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Little Miss Bookworm (Cumbria, UK)

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The Humans
The Humans
Price: £4.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, thought-provoking and downright wonderful!, 26 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Humans (Kindle Edition)
I can't do this book justice. It is just so good on so many levels! The Humans is the story of an alien sent to Earth to destroy evidence of a breakthrough in a previously unresolved mathematical theory; the Reimann hypothesis. In destroying the evidence, he must also destroy the person who solved the hypothesis, Professor Andrew Martin, and those closest to him.

What starts with supposedly a quick, planned, easy task, the alien has his first human lesson in that nothing goes as planned. He attempts to quickly adjust to human life; our behaviour, mannerisms and communication but nothing makes sense to him; WE are the aliens. He and his kind have a strong dislike of humans and what it is to be one. Human behaviour makes no sense to them. We are known to them as selfish, violent, aggressive and ignorant. And so, the alien attempts to perform his task without letting himself be affected by us.

I loved so much about this book. It makes you question what it is to be human, the things we do and the choices we make. It is filled with wonderful little quotes about our humanisms; quotes that wouldn't go amiss on an inspirational quotes Pinterest board!

Matt Haig wrote The Humans based on his experience of depression and anxiety; times when being a human must've felt alien to him. His experience, whilst terrifying and overwhelming, has helped him write a brilliant book for which I as a reader am extremely grateful.

The Humans is a really great book, a wonderfully different and refreshing story that helps put things in perspective. Five astronomically big stars from me :)

No Run Intended
No Run Intended
Price: £0.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously honest!, 26 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: No Run Intended (Kindle Edition)
No Run Intended is one woman's very honest account of running. A warts and all tale of sore boobs, chafing, sweating and emergency toilet situations makes for a hilarious read from a young woman who doesn't take herself too seriously in her journey to become "a runner"!!

As a beginner runner, I think I've made all the excuses in this book and then some! Hannah's determination is nothing short of admirable. She has good running experiences, bad ones fantastic ones and embarrassing ones and yet she keeps going!

Hannah shows us the benefits of running; she's managed to lose weight, feels healthier and every run gives her a feeling of satisfaction and achievement that little else comes close to... especially if you've previously thought of running only in the context of "for your life"!

A good little book that's perfect for beginner runners, or runners who struggle to find the motivation, or runners who feel they're too fat/slow/old/unhealthy or any other excuse in the book! No Run Intended will have you dusting off the Garmin and running gear and sprinting out the door.

Fix You
Fix You
Price: £1.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it!, 14 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: Fix You (Kindle Edition)
Fix You is the story of Hanna and Richard who meet in London when Hanna is 17 and Richard, 21. Both come from transatlantic broken families with Hanna living in London and Richard in New York. Hanna and Richard have an instant chemistry and stay in touch, spending time together whenever the other is in town. Through this we see their friendship and relationship develop and the feelings between them grow.

The book spans 2 decades with each chapter set a matter of months or give-or-take, a full year apart. Over time we see them come together, fall apart and miss opportunities to get what they really want.

I really enjoyed this book. Hanna and Richard are both really likeable and the supporting characters are all great. Their friendships are realistic and its nice to see them standing by Hanna and Richard over the years. Their story worked out really nicely, I loved that their feelings were still so strong after 2 full decades of friendship and love. Life throws a lot at them but they make it through the other side.

I didn't expect the sex scenes in this book but for me, they were fitting. They weren't pornographic or overly detailed; they give you an insight into the passion between the characters and I felt they were actually quite romantic. It's nice to see characters whose love and attraction to each other stands the test of time!

Fix You is an easy but great read. The plot and pace is enjoyable and I actually loved Hanna and Richard a little bit! 4 stars from me!

Saving Grace
Saving Grace
Price: £4.74

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a little disappointing..., 8 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: Saving Grace (Kindle Edition)
Saving Grace is the story of Grace and her hugely famous author husband, Ted Chambers. We quickly learn that Grace is less than happy with Ted; scared of his moods and cautious of her behaviour and attitude to avoid “setting him off”. Despite this, Grace is a stylish, confident, passionate, friendly, charming, loving and admirable woman, nearing middle age. She has her own work, a large group of friends and has established herself as the beautiful, stylish, supporting wife to her great husband. Her biggest passion is cooking; which she has forged her own life and career around. 

So let’s cut to the chase… 

Things I didn’t like: 
1. The recipes - now, I’m not sure if I missed the point of these or if they were just thrown in there to teach the reader some recipes favoured by the lead character?! For me, they were pointless and added nothing - I skimmed them all. At first I thought they were a clever way of disguising the downfall of a character; like “add 1 drop of self-doubt and stir well”… but nope, they were just recipes!
2. Ted - eurgh, what a horrible character! The suggestion is that Ted “is the way he is” due to the intense emotions that come with being an impassioned writer. I don’t buy this. There is no need to be downright rude, abusive and aggressive to any other human being and use your work as an excuse … unless maybe your career is Army General, a professional torturer or one of those strange BDSM-humiliation-type people! Ted is a horrible man, through and through. Full of his own self worth and ego and willing to take out his own frustrations and inadequacies on the one person there supporting him; he does not deserve Grace’s time, effort or love. 
3. Beth/the end - I wanted so badly not to include spoilers in this review (maybe I need to join a book group to avoid splurging all the details in my reviews!) but this is the one thing that left me so very disappointed. I so badly looked forward to finding out just what this girl was doing and to watch her comeuppance and downfall. It speaks highly of Grace’s sophisticated character that she could let things lie but this was something I was really looking forward to. To have things left the way they were just felt like a huge mistake by Jane Green. She could’ve chosen to make this a really juicy, satisfying end - instead it just falls a little flat. 

Things I did like: 
1. Grace … and Sybil and Lydia and Clemmie and Patrick and basically all other characters except Ted and Beth. Now this is clearly how the book is supposed to make you feel - and if that was Jane Green’s intent, she did it wonderfully well. Grace is sophisticated, beautiful, charming and has a heart of absolute gold. You cannot help but be charmed by her. Her supporting characters are all wonderful and so very well written that you can fully believe the relationships and the love that exists between them. 
2. The uncertainty - as the story unfolds we find that Grace has spent her life terrified that she will end up like her manic depressive mother. And as events start to unfold she starts to question her own sanity, worrying that she is turning into her mother. At the same time she cannot shake the feeling that there is something not quite right about Beth. As Grace’s mind deteriorates and Beth becomes more and more embedded in their lives, we see Grace struggle to figure out which she trusts more - her mind or her instincts. I constantly found myself questioning this - you want so much to believe that Grace is right about Beth but with her mother’s history you can’t quite shake the feeling that all may not quite be as it seems. This was played out well and made the story that little bit more intriguing. 
3. Grace’s finale - this was the perfect end to Grace’s story for me. Sometimes events have to happen to make you see what should be - to bring you full circle. The life Grace ends up with is wonderful and such a charming ending for a charming lady. 

All in all, Saving Grace is a good read. The pace is good, the characters well developed and likeable (for the most part). If Jane Green had ignored the idea to add recipes and had given Beth a suitable backstory and comeuppance, this would’ve been 4 stars for me. Instead, 3 stars for a wholly enjoyable that just leaves you with that yearning for a little bit more… 

The Martian
The Martian
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Way over my head but very, very good!, 5 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
I can't even comprehend the amount of research that must've gone into this book. Andy Weir writes in such detail it's easy to forget that no one has ever been to Mars, let alone lived there!

The first I heard of The Martian was when the film was released - I haven't seen it - I have a little personal rule of always reading a book before seeing the film version! I found though that when I downloaded it, I was in no rush to read it. When I finally got round to reading it, I was surprised how quickly and how much I started to enjoy it.

Mark Watney's character is brilliant. A wonderfully courageous, admirable, incredibly intelligent, determined, loyal, hilarious man who finds himself trying to survive against the odds after an emergency evacuation goes wrong and he is left alone on Mars with no way to communicate with NASA back on Earth.

Whenever Mars throws up a problem or something that could kill him, Mark's attitude and personality are what sees him through. He has a few little momentary panics and then just gets on with it and saves his own life time and time again. He is relentless in finding solutions to the problems Mars throws at him ... and there are a lot!

All the characters in this book are brilliant - they're all so wonderfully determined, loyal and ridiculously intelligent that it makes The Martian a joy to read. A whole planet rooting for one man and trying everything possible to get him home. Just brilliant!

I especially liked the parts of this book written from the perspective of inanimate objects like the Hab material, the emergency food packs and the MAV. These were so cleverly written helping you understand what is happening and why and it was actually really refreshing to read from this perspective.

There is A LOT of scientific information in this book but if like me, you're totally clueless about science and space, it is easy enough just to skim read through those parts and be able to pick up the gist of what is happening.

Even at 90%, I wasn't sure how The Martian would end. With everything thrown at him it seems impossible that Mark will get home...

The Martian is a brilliant story of space travel, human spirit, loyalty, determination and courage. Wonderfully enjoyable even if you don't understand the science bits!

In Bitter Chill (DC Childs mystery Book 1)
In Bitter Chill (DC Childs mystery Book 1)
Price: £3.23

4.0 out of 5 stars A good little who-dunnit, 6 Feb. 2016
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In Bitter Chill is the story of Rachel Jones; the survivor of an unsolved double child abduction in 1978. Now a grown woman nearing her 40's, Rachel has long since moved on with her life the best she could. A series of events leads Rachel's case to be reopened and force her to relive the events of 1978.
I liked Rachel. She's a survivor, not a victim. She is happy to forget and move on but when the police reopen her case she supports the police in solving her case, unwillingly at first but unable to stop herself by the end.

This is an enjoyable read from Sarah Ward. It may be a little obvious to some reading it but for me, I was genuinely kept guessing until late on in the book.

A good little read with just enough pace and intrigue to make it a page-turner.

Eight Minutes
Eight Minutes
Price: £1.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and predictable..., 30 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Eight Minutes (Kindle Edition)
The one word that ultimately springs to mind is dull. The plot of this book sounded interesting, possibly even sinister. It is nothing like I expected. The characters are dull and I didn't feel their emotions. The conversations are dull and boring, going over the same ground. Shel is irritating to say the least. I had no sympathy or empathy for her and her situation. She's an overprotective mother who can't let her 3 year old just be a kid; only organic food, no sugar, no tv, etc. From early on, the truth is obvious. Lori Reisenbichler drops clues that make it blatantly obvious but then she tries to throw the reader off by making Shel question her sanity and filling the book with more discussions with friends and going over it all with people who are barely more than strangers. Shel's friends didn't seem like friends; just characters brought in to help her question what was happening. It felt like Lakshmi and her mother's characters were only added to aid the plot in explaining the spiritual side of this book. The relationships in this book aren't believable. It doesn't seem like Shel and Eric are/were ever happily married - it was all just so flat and boring. Anyway, at 90% Shel finally discovers what's going on. Yet we have to endure a painful further 10% of the book finding out what happened next. I was incredibly bored with this book and finished it in about 10 hours. By the end I just kept reading to get it over and done with. Not a book I would recommend - just relieved I got this free on Kindle Firsts!

One Hundred Proposals
One Hundred Proposals
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sickeningly romantic!, 28 Jan. 2016
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One Hundred Proposals is as expected; sickeningly sweet, predictable, cheesy, romantic, etc. I couldn't help but enjoy it! In need of a light, easy read, I picked up One Hundred Proposals and was immediately hooked. The classic will-they-wont-they played out with likeable, if not annoyingly oblivious characters. I think some people would probably have found Suzie annoying, constantly looking for the negatives and refusing to believe what's in front of her. From the off, it's obvious where this book is going and what will happen to Suzie and Harry. But the proposals were adorable and everyone of them had my heart melting a little bit!

Purely based on enjoyment, I'm giving it 4 stars; it's not a classic but damn, is it cute!

Follow You Home
Follow You Home
Price: £3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Really good psychological thriller..., 25 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Follow You Home (Kindle Edition)
This is the second Mark Edwards book I've read, the first being The Magpies. I was a little disappointed with the ending of The Magpies but this one is really, really good. The plot was strong throughout and the characters well developed. The gradual reveal of what happened to Daniel and Laura kept me reading, itching to find out what happened to them in Romania. As with all good thrillers, Follow You Home had me scared to read on, wary of the horrors waiting for them and yet, like a car crash you can't look away from, reading on.

For me, Follow You Home doesn't disappoint. There are so many questions of what happened/is happening, how is that possible, how is it all linked? The climactic ending builds up well and is a much stronger ending than the one in The Magpies. The epilogue rounds things out well too, even leaving things on a little cliff hanger.

All in all, I really enjoyed Follow You Home. Strong plot with great pace and a really good ending that I would definitely recommend.

What Might Have Been
What Might Have Been
Price: £1.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 23 Jan. 2016
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I really, really wanted to like this book. I'd been looking forward to reading it but within the first couple of chapters I was already annoyed at the sheer number of times the characters had to correct themselves in conversation!! Is there really such a big language barrier between Americans and the British that every little american/british colloquialism has to be explained...? If that was all it was I could've probably ignored it. But every character was at it... double meanings that had to be clarified or silly little misunderstandings, like Evan asking for the "gents" in a strip club and being told that men don't work there?? Once you notice it, it's impossible to un-notice and gets more and more irritating throughout.

Part One of this book covers a period of about 36 hours where the lead characters meet. I was onboard with this despite that they seemed more in lust than anything else; not exactly realistic to be contemplating the things they were after one night together. Part Two deals with what happens to them 12 months later, over a period of about 5 days. This is where the book goes up in the annoying stakes. So many unfinished conversations where neither of them says exactly what they're thinking or feeling. More confused conversations where the characters misunderstood each other or just went over and over the same questions again and again, never really sure what to do or say.

I found Sarah to be very selfish. She takes what she wants from Evan twice and then completely cuts him off, acting as if it's his fault she's in the predicament she's in. She's just so difficult. The way she repeatedly asked Grace what to do just came across as cowardly. I understand that the author tried to give her a background with abandonment issues but I just couldn't empathise with her or her story at all.

Evan is likeable and seems like a nice guy but towards the end I started to think he'd be better off without Sarah's drama.

David is the character written to be disliked. The ending at his apartment was ridiculous. I couldn't figure out if he was being portrayed as some kind of good guy matchmaker, a gracious loser or just didn't care...?!

Basically this whole book is a predictable, tedious, will-they-won't-they and nothing more. It takes the entire book for a decision to be made and then it's over. If you like reading the same conversations over and over, then this book is for you. If you like a story where the characters are believable and realistic and you want an actual storyline with depth, then this book isn't for you.

I heard that the definition of a 1 star review is that you hated it... I didn't hate What Might Have Been... I just didn't enjoy it very much. At all.

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