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Andrea Smith (London, UK)

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After You
After You
by Jojo Moyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't need to be written, 19 Oct. 2016
This review is from: After You (Paperback)
Like most of the other reviewers, I loved Me Before You, and curiosity about what happened to Lou after the book had ended made me buy the sequel. I wish I hadn't.

As others have said, this book almost spoils the magic of Me Before You. Most of the characters are annoying: I became irritated by Lou's ditzy ways and her inability to make a decision. Treena is awful - I forgot how bitter and nasty she was from the first novel and almost had to skip pages when her name came up. Lily is not particularly likeable and Sam is bland. The sub plots are a little silly: Lou's mother finding herself is funny at first but wears a little thin by the end. The Moving On circle sections were a chore to read - also I didn't take in the characters at the first description as I thought flaky Lou would only go once. Little did I know Moving On would feature to the end...! I finished the book still wondering who Fred was again, because I just couldn't muster the interest to flick back through the pages and read about these people.

Yes, I know Me Before You was a hard act to follow, but then maybe Jojo Moyes should have left it there rather than continuing with this book. I have a feeling in my gut that there will be a third book too given the ending of this one!! I'll give that one a miss if it does come out.


Bing: Get Dressed
Bing: Get Dressed
by Ted Dewan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Bing gets dressed.... and wets himself !, 30 Sept. 2016
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This review is from: Bing: Get Dressed (Paperback)
I bought this for my two year old. It is colourful but very basic. Annoyingly, once Bing evenutally gets dressed he has an accident and then has to get dressed all over again. We are almost ready to start potty training, so I didn't think this book set a great example. It's on the bookcase now and is rarely taken down for this reason!


Bridget Jones's Baby (DVD + Digital Download) [2016]
Bridget Jones's Baby (DVD + Digital Download) [2016]
Dvd ~ Renée Zellweger
Price: £10.00

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected, 30 Sept. 2016
I didn't have particularly high hopes for this film as sequels are rarely very good. However, Bridget Jones' Baby bucked the trend and surpassed all expectations.

Fast paced and laugh-out-loud funny, the two hours flew by and the whole cinema was in stitches. The cast is excellent, especially the gynaecologist. Yes, it is predictable but it is entertaining and amusing enough to compensate for that.

It lost a star due to the little girl shouting / swearing in church. As a mother who was brought up as a Christian, I wasn't comfortable with that scene and felt it could have been left out - it added nothing to the film.


The Olive Branch
The Olive Branch
by Jo Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very slow paced, 26 Sept. 2016
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This review is from: The Olive Branch (Paperback)
I love all things Italian, being of Mediterranean descent myself, so I was quite intrigued by this book. Essentially it is about one girl's impulsive bid to "find herself" after her relationship with her ex breaks down.

Ultimately, I think the book could have been much better than what it was. There were a few humorous moments but the characters didn't really come to life for me. None of them really came to life in my opinion. I think that is because they were almost an afterthought to the description of the house, trullos and olive trees! I think more time could have been spent on character development.

The plot was nice enough, but not much happens and it is very very s...l...o....w. I was skim reading some pages by the end, eager to get on with it.

Overall this is a nice but unremarkable read - one to take on holiday, read and leave behind!


Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage
Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage
by Milly Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another one bites the dust, 21 Sept. 2016
Having read a couple of Milly Johnson books that were very good, and a couple that were not good / really bad, I thought I'd dabble with another one to see if those two were just a temporary blip.

Unfortunately, Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage was another disappointment. It feels like a book that was churned out for the sake of it. It really failed to hold my interest - the plot veers from Viv to her mother Stel and her crowd of friends, and for some reason these two worlds don't seem to gel very well in the story.

In the Milly books I've loved, the plot hasn't been anything to write home about (predictable) BUT the characters have been so well formed that the books have been a pleasure to read. In Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage, the characters are just not that interesting or well developed - and ultimately without that, the novel is just banal chick lit.

I made it up to page 155 and gave up as the book was simply not enjoyable to read. Very boring and slow paced. I won't be buying any more Milly Johnson books.


Ellie
Ellie
by Lesley Pearse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Very slow, 21 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Ellie (Paperback)
I have read all of Lesley Pearse's novels and wanted to re-read some of the golden oldies. This particular oldie was not a goodie though! I ploughed on until half way through but frankly, I'd stopped caring about Ellie and Bonnie and the story was too long drawn out. At the point where Ellie was asking Edward details on his grandmother's house, I finally gave up. Too much unnecessary padding and by this point the book was becoming less of a pleasure and more of a chore. Thus I can't recommend Ellie.


If You Were Me
If You Were Me
by Sheila O'Flanagan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 21 May 2016
This review is from: If You Were Me (Paperback)
Oh dear, where to even begin with this review. I have read Sheila O'Flanagan's books before (years ago) but as often happens with some of these authors, they run out of ideas and it's almost as if they get bored of writing - and boy, does it show! I wish they would just stop writing and enjoy the highs of previous successes rather than churn out drivel like If You Were Me.

What's wrong with it? Well, it's badly written, for a start. Amateurish, with far too much detail on irrelevant things and quite a bit of repetition. It is incredibly boring, none of the characters are convincing. It is essentially the author writing a book for the sake of it, rather than because she has a great idea / is really enjoying writing it. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but it is true.

I only made it to page 57 - I rarely give up on a book that early but the writing was annoying me beyond belief!!

I won't be reading any more from Sheila O'Flanagan.


Me Before You
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 May 2016
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
A beautifully written novel. I devoured it in two days, reading pages whenever I had a free moment. It is certainly different from other chick-lit novels and I was in floods of tears by the end.

The one thing I didn't particularly think added any value were the few chapters written from others' points of few. There weren't many of these, just a handful, and I think for the sake of continuity the story should have been kept to Lou telling it!

An excellent read and highly recommended.


It's Raining Men
It's Raining Men
by Milly Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 May 2016
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This review is from: It's Raining Men (Paperback)
Having read a couple of Milly Johnson's books recently, I couldn't get through them quick enough. I couldn't wait to get started on It's Raining Men, but I wish I'd given this one a wide berth.

Why...? Where do I start?! The three main characters were too alike with their careers in finance that I really struggled to distinguish one from the other. As another reviewer commented, all the women seemed to do on their holiday was eat... (Or swim)! I love my food but reading about what they were (always) eating became tedious. Some of the events were so unbelievable it was almost painful to read, e.g, Claire cleaning a random stranger's house during her holiday because she loves cleaning (really?!) and the way Val entered the story and immediately started being a bit too familiar with one of the characters was strange.

I didn't read much further than when someone started to mention mermaids, which was just shy of 300 pages. I was determined to finish this book but it had descended into farce by this point and I couldn't carry on. I would not have picked up the book if I knew there was a "fantasy" element to it as that is really not my bag at all.

I think Ms Johnson lost her way a little with this one and I hope this was a one off as the other two of her books I've read have been excellent.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2017 9:37 PM GMT


A Cottage by the Sea
A Cottage by the Sea
by Carole Matthews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit average, 12 May 2016
This review is from: A Cottage by the Sea (Paperback)
I enjoyed The Cake Shop in the Garden, but the Cottage By the Sea wasn't as good, I thought. The storyline was very predictable and there were no surprises at all. The characters were great, and the setting was very good - but this book was just average for me. Not one I would read again as it is quite forgettable. However, I will read more of Carole Matthews' books.


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