Jun 10, 2016

Literary Fashion | November 9 + The Merciless

Like I mentioned in my last Literary Fashion post, the outfits I've created no longer match the character, but instead, match the covers of the book.

November 9 was one of my favorite books last year, so I definitely wanted to create an outfit that matched. I've used dresses really often, though, so in order to change it up a bit, I added some colored pants and a cute lace top. This one was fun to create and I wanted to incorporate most, if not all, the colors on the cover.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover 

“When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.”

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

This one was tough to create, to be honest, because while I wanted to match the cover, I also wanted to add some of the books themes as well, but also include sort of a Mean Girls theme to it. The Merciless is about a group of popular high school girls (a la Mean Girls) who go psycho and try to perform an exorcism. So I went with an "On Wednesdays We Wear Pink" theme to match the cover and reference Mean Girls. After adding heels and a skirt, though, I felt like the outfit should be more "high schooler" and I just can't imagine wearing heels to school all day (as you can see, I put lots of thought into these LOL.)
"We exorcise you, impure one, you satanic power." Her clear voice fills the cold corners of the basement.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

When I was trying to figure what outfit to choose for this cover, I originally wanted a light summer dress but I couldn't find one in the right shade of blue. When I went with gold, I wanted a beautiful evening gown and then it turned into a much fancier outfit, which really has nothing to do with the book and everything to matching the covers almost exactly.

“You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.”

Which outfit is your favorite? Let me know and offer any suggestions for future books as well :)

Jun 7, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Reasons I Love Goodreads

I know I stumbled across Goodreads on a lifestyle blog, it was a widget on the side and I clicked and became a part of Goodreads immediately because books are
my lifea huge part of my life. It also kickstarted my whole book blogging life. I started over on the website vox.com and then wandered around in different places before I landed on Blogger.com and my blog took off from there.

Fast forward to now (8 years later) and I still love Goodreads. Here are my top ten reasons why:

  1. It's a social network for books/readers: I have found so many books, so many friends, so many blogs.

  2. I can share what I've read with people in real life: my book blog life and my real life have never really connected, so I like that little feature that when you finish a book, you can post it on your Facebook wall. I just like people I know in real to know what I'm reading too LOL.

  3. The Goodreads challenge: I always set a certain number of books and even though I have mostly failed to complete the challenge each year, it's my favorite

  4. Goodreads groups: They're like virtual book clubs and don't have to be book related.

  5. Tracking my books with shelves: one of my favorite features is how easily you can add books to several shelves, create new ones, edit old ones, etc. It's a simple system that I've been using for all these years to keep track of what I read.

  6. Recommendations: Like I said, I have found so many books just by having a Goodreads account, but I also like that it offers recommendations on the side, that whole "Readers also enjoyed" and "Because you read___, a few similar books" because I always find more books to add to my TBR.

  7. Quotes: one of my favorite things in the world is finding and saving quotes. I used to do this on a WordDoc but now I have Goodreads to keep track of all the ones I love. I always go back to it, add new ones, or use them for something or other.

  8. I can read other readers reviews, and I do this often.

  9. Quizzes and polls are fun and they have tons to participate in!

  10. Goodreads Choice Awards were readers get to vote on books they thought were best for each year.

There are tons of other reasons why I love Goodreads and these are in no particular order, I just wrote them as they came to my mind. If you haven't signed up for Goodreads account, even if you aren't a regular book blogger, I still recommend it for keeping track of your books or finding new books that might interest you.

Cindy's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

Jun 6, 2016

Review | One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Series: N/A
Genre: Adult - Romance
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Washington Square Press
Format: e-ARC
Source: From publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancĂ© who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Thoughts: “I think it’s a good sign, though,” he said, “that I was crazy about you at sixteen and I’m still crazy about you now.”

One True Loves was and wasn't what I was expecting. I was intrigued to read this one from reading the summary because I can never resist some heartbreak and a love triangle (seriously.) From the start we learn that Emma is engaged to Sam when her husband calls her to tell her he's alive. Rewind to when they all first met, how Emma and Jesse fall in love, how she loses him, how she overcomes the aching heartbreak, to present day when she meets and falls in love with Sam.

I did like the characters, all of them. I found myself relating to Emma more than I thought I would, loving Jesse and Sam, understanding her relationship with her sister and parents, and adoring her faithful best friend. There were a few things Emma did that seemed selfish, but she's only human, and I think I would've felt and acted similarly.

"You don't tie yourself to something unless you're scared you might float away."

The story made me laugh and cry, and when I finally finished the book I was relieved that Emma had found her happiness but also sad that it was over. The story was well-paced, the ending not too predictable. I was really confused about who she was going to pick, but after some time realized who she needed to pick. And I'm glad it all worked out in the end.

This was the first book I read by TJR, and I must admit there were a few things that bothered me about her writing, such as the way the first chunk of the book is written (told instead of shown -- ...and why was everyone always wearing chinos?) but I thoroughly enjoyed the story so I look forward to checking more of her work out.

One True Loves kept me up late at night, and I was so immersed in the story, all the feelings and emotions, that I finished it in just a few hours. I am really happy I got the opportunity to read this one, it was a refreshing change to everything else I have been reading. Reid really created a believable, heart-wrenching story that I loved experiencing, and will remember for years to come. If you're looking for a contemporary love story to sink into this summer, One True Loves is definitely one to check out.

Jun 3, 2016

Literary Fashion | The One that Got Away + All the Bright Places

When I started this feature three years ago, I was planning on making it a regular feature. Of course, I leave and come back to the blog so often it's hard for me to regularly post anything. Now that I am newly inspired to post regularly, I took some time to create a few new sets on my Polyvore account, and I am really excited to share them.

The outfits no longer match the character, though, but match the cover instead. I realized that by waiting so long to post these, that I'd forgotten most about what the character wears and such, so I decided to coordinate my outfits to the cover. I liked this a lot better, but I might switch it up, depending on how well I remember each character.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

The One that Got Away by Bethany Chase

“Even these last few, terrible days, he’s been my first thought in the morning, my last thought at night. Eamon—not Noah.”

Jun 2, 2016

Review | Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Title: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Viking
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Thoughts: I mostly stayed away from Sarah Dessen books these past few years because I felt like they were all similar and sort of dull. I liked them but I couldn't see what the big deal was. I think I burned myself out by reading too many, back-to-back. I was a little weary when I downloaded Saint Anything, especially because of the length, but I wanted to give her writing another shot.

Saint Anything made me realize that I've been missing out. Not only did I love the story, I also adored the characters. I felt like Sydney was my friend and I just wanted her to find herself, be with Mac, and just hang out with Layla all the time.

The friendships, romance, and parent relationships all felt real. It had been a while since a book made me feel like this one did. Once I was finished, I missed the characters. I wanted to know more, know they were okay. I hadn't felt a connection to characters since All the Bright Places.

From several other reviews, it seems that this one was a bit different than other Sarah Dessen books, and I'm glad. I was able to definitely enjoy her writing a lot more this time around and am looking forward to her future work. I definitely recommend Saint Anything for anyone looking for a contemporary book to read this summer, this one is great.