March Book Haul

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera“Meet Arthur and Ben. Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when the boys have a chance meeting at the post office, they leave wondering what exactly the universe does have in store for them. What if – in a city of eight million people – they can’t find each other again? What if they do … and then can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?”

Girl Made Of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake“Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.”

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown“Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work. But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the same time we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection and courage to start.”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – March

 

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 9th March to 9am on Sunday 10th March in your time zone. My focus for this round is to just get back into the swing of reading. I’ve been in a major reading slump lately, so I’m hoping spending the weekend with some easy books will help kick-start my motivation. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

March TBR

 

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus“A perfect town is hiding secrets. Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it? Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears. As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.”

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the `80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

People Like Us by Dana Mele“Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make… not something that happened.”

February Empties

 

evo Mane Tamer Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner – Every now and then I come across a product that smells so good I want to eat it. This is one of those products. The scent of the conditioner reminded me of caramel mudcake, which lingered on my hair and made for a very pleasant hair-washing experience. Besides that and more importantly, as a shampoo & conditioner these both worked really well. My hair can get a bit dry and frizzy during summer, and these helped to tame my fly-aways during that time. I would definitely consider purchasing the full sized versions of these in the future.

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner – I rotate between three different Paula’s Choice toners, and this is my favourite. It makes a noticeable difference in the hydration levels of my skin, and is a lifesaver during the times of the year when my skin is drier than usual. I tend to pick up one of each toner when I place my Paula’s Choice orders, so no doubt I’ll be cycling back around to this again soon.

Tony & Guy Flexible Hold Hairspray – I told myself I needed to use up all of my hairspray stash before repurchasing another of my holy grail (O&M Queenie, for those playing at home), and this was the last product I needed to finish. To be honest, Sebastian used up most of this tube because he has discovered that the best way to tame his hair is not gel, it’s hairspray. This did a good job of both holding a curl in my fine hair, and maintaining control of his extremely thick and wavy hair.

Glasshouse Candle in The Hamptons (teak & petitgrain) – I picked this up to burn in our living room because it’s such a fresh and light scent. I love using Glasshouse candles in our living areas because the throw of the scent is far enough to fill a large space. I had a couple of friends comment on how nice this scent was while they were visiting, which is the sign of a good home fragrance for me.

Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle – This has been my little hair lifesaver for many years now. I try to pace myself with these because I don’t want to run out too soon, but one of these tubes is enough to give me three deep conditions of my hair. This never fails to leave my hair soft, silky, and shiny.

[sample] By Terry Baum De Rose – I was really disappointed by this. It had been hyped up for me for so long as being one of the best lip balms, but I found it to be way too heavily scented and felt like it was so thick that it just sat on my lips rather than moisturising them. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t fall madly in love with this, because it’s certainly not an inexpensive product.

February Book Haul

 

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus“A perfect town is hiding secrets. Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it? Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears. As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.”

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…”

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall“Jess is stranded in the woods. She has few supplies and only her dog for company. Her survival skills are limited, and she has disabilities that make physical labor a challenge. And winter is on its way. How did she get here? Alternating between the past and the present, this tightly-paced novel tells the story of a girl who survived a car crash that killed her mother, then was pulled from foster care and sent to live with her estranged survivalist father in the remote Canadian wilderness. Jess was just beginning to get to know her dad when a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving their cabin burned to the ground and Jess’s father dead. Now, Jess must fight with everything she has to forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. But she will survive. She has to survive. Because she wants revenge.”