Review of Everything Leads to You

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Since I am home on maternity leave with the new little man, I have been looking for easy, contemporary reads. I don't get a ton of reading in, but since my bedtime has been a little earlier, I have been using it to help me calm down to sleep. I loved the cover of Everything Leads to You so I thought I would give it a chance.
Likes:
  • I enjoyed the setting and the movie influence. I have always wondered what it would be like to work on a movie set and I think this book had a great look at what it would be like to design a room in a movie. I have taken to really looking at the setting in all the shows and movies (especially since I have lots of Netflix right now lol)
  • The characters were interesting. I think they could have been a bit more developed, but for the most part they stood pretty well on their own. Ironically I really enjoyed Emi's brother and he wasn't really in the story much.
  • Emi's relationship with her ex was a bit annoying, but I do remember being young and stupid and not getting over someone who is bad for me. The wisdom that I have now lol.
  • Ava's story was interesting - I liked the mystery unfolding, but as you can see in a gripe, I wish that it was more developed.
  • I loved Charlotte and how dedicated she was to Emi. She was an amazing best friend.

Gripes:

  • I wanted to know so much more about Clyde Jones and the whole story. I thought that the whole history was really interesting, but I felt like it was kinda glossed over. I know that it wasn't the main part of the story, but it was what really interested me.
  • I felt like the book just ended. It totally snuck up on me and I was left with a blah feeling. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667779-everything-leads-to-you

Review of Unexpected Everything

 Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

I kept seeing The Unexpected Everything all over Instagram, so I figured I had to get my hands on it. I have been re-reading Harry Potter for the last few months and needed a little more lighthearted contemporary read as a diversion.

Likes:
  • The political scandal wasn't typical for what we see on tv and in real life. I don't know why this stuck with me so much, but it just seems like when there is a political scandal, it is always the same thing and is poor decisions on the politicians demeanor.
  • Andie was interesting. She was multi-dimensional and was a well-written character. Morgan Matson is really good at writing characters.
  • I really like the friendships Matson creates. She does a great job showing the real side, that it is not always rosey and perfect.
  • I liked the romance, it was imperfect, bumbled and a bit messy - but that makes it real and as perfect as it can be.
  • I love books that actually show a relationship with parents. I am not sure if that is because I am a 30-something reading YA with a different perspective, but family and a parental relationship is so important. I love seeing it grow and I love when adults admit that they were wrong.

Gripes:
  • No real gripes. There were a few times that the book was a little slow for me, but it was a nice, easy read. 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17838528-the-unexpected-everything



My Favorite Drugstore Makeup

For quite some, I thought that I had to use high quality makeup because drugstore stuff was just not as good, didn't wear as long or would cause breakouts. In high school I did find that I was breaking out, but I am not sure if it was just the foundation I was using or maybe my more "mature" skin is handling products better.

After watching reviews and scoping it out at the store, I found a few drugstore products I have been really impressed with, especially for the price! Everything s under $10!

Foundation - Loreal Tru Match Foundation $7.59
http://www.target.com/p/l-oreal-paris-true-match-super-blendable-makeup/-/A-13693598

NYX Contour Duo  $9
http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/cheek-contour-duo-palette/NYX_309.html

Wet & Wild Highlighter (I'll Have A Cosmo) $5.99
http://www.wetnwildbeauty.com/face/highlight-contour/to-reflect-shimmer-palette.html
NYC Eyeshadow Palette $6.99
http://www.newyorkcolor.com/us/makeup/lovatics-demi-eyeshadow-palette#020-natural-

Covergirl LashBlast Super Sizer Fibers Mascara $5.99
http://www.target.com/p/covergirl-lashblast-super-sizer-fibers-mascara/-/A-50665831
Rimmel Born This Way Eyebrow Duo $3.99
http://www.target.com/p/rimmel-brow-this-way-powder-kit/-/A-50489019



Maybelline Vivid Matte Lipstick (Nude Flush) $6.99
http://www.target.com/p/maybelline-color-sensational-vivid-matte-liquid-lipcolor/-/A-50452334



What are your favorite drugstore makeup products? Anything I NEED to try?


Current Obsession - YouTube Makeup/Beauty Videos

I have always loved makeup and have always felt like I am not very educated on how to put it on properly. These girls out there are AMAZING and put on makeup like pros! I just want to have a little fun and cover up those "trouble" areas. I have especially started to up my game with getting ready in the morning because my new position at the bank includes meeting with customers, do I definitely want to represent myself a little more put together than I sometimes did when I was completely behind the scenes. Plus, makeup is fun!

Check out these vloggers and definitely let me know who I need to be watching!

https://www.youtube.com/user/eleventhgorgeous

https://www.youtube.com/user/NikkiPhillippi

https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390

https://www.youtube.com/user/jambeauty89

https://www.youtube.com/user/emilynoel83

https://www.youtube.com/user/CoffeeBreakwithDani

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrKdCadbo4eN_toHMa4-FSA

Cookbook Review - Cravings

I received the Cravings cookbook by Chrissy Teigen in my April Popsugar Must Have box. To be completely honest, I thought it would be tasty, but healthy recipes. It was not. They were full of all the good stuff I normally shy away from like sticks of butter and whole milk. I still couldn't pass up trying out the recipes. They looked amazing and the photography of the book was so well done.


My husband loves weekend breakfasts, so I decide to try the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits recipe. I knew that I was not going to tackle homemade biscuits, so I cut down the time with refrigerator biscuits! The gravy delicious and not too tedious to make. At the beginning I was a little scared, but it thickened up and was tasty!





Don't Starve Together

I wanted to share Don't Starve Together today - it is such a fun computer game and I love the graphics.

Don't Starve Together is the new multi-player addition. The game is all about survival. You gather supplies and try to survive the night and darkness. Now you get to play with friends! Honestly, I just started the game and have only been able to survive a few nights, but it is fun. It is challenging, but there are lots of videos out there to help with game play. I am really excited to actually play with someone else and learn more. The game has been compared to Minecraft, but more on just the survival side, rather than the creative side. I haven't played Minecraft so I can't really compare.



The game is actually pretty cheap - you can get both Don't Starve and Don't Stare Together, plus two expansion backs for only $14 on Steam.  If you decide to play, let me know! I would love to play together! My Steam screen name is Missie1457.

Review of The Lies We Tell

It's 1974 in suburban Maryland, and Martie Wheeler is consumed by anxiety. Her father has just dropped dead from a heart attack, two girls have disappeared from the local mall, and President Nixon has turned out to be the liar of the century.

When her mother moves the family to Milwaukee, Martie becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the missing girls while her depressed older sister, Blaire, befriends a strange artist known as "the witch."

While trying to survive her new life on the shores of moody Lake Michigan, Martie learns of a dark family secret that threatens to upend her world altogether.



 I haven't read a Netgalley book in a while, so I was excited to get my hands on The Lies We Tell. It sounds interesting - a little mystery in a unique time in history.

Likes:
  • I loved the time period. I don't think I have read a book that was based in the 70s in a long time. It was fun to have the Nixon administration and Watergate woven into the story. 
  • I have gone through some of the things that Martie experienced, definitely not in the same way, but I think that it helped me relate to her story. 
  • The characters in the book were interesting - they were realistic and there were times that you wanted to hate them and then the next minute you loved them.
Gripes:
  • I didn't love the writing. I felt like it was a little juvenile.  As interesting as the characters were, they weren't fully developed. It felt like a debut, I am not sure if it was or not, but there was potential for more good works. 
  • I almost wish that Blaire was the main character, rather than Martie. I just did not connect to Martie as much.
  • The mother drove me insane. I hated how she acted and the way she kept secrets.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26836164-the-lies-we-tell




2016 - The Year of Re-Reads

Blogging makes you read a lot and new books. You need content - so re-reading loves fall to the wayside. I decided since I needed to change my outlook on the blog, that I needed to read what makes me happy. I loved some of the reads I read in the last couple of years so much that I wanted to revisit them.

One of my biggest wishes with reading is to be able re-read with the same feeling of magic I had with the first read. Even though that is not possible, it is so fun to re-live the characters and places. The first set of books I re-read were the Grisha series.


Secondly, I hit up The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I seriously, seriously have girl crushes on Karou and Zuzana! They are so amazing and I want to be their friend in real life. I want to go to Poison Kitchen, have goulash and an apple dessert. I want to meet Brimstone and work with the Chimera. I want to be part of this book, so badly! Send me to Morocco NOW - after a small stop in Prauge!

 
Do you re-read? What books do you want to re-read the most?

Review of All In (The Naturals Series #3)

 Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days.

After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team's unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code—and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes.

Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there's been a break in her mother's case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds—and impossible choices.


Since I waited so long between the first and second book in The Naturals series, I decided I would binge 2 and 3 in a much more respectable amount of time. LOL. I was glad I started the third one, the second was fairly slow for me, but the 3 book went right into the action.

Likes:
  • Things are tied together. I really don’t want to give anything away, but things come around and situations are clarified. I liked how we were give me inside knowledge.
  • The Fibonacci Sequence the main aspect of the murders was really interesting. I also love the setting of Las Vegas.
  • Even though Cassie and Dean are not very snuggly, I do love the briefest of looks into their little romance.
  • I love that these teens are teens. They rebel, the make stupid decisions but for the most part, they get what they need to done. I just feel like they are true to real life, well as real life as teens working with the FBI would be.
  • I love all the kids quirks. I laughed out loud a few times at Lia. I love Sloane mind. They are just so fun and written so distinctly.

Gripes:
  • The ending got complicated. It set up for the fourth book but who knows when we get our hands on that. It would have been nice to get pieces of the puzzle on the whole background a little earlier so that it wasn’t all dumped on you at the end. There are parts in this book, like the others where the villain’s POV is show, I would have liked some of the information put into those chapters.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24849026-all-in



Review of Leave Your Mark

Aliza Licht is a social media superstar. A global fashion communications executive, she is the voice behind the wildly popular @DKNY PR GIRL twitter feed that now boasts over half a million followers. Known for her chatty and intimate tone, she has also become beloved for her top-notch career advice and her enthusiasm for mentoring. Thousands of online conversations have led to many a coffee, mentoring strangers. But who can have coffee with everyone who asks? LEAVE YOUR MARK is her way of grabbing that coffee.

Now, in her first book, Aliza is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada-esque moments and insider secrets. Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience as a top fashion publicist, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers (“ ‘To Whom It May Concern’ never concerns anyone”) and for people who are well on their way (“Don’t just learn your job, learn everyone else’s”). With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self. 


A few month ago I was looking to transition my career in mortgage from the operations side of mortgage, to actual origination. I decided to prepare for my interview and for some general good life advice, I would pick up some books. I started with Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht. I am happy to say that I landed the new job at the beginning of February and am now working as a loan assistant to two of our loan officers. I am really liking the position and almost regret not making the move years ago!

Likes:
  • Even though I have nothing to do with the fashion industry, Aliza’s advice worked for all careers.
  • I loved the personal stories and experiences that were mixed in with advice and lists of do’s and don’ts. It made the read a lot more enjoyable and entertaining.
  • Aliza had a great amount to say and could back it up with her personal experience. Sometimes you don’t know if the person really can “walk the walk” but Aliza really made a name for herself.
Gripes:
  • Not a whole lot of gripes. Honestly, it was mostly stuff I know from working for the last 10 years in my chosen profession. BUT, that being said, the book would be great for newbies just coming on the field. This would be an awesome college graduation gift!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23197565-leave-your-mark

Review of Not if I See You First

The Rules:

Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.


Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Eric Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

I received Not if I See You First from lovely Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale. I didn't know much about it, so honestly, it sat a really long time before I finally decided to read it. I should have picked it up a lot early, because I really enjoyed it and read it quickly!

Likes:
  • I am not sure if I have really read any other books with a main character that was blind. It was so interesting to get inside Parker's head and "see" from her POV. I love books that give you insight into the lives of others and help us accept each other's differences.
  • Parker's story was TOUGH. I can't imagine going through everything she has and I am not sure I would have come out the same way she did. I think I would have a lot more anger and self-pity. Parker had a some fear, self-doubt and a walls around her, but it was realistic and it really helped me relate to her character.
  • Scott, swoon over Scott. I really don't want to ruin anything, but I have to add that in.
  • The friendship base in the book is awesome. It was honest, realistic and raw. I loved how strong it was and how well-written.
  • I was really impressed with Eric Lindstrom's writing. Not if I See You First was his debut novel and he started brilliantly. I was so impressed by how well he wrong a female voice.

Gripes:
  • I don't honestly know exactly why but the whole relationship with Sheila really bugged me. I felt like something was missing, I wanted more of a resolution with the whole thing.
  • I also would have really liked for Parker's aunt to come around and start understanding Parker better, I think it was in the fringes, but it felt like an important part for me. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22701879-not-if-i-see-you-first

Top Ten Tuesday with 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads


I am a little tough with 5 stars, so some of these I have read quite a while ago. I have been going back through and reading some favorites, so that is also why Throne of Glass, The Grisha series and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are on the list!