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mrsb2011

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The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart: The laugh-out-loud love story of the year!
The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart: The laugh-out-loud love story of the year!
by Anna Bell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Chick Lit, 20 May 2017
Typical chic lit and a humorous holiday read, nothing too heavy to digest in this lighthearted book.

Being dumped before her years anniversary Abi is feeling very Bridget Jones ish and shuts herself away in her flat to consume her bodyweight in trash food and weep in front of old movies. Once Joseph drops off her belongings and she is forced to go through them she comes across his bucket list of things to do before he's 40 and she comes up the crazy plan to do them herself and try and win him back.

Anna Bell takes us on the bucket list journey and her new friendships that she makes along the way especially the lovely Ben who helps her complete the tasks.

It's about love, friendship and discovering herself for Abi and eventually the realisation that maybe what she thought she wanted wasn't what she really wanted at all.

Well written with some good bits of humour this book easily sits with the good chic lits out there, maybe not as polished and as funny as the Sophie Kinsella's but still an enjoyable read. Easily gets 4 stars from me.


The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle
The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle
by Beth Montgomery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 13 May 2017
This is a fantastic book to share with a class, it really helps children who has dyslexia or dyslexic traits to understand that they are not alone and that others can feel the same as them when it comes to reading and writing. I also think it will help others who don't struggle in this area understand that not all children find things as easy as them.

This is a lovely story and has great illustrations that children will enjoy. I would recommend this being read to all children around 6-9. I really loved that the book doesn't just focus on what Azzie can't do but also celebrates her creative skill and how good she is at it. This highlights the fact that dyslexic children have a strength and that they can be good at things in other areas.


You're So Clumsy Charley: Having Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger's or Autism Does Not Make You Stupid
You're So Clumsy Charley: Having Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger's or Autism Does Not Make You Stupid
by Jane Binnion
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highlights you can be successful no matter what., 13 May 2017
As a teacher I thought it was very helpful to have the definitions of different special educational needs at the beginning of the book. I also think this would be useful to parents to identify different difficulties some children have as it helps for understanding.

The story is really easy to follow and understand, the sentences are short but tell Charley's story. I also really liked how the illustrations began black and white and as we went through the story and Charley became more comfortable the colours came out.

This is about one little boy who begins to accept his flaws and others around him also understanding him. It also highlights that no matter whatever your needs are or however 'different' you feel, you can be successful


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
by Alexander Freed
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good companion piece to the movie that offers a few extras., 9 May 2017
This is the novelisation of last Christmas’s blockbuster movie of the same name. It is written by Alexander Freed who previously penned Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company and follows a ragtag band of rebels trying to steal the plans to the Death Star.

The novel flows naturally and at a good pace, it introduces the characters we see in the movie and provides interesting backstories, certainly in the case of Cassian Andor. It is easy to see why Freed was given the chance to write this particular novelisation, as he is able to build on the war-like novel he had previously written, he is certainly honing his craft in the sci-fi war genre.

If you enjoyed the film then you will enjoy the book regardless of the fact that it suffers from a lack of surprises (but that is only due to it already being a film). You get to see all the characters from the movie and all the action, only in a little more detail as well as understanding their motives a little better. It is always nice to see the return of characters from the original trilogy, and with the Tarkin moments being written very well it makes it all the better (needless to say, it really gets good when Vader arrives on the scene).

Overall, this is a good companion piece to the movie that offers a few extras for those of us that eat up anything canon, and one that I would recommend you read. However, if you are short on time the film is probably the best way forward.

I give this 3.5 stars but this has been rounded up to 4 for Goodreads and Amazon.


Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company
Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Battlefront, 9 May 2017
This novel offers a unique perspective on the Star Wars universe, focusing on a band of unremarkable people who form the rebel unit Twilight Company. This is not to say that Battlefront Twilight Company is an unremarkable story, quite the opposite, this normalcy, is what makes it so remarkable.

The story takes on the feel of the TV show Band of Brothers, although the setting makes the characters more reminiscent of the Marine troop in Aliens. With much of the narrative focused on the characters within Twilight Company, we experience a very close-up and at times uncomfortable view of rebellion life and the hardships they go through. And although the novel at times lacks that Star Wars feel, slowly but surely, we begin to care for the members of Twilight.

The novel does a good job of tying together several major battles seen in the movies with its own original conflicts. It is also another example of the Star Wars universes expansion, introducing several new planets and species. Several highlights in the book are the creations of Gedren (a profound and solemn Alien), Governor Chalis (probably the most interesting character), Prelate Verge (a sadistic sycophant in the service of the Empire) and a brief appearance from Darth Vader.

Ultimately, the novel is a very good story of non-force users doing there bit against the Empire. One of the only criticisms of the novel is that it takes time to get going, but this could be because it introduces so many new characters and tells a Star Wars story from an unfamiliar perspective. However, I have no problems with recommending this book, written by Alexander Freed to any other Star Wars fan.

I have given this 3.5* which has been rounded up to 4 for Goodreads and Amazon.


Exercise Resistance Loop Bands- Set of 3 Light, Medium and Heavy Exercise Bands / Assisted Pull Up Bands / Powerlifting Bands best for Stretch, Therapy, Running, PilatesStretch, Therapy, Running, Pilates
Exercise Resistance Loop Bands- Set of 3 Light, Medium and Heavy Exercise Bands / Assisted Pull Up Bands / Powerlifting Bands best for Stretch, Therapy, Running, PilatesStretch, Therapy, Running, Pilates
Offered by UNICORNUK
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good product, 7 May 2017
Good, strong product that comes in a range of thicknesses. Cannot comment on overall effect of using these yet as only been using for a few days.

Would recommend, perfect for exercising in the house.


What Alice Knew: The addictive domestic thriller with a heart-stopping final twist
What Alice Knew: The addictive domestic thriller with a heart-stopping final twist
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 May 2017
I didn't really enjoy this book. It promised so much and delivered so little. The writing was good and the story line could have had good mileage but I felt the author's characters were flat and unrealistic and he asked the reader to accept some scenarios that really were not believable.

It's essentially about a murder that takes place early on in the novel and the rest is how those involved find their lives changed forever and tests loyalty against truth and justice. There is a heavy slant on art as Alice is a celebrated portrait artist (the author studied Art History at university) and it seems she spends her time comparing and contrasting events to fit in with artistic views of seeing deeper into the canvas of life/humanity and bases her views and judgements accordingly.

I skim read a lot of this book so that I could pass irrelevant annoying passages to try and get to the nitty gritty of the novel although there was none really. It became as much about Alice atoning for mistakenly accusing her best friend of theft and ruining her life and her striving for perfection as it did about an unfortunate accident involving her husband and how it changed their lives. The author had so much to work with but he just didn't deliver.

I didn't like Alice or any of the characters; she came across as selfish and self possessed, the author made much of her love of her family and concern for their well-being but in truth she spent little time with them being self absorbed in her painting and seeing little around her. I didn't like Ed who was also wrapped up in his work as an obstetrician and more concerned with his reputation and social standing than his wife and family. Both the characters were under developed and lacked any qualities that would create a connection to the reader (or indeed a credible connection to each other) or invoke empathy. Random sub plot of Alice's family and that of her school days didn't do anything to lift this rather boring novel. It poses the question of how far would you go to protect someone you love but really falls short on reality. The ending was in my opinion just not believable especially since Ed gets off scot-free and it begs the question why she feels she has to become the victim in all this, her action even at the end is not selfless to protect those she loves it comes across as someone who wants to be seen as a martyr.

Really didn't like this one at all and can only give it 2 star rating.


Ragdoll: The thrilling Sunday Times bestseller everyone is talking about
Ragdoll: The thrilling Sunday Times bestseller everyone is talking about
by Daniel Cole
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to the hype, 7 May 2017
Its rare in my opinion that a books lives up to its hype but this one really does. Right from the start the author kicks you on to a high speed thriller ride and won't let you off until the end. Every chapter builds on the suspense and pushes you on this roller coaster of a ride experience. Gory killings/murders, breakneck fast speed and likeable flawed characters all make for a great piece of storytelling.

How can you better the opening discovery of six victims a body part from each sewn together to make one horrific complete body which the press nickname as 'The Ragdoll?' Surely this is the culmination of the story? I wanted to know who these victims were, why they were murdered and what the significance of stitching them together was. This alone makes you read on but there is so much more to this clever plot to come and it was great fun getting there with plenty of blind alleys and red herrings along the way and good dollop of humour that brings this all together. Daniel Cole didn't disappoint far from the discovery of the 'Ragdoll' being the culmination of the story it's really only the beginning.

I loved Wolf the deeply damaged and at times vulnerable Detective who is assigned to the case and his former equally damaged partner Detective Emily Baxter. All the team assigned to this case are realistically crafted characters that work well together. Lots of curve balls in this clever plot made it almost impossible for me to put this one down.

I have to say that I didn't and possibly couldn't have guessed the twists and the ending to come - great mastery of storytelling and 'showing' the reader as the true horror unfolds - brilliant. What a finish or was it? Can't wait to read the next one to find out ........oops.......can't say anymore you'll just have to read it!

If there was any fault with this book it was really only that there were times when things became a bit confusing as the point of view changes within some of the chapters and for this reason I have given the novel a 4.5 star rating. It has been rounded up for Goodreads and Amazon.


I See You
I See You
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 4 May 2017
This review is from: I See You (Kindle Edition)
I had this book on my shelf for quite a while and never got round to reading it. When I realised the paper back had just been released I thought this would be a great time to read and review it.

I have never read any books by Clare Mackintosh but was excited to start after hearing such great things about her books. This captured my interest right from the beginning, I think the premise is something most people can relate to, a commute, a journey that someone takes every day. We follow Zoe Walker, a women who takes the same route to work, sits in the same carriage of the train, at the same time of day.

Zoe is on her commute one night and is reading the free paper, when she turns to the classified section and sees an image of herself staring back up at her, this is what she things, although the image isn't clear and she doesn't seem to wearing her glasses. When she arrives home she mentions it to her family, who although agree that the photo is like her don't think it is actually her.

As days pass things don't seem to add up to Zoe and she begins to mention her concerns to the local police, who are investigating a series of crimes in the area. Kelly a British Transport Police Officer takes a special interest in the case and pursues it.

This was a good read, it had good pace and kept my interest throughout. I think the subject matter is relevant and many can relate to the situation. When you get to a part of the book you suddenly see little clues that had been planted throughout the story and were all being nicely tied together. I read this quite quickly, over a weekend and working full time this doesn't happen often. That to me is a sign that it kept me interested and that I wanted to find out what happened.

I give this book 4.5* (rounded up to 5 for goodreads and amazon), for me, it was excellent, however in places I found it a little far fetched and that it ended a little sudden after all the building of the plot. Overall though I would recommend this to others.


Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding Hood
Sky Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Grandma: A Fairytale Mystery Starring Little Red Riding Hood
by Jane Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable picture book, 2 May 2017
This is a completely different take on Little Red Riding hood. Those who know the story well will enjoy this version of the story. It would be key that children have some knowledge of the story before they read this one as this is loosely based on the story but is almost more of a follow on.

I read this story to the whole of Key Stage 1 and Early Years during an assembly. All 300 ish children were engaged and were eager to see what was going to happen next. Although they knew the characters from the original tale, they were completely surprised with this 'adaptation'.

In this story we have a more modern twist to it, Little Red Riding Hood is worried about Grandma, she isn't in her house and she has a feeling the Big Bad Wolf would have got her, she decides to call Skye Private Eye and allow her to investigate where grandma has gone. When she turns up to quickly discovers that Grandma hasn't been eaten but has gone on holiday! Suspecting the worse as they discover clues they go in search for grandma.

Although miles away from the original story, this was enjoyable and the children were intrigued and wanted to find out what was going to happen. A lovely touch at the end of the story was the recipe in case you want to make the cupcakes which are mentioned in the story.

Although this is not going to take over from the original story of Little Red Riding Hood, this is a nice alternative that children enjoy. The illustrations are great and very colourful. I would be interested in reading others in the series to children.


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