January Quick Fire Reviews

18 Jan

BOOK: Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
Out now, Atlantic Books, £12.99
When Nicholas moves to Moscow for work, he suffers from an extreme culture shock, struggling to get used to the bitter cold, the debauched nightlife and his colleagues’ distinct lack of morals. But when he falls for the mysterious Masha, he’s also seduced by a hedonistic lifestyle of clubbing, vodka and sex. When Masha asks him to help her family, he quickly finds himself involved in a complicated web of deceit.

Narrated by Nicholas as a confession to his fiancée, this psychological drama is a dark, sparkling tale of corruption that compels you to read on.

CD: Stand Still by Emma’s Imagination
Out now, £7.93, Amazon.co.uk

She’s hailed as the Next Big Thing after winning Must Be The Music and getting snapped up by Gary Barlow’s record label, but Glasgow girl Emma Gillespie isn’t one of your headline-grabbing show-stoppers. Instead, the focus is on her pure, folk-style voice, and her ability to write beautiful acoustic pop songs. This Day and Brighter Greener lift the spirits while the spine-tingling Focus and quiet longing of Falling Slowly add depth, although songs about daisies, fairy lights and butterflies can become a little saccharine at times.

A nice collection of easy-listening pop with a few gems, but we’re not sure if there’s enough ‘wow’ factor for Emma to be able to compete with the strong female singers around right now.

BOOK: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
Out now, Atlantic Books, £8.99

When her husband leaves her for a man and she’s the victim of a bone-crushing car accident in the same week, Janzen decides she has little choice but to move back home with her parents – and back to the Christian sect she grew up in. A New York Times bestseller, this frank and funny memoir will have you chuckling and cringing at the same time.

A survival story for anyone who’s found themselves back at square one.

The Switch, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, movie, film, promo

The Switch poster

DVD: The Switch
Out now, £10.99, Amazon.co.uk

Jennifer Aniston stars as single girl Kassie in this offbeat rom-com about a last-minute sperm donor switch. It’s not much of a departure for Jen, but an endearing performance from Jason Bateman and the comic irony of Jeff Goldblum make this modern love story sharper than your average. That said, it’s six-year-old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) and his pessimistic one-liners that end up stealing the show.

Pssst… We reviewed this in more detail a few months ago – click here to see what we said.

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