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Reviews Written by
tiggrie AKA Sarah (UK)

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Eve
Eve
Price: £4.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars really wanted to like this., 6 May 2013
This review is from: Eve (Kindle Edition)
Cheap as chips and a fascinating premise, lt down by a leaden delivery and too much ill concealed info dumping.

A big disappointment.


Air Force One [DVD] [1997]
Air Force One [DVD] [1997]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Price: £3.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining for all the wrong reasons! Spoilers abound within., 2 April 2013
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I have to say that this film was very entertaining, but I'm pretty sure not in the way the filmmakers intended.

Gary Oldman is to be commended for his grasp of the Russian dialogue he had to perform, he really wasn't half bad, and I was impressed. I rarely hear actors who actually sound like they have some idea of what they're saying, and it's a refreshing change.

Besides that, the whole thing was pretty laughable. I actually burst out laughing when they deployed the Presidential escape capsule (yes, really) and the jingoistic Americans rock, everyone else sucks tone throughout is so extreme it is also pretty funny.

Several pivotal moments happen on open hatches for no actual reason beyond the desire to increase jeopardy. Several scenes end up being pretty silly due to attempts to up the ante. The President actually ends up hanging on by his fingertips from an open cargo hatch at one point, as Secret Service dudes fly past him to their deaths. I howled with laughter, and it so should not have been funny.

There are some utterly transparent attempts to make sure you KNOW the Kazakh guys are Evil Men, such as a rather manipulative scene in which the captives all say how nice a woman is before she gets shot in the head in front of the First Lady and First Daughter, just in case you'd failed to notice that the Terrorists Are Evil Communists With No Conscience. Whereas on the other side, the pilots (some of the few actually admirable characters in the film, refusing to capitulate at the cost of their lives) die with no fanfare or regret, and the poor beggars who refuel the plane get their aircraft blown up messily and plummet to their deaths in a ball of fire and no one seems to give a crap.

The only villainous American is left literally standing at the door of the aeroplane roaring his displeasure just before it crashes into the sea and disintegrates.

What's sad to me is that there is a potentially interesting story here - what will a President do, after stating outright that there will be no negotiations with terrorists, when it's his family in the line of fire? It would have been more interesting if he WASN'T on board, and actually had to think about negotiating, rather than doing the whole unlikely action hero bit.

But the totally ridiculous aspects, including the fact that said President essentially saves the day nigh on single handed, pretty much turn this into a film of the brainless summer blockbuster variety, and not even a particularly good example of that.

The entertainment value came almost entirely from disbelieving laughter at the more bizarre and far fetched moments, and a kind of horrified fascination with how unbelievably silly the entire premise and plot are. It's almost brilliant in its sheer inanity and refusal to be remotely realistic.

If you want to turn your brain off for a couple of hours, there are worse ways to spend your time, but I can't imagine actually having paid six quid for this or having any desire to watch it again. One to borrow, not buy.


3Pcs Anti Glare Matte LCD Screen Guard Protector Film For Apple iPad Mini
3Pcs Anti Glare Matte LCD Screen Guard Protector Film For Apple iPad Mini

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to apply, effective, not convinced by matte finish, 16 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm torn about these protectors, there are both good and bad points.

The bad:

It didn't come with any helpful hints on application, and was hard to apply, despite cleaning my iPad's screen thoroughly and being very careful during application, it took me ALL THREE protectors to get a mostly satisfactory result. I spent some considerable time making sure the screen was absolutely pristine and then very carefully pressed out the air bubbles before removing the second shield, and even then I still have a few tiny bubbles caused by dust particles. The adhesive doesn't leave residue, but it picks up dust like a magnet and it's not possible to get it off, so if you don't get it on straight, you're stuffed and onto the next one.

The camera cutout doesn't include the mic, I tried it with the Skype test call - I don't think it caused a huge problem, but I'm also not convinced it didn't muffle it very slightly.

There are a couple of air bubbles round the edges which just will not disappear, I'm a little concerned about the possibility that it'll start to come up on those edges.

The so-so:

I like the matte finish, it seems to work well contact wise, I haven't had a problem with that, but one of my reasons for choosing a matte finish was for easier use in bright light. It helps for reflection of light off my face, making it easier to use there, but it actually seems, if anything, WORSE in direct bright light than the unprotected screen. So that's a mixed blessing.

As expected, the display is slightly pixelated by the matte finish. I think it also might be slightly dimmer. I generally have my screen set as dim as it'll go anyway, so I'm fine with that, but for some people it might be a big downside, and if the (admittedly gorgeous) retina display graphics are something you're very attached to, you might not find this an acceptable trade off.

The good:

It definitely doesn't show finger marks a fraction as easily as the naked screen or a glossy finish protector does, and it feels fine (very clean) under the fingers. And although I'm miffed it took me all three protectors to get the thing on, at least the fact that there were three in the pack meant I did eventually get an acceptable (if far from perfect) fit.

The touch screen seems to work flawlessly with the protector, I've had no issues, it's clean and responsive, which I know isn't always the case. It also feels fairly solid and I'm pretty sure it'll do a good job at protecting the screen - even though I've been super careful with the screen, it's very delicate and I've had some tiny scratches. I feel much more confident now that it'll be protected well.

Overall - not perfect, but workable and affordable. I'm not wild about them for the reasons mentioned, but they're OK, and not too expensive.


The Cross in the Closet
The Cross in the Closet

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and thought provoking read., 1 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First off, my one bad point/annoyance - let's get it out of the way. There were a relatively large number of typos and other small errors. Not enough to downgrade the book as a whole, but definitely a blemish. I get the feeling this was largely a self pubbed effort, so it is easy to understand errors lurking, but it is a shame. Just occasionally the errors affect the meaning, and that's a bad thing in any book, never mind one that is almost certainly going to rouse strong emotions already. Misunderstandings would be a bad addition. (Tim, if you're reading this, I volunteer to proofread!)

That said, this is a truly thought provoking read. Tim Kurek, like many Christians, had Very Definite views on homosexuality, and moreover was 100% certain those views were right, till a series of events forced him to confront how his views, attitudes and behaviour failed to demonstrate loving his neighbour. Also like many Christians, he found himself in a position of wanting to understand, but not wanting to compromise what he believed, had been told, had been brought up with.

Unlike most Christians, however, Tim took the unorthodox step of putting himself into the shoes of those he wished to understand by coming out to church, friends and family as gay, and living as a gay man (his straight man banished to his inner closet) for a year.

I'm sure many, like me, will be uncomfortable with the idea of lying to everyone for 12 months, and I've seen some quite strong reactions to this aspect. I didn't quite know how to take that, or quite how I felt about it. I can certainly understand some of the anger it provoked (notably from his family) and how some readers will also be angry about it.

However, it is undeniable that Tim put himself in a position of vulnerability and solidarity with his homosexual friends in a way few of us would be brave enough to try. What's also undeniable is the complete turn around of attitude from holier than thou Pharisee to accepting others regardless of their sexuality. Whether one approves of his method, it is very clear that this was a heartfelt decision, made for good reasons, and not something done lightly. As well as being brave to attempt such a project in the first place, Kurek is also winsomely open about his own attitudes, even when they present an ugly view. Few people have the courage to face those parts of themselves, never mind expose them to others. Kudos.

I don't know whether this book will convince everyone to its point of view. However, I'm certain that anyone willing to come to it with an open mind will be made at the very least to examine their prejudices, and to look beyond the labels of gay, straight, bi, trans, etc. with which we so easily diminish the humanity of those who think or behave or believe in a different way to us. It is very easy to label an entire group as being a homogenous mass differentiated only by their sexuality. There's so much judgement and barely disguised hatred out there, to me it seems this can only be a good thing when we are forced to face how bigoted we can be, and how contrary this is to things we say we believe.

I suspect that, sadly, the people who could most do with reading this won't, but I hope and pray that many will come to it with an open heart and at least be willing to be challenged, even if not changed. Personally, I'm still uncertain about what exactly I believe on this subject, but I'm more convicted and convinced than ever that judging people and treating them differently based on only their sexuality is unloving and wholly unchristian. Hopefully, brave voices like Tim will help us to focus on what we have in common instead of excluding people because they don't fit.


For A Good Time Call
For A Good Time Call
Price: £4.61

3.0 out of 5 stars I've read worse..., 1 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is escapist fluff, and as such, it could be worse. I got it for free, and if romance is your thing then this probably isn't dreadful value at a little over a quid.

That said, it is very predictable. Impossible hot guy, driven career woman, nothing in common except instant chemistry... I wonder what'll happen. </sarcasm>

I've read worse, but this has been deleted from my archive with no regrets.


The Douay-Rheims Bible (Halcyon Classics)
The Douay-Rheims Bible (Halcyon Classics)

2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but not very cheerful., 19 Dec. 2012
For some unknown reason, this bible ONLY has chapter markings at the start of each book. If you either want to use it as a bible to read straight through or you are willing to page through hundreds of pages to find the right reference, then it is very cheap. But it is pretty poor for any bible intended to actually be USED. It would be possible to add your own bookmarls or highlights and use those to navigate if you really must have THIS translation, but there are better formatted versions out there that are not that much more expensive.

Needs serious attention before it is in a fit state for Kindle use.


Fracture
Fracture
Price: £4.68

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable debut., 15 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fracture (Kindle Edition)
I think it might be the best compliment one can offer - I will definitely be looking out for more books from Megan Miranda.

Fracture has some interesting twists, a likeable heroine, an intriguing premise, and a very believable central friendship.

Miranda is very good at evoking the awkwardness and confusion of teenager-hood, and she took a couple of surprising risks, too - won't elaborate, obviously!

A couple of the twists I saw coming (if I didn't think you've already read it, I'd say buy the book without reading the description *grin*), but then this is YA, not aimed directly at my demographic!

I envied Delaney for Decker, who is exactly the kind of best friend we all want, and I have to confess I cried when their friendship wobbled, because I viscerally reacted to the idea of losing one's best friend.

The supporting characters are generally pretty well drawn, and overall I have only compliments not complaints about the writing.

It's kind of hard to say why I really enjoyed it without risking spoilers; I guess the summary is, I really enjoyed this. If you have any taste for YA fiction with a supernatural flavour and satisfying relationships, I'd recommend it highly.


The Half-Life Of Hannah (Hannah series Book 1)
The Half-Life Of Hannah (Hannah series Book 1)
Price: £1.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like this, editorial issues just too distracting., 15 Dec. 2012
I guess we all have things that bug us disproportionately. Unfortunately, excessive and misused commas and unnecessary apostrophes (in this case, used inconsistently when names were shortened: Han' is fussy to start with, but when it isn't even consistent, it is very distracting) are a couple of mine.

I'm not especially keen on present tense. I am also not 100% with the mix between that and the forays into 1st person. I felt I might have enjoyed it more if it had stuck to 1st person. Hannah's narrative voice was more enjoyable than the multiple viewpoints in the 3rd person. It felt a little muddled. Nothing really grabbed me.

The characters are reasonably interesting if not thrilling.

I think it is probably worth a try at 20p, but I just found there were not enough positives to keep reading. Those kind of editorial things tend to fade into insignificance if I am absorbed, but not being engaged by the characters plus being bugged by weirdly punctuated sentences meant I just could not suspend disbelief and get into the story.


The Exploits of Lydia
The Exploits of Lydia
Price: £2.32

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Accurate portrayal of the character, but not something I'd re-read., 12 Dec. 2012
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Credit to Angela Darcy, she takes a vibrant and lively version of Lydia Bennet on many adventures on the continent. I have to disagree with those who complain that this could have been any old character - this is very much the "wild, noisy and fearless" Lydia familiar to readers of Pride and Prejudice, and on the whole Darcy uses language and phraseology that are appropriate to the period and the character. There was an occasional phrase which seemed a little out of place, for example "call it quits" and a character who "blew his own brains out", but overall the writing (indeed, even the spelling) feels so correct in the Regency setting that, particularly as I am no expert, I'm more than willing to give Darcy the benefit of the doubt.

All this being said, this is a continuation of P&P at which many fans of the book may baulk. Lydia has already slept with three men besides her husband before one is a quarter through the book, there is murder, suicide, intrigue, spies and war, and unlike Jane Austen's largely pastoral novels set in country houses and quiet rectories, this takes place in fine houses, cities and on battlefields all over Europe. Told in a brisk first person, almost stream of consciousness, from Lydia's point of view, there is none of the subtle humour or gentle storylines one is used to in Austen.

Basically, as a continuation of Lydia's story this succeeds very well, but if you're expecting anything Austen-esque then you might be in for a wee bit of a shock! It's certainly readable, and I wanted to know how things would work out for Lydia, but to call it a continuation of P&P is pushing the definition.

It's a fun enough romp, and I would definitely take a chance on this author's work in the future, but it wasn't to my taste, and I probably wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't wanted to know what happened to Lydia largely because she IS Lydia. As a long time fan and re-reader of P&P, I was extremely interested to find out what was going to happen to her, but I don't think, if this was a character I had encountered cold, I would have felt especially drawn to keep reading.

So... if you're an Austen purist, at all prudish, or like your characters to have some, well, character, this is probably one to avoid. On the other hand, if you're one for a fast moving, slightly saucy adventure through Europe with a heroine of questionable virtue but unquestionable entertainment value, and if you ever wondered what exactly became of the incorrigible Miss Bennet/Mrs Wickham, then this is most definitely worth a look. I am glad I got it free, but for its target audience, the list price seems pretty good value to me.

I was torn on a star rating - for me, it's not something I'd re-read, and not really to my taste, but I can't deny it's well written, packs a punch in sheer eventfulness, and has a lot to recommend it. I'd give it 2 stars for personal enjoyment, but at least 4 for quality of writing and breadth of imagination. As such, 3 seems like a reasonable compromise.


Winter Warmers: An ebook exclusive from Carole Matthews
Winter Warmers: An ebook exclusive from Carole Matthews
Price: £0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OK for a freebie, a bit lacklustre., 11 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some clunky writing, rather predictable, sweet but sometimes too sweet.

Nothing offensive but nothing memorable either. Occasionally steps over the line from cute to nauseating.

OK way to spend 30 minutes but just nothing special. Several times I felt it could have used better editing/copywriting - in that respect, it felt rather "thrown together".

Overall, though from an author whose novels I have enjoyed, this collection is just so so. I do not think it would have seen publication if Matthews was not an established author already. I have read worse, but that is probably the best thing I can say about it.


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