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D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent)
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Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body
Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body
by M. C. Beaton
Edition: Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars A relaxing listen, 23 Feb 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this as a Christmas present for my Mother-in-Law who really enjoyed it. It is perfect for her with the mix of humour and a whodunnit. With it being unabridged she could follow every step of the story and not be concerned about missing anything. Penelope Keith is fantastic, of course, and brings the book to life in a way that only she can. Overall, perfect for an older relative.


Rockoholic
Rockoholic
by C.J. Skuse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for pre-teens, 21 Feb 2011
This review is from: Rockoholic (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First off, let me say I really liked the book. It has an arch sense of humour and a grasp of the absurdities of being a teenager, not to mention the problems of stardom. It is a great read and a lot of adults will appreciate it. However, the blurb on my copy has the ages 12+ for its core audience. I would not give this book to a 12 year old. 14 year old, maybe, but even then I would be uncomfortable with some of the language, particularly in a very early chapter where the Oedipal swear word is used. Even I was shocked with that, and I'm pretty broad minded. I really don't think you could call that use of the word anything other than gratuitous, and it seems to be a serious lapse of judgement from a very well established publishing house. The four stars would have been five if it hadn't been recommended for 12 year olds, but I felt it was right to say something to parents thinking of buying this.


The Memory Cage
The Memory Cage
by Ruth Eastham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenging read, 3 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Memory Cage (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have looked at all the other reviews written about this title and I find myself in general agreement with the unstinting praise that The Memory Cage has attracted. It is superbly written and deals with a whole range of issues in a realistic way. However, the range of issues from Alzheimers to Bosnia via Adoption makes it far too difficult for most children of under 11 to engage with.
My daughter, who is a Michael Morpurgo fan and 10 years old, is apparently the target audience. After three chapters she put the book down, finding the subject matter very tough to wade through. I will keep the book for her so she can return to it when she is emotionally maturer and well read enough to understand what is going on.
On balance, then, a book for secondary school students with a general understanding of the issues around war and dementia. If you want an easy read, stay away, but it is definitely worth persevering with if you can.


BabyFoot Deep Exfoliation For Feet peel
BabyFoot Deep Exfoliation For Feet peel
Price: £18.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but effective, 2 Feb 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is one of the stranger products I have had to review, so lets start with basics. Does it work? Yes, to a large extent it does. It doesn't clear every bit of hard skin, but, as it suggests on the instructions, between 3 and 7 days an awful lot of hard skin starts to flake off. The process leaves your feet looking unsightly for about 3 days, but the overall result was very pleasing.
The big problem comes for anyone with feet over size 7. I'm a size 9 and I could only barely fit my feet into the bags containing the chemical. Size 10s and above would never be able to use it. Finding two hours to sit immobile was a problem for me as were the comments from the rest of the family!!
Overall then, a success if you can put up with the strange process.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2011 4:16 PM BST


Diary of a Parent Trainer
Diary of a Parent Trainer
by Jenny Smith
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A funny and touching guide to family life., 24 Jan 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Jenny Smith has created a great new character in Katie Sutton who narrates this novel. She is feisty opinionated and absolutely convinced she can 'operate' her grown ups like most teenagers. The modes of operation especially irritated mode and start-up raised more than a few laughs of familiarity from myself and my children!
The guide, however, is simply the central plank of a funny and touching story that deals with the various situations life throws at Katie. There are a number of carefully handled threads that make this a more complex novel than most in this genre. The sections dealing with Katie's dad are beautifully written and extremely affecting. If I had one slight disappointment it was that Stuart never became more than a peripheral undeveloped character, but given the narrator it is perhaps completely accurate that Katie would know little about him and be unable to tell the reader much about his true character. Overall, then, an excellent novel just as rewading for grown ups as for their trainers!


The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes
The Middle Class Handbook: An illustrated field guide to the behaviour and tastes of Britain's new middle-class tribes
by Not Actual Size
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very funny guide to social status, 26 Dec 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The author of this field guide to the Middle Classes new and old has clearly done his research and fashioned an amusing and well structured book. Each chapter deals with an individual 'tribe', usually to great comic effect. At the back is a question and answer flow chart that enables the reader to put themself into a particular 'tribe'. Now I can't promise anything, but it had me perfectly summed up, even to the extent that my name was the one given to the male member of the tribe! If you've got this for Christmas, pick it up and dip into it. Its great fun with more than a few real insights.


The Golden Acorn (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
The Golden Acorn (The Adventures of Jack Brenin)
by Catherine Cooper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful well paced read, 26 Dec 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The story of Jack Brenin is your typical everyman hero finding reserves he never knew he had thanks to a situation that a prophecy has placed him in. So far, so generic. However, the richness of the cast of characters and the sheer engagement provided by the superb writing lift this far above the usual run of the mill 'hero using magic' books. Camelin, the Raven who accompanies him is a superb comic creation, and the obvious problem caused by transforming from one species to another is finally dealt with head on in a really funny way!
Absolutely superb, and highly recommended for bedtime reading or individual reading. Can't wait for the sequel.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2010 1:04 PM GMT


The Empty Family: Stories
The Empty Family: Stories
by Colm Tóibín
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg, 4 Dec 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I came to this book knowing nothing about Colm Toibin. Having read this collection of short stories I doubt I will seek out much of his previous work. That's not to say he is a bad writer, far from it. It is just too uneven and, generally, depressing. Two Women is a beautifully written and touching story that I enjoyed from first to last. The Pearl Fishers is a faster paced read that draws you into the lives of the three main characters despite steadfastly disliking two of them. Barcelona 75 has been mentioned by many reviewers because of its extremely strong sex scenes. Now I don't object to strong sex scenes per se (as long as I can see the point in terms of characters or story), but this story was reminiscent of the type of Slash fiction that populates some internet sites where the characters remain utterly unrealised and simply exist to perform meaningless sex acts to excite readers who like that type of thing.
On balance it's almost a perfect 3 stars. 3 stories I enjoyed, 3 stories I didn't and 3 stories I couldn't care less about.


Letterland Stories Level 3a (Letterland at Home)
Letterland Stories Level 3a (Letterland at Home)
by Lyn Wendon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic start for young learners, 27 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My 2 year old goddaughter is just starting to learn the alphabet and, knowing that my own children loved Letterland so much, I gave this book to her. She absolutely loved it! Her mother reports being pestered to read it over 20 times in 2 days!
She loves the characters especially the Kicking King and Crazy Cat who star in the first story! It is the instant association with these characters, even before the child makes the clear connection with letters of the alphabet, that has made this series so popular for so long. Sammy Snake appears in the second story which both mother and daughter really enjoyed. The third story about missing socks is dull and ends abruptly but does nothing to dampen the enthusiasm generated by this great book.
For anyone with a young child learning the alphabet you cannot beat this series of books, so buy with total confidence that your child will love and learn from these books in equal measure.


Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker
Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker
by Cristy Burne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.16

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 24 Nov 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In the sequel to Takeshita Demons, Cristy Burne has come up with another winning read for readers young or old. Picking up where the original left off, The Filth Licker is a sequel that in many ways outdoes the original. While the first was a fast paced read with a demon that was obvious from the start, the demon force in this book is altogether more difficult to spot. When the reader realises this they are constantly on their guard wondering if the person on the page is who they say they are. This of course leads to some shocking twists and a fantastically involving story.
I will not give away any of the plot, because to do so would rob fans old and new of some of the magic of this book. Cristy Burne is going to have to come up with something special to top this book for the final part of the trilogy, but I think she will deliver that something special with ease. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I cannot wait till Part 3!


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