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Laura Besley "Laura Besley" (Hong Kong)

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The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
Price: £3.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Casual Vacancy, 1 Mar. 2013
In the style of a modern-day Dickens (too many characters and too much description) J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults gets off to a slow start. The small village of Pagford, where all the many characters are interlinked in one way or another, is thrown into disarray when a local councillor suddenly dies. The fight for the seat brings out the worst in the community: adults and children alike. Eventually picking up, this has a dramatic, satisfying and thought-provoking ending.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2013 2:41 PM GMT


Ring Around Rosie
Ring Around Rosie
Price: £2.32

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ring Around Rosie, 27 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Ring Around Rosie (Kindle Edition)
A thought-provoking and well-written book about child prostitution in England. Yes, England. With rounded characters and a plausible plot, I would recommend this book.


The Harvest
The Harvest
Price: £2.29

3.0 out of 5 stars The Harvest, 27 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Harvest (Kindle Edition)
A similar premise to Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, Morey's 'mutants' in his sci-fi thriller, The Harvest, are bred to provide organs for humans. In the 2005 book, recently filmed starring Keira Knightley, the clones donate organs one or two at a time, whereas in The Harvest the 'mutants' donate everything at once and subsequently die immediately. This allows for a very dramatic opening chapter in which Steph (mutant 3-8-4) has to counsel a young boy through this procedure. It's a good introduction to her, the book, and certainly made me want to read more.

There is a strong moral code behind the story and touchy issues are raised throughout, giving the reader things to think about. The Harvest, like all good thrillers, has a strong plot as well as rounded characters. It's pacy, intriguing and interesting and has you guessing to the end what the outcome will be. An enjoyable read.


The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Gatsby, 27 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Great Gatsby (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed The Great Gatsby and found it a quick and easy read. The themes of The Great Gatsby: wealth, beauty, greed and power mirrored the society of the Roaring Twenties perfectly. I did feel that one or two of the major revelations were dealt with too quickly and that more could have been done with them to add to the narrative. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a unique talent with words making his sentences beautiful and lyrical. I had a very clear picture in my mind of the world in which these characters were set. Also, through accurate, but succinct, descriptions I could imagine what they looked like, how they moved and spoke.


Don't You Forget About Me
Don't You Forget About Me
Price: £3.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't you forget about me, 18 Feb. 2013
Tess Connolly, the main character of Don't You Forget About Me, is a little ridiculous, but not totally unlikable. There are a couple of cringe-worthy moments when I can't believe girls like this really exist and furthermore that other people, presumably also girls, want to read about them. At times the character seems so shallow, and frankly quite stupid too, that I can't believe I didn't stop reading immediately.

What saves this book is that its moral is sound: don't pretend to be something you're not. In order to keep her boyfriend Seb happy and their relationship thriving, Tess is constantly trying to be something she's not, often with disastrous consequences. This message of being true to yourself is reinforced by the character Fiona, Tess' flatmate, who not only is the most unhealthy health & beauty editor, but she's prepared to adopt a fake persona to fit in with the 'posh set'.

Throughout the year that we follow the characters they discover more about themselves and who they truly are. With this new-found knowledge they are able to form better and stronger relationships with the people around them and ultimately be happier.


Watch Over Me
Watch Over Me
Price: £0.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Watch Over Me, 30 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Watch Over Me (Kindle Edition)
When Eilidh returns to her childhood village in Scotland you know that it is going to bring her the comfort that she needs to put her life back together. When she bumps into her childhood friend, Jamie McAnena, whose life is also not one hundred percent perfect, you suspect that they are going to get together.

There were too many, and most unnecessary, perspectives. It would have been better to remain more focused on the two main characters which would have allowed for more suspense in the narrative.

Overall the book was an enjoyable read.


Amy & Zach
Amy & Zach
Price: £1.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amy & Zach, 23 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Amy & Zach (Kindle Edition)
This is a very sweet story about how two people get together. One of the things I liked best about this book is that it is about a relationship. My biggest annoyance with many chick lit books (and rom coms alike) is that they end when the couple finally get together after months, or sometimes years of struggle, and we as readers (and viewers) have to assume that they just live happily ever after.

Amy moves to the US to 'start over' as life back home is not working out as planned. It may have been intentional, to set up the contrast with her life in the UK, but I think everything was slightly too easy for Amy in America; she found a loving boyfriend within weeks; she connected with her new family and they all welcomed her with open arms; she loved her job and one of her colleagues became her new best friend. Being an expat myself, I know that even if life is great, it's not always easy living abroad.

That said, this was a fun and pacy read. I was drawn in immediately when within the first chapter it was apparent that not all was well in the world of Amy & Zach.


7 Days and Counting (Seven Days and Counting Book 1)
7 Days and Counting (Seven Days and Counting Book 1)
Price: £3.37

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 Days and Counting, 16 Jan. 2013
As the lives of the two main characters collide, nothing is quite as it seems. Lampila weaves the story backwards and forwards in time with ease and skill. The reader has a little work to do in order to put pieces of the story together for him/herself. This is a challenge and I like that.

Due to there being two perspectives, you can read certain parts of the story twice. In my opinion these are some of the most interesting passages in the book, as two people rarely experience things exactly the same. It's therefore extremely interesting to read the same scenario from differing points of view.

Strangely (for me, at least) I got to the end of the book and immediately wanted to start reading it again. I feel that the first time I read it quickly as I wanted to know all the hidden secrets behind the closed doors of the character's lives. However, I feel that on a second, and more detailed read, so much more will be revealed.


Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain
Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Country, 9 Jan. 2013
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This is a great book which I would highly recommend. I really enjoyed the relaxed feel to it. It felt like the author was telling me this story over a drink in the pub. It's unusual to get so much of the author in a book, but I almost felt like I knew him by the end of it (and not in a creepy way!).

This book is funny. All the little anecdotes that Mahood relays throughout, whether they be of their success or failure at trying to get whatever they were after at that particular moment, seem to be funny in one way or another.

And most of all this book is heart-warming. All the people who helped George and Ben on their journey really give you renewed faith in people's ability to be kind and generous. Mentioned last, as most important things are, is the friendship that exists between George and his friend, Ben. I don't think either of them would've been able to finish this adventure had they not had each other; to laugh with, to laugh at, to encourage, to support, to be honest with, to shout at, but most of all to enjoy the adventure together.

For an author interview, pls go to my blog: Living Loving and Writing ([...])


Somewhere Else, or Even Here
Somewhere Else, or Even Here

5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Else, or Even Here, 19 Dec. 2012
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I think the best word to describe this collection is struggle. There is some form of struggle within every short story, whether it be struggling to cope with the loss of a child, with the deterioration of a spouse, or with finding that people or the world around you are just not what you thought they were. Beautifully written, Ashworth quickly builds up an entire world within each story which is compelling throughout.

For an author interview with A.J. Ashworth, please go to my blog:
[...]


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