13 April 2015

FOODIE/FITNESS REVIEW: Arla Protein Yoghurt


Not a book or a film review this time, but something completely different! I recently took part in a campaign to try this new product, Arla Protein, a yoghurt that comes in a variety of flavours with 20g of protein per pot! 

I go to the gym regularly, pretty much everyday of the week, and recently I've started drinking protein shakes after my workouts to help repair my muscles etc. The problem is that the great tasting protein shakes, such as those sold by Protein World, are expensive and this is where Arla really helped me. I'm a student so money is always tight. I find it really hard to be healthy and keep my fitness on track whilst keeping a tight budget so it's great that in one pot of Arla protein you get 20g of protein for really low price. What's more, it's available in Tesco so you can make it part of your weekly shop instead of ordering it in. 

Taste-wise, I was afraid that it would be obvious this was a product stuffed with protein, but surprisingly it pretty much tastes like any normal yoghurt. I tried the raspberry flavour yoghurt and it was really full of flavours, though quite a bit thicker than normal yoghurt. It wasn't really runny but I happen to like my yoghurt like that and I would say the consistency is similar to that of Greek yoghurt. Even though it's fat free, it's still fairly sweet and tasty, unlike many other fat-free yoghurts I have tried, so that's a huge plus. 

The pot is really rather large, possibly slightly too large, but I found that I was completely full and satisfied after this pot of yoghurt and it was enough to keep me going until dinner.  It took me quite a while to get through the pot and I was spooning it into my mouth whilst absent mindedly reading a magazine. I'm not sure I'd be able to just sit down and eat a whole pot of this as it is larger than the average yoghurt pot. The fact that you have to eat it slowly also helps you stay fuller for longer, which is an added bonus. 

I can't say whether or not the Arla Protein helped me in my fitness goals really as there are so many other factors to consider in my diet and workout, which were constantly changing, but I can safely say that this is a tasty post-workout snack that keeps you feeling full for a long time. Given that it's fat free (yes, completely fat free), I assume that there's very little chance of weight gain, or of this product being detrimental to those trying to keep the calories down. I must say that the amount of protein gained from such a small pot is simply extraordinary. 

Prior to this campaign I probably wouldn't have bothered with such a product, but now I think that I will be buying Arla more regularly and having it after my workout instead of a post-workout protein shake as it's a lot cheaper, quicker and easier. All in all, this is a must have product for regular gym bunnies who need something to refuel after a tough workout. 

Available in Tescos, £1.25 per pot.

*I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 

12 April 2015

BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY! Win up to £20/$30 worth of books from The Book Depository


It's my 20th birthday in a week so I'm holding a giveaway to celebrate! Win up to £20/$30 worth of books (of your choice) from the book depository! Celebrating alone is no fun so I want to give one reader the chance to win a bundle of books to share the joy. I'm leaving my teen years behind (wah), but I'm still going to be reading lots of YA and 'teen' novels. I'm sorry I haven't been posting as much lately. I've been very busy with university work and the student paper over the past few months so reading and reviewing is proving to be difficult. Despite this, What's Hot? is still running and hopefully I'll have some new posts up over the next few weeks. 

Enter via Rafflecopter below. 

Bonne chance! 

9 April 2015

Dazzle Ship London - An exciting new tourist attraction!


Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event upon the HMS President in London to celebrate the launch of a new commission by artist Tobias Rehberger. As part of 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme to commemorate the centenary of World War One. 



What is dazzle paint? 
'Dazzle' paint is a method used extensively during WW1 to help camouflage ships coming into the UK, making it difficult for the enemy to target the ship accurately. Obviously it's pretty much impossible to hide a ship completely so instead dazzle paint was used to confused the enemy so that they couldn't figure out what course the ship was travelling on. The 'dazzle' effect was achieved by painting contrasting curves and lines on the ship to break up its shape and outline.     


What's this got to do with the HMS President?
The HMS President was the first type of warship built specifically for anti-submarine warfare and was originally camouflaged by dazzle paint in the same way. To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, 14-18 NOW have teamed up with Chelsea College of Art and Design and Liverpool Biennel in association with HMS President and Tate Liverpool to create some works inspired by 'dazzle' paint. They enlisted the help of leading German artist Tobias to help them decorate the HMS President in London. He created a design that reveals the interior of the ship on the outside of it. His design was printed onto vinyl and then carefully stuck onto the ship. This has been incredibly well done as unless if you look very, very closely at the boat do you realise that the ship itself hasn't been painted. 


Why visit? 

Firstly, because it's pretty damn cool! Even if you don't go aboard the ship, you simply must make time to take a stroll down Victoria Embankment to check out the exterior of the boat. It's located pretty much opposite Temple station and from this point you can see loads of London landmarks such as The London Eye, the OXO Tower, Big Ben etc. 

What is there to do on board? 
I was lucky enough to get a tour of the ship and it's a pretty damn cool space. You can hire it out for events such as weddings, birthdays etc. as they're a large function room that is beautifully decorated and it even leads out onto a piece of decking from which there are absolutely spectacular views (see right). You can get afternoon tea, you can hire out a meeting room for your business, you can rent an office - whether it's work or play, you can find what you're looking for on the HMS President. As of yesterday they also opened a river bar (the grand opening is tomorrow if you're in London), which is pretty cool. I had a drink on board when I visited and the setting is just so nice, perfect for catch up drinks or a date.  

Are there any similar boats out there?
Yes, yes there are! 14-18 NOW have commissioned two other dazzle paint exhibitions in Liverpool, both of which are considerably more colourful than the one we have in London. Check 'em out: 


Final thoughts?
All in all, this is a pretty cool attraction in London that had completely passed me by until now. This ship makes for a perfect place to either work or relax. During the day time this would make for a different and professional working space, but at night this venue has the potential to make a really special evening. The dazzle paint exterior is just a bonus ontop of all of this. This new design will be around for a while, but I wouldn't waste any time getting down to London to check it out. 

Want to find out more? 
Click here to find out more about this dazzle paint exhibition. 
Click here to find out more about what the HMS President has to offer. 
Follow them on Twitter @HMSPresident

23 February 2015

TV REVIEW: Reasons not to watch Made in Chelsea


Made in Chelsea: London’s answer to The Hills and the ‘classier’ version of The Only Way is Essex. We were all taken in by the glitz and the glam of London’s ‘elite’ when the show first debuted back in 2011, but the question is, why are we still watching it? The show is infamous for its ridiculously long awkward silences that make it glaringly obvious that the show is scripted and that the cast are terrible at acting. But we still come back for more. 

Essentially, MIC follows the lives of an affluent bunch of young twenty-somethings who seem to lay idle for most of the day, talking about relationships and bitching about each other. Most of them met at school (the likes of Harrow, Eton, Radley, Downe House etc.) and it’s very much of a case of everyone knows everyone. The general vibe of the show has slipped into the realm of we’re-doing-absolutely-nothing-but-at-least-we-look-pretty-doing-it, but given that heartthrobs Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing are heirs to the Eton Rock Hotel and McVitie’s respectively, I guess these guys don’t need jobs. 

This is the sort of show that advertises the name of each and every bar or restaurant at the bottom of the screen with each scene change, but as each new season has aired, this feature seems to have become more and more obnoxious. They also seem to have forgotten that there are other places to hang out in London that aren’t Bluebird in Mayfair. What’s worse is that numerous tour companies have taken advantage of this and for a mere £20 you can even go on a Made in Chelsea Walking Tour around London’s SW3. Bargain. Another company is advertising a tour that begins in Sloane Square and ends up in, you guessed it, Bluebird. 

There are numerous completely unnecessary characters that aren’t part of the core friendship group on the show, and are hated by everyone. They seem to be quite obnoxious and yet are still on screen each week. Why hasn’t Victoria hit the road yet? She serves no purpose except to bitch about everyone and everything – but we get plenty of that from the rest of the cast anyway. Victoria’s only friend on the show, Mark Francis, is equally useless but a thousand times funnier so I’ll forgive his continued presence. He’s the sort of guy who, when asked what sort of book he’d be, replies “Well, I’d probably be the Bible”. Modest, as ever. 


There was even the spin-off, MIC: NYC, where the gang headed off to New York for a season in which absolutely nothing changed. Series 7 was the first series of Made in Chelsea to average over 1 million viewers for each episode whereas spin-off series NYC had a series average of over 1 million viewers, which just goes to show that MIC is heading downhill. What is frustrating is that, this show was actually good at one point. It’s even won a BAFTA. Gone are the days of the Caggie and Spencer drama when the show was still vaguely based on reality (even if it had been filmed for the 6th time that afternoon). Now, everyone’s dated everyone, everyone’s cheated on everyone and everyone’s broken up with everyone. The cast of MIC is possibly the most incestuous bunch of friends that television has ever seen and there’s no sign of them stopping anytime soon. 


I’m not going to pretend like I still don’t love the show, but I kind of hate myself for it. I know that it’s all complete and utter rubbish and yet I still find myself tuning in to E4 on Monday nights to catch the latest episode. Not only that but I follow the more interesting characters on Instagram anwd Twitter because my weekly one hour fix just isn’t enough. This needs to stop. It’s all just one big PR stunt and we need to stop buying into it. Imperial students see MIC characters walking around South Kensington all the time. If you live in London, you probably know someone that knows someone that knows a member of the cast. These people don’t lead lives that are nearly as extraordinary as television makes them out to be so we should stop treating them like celebrities and accept that they are actually normal people who just happen to have a lot of money. 

 Series 9 airs on the 9th April 2015.
My reaction to most of the show

15 February 2015

FILM REVIEW: Fifty Shades is more sadistic than sexy


 

Given the hype and anticipation surrounding the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey film, I was surprised to find myself in a near-empty cinema screen on the date of its release. This is particularly perplexing given that according to the ticket-selling site Fandango, Fifty Shades of Grey is the fastest selling R-rated title in the site's history. Perhaps we’re a little more prudish here in Britain than audiences in the States. It's also rather embarrassing on the part of British cinemas given that most of them had between seven and fifteen screenings of the film scheduled per day in the opening weekend. #awks


Fifty Shades of Grey follows the relationship between Christian Grey, a young and sexy eligible bachelor, and Anastasia Steele, a shy and rather plain girl. They are instantly attracted to each other, however Mr Grey has a darker side, one that he'd like Ana to be a part of if she'd only sign his contract. (Yes, a sex contract). As the man himself says, Grey's "tastes are singular". Translation: he's massive control freak who is really into BDSM so when the Anastasia, innocent and virginal, stumbles into his office one day, he can't help but try to get into her into his Red Room of pleasure (or is it pain?)

This film is full of cliché after cliché and I honestly could not believe how predictable some lines were. I laughed out loud on several occasions because I was utterly astounded by the shoddy script. It's difficult to say whose fault this is, however, as the dialogue in the book is much the same. The film is much more creative than its paperback counterpart but the dialogue is still laughable.

Dakota Johnson plays the shy and innocent Anastasia Steele but I don’t think I’ve ever been more irritated by the protagonist of a film in my life. That said, the Anastasia Steele from the books is similarly irritating, so perhaps Johnson actually deserves a round of applause for being able to translate that irritability onto the big screen. Her co-star, Jamie Dornan, most definitely fits the bill physically for the role of Christian Grey. However, no matter how devastatingly  mysterious and handsome he is, there was just no way that Dornan could make the dialogue sexy, rather than absurd.


One of the biggest issues this film has had to face is how to take E.L. James’ erotic novel and put it on the screen in a way that stays true to the novel, without being too pornographic. Unsurpsingly, the producers failed miserably. There's not enough sex to excite fans of the books but there's too much nudity for the average cinema-goer. This film is advertised as having a whole twenty minutes of on-screen sex in it, but I have to say that thinking back, I can’t really remember there being that all that much of it. What I do remember, however, is that the sex scenes were incredibly repetitive and escalated quite rapidly away from the realms of a little BDSM to borderline torture. Not sexy. What's worse is that Anastasia questions Mr Grey’s twisted nature on several occasions but still does not cut ties with him. We're presented with a story about a woman who knows that her ‘boyfriend’, if we can call him that, is deeply troubled and likely to hurt her and yet she does nothing and continues to obey him. No wonder Cuntry Living has gone crazy.


There was one moment where I definitely saw way too much of the general pubic region of both protagonists but (thankfully) these moments were fleeting. There is a fair bit of nudity in this film, which is to be expected, however the ratio of female to male nudity is incredibly unbalanced. There’s just so much boob. Dornan is topless in many scenes but he's got nothing on Johnson who probably spends more of the film completely naked than she does clothed so it's not surprising that feminist viewers are outraged. 

Whilst the sex scenes leave something to be desired, what is incredibly sexy is the soundtrack. Most aspects of this film fail to live up to expectations, but the soundtrack most certainly does not. Featuring songs from Ellie Goulding, The Weekend, Sia, The Rolling Stones, and, of course, Beyoncé it's not altogether surprising that the soundtrack has received generally favourable reviews from critics.

All in all, Fifty Shades of Grey is a substandard film that breaks the bounds of what is acceptable a few too many times. The book did not strike me to be quite as sadistic or anti-feminist as the film is, but when blown up on the big screen, Christian Grey comes across, not as a sexy bachelor, but as a twisted man who derives pleasure from another’s pain. That said, the film is probably still better than the book, but that's not saying much. Let's face it, who wouldn't rather watch two attractive actors get hot and heavy on screen than read E.L. James' pathetic attempt at erotica in a book?

*This review was first published on The Oxford Student


Don't forget to enter my Valentine's Day giveaway to win a selection of books up to the value of £20/$30 (INT). Enter via rafflecopter below:




a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 February 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Losing It by Helen Lederer

Title: Losing It
Author: Helen Lederer
Genre: Comedy
Publisher: Pan Books UK
Publication Date: 12th February 2015
Goodreads Summary: Millie was at one time quite well known for various TV and radio appearances. However, she now has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn't want it.

When she's asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved. She will have money, the weight will be gone, and maybe she'll get more sex.

If only life was really that easy. It doesn't take her long to realize it's going to take more than a diet pill to solve her never-ending woes...





[ Review ] 

Losing It by Helen Lederer is the comic tale of a middle-aged Z lister, Millie. She was once a celebrity of sorts but those days are gone and she is now in debt, divorced and desperate. Just as things are starting to look really bleak for Millie, a fantastic opportunity comes her way, giving her that chance to finally sort her life out. She is offered £20,000 to lose weight. Seems like a pretty good deal right? The problem is, Millie has absolutely no willpower and cutting down on the amount she eats proves to be pretty difficult for her. But no weight loss, no money. After an eye opening trip to Papua New Guinea to visit her daughter, Millie truly begins her weight loss journey. It's full of ups and downs (mostly downs), but will she pull it together and meet her weight loss target and get the money she so desperately needs?

Losing It reminds me a lot of Bridget Jones. She's just a little bit (*very) tragic and I think every woman will be able to see a bit of themselves in Millie. She's desperate, single, and she can't keep her hands out of the fridge. We relate to her because she's human. Maintaining a household, keeping a steady relationship, having a successful career and staying fit and healthy are all difficult things to do individually, let alone all at once, which is what a lot of women are expected to do these days. Millie fails and fails again, but she doesn't stop trying so you find yourself rooting for Millie, willing her to succeed as if her success will guarantee yours too. If Millie can do it, there's hope for us all. 

Although the novel focuses on Millie's life, the host of supporting characters are all incredibly entertaining in their own ways as well, which makes the story far more interesting. There are numerous sub-plots including one about Millie's daughter and one about her best friend. Her daughter's boyfriend, a Papua New Guinean, Eugene, is just very strange and doesn't speak particularly good English and you can imagine being thoroughly weirded out by him if you were to meet him in real life. There's also Millie's boss, Esther, who is stern and unforgiving, but you (unexpectedly) grow to love her by the end of the novel. 

The plot doesn't have all that much to it really as it's Millie as a character that is the main focus of the novel. Sure, lots of funny things happen, but they're all pretty mundane things that would happen in day-to-day life that are only made funny by the fact that they all happen to Millie. There are some laugh out loud moments, however, and you can't get through a single page without Millie blundering something or other. Lederer's sense of humour is great and it really shines through in this story. Whilst some moments are laugh-out-loud hilarious, readers will go through the majority of this story silently mocking Millie and scoffing at how pathetic she is at times. That said, it will no doubt be in the back of every woman's mind that she could very well be in the same position as Millie one day. 

In conclusion, Helen Lederer's Losing It is a great read for those looking for some light entertainment. The story is an easy read that you'll easily get through in just one short afternoon. This will probably appeal most to middle aged women, especially those going through a bit of a crisis, as Millie embodies the everyday woman. Perfect for fans of Dawn French and Sue Townsend, this is a great piece of women's fiction that you will no doubt enjoy. 

4 February 2015

Valentine's Day Giveaway! Win a selection of books up to the value of £20/$30!


It's giveaway time again! To celebrate Valentine's Day, I'm hosting a giveaway of romantic books. Although you can pick any books of your choice, I would highly recommend picking one of the following titles which are great reads for this time of year!


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Where Rainbows End by Cecila Ahern
Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

All The Bright places is a top YA release this year, which I've only just started reading but has all the book bloggers raving about it! Where Rainbows End is the book from which the recent film Love, Rosie (starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin) was adapted. Who could forget that the Fifty Shades of Grey film comes out on Valentine's Day this year? If you haven't already read it, I would recommend reading it just so you can read for yourself the novel that took the world by storm! 

WIN A SELECTION OF BOOKS OF YOUR CHOICE FROM THE BOOK DEPOSITORY UP TO THE VALUE OF £20/$30 
Open Internationally as long as TBD ships to your country 
04/02/15 - 18/02/15

14 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer

Title: Be Careful What You Wish For
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Drama, business, family, politics
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 13th March 2014
Goodreads Summary: Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer's Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?

When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

Back in London, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice.

Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman who no one has come across before, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. This causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated, and will change the lives of every member of the Clifton and Barrington families. Hardcastle’s first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher? And with that decision, the story takes yet another twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Be Careful What You Wish For showcases the master storyteller’s talent as never before – when the Clifton and Barrington families march forward into the sixties, in this epic tale of love, revenge, ambition and betrayal.

[ Review ]

Be Careful What You Wish For is the fourth book in The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer (something that I didn't realise until I'd finished reading the book so silly me). It begins with a car crash involving two young men, but we are uncertain as to which one was killed in the crash. It turns out there is a feud between the families of the two boys and Don Pedro Martinez is trying to bring down the esteemed Barrington family. Throughout the book we see various different plots to destroy the Barrington's family shipping business but whether Don Pedro Martinez is successful in his plans will remain a mystery... 

I have to be honest, I didn't think that I was going to like this book before I started reading it, nor when I had read 150 pages of it. It was not until after I'd read about a third of the book did it really begin to pique my interest. This book contains several passages which have either strong political or financial themes and I found these parts of the books much less accessible as a reader. That said, I haven't read many political novels or anything of the sort so this was very much a new reading experience for me and I imagine existing Archer fans would've greatly enjoyed these details passages.

The plot gets more and more complicated as time goes on and you begin to see how all the different characters fit into the action but Archer keeps the motives and relations between characters under wraps for the most part of the book. Archer is incredibly good at keeping the reader in suspense and weaving a tale so thick that it's impossible to predict what's coming next. There's a lot of two-ing and fro-ing in this novel as you see the Barrington's and the Martinez's fight to destroy the reputation of the other and there's absolutely no way of predicting the results of each party's ploys. This story gets more and more exciting as it goes on, constantly surprising the reader with new and game-changing information that throws what you thought you knew about the story out the window. If you like to be kept on your toes, then this is the series for you.  

Perhaps this was because I haven't read the previous books in the series, but I didn't really feel like I connected with any of the characters. This is not the story of one person, but the intersecting and overlapping stories of many, many characters. As a result, it is not only hard to to wrap your head around who's who, but also to form any sort of emotional attachment to any character. This was a disappointment, but did not necessarily let the book down. The complex nature of the plot means that this book is very much about what is happening, rather than what each character feels about what is happening. Another factor is that the character's don't have very strong relationships between each other so there isn't anything for the reader to connect with. Instead, you remain removed from the busy plot but your interest is still maintained because you want to find out which character's plans will ultimately succeed. The characters have a business-like relationship with each other and thus I felt like I had a business-like relationship with the book. This story was created to entertain me and entertain me it did.

All in all, Be Careful What You Wish For was a highly entertaining novel (once it got going) and I would highly recommend it to existing Archer fans and to those that have never read his books I suggest you pick one up. This book ends on one hell of a cliffhanger so I am eager to get my hands on the next instalment of The Clifton Chronicles (released in February this year). This book takes quite a bit of time to get your head around but if you're a fan of political or business-related drama, entwined with family drama, then this is the series for you.

---

I received this book as part of the #StressFreeReading campaign a long time ago and it's taken me ages to get this post up but I'd just like to say thank you to everyone behind the campaign at StressFreePrint, Kristina Bergwall in particular. Along with this book I received a gorgeous tin full of different teas, no doubt an essential for stress free reading, as well as a hot water bottle. I wouldn't say that Be Careful What You Wish For is the most suitable read it you're looking for #StressFreeReading, but what better way to start the new year than with a curled up with a  cup of tea, a hot water bottle and a bestselling book?

25 December 2014

iPhone 5 cases: Trust Me You Can Dance -Vodka (Mobile Madhouse)

It's Christmas Day and I'M BACK. Sorry to all my followers for my prolonged absence (I think it's been over a month?!), but my university workload is much heavier this year and I have no time for reading/blogging during term time :(

mobilemadhouse.co.uk


Having a phone case that is deemed 'fashionable' or 'edgy' has become an issue for anyone with a smartphone. There are so many different types of cases out there and most major fashion houses have created their own designer cases too. Whilst street vendors used to be seen selling pirate DVDs, they're now selling knock-off phone cases, and more and more of them are appearing with each passing day. For those of us who can't afford a Moschino iPhone case - never fear! Mobile Madhouse has lots of snazzy phone cases that you can get your hands on.


About the case
This case, made by Caseflex, is for the iPhone 5/5S made of a tough, lightweight polycarbonate shell. It's dark blue/purple in colour with multicoloured bubbles covering it and the quote 'TRUST ME YOU CAN DANCE" -Vodka on the back. 

What's good about it
The case wraps snugly around the iPhone and is cut perfectly around the edges so your phone remains thin and sleek. What's most annoying about these cases that just wrap around your phone is that they're usually incredibly hard to put on and remove but surprisingly, that is not an issue at all with this case. It snaps on and off very easily, without much bending so I doubt there's much risk of it breaking in the process. This is most convenient if you, like me, have a large collection of phone cases and like to change them frequently. 

Although this case is made from a hard plastic material, it is still incredibly light and doesn't really add any weight to your phone which is a major plus. I've been using this case for a few days now and it's constantly being thrown in and out of my bag but so far it has remained unscratched with no chips. In addition, all the ports and buttons around the edge of the phone are still accessible and the case does not get in the way at all. 

What's not so good about it
This isn't really a negative point, just something to note: the case is significantly darker in colour than in the picture on the website. In addition, the case is shiny and has a 'gloss' finish, as opposed to a matte one as the picture indicates. The edges of the case do not rise above the screen which means that your screen is virtually unprotected with this case so I would highly recommend getting a protective sticker for your screen, just in case. 

Final thoughts...
This is a fun case that is evidently also of a very good quality - a rare combination these days. I have ordered a Caseflex iPhone 5 case from Mobile Madhouse before, which I was very pleased with (see review here), and I am currently alternating between that one and this new one. I love the quote on the back and this is the perfect lightweight case for carrying your phone around on a day-to-day basis. What's more, there's free delivery if you purchase it from Mobile Madhouse! 

Get yourself this case here, or to see their other iPhone 5 cases, click here.



*This case was provided by Mobile Madhouse in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are 100% my own. 

8 November 2014

FILM REVIEW: Gone Girl


Only one word can really describe how I felt leaving the screening of Gone Girl this week.

Disturbed.

The story begins when protagonist Nick Dunne (Affleck), receives a call from a nosy neighbour whilst at work, alerting him to the fact that his front door is wide open and his cat is sat outside the house. Nick returns home to find his wife, Amy (Pike), gone and glass tables overturned. It’s Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary and something is amiss.

The police are called and an investigation follows. This investigation soon becomes America’s biggest news story as the media discovers that Amy, a beautiful New Yorker, and the inspiration for America’s favourite children’s books, Amazing Amy, is presumed to have been murdered by her cool and calm husband, Nick.


I did not kill my wife. I am not a murderer.

These two phrases are repeated again and again by Nick as he becomes the primary suspect in the investigation into his wife’s disappearance. As time goes on you begin to hate Nick more and more as it becomes glaringly obvious that he has been lying to the police and is withholding information.

True to the book, this film is told from the alternating perspective of Nick and Amy. Nick’s narrative is told in the present, whilst Amy’s gives us a glimpse into how the relationship between Nick and herself has developed over the course of their marriage. It is from Amy’s narration that you begin to see the cracks in Nick’s story – or is it the other way round? Is Nick lying? Or is Amy lying? Maybe they’re both lying? (Good luck trying to wrap your head around this one.)


You ever hear the expression that the simplest answer is often the correct one? Actually, I’ve never found that to be true.

Keep this in mind when you think of Gone Girl, because I guarantee that you will not be able to predict the outcome of this film. Around half way through this film, a huge plot twist is revealed that changes everything. Prior to this game changer you’re probably thinking that you’ve got it all sussed and wondering how they could possibly drag out the outcome of this story for another one and a half hours. Perhaps if you’re a thriller fanatic, you’re still not quite convinced that all is as it seems, but either way, you won’t be prepared for just how dark and disturbing this film gets. When you think that this story has reached its peak, it just gets darker and darker and darker to the point where you begin to seriously question the mental stability of the scriptwriter, and author, Gillian Flynn. How could someone write a tale this disturbing? Possibly the most disturbing thing, however, is that this film ends with a cliff-hanger – the story is not over and I dread to think where Fincher and Flynn will take us next.


Quite simply, this film is a masterpiece. Gone Girl combines a darkly chilling tale that cleverly analyses some of the big questions of our time (including gender stereotypes, marriage, even the obsession with celebrity) with a near perfect cast and script, all of which is delivered under Fincher’s brilliant direction. Rosamund Pike’s performance as Amy will stay with you long after you have left the cinema screen in what is probably one of the most mesmerising performances of the year, which places her as a serious contender for ‘Best Actress’ at next year’s Oscars. Gone Girl also stands in good stead to be nominated for numerous other awards, Best Score, Best Editing, Best Director and Best Picture just to name a few, but with a few months to go, we’ll just have to wait and see. Impeccably crafted, this is not one to miss.