What I Read: April 2014

someone, a discovery of witches, shadow of night, mini book review, book review, what i read in april

Someone

About- An unremarkable, Irish-American girl growing up in Brooklyn.

Why I picked it– Recommended to me by my friend Babe.

Grade A- In most cases, I probably wouldn’t like a book like this. It’s slow and quiet, and not really plot-driven. In fact, when Babe was describing the book to me, she said something along the lines of, “It sounds really boring, but I promise, it’s good!” She was right. In this novel, we follow the life of Marie as she grows up and navigates various obstacles in life. While I was reading this, I felt like I was peeking through a window into Marie’s life. That’s a strange way to describe it, but it did feel a little voyeuristic. The story flashes back and forth in time (sometimes she’s reflecting back on her life) but I didn’t find it too difficult to follow along. I definitely enjoyed the writing as well- simple and quiet doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

A-Discovery-of-Witches

About- A young woman named Diana tries to resist her heritage, but can’t ignore it any longer when a mysterious manuscript threatens to upset the magical balance of power.

Why I picked it– I think one of you lovely readers recommended it to me, so I added it to my to-read list. I can’t remember who it was, but thank you!

Grade A About 10 pages in I knew I was going to love this book. I’ve always enjoyed fiction about witchcraft, I think in part because it was sort of banned from me as a kid and it’s always felt a little forbidden. Once I started this book, I could not stop. It’s not short (500+) but it was so interesting that I felt like I was flying through it. This book has vampires, witches, magic, history, and a love story. What can I say?! I’m a sucker for this stuff.

Shadow-of-Night

About- This is the second book in the series, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches.

Why I picked it– Since I loved the first one, I had to read the second one. In fact, I had to wait a few days for the library copy of this book, but I wouldn’t let myself finish the first book until the second one was available so that I could start it immediately.

Grade B It pains me to say it, but I don’t think this one was as good as the first. A couple problems that stood out to me:

1. The main characters travel back in time and suddenly we get bogged down in all this history. Don’t get me wrong- I generally enjoy historical fiction and history has an important role in the novels since Diana is a historian, but in this book I felt that the historical details weighed down the plot.

2. While I felt like the action was racing forward in book one, there are large chunks in book two where nothing happens. I think part of the problem was that there were so many new characters. It felt like the author wanted to squeeze in some historical figures that really did nothing to advance the plot.

3. I think I wanted a bit more character evolution. The two main characters began to morph people that I liked less than I did in the first book (no bueno).

Overall it was still enjoyable, but not nearly as much as the first one was. You know me- I can’t leave a series unfinished- so I’m hoping that the third book gets back to the excitement and pacing of the first book.

Tell me: Have you read anything good lately?

Fresh in White

white outfit, white jeans, wearing white in spring, how to wear white jeans It finally happened- I got my very own pair of white jeans! Actually, I picked these up a few weeks ago when I was adding a few spring pieces to my wardrobe, but I wore them for the first time this weekend. I had so many ideas for styling them, but the first look I wanted to try was an all-white one. Well, my sweater is more cream than white, but the general goal was to keep the look very neutral and simple.

fossil erin satchel black, black everyday bag, black leather bag, affordable black leather purse Are you tired of seeing my leopard slip-ons yet? As you know, they’ve been my go-to weekend shoe since I bought them. I always like to have some color on my nails and in these pictures I’m wearing the Revlon Parfumerie polish in Apricot Nectar. I was really excited to try these because of the pretty packaging and the fact that they’re scented. It did smell pretty nice and fruity while I was painting my nails, but that faded after a couple of hours. The color wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for either- it looks more like a pale peach in the bottle, but on my nails it’s much brighter than I thought it would be. In sum, this didn’t quite meet my expectations, but I still think it’s a fun color that I’ll reach for from time to time.

neutral tops, white cabled sweater, white on top, white clothing I feel like all I do is talk about the weather, but after a long, long winter, I feel like it’s ok if I gush a bit over spring. I walked around for a while on Saturday and I couldn’t get over how nice it was outside. It felt like it everyone was out with their sunnies and dogs and I saw many people brunching al fresco. I walked around in the East Village for a bit, which is probably my favorite neighborhood in New York.

I stopped by the Muji in Cooper Square, which is so big and spacious. I didn’t really need anything, but of course I picked up a few little bits and bobs anyway. I also went to The Strand (aka paradise) and bought a few books. I was kind of in a spendy mood and had a large stack of books in my hand, but I reminded myself to be practical and narrowed it down three books to take home with me. Finally, I met up with Sarah for a fun little project I’m working on for the blog. I’m trying something new and I’m pretty excited about it. Hopefully it will be up here in the next couple of weeks!

white outfit, white jeans, wearing white in spring, how to wear white jeans Outfit Details: Sweater- Forever 21 // White Jegging– American Eagle // Sneakers and Sunglasses- H&M // Purse- Erin Satchel via Macy’s // Lips- Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Standout // photos of me- my godsister Sarah

Tell me: How would you wear white jeans?

 

Perfectly Paired (Under $40)

spring dresses, spring nail polish, match dress to nail polish, dress and nail polish, spring shopping

Aren’t dresses the best? When I don’t want to think too hard about what I’m wearing, I just throw on one of my favorites and head out the door. Now that the weather is slowly warming up, I’m happy to be able to wear my dresses sans tights. Today I wanted to share a few pretty spring dresses that caught my eye, along with the perfect nail polish to pair with them. Nails are an accessory too, you know!

Look 01. Botanical Woven Dress + Essie California Coral –  There are multiple colors in the pattern on this dress, giving you lots of options when it comes to your nail polish. I chose a bright, happy coral that I think is perfect for spring/summer. Wear this with tan sandals for an easy, breezy look.

Look 02. Sweatshirt Dress + Jin Soon Auspicious – This sweatshirt dress looks like the comfiest thing ever. I like the idea of pairing it with a cool gray nail polish and white sneakers for a casual weekend look.

Look 03. T-Shirt Textured Dress + Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Feathered – I’ve seen this powder blue color around a lot this season and I love it. I think this dress would be great with a bright white nail polish for a look that’s so fresh and so cleanclean.*

Look 04. Openwork Appliqué Dress + Sally Hansen Arm Candy – As you already know, the LBD can work for any season. I love this lightly layered version with delicate lace on the bust. Wear it with a pretty pink polish  and a leather jacket for an outfit that’s hard and soft all at the same time.

Tell me: Which look is your favorite? *Bonus points for knowing this reference!

Throwback: Prom Edition

high school prom, turquoise prom dress, my high school prom

Today I have a fun, different kind of post for you guys- a flashback to my high school days. I started this blog when I was a senior in college and I don’t think I’ve ever talked much about high school on the blog. I wanted to share what is still one of the most fun nights of my life- my junior prom in 2006.

I was pretty shy in high school (I think I still am, to some degree, but definitely less so), but luckily I had a best friend, Erica, who is so outgoing and social. She was also good at gently pushing me out of my shell and that’s usually when I had the most fun. In the spring of my junior year, we were so excited to go to prom together, along with our dates.

In typical girl fashion, I spent the entire day getting ready for the prom that night. When I’m getting ready to go out, I love to listen to music that will pump me up. Erica and I used to share music and make each other mix CDs (remember those!) all the time, so that day I listened to one of the CDs she’d made for me. Throughout the day we were texting each other for advice and just because we were generally excited!

That afternoon Erica and I met up with another friend (plus our dates) for pictures. Then we went to an Italian restaurant, where we were joined by more friends and their dates. Finally we all headed to the venue, which was a building on our county’s fairgrounds.

It was such a fun night. Prom was something I’d always looked forward to and just getting to experience that night surrounded by all of my friends was the best. We danced together, we goofed around, we took silly pictures and just generally had a blast. To this day, whenever I hear one of the songs that was played at my prom I get a little nostalgic because it reminds me of good times and good memories. Like any teenager, I definitely had my awkward and overdramatic moments in high school, but the moments I remember most were filled with good music, big laughs, and great friends.

If you want to listen to a high school throwback playlist* I created, I’ve embedded it below. Bet there’s some stuff there you haven’t heard in a while (anyone remember “Dance With Me” by 112?)! Also, if you’ve made any good playlists yourself recently, leave the link below. I always love to discover new music!

*That last song on the playlist is random, I know! I don’t know why, but my high school dances always ended with “Lady in Red.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Spotify via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Spotify.