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Customer Reviews: 378
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,344
Helpful Votes: 1751




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Brian J. Greene "djbrian" RSS Feed (Durham, NC)
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Within These Walls
Within These Walls
by Ania Ahlborn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.32

3.0 out of 5 stars Promising But Flawed, January 28, 2015
This review is from: Within These Walls (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book has a lot going for it. The characters are well drawn, the storyline is compelling, and the suspense is effective. The story is of a nearly washed up true crime writer whose marriage is on the brink of collapse, who gets a most intriguing, yet potentially dangerous, book proposition: a charismatic cult leader who seems to have been responsible for the deaths of a group of young drifters years before, and who has never given an interview from prison, offers to talk to the writer. But the prisoner has conditions, such as a short time frame for the talks to happen, and an insistence that the writer live in the house where the mass deaths took place, while he is conducting the research. So the writer goes to the house, with his increasingly sullen 12-year old daughter, while the writer's wife goes off to another country on business, and also apparently to engage in an affair that's already underway. The story goes back and forth between present and past. We see all that happens as the writer and his daughter settle into the house - which seems to be haunted by the people who died there decades before - and attempts to get to work on his research for the book. But we also go back to the past and watch all that happened within the cult as its activities, urged on by the Manson-like leader, inched towards the night many of the group took their own lives, seemingly under his direction.

So those are the positives and that's the backdrop. The negative is one basic thing, but it's a very big thing. The author spends an inordinate amount of time explaining to us what the different characters are thinking and feeling. It gets to be oppressive. I see the characters so clearly, and am interested in their situations, and all I want is for the writer to now show me what happened to them all. But instead she keeps stopping to tell me what's in the peoples' heads and hearts. It interrupts the story and makes me feel smothered by the writer. The book is over 400 pages. It could have been 250, without all the interruptions, and if so would have been a five star read. But because of this ongoing problem, I can only give it three. Also, because these problems bogged down the read for me so much, I stopped reading at around halfway through the book, so it's only fair to make it clear that my review is based on that and not the full book. I just couldn't make it through a book that long with the things about it that bothered me.


Nivea Men Sensitive Cooling Post Shave Balm, 3.3 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Nivea Men Sensitive Cooling Post Shave Balm, 3.3 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Price: $19.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good, January 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this product for the most part. I'm not a big fan of any kind of skin cream in general, because I just don't like the gooey feeling you get on your hands when applying them. But I wanted to try this because my facial skin is sensitive and I thought it might be nice to have a soothing balm to apply on it after shaving. This balm does leave you with a refreshed feeling on your skin, and it does have a pleasant smell. My only complaint about it is that it has a very gooey texture, which is unpleasant to put on my hands.


Five Star Spiral Notebook, 1 Subject, 100 College Ruled Sheets, Black, Cobalt Blue, Red, 3 PACK (73055)
Five Star Spiral Notebook, 1 Subject, 100 College Ruled Sheets, Black, Cobalt Blue, Red, 3 PACK (73055)
Price: $19.35
2 used & new from $17.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Notebooks, January 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are great notebooks. There's nothing unusual about them, but they're just good, sturdy notebooks. The paper is good quality and don't tear out easily. The colors of the covers are basic but attractive. I use these and so do my kids. We all like them.


Aqua Optima Sirona Pitcher with Anti-bacteria Water Filter - as effective as boiling water
Aqua Optima Sirona Pitcher with Anti-bacteria Water Filter - as effective as boiling water
Price: $33.14
2 used & new from $33.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Good One, January 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have no complaints with this pitcher. It's of a nice size, is durable, it filters the water perfectly, it pours nicely and doesn't let the water spill . . . and one extra that might seem petty but is important to me, is that you can use the lever to open the top so that when you're pouring water into the pitcher, you don't have to remove the top. I love that feature and am very satisfied with the product.


Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Soft-Tip Dart Game
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Soft-Tip Dart Game
Price: $246.30
14 used & new from $229.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Just Needs Better Darts, January 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's a lot to like here. The soft tip darts make it family friendly. The variety of games keep things interesting and all the electronic functionality like the scorekeeping and the heckling keep things interesting and varied. The biggest con is that the darts that come with the set are not very durable, and have to be replaced after not much use. I'm not a pro darts player by any means, was just looking for a fun set I could play with my kids and friends and their kids, and for this I find the set totally satisfying.


Smart Weigh Body Fat Digital Precision Scale with Tempered Glass Platform, Eight User Recognition, and 440 lb Weight Capacity, Measures Weight, Body Fat, Water, Muscle and Bone Mass
Smart Weigh Body Fat Digital Precision Scale with Tempered Glass Platform, Eight User Recognition, and 440 lb Weight Capacity, Measures Weight, Body Fat, Water, Muscle and Bone Mass
Offered by MeasuRite
Price: $49.99
4 used & new from $34.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, December 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a super scale. It can read your weight with a digital read out, but then it can do so much more. It can measure your overall body fat ratio and so much more. It's a little work to get it set up to create a profile for you, but once you have it going it's a professional weight trainer's kind of device. If you're watching your weight closely and/or want to keep comprehensive tabs on your body's health quality, this scale is for you.


ZzzQuil Plugged in Lavender and Chamomile Sleep Enhancer
ZzzQuil Plugged in Lavender and Chamomile Sleep Enhancer
Price: $19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not For Me, December 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to agree with the reviewer who complained about the smell this product permeates. It's really not a pleasant odor, at least to me, and thus not something that could help me sleep. I like the idea of the product, which is why I selected it to review for the VIne program, but I was not happy with the execution of it. Maybe some people like this kind of smell and it soothes them; if so, it's a good bet for them. Just not for me.


The Question of Miracles
The Question of Miracles
by Elana K. Arnold
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.59

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Much to Say, December 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This will be kind of a non-review but I will just say what I can. I got the book for my 10-year old daughter, who is an avid reader. It didn't resonate with her and she gave it up after several chapters. I asked her why the book didn't work for her but never got a quotable response. I would read it myself, or enough of it to review it, if I had the time, but I don't. So I don't have anything critical to say about the book, can only say that for whatever reason it didn't work for my daughter.


Water Bobble Sport Filtered Water Bottle, 22-Ounce, Blue
Water Bobble Sport Filtered Water Bottle, 22-Ounce, Blue
Price: $11.99
2 used & new from $7.30

4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good product. It's nice and lighweight so easy to ..., December 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a good product. It's nice and lighweight so easy to carry around. It has the filter which purifies the water. It closely tightly so won't let the liquid spill out if it gets tipped over. What else to say? It's 10 bucks and it's a purifying water bottle. Recommended.


AVEX Kid's Auto Seal Freeride Water Bottle, Charcoal, 16-Ounce
AVEX Kid's Auto Seal Freeride Water Bottle, Charcoal, 16-Ounce
Offered by Heart Rate Monitors USA
Price: $14.99
4 used & new from $12.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Excels, December 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Excellent product. Attractive looking, made of durable material, and I love the auto seal function. My three year old struggled a little in getting used to working the lever that frees the liquid, but she got it soon enough and now we all love this. Highly recommended and all parents will appreciate the lack of spillage.


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