Well, I read it in literally an afternoon, I could not put it down. I have not read many bodyguard romances, but this was a reverse of that, she was the bodyguard and I loved the dynamic. It was super cute. I am going to start it out with that, it was very cute with a lot of tropes that I really enjoy. Some that I for sure do not though, but those were minor in this one.
Alright, per usual with these there might be spoilers so roll with me and if you want to read this one, don’t read this review. That’s just what it is at this point.
I love the character of Hannah, she’s so much fun, the beginning starts out so sad for her though losing her mom and then her boyfriend dumping her literally the day after the funeral. I did not like the character of Robby, there are plenty of characters in fiction that I would really like to kick; he is one of them. Then he sleeps with her work bestie, not cool my guy, not cool.
So, she gets an assignment to protect Jack, who looks like Zach Efron on the cover of the book. It is just an observation, nothing more. I love his character and their meet cute of him thinking she was his housekeeper was hilarious. Then she flips him over her shoulder and I knew that of course they would end up together.
There is a scene with cows which I loved so much! Like the banter in this book is amazing, such good banter.
There are so many twists and turns in this as Hannah and Jack start to work together and then she has to be his fake girlfriend because his mom is sick and they don’t want to worry her because he is being stalked. So, she has to go with him and you watch this amazing relationship bloom. You find out really early on that his brother died in a car accident and there are some really conflicting stories about it throughout. Until it is revealed late in the story what actually happened.
So she has to leave because someone threatens “the girlfriend” and she is forced off his case. She goes to Thanksgiving they make out a little and he asks her on a date for the next day.
Then there is a rejection and it almost made me throw the book across my living room. I was so mad! When I tell y’all that I was livid, I was! Then you find out that there is someone in his house threatening his life and then Hannah gets to put her skills to use.
Of course it is a happy ending and I was so happy that it was a happy ending because if it wasn’t, man I would have been upset. The epilogue was a little long for me, but I also am not a huge fan of epilogues, I have written a few, but they are not my favorites.
I need to talk about the book stylistically. Just for a second. It was a super cute read content wise and story progression wise, no spice, which is totally fine in a romantic comedy. It didn’t have a lot of detail, there were pages that were just dialogue and I was confused at times who was speaking. That’s okay and I know that some writers don’t do sweeping prose, I am guilty of that in my own writing. But the lack of dialogue tags or extra descriptions was jarring.
I loved the banter; it was only 302 pages so it was a short little beach read and I really enjoyed it. I liked that it was from one perspective even though I would love to have seen some of it from Jack’s point of view because I want to see when he really fell for her. I want to see when he went all heart eyes for her. I think it’s mentioned in the book, but I loved it.
So, this book was really good and if you are looking for a cute little palette cleanser, (which I for sure did) this one is for sure for you.
If you want to check out what else I have read from Book of the Month this year, you totally can because all of those posts are already live: January, February, March, April, May, and June.
I will be back later in the week for another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!
It’s July, like seriously, how? At this point time is a construct that I no longer subscribe to, I don’t feel like it anymore.
I wrote somewhere around 250,000 words last month, I actually think it was more than that so I didn’t get as much read as I would have liked so I am hoping that in July I can read 12 books, I really am, but if I don’t, I am not going to stress out about it.
I am opening this for the first time on the 2nd because I finished a book, I started in June but just didn’t have the want to finish. The book was amazing, but I just didn’t want to read.
So, without unnecessary pausing, I will get right into it, enjoy.
The Cartogrpahers by Peng Shepherd (4.2/5)
It was so good; it took me a while to get into and the ending left me with questions and a need for a wrap up. I love realistic fantasy and the idea of hidden Easter eggs in maps being like they are in this book was fascinating. I really liked the murder mystery element of it as well, it almost read like an escape room. I don’t know how else to describe it, I for sure had a few “holy plot twists Batman!” moments in this one as well. There was one that I called about halfway through. I normally don’t like interstitial chapters in books, but here they told a very important story within the story that tied the past and present together and that was so important for the story as a whole. It was beautifully written and I would for sure read a sequel if there was one to happen eventually.
One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau (3/5)
It was fine. I liked parts of it for sure but other parts felt thrown in like the editor said “we need more pages”, it has the miscommunication trope which is never something that I really enjoy. It was messy, it was just a little messy and it felt rushed and then too slow and the characters were flat. It is this love story where they meet and then she disappears and he’s searching Paris for it, she’s in it like 30 pages so I didn’t feel the romance of it. There was a good chunk of the book where I thought that she was like a time traveler or from an old film or something, it was a lot. She wasn’t. The ending felt rushed and cramped which was a little weird for the pacing of the rest of the novel. It ended happy so that was good.
The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins (3/5)
There was so much potential in this one. Like the first chapter and the epilogue, that’s the story I want. That’s what I want to read. The modern twist of it all, but like it was a lot. No shame or hate to the author, I loved the concept but for me there were a lot of things that just weren’t great. Like the mention of SA was not cool, also just the treatment of the concept of sex as well. There were just some things that hit me wrong, like Aisling she changed so much and I understand that trauma changes someone but she did a complete 180 in like fifteen pages. There were so many story lines and so many that just felt rushed in and then unfinished. Anything with the French king made my skin crawl. I had such high hopes for this book, but it wasn’t for me and that’s okay. I know that not every book will be my favorite and when I bought this I might have enjoyed it more, that is the reason for the TBR, to weed my collection. This one will be weeded at the end of the year.
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (4.3/5)
This was my July Book of the Month, so there is a whole post that will be coming out in a few days. I know that I say this every month with my BoTM’s and it’s still true. I am a huge fan of this book though; it was really cute after some disappointing books in the last few weeks. Really cute banter, body guard rom com, and I loved it so much!
Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip (4/5)
I saw this in Barnes and Noble several years ago and the cover was what caught me. I knew nothing about it but I wanted it and I pined over it for months because it looked so good. It did not disappoint, normally I don’t read short stories and novellas, this was a collection of them. My two favorites were The Gorgon in the Cupboard and Something Rich and Strange which was the novella. It was all wonderfully weird and written with such beautiful prose. Some of the stories I expected different things but I was never disappointed. If you like quick reads this one for sure is one because it’s 6 short stories and a novella they are very quick reads and I would read a whole book with the two stories that I mentioned about, whole novels.
Twisted Hate by Ana Huang (4.4/5)
Check the content and trigger warnings, I will always say that with romance novels that are not 100% romantic comedies. This one was…so spicy and like 500 pages. I read it in two days because I got sucked in. There are for sure some triggers for people, little degradation which in real life could not be into, it was rough and a little violent. I love Josh and Jules though, also if they would have involved Alex early on everything could have been avoided because having Alex in their lives just would have made it so much easier. I loved all the twists and turns and of course watching the enemies with benefits go to loving each other, it wouldn’t be a romance novel if they didn’t. I love a good romance though so do not get me wrong. We see so much more of Jules and her story in this one, it is her story, but from what we saw in Twisted Love and Twisted Games she is a very deep character and I was happy to read her story. I also had to remember who Christian was because he’s in the next one. A couple of pages in my copy did come out which is super unfortunate (thanks Amazon) but that’s an aesthetic issue, also there were some spelling and grammar errors, but I can overlook those for the rest of the story that had me laughing so many times.
The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu (3.5/5)
Spoilers, I expected more library less children being drained for their youth. I really did. Like spoilers, I expected something wholly different, more dark academic less horror. It was good, it took me a while to get into it and that is totally fine. I will still probably read the second one. I didn’t anticipate the villain, not at all actually and I was shocked when it was revealed. I wish there would have been more context on what happened in Edinburgh so it got that way. (I might have just missed that part and if I did, oops.) I loved the characters though and I cannot wait to see where they go from here.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (4/5)
I read the seventh and eighth or the eighth and ninth to be honest several years ago so I know some of the things that happen down the road, I think I need to read them again to really appreciate them. I loved this one, I love the character of Sherlock Holmes because he is so much and such a piece of literary canon that just transcends history. I am not thinking about the age gap in this series because, again, I know what happens. Unless I read the other books incorrectly. I wasn’t sure how I would like this one but I got sucked into it hardcore. It was fun and a lot, but everything with Sherlock Holmes is, honest and truly is.
Solsbury Hill by Susan M. Wyler (2.2/5)
And that score is generous. I should have known how the book was going to go when she caught her boyfriend cheating on her like 20 pages in. I literally finished it in an afternoon so I could be done with it. I have a lot of feelings and most of them are not positive. This one was not for me, I thought that Emily Bronte’s ghost was cool but some of the word choice and just the writing in general was not for me. I was spending the whole-time live texting my cousin because I needed someone else to experience this trainwreck with me. Her mom cheated on her dad so her dad isn’t her dad, there is a family curse because their Bronte’s, she forgives the guy who cheats on her. Like girl, run! Her career which sounded super interesting was just pushed to this back burner and it was weird. It was not great, I wanted to like it so much because the premise sounded cool, it was awful. It ended with her pregnant, so cliché, so boring. It was predictable and I was just waiting for it to get interesting and it never did, it was like throwing all of the romance clichés into one book and then saying “good”. Some of this book for sure gave me the ick, it just did and that is 100% my opinion, if you liked this book, cool, it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect with the main character, I just couldn’t. I have read at least a half dozen books this year where so many of these same things happen.
The Devil’s Workshop (Murder Squad #3) by Alex Grecian (3.7/5)
The first two were better. Like the most interesting character in this one was Jack the Ripper. It felt messy, it really did. I loved the first two that focused on each of these characters and really built something with them. This one felt like a letdown. There are two more in the series which I will read, but at this moment, I don’t really have high hopes for them. I want to, I really do. I love Victorian era fiction, Jack the Ripper is fascinating, and I have read a lot of Victorian fiction with Jack the Ripper as a character in the last few years. I just couldn’t connect with this one. Walter felt very flat, the whole plot and premise felt rushed and then non-existent and I spent time confused.
Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (3.5/5)
I am no longer the target audience for this novel, if I would have read it when it came out in 2016, I would have been a lot closer than I am in 2022. I watched a lot of YouTube at the time and so of course I bought YouTuber books. I liked the first Girl Online when I read it in 2016. I really did at the time. My life has changed since then. It was a good story; it was a cute coming of age novel that was predictable and that’s totally okay. The twists and turns weren’t super twisty, but I am also not the target demographic for this anymore and I feel that bares repeating. I am glad that I did own the trilogy and have for years so I was able to finish it and then I can move on since I have been reading it on and off for the last 8 years.
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (4/5)
I normally don’t read YA, we all know this but this one was so hyped on TikTok and honestly, for good reason. It’s so much! There were so many moments where I was left questioning who to trust and what would happen next. I loved the world building and the characters. I will be reading the next one, I have seen stellar reviews on 2 and 3 but not the fourth one and that’s a little concerning. I kind of want her and Thorn together, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I like the trope of enemies to lovers. Like it’s an arranged marriage and you find out why. It took me a while to get into but then I did and I couldn’t put it down. The world that was spun in this book was amazing, it was deep and rich and I cannot wait to eventually get my hands on the next one. Soon even though I won’t read it for months.
Well, I read a dozen books in July. I was hoping to read a few more, but part of July was lost to me because I got sick, so I didn’t do as much as I was planning on. I am excited to finish off my TBR and I am really really hoping to get that done in August. I only have seven books left on my actual TBR pre-planned list from last year for this year so I am hoping to get that done by the end of the August so I can move on and mood read. I want to be able to mood read because I have bought a lot of books this year so far and I have so many more on the list.
General Fiction: 9/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, The Royal We, The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul, One Evening in Paris, Solsbury Hill, Girl Online: Going Solo, )
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 6/9 (because one has been DNFed) (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny, The Map of Time, Dreams of Distant Shores, )
Historical: 9/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, A Study in Death, In Falling Snow, Sea of Lost Love, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, )
Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)
Free Choice: 12/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Study in Ashes, A Clockwork Heart, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Beast’s Heart, A Court of Wings and Ruin, The last Days of Magic, The Devil’s Workshop, )
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)
General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)
Book of The Month: 7/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, The Bodyguard, )
Extras: 19/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games, A Not So Meet Cute, Not the Witch You Wed, Hot Vampire Next Door S3, Hooked, The Flatshare, The Cartographers, Twisted Hate, The Library of the Dead, A Winter’s Promise, )
July has been a rough month, this was supposed to be out like weeks ago so I have a feeling that by the time you are reading this, it’s August. I just finished up book 70, that’s right, my original goal this year was 50 and then 75 and now it’s 100. Hyper fixation, how you be?
I feel like these posts are repetitive but at this point, I’m okay with it. It’s just May and June and you can get a more in depth look at what I read with what I read in May and June and my Book of the Month Books for May and June. I love linking posts, if you have been around for any length of time, you know that already.
May: (I am for sure in my living room and my journal is in my office so I have to go grab that like an idiot.)
Cover: Vines, I don’t remember what possessed me to do this pattern and if I would do it again, I would do it differently. I like the idea; the execution is a little rough. The quote is from The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab which was my top book of the first half of this year. Like it beat out A Court of Mist and Fury so you know how much I liked it.
Books Read: May was rough, I didn’t read all that much, I only read 9 books, one was for school and I unhauled three. One that I should have DNFed from page one.
Thoughts: I still love the condensed view of my thoughts on books that are sometimes different from what I say about the books in my blog posts. May was rough though, super rough.
Stats: I bought a lot of books, I haven’t bought many this month so that’s good but in April and May, I bought a bunch, most of them were from Book Outlet so I didn’t pay full price for many of them and books are my one thing at the moment. I didn’t have any five-star books in May either and reading felt like a chore throughout the month.
Recap: Finally seem to have a color scheme I like and that’s about where we are. I also have decided to change my colors for next year in regard to my genre breakdown, I am not going to have a “free choice” slice I am just going to have them by genre.
Book Stack: I wished there were more books here, and more books that I enjoyed this month.
Between: Tropes, I could add so many more now, but I haven’t recently.
Cover: Beach balls, I grew up on a Great Lake, we would usually go like once a year and beach balls are fun. The quote is Roald Dahl and that’s fun.
Books Read: June was another rough reading month; I am being completely transparent about that. I unhauled three and DNFed one because I could not read it. I DNFed the whole series because of the first one.
Thoughts: I had a lot of thoughts, so many thoughts. Some not so great about books that I didn’t enjoy. Again, the whole reason for my physical pre-planned TBR is to go through my collection and weed. You will notice some of my book covers are missing, that’s because they aren’t printed yet. I will get around to it eventually.
Monthly Stats: 9 books, would have been 10 but I DNFed one, I didn’t buy a bunch which was great and I had two five-star books, I had some that I didn’t enjoy though so it balances.
Recap: You can see why I want to do a different genre breakdown next year, actually moving forward this year because I don’t think that this one is working for me. I read so many paperbacks!
Book Stack: I am starting to get the hang of doing it, it’s just a lot.
Between: My top books to buy, I have a list on Amazon, I already bought both of these books because Barnes and Noble had a sale in April, I regret nothing.
Well, there it is, May and June. If you want to check out part 1 or part 2 of this series, cool, you totally can.
I hope that until I am back (hopefully) later in the week with another post that everyone has a good week and stays safe, happy, and healthy.
This is my last IPSY Glam Bag Plus post, it’s been over four years since I started getting IPSY and I jumped on the GB+ when it came out, I liked it for a long time. Now I just am not finding the joy in it. One day I might go back to it, but it just doesn’t feel like it aligns with my interests anymore. I have pretty much unsubscribed from all of my lifestyle stuff. I switched to a book box because that’s more in line for what I want now. I have been moving toward a larger book model for a long time because in truth that is my lifestyle. I am much more bookish than I am fashionable.
I wrestled with this decision for a while, I did and I don’t regret it. I have watched this brand grow and change for four years and while I enjoyed it, price increases and the feeling that my choices were becoming more and more less what I wanted or needed I made the decision.
So, one final time. I have had this document up for days, I should probably just get it done.
It’s a cute little beachy wave pattern, in yellow and while with the drawstrings that look like those adjustable bracelets that we used to wear in the 90’s and 2000’s. I have seen then since then, but that’s my first thought were those bracelets.
Murad Acne Control Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF45:
I like Murad, that is no secret, no secret at all and I NEED to wear more SPF because I don’t wear enough. Though I also don’t go out in the sun much because at the moment it is 10:50 AM on a Monday and its 90 feels like 95, it might be up in the 100’s this afternoon. So, I should be wearing more sun protection when I am outside.
Araceli Beauty Tequila Highlighter in Blanco:
It’s a nice golden shade with a little bit of a bronze undertone, it diffuses nicely because like usual as I am writing this, I am swatching as I go, I am a mess and that is totally fine. I was never meant for the beauty community. I do like the shade though and it went on easily with not a lot of fall out and that’s always great when it comes to a highlighter. I do really like the brand Araceli as well; I have never had a product from them that I didn’t enjoy.
Sonäge Skincare Baby Frioz Mini Icy Globes in Lilac:
I saw things like this on a Buzzfeed video years ago and I chose this one because I was like “why not?” They look like a lot of fun and I am looking forward to giving them a try. I just have to really figure out how to use them. I know that I will because I have been getting more and more into facial care like this because facials as a whole a very expensive.
Volition Beauty Screen Time Hydra Mist:
There were no other choices that I wanted in this category, I think it’s supposed to protect you from blue light or something, or it just hydrates you, I really don’t know. It came in a plastic bag and I’m glad it did because it leaked in transit so I had oil everywhere when I finally opened it up. I had to wash the bottle because it was so oily. It feels nice though, I am usually a person who if I need a hydrating mist, I use rose water, but we are giving this a try.
Kimchi Chic Beauty Thailor Bronzer in Went to Malibu:
Okay, it diffuses out nicely but it’s too dark for me. I swatched it and now my hand just looks like I got into cocoa powder. I like the packaging and it went on alright, but it’s just too dark for me. That was a huge problem I had with IPSY; they choose these colors that they think will work but are usually too dark for me because I am so fair. They have to make sure they are doing the best for everyone which is great, but if I can’t use it, it feels like a waste. I might be able to make it work, but I would have to buff and blend it out almost completely.
So here we are, the end of an era, the end of a chapter in my blog journey and that is totally okay. Tastes change and I am not going to stagnate in my journey through life. Life is the hardest thing you will ever do so I am moving on from this. It doesn’t bring me the same amount of joy that it used to so I am moving on from it.
I was not sure if I was going to reveal the books that I was unhauling before the end of the year, but at this point it’s something like 20 at the end of July so I will be doing a January-June post and a July-December post. I will probably have less in the second half because most of the books I am unhauling are from my TBR, not the books I am buying and mood reading. I think there has been one this year from that list that I am unhauling.
This was kind of the reason to have a TBR pile, to pick 50 books from the ones that I currently own and read them. I want to weed out books from my permanent collection that I don’t want in my permanent collection. I have two full bags in my living room of books from last year and books from previous years that I have decided to part with. If I made TikTok’s I would for sure make a video on this because let’s be real at this point my blog is a lot more book centered than anything else and I can’t say I am upset about it.
Another quick note, I might decide to unhaul more books from the beginning of the year as we get closer to the end, I don’t know yet so if that happens, I will add them to the second half of this post set.
All of these are my personal opinions, if you love these books, I love that for you, reading preference is subjective and you might hate the books that I love. That’s what’s cool about reading, we all can read and enjoy what we want. So, don’t come on here and tell me that you loved the book and I’m awful. Even my reading preferences have changed since last year, so roll with me.
So, like I said, I am unhauling a bunch of books and I am just going to mention them and the reason why and then move on, I will link all of them back to their original reviews if you want to have more information. That’s going to be so much of a pain when I get around to posting this, well that’s okay, it’s for me to worry about and you to click if you want to.
I’m doing it by month, I changed my mind so I can just link the month because work smarter not harder or whatever. We’re doing it live.
I don’t remember much of this book; I had to go back and look at the blog post. It was boring and a lot of threads were just not pulled together right. It was super predictable and it did not age well from when it was published. It was cute, but not enough for me to keep.
Buffering by Hannah Hart
I know that people aren’t going to be happy about that one. I was not the target audience for it. I liked My Drunk Kitchen for a long time but I was also more into YouTube at the time. I have several YouTuber books that I have gotten rid of over the years and some that I loved. This one just wasn’t for me and that’s totally cool because it will speak to someone else so much louder than it ever could have for me.
In the Shadow of Paris by Claude Izner
It was like the second or third in the series and I was confused and bored. I don’t remember the mystery or any of the characters, there was no impact for me. The formatting and character shifts were confusing as well and just something that I couldn’t jive with.
I thought it was going to be something very different, I love The Nutcracker, I didn’t like this one. The pacing was weird and I spent a lot of time confused. So much time confused.
Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
Interesting concept, didn’t expect the espionage and it’s based in true events. I said in my first review of this I expected more radio less espionage and that is still true. It wasn’t for me and that’s totally cool I promise.
This book had so many things that give me the ick and apparently that was not how the movie went. Like I have read some bad books this year, this one is in the top five and it’s going, it’s going no matter what. I wasn’t engaged and I was so lost and frustrated with all the tropes that were thrown in.
I liked this book, but it’s not permanent collection material. It was a good one time read though there was a moment where it almost got thrown across my office, we don’t support incest in this house!
Delicious by Ruth Reichl
The ending was disappointing and terrible, the love story was weird, the main character was annoying and I just didn’t like it. It had some fun bits but for the most part it was annoying. I loved so much of it but the last 75 pages or so ruined it and I do mean ruined it for me.
I should have DNFed this one. I hated it, it had so much potential but it was lies and not fantasy and I didn’t like it. It triggered me from the first page and I was so against DNFing at the time I let this throw me into a book slump. I already put the second one in my donation bag not even cracked open.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
When I bought it, I would have enjoyed it, it was annoying. Too much useless and needless drama and it was William and Kate, but she makes out with his brother. There is a second one, I don’t care about it. There were times I was cry laughing but then there were times I was reading ahead. If it was like half the pages with about half the drama, I probably would have been really on board with it.
In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl
I enjoyed parts of it, I really did but I was so confused through others. I spent a lot of time wondering exactly when in the present it was and you find out all the family drama that just is insane. Like so many twists and I loved the historical part, the rest of it was just ehh for me.
The Sleeping King by Bill Flippin and Cindy Dees (DNF)
I don’t DNF books we all know this. I got like 4 chapters in and I couldn’t keep going, like the forced breeding that is implied, I couldn’t. I was done. It was like someone’s D&D game threw up. I didn’t like it. I have already put the whole series in my donate bag.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
It was cute, I wouldn’t read it again and I didn’t love it enough to keep it. It had a lot of really cute moments but I got triggered by Tiffy’s ex and then the miscommunication trope just didn’t do it for me. Leon’s parts read like a TV script and it was odd, the prose just made it weird.
The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul by Douglas Adams
It was interesting, but every time I read Douglas Adams, I don’t like it. I love it as a TV series or movie, but not a novel. The concept was interesting I just struggled through it. Dirk wasn’t actually in it all that much if felt like and the story with Thor and Kate was what kept me reading, nothing else.
Sea of Lost Love by Santa Montefiore
This one took months to get into it felt like. I read it quickly because it was a compelling story but there was just a lot of weird in it. The parts in Italy were the most fun, but still a little weird overall.
I said this in my June post, just because I unhaul a book doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, I enjoyed a few of the books on here, but these are books that I don’t want in my permanent collection. I read a lot, I write even more, and I spend a lot of time in fictional worlds with fictional character so if I don’t love it, I don’t keep it.
Well, I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy out there.
Well, it is the end of an era for a lot of my subscription boxes, my current ones anyway. I have moved away from the need and necessity to have a bunch of beauty subscriptions in my life and with the rising cost and lack of real interest in in anymore. I have decided to cancel my IPSY Glam Bag and Glam Bag Plus subscriptions. I will miss getting the bags every month and maybe in the future I will go back, but for right now these bags no longer align with my interests.
I have been thinking about this for a few months now and with the price increase, that kind of threw it over the edge for me of, I think I need to be done with it for a while. I feel like some days when I write these posts, I do write them more for me than anyone else and that’s okay.
It’s a cute blue wave pattern with a starfish zipper pull, that is one really cool thing that they have been doing more recently is a really cool zipper pull. I will for sure give them that one as I move though this post. I like the texture of the bag but overall; it’s not my favorite. While I do like a simple bag, it’s just not one of my all-time favorites.
I miss the cards telling you what you go so much. Like I have to sit with the emails open when I write these posts because of it.
Marc Anthony Grow Long Restoring Anti-Breakage Mask:
I like the leave in conditioner that comes from this line, it’s nice. A little drying but nice. I don’t use a log of masks but if this is a leave in, I might have to give it a try. It’s not, I will still give it a try, but hair masks are just not something that I do. I will still try it out and I am hoping that maybe I will like it as much as I like the leave in conditioner.
Beauty Creations Dare to Be Bright Eyeshadow Palette in Bossy:
It’s very orange. Not for me. I will be completely honest about that, I don’t wear a lot of… actually I don’t wear orange, maybe on spirit days at school but other than that I am not an orange person. Also (through no fault of IPSY probably) the palette smelled terrible the moment I opened it. Like if you know what fish food smells like, you know. The matte shades are a little streaky and now my fingers smell not great so that’s not a good sign.
Barefoot Venus Ruby Red Macadamia Oil Body Cream:
I have a lemon Barefoot Venus lotion on the table next to my couch and I love it, I think that I chose this one, I don’t actually remember at the moment. It smells I think like grapefruit and that is something that I will never be mad about. It is a little thinner than my other one which is totally fine and their packaging is always so interesting, pin-ups and all that as I am singing Lady Marmalade in my head. It feels nice though and for the most part, that is all that matters to me in a hand or body cream, does it feel good and does it smell good without making me break out.
Prestige Waterproof Automatic Eyeliner in Smoky Green:
I don’t wear eyeliner. I haven’t worn eyeliner since these twist up pencils became cool in like 2004. This one is glittery and a dark green. I am not going got pretend that the packaging plastic wrap didn’t fight me for a solid three minutes until I finally got it off. Like if I was supposed to come up with some sort of look for this it would be Florida Gators with the orange eyeshadow palette and the green eyeliner. I feel like I am ragging on his bag because it’s my last one, but I am glad that it is because green eyeliner. Like if you like green eyeliner more power to you, you do you, but it is not for me.
Alphah Liquid Gold Exfoliating Tonic:
I don’t know what it is actually, and the packaging was hard to get open. I am being completely honest with this one. It’s an expholant with glycolic acid, I am super careful with acids on my body because I have sensitive skin. I will give it a try when I actually get a chance to read up on it, but until then it’s going to stay sealed. I will figure it out, because helping with natural expholiation is fine until you look like a tomato and everything burns.
I wish I had nicer things to say about this bag but it really was a swing and a miss for me and just seeing the items that I have been getting, no matter the shortages and everything else just haven’t been for me anymore. Like they take the beauty quiz and throw it out the window. I don’t remember what I picked this month but it was for sure a dud of a bag for me.
I will be sad to see it go; I have been getting it for four years but I am a different person now than I was when I started getting this bag. A much different person and I would rather spend money on books than products I am just going to stick in a box and not use. I have found that about myself. I have a box full of this stuff and I keep saying, ‘I’m going to use it’ and then I never do. So, at least for now, it’s time for me to move on from it.
I am closing this chapter for my blog which is weird because IPSY was one of the first things that I really started posting, but we all grow up and our tastes change. So until my next post, which will be later in the week I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
I’m going to be thinking about this book for weeks if not the rest of the year! I need to start out with that. There will probably be spoilers in this post so if you want to read it (which you totally should!) I will see you for the next post.
I have had Book of the Month for a year now and this book blew me away! It’s going on the favorites shelf because I need it in my permanent, ‘I keep this out all the time’ collection and recommend it to everyone I know!
It has so many twists and turns and I love all the magic throughout the story. I got real sad several times because Chelsea, don’t kill my fave character! I love the bodyguard; I love him so much. Like I want a jinn bodyguard! It for sure took me a little while to get into it and then when I did, I watched a film in my head with it.
This book has amazing and dimension characters, a brilliant story, and imagery that could rival an actual movie. I loved the building of the story through the relics and the tales told throughout. I loved this book and let’s be real I might change my score on it to a 5 eventually. I loved it.
I was so sad multiple times because there is a lot of death, like so much. The twist! I didn’t picture it until like a chapter or two before it happened and man, Omar’s a bitch. That’s it, that’s all I’m saying Omar a bitch. I don’t like to swear on here but he is and he deserves to be called as such.
I am so glad that it’s part of a trilogy because this one left it open and now. I need the next one, soon, please, I am begging you. (As someone who writes, I get that it takes a long time to plan, write, and publish (I am still always at the writing stage because I fear rejection)) Though normally I don’t want to read the next book right now. I do want this story to settle in me and this is for sure one that I could reread and that for me is rare.
I don’t know a lot of the myths but I loved the Forty Thieves in this, again, huge twist with this. There were so few threads that were left untied and that is so rare for a book. I cannot and I know that I just said this, I cannot wait for the next two.
I cannot wait to see the jinn city and learn more of the truth of Qadir. I cannot wait to see where she takes the characters next, I really can’t. I have certain things that I would like to happen, but they probably won’t.
If you want a book that touches on the old legend of the Forty Thieves and gives major Aladdin vibes, this book is so for you! A strong female lead, a bumbling but lovable prince, and a really bad ass and protective jinn bodyguard. Magic, jinn, sword fights, all of it. It was so good. I was also totally okay with the shifting perspectives and I am glad it was only three though I would have loved some chapters from Qadir’s point of view I think they would just be him groaning because the humans were getting into trouble.
I would say that if you are averse to a lot of mentions of death, suffering, and even torture be aware as you walk into this one. It’s not super focused on, but there is a lot of death involved throughout.
I was not expecting to have to start this document on June 1st, but here we are and I have already finished a book in June. So, I have to start the post. I am hoping to really knock a big chunk of my current physical TBR, I know that I have my TBR books and my extras books.
I am really hoping to read about 13 books this month, if not more. I have the time off so I might as well get some reading done and completed and all of that. I have some books I am really looking forward to reading this month.
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross (3.7/5)
This one was cute, I love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, I read all of it in a day. It was predictable because it is for sure a retelling so it is going to be predictable and the last like 20 pages were a little weird. I really enjoyed it though, it took me a little bit to get into but then I for sure got into it. I really liked the mirror mechanic in this one and all of the little twists and turns that were not in the Disney version. Beauty and the Beast is for sure one of my favorite Disney movies so when this was given to me as a gift, I was excited. I have not read the original fairytale but it is for sure a book I own and would like to read eventually.
Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher (4.5/5)
I picked this one up in March when I was on spring break in Indiana, it was the on the BookTok table, but I have never seen this book on BookTok. Who knows? It was super cute, accepting yourself and all of that. I laughed out loud more times than I would like to admit. I loved Violet and Lincoln’s dynamic and there are of course a lot of tropes that were utilized in this one. It’s of course a happy ending because it wouldn’t be a cute little rom com if there wasn’t a happy ending. I loved the characters and her grandmother is my favorite character in the whole book. I cannot wait for the sequel with her sister Rose as the main character (I think?) I looked at the synopsis for a total of three seconds before adding it to my want to read list. I really enjoyed this one and it was a super cute and quick read.
Hot Vampire Next Door Season 3 by Nikki St. Crowe (5/5)
I don’t rate many things five, that’s a hard rating for me to give out, but this one, this whole series has me in its clutches and I cannot wait for the next one! It all takes place over like 48 hours before to during Jessie’s pledge. Like all hell breaks loose and it let me on a cliffhanger! Nikki! Come on! Also, if Jessie and Bran don’t get a happy ending, I will riot, I will 100% riot, no one will know any peace. Like it’s spicy (real spicy and a little dark) and we got some from Bran’s perspective in this one. I cannot, it was so good! I got this like the moment it was released in paperback and then it burned a hole in my desk for two days while I read Not the Witch You Wed, it was so worth the wait though and if I really wanted to, I could read it on Kindle, but I like the tension of me checking Amazon several times a day after the ebook has been released for me to get it in paperback. There are also a lot of tie in plot lines with this one and an expanding world so here is my patiently, but not patiently at all waiting for her to give me more!
Hooked by Emily McIntire (4.5/5)
This was not supposed to be my next book, but I got three chapters into another book and got bored so I am going to work on that while I read other books or I am going to get bogged. A very dark reimagining of Peter Pan, hold crap was it spicy and like real dark romance. It was really good though, I read it in two sittings because I could not put it down. Like he’s not a hero, but at this point heroes are a little over rated, I love a good morally grey book boyfriend. It’s about revenge and family and loyalty and betrayal, that one thing can cascade events through time and space and it’s a lot. I have read a lot of Peter Pan themed fiction in the last year or so and this I think has been my favorite. Y’all there are a lot of trigger warnings with this one, if you want to look them up go and do it, it’s not for the faint of heart. I can promise that, it’s so good, but it’s dark.
The Sleeping King by Bill Flippin and Cindy Dees (DNF)
I don’t DNF and everyone who has been around my blog for a while knows that. I got like 40 pages in and it just…I didn’t like it. I have decided that I am going to DNF it and the rest of the series. Not every book is for everybody, and this one did threaten to throw me into a reading slump. So, I have chosen to let it go and move on. I am not going to count this toward my TBR now, I will pick another fantasy book from my Extras pile to replace this one. I just decided that this one isn’t for me and instead of slogging through 600 pages or skimming, I’m moving on. I should have done that with a number of books in May and I regret it. This might be your favorite book, but I felt like I was reading a weird transcript of someone’s D&D campaign, also with the forced breeding insinuation and aspect at the beginning, nah, I’m good.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (3.5/5)
It was a cute book; the premise was really fun. There were just some things that rubbed me as a person the wrong way. I loved Leon and Tiffy and the whole concept of getting to know someone through post-it’s that is so cute and I do mean so cute. The unhinged ex-boyfriend, that hit me, that was weird and like emotional manipulation and gaslighting is never okay in a relationship. If you do something wrong, own it. Don’t let someone feel like they aren’t good enough because you want to be right. I have dealt with emotional manipulation in life more than I would like to discuss and reading this it hit me. There were some things that I feel like got left or untethered, was there ever a restraining order? The epilogue was what lost me on it, it really was, it was cute and they finally get together and he proposes with notes but not with words, I understand being an introvert, but that was a lot. The writing style with Leon’s chapters was also more like a transcript than prose and it was odd. It was cute, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the cute little romcom, but I think that it will suit someone else’s bookshelf better.
The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul by Douglas Adams (2.8/5)
Okay, I loved the TV series, I really did it was so good and this series as a written model just doesn’t make any sense to me. I finished this because I had to. Like I liked the parts with Thor and Kate in them more than I liked the parts with Dirk Gently in them, I will be unhauling it because I don’t want them in my permanent collection. I skimmed a lot of it, I don’t and didn’t mean to skip pieces of it but I just couldn’t get into it like I wanted to. But I’m done with it and that’s fine. I know that Douglas Adams is one of those authors that so many people love, I just didn’t and that’s okay.
The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah (4.5/5)
This one was my June Book of The Month, it will have its own post up soon. I will be thinking about this book for the rest of the year! I loved it so much and I cannot wait for the other two! Like it took me a while to get into it and then I could not put it down, I loved the characters, the story, the imagery. The ending of this one, I cannot wait for the next one!
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)
It should shock no one that this series is a 5 for me. This book was amazing. I laughed so hard at some points and almost cried at others. Like there are so many twists and turns and a few times I for sure said “holy plot twists Batman” thanks to BookTok I know some things, but there was a part that my heart stopped beating in my chest. I was like Sarah! Sarah, don’t you do this to me. I love the bat boys, but I would be blind and stupid not to. A lot of people that I have seen on BookTok did not like this book all that much, I loved it. (I also finished the day I found out that I didn’t get a job I wanted so it hurt for a lot of different reasons.) A Court of Frost and Starlight is actually the last book on my TBR for this year so I am looking forward to reading that one too.
Sea of Lost Love by Santa Montefiore (3.5/5)
It took me a long time to get into it. Like it was a who-don-it with several interesting twists, I called most of them. The plot felt a little messy for me and I had some moments where I wasn’t sure whose perspective it was in. I enjoyed it for the feel-good parts of the story, not the espionage parts. The whole plot line with the priest was a little weird. The parts in Italy were the best, it was just a lot to be honest. I liked it, I have had it in my collection for a really long time and it was time to read it. If you like a British high-born family in the late 1950’s falling apart at the seams, this one is for sure for you.
I didn’t hit my 13 goal and that’s okay, I read a lot of big books this month and I took some days off. I also wrote over 250,000 words in June and that is so many words, like I finished drafting three books, as of right now and I still have two days left. I might get another in that I started this month. I have been off in my own head a lot and sometimes that means I don’t read as much.
I am unhauling four books this month, which is weird for me. I also unhauled a whole series because I got 40 pages in the first one and didn’t want to read anymore, so I am just letting the whole series go. I did still read quite a bit this month, I enjoyed most of the books that I read, I am going to say that. Just because I am unhauling the book does not necessarily mean I didn’t enjoy it. I just never plan on reading it again.
I want a library and I know that takes 1,000 books, but I want to make sure of those 1,000 books that I love every single one. I like a lot of books, but if I want them in my permanent collection, I have to love them. If the ones I unhaul are your favorite books, that’s totally okay! We all love what we love and we can get along, I promise, we don’t have to step on each other’s toes to just live.
If you want to check out what else I have read this year, you totally can because there are over 60 books now. January, February, March, April, and May!
Alright, I was going to give my normal end of post salutation, but with everything that’s happening in the world right now, stay safe out there. Be nice to each other. A lot of us are going through it.
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 6/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, The Royal We, The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul, )
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 5/9 (because one has been DNFed) (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny, The Map of Time, )
Historical: 8 /10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, A Study in Death, In Falling Snow, Sea of Lost Love, )
Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)
Free Choice: 10/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Study in Ashes, A Clockwork Heart, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Beast’s Heart, A Court of Wings and Ruin, )
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)
General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)
Book of The Month: 6/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, )
Extras: 16/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games, A Not So Meet Cute, Not the Witch You Wed, Hot Vampire Next Door S3, Hooked, The Flatshare, )
When I said that I wanted to live in a fantasy world I didn’t mean a dystopian one. That’s where I am going to leave that, right here at the top and let people decipher my meaning.
I’ve been struggling with doing my Bullet Journal this year, I think that the theme is what is making it challenging. I love Marvel, it’s my favorite, but it’s hard to theme everything to one character per month for me. Some people probably do it super well, I am clearly not one of them. I have my theme for 2023 already, but not 2024 I might go back to simple theming in 2024. I don’t know yet though, I am not there.
Alright so April, May, and June. I am still working on July; it’s just getting it colored because I have to do that. I am trying, but I am struggling. I haven’t started August yet and I might change the theming for August, I don’t really know yet. I am not feeling the theme that I had planned originally because I am not sure how I could make it work. So I might completely overhaul August.
Cover: Who doesn’t love Deadpool? I went simple, I feel like I am going simpler on my covers this year and that’s totally okay with me. I went all out last year and the year before and it was so much. I loved doing my really complex covers, but this year I just haven’t had the time or the want to really go all out with them. I am working on it, I am looking and saying “what can I do for this character that represents something that I can do to the ability of my artistic prowess?”
Mood Tracker: Unicorns, because of course. I love stained glass and I have been really using that this year because it is something that I can do. It’s Deadpool though and a unicorn stained glass window makes sense. It makes so much sense. April was a rough month for me at the end so there are some days that were not great for me. I had some betrayal in my life in late April so it was a rough go there for a while.
Last Page: You want to know where I stopped enjoying doing my Bullet Journal this year? Here, you can tell by this page, I loved the idea, but I never really finished it.
May: Iron Man
Cover: Iron Man is my favorite Marvel character, there is no lie there, he’s a lot. I loved Dum-E because that’s one of the funniest things in the film franchise. It took me a lot longer than I would like to admit to do this cover because it took me weeks to actually finish. It was fun to do though and I like the robot.
Mood Tracker: This scene in this film broke me, it broke me. I went with the snap and shards like the world was breaking apart, I had fun with this page. I really did, but I think this was the last page that I have actually had a lot of fun with. Sometimes life hits you and doesn’t let up, so here we are.
Last Page: Proof that Tony Stark has a heart, it was a fun thing from the movies that went from the first Iron Man to the close of the Infinity Saga. It got very sad, but again, here we are. I didn’t finish the background on this page either, but that’s where I am in life at the moment, it got done it was a lot of coloring and sketching so I just let it as is.
Cover: Ignore Spiderman in the center, I can’t draw people. We know this, we have known this for years. I wanted the cityscape and the webs so I rolled with it. It was a lot of coloring and stuff and it’s like my June cover last year a lot of lines. So many lines.
Mood Tracker: It’s a spider web, because duh, what else would I do for Spiderman? I regret some of my color choices because they are so close together, but other than that, it’s fine.
Last Page: I loved that scene in Civil War so I had to put it in where Spidey steals Cap’s shield, it’s a great scene and I wanted it in my Bullet Journal. My July theme is Captain America so you are going to be seeing a lot of the shield in the next post.
Well, that’s it for this one. I am hoping to find my joy again with my Bullet Journal because it’s a fun and such an important thing in my life. I enjoy working on it and I know that it helps me keep my life organized, but right now things are just so sucky and I hate it. If you want to check out the first three months of the year that is a thing that you can do because by now y’all know I love to link past posts.
I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then…I want to say stay safe, happy, and healthy, but we all know that there are people working against that. So for now I want everyone just to stay safe out there.
Okay, so here’s the deal…it’s fine. I didn’t get an email about personalization this time so the thing I really wanted was already sold out. Which is annoying, but maybe it’s just my mental state at the moment that is impeding my joy of these boxes. I don’t know.
This one just didn’t provide the joy that I am used to with these boxes. I don’t know, maybe my tastes are changing as I get older, who knows. I also understand that trying to get things right now is super difficult because you know the world is going to heck in a hand basket.
So, what did I get this time around though? I am going to go through all of it as to what I got, the options are no longer in the magazine so I can’t tell you the things that I didn’t pick unless I go on the app. In truth I didn’t even really look into the magazine. These are also not going to be in any particular order because I’m just running through it, note my enthusiasm! Seriously, I am only marginally excited for this one, and that means that I am leaning toward apathy, sorry.
Samara Should Bag in Peony:
It’s cute, it’s vegan leather and it’s a nice color. I like the closure on it so that’s exciting. I know that I chose this one, that I remember. It’s a basic bag and the thing that hit me when I opened it was the smell, it didn’t smell great but it’s vegan leather and it was in a hot box for a while so I cannot fault them for that. I can’t say that in real life I would pay the price tag on this one after seeing it in person, I wouldn’t and that is 100% a personal choice.
Z Gallerie Multi-Use Storage Duo:
The look like candle holders, I can for sure make stickers for them on my Circuit now and use them in my bathroom or somewhere else. They are basic and cute so I will find a use for them somewhere in my place. I think I chose these two because it was the only option that looked like something that I would want or use. I know I shouldn’t be saying it like that because there is a lot of time and thought that goes into these items and no shade. No shade at all, fff is just getting predictable and a little…kitschy.
New Balance Ab Wheel:
This is the first like workout item that I have seen in a while and I think I chose this one as well, I was actually really excited to get this one and I will be giving it a try when I get home from dogsitting. I love trying out new workout gear and this one looked like something that I wouldn’t accidently injure myself using. That is a fear y’all, a fear that is very real.
Lasting Smiles Soy Candle in Sea Salt and Citrus:
I have been reading the ACOTAR series and that’s described as one of the scents and I actually a huge fan of this candle and they provide money to charities with their candles so here we are. The packaging and glass is really simple which is great and I can’t wait to be able to burn it, I still live in an apartment so it’s going to be a while before I can. It’s got a 50 hour burn time which is also great because sometimes candles burn down so quickly it’s pathetic.
TF Publishing Co. Brain Teasers+ Activity Book Bundle:
They will be fun for road trips. Honestly this feels super juvenile to me, I know that people of all ages use activity books, but this is like the cactus cup and that jewelry holder for me, it’s really an odd choice to put in this box. I don’t think I chose this one, I honestly can’t remember at this point what I chose for this box. It’s fun, I have done a few of the puzzles, it’s just an odd choice for this type of box for me.
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisturizing CC Cream:
It’s for your hair? I think? I am honestly not sure and the container is at home so I can’t go look at it right now. It says 10 in 1 for your hair on the app so that’s that I’m going with, when I see CC I think about makeup not hair so here we are. I mean I will for sure try it, I was just confused about it until about five minutes ago when I looked it up on the app. Well, that’s fun, here we are and me being an idiot, it should shock no one.
Kayo Body Scrubber:
This was a random mystery item, I have seen fidgets like this, it’s interesting. I do not like how the back feels but I will give it a try in the shower, no matter how confused I am about it. I like how it feels with the little bristles though, that’s really nice. I will give it a try. I promise, this one just feels very random to put in the box.
I feel some feelings about this box, most of them are neutral, some are favorable, and some are negative. I don’t want to share them right now though because I feel like I have been complaining about fff for almost a year and I still continue to get it. I might stop, I honestly at this moment have no idea. If the fall box spoilers blow me out of the water I’ll keep it, if not I think I am going to say goodbye to this box for a little while, maybe circle back to it in a year or so. I don’t know. I really don’t at the moment and I know that with supply chain issues, with inflation, and with everything else that’s going on this is expected. I just don’t feel like I am getting the bang for my buck that I used to get with this box.
So, if you want to see what was in my spring box, you totally can because that post has been up since March. I will see everyone later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!