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Baffled (London)

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The Hive
The Hive
by Gill Hornby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.37

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 24 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Hive (Hardcover)
Like so many on here, I fell for the hype. The moral is, don't believe reviews in magazines, the publishers have probably placed an advert and the Hornby clan is a powerful one. Bits of this book made me smile, but most of it was beyond credible. None of the characters were likable. I especially had a problem with earth-mother Georgie, the way she was bitchy and critical of the rest of the group and so intensely smug about her own "raucous" family. Melissa had no personality whatsoever, or seeming motivation to want to be "queen bee". Poor Bubba, whose name I forget, whose son had special needs is mocked for not recognising this. Rachel wafts around, seeming extraordinarily unbothered about her marriage break down. School playgrounds aren't like this - yes, there are mothers you like more than others, and gangs of good friends, but it's a far more organic process, rather than a studied exercise in social climbing and ostracising. Women are nicer, funnier, more interesting and more complex than this book would have you believe. Good luck, whoever's bought the film rights, because you'll struggle to find a return on that investment.


Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After
Price: £4.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones with fewer jokes, 9 April 2013
I liked this book, it was a clever, knowing take on the Bridget Jones genre and romance novels in general, with Elle, a fan of the books coming of age in the Nineties and Noughties. Well written and absorbing with some great set pieces like the Jane-Austen themed wedding.

My only misgiving was that the book's ending was the fairytale one, that the novel's subtext kept stressing doesn't actually exist. I know readers want that, but this reader would have preferred Elle to have ended up with a less obvious candidate. I'm avoiding spoilers but the stuff about Tom and his girlfriend was veeeery lame and could be seen coming a hundred miles off. Still, a very enjoyable read.


Not Without You
Not Without You
by Harriet Evans
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.92

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reads as if it was written in a hurry, 8 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Not Without You (Hardcover)
I liked Harriet Evans's last book but this one disappointed me. Sophie the heroine came across as very bland, in fact every bit the Hollywood product she professed to despise. Her leading man was equally colourless and cliched too - Inn at Big Sur, yes, of course. The mystery was utterly obvious, and there was a lot of repetition at the end about what Sophie hoped would happen to the perpetrator etc. Story strands like the sex video were introduced but led nowhere. The Eve story I found even less absorbing.

This book seemed to have been rushed out to meet a deadline, a couple of months tidying up loose ends and improving characterisation would have helped it hugely.


You Had Me At Hello
You Had Me At Hello
by Mhairi McFarlane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars nicely written - but whatever ..., 27 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
The prose in this book was sharp, with some lovely lines. But ultimately, you knew exactly where the plot was going from the first page. There was nothing new in the will-they-won't-they story.


Night Waking
Night Waking
by Sarah Moss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 5 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Night Waking (Paperback)
Many other reviewers have summarized the plot, so all I'll say is this was the wittiest, most mordant, involving book I've read in years. Sarah Moss is a very clever woman indeed and I can't wait to read more by her.


Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep
by S J Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars didn't live up to the hype, 6 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Before I Go To Sleep (Paperback)
This book was fine. I've read many similar novels. It had a good premise, but I saw the twist coming from very early on.


The Patchwork Marriage
The Patchwork Marriage
Price: £5.03

1.0 out of 5 stars unbelievable!, 30 Oct. 2012
Like many, I enjoyed Jane Green's earlier books but each one has got increasingly worse. This is so bad, it's risible. The protagnoist Andi is wet and whiny, for example moaning that her husband's ex wife is rude to her. Ethan, the husband, is equally a drip. The step-daughter Emily is vaguely sympathetic but too sketchily drawn. There's a ludicrous fairy-tale ending. Worst of all is the lifestyle porn Green peddles. Every three pages or so, we halt so Green can droolingly describe the decor of a San-Francisco flat, the canapes and decorations at the gay best friends' dinner party, most hilariously the friend married to a "bazillionaire" who's so eco she drives a Prius or cycles but (next sentence) flies private everywhere. If there was any irony here, it might work, but no - this is no-frills, gush about how wealthy Americans live. The title has nothing to do with the book's content. JG can write, however, her brain appears to have disengaged for this one.


Bonnes Vacances: A Crazy Family Adventure in the French Territories
Bonnes Vacances: A Crazy Family Adventure in the French Territories
by Rosie Millard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I anticipated, 13 Mar. 2012
I was sent a copy of this book by the Mumsnet website and didn't have high hopes for it, not least because it is marketed in a way that makes it very unclear the family aren't just doing the usual old schlep round Provence but are actually off on a pretty impressive and interesting adventure to the French Dom Toms. I knew hardly anything about these territories and really enjoyed reading about them - in fact I wished I could have learned a bit more. It was frustating, for example, to hear Maritinique is run by a dodgy elite and then to see Rosie try not very hard to get an interview with some of them, so we never get to explore a potentially fascinating theme. Rosie (or maybe her publishers) seemed undecided if they wanted a serious investigation into the Dom Toms or a jolly family romp. I enjoyed the family stuff, as any parent would, but it was slightly self indulgent. Still, overall, I read this book in two days, laughed a bit, learned something and was very pleasantly surprised. Now I want to go to Reunion.


The Making of Us
The Making of Us
by Lisa Jewell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.88

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy, 21 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Making of Us (Paperback)
This book was very well written but I found the denouement unbearably cheesy. It was as if jewell wrote it with eyes only for the Hollywood rights. I also thought the Robyn storyline was a cop out and her ending, without giving too much away, was a bad let down: she hadn't been built up convincingly enough to make her conclusion meaningful, it just read as if she were avoiding life. So some nice sentences but ultimately disappointing.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2013 10:08 PM BST


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)
by Stieg Larsson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.95

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars baffled again, 12 April 2010
I can't understand the hype for this book, it's the Silence of the Lambs, only more clunking, set in Sweden. One-dimensional characters, far too much backstory and exposition, nasty and sadistic climax. Very disappointed
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2011 8:08 PM GMT


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