scott_waitingRight before reading Waiting on the Sidelines, I had to let out a big sigh and a couple of eye rolls. I was sick and tired of the same old ‘love’ story where the popular guy (with all the beautiful girls he could ever want swarming around him) falls for the not-so-popular average girl. Not only that, but he completely changes his ways for her, and becomes this ‘really good guy’.

BORING! I’m done with that!

Waiting on the Sidelines was that…but SO MUCH more!

The popular guy is this story is Reed Johnson. He’s a star footballer in his small town and has a lot of pressure and expectations weighing him down. Not only was his older brother a star quarter back, but so was his dad.

The not-so-popular girl in Waiting on the Sidelines is Nolan. She’s a complete tomboy. She loves wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs and has never worn any makeup. Nolan doesn’t fit in. Unlike most of the kids who attend her high school, she doesn’t live in a big mansion; instead, she lives in a trailer at the end of a dirt road, and she drives an old beat-up car that she absolutely loves.

Reed is used to girls trying to catch his attention by doing the dumbest things, but those girls don’t include Nolan. While she does admit he is very cute, Nolan isn’t stumbling around to be near Reed. He quickly notices this, and it’s what attracts him to Nolan.

High school seems to be running smooth for Reed, but for Nolan it’s been a struggle. She had no idea just how hard high school was going to be…but there might be one guy who can make it all worthwhile.

It’s true that I had my doubts at the beginning of this book, but those were quickly thrown out the door. While this book may have the general underlying script that I described above, it was so much more.

Reed acted like a normal teenage guy. Yes, he did start changing slowly throughout the book, but not all at once. He still made mistakes, he was still fooling around with girls, and he still acted the same way he did before he met Nolan. It took quite some time (the book takes place over four years) for him to finally open up to Nolan.

On the other hand, Nolan puts all her love and trust in Reed, just to have her heart broken repeatedly over the four years of high school. She knows she’s lucky to have a guy like Reed because of his gentle side, but Reed quickly learns that he is even luckier to have a girl like Nolan.

Reed and Nolan were amazing characters. They were real and acted like normal teenagers would. But I also really liked Reed’s dad and his housekeeping lady. While Reed’s dad was rich, he didn’t let the money get to his head. His relationship with Nolan, even when she was going through a rough patch with Reed, was really sweet! I loved him. Reed’s housekeeping lady was the mother he didn’t have. She was there when he was sick, when he was hungry, and even when his dad was working.

This was one of the sweetest and most heart-breaking stories I’ve read in a long time! All the emotions and feels I had for Waiting on the Sidelines were absolutely crazy! I was all over the place and constantly rooting for Reed and Nolan! Reed knows how to be sweet, and knows how to take care of Nolan, which I really liked.

While the entire story was a crazy rollercoaster of emotions (and tears), the ending was perfect! I’m excited to read more of Ginger Scott’s writing!

Joelene_tnJoelene Pynnonen love a good kids movie.



the-lego-movie-posterEmmet Brickowski is an ordinary construction worker, living life by the manual, when he finds a woman called Wyldstyle illegally searching his construction site. She’s mesmerising, and for once Emmet goes against the manual, following her rather than reporting her. Stumbling into a chasm, he finds the Piece of Resistance, the only object that might stop the evil Lord Business’s super-weapon, the Kragle.

Years earlier, it was prophesied that a person called “The Special” would be the one to locate the Piece of Resistance, which makes Emmet, Lord Business’s number one target. When he is captured by Lord Business’s lieutenant, Bad Cop, Wyldstyle steps in to save him. Now it’s up to him to find the powerful master-builders and convince them to launch an attack on Lord Business’s empire before he uses the Kragle to destroy them all.

I love kids’ movies, especially the ones that have been released in the last few years and are targeted at a wider audience. Even so, Lego Movie was not something that I was interested in when the trailer came out. Now, I’ve played several of the Lego games and am well aware of how fun they are. I just didn’t think that it would translate well to the big screen. Fortunately, my brother twisted my arm until I agreed to see it.

From the out-set Lego Movie is a fast-paced and laugh-out-loud funny film. There’s plenty of slapstick comedy for kids, but this is interwoven with subtler social-commentary humour and pop-culture jokes. The combination works so well that you’ll have to watch the movie more than once to appreciate all of the jokes.

This is one of those movies that combines its elements perfectly to create a fun and exciting film. The animation is wonderful, not quite losing the authentic feel of a stop motion film even though it is CGI. Voice acting is equally flawless. There are too many amazing performances to list, but Liam Neeson’s role as Good Cop/Bad Cop is superb.

While Lego Movie is a fantastic film, it is let down by the ending, which introduces a theme that has been done before – and better – by Pixar. The movie is entertaining enough to carry itself without needing a deeper meaning, and would have been stronger for it.

Lego Movie is another animated film that is transcending age. The plot is simple, but the execution is clever. 

Belinda_kisses_tnWith a little over 2 weeks to go I’ve been brushing up on the things I’ll need to have with me in Sydney.


Taylor_Smoke and Bone_HThey see me rollin’ – I needed to get myself a new piece of luggage, something that will roll around the city with me until check in. So I opted for 4 wheels rather than 2 and for ease of recognition at the luggage claim I went for loud and obnoxious leopard and bright pick with gold hardware. Hope nobody else had the same idea as me.

In the know  – I don’t want to be holding up the line in the airport, so I have checked what I can and cannot take in my carry-on luggage and the weight limits of both carry-on and checked luggage.  Each company is different so it’s always better to check.

Hair we go – I’m trying a whole new style clothing, and my modern hair style haircut doesn’t really go with. So I’ve been trial running how I want to have my hair for the event. *add youtube link for part 1 here* I’ve shown you how I put my hair up in perm rods to create a wet set curl. Part 2 soon.

Kiss and Make Up – I’m trying a few new products for the trip and I’ll have reviews of them on Marianne’s channel soon. Test running the completed look you want to wear will have the dual purpose of getting you practiced in how to apply the look in the shortest possible time, and also have you well versed in which tools and products you’ll need to take. *on my final run through I’ll be putting the items in a separate bag as I finish using them, so they don’t get mixed up and forgotten.*

Clothes horse… ney – I want to be comfortable and not schlumpy on the plane. So I’m testing out what I’m thinking of wearing. The shape wear was an EPIC fail so that will be staying at home. Nothing says discomfort like having to constantly pull and readjust an undergarment. I’ll keep the small podge and spend the day fiddle free.

Dashner_eye of mindsAn all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Hardcover, 308 pages

Published October 8th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers


0385741391 (ISBN13: 9780385741392)


The Eye of Minds is a great book for gamers and those interested in virtual reality. VirtNet is a gamer’s heaven that places you right into the fantasy world by putting your physical body into a sleep state while your mind goes on adventures. It’s an addictive and safe place where you can hang out with friends or have heart-racing experiences.

There is a rumour that one of the players has started taking hostages on the VirtNet and causing brain damage to those taken. This has the government searching for the hacker and they soon contact Michael for help.

The world building is amazing; since you’re put into this game world with the addition of hackers, it is an ever-changing world that goes beyond imagination. Michael spends little time in the ‘real world’, so the majority of the story takes place within the VirtNet.

I really enjoyed the characters as well. Both Michael and the villain stood out for me, and I loved both of them equally. The story doesn’t keeps a fast pace in the race to save the hostages, and there is also an eye-opening twist ending that I didn’t see coming.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy Michael Grant or Rush by Eve Silver. It is fast-paced and full of adventure, danger, and page-turning fun.

Shepherd_madman's“Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.”

The Madman’s Daughter came out a while ago, and when everyone was picking it up and reading it, and raving about it, I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon! Just like everyone was claiming, this one was creepy, but I loved it!

This book was already had me scared within just the first few chapters, especially with the bunny scene! I don’t want to say too much, because I want you all to experience what I did, but it was absolutely bananas. I started feeling nauseous and dizzy while reading it, and that’s never happened to me before. I don’t know how or why this scene affected me so much, but I felt sick to my stomach.

The Madman’s Daughter was such a peculiar story. I can’t think of anything that can even slightly compare to this book. Obviously, this book is based off of another story, but I was still in complete awe. Her dad, who he was, what he did…it was mind blowing!

Alongside the main idea of the book, the characters were strange and intriguing too. Juliet is a teenage girl struggling to make small living and her father was a scientist who was shamed by society when he started these strange set of experiments on animals.

Montgomery is Juliet’s childhood servant and friend, who she reconnects with after her horrifying experience with the bunny rabbit. He isn’t the little boy Juliet knew all those years ago, but has grown into man. When Edward arrived at the ship on his wooden plank, he was this mysterious character who I wanted to learn more about. When these two (very cute) guys were introduced and Juliet seemed to be interested in both of them, I feared a love triangle. But, lucky me, there wasn’t much of that. There were a few small scenes here and there (which didn’t bother me at all), but they didn’t outshine or wash over the most important elements of the story!

Overall, The Madman’s Daughter was one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It even gave me goose bumps a few times throughout the story, and it was such an outstanding read. I’ve already picked up the second book, Her Dark Curiosity, and I’m excited to start it!

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