The Fat Burn Revolution by Julia Buckley [Review]

I have known Julia for many years. She is a blogger friend I met many moons ago when I was aspiring to be a journalist. I have been in awe of her writing skills for the best part of ten years, so when I heard she was writing a book about my favourite subject – exercise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I wasn’t disappointed. The Fat Burn Revolution by Julia Buckley is a fantastic resource for anyone who is wanting to reduce inches the healthy way. I personally cannot follow it due to health complications, which means I can’t do exertive exercise (probably my biggest sacrifice in recent years) but there was a time when I would have taken the book and given it my absolute everything – and there is nothing to stop you doing just that. Take a look at this Youtube video of Julia introducing the book, as she can do it much better than me.

Authors of books are usually passionate about their projects and Julia is no different. Over the last few years I have seen Julia dive into her personal training with gutso and steadfast determination to help others achieve their goals. She has been running her own fitness blog for some time and the posts and comments speak for themselves about her success rate. This is a trainer who not only knows her field well but knows how to communicate her message thanks to her journalism background. Two pivotal factors in achieving the goals this book sets out to achieve.

If you are looking for a quick fix, or an easy way to get slimmer, this isn’t the book for you. If, however, you are committed to long term health, willing to put in the hard work and stick with the programme, then I highly recommend you go buy it. Whatever your fitness levels are, this book can help you. There is a 12 week programme that works around you and pushes your levels of fitness. The great thing about this programme is that it is adaptive, so you won’t ever feel like its too easy for you – no matter what your current fitness level. And the good thing is, you are going to come out the other end with a much improved fitness level and hopefully less fat inches.

As someone for whom exercise was never a natural activity, Julia has the benefit of personal experience. Although she has never been excessively overweight, she talks in the book about her own experience of fluctuations and hating PE lessons as a kid! She also offers nutritional advice, weight loss, maintenance, challenges and lots of other things you would expect to see in a healthy weight loss book.

I like it – a lot. It is very well researched, it is also very well written and presented and it is jammed packed with great advice that will not only serve the short term, but can be taken onboard for a lifetime of health benefits.

The Fat Burn Revolution: Boost your metabolism and burn fat fast by Julia Buckley is available from all good book stores and can be purchased from places like Amazon online (click the link). It is published by Bloomsbury Sport and is currently available in paperback and e-book.

I really hope this is a book that does well, it deserves to.

See more information about Julia Buckley at www.juliabuckley.co.uk and see her fat burn group on Facebook

The Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles & COMPETITION!!!!!!!

the-tygrine-catThe Tygrine Cat by Inbali Iserles is an exciting fantasy story about a cat seeking his destiny, which pre-teens upwards will instantly become absorbed in. The book description explains:

Lost and alone, Mati seeks acceptance from a community of street cats at Cressida Lock. But Mati is no ordinary cat…and the mysterious assassin on his trail knows it. Mati looks different, with his golden eyes, large ears and russet coat. He also acts differently – he anticipates danger with bristling whiskers; hears voices from the feline spirit realm that he cannot understand. To defeat his enemies, Mati must unlock the secret of his true identity. In doing so, he must learn to harness an ancient feline power – a power so deadly that it threatens to destroy not only his friends but every cat on earth…

I first came across The Tygrine Cat when Iserles was recommended to me by a friend. I wasnt sure what to expect at first because young adult fantasy novels are not usually my ‘go-to’ literary genre. However, as you have seen from my previous reviews, I am always open to new reading experiences.

The first thing I notice in The Tygrine Cat is the beautiful prose. For a first novel, Iserles expressed a great talent for writing. Not only because the writing flows artfully, but also because it is completely accessible to people at all reading levels. I would imagine everyone from the age of 10 years upwards would benefit from this story. Not only is it the story of a cat, but also of the self, identity, friendships and life journeys. If I were still a young girl (sadly I am not!) I can imagine that this novel would be one that could instill a love of reading in me. Moreover, in my late thirties it is one that excites me still.

Iserles has a shockingly accurate insight into the life of a feline. This is perhaps the one thing that stands out the most. I often found myself wondering how you develop such imagination that it can lead you so deep into a character of another species – to the point that its hard to imagine anything other than a cat wrote this story. Clearly Iserles has a deeply ingrained love of felines and has spent a lot of time in their company.

Right from the beginning of this novel I was hooked. Every chapter is intriguing, full of wonder and rich with prose that completely disables your ability to put the book down! As the book progresses foreboding seeps in with the knowledge that the book is getting closer to conclusion; although you fall in love with Mati and the others, and want good things for him, a selfish part wants the story to go on forever.

I cannot be the only reader to think this way either, as Inbali Iserles went on to fulfil wishes for the young and older alike with The Bloodstone Bird, and then a sequel to The Tygrine Cat – The Tygrine Cat: On the Run.

Her website is accessible at www.inbaliiserles.com and you can purchase her books here on Amazon.

Not only this but Inbali Iserles has generously offered two signed books to give away in a competition. In order to be in with a chance of winning these books please do the following:

– Like this post

– Leave a comment stating the name of the main character in The Tygrine Cat.

And please ‘Like’ Inbali Iserles’ Facebook page here. I really recommend it!

*The competition will close on 12/07/2013 at midnight GMT. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. Open to UK residents only.

Watch Me Disappear by Jill Dawson

ImageWatch Me Disappear by Jill Dawson is a fiction story that was recommended to me by a friend. It isn’t a story that I would have picked off the shelf myself and that only made the experience of reading it richer as the story unfolded and I became more and more hooked.

It is the story of a young girl who goes missing from her village, never to be found… Amazon.co.uk explains:

Thirty years on, she comes sharply back to life in the mind’s eye of her childhood friend, Tina Humber, who has done her best to put the past behind her. But now, as Tina returns home for a family wedding, she replays her memories in search of what happened, fearing that deep down she has always known who killed Mandy Baker.

 

In this subtle, moodily atmospheric novel, Jill Dawson explores the line between innocent and perverted desire, and that volatile stage when young girls become aware of their attractions, but do not grasp the dangers.

This isn’t a book for a light and fluffy afternoon read, its a very real, and raw, account of paedophilia, from the perspective of the child (as an adult looking back). It is uncomfortable in places and takes a brave plunge into a topic that it would be easier to avoid in this day and age. It is contextualised around the disappearance of the Soham girls, although this is never stated explicitly, and it is a very poignant story at the moment with the April Jones story in the news.

When I started to read Watch Me Disappear I wasn’t convinced I would enjoy it; not due to the subject matter but because the writing was very descriptive – more descriptive than I like in a novel. I can better imagine a story when a novelist concentrates more on the characters than the surroundings but what this book did was within a few pages, I was working on my own novel. That in itself told me this book was worth persevering with.

Having never lived nor visited the area of England that this book was set in, and not having had a daughter, I found it quite hard to relate to the story. For about the first third of the book, it felt quite slow and a few times I nearly gave up. However, I am on a quest to read 101 books and I want to finish all the books I start this year, so I continued.

I found that once I hit the second section of the book (there are no chapters, only three sections), the story became less descriptive in places, and because I’d gotten to know a bit about the characters involved I engaged with the author more. It was just over half way through when I suddenly decided that I could not put this book down.

Despite the slow start, it is clear that Dawson is a very skilled writer. As the story unfolds it becomes clear where it is going but retains mystery because you do not know how the characters will react to unfolding events. I felt I learnt some key writing skills throughout this novel, and I also understood people better as a result. It showed me that no matter what people go through, they have an innate capacity for coping with any situation; the survival instinct is in every one, no matter how little or much they are affected by an event.

If you were born in the 1970’s in England you will especially like this novel. The story is told from memory and the finer details of material things from that era really opened up my own memory resources and took me back to a more simple, innocent time with reminders of Girl’s World, flowery wallpaper and certain television programmes (among many other things).

If you have a daughter, or you know a young girl – or if you were a young girl once then this is a novel worth reading. It is my opinion that my brain and my understanding of humanity is richer for completing this book. It is intelligent, skillful, raw, entertaining, informative, educational and inspiring.

4/5

 

Book Review: The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue is an engaging story about an adulterous wife in the 1850’s who went through a scandalous divorce after she was found out by her husband.

‘Stylist Helen Codrington is unhappily married. Emily ‘Fido’ Faithfull hasn’t seen her once-dear friend for years. Suddenly, after bumping into Helen on the streets of Victorian London, Fido finds herself reluctantly helping Helen to have an affair with a young army officer. The women’s friendship quickly unravels amid courtroom accusations of adultery, counter-accusations of cruelty and attempted rape, and the appearance of a mysterious ‘sealed letter’ that could destroy more than one life . . .’ – The Times

This was at a time when divorce was almost unheard of, and women never won custody of their children. The Sealed Letter is a story that is based on a true account, and is one I havent been able to put down from start to finish.

I have always been interested in Victorian society (my all time favourite book is Pride and Prejudice) and this is why I initially picked up the book. I noted that it was written by the same author who wrote Room. From the moment I started reading, I could not put the book down. I can be quite a fussy reader and its very rare for me to experience this. The writing style is easily accessible – in fact the

simplicity of Donoghue’s writing is striking against the backdrop of an historic story. Despite the shocking nature of the issues written about at the time it happened, the story is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1890.

Donoghue has an amazing capacity for storytelling, and for marrying the gap between the historical and the contemporary. One can tell from the attention she gives to detail in the descriptions of the story that the author has done her research – a lot of it. She is clearly a specialist in the Victorian era and I really felt that from reading this novel I was educating myself, too.  There are a number of subtexts going on including friendship, morality, femininity, sexuality and women in the workplace.

The characterisations were believable but more than that they really came to life. I understood why each character behaved in the way they did, I felt their emotions as raw as if they were in the room with me. Despite the story happening 150 years ago, I could find myself relating to specific parts of each characters personality. Donoghue is one of the most skillful writers of our time.

When I had concluded reading this story, I was left wanting more. I didn’t want the story to end there; I wanted to know more! This book (more so than Room) is the book that placed its author in my all time top three. I instantly went out about bought more of her books (I also highly recommend Slammerkin, the story of a 13 year old Victorian prostitute) and she inspired me to read up further on Victorian culture.

If you are looking for an entertaining and intriguing read that will educate you and leave you wanting more, then The Sealed Letter is definitely the next book on your reading list.