June TBR

One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus Pay close attention and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

The Fever by Megan AbbottThe panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community. The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

Black by Fleur FerrisEbony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days …She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too. Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed. Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way. But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge. If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara BourlandRAGE Fashion Book is the world’s most dynamic, ambitious magazine. Its editors – like Cat Ono – have the power to change minds and the market. They’re savvy, sisterly and polished to perfection. Even the one found dead in her office. Everyone thinks Hillary starved to death – but Cat knows her friend’s dieting wasn’t a capital P problem. If beauty kills, it’d take more than that. Hot-headed and fiercely feminist, Cat’s sure she can match the investigating skills of Detective Mark Hutton, solve the case, and achieve sartorial fulfillment. But going undercover, Cat’s in over her head, and soon becomes snared in a very stylish web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that will change her look – and outlook – forever. Cat’s about to find out what it really means to be a fashion victim.

How to find just the right mirror for your home

Buying a mirror is no easy task. There are numerous things to be considered and purchase can easily go wrong. The biggest issue here is that most people do not even realize that certain mirrors have a specific use; use that no other mirror can fulfill. That being said, it is necessary to get educated beforehand. Small errors can cost you a lot in terms of interior décor and functionality. So check this article and learn how to buy a mirror that your home can benefit from.

1. LED mirror
LED mirrors are a type of mirror that can be seen in homes with modern interior. Due to its numerous LED lights surrounding it, this item looks like a space ship. But do not be fooled. LED mirror is actually a highly functional item. Due to the fact that mirror is surrounded by numerous lights, it is easy for you to see everything. There can be no issues as you can always check all the angles. This is a perfect thing for all those women who otherwise have issues putting makeup in the morning. On top of it, this mirror is really stylish.

2. Hollywood mirror
Before there was LED mirror; there were Hollywood mirrors. These items are like an old memorabilia reminding us of those good old times when Hollywood was still a mysterious and somewhat secluded place. You could see them in almost any movie. Over time, they became popular in theaters and TV studios as well. Although not as popular as it once was, Hollywood mirror can still be bought. In fact, they are still a good choice for bedrooms.

3. Folding mirror
A lot of homes have trouble with space. This is usually obvious in a bathroom as they take the biggest hit. If you have a small bathroom there is a good chance you had to compromise and get a tiny mirror. But fear not! There is a solution! Folding mirrors are great just for this purpose. You can open its wings and spread them getting some additional coverage. Besides the fact this mirror is good for small space, it has another big advantage: it can show different angles of your face making a pretty nice choice for putting makeup.

4. Standing mirrors
Although not the best choice for homes, standing mirrors can still be utilized efficiently. They are commonly used in department stores and other shops where you need to see your whole figure. They are not so much popular at home as there are other options and it is much nicer if you have a mirror on your wall. But, there are certain situations where it is totally legit to get one such item (for example lack of space for full-size mirror). The good thing about standing mirrors is that they can be removed at any time giving you some additional space. Simultaneously, they need time to set up. So it’s a tradeoff of a sort.

Spring Home Project List

As the weather starts to clear and warm up, I’m feeling a lot more motivated to get things done around the house. Because I’m such a lover of lists (you can probably tell by now that I find them particularly motivating), I’ve decided to share with you my list of house “projects” to work on this season. There are a few things that I’ve been putting off for months, so hopefully I’ll be able to get them done in a big spring clean and be happy to finally cross them off my to-do list. Here’s what I’m planning to do –

– Clean out the medicine basket
– Weed the front garden
– Weed the back garden
– Swam over the small hutch and the large hutch
– Mop the wood and tiled floors
– Frame and hang Pepsi & Ben’s portraits
– Clean out the bathroom cupboard
– Deep clean the refridgerator
– Clean out the kitchen pantry
– Clean out the random box of stuff in the corner of the living room

There you have it! Ten very achievable things that will help tidy up the house and give it that ‘spring clean’ feel. I’ll be sure to check in at the end of the season and let you know how I went.

What’ I’m Wearing Lately (on my face)

I’ve been wearing the same makeup for quite a while now, but I don’t feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I feel more like I’ve found products that work for me and I really love. It’s a great feeling, and it has helped my budget quite a lot (no more spending money on random makeup items that I don’t need and never end up wearing). I’ve been wearing very neutral makeup lately, and throwing on some winged liner and a bold lip if I’m going out on the town (lol, so rare). Here’s what I’ve been wearing on my face from day-to-day –

Givenchy Photo Perfexion Foundation in Perfect Ivory
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
NYX Powder Blush in Angel
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette
Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Black
Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Super Natural

40 Book Challenge (part 1)

OK, so there is a bit of a backlog as I have not written a book post in 2016, but on the plus side, thanks to my re-reading of a lot of nostalgic books from my childhood I am already 45% done with my challenge for this year. Thanks, Sweet Valley High. Sorry if the earlier reviews aren’t very detailed, I’m struggling to remember my thoughts on some of the books. Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve read in 2016 so far –

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J Burns & Melinda Netz (5/10) – This was a book provided to me by Netgalley, and to be honest it was something I probably wouldn’t have picked up if it wasn’t free. Having said that I didn’t mind this book (from what I can remember), it was suspenseful, interesting, and had it’s share of creepy moments.

Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer (4/10) – I remember this being an easy “beach read”, and really enjoyed the setting of Nantucket. Maybe because I am obsessed with the idea of holidaying in the Hamptons?

If You Dare by A.R. Torre (5/10) – This is the third book in the Deanna Madden series, and my least favourite of the series so far. I love the idea of the Deanna Madden character (my inner introvert loves the idea of being locked away from society and never having to leave the house), but she lost a bit of her shine in this book. I won’t say too much about the plot as it ties in with the rest of the series, but I will say I’ll definitely be reading the next book even though this one fell a little flat for me.

Petals On The Wind by Virginia Andrews (8/10) – I am obsessed with the Dollanganger series, it’s my number one go-to for an easy/juicy/trashy read. This is the second book in the series and is chock-full of the kind of incest/ballet/menstration/murder plot lines that I’ve come to know and love from Virginia Andrews books. Cathy is a self-centred egomaniac and I love her. Too many men in this book have moustaches.

Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (7/10) – Like any collection of short stories, this had it’s ups and downs for me but as a whole I really enjoyed it. The story about the kid in the helicopter hat will haunt me forever.

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry (3/10) – The themes of this book are genuinely horrifying – abduction, assault, survivor’s guilt – but despite all of the ingredients being there, the book didn’t quite hit the mark. I tried to suspend my disbelief while reading this re: teenagers trying to solve a crime, but in the end that’s what let the book down for me.

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes (9/10) – This was my most anticipated book of 2016/all time, as I loved ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes and it was my favourite book of 2015. Again this is book 2 in a series so I won’t go into too much detail, but if you’re looking for a book that has an evil protagonist please check this out. Joe, I just love to hate him. (PS: thank you SO MUCH to Tonile for sending me the ARC of this, I am still so grateful!)

The Runaways by Ruth Thomas (7/10) – This is one of my childhood favourites, and it still holds a lot of it’s charm for me. Two unlikely friends discovering a large sum of money running away and going on an adventure across the English countryside? Yes please.

Goosebumps Book #14The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (5/10) – If you were a fan of the Goosebumps books growing up and you haven’t yet listened to Welcome To Deadcast, please remedy this immediately. I got the itch to re-read the Goosebumps series after falling into a hole of nostalgic bliss recently and this was the first book I ordered off Ebay. This is one of the books from the series that I have the strongest memories of, as it was the first episode of the TV series that I can remember watching. The cover is perfect and the story is a Goosebumps classic.

Sweet Valley High Book #73Regina’s Legacy (4/10) – Sometimes the fashion on the Sweet Valley High book covers could fit into today’s style, and Elizabeth’s backpack is definitely 2016 worthy. The story in this book is typically stupid, Elizabeth decides to solve a crime with (yawn) Todd rather than call the police and Jessica is her usual sociopathic self who gets everyone in trouble.

Sweet Valley High Book #41Outcast (3/10) – First things first, the hairstyles featured on this cover are a crime. I was never a fan of the books that didn’t revolve around the twins, and this was no exception. Following Regina Morrow’s drug overdose at her party, Molly Hecht falls into a depressive spiral and nobody seems to care or offer her any support. Jessica does something unselfish for once, and at one point people smoke pot. Scandalous.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (5/10) – This book is told from a collection of character viewpoints over the course of a couple of hours as a school shooting takes place. There were a few things I didn’t like about this book, but overall I enjoyed it. I loved how diverse the cast of characters was, but I wish the story went more into detail about the shooter’s background, and I would have liked the scene to be set a bit more in-depth prior to the shooting. Despite it’s flaws this was a gripping read, and I sped through it in a day or so.

Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre (5/10) – Having loved Alessandra Torre’s Deanna Madden series so much I decided to pick up a book from another of her series. This was an easy read, and although it was a lot fluffier (and raunchier) than what I’m used to, I really enjoyed it and I’ll be reading the rest of the series sometime this year.

Risk by Fleur Ferris (7/10) – I picked this up on the recommendation of Kirsti from Melbourne On My Mind, and I’m really glad I did. It follows the story of Taylor, who’s friend Sierra goes to meet up with a boy she’s been talking to online, and doesn’t return. If you have any young women in your life who have any kind of online presence (who doesn’t these days?), this is an important book to read and share. The story is all too real, and is genuinely chilling.

Sweet Valley High Book #56Lost At Sea (5/10) – Jessica is stunning on this cover, despite being a bit sulky about being wet even though the sun is clearly shining in the background. I hate that the outfit she’s wearing doesn’t match what is described in the book but ANYWAY. A handful of students from Sweet Valley High go on a boating trip for a science project and a big storm hits, Jessica and Winston end up deserted on an island (with a bear?), and everyone else for the most part keep living their lives despite the fact the pair could be dead. Jessica is on the brink of redemption at one point in the book, but at the end goes back to being an awful person and all is right in the world.

Nightmare Hall Book #4The Wish (4/10) – This series creeped me the f*ck out as a kid, but I don’t remember ever reading this one so I was excited to pick it up. The concept is good – a bunch of college students get their fortunes told and they start coming true one by one in the most horrific ways possible – but the ending fell flat and was kind of lame.

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (8/10) – This book made me a bit swoony. I love the idea of two people meeting up online and gradually getting to know each other before falling in love. Possibly because that is how Sebastian and I came to be a couple? This is YA contemporary fiction done right.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (3/10) – This book was a bit of a hard slog for me, and I struggled to get into the story each time I picked it up. I wish they’d focused more on the back story of the main character rather than her life on the run, because that was the most interesting part of the book for me and had a lot of potential.