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F. Welch (Glasgow)

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You Had Me At Hello
You Had Me At Hello
Price: £0.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but ultimately a bit disappointing, 30 Nov. 2012
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This book felt longer than it needed to be. I liked the characters in it but just felt the story took so long to get going and the flashback structure, while slowly revealing the background to the character's situations, really broke up the pace of the narrative. It had echoes of One Day although it felt much more inevitable than that. The big event at the end of the two main character's university final year felt a bit ridiculous - and too good to be true.

I found the fact that Rachel allowed things to happen to her without seeming to make any choices herself quite frustrating, and it didn't seem compatible with the type of character that the author had created for her. If she really felt the things she says she felt, I seriously question some of her reactions or lack of them throughout the book. I found the ending just a bit too neat and tidy as well.

Having said all that, I think it's a pretty impressive debut novel, and the dialogue was funny and real, and the female characters weren't vapid like they are in a lot of fiction. I won't be recommending this book to anyone but I kept reading it, so there was obviously something there to keep my interest for the whole story.

Blood Over Water
Blood Over Water
by David Livingston
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for rowers, 22 May 2009
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This review is from: Blood Over Water (Hardcover)
'Blood over Water' is an engrossing true story of longstanding sibling rivalry pushed to extremes by two brothers rowing against one another in the Oxford Cambridge boat race. The emotional, physical and academic strain of competing against peers, rivals and family is told by both brothers in alternating narratives, allowing a unique insight into the mindsets and emotions of both sides. Despite having seen the 2003 race that the story focuses on, I tore through the final chapters as if somehow the outcome might change, as I rooted for both brothers in a bittersweet race where only one could win.

I'm not a rower but found the descriptions of training, diet and drinking rituals really interesting, and at times very funny. I had a tear in my eye at the end as both reflected on their lives since the race and how their relationship has developed and changed after such an intense rivalry.

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