Friday, April 21, 2017

Inspired By: April Reads

I read several books this month with bomb ladies and I wanted to share three of them with you. So if you haven't read these three books then do yourself a favor and get it from the library, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, steal from a friend, wherever.

Dumplin'
Dumplin
Written by Julie Murphy; Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked until Will takes a job at Harpy’s and meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. 

I LOVED this book! Loved. It. Willowdean is the friend all girls should have because she encourages everyone to be themselves. Get some Willowdean sass by wearing her signature red dress, heart-shaped sunglasses, rose necklace, and black wedges. Or if you want to be more casual, then wear a Texas home shirt (or for your own state), light jeans, a floral backpack, and nude sandals.

Add to Goodreads

Heartless
Heartless
Written by Marissa Meyer; A talented baker, Cath wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath becomes the Queen of Hearts we all know and love, who has an affinity for shouting, "Off with their heads!" so don a lace red dress, re cut-out heels, a sparkly necklace, and white floral headband. And since she's a wonderful baker, put on a striped pink blouse, a cupcake print skirt, a cupcake bag, a heart ring with a crown, and nude wedges.

Add to Goodreads

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery; Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

I don't know why it took me so long to read Anne of Green Gables when it's my best friend's favorite book, but I'm so glad I did! This book is such a delight and Anne is so imaginative! For a modern version of her clothes, go for a gray floral sweater, boyfriend jeans, and floral sneakers for running around. Or for a more classic look: a black or brown hat, a cold-shoulder green floral dress, a heart ring, a brown backpack, and brown lace-up boots.

Add to Goodreads


Have you read any of these books?
Which outfit is your favorite?

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Outfit: Gems & Genre-Hopping

I have a dilemma: I LOVE these gem-covered sneakers, but they gave me horrible blisters. BUT they're so cute! I added blister cushions (courtesy of my dad, a podiatrist) to the back of the shoe and folded them over the back, but they still hurt a bit. Ugh, the back of the shoe is sadly too stiff, so I got these from Amazon and I'm half-tempted to add the gems to them. Should I do it?

Bookish confession: I'm a genre-hopper! I love jumping from fantasy to romance to sci-fi to murder mystery to historical to graphic novels! Maybe I just like all kinds of stories. Or maybe I'm just easily bored. Who knows? The only genres I don't read are high fantasy because I have little patience for it and horror because I'm a scaredy cat. 🙀🙈

Top: gift | Jeans: American Eagle | Shoes: via Poshmark
Bag: Kohls  | Wrap Bracelet: Francesca's

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Wishlist

Now that spring is finally here that means I obviously want to go shopping for new warm-weather goodies! I've been dying to get a floral silky bomber jacket for a full year now and finally found a cute one for $25 at Kohls. YASSSSSS!

I also need a new pair of sandals, preferably a cool lace-up pair like the one shown, because my favorite ones are falling apart after wearing them for three years. Definitely time to say goodbye to those and hello to new ones.

Also, still totally into pins and these three (the unicorn, the heart, and the rose) are awesome!
Spring Wishlist
WISHLIST: 
Not The Path to Narnia's #bibliostyle tote (I'm a rep for them on Instagram!)
Wilfred Wax's May the Fourth (dark side) candle (Get 10% off with code SINCERELYSARA10)
Lord & Taylor red sandals
Fossil sparkly earrings
Unique Vintage's unicorn brooch
Witchery sunglasses
BP's striped patch sneakers
ban.do's rose brooch
Fashiony's books and coffee sweater
L.L. Bean striped scarf
Unique Vintage's 90% Into It heart pin
LC Lauren Conrad white floral jacket

What's on your spring wishlist?

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Outfit: Pink Spring

Spring is here! Thank the gods of Westeros! Does anyone else say this in their regular life? I know it's riduclous, but my brother Ben and I say it all the time. One time he said it in public and some older guy looked over at us like we were crazy. I'm going to assume he has no idea Westeros is from Game of Thrones. Speaking of GoT, who else is sad that the new season isn't coming out this month like it usually does? July can't come fast enough!

So I got a new bag from Kohls that's bigger than my usual crossbody bags and I seem to have the opposite problem of most women: I don't carry enough stuff to take up all of the space! The things I always have with me are small, so I guess this means I can actually start carrying physical books around with me! I backed Book Beau on Kickstarter and now I can't wait to get mine! If you like carrying your books around you should check it out.
Cardigan: old | Top: Kohls | Jeans: American Eagle 
Shoes: Old Navy | Bag: Kohls 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring & Summer TV Shows To Watch

Every year I do a comprehensive Fall TV Guide because that's when most new shows begin, but that's becoming less and less true as shows premiere year round on places like Netflix, Hulu, and subscription-based channels, like HBO. So I thought it would be fun to showcase some new shows coming in the spring and summer months.

I'm particularly looking forward to Bill Nye Saves The World, American Gods, Dark Angel, and The Defenders. What about you?

APRIL

Bill Nye Saves The World (April 21 on Netflix)
Bill Nye hosts a talk show exploring scientific issues, such as space exploration, vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and climate change. The series will work to debunk myths and refute anti-scientific claims that may be spread by politicians, religious leaders, or titans of industry. Guest appearances will feature Karlie Kloss, Zach Braff, Joel McHale, Tim Gunn, and more. 

Girlboss (April 23 on Netflix)
Girlboss is inspired by the book #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal. The series centers on Amoruso (Britt Robertson), who began selling vintage clothes on eBay and, by the age of 28, had built the multi-million dollar fashion empire, Nasty Gal.

Mary Kills People (April 23 on Lifetime)
Set in the morally grey world of assisted suicide, the series follows Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), a single mother and emergency doctor by day, who also moonlights as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients who want to die and slip away on their own terms. So far Mary has managed to stay under the radar; but business is booming, and her double life is getting complicated. When her world starts to unravel, Mary realizes she's going to have to fight dirty if she's going to stay in the killing game.

The Handmaid's Tale (April 26 on Hulu)

Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood; In a dystopian near-future, the totalitarian and Christian-fundamentalist government of Gilead rules the former United States amidst an ongoing civil war and subjugates women. Widespread infertility due to environmental contamination has resulted in the forced conscription of young fertile women—called Handmaids—who are assigned to the homes of the elite, where they are expected to have ritualized sex with the men in order to bear children. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has been posted to the home of an elite Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski) and must follow the rules of Gilead in hope that she can someday live freely.

Dear White People (April 28 on Netflix)
Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, it's a hilarious send-up of "post-racial" America that weaves together the universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path. Starring Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, and Giancarlo Esposito.

American Gods (April 30 on Starz)
Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman; A war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots are steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities. Also starring Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Pablo Schreiber, and Orlando Jones.

MAY

Anne (May 2 on Netflix)
Based on the novel by L.M. Montgomery; A coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination.

I Love Dick (May 12 on Amazon)
Adapted from the lauded feminist novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick is set in a colorful academic community in Marfa, Texas. It tells the story of a struggling married couple, Chris and Sylvere, and their obsession with a charismatic professor named Dick (Kevin Bacon). I Love Dick charts the unraveling of a marriage, the awakening of an artist and the deification of a reluctant messiah. 

Downward Dog (May 17 on CBS)
Based on the web series, “Downward Dog” is about a struggling millennial, Nan (Allison Tolman), from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges). One session at obedience school already makes them realize that even at their worst they may be the best thing for each other. 

Twin Peaks (May 21 on Showtime)
Considered one of the most groundbreaking and influential broadcast series of all time, Twin Peaks followed the residents of a quaint northwestern town who were stunned when homecoming queen Laura Palmer was murdered. Twenty-five years later, the story continues.

Dark Angel (May 21 on PBS)
The two-part drama, Dark Angel, is based on the extraordinary true story of the Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton (Joanne Froggatt). Traveling around the North-east, she insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own - before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Starring Jonas Armstrong, Sam Hoare, and Alun Armstrong.

JUNE

I'm Dying Up Here (June 4 on Showtime)
Set in LA’s celebrated, infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, this show (which has been executive produced by Jim Carrey) delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious, but complex business of making an audience laugh. Starring Melissa Leo, Sebastian Stan, Ronald Cyler II, Ari Graynor, Clarke Duke, and Michael Angarano.

Claws (June 11 on TNT)
A look at the life and crimes of five women who work at a Southern Florida nail salon. Starring Niecy Nash and is being executive-produced by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

The Mist (June 22 on Spike)

The Mist, based on a Stephen King novel, tells the story about a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc. From psychological terrors to otherworldly creatures, the mist causes the town residents' darkest demons to appear forcing them to battle the supernatural event and, more importantly, each other.

JULY

Salvation (July 12 on CBS)

Salvation centers on an MIT grad student and a tech superstar who bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery--that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. Starring Ian Anthony Dale, Sean Connolly Affleck, and Dennis Boutsikaris.

Midnight, Texas (July 24 on NBC)

Based on the best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris; The town of Midnight sits on a veil between the living and hell. This supernatural thriller takes a journey into a remote Texas town called Midnight where nothing is what it seems. Where being normal is strange and only outsiders fit in, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different - a perfect place for anyone looking to hide from the outside world. Starring Francois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Pariza Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, and Jason Lewis.

AUGUST

Marvel's The Defenders (August 18 on Netflix)
The Defenders will feature the famous Marvel heroes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) as a legendary superhero-team in New York City, who come together to face a common enemy, The Hand. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Rosario Dawson, Elden Henson, Rachel Taylor, Jessica Henwick, and Scott Glenn.

Which shows will you be watching?

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Inspired By: New April Books

I want all of these books stat! They're all entirely different genres, but as a genre-hopper myself, I'm interested in reading all four of these books at some point. Not into genre-switching? Well, I hope one of these piques your interest. My favorite genre is YA fantasy, but I dabble in YA contemporary, adult fiction, sci-fi, and graphic novels. What about you?

Alex, Approximately
Alex, Approximately
Written by Jenn Bennett; A teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie buff Bailey has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts, Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. (April 4)

A young adult version of You've Got Mail! I'm SO in! I can't wait to read this! This book takes place in Cali, so go for a yellow off-the-shoulder top, jean shorts, and wooden wedges. Or instead throw on a striped tee, light overalls, and metallic sandals. If you're a movie buff like Bailey then grab this ticket stub bag and popcorn pillow.

Add to Goodreads

Duels & Deception
Duels & Deception
Written by Cindy Anstey; Lydia Whitfield has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing. Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan. Until the day Lydia is kidnapped—and Robert along with her. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. (April 11)


This book sounds like a Jane Austen character meets an action movie! Who wouldn't want to read that? Go for a 19th century meets modern attire by wearing a teal dress, sparkly headband, striped scarf, and brown booties. Or if you're a young law clerk, then don a gray blazer, a white blouse, printed pants, a mint bag, and navy Oxford flats.


Add to Goodreads


Spindle Fire
Spindle Fire
Written by Lexa Hillyer; Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close. And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken. (April 11)

Spindle Fire is a cool twist on Sleeping Beauty and it's definitely one I want to read! Want to wear an outfit based on Isabelle? Put on an off-the-shoulder, embroidered black dress, mirrored sunglasses, dangly earrings, and burgundy heels. Or if you want to dress like Aurora, then wear a gray velvet dress, a pink necklace, lace gloves, and pink heels.

Add to Goodreads

Startup
Startup
Written by Doree Shafrir; From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve. Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech. Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. (April 25)

Working in a office that isn't too stuffy? I put together two cute outfits based on the bright cover of Startup. Mix a chambray top with an olive pleated skirt, drop earrings, a mint watch, and navy ankle-strap flats. Or wear a pale pink blouse, coral pants, a colorful bracelet, and fun faux snakeprint heels.

Add to Goodreads

Which of these books do you want to read?
Which outfit set is your favorite?

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Outfit: Birds of a Feather

I saw my friend Jackie on the day of her final wedding dress fitting two weeks ago! I don't see her too often because she lives outside of D.C., but we met up in Manhattan and I finally got to see her in her pretty and very sparkly dress! Then we ate at Fig & Olive, went shopping at Bloomingdale's and H&M, and later met up with our friend Avra to eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

I watched the show 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and by the last episode the tears were streaming down my face. It's a tough and emotional show to watch because it's about a teen girl who commits suicide, but so worth it and something everyone should see since it's also about bullying, rape, and depression. Have you watched it? Did you read the book?

I also wanted to let you know that I'm now a rep for Not The Path to Narnia! Kat creates mugs, tote bags, pillow cases, blankets, t-shirts, and more. Follow her Instagram here for updates and discount codes.





Shirt: H&M | Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Charlotte Russe | Bag: Target

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Watch | Read | Listen {April 2017}

Hello April! While there may not be many super exciting movies coming out this month, there are a bunch of books and albums that I want. The top book on my Want List is Geekerella. It seriously sounds so adorable. And one of my favorite bands ever, Incubus, has a new album coming out this month after years of leaving us wondering if they were ever going to make more music. The excitement is real guys! What are you looking forward to this month?

MOVIES

Their Finest
Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is hired by the British Ministry of Information as a scriptwriter charged with bringing "a woman's touch" to morale-boosting propoganda films. Her natural flair quickly gets noticed by a dashing movie producer Buckley (Sam Claflin). As bombs are dropping around them, Catrin, Buckley, and a film crew make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation.(April 7)

The Lost City of Z
Based on the nonfiction bestseller by David Grann, it tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the beginning of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown civilization. Ridiculed by the scientific community, he returns again and again to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. (April 14)

Leap!
Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. Felicie is 11 and has no money but one big dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, she takes a risk and borrows a spoiled brats identity and enters the Opera Ballet School, but how long can she be someone else? (April 21)

Other movies coming out:
  • Alive and Kicking (April 7)
  • The Assignment (April 7)
  • Going In Style (April 7)
  • Ticket (April 7) 
  • The Fate of the Furious (April 14)
  • Mission Control (April 14)
  • Norman (April 14)
  • The Promise (April 21)
  • The Student (April 21)
  • Buster's Mal Heart (April 28)
  • Rupture (April 28)

BOOKS & MUSIC
April Books & Music
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett -- A teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie buff Bailey has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts, Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. (April 4)

Geekerella by Ashley Poston -- Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale. Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. (April 4) 

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr -- Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could. When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie—on their own in Seattle and beyond. (April 4)

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel -- Humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars. (April 4)

Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey -- Lydia Whitfield has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing. Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan. Until the day Lydia is kidnapped—and Robert along with her. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. (April 11)


Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis -- Kings and Queens rise and fall, loyalties collide, and romance blooms in a world where the sea is rising—and cannot be escaped. (April 11)

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer -- Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close. And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken. (April 11)

The Upside Down of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli -- Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. Her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, but Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.
(April 11)

Startup by Doree Shafrir -- From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve. Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech. Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. (April 25)


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Friday, March 31, 2017

Pocket Book Reviews {March 2017}

Every time I make a dent in my reading jar list of unread books, I end up getting more books! At least the few books I got were ebooks and don't take up any physical space, but I still had to add them to my jar. One day that jar will be near empty and I'll read books as fast I get them. Never mind, that's never ever going to happen!

I'm currently at 23 books read out of my 85 book goal. How's your reading goal going so far?

Waking Gods (Sleeping Giants #2)*
(5 hearts)

Written by Sylvain Neuvel; humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

Can I give this book 10 stars please?! It starts off ten years after the first book and begins a bit slow, but once a new giant robot alien lands in the middle of London things start to pick up really fast. Sleeping Giants introduced us to our robot Themis and this group of clever and crazy cast of characters, like Rose and Kara and Vincent and "our friend." In Waking Gods, we really get to care about these people and fear for them and want them to survive what could be the end of the world.

Thirteen bigger, stronger, more advanced alien robots land all around the world and the ensuing chaos had me turning the pages as fast as I could read the words. I had to know what was going to happen next! I don't want to give away too much, but let's just say that shit gets real.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book, and the first one, is that it's a thought-provoking sci-fi. It's sci-fi with a brain and a heart. Eugene is a mysterious man, but his conversations with "our friend" and Rose made me think about life as a human being, our shortcomings and strengths, possible life outside our little planet, that other species would have different cultures and ideas and methods and beliefs. It's like anthropology on a whole other level. It's fascinating and terrifying and amazing. Reading this book made me think about things I never considered before, which is cool in and of itself, but it helps that this book is entertaining as hell too!

*I received a copy from NetGalley.

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We Should All Be Feminists
(5 hearts)

Written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. 
"Anger has a long history of bringing out positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better."

This book is wonderful! It's so tiny that it took me less then 45 minutes to read it, so there's no excuse for anyone NOT to read it! It's enlightening and moving and hopeful. This book states so plainly that women should be inherently treated equally to men and yet it's our culture that makes this not so. But people form culture, so it's up to us, our anger, our intelligence, to make these changes. It's up to us to stand up to cultural norms and reform them into a culture of equality.

Read this book now!

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Maybe In Another Life
(3 hearts)

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid; At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and lives in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

I seem to be in the minority of thinking this book was good but nothing amazing. I liked Hannah and following both tracks of her story. She's a girl who at first has no idea what she wants to do or where she belongs and only once she meets up with her best friend Gabby in LA does she feel at home again, which I liked. I loved their friendship so much! It was real! They had weird inside jokes and teased each other and were always there for each other during hard times.

My main issue with this book is that both timelines in Hannah's life ended up being almost identical. At first they were so different, but I wanted them to keep getting more different, but *SPOILER ALERT* the only difference is the men she ended up with and the baby. Even Gabby ended up with the same man. And she ended up being a nurse in both timelines. I wanted the end results to be glaringly different and they weren't at all.

Still, it was an interesting and enjoyable read.

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Ronit & Jamil
(2 hearts)

Written by Pamela L. Laskin; This novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them.

It makes me so sad to give this book a bad review because I had such high hopes for it. A modern Romeo and Juliet set around the Israeli-Palestine border and told in verse sounds amazing and yet it fell short. Very short.

While at times the verse was pretty (I especially liked the two chapters from the fathers' perspectives), most of the time it was just confusing and repetitive. I think this book would've been so much better if it was told in narration. Then we would've gotten a better feel for the setting and the characters and the food. Because in verse, it was all told not shown. I couldn't see or taste or smell anything, which is a shame because the story mentions delicious food and walking in markets.

The other major problem are the characters: Ronit and Jamil sound exactly the same. Maybe that's intentional to show that Jews and Arabs aren't so different, but they had no personality differences. They talk about the same things in almost the exact same way. Narration instead of verse could've helped with this too. 

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I've Got Your Number
(3 hearts)

Written by Sophie Kinsella; Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but her phone is stolen. She spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Except that the phone’s owner, Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

I'd say the first 75% of this book is 4 stars and the last 25% is 3 stars, so overall it's really a 3.5 stars. I really, really enjoyed the first half immensely. Poppy is an absolute delight of a character. She's so likable and kind and I want to be friends with her. The story idea is so cute and makes for great comedy and I had a fun time following Poppy's misadventures while she tries to locate her ring and keeps getting involved in Sam's business. I like Sam too, though I wanted to like him more, I wanted the character to open up more by the end, but he was still a bit of a closed shell.

However, it's the last 25%-ish of the book that got on my nerves. [Read my spoilery review here.] Despite the annoyance at the end, I still enjoyed this and will continue to read her books because they're so charming!

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The Bicycle Spy
(4 hearts)

Written by Yona Zeldis McDonough; Marcel loves riding his bicycle, whether he's racing through the streets of his small town in France or making bread deliveries for his parents' bakery. He dreams of someday competing in the Tour de France, but ever since Germany's occupation of France began the race has been canceled. Now there are soldiers everywhere. Then Marcel learns two big secrets, and he realizes there are worse things about the war than a canceled race. 

A simple but not less any emotional tale of a boy who lives in German-occupied France during World War II. Marcel discovers that his parents are part of the resistance and are using loaves of bread to send messages, and he gets involved when he finds out a friend of his needs their help. It's a simplistic story since it's for kids, but the fear of what people experienced back then remains in the story and adds depth and emotion. A wonderful story!

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Have you read any of these books?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Outfit: Compass

I've decided that this is going to be the year I wear a bathing suit, even though I have a food baby! Now that it's getting warmer I want to go to the gym more often and really focus on my stomach, but even if I don't lose weight or I end up losing only a little bit, I want to push aside my self-consciousness and wear a damn bathing suit! So I got two cute swimsuits from Target: this red two-piece with a high-waist bottom and this floral one-piece.

On a random note, I discovered a cool app called Hoopla that, like Overdrive, connects to your local library, but on this you get to instantly watch movies, listen to albums, and read or listen to books. You get 5 credits a month and whatever you download you keep for 21 days. So far I love it! I may have gotten the new Beauty and the Beast album, so I could listen to it over and over. No shame.

Also, totally obsessed with this compass necklace from the latest OwlCrate!
Sweater: old | Shirt: old | Jeans: Hollister
Compass Necklace: The Geeky Cauldron via OwlCrate
Bag: Target | Boots: DSW


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