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Vero Leonie

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The Property
The Property
by Rutu Modan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

3.0 out of 5 stars It would've been better if some parts were left out, 21 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Property (Hardcover)
I did like the 'changed' interpretation of what the property is. The author had cleverly demonstrated how the meaning gets altered to everyone throughout the book.But there were parts which had spoiled my enjoyment of the book, which I feel they should have been either edited or toned down.

I do partially get that Mica's grandmother (Regina) went through hard times, but the way she treated people around her had disturbed me (but I loved the scene where Regina throws her handbag at the cantor in the graveyard, and this is my favourite scene). The part that annoyed me most was at the beginning, where she argues with the security at the airport over a bottle of water. Since Israel takes zero-tolerance approach when it comes to national security issues, I doubt she would have even got on the plane to Poland in real life if she had done the same (although I wouldn't deny that I probably don't know much about Israel than the author, who is actually from there). I also couldn't agree with her exaggerations and changing statements, even after taking the fact that she was trying to hide her secret from the rest of the family. I felt the story around Hilton hotel in Warsaw was way too exaggerated (especially around that Mica and the cantor don't realise it). It would have been more understandable if something less grand (such as a nice farm in the suburbs) was used to cover-up Regina's story.


The Nao of Brown
The Nao of Brown
by Glyn Dillon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lovely artwork, but the flow of the story isn't as good, 21 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Nao of Brown (Hardcover)
I loved the artwork and the colours used in this book. Those who value unconventional things may enjoy this, but unfortunately, I've got to say that I didn't particularly like it, especially at the dialogues between the characters; and the flow of the plot. I found them very confusing.

For instance, I didn't even know the main characters in the toy shop were talking about a character from a fictional TV programme until much later on. It would been much easier if the author had left a footnote at the end of the page that it was supposedly a famous fictional cartoon character, rather than just drawing the cartoon character on the next page without any explanations on what it was supposed to be. And it would have been better if the author had used chapter headings for each episode or part of the story, for example, separating the fable of argumentative family that turned into a plant from the main one, because I struggled to go back and forth to understand what was going on.


M&ST Cosmetics Luxury 12-Piece Bath Gift Set (Handmade in Britain)
M&ST Cosmetics Luxury 12-Piece Bath Gift Set (Handmade in Britain)
Offered by My Discounts Direct
Price: £10.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely scents, 8 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loved the scents coming from this bath bomb set. My favourite was from the white one, followed by the pink one. The only shame was that the bath bombs were much smaller than I had expected from the photo. The weight of the product is mentioned on the product page, but it is hard to grasp the size from that. Perhaps the seller could mention the approx dimensions of each bath bomb or update the photo with a 30cm ruler placed beside the item so that the buyers could estimate how big/small this bath set will be like.


Lighter Than My Shadow
Lighter Than My Shadow
by Katie Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.00

3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first half, but disappointing second half, 31 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Lighter Than My Shadow (Paperback)
Physically, this book is very thick & heavy - and it probably has more pages than any other graphic novels (in a single book) that I have read. It must have taken a long time for the author to finish drawing them, especially since the story is based on the difficulties that the author had experienced in the past. I also admire her courage for bringing them up, as the issues that are dealt in the book are still ongoing for a lot of young people.

As for the content, I liked the first half, just before the main character goes to uni, as it is well structured (which is why I bought this book in the first place because it seemed enjoyable in the bookshop, and the first half certainly was).

Unfortunately, I was disappointed from the second half onwards to the end, because the plot was getting too monotonous and dull. Most importantly, there were too many repetitive images that were used.

My rating of three starts is the average of the first half and second half, i.e. I give 4-5 starts for the first half, and 2 starts for the second half.


2 Pcs Women Donut Design Hair Styling Cover Snood Hairnet Black for Dancing
2 Pcs Women Donut Design Hair Styling Cover Snood Hairnet Black for Dancing
Offered by sourcingmap
Price: £2.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased with the items, 29 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Overall, I'm pleased with the items. But I found the elastic isn't as tight as I'd like it to be, so it would be wise to create a loose bun using a loose bobble or similar product (such as hairband) BEFORE putting this net over your bun. Otherwise, your hair will fall out of the net.


2015 one month to view black and red UK desk calendar
2015 one month to view black and red UK desk calendar
Offered by AbbeyShake
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied, but I would like to suggest few modifications, 29 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This desk calendar was the only one that I was able to find with a month to view and with an easel to stand on itself, so it serves the purpose I needed. However, I wish it was a bit bigger so it leaves more spaces to write on it. I am not sure whether it is exclusive to mine, but I found it was a bit strange to have the months printed on double-sided (i.e 6 pages), rather than being single-sided (12 pages). In addition, February is not printed behind January, but it is December that is printed behind January, and likewise, November is printed behind February and so on. After these suggested modification, then it would be worth five starts.


Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis
Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis
by Prof Knut Sydsaeter
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Unless it is an only available option, I wouldn't really recommend it, 19 Aug. 2013
It could be potentially suitable for people who have studied Mathematics before, but would like to look at what kind of Maths is more often used in the field of Economics. However, I found this book was not structured and explained in student friendly way - too difficult for people who have been just introduced to Mathematics used in Economics (e.g. undergraduates) and too basic for the ones who are studying in more advanced level.


Body Double: (Rizzoli & Isles series 4)
Body Double: (Rizzoli & Isles series 4)
by Tess Gerritsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Very addictive... But plain ending ruins it, 6 Aug. 2013
As I have mentioned in my previous review on "The Sinner", there is no doubt on Tess Gerritsen's ability to keep her readers focused, but she disappoints me towards or at the end. This is why my rating for Body Double is lower than "The Sinner". Before I reached towards the end of the book, "Body Double" was more exciting to read (I'm saying this in relation to "The Sinner", not that "The Sinner" was not as interesting as "Body Double"), but I felt the ending was more obvious than in "The Sinner". This is why I've given lower rating for the latter than the former.


The Sinner: (Rizzoli & Isles series 3)
The Sinner: (Rizzoli & Isles series 3)
by Tess Gerritsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but some key elements are missing, 6 Aug. 2013
Tess Gerritsen is an excellent writer, especially since she is able to explain sophisticated concepts without being over complicating them. She knows what she's writing and the story flows fairly well. However, her chronic problem is that there is lack of reversals and surprises at the end.of the book. Yes, she does include a lot of them during the course of the book, but not sufficiently at the end. This is perhaps what differentiates her from other writers who have written books that I prefer over "The Sinner".

PS: I wished she stuck to the crimes and ditched romance between the characters. I was a bit disturbed by Maura Isles tastes of men (you'll understand this once you read the book). I was also unable to associate Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles as the ones who were dedicated to their jobs and over-complicating themselves in their own love lives.


Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Price: £4.80

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's alright, but lacks integrity and frustrating, 26 May 2013
I personally found Amy Chua's sino-centric view more disturbing than her parenting method. She admits that the terms "Chinese Mother" and "Western Mother" to depict stereotypically stricter versus more liberal parents. The former may include "some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too" (p. 4) whereas "mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West" would be classified as a Western Mother (p. 4). Why couldn't she have just said "Stricter Mother" and "Not-As-Strict Mother", or something along that line, whenever it could refer anyone with such trait? Also, I found one of her descriptions particularly upsetting, where she says "He [the boy who initially beats Sophia in a class test, but becomes a runner-up later after Chua rote drills her daughter] went back to Korea with his family, but probably not because of the test" (p. 70). I understand that some readers may criticise my viewpoint by saying that it is only an humour, but anyway, did she really have to include it?

Other than that, the book started off alright, and I initially took Amy Chua as an overly passionate, career-driven and ambitious mother, who spits out some fiery words out of anger (rather than actually meaning them). However, I began to get annoyed at the fact that she fails to disclose disadvantages of East Asian rote drilling parenting method in full, as she has mentioned in Western counterpart (although she does say that Chinese parenting does not guarantee happiness). One of the major advantages and disadvantages of rote drilling versus Western parenting methods is that rote drilling does help to create a well-rounded individual, but may make him/her difficult to think outside the box. This was clearly seen from her and her husband's, who grew up in more liberal Jewish household, experiences. She did admit that:

"I froze whenever a professor called on me. I also wasn't naturally sceptical and questioning; I just wanted to write down everything the professor said and memorize it" (p.31)

I also found it hypocritical that herself was not always happy that she has chosen her pathways in accordance to her parents' wishes, and had made some revisions to rectify her mistakes:

"I started off as an applied mathematics major at Harvard because I thought it would please my parents; I dropped it after my father, watching me struggling with a problem set... But then I mechanically switched to economics because it seemed vaguely sciencelike... I went to law school mainly because I didn't want to go to medical school... But I was always worried that law really wasn't my calling" (p. 31).

Yet she did exactly the same to her daughters, despite her own personal struggles and some lessons learnt from it, if that is what she had actually done as she has depicted in the book.

Overall, I found the book rather confusing and evasive. It primarily talks about how Chua has helped her kids to be successful and what they have and will achieve than what they have lost in comparison to others. I don't feel the author was being honest because I felt that the author was beautifying her daughters by only revealing their good points as they don't do anything bad throughout the book other than ignoring their mother's instruction to practice instruments and study (Lulu does talk back to her Korean violin tutor at one point, but that is more to do with rebellion against Chua rather than against the violin tutor, according to the book). I don't think it could be possible in real life. All (auto)biographies may contain some exaggerated events in order to make the book more sellable, which is acceptable, but considering there are always greater trade-offs than the incidents mentioned in the book, I don't think it has helped to make the author's approaches convincing to the readers.


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