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The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People's History
The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People's History
Price: £17.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book., 7 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great book. I am trying to educate myself about African history and it is quite a chore given how little I know. Scrabbling for a book that doesn't assume a level of knowledge is difficult but I found it here. It's horrifying reading but well worth it.

Stay With Me
Stay With Me
Price: £2.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow writing, wooden characters., 7 April 2017
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This review is from: Stay With Me (Kindle Edition)
Urgh, I bought this after seeing it was shortlisted for The Baileys Prize. This book has put me off looking at any of the others. I honestly don't understand who would rate this book. The premise is interesting but the characters are wooden and shallow. The blurb is incredibly misleading but creates a nifty trick of making it nigh on impossible to accurately critique without spoilers. So I shall review the blurb.

"But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair."

I have a friend who grew up in this situation in Nigeria, her experiences were incredibly negative, I was looking forward to seeing this explored in literature. Well I need to carry on looking for a book to do this because this isn't explored at all. On the shallowest level we learn about the protagonists experience growing up in this kind of household but it's barely touched upon. The second wife has no character at all and Yejide's feelings about her are all tell, no show.

"Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria"

What this means is basically intermittent radio reports about coups that have little impact on the plot. The characters tell us their feelings about each political upheaval in one or two sentences and then it's not spoken about again until the next political crisis. No clever metaphors, no symbolism, not even an explanation of who these political figures are or why they are revolting, no reflection on how the personal can eclipse the societal. News report, 2 sentence reflection, rinse, repeat.

Early on in the story Yejide discusses the threat of violent crime and how she didn't take it seriously, she ominously tells us that in future horrific crimes will be commonplace. I was waiting for the tension and fear to ramp up, but no. Instead later in the book she tells us that (as an aside when telling us about her house move) that the crime problem is now horrific. It's basically a "Oh yeah and now everything is terrible" hand wave. Baffling. I thought at first this was perhaps a reflection on Yejide's state of mind, how the stress of her personal life eclipsed the horror and stress going on around her. Maybe it is, but the stress of her personal life isn't really explored either.

"Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings."

I am baffled by this. I am not a fan of reams of descriptive writing but there is nothing to evoke the sense of the country where this is set. Obviously there are massive cultural differences in terms of family traditions, naming ceremonies etc but other than that this could have been set anywhere. What voices? What colours?

Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood.

A bad thing happened and she felt bad, she did a bad thing and she felt guilty, a good thing happened and she feels good but worried because of the previous bad thing. The writing is very simplistic and despite the story discussing grief, seriously illness, betrayal and serious mental health problems there is no real reflection or insight into any of these.

Honestly this reads like one of those awful "Stunning psychological thriller with a twist you will never guess" books that won't disappear from my recommended list. Only the twist isn't that stunning.

Micro USB 2.0 Cable [3 Pack-3m /10ft ] SENDIS Nylon Braided Charger for Android Smartphones, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nexus, Nokia, LG, Sony and more (White)
Micro USB 2.0 Cable [3 Pack-3m /10ft ] SENDIS Nylon Braided Charger for Android Smartphones, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nexus, Nokia, LG, Sony and more (White)

0 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbish, didn't last a month., 11 Mar. 2017
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All three are now broken to various degrees after owning them less than a month.

Seche Vite Professional Top Coat 14ml
Seche Vite Professional Top Coat 14ml
Price: £7.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Godsend for the lazy or inpatient., 12 May 2016
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I bought this in a last gasp attempt to minimise the time I spend on my stupid nails without having to resort to paying for gel nail polish etc.

I have discoloured nails and so nail varnish is a must have for me to stop me wincing every time they catch my eye. Sadly I am lazy and inpatient in matters of grooming. I can't quite muster the patience to wait for nails to dry and end up with badly finished polish that chips. For a while I used various 60 second dry stuff which rarely lasts a day and painting my nails daily is just a pain in the bum.

This stuff is a solution to all that. I slap it on any old way while my nails are still tacky and it dries in a flash to a lovely finish. I do them once a week now but out of routine rather than necessity. I am going to test how long it actually lasts at some point as it definitely crosses the 7 day mark.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. My only annoyance is I didn't discover it sooner.

Bella Ladies/Womens Tank Top (L) (Black)
Bella Ladies/Womens Tank Top (L) (Black)
Offered by The Prime Group
Price: £4.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product for the price., 4 May 2016
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I ordered two cheap vest tops from different sellers, the other one came first and was horridly cheap so I didn't have high hopes for this. I was pleasantly surprised. It is what it is, a really handy black vest top. Highly recommended.

A Game for All the Family
A Game for All the Family
by Sophie Hannah
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.56

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous yet predictable., 15 Aug. 2015
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Why? Why did I break my own vow and buy another Sophie Hannah book? Partially because I borrowed a copy of her last "Spilling" book and found it... not bad. Another reason was the fact that this one was not set in Spilling and so I knew I wouldn't be subjected to the pointless tedium of the extended cast of reoccurring cardboard characters.

It started well enough. I actually quite liked the protagonist, Justine, who was very self aware which made her flaws rather endearing. Justine has a teenage daughter and an successful husband, after some sort of upset in her career Justine and her family jacks in their London life and high tails it to a country mansion. At first everything seems fine until a series of strange events threaten to shatter Justines new relaxing 'nothing' existance.

The grand mystery is laid out piece by piece and it is rather enthralling.... BUT the denouement is so stupid, so predictable so completely inane and unsatisfying that if I had been reading a paper copy I would have launched it across the room. Writing a multi-layered enthralling mystery only works if it makes sense at the end, otherwise it's just cheap writing. Parts of the plot are simply unexplained or hand waved with "crazy people eh?", other parts literally make no sense. About half way through I picked up on an error in the timeline, 'Ah ha!' I thought, 'there is more to this story than meets the eye'.... nope it's just a plot hole and the editor obviously didn't pick up on it. (I can't say anymore without spoilers but if anybody cares to read this review and wants to know more I'll answer in the comments). I guessed the 'murderer' before the 'murder' even happened. I am the most naive of reader, I am a mystery novelists dream! I never guess a single thing I fall for every red herring, every plot twist hits me like a frying pan so naturally when I guessed I assumed I was, as always, wrong. This made the smug 'reveal' all the more annoying. Parts of the mystery can only be explained by either A) Extraordinary coincidences coupled with random strangers behaving in a way that defies all logic or (B) The supernatural, I am not sure which is more ridiculous. There are a couple of 'sub mysteries' that are baffling in their very existence given they add not a single thing to the story (apart from the most tenuous and superficial of thematic links) and are wholly unexplored. The only reason I can see that they are there is to trick the reader into thinking there is more to this story than there actually is.

How does a story that defies all logic end up being predictable? It is quite a feat and yet it is managed her, everybody is exactly what they seem there is no 'ah ha how did I not see that' moment. There is one 'twist' I didn't guess but it was part of the story-in-a-story and didn't matter to the plot of either story. Despite it's irrelevance this 'reveal' is given an extraordinary amount of page time and a detailed repetitive explanation which made me question if I had missed something, I even flicked back to check if there was more significance that I had somehow overlooked. In the end I concluded that there was a word count that needed plumping up. I suppose one could argue that this is the key to the antagonists motivation but given the level of insanity displayed by the antagonist no motivation makes sense, certainly not the half baked nonsensical one offered.

Nobody in this book acts like a normal human being, from the police to the teachers everybody seems to exist in some sort of parallel universe. Our villains motivation is the most ridiculous I have ever heard and Hannah doesn't even bother to employ her usual straight-off'of-Wikipedia pseudo psychology to explain anything.... or possibly her editor has finally grown a back bone and made her leave it out. Complete waste of time and money, I am actually considering asking for a refund.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2015 5:01 PM BST

Solitaire Arena
Solitaire Arena
Price: £0.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible., 20 April 2015
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This review is from: Solitaire Arena (App)
The actual game itself is poor but passable. Sadly passable turns to dire when you consider that you are forced to wait 15 minutes between games (which are generally about 2 minutes long) unless you want to cough up 50p for a "magic wand" to play immediately.

That's right, the creators of this "game" want to charge you 50p to play a couple of minutes of solitaire. That's how stupid they think you are. Personally I find this highly insulting.

Satya Nag Champa Super Hit Incense 15g  (Pack of 12)
Satya Nag Champa Super Hit Incense 15g (Pack of 12)
Offered by mydealsaver
Price: £7.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the extra money., 30 July 2014
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So I grudgingly decided to splash out and pay a little extra than I usually do for my incense sticks because my usual sellers were out of stock.

I was incredibly happy with my purchase, buying cheaper sticks is a false economy. These ones last 4 times as long as the cheaper ones. They are less smokey and the smell is less over powering and longer lasting.

Cannot recommend enough.

Tipping Point
Tipping Point
Price: £1.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow moving and dull., 6 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tipping Point (App)
I have never seen the show this is based on but as I enjoy quiz games and the reviews where good I took a chance and bought it. Sadly I was disappointed. This game is very slow to progress and the majority of your time seems to be spent staring at the screen rather than interacting. Perhaps there is more fun to be had in multi-player mode but for me a tablet is primarily a one user device.

Not worth the price I'm afraid.

Pin-O-Ball 2
Pin-O-Ball 2
Price: £0.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful game - A cynical attempt to cash in., 24 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pin-O-Ball 2 (App)
Each round consists of a single tap to release a ball into a very simple pinball type area. You pay for points and coins which are gathered separately. Coins are used to upgrade the board although why you would bother eludes me.

As far as I can see this "game" represents the least amount of effort a developer can put in to cash in on the "micro transaction" band wagon.

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