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M. Thornton (Swansea, UK)
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The Two Week Wait
The Two Week Wait
by Sarah Rayner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult subject, heartwarming well researched novel., 30 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Two Week Wait (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"The Two Week Wait" is a novel about two women, unknown to each other, who for different reasons decide to undergo fertility treatment in order to have a child. The novel follows their journey as they deal with the reactions of others, the emotional and physical repercussions of treatment and their relationships with their friends and family.

"The Two Week Wait" features Lou, and to a lesser extent Karen and Anna, from Rayner's first novel "One Moment, One Morning". You don't have to have read that one to enjoy this one but it does help to give a little more background to some of the characters. The depictions of fertility treatment are accurate and sensitive and the author has obviously spent a lot of time researching the subject. I liked how the differing attitudes towards IVF were depicted through the reactions of various characters. Lou and Cath were both likeable and believeable and I cared a lot about what happened to them.

Overall this is a thought-provoking novel that handles an original and difficult subject with sensitivity. Recommended.


CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 (PC/DVD)
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 (PC/DVD)
Price: £349.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent graphics package for photo editing, design, websites etc., 26 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 is a collection of graphics applications including Corel PHOTO-PAINT for photo editing, CorelDRAW for design, Corel Website Creator and several other applications and plug-ins. Also included is a huge library of clip art, digital photos, fonts, templates and patterns.

The suite is easy to install and runs fine with Windows 8, although you do have register online to get access to all the resource libraries. I have previously used Photoshop for photo editing but found that this package does everything that Photoshop does. What I found particularly useful is the collection of video tutorials which explain everything from simple tasks (e.g. removing red eye) to more advanced editing. You can also choose to have the screen layout set up more like Photoshop to ease the transition. I have also used CorelDRAW a lot for designing posters, logos etc. and found it equally easy to use.

Overall this is a great package including all the software you need for graphics work at home. I can't speak for professional users but for amateurs this is a fantastic software suite at a bargain price in comparison to what else is on the market.


The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me
The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me
Price: £4.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, original, heartwarming, brilliant read!, 22 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read and enjoyed one of Lucy Robinson's novels before ("The Greatest Love Story of All Time") so I was looking forward to this new one. I was not disappointed! This novel is the story of Sally, a talented but inexperienced singer who is about to start an opera course at the Royal College of Music. There's just one snag: Sally is terrified of singing in front of people, so how on earth is she going to cope? And a visitor from her past the night before her first day only complicates things even further.

This is a fabulous novel filled with great characters such as the hilarious Jan Borsos, Barry from Barry Island and snooty Violet. The story unfolds with two alternating plotlines - one set in the present and one telling the story of Sally's past - and these are both equally interesting and well balanced. Although I managed to guess in places where the story was going it didn't spoil the enjoyment at all and the opera background was an original setting that was authentic without being overpowering (don't be put off this book if, like me, you aren't really into opera).

Overall a lovely, funny, heartwarming read with characters that I loved. Lucy Robinson is now up there with some of my favourite authors (Sophie Kinsella, Jenny Colgan, Lisa Jewell) and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes these.


Three Little Words: They mean so much
Three Little Words: They mean so much
by Jessica Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable novel but would be better with less storylines, 14 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Three Little Words" is the story of three women: Bryony, Sara and Rachel. None of them know each other but each of them receives life changing news on the same evening. The book follows these women as they deal with what happens next.

The novel is an entertaining read and I found myself caring about the characters and wanting to know what happened to them. Bryony's story is probably the most well developed of the three and I liked how the author touched on the points of view of other key characters such as Tynice and Keon. Rachel was another intriguing character, although I felt that her story was resolved a little too rapidly towards the end of the novel to give a nice neat happy ending. I would have liked to have seen more about how she coped with the revelations towards the end of the book. Sara's story seemed to end quite early on and I found it less interesting than the others. The writing was a little clunky in places, for example the overly detailed descriptions of the characters' appearance and clothes, but the plot moved along well and kept me interested.

Overall I enjoyed "Three Little Words" but I think the author tried to squeeze too much into one book. I understood that she was trying to draw links between the characters but I think it would have been better to have focused more on Bryony, Keon and Tynice as their story on its own was more than enough to keep the reader interested. I would have preferred to see Rachel as the subject of a separate novel, with more focus on her, Rita and Lisa and more exploration of her story. However it was still an enjoyable read and I would certainly try more of this author's work in the future.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women's Health on the Move (MOTM)
Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women's Health on the Move (MOTM)
by Amie Clifford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference/revision guide for medical students in O&G, 11 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book comes from the "Medicine On The Move" series and is aimed at medical students. It includes a free mobile app with the full text of the book. There are three parts: obstetrics, gynaecology and a 'women's health' section covering sexual health and breast problems. There are good chapters on history taking and examination for each part. All the key information is covered with coloured photos for illustration where needed.

The book is laid out in bullet point format with important information highlighted in 'micro' boxes and good use of tables, diagrams and flow charts to summarise information. This makes it ideal for revision or for quick reference on the ward. It contains the "need to know" key facts rather than giving lots of excessive detail. There are self assessment questions (EMQs and SBAs) at the end with answers to further aid learning. The mobile version was a bit tricky to install and there are no extra features but the text of the book can be arranged by index or by table of contents for ease of access.

Overall a good revision aid for medical students who just want the key points presented in a clear and straightforward manner. The compact size and included mobile version make it convenient to use on ward placements and in clinics as a reference text also.


Psychiatry on the Move (MOTM)
Psychiatry on the Move (MOTM)
by Molly Douglas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good revision book for medical students, 2 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book comes from the "Medicine On The Move" series and is aimed at medical students. It includes a free mobile app with the full text of the book. The book starts with a very good section on history taking and examination including mental state examination. There is a useful section on pharmacotherapy which includes practical guidance on prescribing in mental health disorders. The rest of the book covers a wide selection of common mental health disorders. There is a short section on capacity and the Mental Health Act which I found a bit too brief even for medical student level.

The book is laid out in bullet point format with important information highlighted in 'micro' boxes. This makes it ideal for revision or for quick reference on the ward. It contains the "need to know" key facts rather than giving lots of detail. There is a good selection of self assessment questions with answers to further aid learning. The mobile version was a bit tricky to install but once set up it made it very easy to access the information.

Overall a good revision aid for medical students who just want the key points presented in a clear and straightforward manner. It would also be a useful refresher for junior doctors starting work in the specialty prior to more in-depth reading.


Wedding Night
Wedding Night
Price: £5.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Farfetched but funny, touching read, 30 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wedding Night (Kindle Edition)
In the hands of any other author this book would be a disaster owing to its farfetched plot: one sister rushes into a marriage on the rebound, the other tries to sabotage her honeymoon in order that the marriage can be annulled when (if!) she comes to her senses. However Sophie Kinsella manages to pull it off through her hilarious writing and likeable, well-drawn characters and I ended up liking it a lot more than I was expecting. The chapters are split between Lottie and Fliss which works very well in moving the plot along.

I like Sophie Kinsella's books because they always manage to be both funny and touching and this is no exception. As Fliss tries to protect Lottie she comes to see her own behaviour in a different light and both sisters have difficult decisions to make. A fabulously funny read perfect for holidays.


The Greatest Love Story of All Time
The Greatest Love Story of All Time
by Lucy Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, touching chick lit with attitude, 30 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first book I have read by Lucy Robinson and I would describe it as 'chick lit with attitude'. This is the story of Fran, a TV producer whose relationship has suddenly, inexplicably fallen apart. Fran copes with this by confining herself to her bed but her friends have other ideas and decide to get her back on her feet by challenging her to go on a series of dates.

I liked Fran as a heroine: she is far from perfect and can be a little self-centred at times but makes up for it by being hilariously funny. She has enough insight to know when she's being a bit crazy but even so just can't help herself, and her family troubles were touching without being tragic. There were enough twists to the story that I didn't manage to predict how it was going to end and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. If I have one criticism to make it's that the book is a little on the long side and by about two-thirds of the way through I was starting to get impatient to find out how it would end. There is also a lot of swearing, which I found amusing as part of Fran's character but which might put some readers off.

Overall a funny modern chick-lit novel with a gutsy, likeable heroine. I think fans of Sophie Kinsella, Chris Manby, Jenny Colgan and similar would enjoy this and I will definitely be reading more by this author.


Someone Else's Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1)
Someone Else's Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1)
by Sarah Hilary
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but heavy going crime thriller., 26 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was looking forward to reading this book as I have seen it compared to Val McDermid and Mo Hayder, both of whose books I love. 'Someone Else's Skin' is a crime thriller starring DI Marnie Rome (tough, competent detective with a traumatic past) and DS Noah Jake (loyal, occasionally naive sidekick). Rome and Jake are sent to interview a key witness at a women's refuge only to stumble upon a crime in progress. As the story unfolds the author explores the idea that people are not all that they seem to be and a seemingly respectable face can conceal all manner of dark secrets, in particular the perpetration of domestic violence.

The book is very well written and the characters are convincing, despite the slightly stereotypical detective-with-personal-torment idea. The book has some quite graphic depictions of violence in places but then so do some of the best crime thrillers, and the author's dissection of the origins, motives and consequences of domestic violence means that it doesn't feel gratuitous. Unfortunately I found it very slow and heavy going to read: the first third of the book seemed to take a long time to establish who the characters were and because things seemed fairly clear cut at first the police investigation wasn't that interesting. The pace did pick up in the second half of the book and the ending was good.

Overall a well written thriller that deals well with a controversial and thought-provoking subject. I found it a bit heavy going and slow compared to others in the genre but I think this series has potential and I would certainly give the next DI Marnie Rome thriller a try.


Haematology at a Glance
Haematology at a Glance
by Atul Mehta
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for medical student revision but lacks clinical detail, 23 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is from the "At a Glance" series of textbooks for medical students. It covers a broad spectrum of haematological disorders along with some revision of basic physiology (hameopoiesis, iron, haemostasis), clinical examination and laboratory tests. As with the other books in this series, each topic is laid out on a 2-4 page spread with colour diagrams and photographs. It is roughly A4 sized but thin/light enough to be carried in a folder when on ward/clinic placements.

As a revision book for medical students I think this is really good. The basic concepts are well explained and there is enough information to given a broad understanding of haematological disorders without being too bogged down in unnecessary detail. It would also be useful for other healthcare professionals working in this area who want an accessible introductory text. However, the book is not really advanced enough for junior doctors working in the specialty: for example the sections on haematological aspects of tropical disease, treatment of malignancy, haematology of pregnancy and blood transfusion are little more than a brief overview yet the latter three are commonly encountered in clinical practice. There isn't really any coverage of the ethical aspects of haematology (Jehovah's Witnesses, genetic counselling for inherited disorders of haemostasis) either.

In summary this is a great book for medical students on haematology placements or revising for exams and the included online resource of self assessment multiple choice questions and case studies is very useful. However unlike some of the other books in this series, the lack of clinical detail means it will be of limited usefulness beyond this level.


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