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Fizz Foster (UK)

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Amber's Pathetic Life (Diaries of a Dorky Girl - Hilarious Book for Girls 8-14))
Amber's Pathetic Life (Diaries of a Dorky Girl - Hilarious Book for Girls 8-14))
Price: £2.35

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Room for improvement..., 10 July 2013
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I work with children and young adults, so I read quite a lot of fiction aimed at under-18s. This book was on free offer, so I downloaded it hoping to find a new tween author to support. To start with, the book is ridiculously short (estd. 39 pages). The subject matter is barely relevant to the bottom of the target age range, while the writing style is too simplistic for the top end. I could understand if it was marketed as a hi-lo book for 12-14 year olds with low reading skills, but other than that I cannot see it maintaining much interest from the audience. The entire plot of this book is based around one "embarrassing moment" anecdote. When I was about that age, I was reading British series like "Ally's World" which have similar subject matter but are relayed in a much more realistic (and likable) tone. The layout of this book is great in theory, but displays poorly on e-readers as each page is an image file. (This style works a lot better in print.) The illustrations, while intentionally crude, look like Photoshop stamps ripped from DeviantArt and unlike anything that would realistically appear in a diary. The "handwriting" font is Kristen ITC, a default typeface in Windows which is quite hard to read for the payoff of a vaguely organic look - not to mention that some words appear to be repeated in the text by mistake. Finally, "Amber's Pathetic Life" presents as a transparent rip-off of "Dork Diaries", a series which has received its share of criticism, and yet at this point the book does not have one truly critical review. This is not an attack on the author, but I would strongly suggest paying a more suitable designer for the inside matter. Consider narrowing the target age range in order to hone the content. I hope you found my review helpful!


Smashwords Style Guide - How to Format Your Ebook (Smashwords Guides 1)
Smashwords Style Guide - How to Format Your Ebook (Smashwords Guides 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I only had to read this once..., 20 April 2013
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I would definitely recommend that you read (or at least skim) this book before submitting to Smashwords. Yes, I had to meticulously reformat for the site, but the reward of getting accepted into the Premium Catalogue on the first try makes it well worth the effort. Having achieved that, your submissions will also be suitable for Amazon. If you read this, you will know what kind of effort to expect. While there are probably other ways to gain the same information, this ebook is completely free and easy to have at hand while you work if you didn't absorb all the details the first time. Absolutely no complaints from me.


The Sunset Strip Diaries
The Sunset Strip Diaries
Price: £5.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at youth in the hair metal days, 20 April 2013
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This book certainly opens with the right scenario - you will be under no illusions about what to expect if you have read the opening paragraph, but it's not all doom and gloom. Here we follow a young girl through adolescent confusion, largely unsupervised. For the most part it seems unbelievable, until you remember that this is a kid who can do virtually anything she likes, and of course, due to dubious motivations, someone will be willing to take her there. It's relatable in terms of the invincibility one feels as a teen, fuelled by alcohol and the neglect-induced attention-seeking that almost everyone perceives themselves to merit at this age, while only a few such as this girl really run with it. The issue of trust is a big one here, second only to that of physical appeal. If you don't have the look, even the genuine seem to be put off. Most interesting of all is the unique setting - a certain place in a certain era, long since changed. Plenty of notable people appear in this book, all part of one big party which was just waning out as the author reached the age of majority. This story has everything it takes to have once been a banned-book-turned-high-school-recommendation, and the worst part is, it's almost definitely all true.


Caddy's World (Casson Family Book 6)
Caddy's World (Casson Family Book 6)
Price: £4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A great prequel, 20 April 2013
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I have read every book in this series, and came across this one while searching for used copies of the others for a children's library. Excitedly, I grabbed the Kindle version. It is a bit different, but this book doesn't disappoint. McKay handles a heavy situation as cheerfully as possible, so despite the worrying main themes of the story it is unlikely to upset anyone unless they have recently had a similar experience. Unlike certain other difficult children's lifestyle topics, this one is not dwelled upon gratuitously - it is just real. Indigo and Saffron are newly fascinating as infant schoolers, while we get to know Caddy better than ever before. Her motivations over the rest of the series start to make sense. Another positive is that Rose, who took center stage in the previous books, has a non-speaking role. This allows the other characters to react and explore themselves in the spotlight, though you never feel that Rose is absent. The last thing I'm going to add is that Caddy's friends are interesting in that instead of merely being stereotypes, we get to see them react to the roles they were previously so happy to be cast in. It's a story about security and how unsettling it can be to newly lack it.


Swimming and Flying (Kindle Single)
Swimming and Flying (Kindle Single)

5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at the personal life of Mark Haddon..., 20 April 2013
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I would love to have heard this read aloud. You can definitely see his unique stream of consciousness style even in these personal anecdotes. After reading this you will feel acquainted with the author and more likely to buy any of his titles that you haven't read before. Haddon knows people, their motivations and fears as well as he knows bewilderment, the main theme of many a writer's young life. This book contains a good mix of different topics considering its length, and is more than worth its price.


Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years
Price: £3.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Mole fair..., 20 April 2013
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I can't recommend this book enough. For anyone who followed him through his teen years, this book effortlessly transports you right back to the fictional universe. I last read a book in this series over a year ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I remembered. The human patheticness of his continued chase after Pandora adds just enough emotion to a primarily humorous tale. You know what you're buying with Sue Townsend.


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