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Katie85 (Northamptonshire, UK)

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Top Gear: The Great African Adventure [DVD]
Top Gear: The Great African Adventure [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Clarkson
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £5.74

5.0 out of 5 stars I want to jump in and join them on this trip, 11 April 2016
This is undoubtedly my favourite Top Gear special. Not only did I like to see how their cheap old estate cars would survive some of the toughest roads that Africa has to offer, but I also enjoyed the fact that they had a serious mission, the three amigos are as humourous as ever and the scenery was just breathtaking. When the Africa Special was originally broadcast, it was split into two episodes, but the DVD has them rolling seamlessly into one episode and I find that two hours just flies by when I watch this. In some ways, I probably get more out of this (and some of the other Top Gear specials) than an ordinary travel programme - whilst I am not a huge car buff, there is something about these epic journeys that Top Gear have done that makes me want jump into my TV screen, hire a car and join them on their trip, even when they park up at less-than-pleasant hotels or get stuck in mud as it shows the other side to these wonderful places. A great special that I watch time and time again.


Suffragette [DVD] [2015]
Suffragette [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Carey Mulligan
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film on a subject that means a lot to me, 11 April 2016
This review is from: Suffragette [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
I am not a history buff by any stretch but I do have a certain 'soft spot' for the suffragettes - I did a lot of reading on the subject when I did my A-Levels many moons ago and they serve a reminder to me as to why I cast my vote. I was intrigued to find out how a story based on their plight would turn out in a film format.

This film is based on Maud Watts who, whilst fictional, represented many women of her time. Maud has no strong feelings regarding the suffragettes until she learns that one of her colleagues is a suffragette and she steps into her colleagues place when asked to speak out about women in the workplace and why they should be considered for having the vote. Maud finds herself getting further involved with the suffragettes and ends up losing her family, her home and her reputation. Carey Mulligan does a tremendous job as Maud and she is supported by a great cast.

One thing that I was really pleased about was how easy it was for me to put aside my own personal views on the suffragettes' influence and just enjoy the film. I can appreciate it for what it is - a film based on a historical event but with some possible embellising to make a better drama - rather than pick holes at it. The ending also served as a good reminder that whilst we have it good these days, many other countries have only supported equal votes in recent times and that we are lucky.

A great film that does not hide from the fact that being a suffragette 100 years ago was very difficult and that they made a lot of sacrifices to help give women the vote. A huge thanks to those women who fought so hard and a big thanks to those involved in this film for the excellent way they have reminded us of these women.


Kill Me Again
Kill Me Again
Price: £3.48

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very unpredictable, 29 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kill Me Again (Kindle Edition)
I normally manage to read Rachel Abbott's books in a couple of days because I really struggle to put it down. However, I purposely chose the slow approach this time. Knowing how unpredictable, yet believable, Abbott's stories are, I decided to read it slowly, make sure I absorbed all the details, trying to spot the trick, trying to spot how everything was connected. The joke was on me in the end, because I still did not predict how it was going to end.

Maggie Taylor's husband Duncan has gone missing. She learns that Duncan received a photo on his phone of a dead woman who looks like Maggie. Maggie is also receiving threatening phone calls but is reluctant to call the police in case Duncan is involved somehow. Meanwhile, DCI Tom Douglas has been looking into the murder of the woman on Duncan's phone and has worked out that the killer appears to have struck before. Douglas is his usual wonderful self who will do anything to help anybody, whilst I had a lot of sympathy for the character of Maggie. There are plenty of twists and turns and the mystery is well-thought-out. Like Abbott's previous reads, this one was also difficult to put down, although this took me longer to read as I was taking my time with the details.

Another good gritty mystery. Although DCI Tom Douglas features in all of Abbott's books, there are very few references to the previous books so this would be very easy to follow if you haven't read any of the other stories. Definitely a book and author that I recommend.


Little Girl Gone: The can't-put-it-down psychological thriller
Little Girl Gone: The can't-put-it-down psychological thriller
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller that has everything, 15 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has been billed as "Gone Girl meets The Girl On The Train" but I think this story is good enough and original enough to stand on its own two feet, without the need to draw comparisons with the two books in question. Any direct comparisons to be made with characters, plotlines etc are very minimal. It has to be said that I loved this book from the first page to the last. I was gripped instantly and I stayed that way throughout the duration of the story.

Estelle Paradise is in hospital with severe wounds and amnesia. All she remembers is that her 7-month-old daughter Mia has gone missing without a trace. The trouble is, there are no signs of a kidnap and as Estelle suffered from postpartum depression, even she believes she harmed her daughter. Despite everything, I felt Estelle very easy to like and I truly felt for her during her struggles with her illness. Perhaps because I have suffered from depression myself (albeit not postpartum) I was able to look beyond the 'crazy' person that some of the other characters saw. I saw someone who was lost and I wanted to give her a hug. I was also particularly fond of Dr Ari, who has been placed in charge of trying to help Estelle unlock her memories and establish what did happen to Mia.

I liked the writing style of this story. The narrative is quite descriptive, it allows you to visualise what is going on and get inside Estelle's head. At the same time though, it is not so descriptive that it becomes boring and you end up tuning out. I found that there were plenty of surprises which made me wish to keep reading and it is not all straight-forward.

This is a fantastic story that I have no hestitation in giving five stars. Incidentally, I did not give Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train five stars. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good thriller.


Nowhere Child: A Short Novel (Kindle Single)
Nowhere Child: A Short Novel (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel to Stranger Child, 13 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well, Rachel Abbott has done it again. Although this is a shorter story, it is just as gripping as her previous reads and has that ability to make you want to carry on reading even though it's past your bedtime or you should be cracking on with your day job.

Unlike Abbott's previous stories, which are stand-alone stories featuring the wonderful DCI Tom Douglas, this one is a follow-on from Stranger Child. It is highly recommended that you read Stranger Child first, as it goes straight into things and it is assumed you know about lead character, 13-year-old Tasha Joseph, and the background to her story. Tasha is very streetwise for her age due to her upbringing but also very vulnerable. Nowhere Child starts eight months after the shocking end of Stranger Child, Tasha has been missing the whole time and she has her step-mother Emma, the police and people in her previous life all after her. I felt very strongly for Tasha and wanted to give her a big hug. I also liked her friend Andy and her step-mother Emma, who both just want the best for Tasha. It goes without saying that DCI Douglas is his usual brilliant self and will do anything to protect people in danger.

I was one of these people who had been OK with the ending of Stranger Child, as a cliffhanger allows you to draw your own conclusions. But it was good to see what had become of Tasha and her family, even if Tasha's story is grim. It meant I came to care for the characters more than I already had from reading Stranger Child. Another sterling effort from Rachel Abbott.


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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me on my toes, 6 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2016 7:06 AM BST


Unscripted: My Ten Years in Telly
Unscripted: My Ten Years in Telly
Price: £10.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into The Apprentice, 31 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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 MusicnMedia
Price: £5.91

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.


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