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.”

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.”

December Book Haul

 

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.”

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy“We all want different things. Francie wants to be the perfect mother. Nell wants to escape the past. Collette wants to spend more time with her family. All Winnie wants is to have her baby back. When Nell suggests a night out in Brooklyn to her new mums club, the others jump at the chance. But the evening takes a tragic turn when single mother Winnie learns that her six-week-old son Midas has been kidnapped. As the investigation hits a dead end, Nell, Collette and Francie make it their mission to succeed where the police are failing and bring baby Midas home. But as Winnie and those around her come under scrutiny from the media, damaging secrets come to light and friendships are pushed to the limit. Because people will do almost anything to protect the ones they love…”

November Book Haul

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him. Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour. Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?”

Into The Forest by Jean Hegland“A distant war rages overseas. Resources society had depended on, such as gas and electricity, are no longer available. Riots spread through the inner cities, while deadly viral infections spread across the countryside. Isolated in their home in the northern California woods, Eva and Nell live in a world without television or phones, in a time of suspicion and superstition, of anger, hunger, and fear. Perhaps one day the lights–and their dreams–will return, but orphaned by their parents’ deaths and by society, Eva and Nell have been left to forage through the forest, and through their past, for the keys to survival. As they blaze a path into the forest and into the future, they become pioneers and pilgrims–not only creatures of the new world, but the creators of it.”

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“Have you ever played two truths and a lie? It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak“Here is a story told inside out and back to front. Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in. He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him? It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken? And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge?”

Watching You by Lisa Jewell“You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton“Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… Again. It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…”

Adore Beauty Haul

It was my birthday last week, and as well as placing a small order of books I decided to treat myself to some all-time favourite beauty products that I haven’t purchased in a while.

Here is what I picked up from Adore Beauty

Kerastase Bain Satin 1 Shampoo
Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme
Terax Crema Original Moisturizing Conditioner
Cosmedix Affirm Antioxidant Firming Serum (Deluxe Sample)
Redken Extreme Length Sealer
O&M Original Queenie Firm Hold Hairspray

My hair is desperately in need of a cut but I have managed to temporarily revive it using my holy grail Kerastase and Terax hair products. Also, O&M Queenie is the BEST hairspray if you have particularly fine hair like me. I tried using the other products I had squirreled in my beauty cupboard but nothing has ever lived up to the holding power of Queenie.