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Scheherazade (Norfolk, UK)
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Asking For It (Winner of the Irish Book Awards 2015)
Asking For It (Winner of the Irish Book Awards 2015)
by Louise O'Neill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars is pretty much a normal teenager until she is gang-raped at ..., 21 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Asking for It is an important book. At times, it’s also an intensely uncomfortable one to read. It’s subject matter is rape – and the culture of denial, dismissal, and victim-blaming that can go along with it. It’s focus is consent, fault, and the significance of social media in distorting and disseminating a certain kind of culture. As a book for young adults, it’s extremely powerful.

Emma, the main character, is pretty much a normal teenager until she is gang-raped at a party. She had been drinking heavily and had taken drugs beforehand, and has no memory of the evening when she wakes the next morning. For this reason, Emma herself is uncertain whether she is “to blame”. She can’t remember having given consent, but she can’t remember refusing either. Although she has no recollection of what happened to her, pictures posted to a vicious facebook page the next day show her exactly what went on – and exactly who was involved. It’s at this point that Emma’s life begins to spiral – she is ostracised by her friends, her family and by her community in general, experiences at first denial, followed by shame, and ultimately extreme self-doubt. She tries to pretend it didn’t happen, attempts suicide when she finally accepts that it did, and eventually succumbs to a reclusive half-life of therapy and sleeping tablets.

There’s no doubt that this is a painful book. It illustrates out clearly the effect rape can have on the lives of the victim, the perpetrators, the community in which they live, and even the nation more broadly. It demonstrates how easily sides can be taken, futures ruined, and events of incomparable significance to one person thrown into a “national conversation” which ultimately achieves little but undeniably adds fuel to the local fire.

It’s hard to sum up the impact this book could have. We do need to talk more openly about rape as a society, and to move towards a future where women are not automatically blamed for their situation. The adage that boys will be boys and girls should be more careful needs to be questioned. Such a double-standard should not exist in the 21st century, in a society which is modern and forward-thinking in so many other ways, but positively medieval when it comes to sexual assault.

The ending of Asking for It is as heartbreaking as it is ambiguous, and it’s a book that will stay with me for a very, very long time. Everyone should read it – male and female, young and old. Few books are so powerful. Few are so important.


Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)
Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)
by Holly Bourne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars It's some of the best, strongest, 9 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book blew me away. It's some of the best, strongest, and most honest YA fiction I've read in a long time. It's narrated by Evie; a teenager with OCD and anxiety who is trying to reduce her medication and be "normal" while also navigating the treacherous waters of sixth form and relationships.

Here are five reasons why it's so amazing:

1. It's unflinching in the face of mental health issues

Very few books - YA or otherwise - present mental health issues as baldly or as realistically as they are presented here. Holly Bourne isn't afraid to say what everyone knows but keeps to themselves - we might know the names for various conditions these days, but we still don't apply them properly or really comprehend the devastating impact they can have on a life. We experience the disjointing, fragmenting nature of Evie's conditions right along with her - we all know it's irrational, but we also know that she can't control it. It's powerful stuff.

2. Evie is a realistic protagonist

Evie is definitely troubled, but she's also a teenager trying to live a "normal" life. She experiences the same things all teenagers experience - first relationships, friendship troubles, worries about her appearance, parties, alcohol, make-up...the works. She reacts to the situations she finds herself in just as most teenagers would, and has the same worries and the same concerns. The fact that she also has additional issues to deal with only makes her more powerful as a character. This is a book that should make us question what "normal" actually constitutes, and whether our expectations and ideas are anywhere near realistic. Maybe everyone - with diagnosed mental health issues and without - is putting their lives together piece-by-piece, moment-to-moment.

3. It's honest about teenage relationships

Most of the teenage boys in this book are completely toxic, and do teenage boys in general no favours at all. Where a lot of books would have Evie pandering to Guy more than she already does, Holly Bourne isn't afraid to step back and point out the wrong in that kind of behaviour and relationship. It could well be a eureka moment for a lot of younger teens. Having said that, reading this book would probably have you believe that all boys are bad. Not so, but then the particular combination of hormones and social conditioning are a powerful thing.

4. It's got a beating feminist heart

Speaking of social conditioning, one of the best things about this book is that it actually questions the behaviours we take for granted every day, and makes us aware of the roles we're playing - intentionally or otherwise. Evie and her friends, Lottie and Amber, set up The Spinster Club to discuss feminist issues and their position in society as women. This is a book that asks some difficult and uncomfortable questions, and isn't afraid to make its readers think. Maybe we don't always have to be what we're expected to be - and maybe that doesn't make us mad.

5. Strong female friendships

Evie doesn't tell her friends about her conditions, because she's afraid they won't understand. She realises ultimately that this isn't the case, and that some friendships - the best ones, the ones worth having - are strong enough to survive and can even be a source of strength in themselves. Lottie, Amber and Evie discover that they can be honest with each other without the fear of losing face. They're true to themselves, and are brilliant role-models.

Am I Normal Yet? is a book all girls (teenage or otherwise) should read. It puts forward the kind of ideas that could change society for the better, and it's both empowering and empathetic. Holly Bourne clearly understands what it's like to be both female and a teenager - finally, here's an author who gets it.


Dinner with a Vampire (The Dark Heroine, Book 1)
Dinner with a Vampire (The Dark Heroine, Book 1)
by Abigail Gibbs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars helped by her burgeoning love for Kaspar, 20 Oct. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Violet Lee is just an ordinary teenager, until a chance encounter changes her world forever. Sole witnesses to a late-night massacre in Trafalger Square, she is kidnapped by the ringleader and taken to his anscestral home, Varnley. She soon learns the secret behind the wealth and opulence she finds there – the Varns are vampires, their son Kaspar a Prince, and Violet has just entered a viper’s nest of moral and political machinations she will never escape alive. As time passes, Violet finds herself becoming more entrenched in the Varn’s way of life, helped by her burgeoning love for Kaspar, and the revelations of the Prophecy of the Heroines. Was their meeting chance, or dictated by fate, and will Violet betray her family for the good of the Dimensions?

I think it’s fair to say that I wasn’t particularly convinced by The Dark Heroine initially. I knew it was inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, and that a lot of its fame initially resulted from the fact that it was written online by a 17-year old. It took me a fair few chapters to get into the story, which isn’t the best written I’ve ever read, and which is seemingly plagued with clumsy errors. I can only hope that’s attributable to the fact that I have a proof copy, and that it was subsequently sorted out for the final version. It’s kind of interesting to see a writer’s work in a more raw state, though, for more reasons than one. I agree with Abigail Gibbs when she says that The Dark Heroine takes Twilight and makes it into something more on a level with the expectations of today’s teenagers. It’s certainly more akin to majority of the vampire romance than Twilight could ever hope to be, at least in terms of sex and violence. Her vampires don’t sparkle, either, and I’m more than grateful for that.

Part of my problem with this book was the transition from the Kaspar we first meet to the one Violet ultimately falls in love with. I understand perfectly well that he’s dangerous and violent, and that he has a sadistic streak that nothing will or can change. I understand equally that he’s charismatic and used to getting his own way. His treatment of Violet in the early stages of this book would, you’d think, put her off him for good. He’s arrogant and rude, and obviously sees her both as a food source and a sexual plaything. Okay, he’s a vampire. We get that he kidnapped her for these purposes. What I found a little jarring was that he suddenly seems to develop a vulnerable side we’ve never seen before, and it doesn’t exactly fit with what we know of his character at that point. He’s claims to be uncertain why he kidnapped her, which came as a surprise to me because I thought knew perfectly well. It’s a little left-field, and seems like a handily placed plot device to make him seem more appealing to Violet. It’s like someone suddenly remembered that they’d have to be together by the end of the book, and left him out in the sun to soften a bit, like butter. The book’s explanation? Stockholm Syndrome. Violet has fallen in love with her captor. I suppose that’s as plausible as any other reason, given the circumstances.

This isn’t just any old vampire romance, though. Oh no. There’s a bigger purpose to this relationship, which is, as far as I can discern, SAVING THE WORLD. About ¾ of the way through this book, we’re introduced to the existence of OTHER DIMENSIONS, a concept I don’t feel was particularly well explained. I’m still not quite sure how it all works, or what exactly has happened that means anything requires saving, apart from some brief bit of prophecy and some talk of war. And just when we were all getting along so nicely. Colour me confused. Perhaps the sequel(s) will elucidate further, but what it all boils down to for the purposes of this volume is that Kaspar and Violet have to be together because they are destined to be so, and have been tied since birth. Fulfilment of the Prophecy will require Violet to become a vampire, even though that was pretty much a given from the start. I mean, between blackmailing vampires and fate, what can you do? It’s no surprise that she finally succumbs because there was never a choice. Way to kill the romance, right?

I have a couple of other minor complaints. Firstly, Fabian. I mean, he’s the nice guy to begin with, and I wondered for a few pages whether he wasn’t supposed to be the “Edward” in all of this. He undergoes a hell of a personality transplant once Violet rejects him, though, taking up with a female vampire he claims not to have any feelings for on more than one occasion, and indulging in a fairground orgy of sorts. I’m not sure what this was supposed to demonstrate. That vampires are changeable? Who knew. Secondly, the whole thing with Kaspar’s father desperately trying to keep him away from Violet (but only AFTER they’ve fallen in love). It was obviously fine for Kaspar to sexually harass her when he felt nothing for her, but once he admits his love it becomes unacceptable for them to touch. To blame for this? The Prophecy. But the vampires knew about the existence of the Prophecy all along, didn’t they? Again, sex/rape is fine but reciprocal love is not. Hmm.

Having said all that, I did find this a reasonably entertaining read. It’s problematic in places, and there are aspects to the story that I’m not quite clear about. It’s certainly a gripping read, though, once you become absorbed in the Varn’s world and get past the fairly staid initial chapters. Once Violet gets past spending her time sleeping and crying, she’s actually quite a feisty heroine. It’ll be interesting to see how she steps up to her new role, if nothing else. One thing I am certain of after everything I’ve read is that she’s equal to the challenge.


Slade House
Slade House
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars complicate this twisty tale further until the Greyer twins are finally confronted by a force more powerful than their own… I rea, 5 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Slade House (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Slade House is a novella set in the same universe as The Bone Clocks, and tells the story of Jonah and Norah Greyer; telepathic twins who have achieved a form of immortality. Their survival depends on their success in renewing their life-force by periodically ingesting a human soul, thus maintaining their time-frozen lacuna and protecting their mortal bodies from decay.

To this end, a visitor is called to Slade House every nine years on the last Saturday of October, entering via a small iron door in a deserted alley. The house and garden beyond the door are at odds with their surroundings, and too large for the space they occupy. At first the guests don’t want to leave, but they will eventually discover that they can’t. Beginning in 1979, the novella concludes on Halloween night 2015, each of the separate tales which comprise the whole linked by the house. The connections between the visitors, some incidental, some otherwise, complicate this twisty tale further until the Greyer twins are finally confronted by a force more powerful than their own…

I really enjoyed Slade House. I knew from the synopsis that it was going to be my kind of thing, and it’s a pretty perfect Halloween, or October, read. It’s spooky, to begin with. The first tale leaves the reader as disorientated as Nathan Bishop, wondering what’s going on, what’s real, what’s not, and what’s really at the top of the stairs leading to the attic. The second tale equally so, because things have changed in nine years, although the ending is obviously familiar. We know what’s coming by the time the third tale begins, but it’s impressive in the way it demonstrates what the Greyer twins are capable of at the height of their powers. Even though, as readers, we now know the formula, the party plays with our expectations and also, just barely, starts to show the cracks. It’s the beginning of the end.

The fourth tale was, to me, at least, rather unexpected. It doesn’t start in the accustomed way, and again demonstrates another facet of the Greyer’s manipulative skill. It’s also where we learn the history of the Greyer twins, and where pieces of the puzzle really start to fall into place. I liked that it worked as a confirmation of what I’d already started to piece together for myself, but its insertion at this point in one large chunk did seem just a little clumsy from a narrative perspective. It’s almost like the author was worried we wouldn’t get it, and felt he had to present it all to us on a plate before the big finale. I can’t hate it too much, though, because it also shows quite clearly than Jonah Greyer has become arrogant and a little too self-assured. Giving away the details of his life and existence – showing off – is ultimately a huge part of his downfall, and this paves the way perfectly for the final tale.

Iris Marinus-Levy, a psychiatrist with her own powerful telepathic skill, is the Greyer’s final reckoning. Can they be defeated, or will they survive to fight another day? It’s a gripping, nail-biting ending, best read in the dark on Halloween night with a candle for company.

I fairly sped through this one the first time I read it. It’s a clever, absorbing set of interlinked tales, and one seagues easily into the next, picking up the loose threads and weaving them into something new. I appreciated how the “residue” of one tale lingers in the next – sometimes as obviously as a ghost, but often much more subtly. Each of the Greyer’s victims contributes something that’s of use to the next, until we finally reach the end point and the odds are beginning to turn. It’s easy to forget, though, that it’s not just the Greyer Twins against the world – there are also the Blackwatermen, their helpers and advisers. This, I felt, was the only part of Slade House which isn’t sufficiently explained, and I would have liked to have found out more about them, how they came to be, and their motivations in assisting the Greyers. Perhaps that, in itself, would be an intriguing tale. Blackwatermen aside, this was 233 pages of pure enjoyment. It’s atmospheric, a touch spooky, and features a pair of (evil) twins. What more could you want on Halloween?


Fire Colour One
Fire Colour One
by Jenny Valentine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars where she discovers their shared love of art, 26 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Fire Colour One (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Iris loves fire. It helps her cope with her unconventional home life, calming her anger and making her feel clean and cleansed. Even so, it’s a dangerous addiction. Her mother and stepfather couldn’t be less interested in her, being absorbed in their own vanity, careers, and the pursuit of money at all costs. When Iris’ real father, Ernest, makes contact out of the blue, it is to report that he is dying. He summons Iris to his home in England, where she discovers their shared love of art, and realises that the truth of her early life is not as she has known it. It’s time for Ernest’s final act – and his chance to prove that love really is the greatest power of all.

I was gripped by Fire Colour One from the very first page. Iris is an intriguing heroine; strong, feisty, and potentially unreliable narrator, given her love of fire. Some of her actions are undoubtedly dangerous, both for others and herself, but it seems like she’s a good person nonetheless. We can understand her exasperation with her vapid mother and Ken-doll step father, neither of whom have any time for her. Her best friend, Thurston, is her only refuge other than her fires – and shares her interest in art for art’s sake, rather than art for money. As Iris soon discovers, her father, Ernest also has a similar attitude. His last days at home in England demonstrate more clearly than ever the extent to which he has taken this – and the surprise twist took me completely by surprise. Not to provide any spoilers, but it’s one of the most emotionally meaningful endings to a Young Adult book I’ve read in a very long time. I unreservedly recommend Fire Colour One. It’s a book like no other.


Game Changer
Game Changer
by Tim Bowler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars and in a cool, considered, 17 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Game Changer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I hadn’t read any Tim Bowler before Game Changer, and I have to admit that this was clearly an error on my part. Somehow, he just wasn’t on my radar. One thing’s for sure, though – he is now! Game Changer is an amazingly powerful book. Few Young Adult authors I’ve encountered can portray raw emotion without overdoing it, or resorting to platitudes, hysteria, or sentimentality. It’s achieved here, however, and in a cool, considered, matter-of-fact way that makes it all the more powerful because it rings true. We feel Mikey’s anguish at being “different”, his resignation to the fact that he can’t change things easily, his love for Meggie and his parents, and his disappointment that he can’t be the person they would like him to be. They’re all difficult emotions to write, and it’s testament to the quality and economy of Tim’s writing that they’re so keenly felt here.

The storyline itself is confrontational, and perfectly captures the Zeitgeist of contemporary inner-city life. Gangs are part of growing up now for many teenagers; whether they are in them, avoiding them, or being persecuted by them. Mikey’s character throws disability into the mix, making an already complex situation (having witnessed a crime committed by a gang, thus becoming a danger to them and therefore a target) more complex. Mikey is already persecuted at school for being “weird”, and it’s just another thing about him that the gang can exploit. The fact that standing up to the gang means that Mikey goes a long way towards overcoming his fears – and becoming “normal” – is an interesting twist. That he would now be more respected at school for his bravery in spite of his differences is yet another. The final twist – that of Meggie’s fate – is completely unexpected and yet also understandable. This truly is a masterfully woven tale.

Gripping, and at times violent and visceral – it’s an unflinching portrait of the realities of life for one troubled teen. If you’ve not read any Tim Bowler before, I can wholeheartedly recommend Game Changer as an excellent starting point. If you’re familiar, this latest book is more than worth a read. I’ll certainly be seeking out more Tim Bowler in the future!


Mystic City
Mystic City
by Theo Lawrence
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I was attracted to it initially because it seemed like a new take on the ever-popular dystopian theme, 1 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Mystic City (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was attracted to it initially because it seemed like a new take on the ever-popular dystopian theme, and because it's in many ways a modern re-writing of Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story. Maybe the latter particularly. It has a lot of promise, but sadly seems to fall a bit flat. Aria is an intriguing character at first; waking from an alleged drug overdose with no memory of her fiance, she makes the best of what is an awkward and confusing situation. Unfortunately, this strength of character is short lived, and she soon becomes a vapid femme fatale - someone to whom things happen, someone who must always be rescued. This book doesn't do much for women (many of the things Aria and her friends think and say are inane, to say the least, and they're far too eager to give in in the face of bullying and aggression.) Having said that, it doesn't do much for men either (they're mostly violent, uncaring, thuggish cheats). Except Hunter, of course, because he's special. Hunter, Aria's true-love, is a Mystic. It's really all very convoluted, but it turns out that Aria and Thomas are engaged only through the political machinations of their parents, who were previously enemies, but who have decided to unite against their common enemies - the Mystics. Aria's affiliation to either Thomas or Hunter seems to make a huge difference to either side, even though she does nothing much that might actually be considered of use.

There are a few pleasing twists and double-crosses, so it's sometimes surprising and not completely unenjoyable. The political theme is an interesting one, if only it were slightly better handled. As it is, it only ever plays second fiddle to Aria's increasingly complex love life and fraught family situation - possibly it should have been the other way around. As such, it's hard to really get a sense of what each side stands for, and stands to lose, in the upcoming election, and near impossible to work out why Aria is so significant. Perhaps that's the sequel.


Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
by Matthew Quick
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Peacock is a book like few others, 23 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a book like few others. It follows the narrator, the eponymous Leonard, on his 18th birthday. A birthday he intends to celebrate by shooting his former friend, Asher Beal, before killing himself. While Leonard seems to firmly believe that he has nothing to live for, he still wants to say goodbye to the four people who have helped to make his short existence bearable; his old, Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a brilliant musician from school, a Christian girl who hands out tracts at the local station, and his Holocaust teacher.

It seems fair to say that only two of these people seem to have any special regard for Leonard – his neighbour, and his teacher. These two are the only ones who admit to worrying about him, or who try and help in any way. When push comes to shove, it’s the patience and consideration of Leonard’s Holocaust teacher that really change the course of events – he coaxes Leonard into talking about his problems, and particularly the abuse he has suffered, provides refuge in his home after Leonard’s abortive suicide attempt, and tries to convince Leonard’s absent and oblivious mother to take some responsibility for her son’s situation. He fails on the last count, and we’re left to wonder whether Leonard’s life will change for the better, or whether the whole cycle will just begin again. An open-ended conclusion if ever there was one.

At times, this book reminds me a lot of its A Wonderful Life, except the focus seems to be on how other people will eventually improve Leonard’s existence, rather than how Leonard makes a difference to other people. The “letters from the future” are particularly key in this respect, and show Leonard’s attempts to convince himself both that he has a future, and that that future will be worth surviving the present for. It’s nothing more or less than the daily battle against depression put into words – surely there must be something worth hanging around for? The presentation of the words themselves at several key points also helps to represent Leonard’s mental anguish – sometimes crowded against one margin or the other in a narrow column, sometimes splashed higgledy-piggledy across the page, sometimes in jagged forms, sometimes with only one word per page. Depression is a difficult thing to portray adequately in words, but this is certainly a novel way of attempting at least some verisimilitude.

What intrigues me most, however, is the title, and the suggestion that someone is asking (or needs to ask) Leonard for forgiveness. The story itself provides no explicit explanation, and the line itself is never used. We’re left to wonder who this might be, and what bearing this has on the story and its ending. The most obvious candidates are Leonard’s mother; guilty of neglect, and Asher; guilty of abuse, but it could just as easily apply to most of the characters in the book, few of whom made any effort to improve Leonard’s lot. It’s certainly thought-provoking.

Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a convincing and moving account of a troubled outsider, and the situation into which society has pushed him. As journeys into the teenage psyche go, it’s unflinching and memorable, offering a unique perspective on one individual’s attempt to find his place in a hostile world. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


McAfee Total Protection 2014 - 1 User -1 Year (PC)
McAfee Total Protection 2014 - 1 User -1 Year (PC)

5.0 out of 5 stars Ace, 17 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used McAfee products in the past, so didn't hesitate to pick this up as first choice for my new computer. I will admit that I've found previous versions to have had an adverse impact on performance -- taking up huge chunks of memory space, running scans very, very slowly, producing irritating pop-up reminders, etc. This newer version seems vastly improved, however. I'm not an IT buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel it runs sympathetically with my computer. It's there in the background, providing much needed reassurance and protection, but it's unobtrusive and never "gets in the way". My new computer has a far bigger memory capacity than my old one, but I also feel that this version has caused less everyday running problems -- there's no discernable effect on performance even while a scan is running, for example.

I would not hesitate to recommend this product as an ideal choice for those looking for a protection suite.


Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts
Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts
by Gizzi Erskine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A Book of Two Halves, 7 Nov. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love the style of this book. I like cooking, and I "read" a lot of cook books, so it's always nice to find one that's presented imaginatively. It's perhaps not the clearest layout, but it is eye-catching, and it's not the hindrance I thought it might be upon first browsing. Although some of the text is splashed across the page at weird angles, the recipes themselves are presented fairly traditionally. In the "Skinny Weeks" section, there's a title, brief description of the dish or inspiration behind it, ingredients list, and method. At the bottom of each recipe are a few devices giving the calories, number of servings, preparation and cooking time, sometimes with a "Gizzi Tip" also.

The "Weekend Feasts" section is a different matter. These recipes are grouped according to theme, typically with several recipes on each double page spread. This isn't always the case -- the "Lazy Brunches" are set out much as the "Skinny Weeks" recipes, as are the "Sweet Treats". Each recipe in this section of the book has a box at the bottom detailing the number of servings, preparation and cooking time, along with a "Wicked Rating". This is with the exception of the themed feasts, which have a rating and serving indicator, but no preparation/cooking time estimate. That would have been helpful, but I can understand why it's not there -- these recipes are meant to be indulgent and unrushed, not strictly timed.

It's worth noting that a lot of the food here is Asian inspired, so do be prepared for that. There's a lot of Thai, Chinese and Indian recipes, although that's not to say there's nothing else. There are a few american ideas, some Malaysian recipes, some Vietnamese, and some Mexican, so there's a lot of variety, and a lot of fresh inspiration if you're looking for something other than traditional British fare, and perhaps a little unusual to boot.

Overall, there's a nice selection of recipes here. It's a book that subscribes to the 80/20 rule, encouraging five days of healthy eating versus two days of allowed indulgence. There's enough here to keep that interesting, though, and there are some genuinely quick, satisfying ideas that will be great for work nights. I'm going to have a lot of fun going through this and freshening up my eating habits. Dull and boring this is not!


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