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D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent)
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Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery
Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery
by Keren David
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A total winner, 19 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Keren David's new book is an absolutely brilliant read, fast paced, frequently laugh out loud funny but above all thought provoking. The central character Lia is a 16 year old girl who wins £8million on the lottery. The book follows her ups and downs as she tries to get used to her new found fortune. The tone is very clever, avoiding the poor little rich girl cliches and the dreams come true cliches very skilfully. The most impressive aspect of the book is the meticulous research that has gone in to producing a really balanced portrayal of a young person with sudden riches. The weekend that Lia spends with other rich youngsters is amusing and thought provoking in equal measure.
I loved the decision that Keren David made to show the jealousy and hatred engendered by the win especially through Facebook and other social media. Some of the reactions were quite uncomfortable to read but added to the realism of the book. In a way, the relationship between Lia and the mysterious Raf is unnecessary, albeit good to read. To some extent the emotional pressures of that relationship seem to be totally overshadowed by the pressures of the money. I can see why the book concentrates on their growing understanding, but I found the lottery based problems and opportunities more engaging.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and I see a film or TV series in the near future.


London Calling (Inspector Carlyle)
London Calling (Inspector Carlyle)
by James Craig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some real potential, 2 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one of the more difficult books I have had to review since joining Amazon Vine. Elements of this book are extremely good while other elements are fairly poor. In order to give this a better balance I will deal with the latter first.
The villainous brothers at the heart of the cover-up never progressed past the status of pantomime. You half expected them to have extravagant moustaches to twirl in order to complete the picture. They were evil because that was what the book needed. There was little attempt to make them 3 dimensional characters with complicated rationales for their actions.
Chapter 4 was a full on contender for the Bad Sex award, so badly written was it! I was astonished that anything that poor could sit alongside some of the other writing in the book.
The biggest positive was the character of Inspector Carlyle who has real potential as the centre of a series of novels. He is quirky, engaging and just edgy enough to give him real problems.
Apart from the villains with their aforementioned faults, the strength of this book was the clever drawing of the supporting characters. It always helps if you can buy in to the world of a detective and his suspects and victims.
To sum up, I loved the central character, but future books really need to sharpen up the villains.


32 Programmes
32 Programmes
by Dave Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic social and personal history, 24 Jun. 2011
This review is from: 32 Programmes (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have read a number of 70s/80s themed memoirs over the last few years, and, in all honesty, I have not picked any of them up again. They tend to be ironic for the sake of it and to have little in the way of narrative thread. Dave Roberts' latest book is totally different. The conceit is dazzling in its simplicity. The chapters all revolve around one programme picked up from a football match. Around the programme, Roberts effortlessly weaves in social history that is occasionally jaw dropping - deciding whether to spend his 70p on a West Ham Cup match or a David Bowie concert!!! - and often extremely amusing. He doesn't shy away from the nasty side of football, giving full vent to his disgust at the racial abuse suffered by West Brom's players in a match at the end of the 70s.
This is quite simply superb, whether you read it little and often or devour it at one sitting as I did. The writing is excellent throughout, and the last chapter genuinely moving. If you are fed up with faux ironic 70s memoirs please try this book and rediscover what a proper writer can do with an otherwise increasingly hackneyed subject.


HealthAid Osteoflex Cream - Glucosamine & Chondroitin - 100ml
HealthAid Osteoflex Cream - Glucosamine & Chondroitin - 100ml
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing short term remedy, 16 Jun. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As someone who has been to an osteopath every year for the last five years, I can claim to be an expert on pain relief. Usually I have Ibuprofen or I rub on a Deep Heat type remedy so I expected this to be very similar. Actually, this is like Deep Heat on speed!! It works incredibly quickly, in under five minutes in my case. From hobbling around with sharp lower back pain to feeling completely fine was a total revelation. I cannot recommend this highly enough as a short term fix, but as with all muscular or joint related problems if it persists go and see your healthcare professional.


Sea of Tears
Sea of Tears
by Floella Benjamin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A superb meditation on home., 15 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Sea of Tears (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Floella Benjamin was a part of my childhood as the first West Indian face of children's television. Her great role in fighting the previously racist world of television cannot be over stated. That alone is a reason for reading anything she writes about the concept of identity and the idea of home. Here, she articulates the conflict that any immigrant or emigrant finds when they move away from their roots then moves back. The central character of Jazzie is at once sympathetic and authentically bratty! Her experience of racism in London is fleeting but expected. Her experience of racism in Barbados, where she moves with her parents, is constant and unexpected. The use of the epithet 'English Girl' is shocking in its power and Floella is brave not to airbrush this racist name calling out of the novel. Even her parents, both West Indian by upbringing, encounter serious problems based on their status as newcomers.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough as a great adventure novel and a fantastic opportunity to introduce the difficult issue of race and identity to a young audience.


Glasruhen Gate: 2 (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
Glasruhen Gate: 2 (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
by Catherine Cooper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The magic continues, 22 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
After the excellent 'Golden Acorn' my daughters and I were really looking forward to the next installment of Jack Brenin's adventures. With many sequels, the narrative urgency is lost and the writer ends up falling back on the characters to drive the story. In this case the continuing story is every bit as engrossing as the first. There is also real development in the central characters of Camelin and Jack as they continue their quest to assemble the cauldron and then to open the portal into Annwyn.
When the story moves into Annwyn, the reader is expecting a country idyll, but the reality is very different. This is a story that delights, amuses and surprises at every turn, and has left us waiting with baited breath to follow Jack's adventures to their conclusion in the final part of the trilogy.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2011 10:52 AM BST


Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Relaxing Body Lotion 250 ml
Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Relaxing Body Lotion 250 ml
Price: £16.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A top class product, 19 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As you would expect from Crabtree and Evelyn this body lotion does not come cheap. However, for those of you prepared to pay for real quality this is, as Stella Artois proclaims itself, reassuringly expensive. The body lotion is excellent and with regular use produces a noticeable effect on dry skin. You do not need to use huge quantities as you do with some other lotions so overall the price does not seem to be excessive. If you really want to give yourself or a loved one a treat then look no further.


Crossing
Crossing
by Andrew Fukuda
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and interesting novel, 11 May 2011
This review is from: Crossing (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Crossing is a strange novel. It has an excellent sense of place and a very interesting central character. The problem of being a member of a minority is extremely well dealt with. The overarching storyline is engaging and well told. So far, so good. The problem comes in the last 20 pages which seem to relate to a completely different character from the one we have spent 200 pages getting to know. I was totally unconvinced by the final twist and the way he treated the girl he has been 'looking after' for ten years. It is only this problem that stops this from being a 5 star novel. However, a very promising debut overall.


Delirium (Delirium Trilogy 1)
Delirium (Delirium Trilogy 1)
by Lauren Oliver
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Lauren Oliver, 1 May 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lauren Oliver must be the most innovative writer around at the moment. After the tour de force that was Before I Fall with its daring conceit and emotional punch comes Delirium. It imagines a world where love has been 'cured' with an irreversible brain operation. We meet Lena and Hana, two girls waiting for the procedure. Hana seems reluctant to have the operation, whilst Lena positively welcomes it after what happened to her mother. Then she meets Alex and her whole world changes.
I won't give away the rest of the plot because it must be surprising for this story to work properly. All I will say is that, although this is the first part of a trilogy, the ending will leave you winded. Very few books can give you a physical jolt, but this one does.
This is a must read book for any age. Lauren Oliver has done it again.


Favorite
Favorite
by Karen McQuestion
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.94

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Favorite (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is a sense in which the storyline seems very familiar. A girl looking for her mother appears in many stories, as does the creepy house with the enigmatic owner. However, the elements here are put together with such verve that it is impossible not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the writer. The story starts off quickly and doesn't let up. In fact, by the end you are turning the pages in a blur as every page brings a new danger or revelation. The hero, Angel, is totally sympathetic and you find yourself worrying for her as the end of the book gets closer. I loved it and recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, easy but ultimately satisfying read. Well done Amazon Encore for introducing me to Karen McQuestion.


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