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review 2017-12-17 00:00
The Planck Factor
The Planck Factor - Debbi Mack When I got The Planck Factor, I thought I was getting a thriller with a solid science base. What I feel like I got instead was the insufficiently scripted screen play version of a good book. A mass market ‘science’ thriller for people who think that science is a word the CDC shouldn’t be saying.*

The Planck Factor had a few issues that really could have been rectified with stronger editing. The needless repetition, for one, got on my nerves rather swiftly. “Millions, even billions” was said a stupid amount of times. And while I understand what the author was trying to do in working the story within a story, it never quite worked for me. It stopped feeling clever and just started feeling too convenient. Actually, that “too convenient” was something that I felt with more than just the double story element.

I’ll admit that The Planck Factor irritated me, but I’m adult enough to admit that its mostly because I didn’t get what I was expecting rather than the story being just outright bad. The story was middling. I made it to the halfway point easily, but after that my interested petered out and it became me forcing myself through it. When you’ve read stuff from authors like James Rollins who are perfect at mixing facts and fiction in a way that keep your head spinning (at least until book 4 or so, at which point everything is just a repackaged version of the previous book), your standards for the genre are probably a bit higher than a book like this can possibly live up to.

Jessica was my favorite part of The Planck Factor. Even if I didn’t particularly care for the story she was involved in, I did feel sorry for her. So, that’s saying something. The dialogue was, whilst not exciting, believable enough. And finally, to end on a positive note, I have to say that the (very) end did surprise me a bit. Because that character is on the page so little, I had basically forgotten about him. (Had to flip back to the first chapter again just to verify!)

Overall, I can't recommend it, and can't say I'll ever seek out the writer's works again in the future, BUT I can see how some readers enjoyed it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.

*I shamelessly borrowed the first half of this line from Michael Hicks when we were talking about the book.
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review 2017-10-25 03:15
Review: Back to the Boy by James Arthur
Back to the Boy - James Arthur

Published by:  Hoddor & Stoughton (5th  October 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1473665880

 

Source:  Purchased

 

Rating:  5*

 

Synopsis:

 

There are many things people don't know about me and maybe when they read about those things they will have an understanding of the journey I have been on and why I've made the mistakes I have.

Nothing that has happened in my adult life makes much sense if you don't know what life was like for me growing up. I have to go back to the boy, because he can tell you a lot more than I can...

In this book James shares his struggles with mental health issues which led to drug-abuse, and how he dealt with the feelings of intense pressure and loneliness that accompanied his sudden rise to fame. Back to the Boy gives an insight into the life of one of the most exciting musicians of today, and how his experiences are reflected in the blend of raw emotion and passion in his music. This is a story of hope and self-discovery to inspire those who have ever hit rock-bottom and managed to pick themselves up again.

 

Review:

 

Wow. Just...wow! Back to the Boy is unputdownable! I read it cover to cover in one sitting, and was utterly transfixed. 2012 X Factor winner and Sane mental health ambassador, James Arthur, really does bare his soul in this refreshingly honest and unflinchingly raw account of his life thus far. A rags-to-riches story you may have heard before, but this one is quite different. This one made me sit up and take notice. Now it all makes sense. The behaviour. The drugs. Everything. 

The candid account of life as a young boy and the struggles as an adult trying to cope with mental health issues make for uncomfortable reading at times and can certainly stir up emotions you may not even be aware are there. I found this so insightful, as a fan and as a reader too.  I just want to give James a great big hug. I'm seeing him live (for the second time) next month, so you never know...maybe I'll get the opportunity! 

If you, or someone close to you has mental health issues, depression, anxiety, panic attacks...you need to read this book, or buy it for them! The book is intelligently written, flows well and has enough high points to balance out the low. I think James's openness in Back to the Boy could help a great many people who are struggling, and it would also make the perfect gift for every James Arthur fan. #JArmy

 

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