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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
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Little Lies
Little Lies
Price: 4.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Lies, 31 July 2014
This review is from: Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
From the very beginning of this entertaining novel, we are aware that there has been a murder, when the ‘Audrey and Elvis’ trivia night at Pirriwee Public School spirals out of control.... Set in a small, beachside community, the novel revolves around a group of mothers, whose children attend the kindergarten at the school. There is forty year old Madeline Mackenzie, mother of Alice, Fred and five year old Chloe, single mother Jane Chapman and her son Ziggy, the beautiful Celeste, mother of twin boys, whose marriage is not as perfect as it seems, Bonnie, who is married to Madeline’s ex husband and Renata, who attends a support group for the parents of gifted children.

Although this novel is set in Australia, the school, parents, children, situations and playground politics will be all too familiar to any parent – accusations of bullying, cliques of mothers gossiping in the playground, children being excluded from parties or play dates, competitive parents, the ‘class toy’ and volunteering at the school are all covered in this book, which weaves its way through the six months leading up to the implosion of events at the trivia night.

As well as looking at life through events at the school, we also read of the lives of the women; especially the three main characters of Madeline, Jane and Celeste. Although there are very serious issues tackled in the storyline, much of this book is also extremely funny. I have to say that I was completely gripped and loved every page. The characters, the situations and feelings of the women were all authentic and it is sure to appeal to anyone who has found that taking your child to school is not always simply about their education. Highly recommended, often moving and darkly humorous, this would be a fantastic choice for book groups, with much to discuss. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


This One Is Mine
This One Is Mine
Price: 4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This One is Mine, 31 July 2014
This review is from: This One Is Mine (Kindle Edition)
Violet Parry lives in LA with her wealthy rock manager husband David, baby daughter Dot and nanny, LadyGo. David is much admired, successful and driven – while Violet has given up her career as an Emmy-winning writer after the birth of her daughter, has plunged her entire savings into the house she wanted to refurbish and now feels trapped by her home, motherhood and marriage. Meanwhile, David’s sister Sally lives as a ballet workout trainer, organises children’s parties, struggles with debt and diabetes and is desperately on the lookout for a wealthy husband. Both Violet and Sally will have their entire lives changed by a man. Sally by Jeremy White, the up and coming sports caster, and Violet by a chance meeting with Teddy Reyes; bass player, alcoholic and definitely not financially in her league.

I imagine that many people will struggle with this book, as the characters are not immediately sympathetic. David appears brash and insensitive, frankly Violet seems to have nothing to complain about, and Sally seems so one-minded about marrying a successful man that she comes across as more than a little crazed by material desire and a quest for security regardless of the cost. However, this is a novel which is worth persevering with, as it has so much more depth than first appears to be the case.

As Violet falls bewildering in love with Teddy Reyes, she stands on the brink of losing her marriage, family and lifestyle. Sally, meanwhile, plots and plans for Jeremy to propose and give her the success and wealth she craves. The author paints a less than flattering portrait of LA and its citizens, although, of course, beneath the surface people are far more complicated than they first appear. Despite appearances, both David and Jeremy are both more complex and resilient than Violet and Sally realise, and there will be many twists and turns before the end of the book. I began unsure of whether I would enjoy the storyline and characters – but, by the end, I was sorry to finish. This would be ideal for reading groups, with so much to discuss. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.


What Milo Saw
What Milo Saw
Price: 7.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Milo Saw, 31 July 2014
This review is from: What Milo Saw (Kindle Edition)
Nine year old Milo Moon lives in Slipton with his mum Sandy, his beloved Gran Lou (really his father’s grandmother) and his pet pig Hamlet. Milo is a sensitive, caring boy, but his life is not always easy. Milo’s father has left his mother for another woman and now Sandy is struggling to pay the bills and cope with her feelings of depression. She feels that Milo spends too much time caring for Gran and, when Gran sets fire to the kitchen, Sandy decides she has to put her into a nursing home and chooses Forget Me Not; run by the seemingly efficient Nurse Thornhill. As well as these problems, Milo also suffers from a progressive eye disease - Retinitis Pigmentosa, which means that his vision is reduced to a pinhole and that, eventually, he will lose his sight.

Before long, Milo is concerned that things are not as wonderful as the glossy pictures of Forget Me Not suggest. He just wants Gran home and for everything to be back as it was, and he is determined to do something about it. This is a warm and moving book with a great cast of characters. There is Tripi, the Syrian chef at the care home, who desperately misses his younger sister and worries constantly about his immigration status, the charming residents of Forget Me Not, lodger Al McCloud and the unkind and bitter Nurse Thornhill. Through it all – bullied at school, hampered by his sight and struggling with the loss of his dad – Milo decides to take matters into his own hands and rescue his Gran from the home. In essence though, this is a novel about family and about taking responsibility – both for others and for yourself.

Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review purposes.


A Separate Peace: A Novel
A Separate Peace: A Novel
by John Knowles
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Separate Peace, 30 July 2014
Set in the exclusive The Devon School, in New England, this is a moving and evocative coming of age novel. Gene Forrester and his friend Phineas are both sixteen years old. It is 1942 and the spectre of war and enlistment loom over them, but the story begins in a gilded summer, when it seems as though nothing bad could possibly happen to them.

Academic Gene is both exasperated by his roommate Phineas (Finny) and yet proud he has been chosen to be his closest friend and confidante. Finny is effortlessly a natural leader, an organiser, the sports star and always popular with the other boys. Gene finds himself dragged along in his wake, desperate to study and compete with Finny in the only way he knows how, and yet unable to avoid inclusion in his schemes. One of these is ‘The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session,” which has a membership requirement of jumping from the limb of a tree and into the river. The jump is dangerous and Gene and Finny are required to make the leap before every meeting – something Gene never gets used to. One day, irritated and annoyed by Finny’s carefree behaviour, Gene climbs the tree and then does something he later comes to regret...

This is a story about friendship, competition, envy, unspoken accusations and the way closed knit communities, like schools, magnify and distort events. Of course, as the boys edge towards seventeen and enlisting becomes a real event in their lives, there is also the spectre of war and how that changes their lives and views of themselves. This is a classic I have never come across before, but I found it an intriguing and evocative read. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


Word a Day Grade 2
Word a Day Grade 2
by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Word A Day Grade 2, 30 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Word a Day Grade 2 (Paperback)
This book is by the educational publishers Evan-Moor, who produce really excellent educational workbooks. This one has the aim of improving vocabulary, by giving your child four words a week to learn, with a lesson at the end of the week to make sure they understand the meanings. Grade 2 is for approx the 7-8 year old age group, or Year 3 in our school system, but be aware that this is an American publisher.

Four new words are presented each week, with a definition, example sentence and what type of word it is listed. So, for example, the word 'consent' is described as a noun, the definition is, "permission to do something" and there is then a sentence using the word with some questions to ask, such as, "would you need your parents’ consent to stay up later than usual?" The review on the fifth day uses that weeks words – occupation, consent, famished and hustle with activities, such as reviewing the meanings of words, writing tasks, etc.

There are 144 words in this particular book to help increase vocabulary and aid children's story writing and spelling. The whole activity takes about five minutes, easily done in the car before going into school or before homework. You could also extend it by making them learn the spellings. This brings me onto the only negative part of the book - the spellings are obviously American. There are not many words that have to be changed, but you do have to check spellings and change the odd one to the British spelling. I don't find it a major issue, but it is something to be aware of. The back of the book also has all the words in both dictionary form and as an index. That also aids children in learning to use a dictionary, look up words alphabetically, etc.

Despite the small issue with American spellings, I think this is an excellent buy and a really good way to expand the words children use in their speech and writing. There are many, many books published by Evan-Moor and they are good value for money and well presented. I have found them very useful to plug gaps in books available here, although it would be nice if there were British editions.


KS2 Problem Solving Book 1
KS2 Problem Solving Book 1
by PaulMartin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KS2 Problem Solving Book 1, 30 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of four graded activity books to help children apply maths skills to ‘real life’ situations, such as using money, using television listings or keeping the scores of games. This book is Book 1 (for Years 3 and 4), the second book is for Years 4 and 5, the third for Years 5 and 6 and Book 4 for Year 6. I have noticed that many maths books tend to gloss over questions that many children find hardest – most notably time and money – so it is nice to find a book which focuses on these areas and which follows the British curriculum.

This particular book includes problems suitable for children in Year 3 and 4 and has questions in the following areas: Number, Money, Shape, Measures, Symmetry, Time and Handling Data. Questions include finding six ways to make 1, showing when a television programme started, finished and how long it lasted and asking how much stamps to send birthday invitations cost, how many more boys than girls came to the party and how much was spent on pirate and wizard hats for the guests.

The answers are included in a pull out section in the middle of the book. Although Schofield & Sims do not produce the most visually exciting books, and their covers are rather flimsy, the content is often excellent and they do plug gaps that other books do not address in enough depth. For the price, this is an excellent workbook, especially in applying mathematical knowledge to real life questions.


Disney Frozen Magiclip Elsa of Arendelle
Disney Frozen Magiclip Elsa of Arendelle
Offered by Jac in a box
Price: 17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Magiclip Elsa., 30 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My daughter loves the Magiclip dolls and, as she is currently obsessed with anything Frozen, this was a great addition to the range. Elsa comes with two dresses. If you hold the bottom of the dress together, like a clothes peg, the dress opens and the doll easily removed and then 'clipped' into the other outfit. My daughter liked both outfits and, if children collect different magiclip dolls, the outfits are all interchangeable. A good buy and she was delighted with it.


Braun Oral-B PRO 600 CrossAction Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Braun Oral-B PRO 600 CrossAction Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Price: 24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Braun Oral-B Pro 600, 30 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes with a power brush and charging station. The brush comes with a cross action brush head, but is compatible with other Oral-B brush heads: floss action, 3D white, sensitive clean and trizone, so you can change it if you want to. The battery, when charged, lasts for several days (up to 7) and has a charge level display on the handle. The brush also has a pressure sensor, so if you brush too hard, the pulsation will stop and alert you. Also, there is a stuttering sound at 30 second intervals, which reminds you to brush equally at all four quadrants of your mouth and a long stuttering sound indicates the end of the recommended two minute brushing sound. If you pause when you are brushing, and switch off the handle, it will reset itself and remember how long you have already brushed for. The brush is small and comfortable to use. The angle of the bristles allows for a very good clean around the gum line of the mouth and it leaves your teeth feeling clean and fresh. Overall, a very good buy.


Life or Death
Life or Death
Price: 6.92

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life or Death, 29 July 2014
This review is from: Life or Death (Kindle Edition)
Audie Palmer has spent ten years in jail when he escapes from prison, without telling anyone of his plans. He was sentenced after a robbery on an armoured truck led to four deaths, Audie himself horribly injured, one man – Audie’s brother –missing and seven million dollars unaccounted for. .. Through all of the ten years Audie has spent in prison he has suffered threats, beatings and countless attempts on his life by people hoping to get their hands on the money. So, with his jail term almost over, his actions make no sense. Why would a man about to be released escape from prison a day early when, if caught, he could face another, harsher sentence?

During his time in prison, Audie’s closest friend has been Moss Webster. Now Moss finds himself sent to locate – and betray – his friend. Also on Audie’s trail is Special Agent Desiree Furness, while Sheriff Ryan Valdez (the man who nearly killed Audie after the robbery), of Dreyfus County, also offers to help with the search. During this fast paced, well plotted and exciting thriller, we are taken through Audie’s life and discover what happened ten years ago, what Audie hopes to accomplish, what happened to the money and why so many people want him dead?

I really enjoyed this novel, peopled with sympathetic main characters and which did not let down the pace from start to finish. This really is a roller coaster ride in every sense of the world and yet the author effortlessly holds together all the different strands of the plot; both past and present. If you enjoy really well written thrillers, then you will certainly enjoy this. I have never read anything by this author before, but as this is a stand-alone novel it is a great introduction to his work and I will certainly be reading more by him in the future. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


Disney Frozen Exclusive 12 Inch Classic Doll Elsa
Disney Frozen Exclusive 12 Inch Classic Doll Elsa
Offered by Toy & Film
Price: 39.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Classic Elsa, 28 July 2014
This is a beautiful doll, with an expression, hair and dress that closely resemble the character in the film. Elsa dolls are very difficult to get hold of at the moment (I agree that the price is simply too high, but I am simply reviewing the product and so will not make any comment about cost which, after all, will change – hopefully downwards). There are different makes on the market – Mattel and Disney. Personally, I think the Disney one is preferable, with nicer ( much longer) hair and a face more like the character in the film. The doll is fully jointed, including wrists and ankles and the dress and shoes can be removed. There are lots of lovely details, including a delicate and detailed patterned dress, and my daughter was thrilled with it. There is also a Classic Collection Anna doll available..


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