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318
4.2 out of 5 stars
Pear Shaped
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2012
Please, get past the front cover. This book has so much more to say than the ice cream girl suggests.

Not only is it laugh-out-loud funny (there's a thing with a Toilet Duck, I'll say no more) but it deals with the really serious issue of how some men make women feel about how they look.

And how they eat.

And the hypocrisy of not-very-fit old blokes with big appetites telling women how they should behave around food.

Because it's a well-written piece of fiction - Stella Newman clearly knows what to do with a pen as well as a cake tin - Pear Shaped is totally absorbing about James and Sophie's relationship. But you can substitute for James all the powerful communicators who tell women what to look like and what to buy - and what to deny themselves - in order to look that way. And you can substitute for Sophie all the women who struggle daily with how we're 'supposed' to be.

It's important for all of us that Sophie breaks free of James (read the book to find out if she does...!)

Because, despite the daft cover, there's a lot more than ice cream at stake.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2012
This was just such a great read. I started it last night and finished it under my desk at work today...
Despite the chick-lit cover, Pear Shaped isn't your typical romance with a bit of baking thrown in. Instead this is a heart-felt exploration of an unbalanced relationship and the damaging impact it can have on your mind and body.
The heroine, Sophie is warm and likeable and the writing is very sharp witted and well observed. At times I couldn't believe that Sophie was putting herself through such emotional heart ache, but actually this was the book's strength - we've all been in this situation, or something close to it.
The story was very fast paced, so much so that I might have to read it through a second time to pick up all the delicious foodie bits.
I'm looking forward to the next Stella Newman (maybe with a better cover next time?)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2012
Had it not have been for the 5 star reviews of this book (How many people can be wrong) I would have been put off by this book because of its typical "Chick-Lit" cover - I am not a fan. But I have to say, this book was excellent fun, the best thing you can do without consuming any calories (the "Vitual Calories" however, are abundant), or spending any money. OK, 99p, but its 99p well spent.

Sophie meets James, who seems too good to be true, and it turns out he is. That's basically the plot, there are no twists and turns here. But what makes this book absolutely fantastic is the characterisation, from Sophie herself, to the appalling Devron, the yuppie, clueless boss, to Amber, her mentalist neighbour. I adored all of them, and was sorry to have to close the cover on them when I had finished.

It is beautifully written, laugh out loud funny, and pretty poignant in places too.

I loved this book. If you are looking for the perfect companion to veg out on the sofa with for a lazy weekend, spend the best 99p you ever spent and get this book, it's ace fun. Taxing, and intellectual it is not, but it's ideal for "Downtime" from work.

Thanks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2012
The `Pear Shaped' story is a familiar one, but told with real flair and wit so it feels different from your typical love-gone-wrong tale. The author gives a hilarious insight into the world of supermarket ready-meal development, but she's best at capturing the psychological complexity of wanting to be with someone who you know isn't good for you. The descriptions of Sophie's emotional turmoil and reckless actions are frank, raw and funny.

For me the most powerful part of the book was Sophie's depression after the break-up. Most chick-lit books skim over this kind of thing, but Stella Newman looks it square in the face and doesn't flinch from describing the darkest aspects of heartbreak. Somehow, she manages to infuse black humour into this section of the book as well, and it works brilliantly.

I'm going to be giving this book to all my girlfriends as a salutary lesson in what not to do when you're dating - and also as a beacon of hope to show how you can end up better off, stronger and able to laugh at yourself if you're brave enough to face up to your own mistakes. I really recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read that is sure to resonate with their own life and experiences.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2012
This was responsible for me staying awake until after 4am as I couldn't put this down. For fans of chick lit it is such a satisfying read and I'm hoping that there is another from this author. It made me angry (at James), it made me well up a little (for Sophie) and my goodness did it make me hungry!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2012
I bought this for my wife but ended up reading it for myself.

The cover is ridiculous, but the content is not. This is whip-smart, funny, tender, and believable writing that hooks you from the off - the 'off' being the best opening line to a novel I've read for ages.

You spend much of the novel wrestling with the main character, willing her to do well, and wishing she would do better. The rest of the time you are absorbed in the drama of dessert. Other people's jobs are always interesting, but few can be as fascinating as the ones which end up with food in our mouths.

In short, this is a top, top read, full of cake, love and redemption. I thoroughly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2012
Admittedly, this would not be my usual literary fare; I read Pear Shaped after witnessing my girlfriend devour the book practically within an afternoon. I'm sure this book will find itself nestled amongst the latest chic-lit offerings in bookshops, but Pearshaped would not be out of place in the cookery section; it's full of precise, mouth-watering descriptions of dining and desserts. Nor the comedy section; lots of laugh-out-loud moments and I had a smile on my face for much of the time I was reading it. Which was not long. You will wolf this down like it were one of the main character's custard doughnuts. Highly recommended.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2012
This book is an easy read and you wont want to put it down as I was glued to find out what happened. You will fall in love with the main character Sophie Klein and feel every emotion that she goes through as most people know about getting their hearts broken. I was a little disappointed in the ending as I would of liked to of known more and it ended quite suddenly. There was one bit I read that I think I laughed for about 10 mins re-reading it over and over and killing myself laughing, I even read it out to my husband and he laughed too. I really hope there will be a sequel!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2012
I really really enjoyed this story I think it's one of the best books I've read on my Kindle so far. Not your typical chick lit book its full of heartbreak as well as comedy and if like me you have an interest in baking then you'll really enjoy the food references made throughout the book (obviously Stella Newman is a bit of a cake officienado like myself). I didn't want the story to end to be honest I wanted to stay in Sophie's world a little bit longer!! Well worth a download.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2012
Initially I was intrigued by the title - as a pear-shaped person whose past love life was frequently pear-shaped I absolutely related to Sophie. Yes, James Stephens is a horrid person, but surely many of us have been addicted to the highs and lows in an emotionally abusive relationship. Stella Newman's style has a real bite (no pun intended though I did find the way she writes about food fascinating and fluent) - I zipped through this book all too quickly. Sophie is a well-rounded and engaging character - I hope we'll get a sequel and a movie!
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