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Katie85 (Northamptonshire, UK)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Where the Memories Lie
Where the Memories Lie
Price: £3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me on my toes, 6 Feb. 2016
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I absolutely loved this story - a good gritty mystery with strong characters who are about to discover that they did not really know each other at all.

Olivia Tate is happily married to Ethan and has a bright 12-year-old daughter Anna. She has always been close to her in-laws, particularly to her father-in-law Tom. Tom suffers from Alzheimers, so when he makes a confession to Olivia about her missing childhood friend Katie, Olivia does not know how to take the news. As other family members learn of Tom's confession and as the story develops, it leads to arguments, accusations and the feeling that no-one can trust each other. I understood why the other family members turned against Olivia, but I also liked her determination to discover the truth and her loyalty to Katie, who led a complicated and secretive life. Then just as it feels like the family may be starting to come to terms with the fact that they may never know what happened, Olivia learns the truth at the same time that the family are dealt another blow, leaving Olivia with the dilemma as to whether to go to the police with what she knows or to let things lie.

I like stories from this genre anyway, but I liked the writing style of this story - each chapter seemed to end on a cliffhanger that made me want to read more then and there. When I did have to put my Kindle down, I could not wait for the next opportunity to pick this up. The story has a good flow to it and is easy to follow. The ending did take me by surprise as there were no hints, but the story did have a number of twists and turns along the way so it kept me on my toes throughout.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, one I shall read again at some point and I will look out for other books that the author has written. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.


Michael McIntyre - Happy & Glorious [DVD] [2015]
Michael McIntyre - Happy & Glorious [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Michael McIntyre
Price: £6.86

4.0 out of 5 stars A good show but enjoyed his other DVDs more, 31 Jan. 2016
I went to see Happy & Glorious live at the O2 in October 2015, albeit not the show that was actually filmed (or I presume it wasn't the filmed one, as I attended the filmed 'Showtime' and there were no notices up this time about this one being the filmed one). Whilst I remember crying with laughter whilst at the show, it was only when I came away afterwards and woke up the next morning and realised that I didn't remember many of the jokes. This is something that comes across on the DVD - I laughed aplenty during the DVD and was like "oh yes, I remember that joke now." But can I repeat one for you now? Well, I remember something about him and his family adapting to life in the countryside, but that's about it at the moment. His comedy style is the same as it always has been and is extremely easy to relate to, but unlike 'Showtime' where I remembered everything instantly and still found the DVD to be funny, I will probably have to watch this one a few times before it fully grows on me. It is a good addition to my collection of Michael McIntyre DVDs, but not his best offering.


Unscripted: My Ten Years in Telly
Unscripted: My Ten Years in Telly
Price: £6.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into The Apprentice, 31 Jan. 2016
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As a long-time Apprentice fan, I did by and large enjoy this insight from Lord Sugar about the series. I thought there was a good balance between the details of the individual series, the candidates and the behind-the-scenes stuff. Amazing to learn just how many people have worked on the show throughout the years. It was also good to see how the show has evolved in ten years, from no-one really knowing what they were doing or what was going to happen in series 1 to where the show is now. As others have said, yes Lord Sugar does come across as loving himself a bit too much and perhaps a bit pushy, but I do respect that he has helped keep The Apprentice as a business show and hasn't been afraid to put some ideas out there. It was the sort of book I could pick up at any point and not worry about forgetting what had happened and it was easy to understand. If you like The Apprentice, you are likely to find something enjoyable within this book.


The Girl In Between
The Girl In Between
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but hard going at times, 31 Aug. 2015
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I chose to read this book because this sounded different to anything I have read previously. KLS is not a condition I am familiar with and I thought that the idea of the lead character having 'another life' was necessary to keep things interesting. But this ended up as story that took a few weeks to read and was tough going in parts.

Firstly, I should stress that I felt that the book was well written and I liked the characters. Bryn, despite her condition, is a character who has an interesting personality with hopes and dreams. It was easy to feel for her as her condition worsens and she is trying to make sense of things whilst still trying to maintain some sort of life. In fact, that was probably why I found it hard during the early part of the story and could go for days without reading the book - perhaps subconsciously I did not want to get too attached to Bryn and Roman (the boy who appears in Bryn's other life).

But as the story progressed, I found it harder to understand what was a part of Bryn's 'real' life and part of her 'other' life. Despite the fact I was expecting some degree of surrealism, I still found it hard to understand how things had progressed from the beginning to the point at which book 1 ends. I am going to give benefit of the doubt at this stage and believe that things will become clearer over the other two books in this series.

Only trouble is that I am not sure if I want to read the remaining books. My feelings at the moment are to leave it for now, but perhaps try book 2 a bit further down the line and see if things become clearer. I think this book lacked something of a 'gripping' feeling, but that is something that might change as the story as a whole develops. It is a story that is different with good characters, so there is an incentive for me to pick up book 2 at some point. It's a book that is worth a go if you want something different, but it's not intended as a comfortable read.


Keeping Mum [DVD]
Keeping Mum [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark comedy but enjoyable, 15 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Keeping Mum [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those films I had never really considered watching when it first came out, but a friend introduced me to it and I liked it so much I got a copy for myself. Walter (Rowan Atkinson) plays a vicar who is so focused on doing the perfect job for God and his fellow villagers, that he is neglecting his family. He hasn't noticed that his wife Gloria is having an affair, his daughter is far too boy-crazy and that his son is being bullied at school. The family get a new housekeeper in Grace (Maggie Smith) who just seems to have a way of making the family warm to her, but she is hiding some very dark secrets. In my view, Smith makes this film worth watching, but she is backed up by a great cast, which also includes Patrick Swayze as Lance (the man with whom Gloria is having an affair with).

The film is funny, although this is more dark humour than the laugh-out-loud type. You do find yourself quietly laughing to yourself whilst wondering how you can find this funny. There are some bits you can predict at, but otherwise, it is best to go with the flow. I won't reveal what happens, but you just know that things will come back to haunt them one day. A decent film that I do enjoy seeing from time to time.


Unbeautiful
Unbeautiful
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another decent read from this author, 10 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: Unbeautiful (Kindle Edition)
I loved this story - good amount of drama and tension and exciting characters. It's perhaps best not to do my own summary of the story, because this is a short read (just over 200 pages) so I will probably spoil it. But I liked both Emery and Ryler. Emery somewhat reminds me of my 18-year-old self. The story has a good flow to it, it was easy to read a lot in one go and when I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to get back into it. It is also unpredictable, which is a nice bonus. It ends at a good point ready for book 2. I have previously read the 'Fallen Star' series by Jessica Sorensen, so thought I had some idea of what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't what I expected. Only annoying thing is now I'm going to have to shell out for book 2 in this series as I enjoyed this one so much.


Blended [DVD] [2014]
Blended [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Adam Sandler
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, made me laugh, 9 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Blended [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I loved seeing Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore together in 50 First Dates and I felt that they've done a good job in Blended too. It is a romantic comedy that is actually funny and is fairly original to boot.

Jim, a widower of three daughters, and Lauren, a divorced mother of two sons, have been set up on a blind date by their friends who just happen to be in a relationship. The date is a disaster and they agree not to see each other again. When their friends break up, with a holiday to South Africa all booked up, Jim and Lauren persuade their friends to let them use the holiday instead, unaware that the other one is arranging the same thing. Cue surprise when they meet at the holiday camp and trying to make the most of it. There's lots of funny moments and interesting characters along the way. I liked the in-joke with one of the characters from 50 First Dates, and I understand there was something similar with The Wedding Singer, but having not seen that (yet), I didn't spot that one.

OK, yes, it is slightly predictable, but it's heartwarming and easy to enjoy on a quiet night in or with friends. I plan on seeing this on plenty more occasions and is recommended for anyone who enjoys the rom-com genre.


I Let You Go
I Let You Go
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of surprises with this story, 25 July 2015
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This review is from: I Let You Go (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book - it is cleverly written, has plenty of shocking surprises, has a lead character who is stronger than she realises, and was a story that kept me up at night because I did not wish to put it down.

The synopsis in the product description does an excellent job of not giving much away and to be honest, anything I can add here is likely to be a spoiler. What I will say though is the story is effectively in two parts. In part one, you have the tragic accident in which Jenna Gray ends up moving from Bristol to Wales to try and restore her life back in order and the police investigation into the accident. The first big twist comes at the end of part one and there are only subtle hints as to what is about to happen. Part two takes on a darker tone as more of Jenna's back story is revealed.

Even during the tough times, Jenna is a character I warmed to, as if somehow I knew that all was not as it seemed, although I still was not expecting the outcome that actually happened. The story's sub-plot involves DI Ray Stevens, who is investigating the accident Jenna is involved in and is having trouble balancing his career and home life. The book covers many difficult issues and I thought they were done well. The story has a good flow to it and despite the number of twists, it is easy to follow what's going on.

An great read that kept me guessing and made me want to read more whenever I had the opportunity. Definitely one to keep on my Kindle to read again at some point.


The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent storyline spoilt by poor characters, 23 July 2015
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I managed to read this book in one day. Under normal circumstances, this would mean that I thoroughly enjoyed it, give this five stars and scream that you must read this until I'm blue in the face. But it's amazing how much you can read whilst waiting all day for an electrician to show up. Sorry, I digress, but the truth is whilst I found it to be a decent read, it was not one of these books where I was thinking "I must continue with this because I really want to know what happened next" and I did not feel much empathy with the characters.

Rachel Watson commutes to London every day for work. Her train normally stops at a traffic light near her old home where she lived with her now ex-husband. Four doors down are a couple whom Rachel names Jason and Jess who are often out in their garden and are visible from the train. Rachel has an unhealthy obsession with this couple - who moved in after Rachel left the area - and when she learns something about 'Jess', Rachel ends up getting in over her head with trying to work out what happened. It is later established that Rachel is an alcoholic, has been continuing her daily commute in order to hide the fact she was fired from her job some months earlier and has been pestering her ex-husband and his new family.

Now, I have no problem with reading about 'damaged' characters. Lets face it, most lead characters in books of this genre are trying to hide or escape from something. Most of these characters you are able to feel sympathy for and want to give them a hug. There are others who are so twisted that they manage to be repulsive and fascinating in equal measure. Rachel is neither of these. She comes across as whiny, intrusive, obsessive, attention-seeking and has little inclination to seek change or help. It is really only at the end where the full background into her character is revealed and by then, I think it's too late. I did not feel much about the other main characters either way, and in some ways that is worse than having a low opinion of the lead character.

The storyline itself is decent, it has a comfortable pace to it. It is not complicated, but has enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I just feel that the characters bring an otherwise good story down. Yes, I was able to read this in one day, but I feel that was more because I had the opportunity to do so rather than liking the story so much. This book was recommended to me by a couple of friends and with this being my kind of thing, it was an easy decision to buy this. I'm glad I've read it, but it's not one I'm going to be raving about to other friends.


Love...Among The Stars: Book 4 in the Love...Series (The Love...Series)
Love...Among The Stars: Book 4 in the Love...Series (The Love...Series)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As funny as the other Love... books, 21 July 2015
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I've had this on my Kindle for a couple of months but decided to wait until I went on holiday so I could spend some quality time reading it. Once I start a Love... book I find it extremely hard to put down. In fact, I read most of it on the flight to my holiday destination. I love Jamie and Laura, they feel like old friends now and their daughter Poppy is now the sort of age where she has her own personality so that brings even more fun.

In Love Among The Stars, which takes place four years after Love Under Different Skies, Jamie and Laura are successful authors and are trying to balance their new career with all the attention it brings and dealing with other personal issues. Just like the other books, it is laugh-out-loud humour and I just could not stop myself from laughing even though I was in a public area (I almost feel sorry for the two teenaged lads who had to sit next to me on the flight). You really have to wonder how these things can happen to one family, although there's nothing so outrageous that makes it feel unbelievable. Come to think of it, that's probably why it works so well - the things Jamie and Laura get up to could easily happen to you and Jamie and Laura are likeable and easy to relate to.

If you have not read any of the Love... books before, it is highly recommended that you do before reading this one, as there are several references to the previous three books. It has been a while since I have read them myself, but I like them so much, that all the references to the other books came flooding back pretty much instantly.

Another great read from Nick Spalding and look forward to book 5 in due course.


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