Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013 Reading Update

Hi everyone.
Another month gone by, another pile of books read.

I always enjoy drawing some sort of theme with monthly reads, but I can't think of much for April.

I did read two books with two individual friends in the book club spirit (a first for me). I've never imagined being able to be part of a book club since my reading can be rather spontaneous and random depending on my mood, but that experience was rather enjoyable. So maybe a theme about sharing experiences...or....yeah I got nothing. Let's just get on with the update.

As usual, I'll list the books in the order finished, followed by my reaction and links if you're interested to learn more. Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Turquoise and Caicos"

Today's notd is a tried and true Essie polish, "Turquoise and Caicos." "Turquoise and Caicos" is, as it's name suggest, a turquoise color. The finish neither a true cream finish nor a true jelly finish but a mix of the two. I really enjoy this type of finish on a summer polish. It has a lighter weight look without being too sheer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shards & Ashes: A Book Review

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

After reading Veronica Roth's Divergent and Insurgent I was craving book 3 (Allegiant). So when I heard she would be releasing a short story in this book of dystopian stories, I got very enthusiastically excited. I wasn't only excited for Veronica's story but the fact that there were going to be 9 short stories all catering to the dystopian theme. The review for this book will obviously be different from that of a novel. I'll make it quick by listing my favorite stories and how I felt about the book as a whole.

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Title: Shards & Ashes

Veronica Roth, Kelley Armstrong, Margaret STohl, Rachel Caine, Nancy Holder, Melissa Marr, Kami Garcia, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan

Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian/Paranormal
Pages: 384
Published: February 19, 2013
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Description (courtesty of Goodreads):

"Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.

Friday, April 26, 2013

NOTD: Hard Candy "Sugar Rush"

Today's notd is for Hard Candy's "Sugar Rush."
I've never purchased any Hard Candy polishes before this line came out, but when I saw the Deborah Lippmann Staccato line, I knew my wallet would be happier if I just went with the Hard Candy look-alikes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Polish Comparison: Revlon "Heavenly" vs. China Glaze "Snow Globe"

I have another polish comparison post for you; this time with glitters.
I will be comparing two iridescent glitters, China Glaze's "Snow Globe" from China Glaze's 2011 Holiday Collection and Revlon "Heavenly" a newer polish from Revlon that is supposedly a dupe for Deborah Lippman's "Stairway to Heaven" (a claim I can neither prove nor refute since I don't own it).

Monday, April 22, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Cajun Shrimp"

So happy to be presenting this polish for today's notd! I don't wear reds often (aside from the winter holiday season) and this used to be my favorite one for summer. OPI's "Cajun Shrimp" is a beautiful coral red. However, the coral component of this polish is subtle enough that it's not too too orange if you're opposed to that.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Escape From Camp 14: A Book Review

This book review contains NO SPOILERS. Enjoy! (:

Escape From Camp 14 is a book I heard about from John. And in discussing Korean historical/current events with my boyfriend, we both decided we would really wanted to read this book together and discuss it as we progressed. We both purchased our copy that exact day and began reading immediately.

My review for this book will be different than usual. Despite it's non-fiction aspect I still will refrain from any spoilers (even though Blaine Harden essentially summarizes it all for you in the beginning anyway). I don't normally review non-fiction so this will be a learning experience for the both of us. I hope you enjoy.

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Title: Escape From Camp 14
Author: Blaine Harden
Genre: Non-fiction/Biography
Pages: 205
Published: March 29, 2012
Links: AmazonGoodreads

"I did not know about sympathy or sadness. They educated us from birth so that we were not capable of normal human emotions. Now that I am out, I am learning to be emotional. I have learned to cry. I feel like I am becoming human."

Book description (courtesy of Goodreads):

"North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Polish Comparison: Butter London "Trout Pout" vs. Essie "Cute As a Button"

I haven't done any polish comparisons for quite a while. But I find them quite useful so I'm going to do one today between two colors that I have been rumored to be dupes, Butter London's "Trout Pout" and Essie's "Cute As a Button."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Cute As a Button"

Today's notd is a nice bright polish for spring and summer. Essie's "Cute As a Button" is a bright pink-coral polish. I've had this polish for a couple years. It's never been my favorite, but is one I like to wear occasionally.

When Butter London's "Trout Pout" was released last spring, I was surprised by the amount of people who claimed Essie's "Cute As a Button" was a dupe. They definitely are not. "Cute As a Button" certainly photographs similarly. The camera has a way of subduing its strong pink tones, but in real life it is much much pinker than "Trout Pout."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Eleanor & Park: A Book Review

There are NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

Today's book review is for one that I find to be such a gem in YA literature, Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park. I briefly mentioned this title in my Book Haul and how I was immediately drawn in by the cover, a depiction of two assumed lovers linked by music. I was also intrigued by the quote on the cover that called this book "smart." While "smart" has different meanings to individuals, when it references a book, it conjures the image for me of a book that encapsulates something about reality that so many of us miss. It's smart, not because it makes puns about mathematics or physics, but because it has the uncanny ability to capture (better than a photograph) how people really are with just the use of words. This is what I hoped this novel would be. Keep reading to find how it met my expectations.

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Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 325
Published: February 26, 2013
Links: AmazonGoodreads

"You look like a protagonist. You look like someone who wins in the end."

Book description (courtesy of Goodreads):

"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Haul: April 2013

Over the past few weeks I have been going crazy (more than normal) with the book buying. I thought it'd be fun to share my insanity so here's my first book haul post. Hope you enjoy!

I purchased all these books within a span of 1.5 weeks. Unfortunately, since I ordered some online and one was shipped at a painfully slow rate,  I already read a couple (I couldn't help myself).

However, aside from 2, the rest are completely new and have not been opened except maybe to read the first paragraph because that's just something I do with all my new books when I purchase them. 

Let's get into the haul!

Monday, April 8, 2013

NOTD: China Glaze "Secret Periwinkle"

Today's notd is for one of my first China Glaze purchases many years ago, "Secret Periwinkle." I loved the periwinkle blue, but hated how it looked on my hands. I ended up letting my sister borrow it for an extended period of time, and when she gave it back I simply threw it in the back of my collection.

This is the first time I'm wearing it in at least 2 years and I'm surprised that my opinion on this color has completely changed.  I love it!

NOTD: Essie "Sand Tropez" + Revlon "Heavenly"

I was in the mood for a glitter manicure, but something more subtle and wearable. I think I found the right balance with Essie's "Sand Tropez" and Revlon's "Heavenly."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hunger: A Book Review

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review.* Enjoy! (:

*Though there will be no spoilers for Hunger, there WILL BE SPOILERS FOR GONE (BOOK 1)

Gone, on it's own was a very well-constructed novel. (If you're unfamiliar with this series, you can find my review for Gone here)Though fear of having a horrible sequel did exist in my gut, I was mostly excited to see what would happen in the aftermath of Gone. So, let's just straight into the review!

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Title: Hunger
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Book #2 in Gone Series
Preceded by: Gone
Followed by: Lies
Genre: YA/teen dystopian
Pages: 590
Published: May 26, 2009
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Book Description (courtesty of Goodreads):

"It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.

Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.

But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Power Clutch"

April showers bring May flowers. And as such, it's a rainy day here in Northern California.
It's no secret I like to pair my polishes appropriately with the weather and picked Essie's "Power Clutch" as today's rainy notd.

"Power Clutch" is a grey cream with a hint of green. The green is hard to see in the photos below, but trust me, it's there. The color itself is still predominantly a charcoal grey, but the little bit of green just makes it more unique. If I can find a more pure grey to compare it to I will make a post and link.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Nice Is Nice"

Today's notd is for an older polish in my collection, Essie's "Nice Is Nice." This color is a pretty pastel lavender that is perfect for spring. I bought this around the same time as Essie's "Lilacism." Unfortunately, my bottle of "Lilacism" morphed into a blue rather than a lilac so I don't have the two to compare. But from what I remember "Nice is Nice" has more pink tones and "Lilacism" is a cooler-toned lilac with hints of blue.