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DC Trip
DC Trip
by Sara Benincasa
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.14
54 used & new from $10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Who is This Book For Again?, November 27, 2015
This review is from: DC Trip (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I think the only issue I had with author, Sara Benicasa's, DC Trip, is that I don't know who the target audience is.

I had a good time reading about the antics of the three core characters: Sivan, Gertie and Rachel, however when I got the book and read the synopsis I was lead to believe that this book was focused on the chaperone-Alicia Deats.

DC Trip is filled with nostalgia-sneaking out, crushing on a boy but being too shy to talk to him, wanting desperately to be loved and to fit in, and yet many of the themes are too mature for teens. (The story takes place on a Sophomore Class trip to-you gussed it-DC) But the book focuses for the most part ON the three girls, with the chaperones thrown in as an afterthought.

The book is a very quick read coming in at under 300 pages, and without some of the sex and drugs I'd think this is a tome for high schoolers.

Don't get me wrong-I laughed out loud, but it wasn't enough to make me stop wondering if I was the target audience (a 41 year old married mother of five boys, three of whom are older than the girls in the book). I'm noticing this becoming more and more of a trend among new authors-very mature situations and themes with increasingly younger characters. I'm no prude, but I can't say I'm a fan of the trend.

All that being said, the author has a way with words and she was able to create funny moments in some very iffy situations.

EastPoint Bean Bag Toss Washer Toss Set
EastPoint Bean Bag Toss Washer Toss Set
Price: $99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Snap Together Set, November 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first thing we will say is-this comes in a HUGE box! But it isn't bulky or heavy. In fact my seven year old was able to carry the unit once we unboxed it.

And unboxing it was easy! We opened the box, grabbed the handle-DONE!

The second thing I'll say is that I love how this set snaps together, and everything stores in the middle. The two sides have little snaps on the side, and the bean bags and washers fit snugly on each side.

One side is your standard bean bag game-my seven year old and I had a great time trying to improve our aim and get the bags in the little holes.

And then you flip it over to play with the washers-my seven year old loved that-although we didn't do very well with this portion of the game! We still had fun.

We have a travel trailer, and this will be great for trips. Because it all fits together, it will easily slip into our storage compartment.

As for the price point-it does seem a bit high to me. Though it's nice and sturdy, I've seen sturdier sets for less, and this is the only reason, we are giving it four stars instead of five.

Kulipari Desert Enforcer Scorpion Figure [Amazon Exclusive]
Kulipari Desert Enforcer Scorpion Figure [Amazon Exclusive]
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars His Legs Don't Move!, November 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I saw this, I knew we had to give it a try for our seven year old. He loves blind boxes! For those unfamiliar with them, they are exactly as they state-blind boxes. Each has a theme-We have Walking Dead, Avengers, Marvel, Ninja Turtles, etc-but you don't know which character you will get until you open the box. And though, with this funny guys you do know what you are getting, the line was completely new to us-so it was a great treat for our little guy.

I saved this for our son to open when he got home from school, and the first thing I notice is the box was larger than we thought.

"This looks cool!" our son said as he happily tore into the packaging.

When he finally got it open he was thrilled with the creepy crawly that he pulled out.

"He's awesome, but his legs don't move." And indeed they don't. But the figure itself feels sturdy and has a decent weight to it, so it's not as flimsy as some of the little guys he's gotten in the past.

As we were opening it, my son did mention it looks like it belongs to a game, and it would appear that there is indeed a mobile game to go along with this line of toys. Unfortunately, it looks like it's only for Android at the moment, and we have iPhones. Oh well, maybe our 16 year old will download it and let his little brother play. It also appears that there is a line of books tied in to these characters-Christmas present!

Even though he doesn't have the app at the moment, so we aren't sure what the figures do, he is happy with this figure. The price point is a bit high for this type of action figure though. All in all, this is a fun character to add to our son's collection of crazy figures.

OtterBox Commuter Cell Phone Case for Samsung Galaxy Note5 -  Retail Packaging - Black -
OtterBox Commuter Cell Phone Case for Samsung Galaxy Note5 - Retail Packaging - Black -
Price: $34.93
5 used & new from $30.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Great protection, at a cost., November 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We've owned a few OtterBox cases over the years - usually for our iPhones. But our 16 year old loves his Android phones, and he is pretty hard on them, so we jumped at the opportunity to get him a quality case.

When we think of OtterBox, we think of bulky, thick, heavy cases that protect phones from all potential harm. But this particular case was a surprise. It's not overly bulky. It hugs the phone nicely without adding extra heft. It has a sleek appearance, and offers two levels of protection - the rubbery slip on and the hard shell that snaps on the back. The case provides a nice lip on the front without getting in the way. So overall, your phone feels protected.

This particular OtterBox does not have the integrated screen protection. It does come with a plastic screen protector. While it is usable, there are much better options available for screen protection. We've leaned more toward glass screen protectors lately. And this case works just fine with one.

As with most anything branded OtterBox, you are paying a premium for the name. And there are a wide variety of quality cases that come at a fraction of the cost, yet offer the same level of protection. With that said, this is a quality case that should stand up fine to most abuse. And it is slim enough to slip in your pocket. The high price and the low quality screen protector are the only reasons for dropping 1 star from this rating. If you like the OtterBox name and want to spend a bit more, this is a great case.

BONECO P500 Air Purifier
BONECO P500 Air Purifier
Offered by Sylvane
Price: $499.99
2 used & new from $459.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Pricey, but works., November 23, 2015
This review is from: BONECO P500 Air Purifier (Misc.)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Prior to obtaining this BONECO P500 unit, we were using a Claritin CAP531B-TU Tower Air Purifier. The Claritin unit does a great job of cleaning the air, and keeping air moving - all while being quiet. We hoped the BONECO offered the same capabilities at a more impressive level. Well, it works, but it's not overly impressive in comparison.

We find the BONECO to be a solidly built unit. It has a sleek look, and a minimalist design. It's easy to get started (remove some wrappings, stick the filter in, and close the case). It has plenty of features you need in a purifier - fan control, timer, and an air quality sensor to adjust the unit for optimal use. And best of all, it does its job very quietly. I could barely tell it was on when we first used it. I had to keep checking the panel to ensure the power was on. But sure enough, it was cycling air.

The unit is easy to clean and use. You remove the panel and clean the pre-filter, and then put it back to work.

But some of the concerns we have are:
-The unit is large. It is almost 3 times the size of our Claritin unit. And we're not sure why. It's not pretty enough to take up the floor space it needs.
-It covers the same square footage as the Claritin, and the air flow is comparable. So again, why the size difference?
-It cost about 4 times as much as the Claritin unit. That's just for the unit and first round of filters.
-This unit uses a large HEPA filter. The instructions are vague on expected life, but say to change within a year. The Claritin expects longer than a year. And the filters for the BONECO are about $100 at the time of this review.
-The carbon filter is part of the HEPA filter instead of being a separate component that can be cleaned or replaced.

I imagine the filters in this unit are of better quality overall than the Claritin unit. They certainly give that vibe. But the cost of the unit upfront, and lifetime costs for filters and upkeep are astounding for this BONECO system. That leads one to expect far superior functionality. In my opinion, that's just not there with this BONECO.

That's not to say the BONECO is bad. In fact, the unit works well. Now that we have hard floors on our entire first level, an air filter is a must to keep dust at bay. This does a great job at managing the dust and pet dander. I just wish they had done a better job at minimizing costs.

If you want a unit that works, but at a price, grab this air purifier. If you prefer to save a few bucks for the unit and future filters, look elsewhere. There are plenty with comparable capabilities. Despite the concerns with cost, this unit earns 4 stars for it's functionality and doing the job it's supposed to.

Longevity still to be determined.

OtterBox Alpha Glass Cell Phone Case for Samsung Galaxy Note5 - Retail Packaging - Clear
OtterBox Alpha Glass Cell Phone Case for Samsung Galaxy Note5 - Retail Packaging - Clear
Price: $29.98
2 used & new from $28.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Paying for the Name, November 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let me just come right out and say it-you're paying for the name.

I was new to the glass screen protector, but after my entire family decided to upgrade their phones (gotta love that upgrade fee!) My husband decided the glass protectors were the way to go. I got this one for our 16 year old's phone, and I was pleased with how easy it was to put on, though other reviewers are right on-clean it good, and apply it in a CLEAN area, or you are in for a whale of a time trying to get out any dust or sediment. I have not found any issues with sensitivity in regards to the screen, which is what I was afraid, being at these are noticeably thicker than the previous screen protectors that we have used.

What I will say-is that I notice NO difference between this $35 dollar on, and the $8 one I got for our younger son. Both were easy to apply, both look good, and both offer little to no reduction in touch screen sensitivity.

IF you prefer to stick with OtterBox products-I'd recommend this. If the idea is to simply get a good glass screen protector-I'd look elsewhere.

Galaxy Note 5 Case, Verus [Crystal Bumper][Mint] - [Clear][Drop Protection][Heavy Duty][Minimalistic][Slim Fit] - For Samsung Note 5 N920  Devices
Galaxy Note 5 Case, Verus [Crystal Bumper][Mint] - [Clear][Drop Protection][Heavy Duty][Minimalistic][Slim Fit] - For Samsung Note 5 N920 Devices
Price: $13.99
10 used & new from $10.84

3.0 out of 5 stars The minimalist Approach, November 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Right off the bat, I knew this wasn't necessarily going to be my thing, but since I got this for my son's phone I wanted his take on it.

I like cases that cover my entire phone-basically because I'm scared of dropping it. My husband and sons' like a more minimalist approach and so I thought this would be perfect for my 17 year old. The bumper itself is thicker and seems sturdier than bumpers we've had in the past. The rubber casing is sturdy and while my son wasn't the biggest fan of the color-that's a preference thing. I thought the mint was a lovely color, and looked great around the phone.

Pricing for these items always seems high based on what you get to me, BUT this seems par for course for this type of item. All in all you could do a lot worse-while I don't know if I would trust it to protect my phone day it and day out (though my son claims differently), for normal-ie. careful use-this seems like a fine choice.

Revell First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter Building Kit
Revell First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter Building Kit
Price: $19.99
31 used & new from $19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Love This, November 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this with my 7 year old in mind. He is SO excited for the new Star Wars, and I thought this little model would be a great way for him to add to his collection of figures, models and lego sets. I got this preparing for a quiet evening of the two of us putting this together.

It came nicely wrapped in a small back, and when he saw it he was thrilled. He begged me to let him give it a shot on his own while I made dinner, and imagine my surprise when he was able to put it together all by himself! He got such a kick out of being able to follow the directions and snap everything together without asking for help, that his pride alone would made this worth the money. The directions were well written, and the diagrams made it very simple to follow.

He also loves the sound effects and flashing light-who wouldn't?

This isn't the strongest model/toy, but it's strong enough to stand up to my son's light play. Things like this have places of honor on his desk, so I'm not especially worried about this standing up to play time. He will play for a little while with his model and Lego's, but then he puts them carefully back up. IF you are looking for something a bit sturdier for every day play, I would consider another item, but if this is going to be displayed/played lightly with-this is a great model for the Star Wars fan.

Titanic 1912: A Lovecraft Mythos Novel
Titanic 1912: A Lovecraft Mythos Novel
Price: $3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I was expecting., October 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I know that Lovecraft is a very specific genre of horror literature, and I've read some of it in the past-well, lovecraftian horror (work inpsired Lovecraft) and it hasn't really been for me, BUT I took a chance on this because of the 'monsters' mentioned in the synopsis.

And, I realized the Lovecraft Mythos-isn't my thing.

The Titanic was the unsinkable ship, and we know now over 100 years later that a lot went wrong that fateful night. One thing I liked that author, Catt Dahman, did was put real people in the story. The Unsinkable Molly Brown was there, much of the crew was there, etc. That brought some substance to the book.

And when the ship hit the ice burg-OH, BOY! Watch out for those monsters. I do wish the monsters themselves were a bit more fleshed out. Characters are running along the hallway, and BOOM someTHING comes at them, and though we get descriptions there isn't much tension leading up the fight-or death as it were.

I'm a sucker for cheesy monster horror-both movies and books-especially if it involves a shark. What threw me off here is-suddenly everyone is a shark expert? They can guess size based on measurements, etc, etc. Really?

But that's just nitpicking-the end is what soured it for me. And I know, I know! This is how Lovecraft is done-ok, this seals the deal for me. BUT when part of the mythos is bringing in a way to explain the unknown-be it supernatural beings, or well, aliens, do it well. I know this was a short story, but the ending was rushed, and felt like an afterthought-not good when you bill it as a Lovecraftian horror.

BURBERRY Weekend for Men Eau de Toilette, 3.3 fl.oz
BURBERRY Weekend for Men Eau de Toilette, 3.3 fl.oz
Price: $74.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!, October 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'll be honest-I got this for my husband, but I'd wear it as well.

Burberry is pricey, but I'd pay every cent of the sale price for this.

When my husband put it on, I immediately got a sense of citrus, and yet it wasn't cloying the way some women's fragrances can be. And when I say citrus, I mean you get a real sense of citrus fruits-oranges, pineapples, grapefruits. It was a truly refreshing and crisp scent.

As it sits for a bit, there is a wonderfully deep and rich woodsy scent. Before looking anything up, we did try to figure out the notes-I suggested oak, and my husband agreed. Again, not overly masculine, but no where near feminine.

The base-we had no clue, though from what we can tell the base note is amber and honey.

I will just say that we both liked it, our kids liked it, and I wore it to Target, and the cashier liked it! This is a truly masculine scent that's pleasing to females as well. My husband has worn a few different colognes in the past-he's switching over to Burberry Weekend.

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