Sunday, October 30, 2016

Faithful by Alice Hoffman



Faithful
Image result for faithful by alice hoffman google
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2016
Genre: Adult Fiction
Age: 18+

I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors. The first book I ever read by her was Practical Magic. I saw the movie as a kid, it was one of my Mom’s favorites. Then growing up in high school I realized the book and the movie were connected. They both give you a sense of hope and love. All of her books make you feel this way and this book was no exception. Hoffman writes in a very descriptive and real way that makes you feel like you are part of the story. All of her books (that I’ve read so far) also follow the same basic pattern. It always starts with a problem, either the sisters parents die, or there is a terrible accident, something tragic and awful is plaguing the main character. Then they go through a difficult and long struggle. This will be years of ups and downs, good and bad. But there is always a happy ending usually involving a guy, love, & fate. So here is a little bit about this newest story…

It all started that night of the accident. Shelby Richmond and her best friend Helene Boyd were out having fun when the car hits a patch of ice. Now every February little luminaries line that stretch of Route 110 in her honor. Helene will never wake up & she will never laugh of smile again because she is in a coma. Shelby was driving and now she suffers from survivor’s guilt.

After a three month stint in a mental hospital then two years of hiding in her parent’s basement Shelby is finally taking a step in the right direction. She’s moving to New York City with her drug dealer, future pharmacist boyfriend Ben Mink. He’s helped her since she returned from the hospital and he could be the one, maybe.

Shelby spends the next almost decade living in a tiny studio apartment with three dogs that she rescues from the streets. Ben is in and out of the picture along with a few other guys but none of them really know how Shelby feels. The only person that really understands is her angel. He was there the night of the crash, and he continues to send her postcards with inspirational messages on them.

Shelby is finally going down the right path after years of ups and downs including a few jobs, going back to school, two deaths, & some questionable moral acts. But before she can change her future she must forgive the past. 

Likes: I LOVE Alice Hoffman as an author! She has a writing style that is unique and beautiful. I am never disappointed by her books.

The storyline in all of Hoffman’s books is basically the same but she does throw in a few twists along the way. 

Shelby’s struggle is very real & believable. There are some genuine moments of shock & sadness along the way & it makes for a great story overall. At the end you are left with a feeling of love & hope!

Dislikes: The only part of this book I disliked was the rape. It happens early and ends quickly but it haunts Shelby the rest of the story. 

Rating:
 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Winky Lux Flower Balm Review

I was finally able to get my hands on some of the coveted Winky Lux Flower Balm lipstick!
(Here's a picture from their website)

I ordered my product the first week of October & the estimated arrival was October 27th. It was so popular from being on Facebook, Woman's Day Magazine, & many other places that it was on back order!

But behold! I got mine on October 27th as promised when I ordered so I am very impressed. Right now the 3rd batch of the balm is expected to go out on November 29th, this seems like a long time from now but trust me it;s worth the wait. 

So here's a little bit more info about the product from Winky Lux's website:
We've added a new magic pill to our collection! This balm stain applies on clear then reacts with your skin's pH levels, uniquely creating the perfect shade of pink lips just for you. Each Flower Balm contains a real fairy-picked chrysanthemum in the color of your choice. Not to mention, it's coconut scented, giving it an aroma so enticing you'll want to wear it every day.

Everything advertised about this product is true! It goes on clear & after a few seconds turns into a beautiful, natural shade of pink. It's a "your lips but better" color. It also has a coconut scent that is not to strong & overwhelming that goes away after application. I'm not sure about fairies picking the flowers but I would believe it! (LOL)

I ordered a pink flower for me & a green one for my mom & I'm a little jealous of her's...
The yellow one is back for this 3rd launch and I might try to get my hands on that one in the future to see what it looks like in real life. 

I'm not really a stickler for ingredients or things like that but if you are here is a list of the ingredients in the product from the website:
INGREDIENTS: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diisostearyl Malate, Octyldodecanol, Dibutyl Iauroylflutamide, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl, Thylhexanoyl Glutamide, Isononyl Isononanoate, CI 45410, Chrysanthemum.

Now here are some pictures of the product once I received & opened it:
(Here is a outside of the box...not sure why it's sideways because I took it facing straight on)

(Look at those pretty worms!)

(Box)

(I really liked that the boxes were labeled on the outside so if this was a gift for someone you would also know which one was yours)



(It's upside down & I'm not sure why...but as you can see the tube itself is about 1/2 an inch smaller than a normal tube of lipstick)

(But...the product is the same size!)

(Here's a top view)

(TADA! It's so pretty!)

(Here's the green one I ordered for mom)

(And this is what it looks like on in natural sunlight)
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Overall I really like the product so far. It goes on very smooth, the scent is awesome but doesn't linger & gag you like some products, the color is something wearable for every day casual or fancy, & the price wasn't awful. You have to think of it as a fun, unique product & not necessarily compare it to a normal lip product where you are paying for the color or the name. You are mainly buying this for the way it looks & you are going to LOVE it! On another note it is much like a balm stick or petroleum based lip balm it wears for 3 to 4 hours then drys down. So you will need to reapply it or use a regular balm on top to keep the color that lingers a little. 

I hope you've enjoyed this review! Let me know if you try it & like it too :) 










Wednesday, October 26, 2016

26 Books in 2016 Challenge

This is a challenge I'm participating in on Facebook! This is my second year in the group & I successfully completed last years challenge. One of my former coworkers was a member so she invited me to join in July of last year & I still made it which was great. So here is the info on the books I've read so far for this years challenge (I'm hoping to finish, soooo close!) 

***Also on a side note most of these book I have done a trailer &/or book review on here on my blog so check those out.***

Book Set in a Different Country 
(Egypt)

Book with Non-Human Characters 
("The Others")

Book by One of Your Favorite Authors
(I went on to read the entire series & the spin-off series)

Book with a Q, X, or Z in the Title

Book with a 1 Word Title

Book Written by Someone Under 30 
(I went on to read the entire series)

Book with No Pictures on the Cover
(I technically listened to this book so there was no cover)

Book that was Banned in the U.S.

Book that Won a Major Book Award

Book You Finish in a Single Day
(I went on to finish this spin-off series)

Book with Antonyms in the Title
(Does this count? LOL I'm counting it either way)

Book Featuring a Religion or Religious Characters

Popular Author's First Book
(This was the first book she wrote with her daughter & I'd like to read the second)

Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born
(This is actually 4 books in one! The last book in the series was actually written first in 1991)

Book Categorized as a Memoir or Biography

Book Categorized as a Play, Musical, or Screenplay
(VERY OBVIOUS FOR MY PICK!)

Book Categorized as a Graphic Novel

Book Whose Author Has an Alliterative Name
(I'm currently reading the 2nd book & I plan to finish the series) 

Book That is Over 100 Years Old





















The Jewel Book Trailer

video

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

The Black Key by Amy Ewing
Image result for the black key book
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Harper Teen
Year: 2016
Genre: Dystopian/ YA
Age: 13+

This is the third book in the series The Lone City. I’ve read the first two books already as they came out. Book #1 is The Jewel & Book #2 is The White Rose. This trilogy is a combination of A Handmaid’s Tale & The Selection. Let’s do a little summary of the story so far…

In the first book we are introduced to Violet Lasting. She is a surrogate living in one of the holding facilities with others like her. While there the girls learn about high class life & work on enhancing their special powers called Auguries. There are three of them color, shape, & growth. Violet is best at growth but it’s possible to be skilled at using more than one. Once they come of age they are auctioned off yearly to the wealthy women of The Jewel.

The island where the story takes place is called the Lone City. In the Lone City there are five circles each separated by a wall. The areas are called the Farm, the Marsh (where Violet is from), the Smoke, the Bank, & the Jewel. The Jewel sits at the very center of the island and that’s where all the royalty live. Once bought by the wealthy women of the Jewel the girls are to live out their purpose of being surrogates for the royalty.

So in book one Violet is bought by a woman called the Duchess of the Lake and her best friend Raven is bought by the Duchess of the Stone. The girls are happy with their new lives of fancy clothes, nice meals, and as many parties as they can attend. That is until they start to fulfill their purpose of surrogacy. It’s especially hard for Raven who is experimented on and kept in a cage down in the basement. The girls also learn what happens to the surrogates after they have done their duty…it’s not pretty. But with the help of a companion named Ash, a servant named Lucien, & the unexpected royals son named Garnet the girls are about to escape from the Jewel.

In the second book the girls are living at a place called The White Rose located in the Farm. The house is sun by a former surrogate named Sil & it’s a refugee for escaped surrogates. Sil has been working with a secret society to stop the segregation of the circles & the mistreatment of the surrogates. The Society of the Black Key is an organization determined to break down the walls that separate everyone & build a better life. Violet & her friend’s band together with the Society & travel throughout the Lone City spreading the word and gaining followers. While this is going on the Duchess of the Lake is pissed that Violet & Ash escaped the Jewel & so she gets revenge in the worst possible way.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the conclusion of the trilogy The Black Key, Violet & her fellow Paladins set out to join forces with the other surrogate homes. We learn more about what it means to be a Paladin in this story.

Years ago when the first founding families came to the island they killed off most of the native people, the Paladins. These were women that could not only use the auguries but also become one with the elements and use them to fight. Violet’s friend Raven is most connected with these women, their ancestors. Raven can then untie the girls with their true selves & turn them into Paladin. Once the girls discover this connection they are no longer just surrogates but powerful warriors.

Once all the girls going to the auction that year are transformed they are ready to fight. Along with Lucien gathering forces in the circles, Ash working with his fellow companions, and Garnet gaining help from the army of Regimentals, the Society will be ready to fight on auction day when the royals are most vulnerable.

In the meantime Violet can’t just let the Duchess of the Lake torture her sister in the palace, so she transforms her appearance and sneaks in under the cover of a lady in waiting. She soon finds out that the Duchess is planning with the Exetor and their plan for the Jewel is much worse than anyone thought. Throughout the weeks leading up to the auction the circles are all fighting back against the royals. Bombs are going off in royal banks & shopping areas, important people are killed, and the Jewel is ever fearful of the Society.

It all finally comes to an end on auction day. The Society together with the Paladin, the companions, & the Regimentals take down the wall surrounding the Jewel. Many are lost but it’s all worth it in the end. Once the fight is over the group of Violet & her friends travels through the circles and sees the ocean & their freedom for the first time in hundreds of years.

Likes: I’m happy this series finally came to an end. It wasn’t too long of a wait since the first book and the spacing between all of them was reasonable.

The book is pretty short so it made for a good, quick read.

The amount of power & life radiating off the characters is very exciting. This is especially true for Violet, she steps up in the end & becomes the leader they all need.

The setting & scenery of this book are just beautiful! From the ball gowns, to the gigantic palaces & gardens. The description & care going into creating this world was great.

Dislikes: There is quite a few deaths in this final book & there is one that is much worse than all the others…it was very Hunger Games like…

Rating: 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book
Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Illustrator: Robert Ingpen           
Year: 2004 (original story 1894)
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s Classic
Age: 8+

In this illustrated version of the classic story we get to relive the magic through beautiful color & black & white mixed media pictures. The book includes all 7 of the original stories & songs that accompany them.

Mogwli’s Brothers
Kaa’s Hunting
Tiger! Tiger!
The White Seal
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
Toomai of the Elephants
Her Majesty’s Servants

In the first story, Mogwli’s Brothers, we learn how Mogwli’s father was killed by Shere Khan. Mogwli who is a small naked child is taken in by the wolf pack under the watchful eye of Baloo the bear & Bagheera the black panther. Mogwli grows up with the pack learning all the necessary jungle skills & abiding by The Law of the Jungle. When he is older, Akela the leader becomes too weak to hunt and Mogwli stands up to the pack, and Shere Khan who want to kill Akela and select a new leader. In the end Akela is allowed to go free and Mogwli is going to see what life is like for men in the village. He vows to come back one day and kill Shere Khan and reunite with his wolf family.

In the second story, Kaa’s Hunting, Mogwli is taken by the monkeys that they call the Bandar-log. He has been taught by Baloo that they are trouble and do not follow The Law of the Jungle. Mogwli is taken to their home, the Cold Lairs, an abandoned Indian ruin. Baloo & Bagherra seek out help from Kaa the snake. The Bandar-log fear Kaa more than any other animal in the jungle. The trio go to the Cold Lairs and are able to save Mogwli and escape.

In the third story, Tiger! Tiger!, the tale of Mogwli and Shere Khan comes to an end. Mogwli goes to the man village after the confrontation with Shere Khan & the pack at Council Rock. He is taken in by a woman claiming to be his mother and given a job as a buffalo herder. He spends several months in the village working & learning their ways & language. Meanwhile Shere Khan terrorizes the jungle and soon the pair come to the fight they have been waiting for. Mogwli uses the buffalo & the wolves to take down the tiger & take his skin as a prize. He ultimately returns to Council Rock & joins his pack once more.

The last story I read from this collection was Rikki-Tikki-Tavi which I didn’t know was part of The Jungle Book. It was as to be expected from the movie, the classic story of the snake & the mongoose battling to the death!
Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen

Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen

Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen

Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen

Image result for the jungle book illustrated robert ingpen

Likes: The pictures in this book are BEAUTIFUL! I’ll attach some below for you to see. If there wasn’t any pictures I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy this book as much.
I kind of already knew the story from the movies over the years, but I was pleasantly surprised by the changes.

Dislikes: I know this is a children’s book but the writing is a little bit hard to read. I’m not sure a child would be able to enjoy this on their own, they would have to have someone reading it to them to explain it.

Book to Movie Differences
This is a comparison between the book & the newest movie (2016)

In the book Mogwli can’t speak any English at all, if he is talking it’s told through his animal noise dialogue or his thoughts.

Also in the book Shere Khan is trampled by buffalo not killed by fire.

Finally in the book Akela isn’t killed by the tiger he is allowed to leave & live his life in peace. But he does make an appearance for the final takedown.

In the movie Mogwli is dressed where in the book he is naked, the reason for this is very obvious!

Also in the movie Mogwli does not spend time in the man village, he just goes there for fire.

The Peace Rock is unique to the newest movie, there is nothing like it in the book.


The final difference between the movie & the book is how Mogwli comes to the pack. Baloo & Bagherra speak up for him & are his guardians in the book. But in the movie Bagherra finds him & brings him to the pack. 

Rating: 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children




















Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Year: 2011
Genre: Dark fantasy/horror
Age: YA 13+

In this first installment of the now trilogy, author Ransom Riggs sets the stage for a skin crawling, spine tingling, slightly horrific young adult fantasy novel.  

The main character of the story is sixteen year old Jacob Portman. Jacob has grown up hearing stories from his Polish grandfather about spending time in a home for peculiar children. The home in question is on the island of Carinholm off the coast of Wales. At this home their lived a number of not so ordinary children with magical powers. Among them was Abe Portman, the boy who could see the monsters.

Jacob has a hard time in school after hearing all these amazing stories of his grandfather’s childhood and seeing the bizarre pictures that accompany them. He has an even harder time when his grandfather is killed by these monsters that no one else believes exist. But Jacob like his grandfather has the peculiar gift of being able to see them.

To combat the difficulties Jacob is facing like nightmares, his psychiatrist Dr. Golan suggests that Jacob visit the island and the home to see for himself that his grandfather’s stories were just that, made-up fairytales. So Jacob & his bird enthusiast Dad head to Wales to see what really goes bump in the night.

The island of Carinholm is a charming little town with only one bar that also happens to have the only telephone & room for let. It’s called the Priest Hole and it’s as delightful as a place with that name could be.

It doesn’t take long to find the home. The only problem is it’s a pile of rubble. It turns out that the house was bombed during WWII. September 3, 1940 to be exact and since then it’s sat on the far side of the island untouched. But how could that be since Jacob has a letter from Miss Peregrine herself written only a few decades ago?

One day while exploring the house Jacob gets some unexpected visitors. He recognizes them from his grandfather’s old photographs. But that would be impossible right? Even if they survived the bombing they couldn’t still be alive as well. Its then that Jacob gets into the loop…

The loop is a span of time that repeats itself everyday so that Miss Peregrine and the children can continue to live on the island and out of the knowledge of the monsters. The loop is set to September 3, 1940 everyday all day forever. While at the home we get introduced to some of the peculiar children.

Emma can produce fire & is also immune to it. Hugh has a colony of bees inside of him but they won’t sting anyone unless he wants them too. Millard is the invisible boy. Horace has dreams that predict the future. Fiona can make things grow. Bronwyn can lift impossibly heavy things. Claire has a mouth on the back of her head that’s hidden by her pretty curls. Enoch makes homunculi, which means he uses animal hearts to animate things & people. Victor is Bronwyn’s twin brother but he was killed by the monsters. Then there’s Miss Peregrine who is a ymbryne which means she can change into a bird & alter time. Miss Peregrine is the one who constructed the loop & resets it daily.
Just a few days before Jacob and his Dad are set to end their stay and leave the island, a strange man appears and a barrage of even stranger things start to happen. Its then that Miss Peregrine’s worst fears are about to happen.

The monsters that only special peculiars like Jacob can see are called hollowgasts. They are a group of adults that used to be peculiars. But in an experiment gone wrong in the search for immortality outside the loop system, they were transformed into monsters. They have gray skin, deformed limbs, and slithering black tentacles inside their mouths. The only way they can take on a human form again is by consuming other peculiars. When they do this they become wight’s.

Well a group of hollow’s & wight’s has come to the island. Their goal is to take Miss Peregrine and a fellow ymbryne that came to the house after her own loop was attacked. Their goal is to use them to try the experiment again. Since Jacob is the only one of them that can see the monsters it’s up to him to help save the group from the wight that is all too familiar to him.

In a climatic ending a few hollow’s & wight’s are killed but that doesn’t mean the group is safe because more are on their way. Miss Peregrine is stuck in her bird form and one of the children is injured, as the group must leave after their loop falters and the house goes up in smoke. They must “leapfrog” to another loop and try to find help before it’s too late.

Likes: The pictures in the book really add to the sty & are interesting considering they are real.
The book was not as scary as I thought it would be from the description & the cover.
The story is very original, with so many dystopian & fantasy stories out there already it’s good to see some variety.

 Movie adaptation makes the book fun & entertaining (comparison to come soon).
Dislikes: The chapters of the book were long but there was only 11 in almost 350 something pages. As someone who times or gauges their reading on chapters it throws off my groove.

Rating:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Detour by S. A. Bodeen

The Detour
Image result for the detour book
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Year: 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & friends
Genre: YA
Age 15+

Olivia “Livvy” Flynn is a teenage New York Times Best Selling author of an amazing new trilogy. She went from being a bullied, nerdy girl, with workaholic parents to a stylish, rich girl off to college in her shiny red sports car almost overnight.

But before college or meeting her online boyfriend Rory, Livvy is going to a writer’s retreat in Oregon near her home in Bend. On the way there she hits the detour…

It starts with her GPS telling her to turn around on a side road. Then as she’s rounding the corner she looks up & sees a girl playing a flute. Just as she starts to question this bizarre scenario her car starts to roll. She wakes up & “Flute Girl” as she comes to be called, hits her on the head with a stick.
Livvy wakes up in the basement & make shift craft room of a house. Flute Girl & her mother are anxiously waiting for their guest to wake up. The mother’s name is Peg and she tells Livvy that help is on the way, but is it?

Over the next few days while Livvy is being held captive she tries to figure out what this woman & her daughter’s motive is for taking her hostage. It isn’t about money that is sorted out right away. Could it have something to do with Livvy’s raging success? Or is it something to do with her family & she was the available target?

Livvy soon finds out she is on some kind of farm in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Her car has been moved from the road so there’s no chance anyone will see it & come to rescue her. About two days in she is overjoyed to see a law enforcement vehicle in the yard through her lone window. But the situation quickly lets her down. The officer in question, Officer Ritchie is cheating on his wife with Peg. He isn’t willing to help Livvy for fear Peg may tell his wife about them.

Then there is Weasley, he’s Peg’s cousin and he is dying to get his hands on Livvy.  Weasley seems to know an awful lot about Livvy for someone she doesn’t know & the situation quickly esculates & she has to fight her way away from him. In a last stitch attempt at an escape Livvy gets a hold of a cutting strip from a box of wax paper. It’s her only weapon & her last chance.

Lucky for her Officer Ritchie comes through in the end with a bang, Livvy is saved & returned to her worried family. Once home she finds out the truth about why Peg kidnapped her & who Weasley really is. But will she change her ways or continue on the path of selfishness & entitlement? 

Likes: As usual S.A. Bodeen never disappoints as an author, she keeps you hanging on until the very end. 
This book was fast paced & very climatic in the end.

Dislikes: I knew why Peg had taken Livvy pretty early on & my suspicions were confirmed in the end. 
I also knew the truth about Weasley as soon as he entered the picture.

There are no “good” characters in this story. I don’t mean good as in interesting, there’s no lack of that, but good from a moral standpoint. Everyone is a bad person including Livvy, she kind of gets what she deserves.


There is a scene between Livvy & Weasley that is borderline rape…be warned if you are recommending this to an older child or young teenager. 

Rating:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Dumplin
Image result for dumplin julie murphy
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins)
Year: 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Age: YA 13+

Willowdean Dickson is the daughter of a former beauty queen in Clover City, TX. Dubbed Dumplin by her mother & deceased Auny Lucy because if her size. The town is famous for its yearly pageant the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant. Willow works at a local fast food joint called Harpy’s, they sell hot dogs & burgers & she loathes every minute of it. Except when she works with the cook Bo. He’s a Catholic private school boy with sparkling eyes, full lips, & an obsession with red lollipops. Willow’s best friend is Ellen Dryver & she’s a skinny All-American teenager with a boyfriend named Tim, the two are stuck together at the hip most of the time.

Aunt Lucy was more of a mom to Willow than her actual mom. So Willow is really upset by Lucy’s unexpected passing. The three girls all shared a love of Dolly Parton, Willow finds comfort in the old record player Lucy left behind & the wail of “Jolene” when she’s down. So when she’s having problems with Bo, Dolly is there to comfort her & Lucy too in a way.

When Bo & her’s secret relationship goes by the way side, Mitch, a handsome football player is there to be her friend & maybe more. Willow’s mom starts to clean out Lucy’s room as pageant season draws near so she can turn it into a craft room. Willow is furious that her mom wants to let Lucy go so soon. So to quell her anger & do something Lucy never could do she decides to enter the pageant. Little does she know she’s inspiring a whole flock out outcasts at her school to join her.

There’s Millie who is about twice Willow’s size, Hannah who has “horse teeth”, Amanda who wears special shoes to balance her feet, & Ellen who decides if Willow is going to enter she has to also. It isn’t long before Ellen gets made at Willow for making the pageant all about herself & helping the other girls. Ellen finds friendship in a fellow contestant & coworker at the store she works at in the mall, Sweet 16, & pushes Willow away. The group have a long way to go to be ready for the pageant & they enlist the help of two of Lucy’s old friends Lee & Dale who are impersonators at a drag club nearby.

As the pageant draws closer Bo transfers to Willow’s school which creates tension between him & Mitch over Willow. She has to decide who is going to be her escort at the pageant & possibly more than that. Willow is also struggling with finding a talent, changing it at the last minute without panel approval creates a problem. And then there’s her friendship with Ellen, will she fix it in time? But everything surprisingly comes together in the end.

Willowdean Dickson is Dumplin & she goes big or goes home!

Likes: This books was hilarious! There’s southern charm & love is radiating off every page.

It was great to see a “fat girl” stand up for her dreams & take no prisoners.

The friendship between Ellen & Willow is great & it’s the kind you hope to find in real life.

Dislikes: This book was slow…you don’t even get to the pageant part until almost 300 pages in, then the actual event doesn’t take place until the last 40 pages or so.

The ending between Willow & the boy she picks is kinda lame but if you’re a teenage girl & you aren’t jaded by love you might like it. Us older girls know that's not how it happens.

Rating: