book reviews · Bookish

House of Straw by Marc Scott (Review)

Good afternoon! I hope everybody is keeping safe and well. Today I am pleased to be on the blog tour for House of Straw by Marc Scott. It’s available in Kindle and Papaerback formats. I received a paperback copy for free for review purposes.

Review

House of Straw follows two women, Bree and Poppy. Bree loses her brother in a tragic and brutal way, however, he becomes a hero in the process. The question is, was this tragedy truly an accident? People hound her about the possibility of a suicide note, but things really aren’t the situation they think it is. Bree ends up falling in to absolute despair and her friend Kayleigh tries her best to help her friend.

Meanwhile, Poppy is living in a flat, with an abusive, nasty piece of work that she calls her boyfriend, due to feelings of obligation. Poppy clearly has a lot of issues, however, she managed to get herself clean from drugs after some time at her majesty’s pleasure and manages to stay clean after that, despite her drug abusing boyfriend. It’s not surprising Poppy has a lot of problems. To say she was dealt a rough hand seems like an understatement.

It turns out, Bree and Poppy are half sisters. They share a parent. It turns out that they also share something else thanks to that parent. It’s clear the two of them are very troubled women. At first, it seems they are absolute polar opposites, Poppy having a rough upbringing and eventually going through the care system where Bree led a more privileged life. The book follows them through their current day struggles and tells us about their past. It feels wrong to say that their tales are fascinating but.. they are. Fascinating and disturbing.

Poppy had a horrible time. I found myself gasp out loud at one moment and wanting to cry because my heart hurt for her. This book is focused around the characters so it’s important that a good job is done with character building. Now, neither of these women are particularly likeable but I couldn’t help but root for them, even knowing what they’ve done, their characters and the bubbles they live in are incredibly well written and it makes their life stories enticing and interesting. I feel a bit like I was staring at a fish tank.

I think this is one of those stories that lingers in the mind, that will stay with you. I couldn’t often predict what would happen next, all I knew was “something bad is going to happen”, twists all over the place. The ending picked up pace and there were a lot of revelations in a short space of time, things I didn’t predict. When I finished, I had to sit for a moment and process what happened. The writing really evokes feelings for these two women, good and bad – or it did for me, personally. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed such a tragedy of a book, but it was a fantastic read and I’m interested to see what Marc Scott does next! House of Straw is a true psychological thriller that really hones in on the troubled minds of these women and I couldn’t put it down.

About the Book

Traumatised by the tragic death of her twin brother, Brianna falls into a state of deep depression, isolating herself from the world and all those that care about her. When a twist of fate reveals that she has a half-sister she finds a new purpose in her life and sets out to find her sibling, desperately hoping she can fill the void left in her world.

Poppy has not enjoyed the same privileged lifestyle as her sister while growing up. Abandoned into the care system at the age of eight, she has encountered both physical and sexual abuse for most of her life. Passing through the hands of more care homes and foster families than she can remember, the damaged product of a broken upbringing, Poppy has never found a place to feel truly safe. Kicking back at society, she turns to drug abuse and acts of extreme violence to escape from reality.

When the two siblings are finally united, they discover that they have much more in common than their DNA. Their paths are shrouded with sinister secrets of betrayal and regret and both girls share a deep-rooted hatred for one of their parents. As the dark truths of their lives are unveiled they realise that nothing can ever be the same again…  

Beauty · skincare · Subscription Boxes · Uncategorized

Dollar Shave Club – Just for Men?

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You’ve probably heard of Dollar Shave Club by now; if not, do you live under a rock? I’ve seen so many American YouTubers include DSC partnerships in their videos – Although the US offerings are different the UK offerings. I decided to order myself a trial box and put it to the test. Is it just for men? Would it be better than other razors I’ve tried?

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The box took a few days to arrive after I ordered it. Not really speedy delivery, but that didn’t bother me. Also; it seems that the package was despatched from continental Europe, so accounting for that, delivery time was not bad at all.

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The trial box has four items in. The razor handle, a pack of four razor cartridges, a tube of shave butter and a little 16 page magazine which is great for those moments when you head to the bathroom and think you’re just gonna pee so you don’t take your phone but you end up actually having to take a dump. I believe the magazines content is different every month, and it’s actually pretty cool. One thing that I didn’t see mentioned on the website (though I may have missed it) but that did come with the welcome card was that they donate a portion of sales of the box to charity.

This particular set is called “The Executive”, which, I’d associate with a dude, but like macho-sounding shower gels, it doesn’t mean you have to be macho to use it. The razor head cartridges are housed in a cardboard sleeve. Each cartridge contains 6 stainless steel blades, a trimmer edge and lubricating strip. On their own, four of the cartridges ship for £8 a month; which seems a little pricey compared to the £5 price tag that the trial box carries. The razor handle is quite weighty. But how about their functioning?

Well, it has been a couple of days since I shaved and my legs still feel lovely. The razor yielded a very close shave without having to go back over any of the same spots. The handle weight was perfectly balanced and it felt better to hold and use than my Friction Free Shaving Razor or any of the other cartridge razors I’ve used before. It also gave me the closest shave. I wondered if it’s because it’s aimed at coarse man-face hair; but I remember I once used to use mens gillette razors on my legs and this was still better. So, I decided to try it down in my southern regions to see how it would cope with /that/ hair and also to see if the shave butter would corrode ones lady-parts.

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I used it just with soap suds on my arm-pits, but also used the shave butter when I shaved my legs. While “Dr Carver” isn’t really the most reassuring name for a shave product, I can gladly say that it carved nothing aside from the excess hair that I wanted to be rid of. It smells clean and fresh, but very inoffensive. I’m sensitive to some things and was concerned the butter would leave my skin feeling slippery/oily; it did not. It helped the razor glide along my legs, but it also rinsed off the razor easily and didn’t clog it up. So once I was done shaving my legs and was happy with the result, I decided to tackle my lady-garden. DSC has no mention about where is okay to use the shave butter, it just says to use it in shaveable places… so I thought I’d give it a go and report back so nobody else need suffer a bush-fire.

I’m pleased to report that it did not cause any burning or stinging to my downstairs – though of course we’re all different and some are more sensitive than others. I was a heavy Lush bath bomb user and touch wood *touches some wood* I’ve never had thrush, but some women only need to look at a bath bomb to suffer. My shave was satisfactory and less irritating than usual methods. I admittedly usually suffer from razor bumps on my bikini-line the following day but the balm seems to have worked a treat there.

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I think that’s about it really! In conclusion? No, it’s not just for men. I’d rather have a better shave with something less girly than a more feminine razor that doesn’t quite make the cut. You can order your Dollar Shave Club Trial Box for £5 via their website. It’s £8 each month after that unless you downgrade or choose deliveries to be every 2 months instead of monthly, though you can cancel anytime, so you could just get the trial box and cancel if you’d like. I would really recommend it.

Have you tried Dollar Shave Club or any other shave subscription box before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.