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Reviews Written by
Charly Dunning (UK)

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The Alpha Drive
The Alpha Drive
Price: £3.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great But Not Perfect!, 13 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Alpha Drive (Kindle Edition)
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I spotted this book as I was trawling through the Y.A section of NetGalley, and to be honest, the moment I read the blurb I knew I'd struck gold. Those short three paragraphs promised me everything I ever hope for in the perfect Y.A - a female lead, dystopian future, action-filled plot, family secrets, and most importantly, no love triangles. It looked p e r f e c t. Fortunately for me, it was available in the "read now" section of NetGalley, so I immediately downloaded it, cuddled up in bed with my dog, and started reading.

From the very first sentence, I knew it was going to be a fast ride. Information flew past me at incredible speed, I had to stop occasionally to go back & re-read important tidbits of information before I could carry on reading. Despite this, however, the captivating storyline left me lusting after more. The pages kept turning faster and faster, almost leaving me cross-eyed. Just as the suspense was reaching its peak, Emery (the M.C) arrived at her boarding school. It was at this very moment that the story came crashing down into a shallow pool of character development.

Each of the characters in this book are great, they really are. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about each of them, and having the main four characters (Emery, Rhea, Theo & Torin) tell the story from their own P.O.V was a brilliant idea, and it really helped the story and the development of the characters. However, that being said, I also felt that a great opportunity had been missed. This world that Kristen has created is so intriguing, that I could sit and read thick descriptions of every single atom of it with incredible ease. Unfortunately though, we are left with a couple of main bullet points of what this world really is, and who the characters are. It left me feeling rather disappointed, to be honest, as I knew that Kristen could have easily added an extra 30 pages to the book just from descriptions & explanations alone. Having those written illustrations would have really helped shape out the characters, as well as answer some questions about the world they inhabit (for example, why is Emery's mother so scared? Why are people being left behind in the dormance? if science hasn't moved forward in 28 years, are there new diseases they don't have cures for? why is Anthony so obsessed with Emery? ) I really hope that in book 2 all of these questions will be answered, but we'll have to wait and see I suppose!

The plot of the novel is brilliant, and is also very well executed. The dream and training scenes were some of the best, and it definitely gave me a "Divergent" vibe, especially during the last couple of chapters. After a very quick start, the story did slow down a little, but in the third act of the book it really picked up the pace again. As I was reading it I felt like I had been thrown into an action movie! Kirsten really made those last few chapters feel completely real, and to be honest I was enjoying it so much I was wishing for some hidden chapters so that it didn't have to end!

For me, this book was a mix of "Divergent" and "Matched", with small aspects of "TimeRiders" & "The Declaration" thrown in for good measure. I really, really enjoyed it, and although there were some problems with character development and descriptions, I will definitely be reading the rest of the series, and I highly recommend you do the same!

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disgustingly Good Fun!, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've watched so many YouTubers playing this game (Jackscepticeye, Good Mythical More, Facts and lots of others), that made it look like such a good laugh that I decided to buy it for my sister and I to play!

Before buying it, I assumed you'd be able to tell the difference between the good and the evil flavours just by looking at the beans, but honestly, you can't! All the "good" flavours are delicious (unless you don't like liquorice) if you actually get to taste them, but not all the "evil" flavours taste that bad. Toothpaste, Lawn Clippings & Baby Wipes are the best of the bunch, so I like to use them as the "cleansing" round between all the nasty flavours (especially if you get Toothpaste after having Barf, it helps a lot!). Barf, Skunk Spray, Rotten Eggs & Stinky Socks are truly revolting. I always have to spit Barf out, it is far too gross for me!

The game is a lot of fun, although it can get rather depressing when you have such bad luck like myself (I remember one game I played, we did 10 rounds, and I only got one nice flavour!). But I highly recommend playing it at a sleepover, it's great to play in bigger groups of people as you can have a tournament.

Another great thing about this product is once you have the wheel, you can buy replacement packs (some of the newer packs even have new flavours, which adds a bit more fun to it) so the fun will never end! All in all, I highly recommend this product if you're looking for a fun yet disgusting game to play with your friends!

Offered by EnStore
Price: £49.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My Mum is a 50's kid, so she grew up listening to the Beatles, the Beach Boys, etc on Vinyl. As a gift, I thought I would give her a record player to try and reignite her love for music (and if she didn't like it, I'd happily have it, I've always wanted one!). It arrived within 3 days, which is amazing considering it arrived all the way from Germany! It was really well packaged, there was no way it could have been broken enroute. It was very simple to setup (once we found the instructions...), and within a couple of minutes we had Phil Collins singing to us. The sound quality is fantastic! If you want it to be loud enough to be heard through the whole house, I definitely suggest you buy a speaker to plug it into, as the volume can't go that high. I haven't tested the alarm clock yet, but I'm sure it works well. There is also a built in radio, which is fantastic!

All in all a brilliant quality product, especially considering the price! I would highly recommend it to any music lover!

Bravo Premium Peanut Butter Retrieval Roll 9-10"
Bravo Premium Peanut Butter Retrieval Roll 9-10"
Offered by VetnPet
Price: £2.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't Recommend it for Smaller Dogs, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a treat for my peanut-butter lovin' dog, Lilo. Unfortunately, I didn't look at the size of the roll, and when it arrived I was very surprised about how big it was - it is REALLY big (about 10+ inches, and it's thick too). My dog is of the small variety (bichon frise x toy poodle) so the roll is almost as big as she is! It doesn't stop her from eating it though. Because it is so big, she finds it quite difficult to eat. She has to lie it on a pillow so that she can hold it down to eat (she hasn't perfected the method yet, but she is getting there). She's hardly chewed the edges, so I can see this roll lasting quite a long time!

As for the product, it arrived very quickly and it was well packaged. Lilo seems to love the taste of it, and I think it's going to last her quite a long time. I've given it 4 stars just because it isn't something I'd order again, as it's far too big. I wouldn't recommend giving it to a dog smaller than a Labrador, just because it is such an enormous treat smaller dogs find it really difficult to eat.

Animate Raccoon Flat Friend Skin Dog Toy, 19-inch
Animate Raccoon Flat Friend Skin Dog Toy, 19-inch
Price: £4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the furry stuffing monster in your life!, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My dog, Lilo, has recently discovered that she can hollow out the stuffed innards of her toys, until there is nothing but a limp cadaver with missing limbs and eyeballs hanging off by a thread. She does this, coldly moving on to victim after victim, until her toybox looks like a toy shop graveyard. I was tired of my carpet looking like the floor of a stuffing factory, so I decided to do something about it. After a quick Amazon search I discovered "Flat Friends!", a collection of stuffling-less squeaky toys for dogs!

It arrived on time, and Lilo was incredibly excited when I gave it to her. I have to admit, she doesn't play with it much unless I specifically get it out for her, but she dies enjoy it. She sits and cleans it as if it was her little baby before she savagely throws it around the room, whacking it against any hard surface she can find until she declares it "dead".

As for the actual product, I can tell its gonna last us a while, which is brilliant! It seems to be made very well, and their is two squeakers (one at each end of the body), which makes it more fun for Lilo to play with. All in all, a great toy, and I highly recommend you try your dog with one if they are stuffing monsters like mine! :)

More Care Dog Toy Cat Plush Toy Fluffy Chicken Leg
More Care Dog Toy Cat Plush Toy Fluffy Chicken Leg
Offered by More Care
Price: £1.69

5.0 out of 5 stars My dog adores it!, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Took quite a while to arrive (about 2 or 3 weeks? I think), but it was worth it! My dog, Lilo, absolutely loves it! The moment I pulled it out of the packaging she was after it! The product itself is very well made, and I can see it lasting quite a while (which is a miracle, because Lilo's main goal is to rip her toys to shreds immediately!). It's 7 1/2 inches long (18cm) and 3 1/2 inches wide (8 1/2cm), makes a loud squeak and is made from very sturdy material. If you're after a long-lasting toy, this should definitely be high up on your list! Just make sure you leave plenty of time for delivery :)

[Upgraded Version] VicTsing Bluetooth MP3 Player FM Transmitter Hands-free Car Kit Charger for iPhone SE 6s 6s Plus iPhone 6 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6 S6 Edage S7 S7 Edage, iPad, etc - Silver
[Upgraded Version] VicTsing Bluetooth MP3 Player FM Transmitter Hands-free Car Kit Charger for iPhone SE 6s 6s Plus iPhone 6 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6 S6 Edage S7 S7 Edage, iPad, etc - Silver
Offered by VICTECH
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 11 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this on a whim at 2am one night in hopes that it'd mean I no longer had to burn CDs for the car. It arrived within a week safe and sound, and after having a quick leaf through the instructions I gave it a go. Although the quality isn't the same as a CD (you will get a little bit of distortion and background noise occasionally, as you are using the radio), it is fantastic. So far I have only tested it with my iPad & iPhone 5S, but both work perfectly & it was so easy to connect them. I live near Plymouth, so I use 108 FM, which seems to be clear all the time. The only problem is that you can't use this in bad weather, as you constantly lose radio signal, and the quality is rubbish. I've used it several times now, and really enjoyed using it. Typically, the cigarette lighter (which you plug this in to) in my car has broken, so I'm back to using CDs until I can get it fixed. Despite all that however, I would highly recommend this product! :D

The Mermaid's Sister
The Mermaid's Sister
Price: £3.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Fairytale Twist on Young Adult Fiction, 20 May 2015
I discovered this gem during my free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and what a lovely book to start off the month!

The Mermaid's Sister is a wonderfully charming and enchanting fairytale that has you captivated from the very first sentence. The story follows a young woman named Clara, and her brother and sister - O'Neill and Maren. Each were brought to their adopted parents in very unique ways. Clara, was delivered by a stork. Maren, was found inside a seashell, and O'Neill was discovered under an apple tree. They all had a wonderful childhood together, although one thing was always clear - their sister Maren longed to live in the sea. At the age of 17, her wish starts to come true, as she begins to transform into a mermaid. As no mermaid can live away from the sea, O'Neill and Clara set off on a long journey to return Maren to her ocean home. However, will they get Maren to the sea in time, or will disaster befall them on the road?

This book was a delight to read from start to finish. Carrie really is a wonderful writer, and has managed to maintain both the fairytale and young adult aspects that make those genres unique, and mixes them together in her very own cauldron pot of storytelling to create the perfect novel for young fairytale lovers like myself!

There were many twists and turns in this book, and it never once lost pace, meaning there was always a reason for you keep turning the pages! All in all, a lovely book that I would highly recommend to anyone!

The Bees
The Bees
Price: £4.99

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky Tale of Love, Lust, Violence, Power and Motherhood, 16 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Bees (Kindle Edition)
I spotted this incredibly original novel in the Kindle store, and it was so wacky and different that I just had to give it a read. What a read it makes!

The story follows a young sanitation bee called Flora 717. Her superiors suddenly discover that she is able to create flow - a liquid to feed the royal offspring. After a short reassignment to the Nursery, Flora then becomes a forager bee. Spending her days searching and bringing back pollen for the hive. During her adventures, she discovers secrets about the hive, as well as creating some of her own.

"The Bees" is an incredibly quirky novel, and a very strong debut from its author. Despite being about flying insects, Laline still manages to create a world that is full of love, lust, violence and power, as well as storylines that explain what it means to be a Mother.

As I mentioned, the book can be a little... Violent shall we say. Thick descriptions of insects being eaten alive, or ripped apart limb by limb. If you are of a sensitive nature, or find bugs rather unappealing, this novel may not be for you. Perhaps you should watch the Bee Movie instead.

Despite the occasional tummy turning moments, I did quite enjoy this book. But for me personally, I don't think it's one I'll pick up again in a hurry. However, I will be looking forward to Lalinda Paull's next novel, whatever that may be!

Rosings (The Pride & Prejudice Continues Series Book 2)
Rosings (The Pride & Prejudice Continues Series Book 2)
Price: £2.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Marvellous Continuation of Pride and Prejudice, 14 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was first introduced to Ms Aminadra through book 1 of this very series, entitled “Charlotte”. A book which I thoroughly enjoyed, and it wet my appetite for the rest of the books in the series.

“Rosings” focuses on Miss Ann de Bourgh, a character which unfortunately wasn't highlighted more in Pride and Prejudice. If like me, you are curious as to Miss de Burgh's character, and if she'd ever escape her Mother's control and possibly find love after the disappointment of her cousin Mr Darcy, then this is the book for you.

Between the break of reading these two books, I forgot how wonderfully Ms Aminadra could portray Jane Austen's marvellous characters. She really has perfected Lady de Bourgh, Mr Collins, etc. She makes it feel as though you aren't reading fan fiction, but a continuation of Miss Austen's work. Which is an incredibly difficult thing to get right. Although her writing style is marvellous, I have to admit on occasion I did get confused and have to re-read certain passages, but only when she did both Anne and Catherine's point of view on the same event.

Anne de Bourgh's character was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her more. I also enjoyed the wealth of new characters, as they still felt as though they fit into Miss Austen's world. Ms Aminadra manages to create characters with depth, which is something I don't often see in this genre.

I don't think you need to read the previous book in the series to understand this one, but it would help you to understand the extent of Catherine de Bourgh's strong character. However, I definitely think you need to have read (or even watched) Pride and Prejudice, the original novel that this series is a continuation of.

The book does include very brief scenes of sexual assault, so if you would be triggered by such scenes you may need to reconsider reading this particular novel. But, as I said they are very brief moments so you could just skip those particular scenes, as you would not be missing out on the story (there are only 2 scenes, and both last under a page and a half).

When it finished, I longed for more! The next book in the series is about Mr Wickham, which is a character I loathe. I will however endeavour to soldier on and read it anyway, as Ms Aminadra's writing is such a delight to read I'm sure she could turn my views on him around. So, long story short, if you adore Pride and Prejudice and are intrigued to see how Miss Ann de Bourgh's life will pan out, then I highly recommend this novel to you. You won't find books in this genre better written than these!

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