Lauren's Playground

I edit, I write, I proofread, review and teach.

What you’ll find on this blog:

Just like it says on the tin (or in the title), these are the things you’ll be reading about if you choose to follow me:

Book reviews.  This is probably what I write the most of – as of January 4th, I’d already read my first book of 2015.  It was the first of a trilogy and I wanted to read all of them before reviewing, that’s my excuse for taking until the 19th.

TV.  I watch so much TV that there really should be more, and yet… mostly reviews, sometimes my “Spotlight On” category in which I focus on a certain type of show, character, object or, in my last post, The Disney Channel. You’re never too old, right?

Film reviews.  Probably what I write the least of.  I do like films, but if I can watch TV instead, I usually do.

Week in Review. I will aim to post this every Sunday, with brief thoughts on one book, one TV show and one film I’ve seen in the past week.

And the rest.  Currently, just a review of the radio play Cabin Pressure.  It recently concluded with a final two-part episode, which means 26 wonderful episodes for you to go get a hold of!

Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit!

January 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hart of Dixie

hart of dixie

Unusually for me, I just watched the finale – only two days after it aired!

After three full seasons and a shortened fourth season, our adventures in Alabama end with an appropriately titled “Bluebell” and an hour that serves as a great series finale – which it probably is – that manages to tie everything up while reminding you why you fell in love with the show in the first place.

What did you fall in love with? The fish-out-of-water story of Zoe Hart, surgeon extraordinaire, who got uprooted from her fast-paced New York city life and deposited in Bluebell, Alabama to hopefully work on her bedside manner, where the doctor’s practice isn’t quite as high tech, the public transport is nonexistent and the people are… a whole different kind of wacky.

If you don’t exclusively watch crime, doctors or gore, then try it out for a fun show that never gets too serious but also isn’t too silly.  Bluebell is just the new Stars Hollow you’ve been looking for! ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Spoilers ahead! Continue reading

March 29, 2015 Posted by | TV Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baggage Claim


Singleton Montana Moore is almost 30 and feeling the pressure to find a man: her mother’s been married a bunch of times and her younger sister is just about to tie the knot herself.

So she does what anyone would do; decides she’s going to get engaged before the wedding.  Which is in how long? That’s right, a month!

By-the-numbers enough that you can see several of the “twists” coming, but not necessarily in a bad way; it’s an enjoyable couple of hours with a likeable leading lady and her wacky friends. ♥♥♥♥/5
Continue reading

March 23, 2015 Posted by | Film Reviews | , , , | 1 Comment

CSI: Cyber

imagesFirst impression review of the first three episodes.

Predictability aside – and I speak as someone who doesn’t really like crime shows and only really liked CSI: NY previously – it seems to be a good show that manages to be cyber without getting lost in technobabble. ♥♥♥♥/5

Continue reading

March 23, 2015 Posted by | TV Reviews | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Week in Review 6: Cat Shaffer, CSI: Cyber, Baggage Claim

TV Show I started: CSI: Cyber

Film I saw: Baggage Claim

Book I started: Dixie White and the Seven Dates by Cat Shaffer

Disclaimer: I volunteer as a beta-reader with Turquoise Morning Press and am reading this as an ARC.

Unlike Academy for Losers, the protagonist is a woman, not a teenager.  Like Academy for Losers, it involves two different kinds of people: those who are super-rich and those who are “normal” small-town folk.

Dorothea Pfister (how’s that for a name you’ve never seen before?) has lived a very sheltered, planned-to-the-minute life.  So naturally, this is the story of her leaving it for one of those typical small towns you see so often in romance novels.

Why? Because she overhears her new fiance telling his friends he’s marrying for love rather than money and not only has she been raised to be a good trophy wife (my words), she’s not good for much else.

And all of that is set up in the space of the first chapter, a refreshing change of pace after Cold Shoulder.


March 22, 2015 Posted by | Film Reviews, Week in Review | , | Leave a comment

The Fault in Our Stars


Given that I read the book a couple of years ago and was “desperate” to see the film from the second I heard one was happening, it’s disgraceful that it took me until yesterday (it came out last June!) to watch it.  And it wasn’t even because I was scared it was going to be bad.  That’s just what I do.

If you have read the book, watch it for a good adaptation.  If you haven’t because of the content, put your fears aside and give it a chance, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  ♥♥♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

March 17, 2015 Posted by | Film Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rules of Engagement

Bianca Kajlich, Oliver Hudson, David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price and Adhir Kalyan

Starring Bianca Kajlich, Oliver Hudson, David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price and Adhir Kalyan

“Rules of Engagement” might be a war term, but here it’s been appropriated as the rules of engagement for couples in different stages in their relationships.

It was never one of my favourite shows, but it was (almost) always an enjoyable seven seasons that you might enjoy if you’re looking for something simple and easy to watch.  ♥♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

March 16, 2015 Posted by | TV Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Odd Couple

Happy Mother’s Day to UK readers!

Odd-CoupleFirst impression review of the first episode.

“… gets off to a bit of a slow start… enjoyable enough to continue with, so let’s see how it goes!” ♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

March 15, 2015 Posted by | First Impressions, TV Reviews | , , | Leave a comment

The Mentalist

indexI’m pretty sure I haven’t seen every episode – in fact, I know I only saw a couple of season 6 – but I did see the first few seasons, the last season, and the important episodes.

Not as long or complex as Sherlock, not as silly as Psych,  not as impossible to follow as Person of Interest, it had its humour and it had its gore, but it kept it balanced in a way that made it an entertaining seven seasons. ♥♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

March 9, 2015 Posted by | TV Reviews | , , , | 1 Comment

Week in Review 5: The Fault in Our Stars, K.C. Undercover, The Mentalist

TV show I started: K.C. Undercover

TV show I finished: The Mentalist

Audiobook I finished: The Fault in Our Stars

I already reviewed it here, so I won’t be doing it again, but I will hopefully get to the film sometime this week and put up a review of that.

Although I will say that it was somehow… less sad this time? I don’t know if it’s because I’d already read it, had read too much about it because of the film, or it’s proof that audiobooks really aren’t my thing, but yeah.  Didn’t get the waterworks I was expecting, even if it did still manage to get to me.

March 8, 2015 Posted by | TV Reviews, Week in Review | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.C. Undercover

First impression review of the first five episodes.


The question: What would a live action Kim Possible be like?

The answer: Just as good as Kim Possible, complete with a great theme song, more complicated than Blue’s Clues but less than James Bond. ♥♥♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

March 8, 2015 Posted by | First Impressions, TV Reviews | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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