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Reviews Written by
Nicola "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK)

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Offered by Premier Life Store
Price: 2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Always a good product, 18 May 2013
This review is from: PRITT STICK - 40G (Office Product)
You can't go wrong with the good old Pritt Stick. This is a good size too and lasts a while.

My Policeman
My Policeman
by Bethan Roberts
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking 1950s story, 13 May 2013
This review is from: My Policeman (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The policeman in the title is Tom Burgess. In the 1950s it was very difficult to be homosexual so he takes a wife, Marion, to conform, but he's really in love with Patrick, an older man who works in a museum. Although Tom is the central character in the whole story, he actually has no voice as the story alternates between the perspectives of Marion and Patrick.

I found this to be quite a slow read, but one that I enjoyed. I preferred Marion's sections to Patrick's as she battles with the underlying knowledge that her husband is not what she hoped he would be. I liked the stilted feeling of the era and thought the author captured well the taboo around being homosexual in a time when not only was it not socially acceptable but it was against the law.

A good read, thought-provoking and quite intense.

This Is Where I Am
This Is Where I Am
by Karen Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and uplifting, 8 May 2013
This review is from: This Is Where I Am (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Is Where I Am tells the stories of Deborah, a lonely Scottish woman getting over the death of her husband, and Abdi, a Somalian refugee who is allocated Deborah as his mentor (she volunteers at the Scottish Refugee Council). In alternating chapters we learn of both characters' pasts and how they give each other hope for the future.

It's a large book, but one I got through pretty quickly. The writing is excellent, and the story is moving, enlightening and ultimately uplifting. I really enjoyed reading about the contrast between Deborah's and Abdi's lives, and how having her as his mentor went some way to mending him and giving him a new life in Scotland. It's an empathetic portrayal of two people trying to get their lives back on track and it's a story of friendship and healing.

An excellent and different read.

Revitive IX Circulation Booster
Revitive IX Circulation Booster
Price: 189.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful, if expensive, product, 8 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This might look a bit like a Fisher Price toy with the bright colours, but it's pretty well built and feels very solid.

I got this as my toes are often freezing cold even when the rest of me is fine, so I guessed this could be due to poor circulation of blood through my legs and feet.

It's basically an exercise machine which stimulates the muscles without having to get off the sofa - which is great if you have limited mobility, or like me limited time to go out and do physical exercise. All you need to do is spend a few sessions on the Revitive whilst sat in front of the TV, still enjoying your normal evening maybe reading or watching TV. This is not for standing on.

This nicely exercises your ankles using what they call an isorocker system. This is really just a pivot so that the unit can actually wobble in tune with your feet which involuntarily tilt forwards and backwards due to the tensing up of your calf muscles. This is a great design as it effortlessly supports your feet during the exercising which also ensures your feet are touching the stimulation pads all the time.

The unit itself has the two foot pads to stimulate your calf muscles and your ankles to improve circulation in your lower legs. There are also two sets of stick on pads that can be used elsewhere on your body for additional stimulation. You can use the footpad stimulation or the external pads together or independently as each set has its own strength setting that you set as needed. The timer controls both of the pad sets together, so although you control the power separately, they both run for the same duration, but you can either take your feet off the device or take the pads off if you want to use them differently.

One poor point with the separate stimulation pads is that there is no guidance as to where to use them in the booklet at all, so you need to look elsewhere for help there. Using the pads you can also help relieve all sorts of other pains including sciatic pain. Here are a couple of useful links for TENS pad placement that I came across doing a bit of research that could be helpful for others: (Amazon won't let me post them as proper links)

I used the pads on my leg and knee and I did notice a difference in the everyday pain in my knee.

As mentioned in the manual and on these sites, because this is a TENS machine, you cannot use this if you have certain medical conditions, such as a pacemaker etc.

You can control both the stimulation settings and the timer using the handy little remote control, but I didn't find it that useful, as you still need to lean over to look at the display if you want to use specific settings. If you just need to adjust it up or down a bit then I suppose it will save you taking your attention away from the television!

The Revitive is basically an exercise machine, and it is the exercise that improves your muscles and veins and therefore your circulation. This a great way to get some exercise in your lower legs if you find it a struggle to do conventional exercise such as walking or running, or you can use it to compliment other exercise to get that extra boost.

It's quite expensive as far as TENS machines go, but the simplicity of using this whilst sat on a chair or sofa by just placing your bare feet on the machine and switching it on to the required strength makes it very easy and effective. The price of around 200 (as it was when I got it) is all that's stopping me giving it a full 5 stars, as you can get many basic TENS machines for much less, but you have the choice of sticking the pads on all the time and replacing them when the stickiness has worn away (they last for 20-30 applications).

Overall, I'm very pleased with this product.

Under Your Skin
Under Your Skin
by Sabine Durrant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, 4 May 2013
This review is from: Under Your Skin (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love a good psychological thriller and this book fits the bill. The story is told by Gaby Mortimer, a daytime television presenter who finds the body of a woman in the woods near her home. Unexpectedly she finds herself under suspicion by the police who think that she had something to do with the murder.

I found this to be a complete page turner. It's a very easy book to read and it just flows and made me want to read just another page, and another one...... It's been a while since I've devoured a book so quickly.

The ending was a clever surprise and it made me want to go back and flick through the story again. I think the author did a great job of making sure that readers don't know what to expect.

This is a gripping story, one I enjoyed every minute of and if you like psychological thrillers then I'd say it's one of the best examples of the genre that I have read.

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love
Ten Things I've Learnt About Love
by Sarah Butler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying, 28 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this to be quite a strange and unsatisfying read, I'm afraid. There are two strands to the story, being those of Alice and Daniel. In the very early stages of the book it wasn't clear who was talking and what was going on which was a bit confusing, but then it did become apparent and it all made a more sense.

Alice has come home from travelling to be with her father for his last few days. Daniel is a tramp who roams the streets of London. How are they linked?

I never quite fully engaged with this book. It's nicely written but a bit fragmented and the ending was a bit unsatisfying for me really. Maybe I just like things to be tied up more at the end of a book but having got to the end of it I expected something different.

Pleasant and full of feeling, but didn't quite draw me in enough.

Scholl Express Pedi Electrical Hard Skin Remover
Scholl Express Pedi Electrical Hard Skin Remover
Price: 21.05

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation of a product, 26 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've suffered from hard skin on my heels and also rough skin for ages. I normally use a hand-held file but it's hard to get really effective results with it so I was very pleased to try this product.

As many other reviewers have commented, getting in the pack is the hard bit but once you have it's such an easy item to use. You just put the batteries in, take the safety cover off and start using it by running the roller up and down the areas you want to smooth.

Apparently there is a cut out if you press on too hard but I haven't experienced that yet so I'm obviously not pressing on too hard, and I now have much smoother heels. On only a few uses it's already made a big difference and I can see that if I continue to use it every time I have a shower (you're advised to use it on damp skin) then I will very quickly have baby-soft heels again.

Excellent product, I'm so pleased with it. And you can buy replacement rollers for it too which is great.

14/05/13 - reporting back to say that I've continued to use this after every shower and my feet feel fantastic. It's a brilliant product.

The Storyteller
The Storyteller
Price: 1.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding story, 25 April 2013
This review is from: The Storyteller (Kindle Edition)
The Storyteller is a many faceted story. It starts with Sage Singer, a 25 year old woman with a tragic past. She meets Josef Weber at her grief group and after they become friends he tells her that he was an SS officer. This especially resonates with Sage because her beloved grandmother was a survivor of the holocaust. There is then a long section in which her grandmother tells her story of the concentration camps that she was in, before the book returns to the stories of Sage and Josef.

This is easily the best Jodi Picoult book I have read. I was absolutely engrossed in the story, and even though I guessed the twist at the end I still didn't work out how she would wind up the story. It's a moving and emotional read and it certainly made me think about revenge and redemption and how nothing is ever clear cut. Can you forgive and is it your place to forgive on behalf of someone else?

Not many books grab me to the point where I almost forget everything else, but this was one of them and I'd highly recommend it.

When Nights Were Cold: A literary mystery
When Nights Were Cold: A literary mystery
by Susanna Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.77

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric writing, 14 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Grace Farringdon lives with her parents and older sister in turn of the 20th century London. She is stifled by them and lives for her play-acting with neighbour, Frank Black, when they each pretend to be a polar explorer. Grace is fascinated by the expeditions of the likes of Scott and Shackleton and wants to be just like them. She escapes home life to go to a women's college and forms the Antarctic Exploration Society with three friends. They climb mountains together and form alliances but we know from the beginning that something has gone wrong. As Grace looks back on those times the story unfolds slowly throughout the course of the book.

I loved this story. It's told in the first person and this enables Grace to tell the reader exactly what she is thinking and feeling. I had a strong sense of what it was like for her and her friends on the mountains and even her imagined stories of polar exploration were told so well that it became quite atmospheric. It certainly piqued my interest in such things, where before I had had little interest. The story has an element of the sinister about it and the writing is excellent. I'd highly recommend this book. It's reasonably short yet seems to have so much packed into it and is a very intriguing tale.

Life After Life
Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stuff, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Life After Life (Hardcover)
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and I wasn't disappointed at all. I love Kate Atkinson's writing anyway, but the idea of being able to live your life over again until it was right was so very intriguing to me.

This book is the story of Ursula Todd, born during a snow storm in 1910. She dies immediately. And then she is born again during the same snow storm and lives. The rest of the book follows in a similar vein. It was clever when I realised the links in each of Ursula's lives and how just one thing changed the whole course of them.

The writing is top-notch as usual and Kate Atkinson has such a wonderful style and creates such interesting characters.

I loved every minute of this book. A clever and ambitious piece of work that kept me enthralled.

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