Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Martha Stewart American Made Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now HTL
Profile for Sian Montrose > Reviews


Sian Montrose's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 24,650,569
Helpful Votes: 51

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sian Montrose RSS Feed

Page: 1
Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles
Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles
by Allison Tannis
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from $0.78

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motivational and, Above All, Fun, July 20, 2009
If you are looking for a breakthrough, or even just to learn something new, this is probably not the book for you, unless your knowledge of nutrition is beyond minimal. Every single "healthy" food you can probably think of is listed in this book (with the exception of milk, which supposedly might be a cause of acne) and none are really elevated as better than any of the others. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes... remember them, all those foods that have been marketed as healthy for ages? Yeah, well, not only are they healthy overall, but turns out they are also healthy for your skin. Not really much of a shocker. So, unless you didn't know that fruit was good for you, you're unlikely to be surprised by what you read in this book. The only two surprising foods that she mentioned were maple syrup and dark chocolate... and if I had been following health news a little more closely, the chocolate wouldn't have surprised me either.

So, why the four stars? Simply because this colourful and crisp encyclopaedia of health foods was so deliciously pleasant to read. There is something ridiculously satisfying about knowing exactly how and why each food you eat is benefiting you. For me, this delightful little book has been a major motivator in my quest to eat better. Somehow, broccoli and Brussels sprouts taste a lot better when you can look them up, as you eat them, with a handy-dandy glossary, and read about exactly how they will strengthen, moisturize, or protect your skin. The book is divided into sections such as "foods that fight wrinkles" and "foods that brighten your complexion" which makes looking foods up even more fun. Additionally, the first couple of chapters provide a quick but useful understanding of skin and its many layers and components. Now, when I eat rhubarb, I think, "I'm tightening up my face with silica, and all that vitamin C is destroying loads of free radicals, and promoting the synthesis of collagen." It's nice to have a reminder as to why eating well is so important, and to know exactly what sort of impact you're having with every single food you eat. This book is essentially a celebration of healthy foods on an individual basis, and it's also an extremely fun, breezy read. So, enjoy!

DVD ~ Jesse McCartney
Offered by amazingmedia
Price: $8.60
31 used & new from $2.05

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performances, March 29, 2009
This review is from: Keith (DVD)
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that touches me beyond what is normal, and this is that movie. I can't stop thinking about it. Both Elisabeth Harnois and Jesse McCartney were entirely believable and beautifully poignant in their portrayal of the leads; the emotion felt real to me. On top of this, the mystery was well sustained, and the atmosphere of the plot was thick, dark and riveting. I am normally not much of a Jesse McCartney person, as I don't follow his music or whatever other acting he has done, but the depth and intensity with which he portrayed Keith in this movie kept me completely captivated.

No matter how many times I watch this, I never get sick of it, and I never fail to be emotionally effected. The plot is entirely unassuming; it does not try to lecture you, show off how witty it is, or melodramatically draw out every moment. Instead, it has a simple clarity and beauty that should not be missed. Additionally, I can say as a high school student that although the actors were perhaps too old for their roles, the portrayal of high school otherwise was one of the most realistic that I've seen in a movie. I could sympathize with both main characters in different ways, and yet they never failed to surprise and entertain me. This is perhaps one of the most romantic movies I have ever seen, and not at all the chick-flick comedy that I expected it to be.

The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.87
330 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History Repeats Itself, December 27, 2008
This review is from: The Boleyn Inheritance (Hardcover)
The thing is, this was so obviously a sequel. There were so many mentions of previous queens, of better queens, of the good old days, and of "back when Henry was a golden prince and not a fat blob" that eventually I felt bounded over the head by the redundancy. It isn't Philippa Gregory's fault that history repeats itself, but when you're the fourth and fifth queens and you end up exactly the same way the first and second did, albeit with a lot less pomp and intrigue, it's hard to come up with anything fresh to say.

From the perspectives of three different women, we got, "Oh lord, I hope this doesn't end up the same way it did last time". This left me with a vague sense of impending doom that loomed over the book like a dark cloud, because, of course, we all know that things never end well for the wives of King Henry VIII. The difference here is that now the wives know it too.

This said, I didn't totally dislike the book. The short, crisp chapters from alternating viewpoints worked for me, because as soon as my attention span was starting to droop the narrative moved on to something else. I've always been a fan of novels in the first person, and this was no exception. Although there is no denying that the characters were somewhat two-dimensional, I still felt sympathy towards them and found myself hoping in spite of myself that somehow things would, impossibly, work out for them.

As far as disliked characters, I had the most trouble with Jane, whom I normally feel bad for in novels. If I, a sympathizer, found her constant moping about George irritating, I can only imagine what it did to everyone else. Remorse would have been fine, but a blatant denial that she was ever guilty in the first place, even if she was only using this lie to make herself feel better, seemed enormously ridiculous to me, and more than a little annoying as well.

In summary, I felt that The Boleyn Inheritance was a good book for what it was. Its downfall was that, as a historical novel, it was obligated to recount the events of history. They may be horrendous and depressing, but they are by no means new to us in this day and age where the Tudor era has become so popular. Henry may have been insane, but unfortunately for the modern reader the self-absorbed brat wasn't very creative. So, I think that perhaps it's time for Philippa Gregory to turn her often ingenious eye to a different era of history.

No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Design, Shapeless Top, September 25, 2007
By all rights, this tank top should be beautiful. The design is lovely and intricate, a gorgeous fantasy image. I'd love to have a poster with a similar image in my bedroom. The light purple colour of the shirt is quite pretty as well. But when you actually put it on, it's hideous.

That's the disadvantage of not being able to try on things you order on line. It is short and wide, creating a baggy, totally unflattering look. The sizes are misleading as well. I'd advise you not to purchase this despite the superb artwork.

by Lisa M. Klein
Edition: Hardcover
85 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, Crisp, and Utterly Intriguing, September 18, 2007
This review is from: Ophelia (Hardcover)
This is a captivating, skillfully woven story. The complex characters of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Hamlet, are brought brilliantly to life and capably transformed into flesh-and-blood humans. Lisa Klein has beautifully mastered the English language. Her descriptions are crisp and beautiful, her wording eloquent. Through the eyes of Ophelia, Klein's strong and willful heroine, we see the happenings at Elsinore castle in a totally new light.

Ophelia is traditionally seen as a weak character, dependant on the men in her life to make her decisions for her. She is used as a scapegoat, and in the face of adversity she commits suicide. But in this novel, we discover the true Ophelia, and while the author does not attempt to rewrite the play, remaining true to the script, she allows us to experience it in a different way. The story extends beyond the boundaries of the play, beginning when Ophelia is just a child and ending years after Hamlet's death. For the first time, Ophelia's motives and feelings are examined and re-imagined in detail.

This novel is a mystery, a romance, an adventure, and a coming-of-age story all at the same time. Amazingly, the writing manages to be authentic, complete with actual lines from the original play, and thoroughly modern and easy to identify with at the same time. Many of Ophelia's problems and all of her emotions still ring true today.

Just Listen
Just Listen
by Sarah Dessen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.89
285 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Poignant, September 8, 2007
This review is from: Just Listen (Hardcover)
In this captivating and touching novel, Sarah Dessen offers us a look into the mind of Annabel, a girl who is scarred and withdrawn because of her past experiences. She is terrified of confrontation, and so she hides her feelings from everyone, choosing to constantly tell white lies rather than expose her true emotional state.

Slowly, cautiously, Annabel reveals to the reader her emotional baggage, but never confesses everything at once, offering instead partial information that leaves the reader curious and eager to piece together the scattered bits and clues.

Annabel embodies emotions that everyone has felt, the desire to speak out and have others understand, the fear that prevents us from doing so, and the resulting feeling of being ostracized and alone. It is a joy to watch her slowly coming out her shell, transforming through her new friendship with a boy named Owen. Her feelings are realistic and acute, making her an incredibly sympathetic heroine.

The world that Annabel lives in is equally realistic and acute. Dessen's portrayal of high school is much more accurate and familiar than the depictions of similar authors. She succeeds in creating dynamic relationships and interesting situations without straying from realism. The resulting novel is vivid and honest, written in a simple, powerful and thought-evoking style.

The China Garden
The China Garden
by Liz Berry
Edition: Paperback
72 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery Woven With Skill, September 6, 2007
This review is from: The China Garden (Paperback)
An intricate web of lore, romance, and mystery, this novel raises some interesting thoughts about the pressure of inheritance and the suffocating nature of responsibility. The plot is well thought out and mysterious, and as a reader you can feel yourself being slowly sucked into the story, lured by the many cryptic clues that lead up to the climax.

Ravensmere, the old country estate that is the setting of the story, is so deeply saturated with history and emotion that it is almost like a character, too alive and potent to be merely a part of the scenery. It creates a mysterious, intoxicating mood for the book simply through its presence, and provides the perfect location for a subtle mystery story.

In much the same way, Clare Meredith provides the perfect heroine for such a story. She is sharp, level-headed and sensible, believable and realistic, just like any ordinary person until she comes to Ravensmere and discovers her seer-like powers and bizarre connection to the estate and its puzzling past.

The only major flaw that I discovered upon reading the novel was that it took a while to get into. Nothing really happened within the first hundred pages to capture my interest. The plot only really starts speeding up after Clare meets Mark, and even then it could be quite slow-moving at times. Rather then hauling the reader in with explosive action or suspense, the author relies on her elaborate plot with its many mysterious references to draw your attention.

by Adele Geras
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.99
267 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Troy From A New Perspective, September 6, 2007
This review is from: Troy (Paperback)
This book is a beautiful, poignant retelling of one of the most ancient and enduring stories of all time. The tragic events that have haunted and thrilled us for generations are brought brilliantly to life under the skilled hand of Adèle Geras, and made fresh by an interesting new perspective. The story is romantic and utterly exquisite, the language poetic and lovely but easy to understand.

The new, non-Iliad characters in the novel, Marpessa, Xanthe, Iason, Alastor, and Polyxena, are all believable and very human. For the most part they are servants, and all of them are lower in class then the heroic, royal characters that we usually associate with Troy. This puts them in a prime position to witness important events and interact with all of the tragedy's important characters without interfering with the normal flow of events.

The traditional characters, both the gods and the humans, are for once in the background, but they are still highly important and their personalities are explored. Often, from the perspectives of our main characters, we see wholly new sides of the characters of the Iliad, which adds interest and innovation to the novel.

As for the novel itself, it is nicely balanced and layered. The story takes place during the war, but it is not essentially about the war, but rather about the experiences of the young people who are living in Troy during the war. For the story of the war, read the Iliad. You are likely to be disappointed if you pick up this novel expecting multiple battle descriptions and gory details. Instead, expect a novel about the nature of the human soul, and how both love and war can warp and change it.

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, Book 1)
Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, Book 1)
by Megan McCafferty
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.28
354 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, Fluffy, And Entirely Unmemorable, September 6, 2007
After reading all the praise this book has gotten from the legions of readers who seem to find it absorbing, humorous, and realistic, I was disappointed to find both the plot and the characters extremely clichéd and formulaic.

I'm not saying that I found the book horrible. It was very quick and light, written in a straightforward journal format, making it a fluffy, effortless read. If you're looking for a lightly humorous chick lit novel, this book will fill those requirements.

However, if you're looking for a smart, unique novel that you're going to remember in years to come, I wouldn't recommend this. Most of the characters are either stereotypical or one-dimensional, with the exception of Marcus, who was quite unusual. Jessica was the traditional "smart, misunderstood runner girl". You can find her type in all sorts of teenaged novels. She irritated me. She was incredibly intelligent, a gifted runner, and great at writing, and yet her attitude toward life was generally pretty negative.

With all of her talent, you'd think Jessica would be confident, not pessimistic, which is why she struck me as fake. As for her friends, they were like characters from a soap opera. The plot was monotonous and unsurprising, with no truly exciting twists, right up to the end, which was neither final enough to provide closure nor enough of a cliffhanger to have you eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Instead of this novel, read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, or Just Listen, also by Sarah Dessen. I found all these novels to be much more realistic depictions of high school.

Page: 1