Thursday, December 30, 2021

Book Review - Nine Elms (Kate Marshall, #1) by Robert Bryndza

 

Kate Marshall had a promising career as a police detective until she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. What should have been a great victory quickly descended into a nightmare. Kate watched her career ended in scandal as she was publicly shamed and betrayed over shocking circumstances surrounding the murder case.

Fifteen years later, Kate is still being haunted by the ghosts of her past. She is a professor at a small English university, hoping to move on with her life. However, she was given a chance to face her demons when a copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms legacy and continuing on the work of his idol.

Kate enlists the help of her research assistant, Tristan Harper, to find and catch the copycat. She believes this might be her chance to redemption. However, Kate doesn't realize she was intended to be the fifth victim and his successor means to finish the job.

I thought the book was an interesting read but, I was a bit torn on the ending. I felt like the story was suspenseful but, the ending seemed a bit of character. I wish there that the characters were developed a bit more and there were moments in the story that audience had to suspense belief. I did like that the author included a bit of foreshadowing at the end and I am hoping it is hinting what the second book would be about. Overall, I thought it was a good read and look forward to reading other books in the series.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

December 2021 Empties Part 2!

 


Ah, my last empties post for 2021! Oh boy, this year went by quickly and I didn't really finish this year with a bang like I was hoping. However, I am actually surprised that I finished three lip balms and three serums because I usually don't finish those as quickly. Not surprising, is that I didn't finish any makeup products this month. I definitely been finishing more skincare than makeup products lately.

Most of these items were repeat purchases but, since I don't have anything new I can do a small recap. I have used Sumbody's products in the past and enjoyed their bath melts. Unlike other bath products, they don't fizzle or really carry a scent. I was able to get two uses and my skin was very soft after using. The only thing I didn't like is that the product didn't really melt and I had to crumble it myself and place it under the hot water tap.

I like Sunday Riley's products but, I had mixed opinions about their UFO acne treatment oil. I didn't really notice a difference. I never knew Elizabeth Arden made skincare products and I absolutely love their anti-aging daily serum. It made my skin feel so smooth and hydrated. The Purlisse cleanser didn't really do anything but, I really like how great it smelled and the texture. Every time I used the cleanser, I had to follow up with another cleanser to remove stubborn eye makeup.

Did you finish anything this month that you enjoyed?

Here is everything I finished this month

Farmskin Soothing Superfood Salad for Skin
Dewytree Quince 100 Mask
Needly Peony Jelly Mask
Kocostar Watermelon Slice Sheet Mask
Oseque Pure Noble Water Mineral Mask
Sumbody Bath Melts
Sunday Riley UFO Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum
ArtNaturals Anti-Aging Serum
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator Exofliating Cleanser
Purlisse Watermelon + Charcoal Purifying Cleanser
Fourth Ray Beauty The Lightweight Hydrator
Sumbody Rice & Shine Showermask
Sonage Collagen Boosting Serum
On10 Dr. Pepper Lip Balm
Dylan's Candy Bar Candy Lip Saver Coconut Bon Bon
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Book Review - We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

 

Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital covered in bruises after being in a drunk driving accident. She realizes she will have to swallow her pride and go home to her family in New York. She is afraid to go home after abandoning her family and her high school sweetheart five years ago without any explanations.

Sunday wants to make amends and rebuild her life even if it means dealing with her resentful brothers and ex-fiancĂ©. She starts to realize that they might need her as much as she needs them.  However, a dangerous man from her past is out to destroy their family business and their family. Sunday realizes that the only way to save the family from financial ruin is to tell her family her secrets. As Sunday tries to come to terms with her past, she realizes she isn't the only hiding something.

I picked this book because of the beautiful cover. However, I should know better than to do that by now because this book was super boring. The plot barely moved along and the big reveal was predictable. I thought the reason for Sunday leaving to be silly and found it hard that she didn't talk to her boyfriend before leaving since they had an unbreakable bond. If you like cozy romantic reads, you will enjoy this book.

**Disclosure - I received a free a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Friday, December 24, 2021

Book Review - Take Me with You When You Go by David Levithan

 

Ezra Ahern wakes up one day and his entire life has turns upside down. His beloved older sister, Bea, has disappeared. She left without even saying good bye to anyone. Bea left behind a cryptic email address hidden somewhere only he could be able to find. Ezra never expected that Bea would leave him alone to deal with their abusive stepfather and mother.

Bea Ahern knew that she needed to get as far away from home as she could for her sanity. When she receives an email she realizes that she is alone in a new city without a real plan and the person she is looking for might not want to be found.

As thing spiral out of control, Bea and Ezra share secrets about their past that will change them forever. They realize that they might be apart but connected through their emails. They come to terms with the abuse that they endured and realize they need to face their own demons before they can be reunited.

The novel is a heart warming and thoughtful read. I reading the email exchange between the two siblings and was hoping for them to get their happy ending. I think the authors did a great job talking about abusive and neglectful parents along with touching on the insecurities the children might feel. The book was a great read and I look forward to reading other books from the authors.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Book Spotlight - Wider than the Sky by Katherine Rothschild + Giveaway

 

About The Book:

Title: WIDER THAN THE SKY

Author: Katherine Rothschild

Paperback Pub. Date:  December 7, 2021

Publisher: Soho Teen

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 288

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

In the wake of sudden tragedy, twin sisters uncover a secret that rips open their world. Katherine Rothschild explores the pain and power of forgiveness in a stunning debut novel that will shatter your heart and piece it back together, one truth at a time.

Sixteen-year-old Sabine Braxton doesn’t have much in common with her identical twin, Blythe. When their father dies from an unexpected illness, each copes with the loss in her own way—Sabine by “poeting” (an uncontrollable quirk of bursting into poetry at inappropriate moments) and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT, their father’s alma mater. Neither can offer each other much support . . . at least not until their emotionally detached mother moves them into a ramshackle Bay Area mansion owned by a stranger named Charlie.

Soon, the sisters unite in a mission to figure out who Charlie is and why he seems to know everything about them. They make a life-changing discovery:their parents were hiding secrets about their sexual identities. The revelation unravels Sabine’s world, while practical Blythe seems to take everything in stride. Once again at odds with her sister, Sabine chooses to learn all she can about the father she never knew. Ultimately, she must decide if she can embrace his last wish for a family legacy--even if it means accepting a new idea of what it means to be a family.

 

Praise for Wider than the Sky

“Sabine’s struggle to reconcile her memory of her father with the man he really was—and to make room in her life for his hopes as well as her own—cuts to the heart of what it means to love someone unconditionally. Wider than the Sky skillfully weaves multiple character arcs together to examine the ideas of home, hope, and family in surprising new ways.”—Misa Sugiura, It's Not Like It's a Secret

"Lyrical and lovely, Wider than the Sky is one of those rare books that has everything—masterful storytelling, a great love story, important themes, razor-sharp wit, and memorable characters. It's a gorgeous debut that will capture your heart."—Corina Vacco, Delacorte Prize–winning author of My Chemical Mountain
 
“I haven’t stopped thinking about these sisters since I first read Wider than the Sky. Sabine and Blythe will leap off the page and live in your memories like old friends. There is so much heart and humor in Katherine’s writing; even as her characters grapple with serious concerns and issues, she captures how life can slice us open and yet give us the ability to laugh and love and hope through the deepest pain and loss.”—Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, New York Times bestselling author of Book Scavenger

“Rothschild’s story showcases how secrets impede a person’s ability to see the world clearly and that self-acceptance and honesty are the keys to a happy ending.”School Library Journal

“Change comes suddenly to the lives of 16-year-old Sabine and her identical twin sister, Blythe, when their father dies unexpectedly, prompting their mother and a strange man named Charlie to move the girls to the small town of Thornewood . . . Rothschild’s first novel is accomplished and nicely plot-rich with some interesting quirks, chief among them being Sabine’s deep-rooted love for Emily Dickinson’s poetry and her compulsive need to recite it.”Booklist

“Kath Rothschild’s Wider than the Sky is pitch perfect! Young adult readers will fall in love with her wonderfully quirky narrator Sabine and her swoony romance with Kai. Combine that with family secrets and a mysterious stranger and you have the ingredients for a compelling read. I cannot wait to put it in the hands of my young customers!”—Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books (Oakland, CA)

 

About Katherine Rothschild:

Katherine Rothschild is a Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University, a former ballet and Arabic dance instructor, and an obsessive Twitter food truck-follower. Her first-person essays have been published on KQED/NPR, in The San Francisco Chronicle, and other Bay Area and California publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, a PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics, has received artist’s grants from Vermont Studio Center and Kindlings West, and is a longtime member of the SCBWI. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Her debut novel is Wider Than the Sky from Soho Teen. Find her on Twitter @Kath_Rothschild.

Website  Facebook  | Twitter  | Instagram | PinterestGoodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a hardcover copy of WIDER THAN THE SKY, US Only.

3 winners will win a paperback copy of WIDER THAN THE SKY, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One: 

12/6/2021

BookHounds YA

Promo Post

12/7/2021

Kait Plus Books

Promo Post

12/8/2021

perusewithcoffee

Promo Post

12/9/2021

Mythical Books

Promo Post

12/10/2021

Phannie the ginger bookworm

Promo Post

12/11/2021

GivernyReads

Promo Post

Week Two:

12/12/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Promo Post

12/13/2021

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Promo Post

12/14/2021

Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Promo Post

12/15/2021

100 Pages A Day

Promo Post

12/16/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Promo Post

12/17/2021

Never Hollowed By The Stare

Promo Post

12/18/2021

@readingwordsmith

Review

Week Three:

12/19/2021

The Momma Spot

Promo Post

12/20/2021

Eli to the nth

Review

12/21/2021

Emelie's Books

Review

12/22/2021

Two points of interest

Review

12/23/2021

Rajiv's Reviews

Review

12/24/2021

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Promo Post

12/25/2021

Karen Dee's Book Reviews

Review

Week Four:

12/26/2021

@jypsylynn

Review

12/27/2021

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review

12/28/2021

brittreadsalattebooks

Review

12/29/2021

My Fictional Oasis

Review

12/30/2021

@coffeesipsandreads

Promo Post

12/31/2021

Lexijava

Review


Monday, December 20, 2021

Book Review - The Lilac House (Lake Summers, #1) by Barbara Josselsohn

 


Anna Harris used to love summer escapes to Lilac House. The Lilac House was always a source of comfort for her and her family. However, since her husband's death, things has changed and nothing seems the same as before. Anna and her kids, Zac and Evie, try to collect the pieces and try to build a new life without Greg.

When Anna and the kids arrive, the house is everything that they remember it as. They get caught up in the small town life and helping their Aunt Hope run her little shop on Main street. Anna begins to feel like herself before she gave up her passion of dancing.  While searching for some guidance, she crosses path with Aidan. Anna and Aidan feel drawn to each other because they both know what it's like to lose someone. They recognize in each other something they both have been missing.

However, Aidan isn't being completely honest on why he's at Lake Summers. Anna learns a secret Greg was keeping before he died and it makes her question everything she knew. Will Anna and Aidan be able to find peace?

I found this book to be boring but, I liked that the characters were upfront and honest with each other. I hate when books use a misunderstanding between the two characters as the only form of story. I felt like that the book barely had any story (except the minute details about ballet) and it definitely dragged during the middle and there were no surprises or twists. I was surprised by the ending because the story wasn't wrapped up in an bow and the next book in the series seems like it would be new characters. I thought the book was okay but, I won't go out of my way to read another book by the author.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Saturday, December 18, 2021

December 2021 Haul!

 

I can't believe the year is almost over already and this will be my last haul for December! I did go a bit crazy but, it is the end of the year and it's the season of indulgence. 

I get really dry skin during the winter so, I got a bunch of moisturizers. I got this new body lotion from Basd and it has this amazing mint scent. According to the bottle, most of the ingredients are plant based which seems interesting. I got this new facial moisturizer called Rich B*tch and the name was kinda funny. It's enriched with cactus and vitamin C. 

I got a new serum from Summer Fridays. I never tried anything from the brand but, I heard good things about them. Their CC Me serum promises to brighten skin so, this would definitely be good for the colder and gloomier months. I got a body serum from Frank Body called Booty Drops. It promises to tighten skin and can be used with moisturizer or by itself. Personally, I have no booty so no droopage but, I will be using it on my tummy.

I have used a few of IT Cosmetics products and enjoyed them all. I am looking forward to using their 15% vitamin C serums. I got a new mask from Aceology. I heard of their brands but, can't say that I have tried any of their products yet. I also haven't really been doing as many masks as I should be doing. I have tried a few Sunday Riley products but, I saw they recently released a scalp serum called "Clean Rinse". I love doing head massages so, this would be an exciting treat to use.

Did you get anything you are excited to try?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Book Review - Grumpy Monkey Oh, No! Christmas by Suzanne Lang + Giveaway

 

It's Christmas time in the Jungle and Jim isn't in the holiday spirit. Jim eats a festive green banana only to make him feel sick and now everything seems worse. All the other animals in the jungle are eager to celebrate Christmas. However, Jim thinks that this time of the year just stinks.

I think the book can be a cute Christmas time read but, it felt more like a normal everyday type of book. It felt like Christmas and other seasonal holidays was just thrown on top. I felt like Jim had mature types of conservation with the animals like drinking tea or eating unripe foods. If this wasn't a holiday theme book, I would have enjoyed it more because they barely talked about Christmas and the many different ways people celebrate the holidays. I think the book tries to be very generic about the holiday but, ends up not really doing anything at all. 

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**


 

About The Book:

Title: GRUMPY MONKEY OH, NO! CHRISTMAS

Author: Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (Illustrations)

Pub. Date:  September 14, 2021

Publisher: Random House Studio

Formats:  Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 32

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

Jim Panzee, our favorite #1 New York Times bestselling grumpy monkey, is feeling like quite the Scrooge this holiday season!

It's Christmas time in the jungle, and Jim just can't get into the holiday spirit. Then Norman offers Jim a festive green banana and Jim feels sick, making everything seem worse. All the other animals in the jungle are ready and eagerly awaiting Christmas, but Jim feels everything stinks. Norman tries to find the solution...and shows Jim that everything can be solved with a soothing cup of tea and time spent with a good friend.

Get your own Grumpy Monkey stuffed animal!

 


 

About Suzanne Lang:

SUZANNE LANG produces, develops, and writes children's television. Formerly with Cartoon Network, she is presently the story editor of an animated comedy series for Cake Entertainment and Copa Studios. Suzanne has a BFA in film and television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

 

Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon |BookBub

 





About Max Lang:

MAX LANG is an animation director, storyboard artist, character designer, and illustrator. He codirected the adaptation of The Gruffalo, which was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA, as well as the adaptation of the picture book Room on the Broom, which has won numerous awards, including the Cristal for Best TV Production at the Annecy Animation Festival.

 

Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 




Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of GRUMPY MONKEY OH, NO! CHRISTMAS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/6/2021

The Phantom Paragrapher

Review

12/6/2021

For the Love of KidLit

Excerpt

12/7/2021

perusewithcoffee

Review

12/7/2021

@bookhounds

Review

12/8/2021

@curlygrannylovestoread

Review

12/8/2021

One More Exclamation

Review

12/9/2021

YA Book Nerd

Review

12/9/2021

Coffee and Wander Book Reviews

Review

12/10/2021

Rajiv's Reviews

Review

12/10/2021

@enjoyingbooksagain

Review

Week Two:

12/13/2021

Jazzy Book Reviews

Review

12/13/2021

The Pages In-Between

Review

12/14/2021

@coffeesipsandreads

Review

12/14/2021

This.nerdy.bookworm

Review

12/15/2021

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review

12/15/2021

Pick a good book

Review

12/16/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

12/16/2021

The Momma Spot

Review

12/17/2021

two Points of interest

Review

12/17/2021

onemused

Review