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Reviews Written by
J Hutch (North Yorkshire, UK)

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The Snow Child
The Snow Child
by Eowyn Ivey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A good winter read, 28 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Snow Child (Paperback)
Although based around a fairy tale, it is written so you are kept guessing whether it is meant to be a fantasy or not. It also tells of the hardships of making a living from the land and the longing of wanting your own child. A good read.


The Rosie Effect
The Rosie Effect
by Graeme Simsion
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Less enamoured, 28 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Rosie Effect (Paperback)
After well and truly singing the praises of the first book 'The Rosie Project', unfortunately I found myself less enamoured with this second book. Don and Rosie's characters seemed different to me from the first book, and the story seemed more farcical than the feel-good, light-hearted read of the first book. Sorry, I just didn't engage with this second one as much.


Philomena: The true story of a mother and the son she had to give away (film tie-in edition)
Philomena: The true story of a mother and the son she had to give away (film tie-in edition)
by Martin Sixsmith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.80

3.0 out of 5 stars I wished I'd seen the film rather than read the book, 28 Feb. 2015
Like others reviewers I was disappointed that the book was mainly about Philomena's son rather than Philomenia herself. I found the first part of the book very engaging which was about Philomenia and her young son living together in the convent, but I was not interested in the political career of her grown up son which took up a large portion of the book. Although I have not seen the film, I suspect this is a case where I would enjoy the film more than the book.


The Universe Versus Alex Woods
The Universe Versus Alex Woods
by Gavin Extence
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 14 Nov. 2014
I really enjoyed the voice of the teenage Alex as he narrated his quirky and heartwarming story. He was an intelligent, caring and likeable misfit, whose friendship with an old man did him a world of good. It seemed to be a very grown-up young person's novel and I would recommend it for most age groups.


The Things We Never Said
The Things We Never Said
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 13 Nov. 2014
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It was good to finally find a book I enjoyed reading - there has been a few books recently that I've started and decided not to continue, and therefore I've not review them. This novel includes quite a few gritty issues which are nicely covered in the two interesting story lines. Just as I thought the two stories were never going to tie together, it happened and I found myself being swept along to the end.


The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Some good lines and good insights, 27 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Paperback)
I enjoyed the way Tony looked back with amusement at the pretentiousness of himself and his friends during their youth. He tries to make sense of various events in his past and becomes perhaps a little too obsessive over his first girlfriend and his intellectual friend Adrian. He tries to build a meaningful narrative of his life and the lives of others but acknowledges the limitations of his memory and the limitations of what he can piece together from others - his ex girlfriend seemed to be particularly unhelpful with this. He realises that this recent history of himself and his friends seems less solid than the documented history he learnt at school, but he makes progress with it by the end of the book.


The Outcast
The Outcast
by Sadie Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm about poor Lewis, 18 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Outcast (Paperback)
Unfortunately I didn't get into this novel and felt lukewarm about it which makes it hard to write a review about it. I'm not sure whether that's my fault or the book's. Nevertheless, it was hard not to feel sorry for poor Lewis who loses his mother as a young child and then develops unfortunate coping behaviours which are depressing and quite shocking. Even though I usually like gritty stories, I just didn't engage with this enough - perhaps it was the feelings of helplessness.


The Yellow Birds
The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate and unsettling, 21 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Yellow Birds (Paperback)
The sublime prose set along side intense and harrowing scenes written from inside the head of a young soldier felt an intimate and unsettling experienced of a modern war. The beautiful descriptions of his surroundings made it feel both intensely real and surreal at the same time, as well as providing a melancholic atmosphere.


The Heroes' Welcome
The Heroes' Welcome
Price: £9.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel showing the psychological aftermath of WW1, 6 Sept. 2014
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This is a good sequel to 'My dear I wanted to tell you' and would be best read not too long after the first. The first book describes the psychological effects of the First World War as the war takes places, and for the same characters this second book describes the psychological problems that are apparent after the war. It is interesting to see how some of the characters deal with the scars and memories better than others. It also reinforces the fact that this generation paid a price that subsequent generations can never really live up to or deserve. Both books are emotional, but the hopelessness described in this second book makes part of it feel a little more depressing, and empty - but I think this is because it is written so well.


The Fault in Our Stars (Black Edition)
The Fault in Our Stars (Black Edition)
Price: £2.49

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the teenagers., 30 Aug. 2014
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I felt too old for this book, over three decades too old in fact. It's a sad, sweet story; however whilst the teenagers were getting to know one another in the first half of the book I thought their dialogue was a little bit too pretentious for my liking. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they were flirting, trying to impress one another, whilst trying to make up for their illnesses and physical disabilities. Both having had cancer, they reflected on life more deeply than the average teenager, as you would expect. So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and read on. Things became sadder and their dialogue settle down, and I started enjoying the book more, but having said that this young adult book is still not a book I would recommend to my own age group.

I started reading it because just over a week ago I was sadden when a friend from college died from leukaemia at the age of 50, leaving 3 teenage children, and a husband I'd known at college. I'd not seen her for a couple of decades but we had been conversing through facebook, and we had made suggestions about getting together for a 50th bike ride which never happened. The messages on facebook after her death were a new phenomenon for me, which I thought may have been beneficial for her friends and family. The teenager, however, in this novel had other views on this topic - it certainly made me think.


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