Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Review: THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King


Title: The Outsider
Author: Stephen King
Publication: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 561







Synopsis

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.











Review

So I actually listened to The Outsider on Audible, which means not only will I be able to review the book as I usually do, but I will also be able to tell you a little bit about the Audible narration! I had actually fully planned to buy and read the physical copy of the book, but at the time I was going to do it, i had decided to do an Audible trial, and The Outsider was the first book recommended to me on there. So I thought, why not? However,  I did not think to pay attention to the hours given for how long the book was. πŸ˜… And even though it did take me some time to get through the whole book, I honestly loved every moment of it. For the book itself, it grabbed my attention right from the start. Started off strong, leaping right into the action, and I was immediately engrossed in the story. The words blended easily into one another, creating such an interesting and compelling story line. And the narrator, Will Patton, did such a great job with it. His voice went well with the story and characters, and I was able to lose myself in the book, listening for hours without even realizing it. Will Patton really brought the book to life, and I hope to listen to more audiobooks narrated by him in the future. However, as much as I did enjoy the audiobook, there is nothing like having a physical copy, so I do plan to still buy the hardcover of The Outsider. Whether you refer audiobooks, physical copies, or e-books, I highly recommend you give The Outsider a chance, as it is a well-written book, filled with King's usual feelings of terror and suspense.








🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review: THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern


Title: The Night Circus
Publication: September 13th, 2011
Pages: 387








Synopsis

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RΓͺves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.












Review

Oh.. My.. God.. You guys, this book. I finished it about a week and a half ago and I still don't know what to say about it. Throughout the whole book I didn't feel like I liked it enough. It moved at a slow, steady pace but was able to keep my interest enough to read until the end. But the whole time I was reading I just kept catching myself thinking, "I can't wait to finish this book. Once I'm done with it, I'll never read it again." Yet once I finished it, I felt...Lost almost. And very confused. The entire book I couldn't wait to be done with it and I didn't feel like I cared for it at all, but once I finished it I felt lost without it. So it turns out I was more attached to the characters than I actually thought. However, I felt as though it was actually a very sad book. And I'm not going to lie, I hated the ending. I am not ashamed to admit that I hoped for that sort of basic "happily ever after" ending, which was definitely not how it turned out. And I can't say I will read the book again, at least for a while, but it was an interesting read, just not in the way you'd expect. This book wasn't what I expected at all, even after reading the synopsis. In the end though, I think that's why I didn't realize how much I ended up liking the book until after I was done with it.

I actually had never heard of The Night Circus before joining a book club as part of an author's street team I'm on, and as you have seen, my plan for 2019 is to read more books. So even though I hadn't heard of this book before, I chose to give it a shot, and even if it wasn't exactly what I expected, I am so glad I gave it a chance. And I think you should, too. 😊








Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Book Review: THE CAPITAL TRILOGY by Dawn Wright


Title: Capital Encounters: Love, Loyalty, Freedom, Flings
Author: Dawn Wright
Publication: December 16th, 2016
Pages: 314
Series: The Capital Trilogy







Synopsis

When a promotion to junior recruiter affords her the chance to move across the bridge into DC, Summer—a free bird—quickly sheds her loner lifestyle after she meets, Emily, a class act whose heart is still tied to her ex-husband; Brooke, a career-driven woman looking for love who wants to have it all; and Amber, the fearless pianist who makes a living off her flings. 

Summer’s life begins to go as planned, until she meets a hot Cuban at a party who will change her life forever. What starts off as a “harmless affair” with Ruben Sotolongo, turns out to be a perilous situation as she struggles with her temptation to play with fire. Soon, Summer realizes that she must walk away from him before it’s too late. At the same time, Summer’s friends slowly find the tide turning against them. Brooke will have to face a deal breaker after finding love; after months of suffering, Emily’s chance at healing is threatened by an impediment least likely of all places; and when Amber accidentally betrays someone dear to her and underestimates the personality of a client, she realizes that her flings may not exactly be all fun and games. Will they make it out of the turmoil bruised and battered or stronger than ever?










** I received an ARC of this trilogy from the author in exchange for an honest review.**


Okay so first, obviously I only gave the information for the first book, Capital Encounters, even though I'm giving a review for the entire trilogy. That is because I didn't want to risk giving any potential spoilers away in the information from the second and third book. You can easily navigate to the other two books in the trilogy through the links I gave for the first book, so there are no worries that you cannot find the second and third books. πŸ˜„ Now, on to the review!

So this trilogy..... I'm honestly not sure where to even start. πŸ˜… Now, if you follow me on Goodreads, you would have probably seen that I have actually finished the trilogy and left short reviews about 2-3 weeks ago. The reason I have waited so long to put a review up on my blog is because I have really been thinking about what to say in my review because really.... My mind is still reeling. There was so much going on in each of these books that I really lost myself in the story an when I'd take a break I'd have to kind of take a step back and said "whoa." I absolutely LOVE when books cause me to lose touch with reality, it's what got me into reading in the first place, and when a story can do that, it puts the book on another level for me. 

Now, in each book you have four different POVs. Yeah, I know. When I first saw that the books focused on four main women and each had their own POV, I will admit, it scared me a bit. I have read books like that in the past and it was so hard to keep up with everything. When I first dived in, I did get slightly confused when the POV would switch, but Dawn Wright was able to create each POV to represent that specific character PERFECTLY. Each character had their own way of speaking and acting that once I caught on, it was very easy for me to differentiate between POVs without getting confused. Mad props to Wright for that because I am sure that was not an easy feat! Other than the four different POVs, the story itself was just amazing. Each woman had her own separate life, yet the author was able to weave their lives together to effortlessly, I was seriously speechless at the end. I feel like I wasn't just a bystander watching these women, like you would a television show, but that I was actually IN the story with them. Each woman annoyed the hell out of me at times, and I don't have a favorite, but while  they each annoyed me, I also found parts of each of them in myself as well. This trilogy was one big rollercoaster, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I cannot wait to see what Dawn Wright has in store for us next!







Capital Encounters: 🌟🌟🌟🌟☆
Capital Consequences: 🌟🌟🌟🌟☆
Capital Resolutions: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thursday, January 17, 2019

My Favorite Reads of 2018 πŸ“š

2018 was not a good year of reading for me. However, with the small amount of books I did read, I loved some.....while struggled to finish others. Below are my favorite reads of 2018.




There are three books that immediately come to mind when I think back to my 2018 reads, and one of them is Inseparable by Siobhan Davis. You can read my full review HERE. It was the first time reading a book by this author, but I had heard the name countless times. Now, y'all know I hate love triangles. When I read the synopsis for this book though, something drew me in, and I chose to read it despite knowing there was an obvious love triangle. I absolutely loved this book, and since then I had added many of Siobhan Davis's other novels to my TBR pile. Hopefully this year I will be able to read more by her.






Now, I have read a couple of Debbie Herbert's books in the past, and I am even a member of her street team on Facebook. I have never been disappointed in any of her books that I have previously read, but with Appalachian Prey, Herbert wrote a story that was absolutely unforgettable to me. In this novel, the main character is......wait for it......pregnant. Yes, that's right, PREGNANT. And very bad ass too, might I add! Have I caught your attention yet? If you're interested in learning more, you can read my full review HERE. I have only read 1 or 2 books where the main character was pregnant, but I have NEVER read a book about a pregnant woman in a suspense novel. Especially not like this. Lilah is probably one of my favorite female characters EVER, and this book is definitely one I will be re-reading many times.







This is the first book that comes to mind when I think back on books I read last year. Read my full review HERE to see why! I have always been a very big Stephen King fan and have watched every film adaptation of his novels. However, it wasn't until a couple years ago that I actually started buying his books.Weird to say I'm a huge fan when I've never owned a book of his, right? Honestly, I just always found them pretty intimidating. I've read some 700-800 page novels before, but King's is like.... Every. Single. Book. is 700-800+ pages!! That's a lot of time and a lot of reading. Haha However, Cell was always one of my favorite movies, so when I finally decided to start collecting and actually READING his books, Cell had to be the first one I read.







Now, the last book hasn't been mentioned on my blog yet, and that was because I wanted to read all the stories in the set before reviewing.These aren't full length novels, they're more like short stories that are all connected. I believe the author explained it as each installment is written as a television episode would play out. So each installment is very short. But they are still good, and when you read them collectively, as you can now in the Twisted Magic set, you really get a feel for the story and scenes. They do read like a television show, but I love it that way. Jo Ho writes in a way that makes it possible for you to easily picture each scene as if you are watching a show (which would make sense, seeing as how she IS a screenwriter πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œ) However, though I loved the story line, I was never able to fully connect with any of the characters. To be completely honest, I found all of them really annoying. But the story itself has kept my interest and made me able to look past my dislike for the characters. I continue to be a fan of Jo Ho and can wait to see what she has in store for this set.




Friday, December 28, 2018

My Book Plans For The New Year

Wow, 2018 sure has been a crazy year. And it's not over yet! I had some crazy events happen in my life this past year, and unfortunately I let my blog and books fall by the wayside because of it. However, I am extremely determined to get back on track with books and my blog this coming year, researching and coming up with ideas for the new year that really focuses on reading more and interacting with you, my followers.

I have been thinking of a way to engage followers in my blog, as well as making a dent in my TBR pile (a never ending feat, as I' sure you know). While scrolling through my TBR, I was also writing things down in my 2019 planner and that's when I had the idea: to make a TBR list based off of different holidays. My book list has a wide variety of genres for reading, and I was easily able to find books to cover the holidays I chose below. You all are more than welcome to read along with me, or just follow along to see what I think of each book on the list. And if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!




2019 Holidays in Books

  • January 1st - New Years
  1. CAPITAL ENCOUNTERS Trilogy by Dawn Wright

  •  February - Black History Month
  1. THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas
  2. THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
  •  February 14th - Valentines Day
  1. WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte
  2. SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

  • March - Women's History Month
  1. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
  2. BECOMING by Michelle Obama

  • April - Child Abuse Awareness Month
  1. A CHILD CALLED "IT" Trilogy by Dave Pelzer

  • May - Mental Health Awareness Month
  1. THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
  2. SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green
  • May - Armed Forces Day (18th) and Memorial Day (27th)
  1. DEAR AARON by Mariana Zapata
  2. SERGEANT REX by Mike Dowling

  • June - LGBTQ Pride Month
  1. LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT by Becky Albertalli
  2. QUEENS OF GEEK by Jen Wilde
  • June 14th - Army Birthday
  1. AMERICAN WARRIOR by Gary O'Neal

  • July 4th - Independence Day
  1. THE COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE DAY OMNIBUS by Stephen Molstad

  • September 18th - Air Force Birthday
  1. DEADLY DESCENT by Kaylea Cross

  • October - Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  1. THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith
  2. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris
  3. ROSE MADDER by Stephen King
  • October 13th - Navy Birthday
  1. UNDETECTED by Dee Henderson
  • October 31st - Halloween
  1. DARK ROOMS by Lili Anolik
  2. RUN  by Jeremy Bates
  3. THE UNDYING by Ethan Reid

  • November 10th - Marines Birthday
  1. BEAST by Pepper Pace
  • November 11th - Veterans Day
  1. THE WALL by Eve Bunting
  2. THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien
  3. THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt

  • December 13th - National Guard Birthday
  1. DIVIDED WE FALL Trilogy by Trent Reedy
  • December 25th - Christmas
  1. SANTA PAWS by Nicholas Edwards
  2. WHAT LIGHT by Jay Asher





Now keep in mind, as I am based in the USA, these are obviously all holidays celebrated and recognized in the USA, not necessarily elsewhere. If you'd like to participate with me or have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or privately message me! I love hearing from all of you. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Product Review: Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub & So Fresh So Clean Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask

Hello everyone! It feels SO GOOD to be back with doing book reviews and product reviews and talking to everyone. You all have been so supportive, you're the best. πŸ’• So today I have two product reviews for you guys. I was shopping at my local Walmart and was looking for something new to try on my face as I have very dry, oily skin and nothing seems to be working lately, especially with the weather getting colder. Now, I have seen Biore Charcoal products all over the television and social media lately, and I have been wanting to try it (charcoal is LIFE! Seriously obsessed). I found the Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub and snatched that up real quick, but then right about it I found this beautiful, fun looking packaging that contained a face mask and mask applicator, called So Fresh So Clean Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask. And I'm always down for trying a new face mask, so I quickly snatched that up, too. So that is what we'll be reviewing today! Who's ready?! πŸ’†πŸ˜











Sooooo excited to try both of these products!! And isn't the packaging for the face mask so fun and cute looking?!







First up, the So Fresh So Clean Charcoal Peel-Off Mask! I wanted to do the mask first, that way when I do the Acne scrub afterwards, it can get off anything left over from the mask I may have missed. I'm so excited!






It is now on! Before this I have never used a mask applicator and let me just say.....it was life changing. πŸ˜‚ All joking aside though, it really made everything so much easier. I absolutely loved it. And it was so easy to clean, too! If you don't have a mask applicator, I highly recommend getting one. 😊





So this was about 5 minutes into it (the directions say 20-30 minutes for it to dry). As you can see by my chin, there is some goopy, dripping stuff there. Not a fan, but so far not to bad.





10 minutes into the treatment. I wiped off the mask drips by my chin but they appear to be reforming. Haha






20 minutes into the treatment..







30 minutes into the mask treatment, right before I washed it off. 






As you can see, the goopy drips down by my chin reformed and actually dried, so I couldn't wipe them off again. Unfortunately, that was the only part of the mask that actually dried. And it took me a good 5 whole minutes to scrub off the mask from my face. None of it dried, but it was VERY hard to get it off. However, afterwards my face was incredibly soft and it lasted a week, so kudos to the mask for that.








The Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub is next!




So I use this scrub every day in the shower. I work in the food industry and on top of my natural oily skin, it feels incredibly greasy after a day at work, so this scrub is perfect. And even though the mas k didn't work exactly like I thought it would, the end result was way better than I thought it would be. So, even though it didn't dry properly and dripped some, the end result makes it all worth it. I definitely recommend both the Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub and the So Fresh So Clean Charcoal Peel-Off Mask. Treat Yo'self, boo! πŸ’†πŸ˜„πŸ˜œ

Saturday, November 3, 2018

I'm back!!....... And what is this?

So I am BACK!! It has been such a crazy year for me, and so, sadly, my blog and reviewing kind of fell by the wayside. I have had a lot of life-changing experiences this year, mostly good, and I can honestly say that I feel like for the first time in years, I finally feel like my life is getting back on track and good things just keep coming my way. So positive vibes that these amazing things follow me into the new year, and as always, positive vibes go out to each of you and your loved ones! πŸ’—

Now, I thought my first post after a 6 month hiatus would be something a lot more fun (guess you'll have to settle for the second post 😜 ), but when I discovered this, I knew I had to make a post about it. So, for those who don't know, I am a member of Influenster, which is basically a company where members have the opportunity to receive products (VoxBoxes) for review. I have done a few Influenster VoxBox reviews on my blog in the past, but as I previously said, I have put my blog to the side for awhile, so I also stopped accepting products for reviews. Getting back on track with everything, I recently accepted an Influenster VoxBox invitation, which I just received in the mail a couple days ago. The campaign was for L'OREAL PARIS UNBELIEVA-BROW LONGWEAR BROW GEL, and I was so excited to try this out. Unfortunately, my box came in and I was unable to do the campaign. See below for why.





This is how the brow gel packaging should look...





...... And this is how it came in the VoxBox.










This is the product that I was going to review, and even though I'm so sad I didn't get to try it, I just didn't feel comfortable with using something that was opened during shipment.







Though I do not blame anyone for how my package arrived, I would like to say I believe the product packaging should maybe be tweaked a bit. When I worked to put the box back together myself, there wasn't much room for both the brow gel bottle and tool to fit well enough inside, which may be one of the reasons the box didn't stay together. Now, things happen, and I am not mad at all, just sad that I didn't get to try it out, but L'OREAL PARIS is one of my favorite drugstore makeup brands. This is not going to deter me from their brand and it shouldn't for you either, just remember to always check packaging, and never use a product that looks as though it has been tampered with. 😊