March TBR

 

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry – “When a school group of teenage girls goes missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Three decades ago, five young girls disappeared in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legend of ‘the Hungry Man’ still haunts locals to this day. Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, the local dealer and father of missing student Jasmine, instantly becomes the prime suspect. But Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size – with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation – everyone is hiding something, and bluffing is second nature. When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal – but that can’t explain why she was discovered barefoot, her shoes at the top of the cliff, laces neatly tied.”
 
Girl A by Abigail Dean – “Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.”
 
The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll – “Brett and Kelly Courtney are the shining jewels in a New York-based reality TV show called Goal Diggers. One of the most popular shows on American national television, its fiercely competitive cast of five self-made women are defined by their success, beauty and ruthless drive to reach the top by whatever means necessary. The Courtney sisters’ rivalry goes skin deep despite the blossoming business they have built together that helps disadvantaged women in Morocco. Harbouring bitter jealousies and dark secrets about their manufactured screen lives they’re joined by three other hyper-competitive women who all have their own agendas. And the latest season promises sparks to fly in the quest for even higher ratings. Vicious backstabbing, scathing social media attacks and finely-tuned scripting draw in the viewing public every week, all orchestrated by the show’s omnipotent producers. But even they don’t know that season 4 will end in murder…”
 
Into The Forest by Jean Hegland – “Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to re-examine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.”

Autumn Book Haul

 

Girl A by Abigail Dean – “Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.”
 
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – “In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine – a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for “dives”, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night–trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges–as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.”
 
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier – “Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken. A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student-Instagram famous-and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him-and that was never part of the plan. Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.”

Nostalgic Book Haul (February)

 

Sweet Valley University #29 – One Last Kiss“Gin-Yung Suh is dying! A crushed Todd Wilkins is devastated by the news–especially since he’s been rekindling his love for Elizabeth Wakefield during Gin-Yung’s hour of need. Now he must take what little time he has to make it up to her–to fill her last days with laughter instead of tears. Tom Watts madly loves Elizabeth. But she’s too busy with Todd to notice. Tom’s determined to tell Elizabeth how he feels, how he’s sorry for all he’s done. It’s never too late for true love… is it? Undercover cop Nick Fox is hot on the trail of a dangerous felon… until feisty Jessica Wakefield gets involved and blows the whole case. Something’s got to change for Nick. He can’t be a cop and Jessica’s boyfriend at the same time. But can he live without her?”
 
Sweet Valley University #31 – The Truth About Ryan“Ryan Taylor has gone back to his dangerous old habits. Can Elizabeth Wakefield help him out before he’s kicked off the Sweet Valley lifeguard squad for good? Jessica Wakefield has sacrificed so much this summer. In order to lure Ben Mercer away from brainy Priya Rahman, she’s been hitting the books when she should have been hitting the beach. But how someone new is tempting Jessica… someone forbidden. Will Jessica give up her studies–and Ben–for a risky summer fling? Life with surfer Stu Kirkwood is pure bliss–that’s what Nina Harper thinks. But will a woman from his past make her think again?”
 
Sweet Valley University #32 – The Boys Of Summer“Jessica Wakefield finally has Ryan Taylor all to herself. He’s wild, daring, spontaneous–everything Jessica wants in a boyfriend. He’s also the guy who broke her sister’s heart. Elizabeth Wakefield’s summer can’t get any worse, now that Ryan has left her for Jessica. But Elizabeth knows Ryan is spinning out of control, and he could be putting Jessica in danger. Can Elizabeth ignore her jealousy long enough to save them both? Wendy Paloma wants to leave her superstar husband, Pedro, but her friend Winston Egbert knows they belong together. When Winston and Pedro team up to win Wendy back, is their plan too crazy to work… or just crazy enough?”

January Empties

 

O&M Original Queenie Firm Hold Hairspray – This is the only hairspray I bother with these days, because I know is going to work with my (very) fine hair and manage to keep hold of a curl for the entire day. I think this is the second or third bottle I’ve used up in it’s entirety, and you know I had a backup sitting in the cupboard ready to go. This product is an absolute superstar in my hair care routine, and I love it.
 
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This has been a staple in my skincare routine for many years now. I feel like Dermalogica was the starting point for my skincare obsession, and with good reason because their range is incredible. This is a product I repurchase time and time again because it works well with my sensitive skin, I credit it with keeping breakouts at bay, and I feel like it gives an overall “freshness” to the skin after use.
 
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter – I’m actually amazed I used up this entire container, but now that I’ve done so I have to say this is my new favourite body butter. The whipped texture makes it light and comfortable to use during summer, but it’s so moisturising that it really sinks into the skin and leaves you feeling baby soft.
 
Aveda Nutri Plenish Shampoo & Conditioner – This is one of my favourite shampoo/conditioner duos and it’s one I’ll be repurchasing again in the future. This leaves my hair feeling shiny and soft and smooth, and manages to tame my fly-aways, which can be a big issue for me when my hair is pretty desperate for a cut.
 

January Wrap Up – Movies


 

 

30 Days of Night – My friend and I were in the mood to watch a Josh Hartnett movie, and as there is limited selection on all streaming platforms, we went with this because it was the only option neither of us had either seen (her), or hadn’t seen in many years (me). This was… not a good movie. It was an adaptation of a graphic novel, and there was a hell of a lot to take in, most of which remained unexplained by the film’s end. Thank goodness Josh Hartnett was easy on the eyes because this didn’t offer much else in the way of entertainment.
 
Wonder Woman – I had low expectations going into this and was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed it. Sebastian and I went to see Tenet in cinemas in late 2019 and saw the trailer for WW84 which looked incredible. To be honest, the sequel trailer was the biggest driving factor for me to watch this, but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and finally sat down to watch it.
 
The Little Mermaid – One of my silly little goals for 2021 is to re-watch all of the classic Disney films. First up for the year was one of my all-time favourites, The Little Mermaid. With some of the best Disney songs of all time (hello, Poor Unfortunate Souls??) and one of the hottest Disney price’s, this was a lot of fun to watch.
 
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Sebastian and I had been meaning to watch this since it was first released on Netflix–we are massive fans of the West Wing so tend to watch anything Aaron Sorkin is attached to for that reason alone. I didn’t know anything about this story going into the film so it was educational for me in that respect, and was a fascinating watch overall.
 
The Wedding Crashers – There is something about comedies from this era that hold such an element of nostalgia for me. This was a lot of fun, and a light and easy watch for a relaxed middle-of-the-week movie night. I think I’ll always have a bit of a crush on Vince Vaughn – not even Fred Claus can take that from me.
 
Bridesmaids – I remember this movie being an inspiration for a lot of quotes with my girlfriends, but on re-watch this did not stand the test of time for me and unfortunately wasn’t as funny as I remember it being.
 
Silence of the Lambs – Stan is releasing a new series called Clarice, which is about the aftermath of the Silence of the Lambs, so we figured it’d be a good time to re-watch the movie before watching the show. This is still such a great film, an excellent thriller, and Sir Anthony Hopkins remains the ultimate Hannibal Lector.
 
Breath – I read this book a few years ago now, so I was interested in watching the film adaptation. There are some troubling themes in this story, and the movie was not an easy watch at times. But mostly it just made me nostalgic for home, as the scenes shot along the South Coast of Western Australia were truly beautiful.
 
Greenland – Anyone who knows me knows how much I love disaster movies, so when the trailer for this popped up on YouTube recently I nearly died. This was actually pretty good, the acting was decent and the special effects were good quality. The only downside for me is that there weren’t enough “disaster” scenes. Like, I wanna see things BLOW UP. It’s been too long since we’ve had a new disaster film, and I’m so happy to have a new one in my movie rotation.
 
A Bug’s Life – As well as re-watching all of the classic Disney movies in 2021, I want to try and re-watch the Pixar full length films. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, and overall was a very charming little film with (thankfully) no gut-wrenching emotional moments like most Pixar films are known to have.