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D. Pearce "djarmhp" (rainham, kent)
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The Chaperone
The Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb storytelling, 9 May 2012
This review is from: The Chaperone (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the first time in ages I got to the end of this book and was aware of missing the central character, Cora Carlisle. Often, characters stay on the page however much you enjoy a novel, but Cora became a living breathing person that I liked and enjoyed getting to know. Her relationship with Louise Brooks, who is travelling to New York to become a movie star, is extremely well drawn and utterly compelling. A number of plot threads unfold in New York, but the excellent writing of Laura Moriarty allows these threads to be explored fully. I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed with any element of this novel and it will be off of the bookshelf again before too long.


The Playdate
The Playdate
by Louise Millar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking book, 3 May 2012
This review is from: The Playdate (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed the writing style of The Playdate which was fast paced and easy to lose yourself in. Louise Millar definitely knows her audience and the central story will strike a chord with most mothers who have had to leave their children with anyone else. To my surprise I found the story quite believeable and unnerving especially with the twist in the final few chapters. The main strength of the twist is the fact that it's logical and not one that leaves you feeling short changed as a number of others have done. I will definitely be looking out for more Louise Millar books after this.


The Promise
The Promise
by Lesley Pearse
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A well written rewarding story, 3 May 2012
This review is from: The Promise (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first Lesley Pearse book I've read, but it definitely won't be the last. She is an extremely skilled writer whose prose carries the reader along. At times, given its World War 1 subject matter it isn't for the faint hearted, but all of those scenes are integral to the plot. It is extremely moving and you find yourself getting completely caught up with the characters. Although you don't need to have read the prequel to follow the story I will definitely read it in order to understand more about the main protagonists.


The Body is a Temple
The Body is a Temple
by Luke Bitmead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story, 3 May 2012
This review is from: The Body is a Temple (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The strength of this book lies in the story and the obvious attachment the author had to both Thailand and Hong Kong. It seems likely that there are large elements of autobiography in the events and characters. I wanted to finish the book because of the central story that intrigued me. However, I didn't take to the writing style which appeared to be a little too informal for my tastes. Obviously that won't bother everyone, but I felt that such a good story required better writing which could have lifted this book and made it a must read.


Eat Yourself Young: Take Years Off Your Looks with This Revolutionary New Eating Plan
Eat Yourself Young: Take Years Off Your Looks with This Revolutionary New Eating Plan
by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but a little hard to stick to, 23 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is, first and foremost, a diet book. As such it is designed to change your life and appearance. However, it doesn't do it with hypnosis or exhortations to be all you can be. It focusses totally on the food you eat and the drink you imbibe. It has already changed one aspect of my life literally overnight. For years I've had a cup of warm milk before going to bed as part of my sleep routine. This book says that milk is an inflammatory and will cause you to feel achy in the morning. I've been feeling achy in the morning for as long as I can remember. The first morning after I ditched the milk I woke up with no discomfort at all and I have had none since! Whatever else happens, this book has already been a huge help. My problem with this diet is that it would mean totally changing our diet and replacing virtually every aspect of it. We may follow elements of it but never the whole thing. In conclusion, though, a fascinating and extremely worthwhile book.


Fellowes Bankers Box Earth Series Eco Storage Box (Pack of 10)
Fellowes Bankers Box Earth Series Eco Storage Box (Pack of 10)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful in or out of the office, 20 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These boxes are extremely useful for anyone moving house or looking for extra storage. They have the advantage of displaying the assembly instructions on the boxes themselves and are consequently quick and easy to put together. They are strong and look as though they will be hard wearing. At their current price of just over £2 each they are also very good value.


Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices)
Margaret Thatcher (BBC Archive Voices)
by Margaret Thatcher
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for anyone interested in social history, 18 Mar 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I put these two CDs on thinking that there wasn't much to learn about the Iron Lady but interested in the voice of the most influential politician since Churchill. Having listened to them I can only say I was wrong! These fascinating interviews put a number of myths to the test.
She hated sport so she allowed schools to sell off the playing fields. Wrong! She was a keen hockey and tennis player in her youth who regularly watched cricket and football. She was married to a man who was under her thumb. Wrong again! It's quite clear that she not only doted on Dennis, but that he was not backwards in coming forwards if he disagreed with her. I could go on, but even haters are likely to find much of interest.
Two more observations must be made, however. The relative approachability of her persona in the first interview in 1975 is gradually replaced until the familiar stridency is in evidence all too clearly in 1990. Second, Jimmy Young was an incredibly clever interviewer who could catch politicians off their guard with his deceptively easy style and elicit insights that the rude and hectoring Robin Day types could only dream of.


Itch
Itch
by Simon Mayo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good debut overall, 2 Mar 2012
This review is from: Itch (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I feel a little conflicted reviewing this book, because I'm a big fan of Simon Mayo and have been for years. However, I wonder if this book would have been published on anything other than Kindle if it didn't have his name attached. That's not to say that this is a bad book, far from it. The central character is refreshingly different, if a little self consciously so on occasions, and the plot with its McGuffin of Element 126 is satisfying.

The main problem is that the editor seems to have been afraid to wield his red pen and cut down on the extraneous detail which can really slow the book down at times. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the first five chapters that could easily have been halved in length. If I had picked this up in a bookshop I would probably have dismissed this as a vanity project, but that would have been a shame. Once the first 80 or so pages are out of the way the plot moves along at pace, although Itch himself never seems to rise above the level of merely interesting. The last 80 pages are as exciting as the first 80 pages are dull, and on balance that is a far better state of affairs than the reverse. It is an assured debut, but Simon needs to be a lot stricter on his word count when he pens the inevitable sequel.


Doctor Who: Blackout (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: Blackout (Dr Who)
by Oli Smith
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.56

3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not special, 23 Feb 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Blackout is a good enough story read by a decent enough reader. It works as well as you would expect within the limitations of a story where the original actors are not present. However hard the narrator tries to channel the personality of the Doctor or Amy, it's just second best. If you are looking for a mildly diverting hour to pass the time on the motorway this is more than adequate, but if you are looking for a decent addition to the Whoniverse then look elsewhere.


The Report
The Report
by Jessica Kane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.36

3.0 out of 5 stars An inconsistent book, 16 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Report (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really wanted to like this book in its entirety. The tragedy it took its subject matter from is one that brings out some of the government mistakes that the war effectively covered up. When the book was concentrating on the event itself it was brilliant. However, the conceit of adding on a modern investigation did not work for me at all. Like Birdsong the modern investigation is meant to give context, but it largely fails through being totally unengaging. I really hope that next time the author has the good sense to focus on an interesting historical event without feeling the need to add on an unnecessary modern element.


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