I'd like to caution you against that since this volume does introduce a few characters that will show up in volume 3. (I peeked.) Odds are that the future volumes will include a slight back story about these characters since the light novel magazines are somewhat used to having people jump into a series mid-stride, but it's just better to read this and have the complete story as you go along. Plus the volume is just fun.

For parents: This volume is pretty low key when it comes to the topics of violence and sex. It's fairly chaste when it comes to sex, much like the first volume, but there are some extremely mild loli jokes in one of the stories that are played for laughs. (No sex is mentioned, mostly it's just laughing at the idea that people might mistake Kirito for an admirer.) Violence-wise there is your typical game-type violence, although there is a mention of death in the final story since they bring up Kirito's old guild, but it's nothing gratuitous.

Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel
Don't Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel
by R. L. Stine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.92
57 used & new from $9.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun read (slight spoilers, but will not ruin the plot), February 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a huge fan of the Fear Street series when it first came out and while I'm obviously no longer in Stine's key demographic, I can still appreciate the charm of a Fear Street book nowadays.

Stine does a pretty good job of trying to update his series for the modern day, although at times I have to admit that I occasionally wondered why some of the more modern inventions weren't brought up in the book. Specifically, Lisa begins having terrible visions that she swears are real but she never tries to use her phone to take pictures of these visions. This isn't a huge deal breaker since she is written as being terribly distraught and overwhelmed, but regaining her credibility is a huge issue for her and never once does she think about using her iPhone to take a picture of the monster - something that I'd imagine would be something most teens would try to do, given how much selfies and videos are a part in daily teen lives. But again, this isn't a deal breaker since it's somewhat understandable that Lisa would forget to do this.

The tension in the book isn't bad either and I have to say that I liked the ending, as it's slightly more of a Goosebumps-esque ending than a Fear Street type ending. (I may elaborate on this in the comments section since it is somewhat spoilerish to explain further.) I do wish that there was more buildup for some of the characters and plot reveals, as these rush by so quickly that they almost seem a little forced. YA fiction has become very sophisticated over the years so some further explanation on how certain things occurred or more character development would have been nice.

Still, this is a decent book for the most part and one that will have a great appeal for younger readers and people looking for a little nostalgia in their lives. Older teens may become a little bored with this given the plethora of other options, but this is pretty much the epitome of a beach read and while not the best book that Stine has written, it's still fun. It's also fairly squeaky clean since there's no sexual content beyond a few relatively chaste kisses and while there is violence and death, it's not so gratuitous that most children would have nightmares from reading it unless they're very sensitive.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 26, 2015 1:28 AM PST

Return To Hell House
Return To Hell House
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not up to Masterson's level, February 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm kind of torn on this one. On one hand I genuinely did like it, but on the other hand it just didn't entirely feel like the original work.

Collins does try very, very hard to capture the original feel of Masterson's work and you can see that at several points during the story, but at the same time it's still fairly apparent that it's not Masterson writing here. I think that part of this is due to this being a fairly short read and because Collins focuses more on the sex than on the horrors for the most part. Don't get me wrong, there are some definite horrors here that are well handled such as the house/Belasco's treatment towards Ben, but I couldn't help but wonder if they could have been brought out a little more efficiently.

As far as a non-Masterson Hell House story goes it's fairly effective for the most part and that's why I can't bring myself to dislike this story, especially since it gives us a better glimpse into Ben's background, something that was only slightly covered in the original novel. Still, anyone going into this expecting something along the lines of Masterson's Hell House will be sorely disappointed.

I think that the biggest sore spot of this for readers will probably be its price point, since I don't entirely feel that I got three dollars worth of entertainment out of the story. I'm not so displeased that I'd go for a refund, but I think that the audience reaction as a whole would probably have been slightly more positive if it didn't feel like we somewhat overpaid for the piece. I usually hate commenting on the price point of a piece of fiction and I hope that nobody discredits this review because of it, but I do sort of feel like this is the type of work that really should have been released for free or at most for a dollar. It's decent enough that I'd recommend it, but only if you have money to spare or just got a gift card from someone (which is what happened with me).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (8-Inch, Black)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (8-Inch, Black)
Price: Click here to see our price
27 used & new from $159.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good tablet for intermediate users, February 13, 2015
After my ASUS tablet broke and absolutely nobody had the necessary equipment to fix it, I decided to go with a brand that's more recognizable as far as tablets go (meaning that if it breaks, I won't have to pay twice the price of the tablet to fix it via the official company). I chose a Samsung product partially because most of the shops in my area would be able to repair it but also because I've heard fairly good things about the brand itself.

First off, the good. This is a relatively user friendly tablet and after some initial fumbling about I was able to locate everything that I needed and put it on the main screen so that I wouldn't have to worry about flipping through multiple gadgets that I'd only use once in a blue moon. This does run on Android and as such you'll have access to all of the Google Play goodies, which is helpful if you've already got an account through them for another device. I was pleased at how easy it was to upload everything onto the device and that you can pretty much do just about any of the basics with this tablet. (Videos, reading, etc.) People like me that are looking for someone to just do the stereotypical tablet use will greatly enjoy this tablet. I'm not fan of the more busy tablet games so I haven't checked those out just yet, although I do eventually plan to download one or two just so I'll have something for my nephews to play with on a long car trip later this year. It's also incredibly durable and I've dropped this at least once and it hasn't cracked, although this is in part to me putting this in an Otterbox case.

Now the bad: the unfortunate thing with Samsungs is that they are extremely finicky with chargers and they really prefer that you use a Samsung cable. You can use other cables and it will charge, albeit extremely slowly to the point where it's not really worth it unless you have nothing else. I also noticed that this is pretty gung ho about you not wiggling the tablet around while it's charging. I tend to sometimes read or watch TV while it's charging and if I move it a little too much in one direction or another it will stop charging, despite the cord still being attached. I'm not sure if this is a factory issue or not, but it is slightly annoying. Other than that, occasionally the unit will occasionally freeze on me (although that's rare) and once in a while it'll have issues picking up specific wifi sources (although this has so far only been with a local college's wifi and may be them).

By large the flaws aren't so bad that I'd recommend getting something else, although they may be considered deal breakers for people who want a less temperamental tablet for extreme newbies. Other than that I'm fairly pleased with the tablet as a whole and the benefits (faster than my previous tablet, easier to get fixed) far outweigh the negatives. I'd probably say that this would be slightly better for intermediate users than beginners, though.

Crawl to Me
Crawl to Me
Price: $11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A strong story with a surprising twist, February 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Crawl to Me (Kindle Edition)
I'd purchased this in anticipation of the film adaptation that may or may not come to fruition. I'm hoping it does since this comic is absolutely wonderful. I'll try to keep out any spoilers but I may bring up one or two elements just to elaborate on how well done this entire work was. I absolutely will not spoil the ending inside this review.

First off, I have to comment on the artwork. At first glance it appeared fairly standard but with a little brush of the chaotic thrown in the mix. I'll admit that this isn't entirely my favorite style, but this was pretty deliberately chosen as it fits in well with the story as things grow more and more creepy and unstable. By the end of the book I don't think I had a single complaint with how Robert chose to draw things and this is a good example of how important the style can be when you're working on a story like this.

Second is the story itself. Without spoiling anything, I'd also like to discuss how interesting the twist was in this work. I certainly wasn't expecting it, although I will say that the hints were there throughout the book. It's the type of twist that a lot of us probably won't see coming, which is a good thing and something that will work out well when the film eventually hits the big screen. The only slight downfall is that so much time is spent building up to this climax that the explanation kind of rushes by the reader. Everything is explained (and I mean literally explained by one person) and if you look back in the book you'll see where it all makes sense, but part of me does kind of wish that it had been drawn out just a slight bit more.

Still, this is a strong work and one I whole heartedly recommend for fans of horror manga.

Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore, Vol. 2
Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore, Vol. 2
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth checking out, February 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was somewhat disappointed to see that this wasn't going to be released in a paper format, but the side benefit of this being an e-book only release is that I could purchase both books fairly quickly. And trust me, after purchasing the first book odds are that you will want to buy this one almost instantly.

Watanabe has a fairly good sense of humor in this work and it helps that she never condemns the average patrons of her adult bookstore. They're customers, pure and simple, just like anyone else. Occasionally she'll get the more troublesome customers, but by large she talks about all of them with a large dose of good humor. It also helps that she is a fan of erotic goods to some extent (she never goes into depth about her personal life, which helps keep this all light), which comes across with her occasional recommendations of specific goods or actors.

The artwork in this book is somewhat deceptive. It's fairly light hearted and simplistic at first glance, which could push some readers away just by the artwork on the cover. This choice was somewhat deliberately done by Watanabe, as the drawings humanize the stories without making them seem too serious, making them more relatable for the average reader.

This is definitely a manga to check out. It's most certainly for readers with an open mind, but it's the type of manga that's unfortunately probably going to remain fairly obscure- which is a shame. I can only hope that sells well enough so that we will get more work by Watanabe in the future.

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