Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – I picked this book up a long time ago, after seeing it as one of the recommendations for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. I had high hopes for this, and although it was an okay read it unfortunately drove me into a bit of a reading slump. I enjoyed elements of the book, it was fun to explore the world of the widows, and their lives, but the mystery elements that were weaved into the story fell flat for me.
Girl A by Abigail Dean – This was the main book I read during June’s Read Your Face Off weekend, and it was the first book in a very long time that I’ve managed to read in one day. This book included so many of my favourite elements, and I loved it. Warning – it involves themes like child abuse/children locked up inside their own house (and I blame reading Flowers in the Attic at a young age for my fascination with this sort of plot), so reader beware.
Sweet Valley High Superstar #1 – Lila’s Story – “Lila Fowler is the richest girl at Sweet Valley High. She wears designer clothes, lives in a mansion, and has an allowance at least three times the size of her friends’. And as an only child, she’s always had all of her father’s affection. Lila has everything a girl could possibly want. But before long Lila’s happiness is shattered. Her father brings home a beautiful new girlfriend, Joan. And Joan has a daughter, Jacqueline, who’s the same age as Lila. Soon it seems that Joan and Jacqueline are taking over Fowler Crest and Lila is furious. Then Mr. Fowler drops a bombshell – he and Joan are getting married! If Lila can’t stop them, her life will change forever!”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #2 – Bruce’s Story – “The license plates on Bruce Patman’s Porsche read 1BRUCE1, and that’s exactly how he thinks of himself – as Number One. Handsome and arrogant, Bruce is used to getting everything he wants. Bruce’s cousin Roger, who lives with the Patman family is nothing like Bruce. Roger was penniless for most of his life. He only recently found out that his late father was a Patman and that he was heir to his father’s estate. Roger is still trying to adjust to his newfound wealth. The boys have only one thing in common – their grandfather, who is one of the richest men in California. A shrewd, hardworking businessman, Mr. Patman decides to set up a contest between Bruce and Roger. The winner will inherit the grandfather’s entire estate. The war is on – and Bruce will do anything to win!”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #3 – Enid’s Story – “People who meet pretty, quiet Enid Rollins find it hard to belive that she ever ran with a wild crowd. She’s popular, a straight-A student, and is best friends with Elizabeth Wakefield. Finally, Enid seems to have her life together. Then everything starts to go wrong. She’s interested in Jeffrey French, Elizabeth’s ex-boyfriend, and thinks that he likes her, too. But it turns out he hasn’t gotten over Elizabeth. Then Enid’s father shows up drunk for his Christmas visit. The only person left in Enid’s life is Elizabeth, and when they have a terrible disagreement, Enid feels totally alone. So when Brian, a boy from her past, asks her out, Enid is thrilled. She knows that being with Brian is risky, but he’s the only person who seems to appreciate her. Can Enid resist temptation, or will she return to her wild life?”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #4 – Olivia’s Story – “Olivia Davidson’s offbeat style sets her apart from the other students at Sweet Valley High. And until now, her mother has always encourage Olivia in her artistic pursuits. But ever since Olivia started spending time with James Yates, another intense artist, Mrs. Davidson has been pushing Olivia to change her ways and begin thinking about college and earning a living. Then Olivia’s career-oriented cousin Emily comes to town, and it’s more than Olivia can take. Emily’s got her whole life planned and organized in color-coded files; meanwhile, Olivia doesn’t even have the money to buy a paintbrush! She’s ready to give up her art and James forever. Then Mrs. Davidson reveals a startling secret about her own past that forces Olivia to make what could be the most difficult and important decision of her whole life.”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #5 – Todd’s Story – “When Todd Wilkins and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Wakefield, land jobs as counselors at Secca Lake Day Camp, the summer is off to a great start-until Todd runs into a counselor named Kevin Holmes. Everyone else thinks Kevin is terrific-including Elizabeth. But Todd knows Kevin’s secret: Kevin was in jail, and Todd helped put him there! Todd suspects that Kevin wants revenge, even though Kevin acts as if he’s turned over a new leaf. When Kevin’s around, Todd becomes edgy, defensive, and rude. Soon even Elizabeth is siding with Kevin. But when a crime wave hits Sweet Valley, Todd knows he was right all along. Can Todd expose Kevin’s criminal scheme before Kevin gets his revenge… and hurts Elizabeth in the process?”
The Survivors by Jane Harper – “Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl and questions that have never washed away…”
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – “On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?“
Sweet Valley High #26 – Hostage! – “When Elizabeth Wakefield learns that Regina Morrow has returned unexpectedly to Sweet Valley from Switzerland, she drops by to visit. A strange woman answers the door and says Regina cannot have visitors. With the help of Jessica, her twin, and Bruce Patman, Regina’s boyfriend, Elizabeth discovers that Regina and her parents are being held hostage! If Elizabeth calls the police, the Morrows may be killed. So she, Bruce, Jessica, and Regina’s brother, Nicholas, vow to rescue the Morrows on their own – before the kidnappers take desperate action!”
Sweet Valley High #27 – Lovestruck – “No one at Sweet Valley High can believe that football star Ken Matthews has fallen in love with super-sophisticated Suzanne Hanlon. Suzanne likes poetry, gourmet food, and art films, while Ken’s idea of a good time is listening to rock ‘n’ roll and eating pizza. Two people couldn’t be more different. Elizabeth Wakefield knows that snobbish Suzanne is wrong for Ken. But Ken seems to be blindly in love with Suzanne and is willing to do anything she wants. Can anyone help Ken come to his senses before he gets hurt?”
Sweet Valley University #22 – Elizabeth’s Summer Love – “Ryan Taylor is a loner at heart. But he can’t keep his eyes – or his lips – away from irresistible Elizabeth Wakefield. Will giving in to his feelings be the biggest mistake of Ryan’s life? Jessica Wakefield’s summer is ruined. First Elizabeth steals the hottest guy on the beach, then housemate Ben Mercer decides Jessica’s the woman of his dreams. Can Jessica prove this loser wrong before he convinces her he’s Mr. Right? Life can’t get much worse for Winston Egbert. Not only did he completely embarrass himself at lifeguard tryouts, but now he’s accepted the most humiliating job on the beach. Sure Harry the Hamburger pays big bucks, but Winston isn’t that desperate for cash… or is he?”
Sweet Valley University #23 – Sweet Kiss Of Summer – “Elizabeth Wakefield has lost her summer love. In the midst of a passionate kiss, head lifeguard Ryan Taylor missed a critical save. Now Ryan has disappeared. Can Elizabeth find Ryan and make him hers again before the summer is over? Nina Harper is determined to get even! Convinced that her new boyfriend, Paul Jackson, is a spy for the rival beach, Nina creates the ultimate test to prove his guilt. Will her plan backfire and destroy her chance for an unforgettable summer? Winston Egbert is one persistent guy. No one wants to be a lifeguard more than Winston – but no one’s less qualified. Can Winston make a miraculous rescue and show everyone he’s not a beach-blanket bozo?”
Some days you just have to get paid and then drop a bunch of money on an Adore order, ya know? I blame this order on the number of “that girl” routine videos I’ve seen on Tik Tok lately, because a lot of those girls seem to use Olaplex as part of their daily routine. So I picked that up, and a few old favourites and one new skincare item (also a Tik Tok recommendation) as a little mid-week treat. Here’s what I bought –