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Reviews Written by
daisyrock "sharonsworld" (nottingham)

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The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars More mystery than thriller, 19 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
A very fast and enjoyable read written in the first person from multiple viewpoints. On the plus side, it's easy to get carried along with the story. The first person narrative slides along and you're soon into the 'just one more chapter' mindset. Also, the description of binge drinking and addiction is brilliant. Sad, scary, depressing and very well depicted. On the downside, if you're going to write from three different viewpoints, you need to make sure the voices all sound distinctly different, and I didn't think they did (Megan and Anna in particular sound more or less the same, making it hard to remember who's talking sometimes). Also, while I really enjoyed this and thought the ending was particularly good, I felt most of the book was more mystery than thriller. While I was intrigued at following the clues and trying to work out 'whodunnit', my heart didn't start pounding until the last few pages. All in all a good, speedy, entertaining read.


Gone Girl
Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terrible ending!!, 26 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gone Girl (Paperback)
Such a good book, ruined by an 'oops I ran out of paper' ending. So disappointing.


The Final Silence
The Final Silence
by Stuart Neville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the blurb, 19 July 2014
This review is from: The Final Silence (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The premise of this is really good. A serial killer's souvenir scrapbook found in a dead man's house. As an opener to a thriller, you don't get much better than that. But sadly, it's all downhill from there. The story that develops has pretty much nothing to do with the scrapbook or the crimes it documents. And there's far too much cop (the boring stereotypical hard-drinking loner) and not enough creepy killer. I did like Flanagan though - the tough lady copy (another stereotype, but I liked her). Overall, readable but a bit disappointing.


Americanah
Americanah
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 17 July 2014
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This review is from: Americanah (Paperback)
I do enjoy Adichie's writing and I find I learn a lot while reading her novels, which is great. I love getting an insight into other times and places. But this one fell a little flat for me. First off, I thought it was unnecessarily long. She does love a long story and there's nothing wrong with that, but this felt drawn out just for the sake of it. Secondly, despite the rich evocation of the protagonists' stories that takes place over several years, by the end I felt nothing much for them. Obinze changes too dramatically from section to section. The schoolboy, the illegal immigrant and the rich Nigerian businessman all seem like entirely different characters. As a result, I couldn't really warm to him. Ifem on the other hand, is very well drawn, but I didn't much like her. She seems self-obsessed and self-important, looks down on pretty much everybody and seems to have a bitterly cold heart. She cuts Obinze dead, not once, but twice, and doesn't seem to give a stuff about her parents (does she even visit her family on her return to Nigeria?). Consequently, the ending of this beautifully written, drawn-out tale let me feeling a bit... ho hum.


Lily's Kitchen Chicken Dinner for Puppies, 400 g, Pack of 6
Lily's Kitchen Chicken Dinner for Puppies, 400 g, Pack of 6
Offered by Christies Direct Ltd
Price: £15.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthy food for dogs, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Packed full of good things - the ingredients list sounds like you could eat it yourself (I didn't!) Most importantly, the meat is NOT 'reclaimed' (ie sucked out of piles of crap), and the veggies are organic. Not very important, but the packaging is gorgeous too - hats off to the illustrator.


Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
Knitting Smitten: 20 Fresh and Funky Hand-knit Designs (Simple Makes)
by Jessica Biscoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and colourful, 13 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A beautifully illustrated glossy book full of off-beat projects. Everything here is a bit silly and ornamental rather than practical, but it's fun and colourful. A good choice for beginners as the projects are largely small and won't take all year to finish. As the owner of three rescue greyhounds I was particularly enamoured of the doggy bow tie - modelled on a greyhound of course!


Sylvie and Star
Sylvie and Star
by Julia Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A pup's adventures, 13 July 2014
This review is from: Sylvie and Star (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Nice little book for dog-loving kids. Very pretty black and white illustrations. A sweet story about a pup named Star. Good for young readers or an ideal bedtime story.


The Barking Blondes
The Barking Blondes
by Anna Webb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Doggy fun, 13 July 2014
This review is from: The Barking Blondes (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A lighthearted look at dog ownership through the lens of two young women. A good dose of celebrities too (such as Julian Clary) and lots of pics of two beautiful doggies. It's particularly good to see the wonderful English bull terrier getting some press. Such lovely dogs. A good gift for a dog lover.


The Undertaking
The Undertaking
by Audrey Magee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View from the other side, 26 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Undertaking (Hardcover)
I thought this was an outstanding book and thoroughly deserving of the praise it’s been receiving.

Two connected stories are told; one set against the bleakness of the Russian front and the other a depressing view of the banality of evil in wartime Berlin. The Germans aren’t portrayed as text-book bad-guy Nazis, but as ordinary, flawed people – greedy, fearful, self-centred, ambitious – who fall in and out of love with the regime. Their very ordinariness makes the horrors they tolerate and commit even more horrifying.

I note that some reviewers have questioned the concept that two people who’d known each other so briefly would become so devoted (obsessed?) with one another. But this seemed quite believable to me. The loneliness and awfulness of situations might well cause people to fetishize an ‘ideal’ relationship – the light in the darkness that they can’t quite let go of.

I loved the way that the novel seems so ‘under-written’. Nothing is hammered home. Everything is handled with a light touch. I enjoyed what I think may have been a nod to the legendary 1077th Russian anti-aircraft regiment (all women). A whisper of their presence seemed to exist in the German soldiers’ griping about the Russians sending women to fight them. Maybe I imagined it, but I liked it nonetheless. I also felt some of the final scenes in Berlin – depicting on a small scale what happened to hundreds of women – were expertly handled. Once again, the violence and horror made all the more tangible by not over-doing it.

My only criticism of this novel is that – apart from the protagonist – the other German soldiers weren’t quite full enough characters. It took a while to be able to tell them apart, although their personalities did eventually start to shine through; one possibly a closet homosexual (or did I imagine it like the ghost of the 1077th?), one so scared of being considered a traitor he commits unspeakable acts to demonstrate his devotion to the cause.

Overall, an excellent first novel. Can’t wait to read what she does next.


Wahoo Fitness PROTKT Run Sport Case for iPhone 5 and 5S - Black
Wahoo Fitness PROTKT Run Sport Case for iPhone 5 and 5S - Black
Price: £29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, not very attractive, 26 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a useful enough little gizmo and I think I'll continue to use it when running. My only gripe is that it's a bit ugly. It looks a bit old-fashioned and clunky and certainly doesn't echo the sleekness of the iPhone itself. Looks a bit masculine too - but then again, it's not a fashion accessory. Works well, and that's good enough.


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