Book Review | With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on June 7, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 316

Source: Library

Goodreads: ★★★ 1/2

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

REVIEW

I picked up With Malice by Eileen Cook shortly after its release because I kept hearing so many positive reviews. This young adult mystery novel follows teenager Jill as she wakes up in the hospital not knowing how she got there. Jill spent the last six weeks studying abroad in Italy, but she was in a horrific car crash in which her longtime best friend Simone died. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jill is now accused of purposefully causing the crash to kill Simone. With Malice follows Jill as she tries to remember what happened in Italy and discover if she is Simone’s killer.

What I really liked about this book is the fast pace and addictive writing style. I flew through this captivating read because I just had to know if Jill was a killer or not! Jill is our first-person narrator, and I think that is a great choice. I wanted to instantly trust her, but I had to remind myself that she is unreliable because of the memory loss she suffered.

Unfortunately, the author takes a lot of liberties with the way she depicts the legal process in With Malice. While I know this is a fictional novel and written for entertainment purposes only, it was clear to me that either the author did not care to be legally accurate, or she simply failed to do proper research. For example, in one scene Jill’s lawyer mentions that the opinion of a lay witness would not be admissible because it pertains to the speed of the car during the crash. Anyone who has taken an evidence class in law school knows that is completely wrong – lay witnesses can give opinion testimony in this situation. I even did some research to make sure this is the same in Italy! Those without a legal background probably will not be as bothered by the plethora of inaccuracies, but it did take away a lot from my reading experience, as I do have a law degree.

Similarly, I was also disappointed with the way the ending of With Malice is written. All of the action takes place in the last 30 pages, rendering much of what was presented in the preceding 280 pages moot. While I did like the ending itself, it was quite frustrating that it had to be so rushed. The ending would be much more effective if it were longer and better explained.

Nonetheless, I am really impressed by the plethora of discussion topics that are brought up in this book. With Malice is perfect for a book club because the author brings up a lot of issues without giving strong conclusions to any of them. For instance, friendship plays a major role in the novel. Some of the questions that crossed my mind are: when is friendship true? Can you ever really trust your friends? Should we hold onto friendships simply because we’ve been in them a long time? I think these are questions that can be discussed with others for a long time!

Another topic that I found prevalent in the novel is that of the role of the media. Multimedia plays a role in With Malice, as readers get to see blogs, articles, police interviews, etc. and make their own conclusions as to what is true. This book really demonstrates how things can become twisted so easily. Does the media tell the truth, or are we supposed to find the truth based off of what the media presents? How does social media help or hinder the news? How does social media change the lives of others? Is anonymity online good or bad? I asked myself these questions upon finishing the novel.

Probably the most intriguing topic in the book, however, is truth. Jill is constantly trying to find the truth – did she really kill Simone, or is she being framed? With Malice helped me realize how we can almost never know the truth about something, and this goes for nearly everything in life! While scary, this is also fascinating. I’m grateful that this book evoked this curiosity within me!

All in all, I did enjoy my read of With Malice by Eileen Cook, even though there are some things about it that didn’t sit well for me. It certainly is a thought-provoking read, and I recommend it for any book club. I think it is also a great pick if you are looking to break into the mystery or thriller genres, as it reads very quickly. If you’ve read With Malice, I would love to know your thoughts on it! There is so much to discuss, so please leave me a comment!

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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September Lifestyle Favorites!

Happy Monday! We have just a few days left in September, and I wanted to share with you everything I’ve been loving this month. It’s been a really great month for me, most notably because I got to travel to visit family in Los Angeles. As far as beauty products go, I’ve been working hard to use up all of the products in my stash lately, so I haven’t discovered anything new. That being said, I loved a lot of things about September, and want to let you in on all the goodness!

September Lifestyle Favorites! | Adventures in Polishland

NAIL POLISH

LVX – Azzurrum

LVX – Azzurrum [BUY]

I absolutely love wearing navy nail polish once fall hits, and my go to polish is LVX Azzurrum. This is a high end polish that retails for $18, but it is worth the splurge in my opinion. The formula is excellent, and this polish is really long-wearing. I always go back to this navy color, and think it is a staple for any collection. Plus, it’s always great to support a small business – LVX is made in the USA!

FASHION

Elect Your Local Cat Lady T-Shirt [BUY]

I was doing some clothes shopping at the mall, and the last thing I expected to buy was a graphic tee. However, when I saw this hilarious Elect Your Local Cat Lady t-shirt at Francesca’s, I had to get it! Not only is this shirt funny, but it’s really good quality and the softest t-shirt in my wardrobe. I love politics and cats, so this shirt is pretty representative of me. I also thinks it gives me a good opportunity to bring up politics in a lighthearted way when I’m wearing it!

FOOD

Image Source: CLICK

118 Degrees LA [WEBSITE]
Finding vegan food in Los Angeles was a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed so many delicious meals while on vacation, but one of the standouts is the Fried Avocado Rolled Tacos from the restaurant 118 Degrees. My family and I stumbled upon this restaurant, which just so happens to be raw vegan. I’ve never been to a raw vegan place before, and I was amazed! My tacos were amazing! I gobbled them down super quickly. The service was also excellent – the server had the chef prepare fruit salad and smaller portions for my nephew. I highly recommend checking out 118 Degrees whether you are raw vegan or not!
MUSIC

True Colors by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake [BUY]

You all know by now that I am a huge Justin Timberlake fan, so it’s no surprise one of his new songs from the DreamWorks Trolls soundtrack made it on this list. I am blown away by how beautiful this cover of True Colors is. I’ve had it on repeat since it was released!

TELEVISION

Dancing with the Stars

I am also loving the new season of Dancing with the Stars! It’s still early, but my favorites this time around are Calvin Johnson, Jr. and Laurie Hernandez. I feel like the judges have been very tough in the scores so far. I’m interested to see how things will continue this season! It’s still a bit too early to see any real standouts in the cast.

SPORTS

The fall also brings football! You might know I am originally from New England, so I am a Patriots fan. I wasn’t sure how things would go for the Pats with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games. It’s been a ton of fun watching the guys advance to 3-0 on the season! I hope they can continue to dominate on the field as the season continues.

EXPERIENCE

Point Dume Beach, Malibu

Visiting Los Angeles

I’ve been very lucky to visit Los Angeles, California several times now. In fact, this was my fifth trip in just over two years! As I mentioned, I have family in the area, so I go to visit as often as I can. I absolutely love spending time in person with my nephew. I might not be with him often, but I treasure the moments we get together. During this trip we got to visit the beach, the park, the LA County Fair, and much more. I miss him terribly when I come home, but there is always FaceTime!

That wraps up everything I loved in the month of September! I feel like so many exciting things happen in the fall, and we are just getting started with my favorite season of the year. I’ve already begun eating some pumpkin treats, so you can expect to see that on next month’s list! As always, please share your current favorites with me in the comments. You can also use the hashtag #PolishlandFaves on social media so I can find your posts! Here’s to a great October!

Some of the products in this post were provided for my unbiased review. This post includes an affiliate link. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Library Book Sale Haul | 8 Books for $3.50

Happy Thursday! I am so excited to be back from my blogging vacation and creating content again for all of you. I wanted to kick things off by sharing about one of my favorite events that takes place every year – the library book sale at my local library. My local library always has a book sale section, but once every year there is a huge sale where books are sold at extremely affordable prices. Last year I found some amazing books (see that haul HERE), and this year I couldn’t wait to see what I would discover. Let me show you the eight books I picked up for just $3.50!

Library Book Sale Haul | 8 Books for $3.50I went to the library book sale twice this year. First, I went early on opening day to get the best picks of all the books. Then, I went back on the last day when the books were all $1.00 per bag. I am happy to do a separate blog post with all of my library book sale tips, so let me know if that is something you would like to see in the comments!

Library Book Sale Haul | 8 Books for $3.50During the first day of the sale, all the books were $0.50 each! I picked up five, and the first two are hardcover books in really good condition. I’ve heard amazing things about The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, so I decided to grab it in the Exclusive Collector’s Edition. I think I am most excited about finding a copy of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I’ve read a few of Oliver’s other books, and I’ve loved them. Plus, Before I Fall is becoming a movie, so now I can be ready for it!

Library Book Sale Haul | 8 Books for $3.50I also found three paperback books on the first day of the sale. I have a mixed track record with the author Laurie Halse Anderson, but I’ve heard great things about Wintergirls, so I was glad to find a copy. Similarly, I’ve only read one book by the famous John Green, and I want to see what else he has to offer. I think Looking for Alaska is his most famous book besides The Fault in Our Stars, so I hope to get to it soon. Finally, I found a copy of Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. I’ve never read a complete book by this author before, but I would love to see how he writes fiction, as I’ve sampled his nonfiction in the past.

Library Book Sale Haul | 8 Books for $3.50When I went back on the last day of the sale, I found three more books! As I mentioned above, the books were now priced at $1 per bag, so I spent just a dollar for these three books. First, I found The Virgin Suicides by Jefferey Eugenides, which I’ve heard very interesting things about and am intrigued to know more. Then, I grabbed a copy of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I actually own this as an Ebook and tried to read it a few years ago. I got halfway through, but then gave up. I’m hoping to finish it in physical form! Last but not least, I got a copy of Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings. I’ve followed Lindsay’s YouTube channel for years now, so I’ll be happy to finally read one of her books.

Those are the eight books I got at the library book sale this year! I’m really happy with my finds, and I think this is a decent size haul. I highly recommend seeing if your local library holds a book sale. Not only is it great for us as readers to score awesome prices on books, but it helps to support the library and community at large as well. I would love to know in the comments if you hit up your local book sales. Please share what books you’ve found recently, or your best find of all time!

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Upcoming Adventures | September Blog Chat + Announcement

Happy Sunday! September is here, and it’s time to share everything you can expect to see on this blog throughout the month. This is going to be a transitional month here at Adventures in Polishland, and I’m excited to share my Upcoming Adventures with all of you. Let’s chat about all things blog related!

Upcoming Adventures | September Blog Chat + Announcement

First things first, I want to announce that I am taking a planned blog and YouTube vacation for the first few weeks of September. I’m doing well, and I still love blogging, but it’s just time for a little break. For over a year now, I’ve blogged five+ days a week and created two+ YouTube videos a week without any break whatsoever. As you can imagine, that is a lot of hard work and dedication, not to mention hours. I think you can understand why I would like a little time away from the computer. I will most definitely be back, and I expect to return around the last two weeks of September. If that changes, I will notify you via my social media.

In addition, I’ve decided that once I return from my blog vacation I am abandoning my current content schedule. I feel like my current schedule (see HERE if you want more detail) is focusing on quantity rather than quality. Thus, instead of making sure I put out five blog posts in certain categories every week, I’m going to focus on sharing good quality content whenever I have something that is worth sharing. Adventures in Polishland will still be a lifestyle blog with a beauty focus, so the majority of my posts will be about nail polish, makeup, skincare, etc. However, I want to create more lifestyle posts for you, too. I will make sure to update you on what that means when I figure out what my new blogging routine will be!

One change in posts that I can definitely share is that I will not be reviewing books on my blog as much. I love writing book reviews, and I will still be going so. Every book I read will be reviewed on Goodreads, so make sure to follow me HERE to keep up with my reading. I will still be reviewing books on the blog, too, but will focus on newer releases and books for which I have a lot to discuss.

That wraps up everything I want to tell you! I hope you understand why I’m taking some time off, and will stick around for my return later this month. I really do appreciate each and every one of you and the support you have shown to me over the past four years. I’m excited to come back and create better content for you!

Keep up with me while I’m away from the blog on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

August Empties | #365DaysofEmpties Update

Happy Friday! Today I’ll be sharing my August empties with all of you, and I’m excited to do so. July was a bit of a fail – I only used up three products (see that post HERE). Luckily, I used up a bunch of products in August, and I hope to be back on track for my goal of emptying 100 products this year. Let me share with you all of the beauty, skincare, and more that I used up in August!

August Empties | #365DaysofEmpties UpdateI wanted to give you a quick reminder before I jump into the mini reviews that I won’t be repurchasing any of the non-vegan products shown in this post. Thus, I will only let you know if I will repurchase a product when it happens to be vegan.

HAIR CARE

August Empties | Hair Care

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild – 1 can [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I’ve had mixed experiences with Batiste Dry Shampoo in the past, but I grabbed this one at my local T.J. Maxx on sale. I got the Wild scent, which smells amazing, but is a bit overpowering. I like this dry shampoo, but I don’t love it. That being said it is the best dry shampoo I’ve tried from the drugstore.
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes. I’ve repurchased the standard clean scent, which I’m currently using.

L’Oreal Blow Dry It Quick Dry Primer Spray – 1 bottle [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I absolutely loved this heat protectant. It made my hair look really smooth and shiny without weighing it down, and it smells really nice. I got this on super sale at CVS several months ago, and used up the bottle really quickly. I think it’s because I really enjoyed applying this product!

MAKEUP

August Empties | Makeup

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray – 1 bottle [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I used up my holy grail setting spray this month! This bottle lasted me 9 months (yes, I checked by using my blog!). I always see a difference in the longevity of my makeup on the days I forget to apply this spray. It’s worth the price tag for me!
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes! I already did!

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe – 1 pencil [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I did enjoy this eyebrow pencil, and think it is a great product for the price. However, I think my brows are much better suited to brow powders. I have wide brows, but they are quite sparse, so I need to do a lot of filling in each day. This pencil was good for days I was in a rush, but not for a really precise look.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying in Shell – 1 packet [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I got one use out of this sample foundation, and I’m really impressed with it! This is a true liquid to powder foundation, and I think it works wonders if you have combination or oily skin. I think I might need a different shade, as Shell seemed a bit off, though still wearable. I might need to head to Sephora to do a color match.
  • Would I Buy it Again? I’m not sure. I loved this sample, but would like to try it more before I invest in a high end foundation.

NAIL CARE

August Empties | Nail Care

Berkley Jensen 100% Pure Cotton Rounds – 1 pack [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I used up another pack of cotton rounds that I buy in bulk from BJ’s! I use these to take off my nail polish and, sometimes, to wash my face. These are a necessity for me!
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes!

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat – 1 bottle [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I’ve used up as much of this base coat as I possibly can, but the bottle is not completely empty. I’ve used this product for several years, and think it is a great option for an affordable base coat. It is not a great top coat, however.

SKINCARE

August Empties | Skincare

Up & Up Refreshing Wet Cleansing Towelettes – 1 pack

  • Mini Review: I really liked these towelettes for removing my makeup. They are gentle on the skin and do a great job at getting off all the stubborn makeup. If you are looking for an affordable option, you can find these at Target for just over $3!

Derma-e Hydrating Night Creme – 1 tub [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I love this night cream! This ultra-hydrating moisturizer is somehow really light on the skin. I can also feel some firming properties in this cream. It also smells nice and smoothing, too.
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes!

ORAL CARE

August Empties | Oral Care

Colgate MaxFresh Toothpaste – 1 tube [BUY]

  • Mini Review: I’ve used this toothpaste several times, and really like it because it leaves my mouth feeling really clean. Plus, the little breath strips are pretty invigorating. I’ve really enjoyed this toothpaste when I’ve used it!

AUGUST EMPTIES: 10

TOTAL 2016 EMPTIES: 68

I am so excited to now be back on track with my goal of using up 100 products this year! It definitely helps to use sample products along the way. I recently decluttered all of my samples, so I hope to focus on using up the ones I kept. As always, if you’ve tried any of these products, please let me know your thoughts on them in the comments!

Some of the products in this post were provided for my unbiased review. This post includes affiliate links. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

This entry was posted in Makeup.

August Lifestyle Favorites!

Happy Thursday! I can’t believe it is the first day of September, and time to share my August favorites with all of you. I didn’t discover too many new products this month, but I do have a few beauty, haircare, and miscellaneous things to shout out today. Without further ado, let me jump into my August favorites!

August Lifestyle Favorites

NAIL POLISH

Zoya – Mallory

Zoya Mallory [REVIEW] [BUY]

I feel like every time Zoya puts out a new blue nail polish I end up falling in love with it! Mallory is just a stunning blue from the new Urban Grunge collection. It does stain the nails, so make sure to double up on your base coat to prevent that from happening. I think my next manicure will be with Mallory!

HAIR CARE

LUSH Brazilliant Shampoo Bar

LUSH Brazilliant Shampoo Bar [BUY]

I was in the market for a new shampoo, so I decided to head to LUSH for the first time in quite a while. I purchased the Brazilliant, as it helps to moisturize the hair but not weigh it down. I absolutely love the scent of this shampoo, and I find that it works really well. My hair is very clean after using it, but not dried out at all. It’s definitely worth paying a bit more for it!

FOOD

Gardein Chipotle Black Bean Burger

I was in the mood for a black bean burger, and luckily spotted these at my local grocery store. I couldn’t believe how amazing these taste! I’ve tried a lot of frozen black bean burgers before, and none have measured up to these ones. They are almost as good as the black bean burgers I get at restaurants. Plus, they are pretty affordable, too!

BOOK

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child [BUY]

There have been a lot of mixed opinions on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child since its release on July 31, but I really enjoyed it. I went into the script not knowing anything about the plot, and I think that helped me have a positive experience because I had zero expectations. The thing to remember is that this is not a new Harry Potter book – it is a script of a stage play. I can only imagine how amazing this looks performed live!

TV

Rio 2016 Olympics

Leading up to this year’s Olympics, I wasn’t too excited. There was so much bad press about the various issues going on in Rio that I didn’t expect to watch many of the events. However, I got really into the Olympics when they began, and stayed up late every night cheering on Team USA. My favorite sports to watch are always Women’s Gymnastics and Swimming, but I enjoyed whatever was on the TV each night.

That wraps up my August favorites! I know this post was pretty short, but I spent the majority of the month watching the Olympics and not discovering too many new things. Please be sure to let me know in the comments what you loved during August. I would also like to know which Olympic events are your favorite!

Some of the products in this post were provided for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

5 Beauty Must-Haves for Your Los Angeles Vacation

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m excited to share with you my top must-have beauty products for when I travel to Los Angeles. I visit Los Angeles about 1-2 times per year because I have family there, and I’ve become quite the veteran at packing for the trip. Los Angeles has a very unique climate, especially for someone like me who lives on the East Coast of the United States. The dry heat of LA can really affect your skin and hair, so I’ve put together a list of the absolute necessities to help you fill your makeup bag. Let me share my beauty must-haves for any Los Angeles vacation!

5 Beauty Must-Haves for Your Los Angeles Vacation

1. Face Wipes Travel Pack

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Wipes

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Wipes [BUY]

I am a huge cleansing wipe junkie, and that doesn’t change when I travel! I like to pick up a travel pack at Target so that I can use the wipes while traveling, and toss them before coming home. The reason I recommend the Yes to Blueberries wipes for Los Angeles is because they not only help to cleanse the skin, but they help moisturize as well. Wipes are perfect for cooling off in the sun, and keeping the skin clean while out and about. Keep this pouch in your beach bag so you can freshen up on the go!

2. Mini Dry Shampoo

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo [BUY]

Next up is a travel size dry shampoo. My hair gets oily really easily, so I rely on dry shampoo to keep it looking fresh between washes. Whether you’re visiting the beach, spending the day at a theme park, or simply hoping to give your hair a boost before going out, dry shampoo is a must. I’ve never tried the Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo before, but I found it in Target’s travel section, so I decided to pick it up. Dry shampoo is one of those products you just can’t decant into a smaller bottle, so I spend a few extra dollars for a mini one.

3. Foundation Stick

ELF Cosmetics Moisturizing Foundation Stick

ELF Cosmetics Moisturizing Foundation Stick [BUY]

I absolutely love bringing stick foundation with me on vacation. Not only is it really simple to apply with just your fingers, but it doesn’t need to be packed in your 3-1-1 bag because it’s not liquid! I like the ELF Cosmetics stick foundation because it has a moisturizing formula. My skin gets very dry on the flight to Los Angeles, and in LA’s natural climate, so every bit of added moisturization helps. You can see a full review of this product HERE.

4. Facial Sunscreen

Tarte TarteGuard SPF 30

Tarte TarteGuard SPF 30 [BUY]

Next up is a facial sunscreen, which is an absolute necessity if you are spending a lot of your vacation outside. I normally use a foundation or primer with SPF in it, as I’m not in the sun enough for a dedicated sunscreen. However, in Los Angeles I’m often at an outdoor park, eating outside, etc., so it’s nice to have a stronger SPF for my face. I got this Tarte sunscreen in a subscription box, and I love the light consistency.

5. Translucent Powder

ELF Cosmetics Translucent Mattifying Powder

ELF Cosmetics Translucent Mattifying Powder [BUY]

Last but not least is a translucent and mattifying powder. My skin gets really oily, even in a dry heat, so I like to set my face with powder every day. I recently got the ELF Cosmetics powder, and I love this compact for travel because it has a huge mirror that makes touching up easy. Plus, the packaging is slim and sleek to fit in my purse.

That wraps up my top beauty must-haves for any Los Angeles vacation! I hope you found this post helpful as you pack for your trip. If you need more travel tips, make sure to check out my Jet Away June series HERE for packing advice, airplane travel, and more. I hope you have a fun and safe vacation to Los Angeles!

What are your beauty must-haves for vacation? Share in a comment!

This post includes affiliate links. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Book Review | Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman

Published by Dutton Juvenile on April 5, 2011

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 264

Source: Library

Goodreads: 

It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

REVIEW

I was very excited to pick up Where She Went, the sequel to Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, as soon as I finished the first book in this duology. If I Stay ended quite abruptly, and I just had to know what would happen next in Mia Hall’s life. Where She Went is told from Adam Wilde’s perspective, Mia’s high school boyfriend, three years after Mia decides to stay. Adam is now a famous rock star, and is struggling in a plethora of ways. Fame is not treating him well, and he is dealing with the grief he feels after Mia breaks up with him when she moved away to college, and after losing her family, too.

The story begins with Adam in New York City for his band. He is about to leave for a European tour, but he decides to go for a walk in the city, and finds out Mia is playing a concert at Carnegie Hall. The two reconnect after the show, and discuss the changes in their lives since they last spoke. Where She Went is written both in the current time, and in flashback scenes as well. This format helps to shed light on the events that Mia and Adam went through since the end of If I Stay.

Right off the bat I could tell Where She Went has a different tone than the first book, and not just because Adam is the narrator. This book is definitely more raw and sad in ways that If I Stay is not. For example, Adam suffers from depression after Mia dumps him. It is heartbreaking to see how much pain he is in, and how he had no one to truly comfort him besides his parents. I really admire Forman for being able to write about such devastating topics in a realistic way.

Similarly, I think Forman does an amazing job at capturing fame from the inside. It is eye-opening to see what Adam goes through on a daily basis as a rock star. He has absolutely no privacy, and he gets mobbed wherever he goes. I think Where She Went is a must read solely for this look at how celebrities are treated in our society today.

Moreover, I also really liked how this book incorporates the setting of New York City. It is rare that I read a book in which the characters interact so much with their setting. In Where She Went, Mia takes Adam around the city to visit her favorite places. Whether you are familiar with New York or not, I think you will feel so pulled in by the city’s atmosphere while reading.

There are a few things about this book that I did not enjoy so much, mostly a few aspects that seemed a bit too ridiculous. First, despite Adam being super famous, no one knows about his relationship with Mia. The couple was together over two years, and I’m sure Mia’s accident was publicized. I find it extremely hard to believe that this could be kept a secret from the media. In the same way, Adam, Mia, and Mia’s friend Kim all turn out to be famous. Sure, it could happen that three high school friends all become famous, but it seemed a bit outlandish to me, and detracted just a bit from the book’s credibility.

Overall, I still really liked Where She Went, and am glad I read it to receive the closure I did not get from the first book. I highly recommend picking this sequel up if you have not done so yet. Forman writes so beautifully, and she creates well-developed characters that will stay with me as a reader for a long time. I will definitely be picking up Forman’s other books in the future!

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5 Nail Polishes for a Job Interview

Happy Monday! With the new school year right around the corner, I thought it would be helpful to share with you my favorite nail polishes for a job interview. Whether you are interviewing for an internship or a full time gig, or simply looking for more office appropriate shades, this post is for you! You’ve probably heard it before, but whenever you head to a professional job interview, you want to make sure the interviewer is focused on you, and not on your makeup, nails, or fragrance. I personally like to wear neutral shades of nail polish that look very clean and subdued whenever I’m in a professional environment. This post will share my top five nail polish picks for a job interview that work with all skin tones!

5 Nail Polishes for a Job InterviewQuick disclaimer before I jump right into the post – make sure to use your own judgment before heading into your job interview! What polish is appropriate will depend on the job itself. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a beauty store you can probably get away with something more daring! I wanted to focus solely on the professional world in this post.

Julep – AlexandraJulep – Alexandra [BUY]

First up is Julep Alexandra, an off-white cream polish. I think this yellow-toned polish is perfect because it is really understated, and not bright like a true white polish is on the nails. Alexandra’s formula is great, and I applied three coats for an even, opaque manicure. If you like lighter colors, a cream shade will work really well for you no matter your skin tone. It always looks sophisticated in my opinion!

Zoya – Rowan

Zoya – Rowan [BUY]

Next up is Zoya Rowan, a taupe polish that dries to a satin finish. Rowan is a stunning polish, and I love how soft the finish is. Rowan’s formula is excellent, and opaque in two coats. It also dries really quickly if you’re in a bit of a rush. Taupe is a great color family for professional nail polish, so pick the shade that you prefer!

LVX – Cashmere

LVX – Cashmere [BUY]

This next polish is an interesting one, because whenever I look at the bottle I’m unsure of how to describe the color. LVX Cashmere is, according to the brand’s website, a cool grey polish. I find that it has a pink undertone, which I really like. Cashmere also has a nice formula that is opaque in two coats. If you want an off-white polish that isn’t a cream shade, then try a cool grey!

Wet 'n Wild Megalast – Bite the Bullet

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast – Bit the Bullet [BUY]

If you would like a bit more color on your nails, go for a mauve shade. I love Wet ‘n Wild Megalast’s Bite the Bullet. Not only is it super affordable, but it has a great formula as well. Mauve is another color family where the shades can vary widely. I really like the purple-toned mauves, but if you prefer the pinks that works well, too!

Zoya – Aubrey

Zoya – Aubrey [BUY]

Last but not least is Zoya Aubrey, a deep plum purple shade. If you really want to wear color during your interview, I recommend choosing a deep purple. This can be a purple like Aubrey, with a brown undertone, or something with more of a red undertone. I think Aubrey is a great choice, as the formula is awesome and opaque in two coats. Plus, the purple isn’t too noticeable. It’s a great, happy medium for when you want a color, but don’t want it too bright!

That wraps up my picks for job interview appropriate nail polish! I hope you found this post helpful whether you are a first-time interviewee or a seasoned veteran looking to change things up on the nails. I wish you all the best of luck on your interview!

What nail polish shade did you wear to your last job interview? Share in a comment!

Some of the products in this post were provided for my unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

Milani Power Lip Gloss Stain in Macaroon Review | $1.99 T.J. Maxx Find

Happy Friday! I recently went to my local T.J. Maxx store to pick up a bottle of dry shampoo, and decided to browse through the beauty section to see if there were any other goodies worth purchasing. I did grab some cleansing wipes from the brand Avalon Organics to try, but on the way to the checkout I spotted some Milani products! I’ve never tried the Milani Power Lip line before, and the shade Macaroon looked really pretty. It was just $1.99, so I decided to buy it as well. Let me share my thoughts on this product with you, as well as some swatches.

Milani Power Lip Gloss Stain in Macaroon Review | $1.99 T.J. Maxx FindMilani Power Lip is a really unique lip product that is part gloss and part stain. It is designed to have a non-drying formula that is also long-lasting. I was drawn in by the gorgeous color on the packaging, and thought it would be a nice shade to wear during the day.

Milani Power Lip Gloss Stain Review | $1.99 T.J. Maxx FindProbably the most interesting aspect of this product is the applicator. This is a twist-up product with a brush at the end. I wasn’t really thrilled with this applicator at first, but I must admit the brush is really soft and the application is surprisingly user friendly. My tip in using this applicator is not cranking out too much product at once. Less is more with Power Lip!
Milani Power Lip Gloss Stain Review | $1.99 T.J. Maxx FindMilani Power Lip Gloss Stain Review | $1.99 T.J. Maxx Find

Milani really nailed the description of gloss stain with this product! The Power Lip almost feels like a liquid lipstick, because it has an opaque yet super glossy appearance. While I did notice that the Power Lip sticks to any dry patches on the lips, the formula otherwise feels quite creamy and hydrating. If you do have dry lips, simply use a lip scrub before application.

The shade Macaroon is a true pink color. It is a bit brighter than I normally wear, and I was hoping for more of a peachy-nude undertone. However, I think the shade does look quite nice on me, and I hope to step outside my comfort zone and wear this often. I definitely appreciate how comfortable the product is during wear, and how the staining properties of the formula leave a nice tint to the lips as the actual gloss wears off throughout the day.

All in all, I’m really glad I found this Milani Power Lip Gloss Stain at T.J. Maxx! I think this is a fabulous and affordable lip product, and I am excited to wear it more. Unfortunately, the Power Lip appears to be discontinued since it is no longer listed on Milani’s website. Make sure to check out your local T.J. Maxx to see if you can score any at a discounted price! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve found anything exciting at your local T.J. Maxx or discount store!