Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Book Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? Paula Daly




Source

Your friend's child is missing. It's your fault.


No family is perfect.


A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.

No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend's daughter.

But no one has seen her since yesterday.

And she's not the first to go missing from your small town.

So who's hiding something?



***Contains spoilers

I read this book within the space of 5 days. I havn't read in a while and whilst visiting my local supermarket, I stumbled upon this book amongst the chicklits and James Argent's autobiography.

The title caught my eye, whilst the blurb had my attention. As a mother I know how easy it is to get  pre occupied in a busy routine and that one blip can throw everything out of sync. Which is how I could understand how the main protagonist Lisa, might have forgotten that her friend's daughter was meant to be staying with her.Throughout the novel Daly paints a good picture of 'working mum' life, the interactions with her children and husband were all believable and so very realistic.

From the beginning, I was amazed at how Paula Daly knows how to transport reality into words, into fiction. Long after I had put the book to the side, I would mull the events of the storyline over, and at one point I thought I had watched it on television, which is a testimony to how good the narrative is throughout the story.

The characters are believable and relatable, I think every one knows a Lisa, or Kate although I found Joe to be a bit of a wet blanket. His over use of the word, 'baby' every time he spoke to Lisa, started to jar for me, especially when he is asking her why she cheated. I would have preferred for him to have a bit more backbone.

The plot progresses swiftly and is not hard to get stuck into at all. Daly portrays the narrative from the point of views of Lisa, the detective Joanne and  with little snippets from the suspect. I found certain parts hard to grasp in terms of content, and I think Paula Daly is very brave for tackling the issues that she has within this story. Although, it seems like more than one issue was brought up, each of them with the potential to carry its own plot.

After the intense build up of finding Lucinda and then for her to be found putting up a Christmas tree in a cottage was a bit of an anticlimax for me. I would have preferred if the police found her, not Lisa who is always in the right place at the right time and definitely not playing happy families! Even how they found and captured the suspect was a bit disappointing.

Is the story believable?:::: It is, I understand the being a busy parent, I didn't however get, why Kate wouldn't have phoned to see how her daughter was, if she knew she was not coming home for the night. No one questioned it, not even her husband?

Recommend?:::: I would, just so I could discuss it with someone else. It is a page turner, and will have you guessing and eliminating suspects alongside the detective.

More by the author?::: I will be reading her other work, as I think she is a talented writer.

Motion picture?::: Not quite, but it would make a good tv drama.

Ratings: 4/5

Monday, 23 December 2013

Two more sleeps...






Two more sleeps until Santa shimmies down the chimney, eats mince pies left out just right with a glass of something strong on the side and not forgetting a carrot or two for Rudolph.

I am excited!

This is the first year, I truly believe Princess is fully aware of what is happening. Today, 'Mrs Claus' gave her a phone call and her little face lit up. So on Christmas Eve, whilst she sleeps I will fill up her stocking and await the chimes of St Nicks bells.

In the New Year I hope to be blogging a lot more so until then...Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Book Review: The Lost Daughter-Diane Chamberlain



Source

 An unsolved murder. A missing child. A lifetime of deception. In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die to protect a lifetime of lies...


 The Lost daughter is a pager turner...

I read this novel in three days, something I haven't done with any book since my teenage years.  I definitely recommend The Lost daughter  if you are looking to get lost in a good book, evoke emotions and question your own belief in what's right and wrong.

I downloaded this book onto my tablet as it was on sale at the time. (It is currently available on kindle for £1.19 and  Paperback for £4.52*) .At first, I thought it was going to be too lovey-dovey for my liking as Chamberlain first introduces us to CeeCee and her first crush Tim, however, I was wrong and I not only grew attached to the characters but actually missed them once I'd read the final chapter.

The storyline is fascinating and in a world now where 'catfish' are ever present it is completely believable and written in a way that I felt myself cheering on CeeCee and wanting her to be safe. The book touches on two topics, one being having to live a new life under a different name and the second being capital punishment. Alot of research must have been poured into these concepts prior to it even being written and Diane Chamberlain has certainly not skimped out on doing so.

The only bit I questioned was whether or not a midwife is able to tell you have not had a child before. In the book, CeeCee doesn't want her husband to attend any of her internal examination appointments for fear of him finding out that Cory is not her biological daughter. Now, in America it might be different and I only have one child myself so unless there is some sort of examination that happens that I am not aware of then it would be fascinating to find out more.

The story is told through the eyes of CeeCee and then later switches to that of Cory's. Although it was interesting to read the daughter's point of view, I could have done without it and not missed it all too much.CeeCee was extremely fortunate that her sentence was so short, I was pleased with this although realistically would it have been so lineant? I doubt it, but for the purpose of a happy ending it works well.

This book is one that can be discussed and debated and I am eager to get my mum to read it so we can do just that. If anyone has read the Lost Daughter, perhapes you could share your views.

Book Score 8/10

Happy  Reading

*Prices correct on 28/11/2013 at Amazon.co.uk and are subject to change

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tag: That's so 90's!





I was born in 1989 and grew up throughout the 90's, therefore making me a '90's kid. Below is a list of questions related to growing up in that era. (era sounds so old! ha!)


  • Favorite tv show:  Saved by the Bell. I watched it everyday after school followed by the Babysitters club which was based on a series of books written by Ann M. Martin

  •  Favorite Toy: Barbie dolls! I was actually obsessed. My friend and I would create little stories and build houses out of boxes. We had endless hours of fun with those dolls, to the point our neighbours didn't think we would ever outgrow them!  

  •  Favorite tv commercial: The Philsbury Doughboy adverts, not because I ever got any of the cookies or treats being advertised but because I liked when the random finger poked the little dough man's tummy and it went all squidgy! I don't think these were advertised in the UK, but definitely on American tv. I grew up in the Caribbean where our tv was primarily American. 

  • N'Sync or Backstreet boys: N'Sync! Justin Timbalake has always been my fave!! 

  • Weirdest fashion trend: That time when EVERYONE wore butterfly clips in their hair. From the huge ones with wings and glitter to the little grip like ones. oh and those platform flipflops!  I remember getting some and not being able to walk properly in them.Cringe!

  • Favorite Disney show and Movie: My favorite Disney movie was Cinderella! Even now I can watch it with Princess over and over again and not get bored. Tv show was Lizzie Mcquire, the best bit on the whole show was the little cartoon that popped up. Un-related to the 90's, but this is why when I attempted to read Fifty shades of grey I couldn't stand her stupid sub conscious because it just reminded me of Lizzie's little cartoon. Not appropriate! 
  • Favorite Nickelodeon show:  My brother and I always watched, Hey Arnold ,The Rugrats.oh and Kenan and Kel and The Amanda Show.I sometimes watch Hey Arnold on Netflix just for old times sake.

  •  Favorite Music artist: Destiny's Child! The first video I watched of theirs was for 'bills,bills,bills' and I was transfixed and I remember when the launch of their video for 'survivors' aired on Tv, it was like I was watching a movie or tv show. I didn't dance along or sing, just stared, in awe. Survivors is just the best and Beyonce has always been the star!

  •  Favorite book: All of the Sweet Valley high series and then anything by Jacquiline Wilson, especially her 'Girls in love' series.
I enjoyed doing this tag after my short break from writing anything on my blog. Tell me some of your memories from when you were growing up, I do love reading such things. :-))))



Friday, 6 September 2013

A list of firsts




  Today was Princess' first day of school and with that a list of first's for the day!

  • First moan to nan: The night before I told Princess, it was early to bed and early to rise: The memo was forgotten and she moaned about me to her nan for me waking her up early!
  •  First lost shoe: The shoes have been in the living room for the past few days, yet somehow this morning she couldn't find it....It was in the usual place. She somehow found this funny.
  • First solo shopping trip: I was able to do my grocery shop without a little one asking for random packets of rice or an endless supply of icepops.
  • First yogurt stained uniform: Princess came home with her uniform covered in yogurt. "Mum it dropped all over me!" I'm not sure if she was telling me or blaming me. 
  • First everlasting story: Princess loved telling me about her nursery day, but with it being only half a day, the stories usually consisted of who she did or did not play with. Today, however I got the full story from morning to lunch to home time and back to morning!
  • First day of 'big' school: My princess is at school and I can't belelive it! I was so proud when I saw her all dressed up, book bag in one hand, lunch bag in another.  How has she grown up so fast!
How was your little one's first day at school?


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A Letter: To my pre-mum self


Source


Dear Jade,

At twenty you will give birth to  your first baby.

Are you shocked?

Don't be, it's fine, the roller coaster of emotions  you go through does slow down, not stop, but you will at least get to pause for a second and throw up. Morning sickness. It will last right up until the day before you give birth so get used to it.

  • Tip: Your attempts at making yourself eat before you travel because you should, will not end pleasantly, so don't bother.

Your family are supportive and so are your friends, for the next few weeks everyone will ask,
 "What did your mum say," but Mum is fine, and more excited than you will ever be. ( Mum is going to be the best nan.)

In January Princess is born ( Princess is your baby's blog name) although, you don't choose Destiney-Blue or Raiiyn. I know, I know, I know how much you love the name Raiiyn, but you out grow it and instead let your nan choose a name and you will love it straight away.

When Princess arrives, you will have no shortage of gifts and cards and visitors and mum will make sure you write thank you cards, so don't moan, it's the courteous thing to do. You are back in your pre-pregnancy clothes almost straight away...but be careful the foods you didn't like during pregnancy, you are going to be able to eat now and well....things get out of control.

But hey! don't worry because you will have strangers left, right and centre trying to advise you on  what is best for your baby so that will be the least of your worries.

"Are you breastfeeding? Breast is best"
"Give her food at four months not six"
"When Billy was younger..."

Arggggghhh! The list goes on and you will be frustrated, but you know what is best for Princess.

Yes, you do know what is best!

It might sound daunting, and it will be the first few months, but then your motherly instincts will kick in and you will soon know what to do without even having to think twice about it.

Don't go crazy for her first Christmas, it is exciting and there are soooo many girly things but the stacking cups you want to buy are not going to get used and will stay in the box until she turns three when they are then used as 'tea cups' for her kitchen set.  

I'm not saying it's all going to run smoothly, you will shed tears when Princess refuses to transition to bottle or beaker cup and potty training will drive you....potty; but you will live to tell the tale.

And before you know it, it will be coming up to her first day at school and you will be buying uniforms and ironing in name tags, all mature and mumsy and you love it, and you will have a little Princess who loves you.

What does it feel like?

Amazing.

All the best!

Mumma Jade age 24


What would you say to your pre-parent or younger self?

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Leap Pad 2: Worth the fuss?

In January Princess turned four.

Every year I say, I'm not going to make a big fuss as  she most probably won't remember it. Well, those years are gone and she has now branched into the year where she does remember; and with her starting nursery and the other children having parties, Princess was even more aware.

So, despite the snow threatening to ruin the afternoon, Princess and twelve of her friends enjoyed running about in an indoor play centre, followed by a light dinner and birthday cake.

Once home, presents were opened and I gave princess a gadget I thought would really help with her learning as well as keep her entertained during car journeys and such.

The such gadget is a Leap Pad 2.

We'd seen the adverts, I'd read the reviews, yet when it came down to buying it, I was torn.

 Should I get a leap pad 2 or a child friendly tablet?

 Is she too young? 

Maybe I should just get a doll.....

In the end, I got the Leap Pad 2, picked up some batteries, then waited until she had unwrapped it, to download all the free stuff she got with the Pad.  I chose not to buy any cartdrige games as I thought I would just download the games like I would for a tablet. Well, was I in for a shock at the prices for the games! £20.00 or less, with the cheapest I found at the time being for £ 7.00. I truly believed, I would have been able to get games for as cheap as the Dr Panda games, which I have on the tablet for Princess.

Here are the cons and pros from my experience of having a Leap Pad 2



Cons

  1.  Battery life doesn't last very long and after a few short plays a red battery pops up. I did buy an AC Adapter, although I  think it should be a charger as essentially, all it does is allow for the child to play whilst connected to a power source without the need for batteries. Not ideal if in a place where I can't always connect to a socket.
  2. Games are way too expensive. I do understand that some of the games are character based and this would bump the price, but even the non character ones are still expensive for a game that will only get played a few times.
  3. Princess says: Sometimes the games are tricky
Pros

  1.  There is no doubt that this is an educational gadget. I first brought a cooking game and was worried that Princess wouldn't be able to do it as it's all about measurements and counting. I needn't have worried, within a few months she had got the hang of it and didn't need my help anymore.
  2. Princess loves music and more often than not, when is playing with the Leap Pad 2, she is listening to the 'punctuation' song. "punc-punc-punc-punctuation" .She hasn't a slightest what it means , but hopefully when she's learning it at school one day, it might make a bit more sense.
  3. Princess says: My Leap pad is the best!



Overall view:  I feel like my tablet gets played with alot more by Princess and seeing as I won the tablet just before Christmas, I could have saved my self some money by not getting the Leap Pad 2 and just letting her use the tablet.



Would I recommend: No. Especially if you have an Ipad or tablet, even if you don't I think the the overall cost for games works out too expensive in the long run.

Have you got a LeapPad/2 at home? What do you think?