Thursday, October 19, 2017

Product Review: Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo

I haven't done a product review in awhile, but I'll slowly be making some because I have a lot of products to review.

I've always had issues with dandruff. My head would itch so bad I'd end up with scabs because my head was just so irritated by how deep the dead skin went. I've tried a multitude of dandruff shampoos but none of them seemed to work as well as Maple Holistics has. The smell is very dainty and not overwhelming like a lot of the dandruff shampoos I've tried. It's also safe to use on color treated hair, which is a plus for me because I keep my hair dyed usually and the dye comes out with a lot of the shampoos I get.

Another thing I really like about this brand is that they don't test their products on animals. I try to get products that aren't ever tested on animals, so when I saw that this shampoo worked AND they weren't testing them on animals I fell in love.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gyo, Vol. 1+2 by Junji Ito

 Title: Gyo 1+2
Author/Illustrator: Junji Ito

Synopsis for Gyo, Vol. 1 from Goodreads:
Young couple Tadashi and Kaori are vacationing in Okinawa, but instead of enjoying their time, they bicker endlessly about such important topics as Tadashi's bad breath! But that stench may actually be something quite different. When a strange walking fish appears, Tadashi and Kaori know something's amiss. When a Great White Shark attacks -- walking -- they know they're in real trouble!

Synopsis for Gyo, Vol. 2 from Goodreads:
Tadashi hopes to save the horribly mutated Kaori from a fate worse than death, but the treatment by Doctor Koyanagi may be worse than the disease. This new volume features a struggle between man and machines powered by dead flesh -- will mankind survive?

I've been trying to get more into manga lately, so I figured I'd go ahead and start with Junji Ito.
His artwork throughout both novels was fascinating. It's all so terrifying to think about. Fish with legs, or being held against your will in order to be the life force of a murderous gas potentially created as a weapon of mass destruction...
It's not a concept you hear about every day, so it definitely held my attention.
Easy to get through as well, which is a plus!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Pages: 372
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. 
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 
A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

This novel is set in a futuristic world filled with bleakness and depression. In order to escape from all of this, the OASIS was made. You could be or do anything you wanted in the OASIS. Of course, there are bad guys who want to take all of that and turn it for a profit. This is where our main character Wade comes in. He's set out on a mission to solve the puzzles James Halliday has left behind hidden in his best game ever made: the OASIS.
With the help of a few friends and a love interest, he's in a race against time to solve these puzzles before the bad guys do.

I really loved the pop culture references made within this book. It added so many movies to my to-watch list I'll probably never get through them all. I also added a crap ton of video game knowledge to my brain, just in case I'll ever need to use it. Even though I probably won't, it was still cool to learn about the first video game ever made, and then the ones following that. If you were born in the 80s, have a fascination with the 80s, or just love video games in general, this is not a book you want to miss.
It has murder, it has a witty and funny main character with lovable supporting characters, and mystery with little bits of pop culture facts sprinkled throughout the whole book. 5/5 would recommend to anyone!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
Published by: Chicken House on July 25th, 2017
Genre: Fantasy and magic
Pages: 318
Source: Paperback
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch-- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.
But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her. 
With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch--even if she's only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.

I read this book in a day, which means I didn't put it down except in between the tine I was taking my naps this weekend. It was a quick and fairly good read for me.

I really liked the magic aspect of this book, it made for a definite fun read. I did have an issue with the character building. I couldn't for the life of me connect on any level with any of the characters at any point. I have to keep in mind that this book is targeted with middle-grade readers in mind instead of a 21 year old, so it doesn't bother me as much as if it were targeted at my age group.

I also had an issue with the world-building because I couldn't exactly keep track in my head of where all these places were. A map would have been amazing, and considering how beautiful the page cover is, I expect a map to be the icing on the cake on this one.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.