Reading Lately

I keep wanting to revive this little space of mine, but then things happen and posts sit half finished in my drafts for weeks. I finished up the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and am so grateful for the amazing books I was able to read-- including Anchored and A Window Opens on this list-- both were sent to me to read & review. I attempted (and failed) a few other reading challenges this summer, but had so much fun picking out categories and seeing what other bloggers were also reading. I'm currently at 29 books out of 50 for my goal this year... so I feel like it's still possible! Especially as we go into winter where I'll never feel like leaving the house. Anyway, here are a few recent reads...

Anchored // This book was one of my favorites from the summer, and it was completely unexpected! I received it from BookSparks, but aside from that I hadn't heard anything about it. I still haven't heard very much about it, which is such a shame because it was such a good read. The story follows a news anchor, and as someone who pretty regularly watches the evening news, it was interesting to see all of the behind the scenes things (though I obviously have no idea how accurate they are). While I didn't agree with all of Barbara's decisions, I found the characters likable and was not ready for the story to end when the book was over. If you're into chicklit, definitely add this one to your tbr list!

Saint Anything // I'll start by saying I've always been a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I also will start by saying the first time I tried to read Saint Anything I had re-read This Lullaby like a week before, and that is one of my favorite books ever. I think having that one so fresh in my mind made me have a hard time getting into Saint Anything. Three months later or so I picked it up again and finished it and still felt kind of underwhelemed. The story is about a girl, Sydney, who is trying to navigate life after her brother goes to jail for severely injuring someone after hitting him in his car.

There were parts of the story that I liked, but overall it was too much of the same with no forward progress. I still don't see the point of Sydney's brother's friend, Ames. I think he could have easily been removed from the storyline and there would have still been more than enough going on. I did love the Chathams, and loved their friendship with Sydney-- and there were a few swoon-worthy moments. If you like YA, I think it's definitely worth a read, I just didn't love it as much as a few of her other books.

A Window Opens // I adored this book. The plot wasn't anything new, and it was on the predictable side, but everything happened at the perfect pace to keep you wondering what was going to happen next. As much as I'd categorize it as a light read, there are a few heavy issues that Egan discusses at the same time.

Luckiest Girl Alive // I was so excited to finally read this after seeing it on Reese Witherspoon's instagram, plus hearing so many of you guys talk about it. It had been compared to Gone Girl so I was expecting the same element of mystery or suspense, but it was never there for me. It was sad. I felt like it was 300+ pages of awful things that had happened to someone. Aside from that I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about it, but from the beginning I almost put it down probably a dozen times because I just didn't care what happened in the end. I actually might have blocked the entire book from my memory I disliked it that much, haha. This was definitely the biggest let down I've read in a long time-- but tons of people love it!

The Storied Life of AJ Firky // This one was another amazing Kristen recommendation that I LOVED, and was easily one of my favorite books ever. It has a very different, almost quirky element to it, and I could almost see it done as a Wes Anderson film.  My description would never do it justice, so just check out the synopsis and reviews on Goodreads. I would recommend this to anyone who loves books and reading.

What have you read lately? Did anyone else dislike Luckiest Girl Alive as much as I did?

Pass or Purchase Again? [vol 4]

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes: I don't know if these just enable me to be lazy about washing my face, but I think using them is at least better than going to sleep with my makeup on? I like these because they don't irritate my face at all. No redness or irritation, which is a huge plus for me after a previous bad face wipe experience. Ulta has double packs of these, which were recently bogo50% off so I got 4 packs for like $13!

L'Oreal EverSleek Reparative Smoothing Conditioner: It's crazy I finally used up this conditioner because I did not care for it and I thought it was never going to end! Now I don't have color treated hair, and it's not really excessively damaged, but I guess I thought if I used this maybe it would prevent damage too? It was just way too thick/heavy for my hair. Will definitely pass in the future.

Origins A Perfect World Toner: I picked up this toner after a previous toner I was using was making my skin so dry. This one is alcohol free (along with a bunch of other stuff), and I did really like it-- it had a light, pleasant scent, didn't dry out my skin, or cause any redness or irritation. However for a tiny little bottle it's expensive and it wasn't that great so I won't be picking this up in the future, but it was a really great product.

Almay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover Pads: I'm not sure these are the most cost effective solution to removing my eye makeup remover, but they're really gentle, non-greasy, and they work. I had picked up the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover that I've used in the past, but I can't use it because it makes my eyes blurry which totally freaks me out even though it goes away after a few minutes. These Almay pads are my current budget friendly item since the Lancome one is so expensive. I also stocked up on these when they were bogo50%.

Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover: This is one of the only Mary Kay products I've ever tried, it was a gift from my mom, and I did really like it, but not enough to seek it out to purchase on my own. I liked it more than the Clinique eye makeup removers, but less than Lancome.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara: I've talked about this a million times, but if you're new around here this is my favorite mascara of all time and always a repurchase. Those this time I did pick up the doll lash version.

Have you recently used up any products you're loving?
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