Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {September 2015}

I read a lot of bad ass books this month, so I'm excited to share my mini reviews of them. I enjoyed one book so much that I gave it 5 stars, so I hope you'll then run to the nearest bookstore and go pick it up! 

The Water and The Wild
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by K.E. Ormsbee, Lottie Fisk with Mrs. Yates since her parents are dead and her only friend in the world is Eliot, who is very sick, and a mysterious letter-writer. But strange things are happening on the island and then a door in her favorite apple tree opens to a strange world.

I would call this a modern, middle-grade Alice in Wonderland with a timeless feel. Lottie lands in a weird world where she meets three sprites her age (Ollie, Adelaide, and Fife) and they go on an adventure to find Ollie and Adelaide's father, who was kidnapped. The Water and The Wild is whimsical and quirky and the characters are the right amount of interesting and flawed. I really enjoyed this book as it is, but if it was a YA book I feel a lot more could've been done with the story.

Add this book to your Goodreads 

Lois Lane Fallout
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Gwenda BondLois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. She's trying to stay quiet, but in her new high school a group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They're messing with her head via a high-tech immersive video game and Lois wants to solve the mystery. 

I LOVED this book! I read it in one day. Lois Lane is a snarky, intelligent, determined, and keeps her cool. She's on the road to being a reporter and is friends with a guy in Smallville who she talks to online, but he refuses to tell her who she is. I kept turning the pages so fast while reading this; I had to know how the Warheads were messing with this girl's head and if Clark was going to tell her who he is. I need the second book in my hands like yesterday.

Add this book to your Goodreads

The Martian
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Andy Weir, The Martian follows Mark Watney, the first man to become stranded on Mars. His crew thinks he's dead, NASA thinks he's dead, and Mark himself is sure he might be dead soon. How can he survive on Mars until the next mission in three year's time? 

Despite Mark Watney's horrible situation, he definitely knows how to crack a joke. This book is the perfect mix of humor, drama, and science. Mark never gives up hope and it makes you root for him. I also learned a lot about how to survive on Mars, should that ever happens. 

Add this book to your Goodreads

The Strange Library*
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Haruki Murakami, The Strange Library is t
he story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library. 

This book definitely is strange. It really follows no rhyme or reason and half the time I had no idea what was going on, but it's interesting because it's half text, half pictures and it's kind of fun to decipher. (*Thanks Helen for this book!)

Add this book to your Goodreads 
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Ernest Cline; Zach Lightman is a the 5th best player of the game Armada in the world. He doesn't think that will help him in the future, but then he notices an alien drone like the one from the game in real life. Suddenly, he's being taken to a secret base and finds out that aliens are real and that they're coming to attack. 

Aliens, video games, adventure. This book sure takes you on a fun ride. Zach is a believable and likable character because he has flaws and knows it. Unpopular opinion time: I like Armada more than Ready Player One. The stakes are higher in Armada because the aliens are going to annihilate the human species and I found it much more engaging. (**Book via Blogging for Books.)

Add this book to your Goodreads

Step Aside, Pops
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Kate Beaton, Step Aside, Pops is a collection of cartoons from the smash-hit Hark! A Vagrant blog featuring both real and fictional historical characters like Heathcliff and Napolean. 

History meets pop culture meets humor! The cartoons by Kate Beaton are hilarious. I read half of this on the train and laughed so much that a woman near me gave me the stink eye. I wish I had my own Tiny Hermione. 

Add this book to your Goodreads

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1)
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Rob Thomas, it's ten years after Veronica Mars graduated high school and she's back in Neptune. She traded in her law degree for her private investigating license and is trying to score a big case. Then a girl goes missing during spring break and she thinks it might have something to do with organized crime. Turns out the case hits a lot closer to home than she imagined. 

I'm a huge fan of the Veronica Mars show and the movie, so I knew I would have to read the book eventually. It has the same feel as the show: gritty, funny, dramatic, spunky, and digs into what's wrong with our culture. I could "hear" Veronica's (aka Kristen Bell's) voice in my head as I read it and I enjoyed seeing the story through her eyes because she gives it her all to solve the case, but also lets herself be scared. I also think the case and how it evolved was an interesting one. 

Add this book to your Goodreads

★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Rainbow Rowell; Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble, but two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show. Through a magic phone, Georgie can communicate with Neal in the past, and maybe it can help fix what's broken. 

To be honest, I found this book kind of depressing and the characters annoying. While it's easy to root for Georgie and Neal to stay together because they have a good dynamic and are clearly made to be a couple, Georgie by herself I couldn't stand. She's too nitpicky and kind of a boring character. It's a sweet book at times, but I love Rowell's other works much, much more. 

Add this book to your Goodreads
Enter to win a copy of Lois Lane Fallout
International giveaway. 

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What was your favorite read of the month?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Outfit: New York Chic

As they always say, New Yorkers wear a ton of black. While it's not especially true for me, it is nice to wear head to toe black sometimes and feel really chic. My usual go-to dresses are fit and flare, but this trapeze-style is so versatile; I can wear it belted or loose, and it has pockets! 

I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival last weekend and got a temporary tattoo that says, "In the end, we'll all become stories." And now I would really love to get a real tattoo there, but I'm also a scaredy-cat. Maybe this quote by Dumbledore: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
Dress: Forever 21 {similar, similar} | Bag: Modcloth
Belt: thrifted | Flats: Charlotte Russe {in burgundy, similar}

Do you like wearing black?
Do you have any tattoos?

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight: Ink Print Art + Giveaway

Let's be real: gallery walls look wonderful, but they're hard to put together because you want art that goes together and that you like. If you've browsed Pinterest and decided you want your own gallery wall in your home, then you need to know about Ink Print Art

This shop sells cool art prints that come in a four pack. Yep, that's four prints for your gallery wall already! And all four are only $15!

I picked the NYC prints because I live in New York. These four prints (the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Flat Iron Building, and the Crysler Building) come on sturdy, matte paper and can be easily framed because they're 8x10. The shop also suggests using washi tape instead of frames, which is a fun idea if you rent and can't put holes in the wall. I liked the idea so much that I did that myself!

Win a four-pack of art prints of your choosing!
Open to readers of the U.S. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Favorite Things

Don't you just love swaps? I participated in Kristin's Novel Tea Book Club Swap and had a great time getting to know Corynn and she sent me the loveliest box of goodies! You can see everything she gave me in this Instagram post. So in love with these cute mini Funko Pops and excited to read Beauty

I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival this past Sunday and picked up two books, but this one was my favorite: Step Aside, Pops. It's a book of cartoons where history meets humor. Also, Tiny Hermione is my new favorite thing! While at the book festival, I got this hilariously indifferent mug.

 A few fun links:

 19 fall books you need to read.

 You know you grew up with Beauty and the Beast when...

 Where was this Harry Potter classroom when I was growing up?

 Perfect for fall: How to wear black jeans and how to wear boyfriend jeans.

 A guide to visiting Warner Bros' The Making of Harry Potter in London.

 The best YouTube workout videos.

 How to stay efficient on the go.

 Frocktober is coming!

 How not to run out of blog ideas.

 Cute small space solutions.

Fellow blogger Ileana opened her own shop called Novelstyle and is giving you guys 
15% off and free shipping with code "sara15." 

 Sponsor love:
  • I for one can't resist a beautiful bookmark! If you're looking for something special to keep between the pages of your book then check out Cogworks
  • Halloween and fall Jamberry Nail Wraps are here! Love Eerie Nights, Fall Fancy, and Double Trouble (so cute!). 
  • As Ink Print Art says, "Every wall needs love." This shop has modern black and white art at an affordable price ($15!). My favorite is the NYC prints
  • I'm really in love with La Lust's cute, trendy, and affordable clothes. This donut top and this metallic polka dot dress are calling my name. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Inspired By: Books Turned Movies

Who knew so many movies based on books were coming out in the next few weeks? Although it's not below, another one I most definitely want to see if The Martian. You can bet I'll be in a seat on opening weekend. Who else saw The Scorch Trials and wants to see The Martian?

The Scorch Trials
The Scorch Trials

Written by James Dashner; Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. 

Although the plot of the movie differed from the book, the general idea of crossing the Scorch and finding people was still the same. Dress cool but in layers to protect you from the elements: a black trapeze dress, sunglasses, gray knee-high socks, lace-up ankle boots. Or a pink cardigan, a striped tank top, green cargo pants, and brown boots. (Release Date: September 18)

Add the book to your Goodreads

Black Mass
Black Mass
Written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill;  In the mid-1970's, John Connoly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and James "Whitey" Bulger had become godfather of the Irish Mob. A dirty deal between them would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, the biggest informant scandal in the history of the FBI.

For a casual FBI look, wear a green blazer, a white blouse, burgundy corduroy pants, and blue flats. Or put on a Whitey-inspired outfit: a black jacket, a graphic tee, jeans, and black ankle boots. (Release Date: September 18)

Add the book to your Goodreads

Written by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein is about a committed student of science who is obsessed with discovering the source of life. He inevitably figures out to create life and thus creates a monster. 

I created an outfit based on Elizabeth, Frankenstein's love: wear a lace-y blue dress, nude jacket, Victorian-inspired rings, and brown wedges. Or go for a classic Frankenstein look in a black blazer, a layered sweater, black pants, and shiny black oxfords. (Release Date: October 2)

Add the book to your Goodreads

The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
Written by Rudyard Kipling; Mowgli is an orphan baby raised by the wolves, taught by Baloo the Bear, trained by Bagheera the Panther and Kaa the Python. He knows the ways of the jungle and speaks the language of the wild.

Go wild in a gray tiger tank, distressed jeans, leopard print sneakers, and a metallic floral headband. Or feel free in a gray trapeze dress, green mirrored sunglasses, an elephant necklace, a bear ring, and leopard print flats. (Release Date: October 9)

Add the book to your Goodreads

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag {September 2015}

So I looked online a few days before getting my September Ipsy bag and saw what I was getting, even though I usually wait to be surprised. But then when I opened it I saw that three of the items I got didn't match what they said I was going to get. I actually like two of the items I got better, but one I wish I had gotten. I don't know if they swapped my bag with someone else's by accident or if they just didn't put the right products for me online, but this has never happened before and I've had Ipsy for two years now. 

Anyway, this month's bag is Face Fashion because all of the fashion weeks are going on this month. I like the bag because it's a pretty golden bronze color with some texture on the front. 

What I got:
 Pixi by Petra Eyebrow Trio (sample $6, full $12)
 NYX Eyeshadow Palette (sample $5, full size $7.50)
 Temptu's Champagne Shimmer Highlighter (sample $6, full size $27)
 treStique Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude (sample $10, full size $28)
 Clarisea Sea Salt Charcoal Exfoliant (sample $4, full size $18)

Pixi by Petra Eyebrow Trio

This little trio is so tiny that it fits in the palm of my hand, but what I really like are the matte colors. It's obviously meant to be used as brow powder, but I've also been using as eyeshadow because I like the medium brown color in the crease of my eyes. Of course I dropped it after getting it, but it's still usable. I would recommend this. 

NYX Eyeshadow Palette 

The colors! The packaging! NYX eyeshadow is always beautiful and these metallic colors shine in the light and blend so easily. The middle shade (a gorgeous bronze color) is my favorite. This palette was designed specifically for Ipsy, but I linked to a similar palette above. I would recommend NYX and their eyeshadows. 

Temptu's Champagne Shimmer Highlighter

This Temptu highlighter is gorgeous. It's meant to be airbrushed on, but I just dot the highlighter on along the tops of my cheekbones. This highlighter is very liquidy and the champagne color makes it seem like liquid bronze. I like getting these because I can't afford it otherwise, haha. I would recommend this, but I won't be repurchasing because it's expensive. 

treStique Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude

This is the one instance where I wish I'd gotten the item I was supposed to. Online, it says I was going to get a burgundy lipstick, but instead I got this chalky, nude lip crayon that I don't like. It feels weird on my lips and I'm not a fan of the color. I wouldn't recommend this.

Clarisea Sea Salt Charcoal Exfoliant 

My skin is oily, but I get dry patches now and then, especially during season changes. This one is a dry exfoliant, meaning it's just the sea salt, so you mix it with your favorite cleanser and then let it do its magic. I really like this! The more salt you add the tougher the exfoliant is and it definitely left my skin feeling smooth and fresh. I would recommend this.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Outfit: Plaid Sneakers

Don't get me wrong, I love my soft, flannel plaid shirt, but I wanted something else with the print for fall. I don't have plaid sneakers, so when I saw these I knew they would be perfect all season long. And they're comfortable, which is a major plus. 

I have to talk about this shirt. Ileana, who blogs at of Novelstyle, created her own shop also called Novelstyle, and oh my gosh the clothes are so cute! The clothes in her shop have a feminine, nerdy chic style and I'm all about it. Saw this cool, layered top and immediately bought it. And speaking of plaid, I'm crushing on this top. (This is not a sponsored post. I just love her cute shop.)
Cardigan: Old Navy | Top: Novelstyle | Jeans: Hollister | Sneakers: Charlotte Russe

Do you like plaid?

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Looks I Love {Autumn Transition}

Hello fall! Let's talk about everyone's favorite topic of conversation lately: the weather. It's been beautiful out lately. Not a cloud in the sky, the perfect temperature during the day, and cool at night. I sleep so much better when there's a chill in the air. And, of course, these cooler temps make me want to take out my wallet and throw it at every store within a 10 mile radius. Plaid! Cardigans! Burdundy! I want it all!
Rach Martino:
Love this chic version of plaid!

Shy Girl Loud Voice: Playing Model with Urban Outfitters:
Love everything: the flowy dress, the burgundy, the booties!

Fine and Feathered, style, denim, fall:
Shades of gray and brown.

lovely lace:
Cute mix of olive and white lace. 

So cute! This print mixing is so fun!

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Can we just talk about how gorgeous all these colors are together?

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