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BookAddictShaun (England, UK)

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Unbreakable: My New Autobiography
Unbreakable: My New Autobiography
by Sharon Osbourne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 23 Oct 2013
Having read Sharon's previous autobiographies I couldn't wait to read this one and it was just as good if not better than the previous ones. I love Sharon, although I haven't watched her on this year's X Factor as I stopped watching it a few years ago.

The book as you would expect from Sharon is very honest. I loved the chapter about Dannii after reading her story in her own autobiography. The best bit about the whole thing was Sharon telling Ozzy about Dannii and him replying that he didn't know Kylie Minogue had a brother!

She also speaks with honesty about her kids and Jack's MS diagnosis which led to her having to leave America's Got Talent because of a falling out with the network. But it is the chapters about her marriage with Ozzy that are the most fascinating. Where most people would've just given up after everything they have been through it really does seem that they can overcome everything. She also talks about her own addictions, from spending money to the many surgical operations she has needlessly put her body through.

Overall a must read for Sharon fans especially those who have read the previous ones. Emotional at times and very honest there are also plenty of funny moments and stories throughout the book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It ends with the impression that Sharon is taking herself out of the limelight to spend more time with Ozzy and her family but I doubt Mrs O can stay out of the limelight for too long.

A Whole Lot of History - Signed Edition
A Whole Lot of History - Signed Edition
by Kimberley Walsh
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the lady herself, fantastic, 28 Sep 2013
I have been a fan of Girls Aloud from the beginning. I was 12 at the time of Popstars and my teenage years are full of Aloud memories. Needless to say I was gutted when they went on their hiatus, and even more gutted when they eventually split after an amazing tour. It's only after reading Cheryl's book last year and just finishing Kimberley's book that it becomes clear why the split, I'm still coming to terms with it though!

First of all I want to say that this is probably one of my favourite autobiographies. I've read a lot but Kimberley came across in the book just as she does in real life. Warm, funny, down to Earth and very honest. Having read the Girls Aloud book and Cheryl's book certain parts of the book felt a bit repetitive however it was good to read about certain things from Kimberley's point of view rather than Cheryl's. This book also reveals more about the split and the tensions in the band than Cheryl's (hardback copy, not sure if the paperback features new stuff) as it was written later. For that reason I'd love to read books from Nicola, Nadine and Sarah to get their take. Nadine's especially as she hasn't been written about very well here or in the press. Either she does live in her own bubble as Kim and Cheryl say or she really just doesn't care. Which is a shame as Nadine was one of my favourite members for a long time.

I loved reading about Kimberley's childhood and her determination to follow her dreams. I didn't realise what a hectic childhood she had and how talented she actually is. People often look at girl band members as talentless however Kimberley could never be called that. She did face quite a few obstacles but definitely overcame them. And I absolutely loved reliving all the Aloud memories from the formation of the band. The battle with One True Voice (who?!) for number one. The battles with the nonexistent Louis Walsh. Girls Aloud trying to find their image. Living together and all of the amazing tours. And of course the friendship between Cheryl, Kimberley and Nicola. Those three are the closest in the band and it was lovely reading about their friendship. I loved the chapter about the Comic Relief climb too, especially the bit about her and Chris on live TV in Africa! There are so many funny moments too, I did laugh out loud a few times.

Overall this is a must read book for Aloud fans but also one that I feel can be read and enjoyed by just about anyone. Girls Aloud might be no more but these five women, well maybe not all five, certainly won't be disappearing for a while yet and I look forward to seeing what the future brings for all of them. And at the same time hoping for books from the other three girls.

The Executioner
The Executioner
by Chris Carter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't get enough of this author, fantastic, 26 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Executioner (Paperback)
After reading hundreds of crime fiction books over the years I am now at the point where a book has to be pretty good for me to even finish it, let alone love it and rate it five stars. It also has to have characters I enjoy reading about and a story that grips me until the very end. This is my third Chris Carter book and all three have fulfilled those requirements. Crime fiction fans who are yet to read a Chris Carter book should stop what they are doing and do so ASAP.

Robert Hunter is a fantastic character. Willing to disobey his superiors but always for the good of the case rather than just because he's an egotistical idiot like so many fictional detectives. His knowledge of pretty much everything however can wear thin. I do like his friendship with Garcia though and after reading One By One (Chris's latest book) it has been enjoyable to go back to the start and read more about these two characters.

The best thing about these books for me however is the killers in them. They certainly are not for the faint hearted. Chris Carter does not fail to come up with the absolutely worst, most gruesome ways to kill people and for me it is just fantastic to read. The book was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. The short chapters as well make for a quicker read and often end on a cliffhanger meaning you will be awake long into the night trying to finish the book as quickly as possible.

Overall Chris Carter has fast become one of my favourite authors in this genre over the past few weeks and after buying the other two books in the series I cannot wait to get started with them. Crime fiction fans should move Carter's books to the top of their to read list.

Confessions of a Wild Child (Lucky Santangelo Prequel)
Confessions of a Wild Child (Lucky Santangelo Prequel)
by Jackie Collins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the fans, new readers start elsewhere, 26 Sep 2013
This was probably my most anticipated book of 2013, and I'm disappointed to say that it fell short of my expectations. So why the five stars? Well I am loath to give a Jackie Collins book below four stars and I definitely do not want to give a book that feature her best creation less than five stars. I did love the book however it was very much a case of 'been there, done that' after having already read all the previous Santangelo books.

I don't know why I expected more, the book has always stated it is Lucky's early years. The problem is we know all about those early years after reading Chances and Lucky. I knew everything that was happening and about to happen in this book because I have read it before. This is just an expanded version of what Jackie has wrote in previous books. Also it is a very short read. Quite a large font and if the chapter ends on the right hand side then the following page is just blank and so with 20 or so chapters ending like this that's 20 pages of white to take off from the already short 350 or so pages.

It does however never get boring for me as a fan to read about Lucky Santangelo. She, along with Gino is Jackie's greatest creation and surely the one that fans love to read about most. I love Jackie's standalone books but the Santangelo ones are in a league of their own and I wish that she would write a whole new book featuring them rather than something like this which just felt very repetitive. Also with her books you usually have a mystery. There isn't any mystery here for longtime fans as they know exactly what happens to Lucky in the later years. That said however she did have to make a time jump with Drop Dead Beautiful as by 2013 some characters wouldn't be alive.

Overall this is definitely one for the fans. People new to Jackie's work would definitely be better going back to her earlier stuff which is full of mystery and intrigue and outrageous characters. The same can't be said here but for fans it is a great read. Oh and Lucky Santangelo is NOT Angelina Jolie. I LOVE Jackie but wish she wouldn't say Angelina is her ideal Lucky. As Lucky gets older I picture her as Kris Jenner, she certainly fits the description and Kris definitely has balls like Lucky.

Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic read from Tracey Garvis-Graves, 17 Sep 2013
This review is from: Covet (Kindle Edition)
Review from my Goodreads page written August 6th 2013:

One of the signs of an amazing book is one that takes less than a day to read. Another sign is when you have to stop reading and can't stop thinking of the moment you can pick it up and continue reading. Another is when you should be sleeping but you can't because you are nearing the end of the book and it is impossible to stop reading until you finish it. And perhaps the most obvious sign of a good book is when you finish it and are left feeling ecstatic at finishing a good book but sad at the same time that it is over, and when you have no idea what your next book will be because you feel like nothing can beat the story you have just read. This book was all of those things and that is why I am writing this review at 2.26am, just moments after finishing this book. Again though I find myself wishing I could write a review that does the book justice, I will try!

About a year ago I downloaded to my Kindle a book called On the Island. I hoped for a half decent read after reading the plot which I found pretty exciting. What I ended up reading was one of the best books I read in 2012 and what I now call one of my favourite books of all time. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of returning to that island in the novella Uncharted which was just fantastic. Needless to say that when I requested this book on Net Galley and was approved, I couldn't wait to get started. I was in work when the approval email came through and had to get through four hours more before I could start Covet.

I knew however that this book would be very different from On the Island. I am not the intended reader for this book but to me that doesn't matter. If a book is good then it can be read by almost anybody, and despite this being classed as Women's Fiction, I feel that the book, or at the very least extracts of it could be read by men. Particularly those who may be facing problems in their relationship or marriage. This certainly isn't one of those awful erotica novels that are constantly at the top of the bestsellers charts, what it is instead is a wonderfully written story which felt very real, you could have been reading a person's life story as opposed to a story from a writer's imagination.

The chapters alternate between the three characters: Claire, Chris and Daniel. The bulk of the chapters are from Claire's POV however it was nice to hear from the other characters so we weren't just getting Claire's side of things and we could actually see what Chris and Daniel were thinking as opposed to what Claire assumed they were thinking, if that makes sense. Chris and Claire's marriage is pretty much on the rocks, Chris loses his job and Claire takes us through the months that followed the loss talking about how they grew apart and the trouble they faced with his unemployment. Then Chris finds work that means him being away from home throughout the week. I remember as a child my dad would work from 7am until 11pm and I would hardly ever see him despite living in the same house. I could definitely relate to the children in this book and it is only when you are older that you fully realise and understand what your parents do for you.

Claire at the start of the book is pulled over by a police officer because of a problem with her car. It is all fairly innocent at first but in the weeks and months that follow a friendship is formed between the two to the point where there is a question mark surrounding whether anything will happen beyond that. It's hard to continue talking about the characters without giving away too much of the plot so all I will say is that you feel for all three characters. I didn't really feel that Claire was in the wrong throughout the book, but perhaps having never been in love or married makes me see the story differently than somebody who is/has. I read a few comments on Goodreads from people who were a bit wary about reading this book because of the cheating aspect but I urge those people to read this book and forget about those worries. The story here is incredible to the point where I just didn't know what I wanted Claire to do.

The three characters I liked very much. Claire has diabetes which I thought was very interesting and made for some heart stopping developments throughout the book. There were some wonderful scenes between her and Daniel regarding this but to elaborate would be giving the story away. I also liked the flashback scenes where we learnt more about Chris and Claire when they first met. The love between these two characters is evident. I definitely synpathised with Chris having to work away from his family for most of the week to support them. His love for his wife and kids was clear throughout the book. I really liked Daniel. I loved the scenes between him and Claire.

Overall I cannot reccommend this book highly enough. It now cements Tracey Garvis-Graves as one of my favourite authors as she has now written three books which I will always rate as some of the best I have read. In reading the acknowledgement section Tracey mentioned an alternate ending and after only just finishing this book I want to know what that ending is so badly because as I said I didn't know what I wanted Claire to do and I don't know how I would have written this story or indeed ended it. I was satisfied with the ending of the book however. When I finished On the Island I couldn't stop thinking about the story for a while afterwards. I think the same will be true of this book. I don't feel like I have just read a of fiction but instead somebody's life story. Tracey thank you for another truly amazing book which I just loved reading. Your next book cannot come quick enough as far as I am concerned (whatever it may be)!

Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 Dual-Port Ultra Compact External Battery Portable USB Charger Power Bank - PowerIQTM Broad Compatibility, Fast Charging, High Capacity - For iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 3 2, Tab 4 3 2 Pro, Nexus, HTC One, One 2 (M8), Motorola Droid, Moto X, PS Vita, Gopro, and other USB-charged devices
Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 Dual-Port Ultra Compact External Battery Portable USB Charger Power Bank - PowerIQTM Broad Compatibility, Fast Charging, High Capacity - For iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 3 2, Tab 4 3 2 Pro, Nexus, HTC One, One 2 (M8), Motorola Droid, Moto X, PS Vita, Gopro, and other USB-charged devices
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great so far, 4 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Been looking at getting one of these battery packs for a while and it was between this one and another company, opted for this one as I liked the look of it more. It's bigger than it looks on here but not massively heavy and not cumbersome to hold.

I started charging my iPhone 5 with the battery pack straight out of the box and it went down to 3 lights after a few minutes so I assume it had around 75% charge as other reviewers stated. I then charged my Kindle Paperwhite and am now running the pack down charging my iPad before charging the battery pack with an AC adapter to see how long it takes.

What swung it for me was the 18 month warranty and the customer service offered by Anker. I planned on using this device for frequent trips to London but figured I may as well get the most use I can out of it for these 18 months and would happily buy another one at such a low price should it conk out after the 18 months or after the amount of recharges that the company says the battery pack is capable of.

Only day one but so far so good.

The Crucifix Killer
The Crucifix Killer
by Chris Carter
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 4 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Crucifix Killer (Paperback)
After reading Chris Carter's latest book, One By One I couldn't wait to get started on this book, the first in the series. It was enjoyable to get to know Hunter better and also read about Garcia on his first case. I loved the banter between him and Hunter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the killer in it was one of the most gruesome I've read and for me the more gruesome the better when it comes to books like this. I was kept guessing throughout the book and did not work out who the killer was. The only thing that annoyed me was the ending for this book, in terms of why the killer killed was incredibly similar to One By One, his latest book. Still a fantastic ending and the little twist at the end left me cold.

Can't wait to read more of the Hunter books and recommend that crime fiction fans check out Chris Carter's books ASAP!

One by One
One by One
by Chris Carter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable read, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: One by One (Hardcover)
This is without a doubt one of the best crime fiction books I have ever read. And, dare I say it, one of the most enjoyable. From the opening to closing chapter I could not stop reading. I love short chapters, they end so abruptly and usually on a cliffhanger that you really have no choice but to continue reading. Some authors aren't that good with the short chapters, but Chris Carter isn't one of them. He is a fantastic writer and tells one hell of a story.

I read The Hunter a few days ago which is a short story, but it was basically a glorified advert for his books. I didn't need any advert as Carter's books have been on my radar for a few years, I just never got round to reading them. The plot for One By One however convinced me that I needed to start his books ASAP and I started with this book. I was a bit wary at first having not read the previous books but, unlike other books which are part of a series, Carter only mentions a previous book once - he doesn't use whole chapters to tell the reader everything that has happened to the character up till now - and doesn't give away that much of the plot meaning previous books can be read without them being spoilt for the reader here first.

I did love the idea for the book. Hunter is contacted personally and asked to log on to a website where the caller asks Hunter which method he wants the person on the screen to die by. More deaths occur only this time on a website that the people of California can access and vote for their preferred kill method. In the age of reality TV and being able to vote for all kinds of things this was certainly an enjoyable read. A website like this being posted on Twitter and Facebook today would certainly attract thousands of hits and would people vote? I certainly didn't work out who the killer was and I very much enjoyed the ending because it was a surprise. So often in crime fiction the killer is obvious, or is known to the reader early on in the book but books like these are more enjoyable when you don't see twists coming.

Unfortunately however I have just read a review elsewhere which compares this book to the film 'Untraceable'. I haven't watched that film but I have just read about it online and read pretty much the whole plot. It is incredibly similar to the plot here, perhaps too similar for the author to not be aware of it? That said it is also similar to the Saw films and the killer in this book was very much a Jigsaw type character. In fact the killer of this book is probably one of my favourite killers in a crime fiction book.

Overall I reccommend that you read this book. Previous books do not need to have been read in advance although I feel certain parts of the book would invoke more of a reaction from the reader had they established a connection with the characters by knowing more about them. It certainly doesn't take away any enjoyment from the book however if it is your first Carter book.

The Knowledge: A free digital compendium
The Knowledge: A free digital compendium
Price: £0.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the Revenge preview, 26 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't imagine there are many crime readers who haven't heard of Martina Cole. In recent years her work has declined, but her earlier stuff is simply fantastic. In fact I would say that her earlier work (The Ladykiller, Two Women, Dangerous Lady, The Runaway) remains unbeaten by any of the authors who have the Martina comparison on their front covers: 'Like Martina, you'll LOVE so and so...'.

Two authors who remind me of early Cole are Jessie Keane and Kimberley Chambers. Jessie is a fantastic author and deserves the right to be compared to Cole. Another good author is Jacqui Rose. Other authors got their publishing deals through marriage, and aren't so good. It's a shame that Martina's newer stuff isn't a patch on her earlier work but I still read her new books in the hope of a return to form. However with the likes of Kimberley and Jessie there is a lot more choice around these days for similar stuff. Martina however still remains as the Queen of these sorts of books and is one of the UK's best selling and most popular authors.

This 'free digital compendium' is fantastic for new fans to learn more about Martina, what makes her tick and what made her decide to be a writer. It also contains the first chapter(s) from all of Martina's books which is great for new readers who are yet to read those books. But for older readers, and people who have been there since the start then there isn't anything new to be seen here.

Apart from the opening chapters of her previous work, the book contains the chapters: 'The Road to Success', 'The Facts', 'What Makes Me Angry', 'An Interview with Martina Cole' and two short stories: 'Tammy's Story' and 'Tania's Life'. All of these pieces have been published before in her previous books, with the exception of 'What Makes Me Angry' which was aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2008. Martina fans may have missed these pieces in the past and as this book is free, then it may be worth a download to read them again or for the first time if they were missed first time round.

The one new thing however is a sneak preview of Martina's upcoming book 'Revenge' so it is worth the free download from Amazon to skip straight to that chapter.

Blood Work
Blood Work
by Mark Pearson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 26 Aug 2013
This review is from: Blood Work (Paperback)
After starting and finishing Pearson's first book in just over a day I started this one yesterday and have just finished it. Another enjoyable read featuring Jack Delaney who I think is a fantastic character. After finishing this I am even more confused about the abandoned publication of Pearson's latest book. Do his books just not sell or did he leave his publisher? I can't seem to find out.

Anyway, as I said in my review for Hard Evidence it is very clear that Pearson was once a television scriptwriter. His books do read like an exaggerated episode of The Bill. There are also multiple stories taking place at the same time rather than just 'policeman tries to catch the killer'. What annoyed me about the book however was that there weren't any chapters, just 'Day One', 'Day Two' and 'Epilogue'. I hate putting a book down mid-chapter but I had to here as I didn't have the time to read 50% of the book in one sitting!

In this book we find out more about Delaney and certainly a lot more about how his wife died which we first read about in book one. His relationship with Kate is explored more in this book and I have to say that I really enjoy reading about these characters. I have another book queued up to read but Pearson's third Delaney book is near the top of my to read list and I am off to search some more about why Pearson's latest book was abandoned as I want to read more from this author! Highly recommended to fans of Mark Billingham and once again the city of London was just as much a character in this book as the actual characters.

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