Fairytale Fashions: Tea for Princesses and Goddesses

Posted on Friday, August 29th 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

I may or may not have a tea obsession. You’d have to look in my Kitchen cabinet to find out ;) . Either way though, I am loving the sound of these teas from American Tea Room and they’ve been on my list of things to try for awhile now.

Tea for a Princess

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty Tea: American Tea Room

Sweet dreams are made from this wonderful organic blend of valerian root, mint, chamomile blossoms, forest berries, rose petals and fennel. Valerian root and chamomile are the perfect combination for restful sleep and when blended with fennel and mint make an intoxicating brew. Naturally caffeine-free.”

Anastasia

Anastasia Tea: American Tea Room

A beguiling m_©lange of Chinese Black teas with an enchanting mix of floral notes. This black blend is medium in caffeine. Anastasia is the perfect afternoon tea, light, balanced and full of mystery.”

Tea for a Goddess

Ambrosia

Ambrosia Tea: American Tea Room

 

An organic blend of white tea, mango and pear. The earthy richness of the tea pairs beautiful with a stonefruit sweetness and an aroma of freshly sliced zesty fruit and white peach. Low in caffeine, but bold in flavor, Ambrosia is a unique hot tea and a crowd-pleasing iced tea.”

Can’t Look Away

Posted on Thursday, August 28th 2014 in Review

Can’t Look AwayTitle: Can't Look Away
Author: Donna Cooner
Publisher: Point
Date: August 26, 2014
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Purchased
Description: "Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye? "

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

***

Can’t Look Away was very different from what I was expecting. It was still a  good, fast read, but while I was expecting something mostly centered around a YouTuber’s life behind the camera, it was really more of a grief book.

When Torrey’s sister dies unexpectedly she has a lot of trouble returning to her online life – which I think is completely understandable. If one of my siblings died while I was trying to get them to help me shoot a video, I’m sure I’d feel responsible and pretty crappy too. Throughout the novel, we see Torrey exploring different ways to deal with her grief and make peace with the way she left things with her sister.

Once Torrey’s viewers find out more details about her sister’s death, she starts to get bullied online. I would have liked to see this issue explored a bit more (especially since online hate is one of the things that inspired the book), but I’m not sure we do much more than scratch the surface. I don’t think that we saw people’s words having too much of an impact on Torrey, but to be fair, she’s probably very used to receiving rude comments online and is more concerned with finding a way to say goodbye to her sister.

Even though this was a very different story than I thought I’d be getting, I really enjoyed it. The chapters are quite short and the book itself isn’t particularly long. Since I was in the mood for something fast, that worked out wonderfully for me. It wasn’t the light, fun kind of book I was in the mood for, but it was a well-done story about loss and self-forgiveness.

3.5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th 2014 in Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.

 

*Faeries*

 

The Boy With the Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset (December 2014 – Sourcebooks)

This is not your average trip to Fairyland…

Selkie Stewart has just saved her quasi-boyfriend, Ben, from a fairy prison run by the Seelie Court. If they weren’t the two most-wanted individuals in the Otherworld before, they definitely are now. Along with Ben and the rest of their ragtag group of allies-Selkie’s ogre aunts; a wizard named Will; Ben’s cousin Safford; and Kelsey, Selkie’s best friend-Selkie is ready to embrace her destiny and bring the Court down. Until she hears the rest of her prophecy: Benedict le Fay will betray you, and then he will die.Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

All That Burns by Ryan Graudin (February 2015 – HarperTeen)

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys’s king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?Goodreads.

 

*Fairytales*

 

The Collector’s Society by Heather Lyons (October 2014 – Cerulean Books)

From the author of the Fate series and The Deep End of the Sea comes a fantastical romantic adventure that has Alice tumbling down the strangest rabbit hole yet.

After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.

It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?” Goodreads.

 

*Fantasy*

 

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (March 2015 – Katherine Tegen)

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.Goodreads.

 

Books and Beauty

Posted on Sunday, August 24th 2014 in Books and Beauty

The Alliance by Shannon Stoker: Goodreads

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: Goodreads

The Heiresses by Allison Rushby: Goodreads

The F- It List by Julie Halpern: Goodreads

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski: Goodreads

Timestorm by Julie Cross: Goodreads

Pro Blending Brush: Sephora

Fairytale Fashions: E.L.F. Ariel Collection

Posted on Friday, August 22nd 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

E.L.F. recently launched a collection dedicated to Ariel! It’s available on drugstore.com and walgreens.com (maybe even in stores if you can track it down).

E.L.F. Ariel BrushesMy favorite part of this collection is the Ariel brushes — they’re just gorgeous! I haven’t actually purchased this because I have no idea if E.L.F. brushes are any good. I’ve heard mixed things online about them, so if you’ve tried them before let me know what you think of them in the comments.

 

 

The eye collection looked pretty cool as well. I’m very picky about my eyeshadows since I E.L.F. Ariel Eye Collectionhave such a large eye palette collection. I’ve tried a few E.L.F eyeshadows in the past and they’re just not for me. The pigmentation wasn’t great and they’re chalky. The colors for this collection though are really pretty. I don’t believe I’ve tried liner pens from E.L.F. before, but if you have please let me know if it was a love or hate for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazen

Posted on Thursday, August 21st 2014 in Review

BrazenTitle: Brazen
Author: Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 528
Format: eARC
Source: For Review
Description: "Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for? "

Goodrerads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

Brazen was great. After the Manor of Secrets fail, I was hopeful that I would enjoy other books by Katherine Longshore because there was something about Manor of Secrets that told me her other books had the potential to be really good. I am soooo happy to say that Brazen proves that theory to be true.

Let’s start with the characters because that was my least favorite part of Manor of Secrets. When I started Brazen, I was on edge. I paid special attention to the characters to see if they did anything incredibly outlandish that would just seem wrong for the time period. There were maybe one or two instances where I’m not so sure that the characters were truly behaving in accordance with the time period, but that was it. For the most part they behaved in a manner befitting the time period and I cannot even express how happy this makes me because otherwise I wouldn’t have really enjoyed the book.

Aside from their actions, I also really liked them as people — especially Mary and Fitz. They were so cute together and all of their interactions just felt really genuine and sweet. If you’re a fan of those innocent, first-love types of romances, you’ll love this one! I also really liked Mary’s brother and I just felt so bad for him at times, even though he was a supporting character.

I love that Katherine Longshore took two of the more obscure figures in Tudor history to write about. I learned a lot more about the Tudor court and the historical figures of the time through her writing. I was so curious as to what would happen, I had to restrain myself from looking it up on Gooogle!

Brazen is a wonderful addition to YA historical fiction and I am so looking forward to reading some of her other novels. So glad I decided to give this one a chance, and I hope you do too!

4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th 2014 in Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

For more books I’m looking forward to, check out the Upcoming page.

 

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (November 2014 – Keywords Press)

GIRL ONLINE is the stunning debut romance novel by YouTube phenomenon Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella.


I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has – I can’t believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! – and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes…

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.” Goodreads.

 

Love and Other Known Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander (October 2014 – EntangledTeen)

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. 

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. 

By the time he learns she’s ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).Goodreads.

 

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay (December 2014 – Delacorte Press)

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?Goodreads.

 

 

 

Boomerang

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th 2014 in Review

BoomerangTitle: Boomerang
Author: Noelle August
Series: Boomerang #1
Publisher: William Morrow
Date: July 8, 2014
Pages: 325
Format: Paperback
Source: For Review
Description: "The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started? "

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

Boomerang is a light, enjoyable read. It’s just perfect for the beach with the easy writing style and short chapters. It’s not going to leave a lasting impression, but I did get through it pretty quickly and really enjoyed the story.

Our characters, Mia and Ethan, aren’t really anything special on their own. Together they’re great. Lots of chemistry, the right amount of resistance, and they actually work well together too. They kind of have to work well together if we’re going to believe in them as a couple given how the story is set up, but that is neither here nor there :) .

Watching Mia and Ethan attempt to ignore their feelings for each other since work place romances are forbidden was great because they kind of failed spectacularly on that front! And for me, the plot really is about their attraction to each other. Sure, there are plenty of other elements in the background: Mia’s grandmother, Ethan’s future prospects, competing for the internship. But that’s all it felt like – background.

And that is really the key thing that keeps me from loving this book. I prefer when the plot and romance are a bit more balanced when it comes to my contemporary reads, but in this case, it worked out. Not mind-blowingly awesome, but definitely a page turner.

If you’re looking for a good beach read that doesn’t really require a lot of attention, Boomerang is a fantastic pick! A little cheesy at times (especially with the Boomerang CEO at the end), but worth the read.

4 Stars

Four Review

Posted on Sunday, August 17th 2014 in Review

Four ReviewTitle: Four
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #0.1 - 0.4
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: July 8, 2014
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review
Description: "Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling divergent series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy. "

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

***

I am slightly in love with Four—due, in no small part, to Theo James. Four just makes me smile whether it’s on screen or through the pages of the book, so when I found out that we were getting a whole book told from his perspective, I was thrilled.The story itself is great. It’s kind of a must for Divergent fans. No there is nothing really that you’re missing from the Divergent series in terms of content if you skip it, but you would be missing so much of Four’s character development if you did. And that would really be a shame.

After finishing the book, my perspective on Four has changed a little bit. There were certain choices he made in both Insurgent and Allegiant that I really didn’t agree with, but I always thought he didn’t start making those decisions until Insurgent. Now I know that was incorrect.

I always thought of Divergent Four as the guy with all the answers. The guy who would always make the right decisions and know when to act. He never was though. Just because we didn’t get to see his insecurities and judgment lapses in Divergent doesn’t mean they weren’t there. It puts a slight damper on his overall character for me, but that’s ok. He’s a bit more human this way.

Aside from our deep delve into the life and character of Tobias Eaton, it was also great to get to know some of the supporting characters better—particularly Eric. I certainly don’t like him anymore than I ever did, but I did enjoy seeing his rise to Dauntless leadership and how Four kicked his ass in training.

If you’re missing the Divergent world, Four is a no-brainer. Even if you’re not missing it though, it really does add more depth to the Divergent series and characters, and for that reason alone it’s a must read.

 

4 Stars

Fairytale Fashions: Once Upon a Time Jacket

Posted on Friday, August 15th 2014 in Fairytale Fashions

You probably know by now that I am obsessed with Once Upon a Time. It’s my favorite show ever—yup, I’m putting it above Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, Friends, and even Xena and Hercules. If you knew me as a child, then you know that’s a pretty freaking big deal.

Yesterday when I was shopping at Forever 21, I came across this very pretty red leather jacket (and can someone let me know how returns always turn into more shopping…):

forever 21 red leather jacket

 

Of course my first thought was Emma Swan! Check out her signature red leather jacket below. There are a few differences of course. The cut of the Forever 21 jacket is much edgier, more moto, and a bit more badass. I think Emma would look great in a moto jacket though, since she ends up fighting quite a bit.

Cast-Promotional-Photo-Jennifer-Morrison-as-Emma-Swan-once-upon-a-time-25200048-446-595

 

I’ve actually been contemplating doing a Once Upon a Time discussion because I don’t know anyone personally who is quite as into the show as I am. If that’s something you’d like to see let me know! I ended up passing on this jacket because red jackets aren’t really my style, but let me know if you’ll be picking this one up. I was tempted to do it just for the Once Upon a Time premiere, but decided dressing up to watch TV in my living room would be silly. :)