Thursday, March 26, 2015

The First Books of 2015


According to my Goodreads 2015 challenge I'm currently 2 books behind to achieve my goal for the year (50 books!), but I'm optimistic I can catch up one of these months. Out of all of the books I've read so far this year Girl in Translation and A Small Indiscretion were my two favorites that I easily recommend.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Within the first few pages I knew I was going to love this story. It's written wonderfully to the point where you can picture everything Kwok is describing and you really gain an understanding of how Kimberly must have felt. The story was heartbreaking at times as you follow Kimberly try and adjust to her new life.

A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison
At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future. With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.

This book wasn't what I was expecting in the best of ways! It's told from Annie's point of view in letter form to her adult son, who you learn right away has been seriously injured in an accident. The story goes between past and present, but it's extremely easy to follow and I found myself captivated in both sets of the story. Part I focuses more on Annie's life in London with Part II focusing more on how everything is tied together. While a few parts were predictable, I was completely wrapped up in the story. I hope Ellison writes more novels in the future. [c/o netgalley]


The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes: The story follows four women from Australia who are traveling on an aircraft carrier to England to be reunited with their husbands they married during wartime.

It wasn't quite as captivating as Me Before You or One Plus One to me, but I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction. Moyes uses multiple points of view, which gives great insight into each of the characters, but it was hard to follow at times. [c/o netgalley]

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Confessions of a Shopaholic & Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella: Becky Bloomwood has a major shopping addiction and the series follows her through all of her ups and downs in her career, relationships, and life in general.

I've still only read the first two in the series but these books are light and silly and definitely not to be taken too seriously. I prefer the second book to the first

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Big Little Lies by Lianne Moiriarty: This is another book with multiple main characters and points of view throughout the story. It follows three mothers who all have children enrolled at the same school. There's a lot of mommy-talk and dialogue in general, but there's also an overall suspenseful element. You know someone dies at the end, though you don't know who it will be, and there was another big twist!

I had a really hard time getting into this book and I found it read really slow despite it being an easy read. I'm sure the ending was obvious to some people but I was so completely shocked and surprised that I literally sat up in bed with my jaw dropped-- did not see it coming!

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One Night by AJ Pine: The story focuses on Jess, a college student with a difficult past as she falls for a popular athlete. It also closely examines her friendships, and her relationship with herself.

This one is classified as contemporary romance and new adult, which isn't my typical genre but I'm glad I requested it from Netgalley. On the one hand it's very chicklit like, but at the same time it covers some really heavy topics. My one complaint is that it felt like a whole lot of emotion was happening in a very short time frame, which didn't seem all that realistic to me, but still an enjoyable read with wonderful characters. [c/o netgalley]

What have you read recently? Any new favorites?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Favorite Blue & Green Polishes for Spring

 

Last year I was obsessed with all things light blue once springtime rolled around. This year I'm really just loving color in general, but when it comes to nail polish I really like a good blue/green shade. I pulled a few of my favorites out of my collection and thought I would share them in a blog post. 

L'Oreal nail polishes are some of my favorite from the drugstore. If you've never tried one before and you're a fan of nail polish I definitely recommend picking one or two up the next time you're at Ulta or Target. It looks like pistachio dream was a limited edition color, but it's the perfect pale blue-green. (I think China Glaze's re-fresh mint might be a good dupe-- just slightly more green.)

It took me forever to try one of the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure polishes and I have no idea why because I had heard nothing but good things. Mojito didn't disappoint and it's a really pretty green that isn't too green. 

Essie polishes really are not my favorite when it comes to formula and longevity, but because they seem to have the greatest shade selection that doesn't seem to keep me from picking up one or two every once in a while. Turquoise & Caicos is a classic for a reason- the perfect turquoise (duh), find me an oasis is a really pretty super pale blue where mezmerised is a bright royal blue. 


Are you a fan of blue or green nail polishes? What are your favorite?

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who took my survey from my last post! If you haven't taken it yet, I would love if you took a few seconds to answer a few questions about my blog -->> survey here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Five for Thursday


1. I got to meet up with Alyssa, Kristen, and Tracy last weekend! Meeting blog friends was every bit as fun as everyone makes it out to be. So weird how it's not really weird at all when you finally "meet" people in person if that makes any sense.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring & Summer Shoes on my Mind

I know a lot of people can relate when I say I am so happy spring is finally on the horizon! I've been doing quite a bit of pretend online shopping and all of these shoes keep making an appearance.



Almost more than a wedge, I'm loving a stacked mid-heel this year. Leopard flats and leopard heels are the perfect shoe for almost any outfit, the leopard sandal too?

Speaking of wedges, I do really love this Nine West pair-- if nude isn't your thing they come in fun bright colors too.

I'm not sure what it is about both of these flats, but I'm in love. I don't know that I even realized that UGG made non-boots, but they have a lot of quite nice looking sandals and more summery shoes- the Izabel Mar flats are just so pretty.  I need a better pair of leopard flats and these from Sole Society the the t-strap make the regular flat just a little bit different.
I ordered this dress (in navy) from Target, hoping it would be the perfect easy, cute, comfortable dress but it was a tad too long and the bottom half had too much material so it wasn't the most flattering. I'm looking for something similar-- preferably navy and white, what/where are your suggestions???

What are your favorite shoes for this time of the year? If you can't tell, I'm on a nude/neutral kick, but would love to hear all of your favorites.

(linking up for trendy wednesday)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pass or Purchase Again?

It has been over a year since I've posted about my recent empties, but I love reading Nadia's trash talk posts so I thought I'd reintroduce some empties into the blog. This is also good motivation to use up products I have and a good way to review products that I liked even if they weren't favorite material.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

February's Final Thursday

Happy Thursday! I'm sure every winter probably feels like this, but this seems like the worst winter ever and I'm so happy that each passing day brings us one day closer to the warmth of spring.

I had been anticipating watching the Oscars for weeks and when it was finally time I couldn't even stay awake to watch the entire show. I don't know if I was bored or just tired, but staying awake for more than half of it didn't happen. As for my favorite looks of the night, Margot Robbie, Anna Kendrick, and Sienna Miller were probably my top three. (last year's favorite looks here)

Margot in Saint Laurent; Anna in custom Thakoon; Sienna in Oscar De La Renta
According to Instagram, Margot Robbie's makeup was done using Hourglass Cosmetics and her lipcolor was raven- so stunning! I would have loved Emma Stone's dress but I couldn't get past how much I disliked the color-- perhaps it was better in person?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Up Next (to read)


These are the books that are up next on my to-read list-- kind of. I guess a more accurate title would be the books that are currently on hold from the library. A few of them I have hundreds (literally) of people in front of me, so hopefully I'll read a few other books in-between. But nonetheless, here are six books I'm looking forward to reading soon.


The Girl on the Train: I had no idea what this book was about, but saw so many people talking about it that I had to put it on hold- I clearly wasn't the only one with this idea because there were almost 700 people before me when I put it on hold. Have you read it? Is it worth the hype?

Girl in Translation: This is a book I probably would have never gravitated towards but it kept coming up as a recommendation when I would rate other books that I really liked.

What Alice Forgot: I still need to review Big Little Lies, I wasn't so sure about that one at first but loved it in the end and am excited to read another Liane Moriarty book.

The Paying Guests: This one is in the same realm as The Girl on the Train, in the sense that I first wanted to read it based on it getting so much hype.

The Silkworm: I liked The Cuckoo's Calling, I didn't love it, but I liked it and I still really want to read this one to see what old Cormoran Strike is up to next.

Ugly Love: I heard about this book from Kay and am hoping I get the chance to read it before the book club! I've also heard good things about Colleen Hoover from Joey so I'm really excited for this one!

I have quite a few books from NetGalley I need to read as well-- but hopefully I'll have reviews on them coming soon!


Also in exciting book news, Joey's book Yeah, Maybe is on sale this week on amazon. I first talked about the book in this post, but if you're a YA lover you need to read it, and for $1.99 how can you not?

What books have you read lately?