Read 4 Review: Swimming to Tokyo

Read 4 ReviewRead 4 Review:

I received a copy of Brenda St. John Brown’s Swimming to Tokyo from the group Never too old to read Y.A & N.A. books. In turn, I will give an honest review of the book. This post will be cross posted to GoodReads, my blog, and Barnes and Noble’s page for the book.

Overall, I gave the book a solid 3 stars with GoodRead’s star ratings, but personally I’d give it more of a 3.5. Once I started reading, the book I didn’t want to put it down. It was intriguing, and it was refreshing to see how these characters seemed “broken” to themselves, but couldn’t see what others saw of themselves. To me that kind of made the book more realistic.

Zosia and Finn went to the same high school, but she only had a crush on him from afar. He was a loner, she was popular. They haven’t crossed paths until the eve of Zosia leaving for Tokyo for her father’s job. Once they “reconnected” I kind of figured there’d be a lot more to them once they arrived in Tokyo. What started out as a friendship between two similar aged teens, turns into more when they both realize that together they are better than they are alone.

I also enjoyed the research Ms. St. John Brown put into the story. Knowing about the different areas of Tokyo, and the trains kind of made me feel like I was there with Zosia (side note, ever since HBO’s Girl’s became popular, I see the name Zosia and think of Zosia Mamet and I had her face in mind every time I saw the name. Not that it is bad thing. I just kind of like creating an image of a book characters on my own, and not because a name makes me think of someone.)

I also know I would have rated this higher if there had been some better editing. A couple times towards the end of the book, there were some missing words in sentences, and throughout the whole book I noticed missing quotation marks or conversations from two different characters placed on the same line and at times that made it confusing as to: was Zosia saying it or was Finn?

While I breezed through the book, I also thought a lot happened in the last 80 or so pages. The first part of the book wasn’t slow I do think something more could have been added in.

Also this book made me cry. So if the loss of a loved one gets to you, make sure you have tissues handy.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, I would I would tell them that this is a nice quick read. (If this was summertime this is the book I would have been reading on the beach and I don’t think that is a bad thing either, it’s just one of those that you’d want to read while sitting in a beach chair sipping a lovely drink).

Overall, I really enjoyed Zosia and Finn’s story of their summer in Tokyo. They got to experience amazing things in a completely different culture and that summer helped both characters move on from different circumstances in life.

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Clearproof by Mary Kay

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(Yes, I know they’ve gotten a makeover, but I can’t find any new badges that say I received this product from Influenster, so you’ve got the old one for now).

Clearproof is a 4 step acne treatment product by Mary Kay. That on the Mary Kay’s website says people have seen clear skin in just 7 days. I’m 2.5 weeks in and I’ve had more breakouts than I normally do with my trusty Clearasil products. I will say I am extremely glad I received this for free because if I would have paid the retail value of $45 I’d be pissed.

The only thing Clearproof has done is make my face slightly less oily. Other than that, I see no difference in my face whatsoever. I was hoping that I would see a difference in my pores and the areas where I break out. In fact, I broke out more with this product than I did without it. I also know that it has said that I can use it more than once a day, but then it dried out portions of my face too much.

Here are my before and 2.5 weeks in pictures. I’m going to keep using this for the full month, but I’m really not holding out hope for any difference.

 

Before:
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2.5 weeks in:
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States I’ve Visited Map

Why, yes, I’m alive and well. I know I need to get back into blogging properly, but maybe over winter break from school, I’ll get to doing that. But I just wanted to update my online map of states I’ve visited, and wanted to stick it here.

 


visited 28 states (56%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Amsterdam travel guide for Android

 

I’m actually quite impressed that I’ve been to a little more than half the states in the US. Now I just need to figure out how to get to the rest and travel the world as well :)

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Optic White from Colgate

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I received the Colgate Optic White toothbrush with whitening pen from Influenster to try and give my honest opinion.

Overall: Not a fan. While the concept is a great idea, there were just a few things I didn’t like. First off the toothbrush. It feels awkward in your hands, and even though I received the medium in terms of softness on the bristles, the brush head itself felt a little too wide for comfort, and the bristles really didn’t feel like medium as well. I will say the application process with the pen was super easy and quick, and maybe added a minute or two at the most to my morning routine. So using the Optic White Pen, I was still able to get in and out of the bathroom with adding a lot of time to my routine and messing up my schedule!

Secondly, the Optic White Pen. Application was a breeze, but I didn’t like the consistency of the “gel” (to me was more paste like) and for something that isn’t to be wiped off the paste is pretty thick.

Also I have sensitive teeth and I also have some of the composite fillings on my teeth, so I’m hesitant to use anything on my teeth for whitening because it can erode the dental work I’ve had done.

The last thing I didn’t like, after a couple days use, the tip of my tongue felt tingly. This is the same reaction I had when I used some denture cleaner to clean my retainers. And this is also the reason why I stopped using Optic White after 4 days.  I only have a before picture, but after the time, I noticed a tiny bit of a difference, but not enough to show in an “after” photo.

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All the goodies in my VoxBox

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Box unopened

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“Before”

 

If you don’t have a sensitivity to different dental products, and you use it for a longer period of time, I can see Optic White being an OK product to use. I can’t give it a OMG go buy it, just because of my experiences and my reaction. I also know I have a sensitivity to things easier than a lot of people.

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Update, What is this?

I know I’ve been MIA for a couple months.  I haven’t  been motivated too much. But I’ve got some things to blog about like being in a hospital 3000 miles away from home with Kidney stones, during a Doctor Who convention, and I also got a new Vox Box from Influenster as well. Updates are coming slowly but surely. (Also I start graduate school in 2 weeks.)

Lots of things to cover, but it will get posted in due time.

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Book Review: Independent Study

Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss.

Independent Study is the second book in The Testing trilogy from Joelle Charbonneau. I had the ARC for a bit, but I just got around to reading it today. Yep, all 310 pages in one day. Maybe that’s why I waited so long, because I knew once I started I couldn’t stop until I finished reading.

While I liked the first book better, I still thought Independent Study was a solid sequel. It picks up right where The Testing left off, and Cia must now decide who she can trust.  After her Early studies are over she is sorted into one of the studies that will help rebuild the colonies.

As she is in her new field of study after the Induction process, Cia lands an important internship. (If you continue reading there are spoilers. The more link might not work if you click directly on the link.)

Continue reading

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2013 in review via Wordrpress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Book Review: Slimed!

Disclaimer: I bought this book from the bookstore.

If anyone here reading this blog grew up watching Nickelodeon during the 80’s and early to mid 90’s I recommend that you go and get this book.  Slimed! is a book that features interviews with people who worked on shows, behind the scenes on shows, and even former nick executives.  While it seems like it’s a little disjointed to follow, it really isn’t once you get started reading.

The book is broken up into sections, and in each section are stories from each person. But then the stories seem to cross people. To me it feels like there were a bunch of people in a room talking and it was just written down. Which is cool.

Some of the TV shows that haven’t even been mentioned in YEARS were talked about so I was excited for that, (shoutout to Fifteen (aka the show before Ryan Reynolds got really hot) and Roundhouse (The show that LOVE to this day and that at one time I was pen-pals with one of the cast members).

I really don’t have much to say about this book, but it’s just more of a if you grew up watching Nick, and remember the original line up of SNICK and the original Nicktoons, this book is a great look down memory lane.

Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age

Categories: Books/Reading, Reviews | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Book Review: Knees

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley.

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Apparently, I read this in April of 2012 and I never reviewed it. Can we say Oops?  The book is by Vanita Oelschlager and the author shows us what it’s like for a child with dyslexia.

I really enjoyed it. It’s short and to the point. It’s about a boy who has dyslexia but that doesn’t stop him from finding what he’s good at. While times are frustrating for him and he feels like he can’t grasp it. His dad gives him advice. He takes it and while he still struggles with school work, he has a good support system to help and understand the challenging world of dyslexia.

If you know anyone who has dyslexia or any learning disability, show them this book and maybe someday they’ll find what they are good at just like Louis did.

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Kiss Gradation Polishes

Disclaimer: I received this from Influenster as a part of the #RoseVoxBox.

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This review also appeared on walmart.com, the difference between this blog post and the walmart review is I’ve added pictures here.
I wanted to really love this whole product, but bit by bit, I found myself more disappointed with it overall.
1. Extremely Time Consuming. I thought with three layers, they could have made at least the first layer quick drying since you have to apply that polish twice.
2. The smell. I know nail polish smells bad, but this polish smelled the worst of any polish I’ve ever used and with each step, it got worse. I had to have my bedroom windows wide open with a fan blowing just to make sure I wasn’t overcome by the fumes.
3. The adding the bigger glitter pieces (Bottle 3) was extremely frustrating as none of the glitter wanted to end up on the nail, or the portion of the nail it was supposed to. Then there was the time it was tacky. I’m pretty sure it took another hour after the time I spent working on my nails for it to be completely dry.
4. After I finally finished using the kit, the results did look nice, but I’m not sure I would spend all that time doing my nails for “nice”. I did get a couple compliments on it at work, so it was definitely a color that stood out.
5. I take care of my nails and try not to let things chip my polish away, and this polish started peeling not even a week after applying. So for all that work and having the polish not even stay on my hands for a week is frustrating.
6. Removal is horrendous. I think the only way to get this polish off is if you soak your hands in a vat of nail polish remover. I used cotton balls, q-tips, and toilet paper and none of them worked well in removing the polish. In combination it worked slightly. Also the glitter from step 3’s bottle does not come off. Once I got the nail polish off, I still have glitter on my nails.

All in all, if someone loves spending hours doing nails, this product is great, but for the average people who like to paint their nails in one or two coats and be done and on the road in a reasonable amount of time, this is not for you.

Here’s some pictures of my nails before, during, and after all three steps were completed.

Before
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During, sorry it’s blurry, it was really hard to get it to focus on the nails.
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After
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Categories: Influenster, Reviews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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