Book Review | Buffering by Hannah Hart

Buffering by Hannah Hart

Published by Dey Street Books on October 18, 2016

Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 272

Source: Library

Goodreads: ★★★1/2

The wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen is back!

This time, she’s stirring up memories and tales from her past. By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringe-worthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah’s wit and wisdom, and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at practicing reckless optimism.

BOOK REVIEW

I’ve been a subscriber of YouTuber Hannah Hart for a few years now, and I decided to pick up her second book, Buffering, after hearing so many good things about it. Buffering is a memoir that features a set of personal essays chronicling Hannah’s life. I highly recommend reading this book if you watch Hannah’s videos regularly, or even just every once in a while. I never could have guessed Hannah’s story, and I’m so glad I got this peek into her life.

I really appreciated Hannah sharing her story in Buffering. I found this book extremely inspirational, as Hannah has gone through some truly horrific things in her life, but she has continued to move forward and persevere. Because Buffering is quite short in length, I will not go into much detail about the essays themselves. However, they cover topics such as family, mental health, sexuality, and more. I can tell Hannah was holding back a lot of detail from the reader, and I hope she will open up even further in the future.

Buffering is the fourth “YouTuber book” that I’ve read, and unfortunately it does contain some of the same writing flaws that I’ve discovered in those other YouTuber books. First, there are many instances of repetition in Buffering. People and places are introduced to the reader multiple times as if they had not yet been mentioned in the book. In addition, there are a few times when the memoir takes a turn and becomes a “how to” advice book instead. I think this is due to online creators being used to speaking directly to their audiences in video form, but it feels out of place in a memoir. I’ve also read several celebrity memoirs in the past, and neither of these scenarios seem to arise in them.

Moreover, I found that Hannah’s writing style was much stronger in the included journal entries than in the actual book. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Hannah is writing the book to her fans, and speaking to them as she would in a YouTube video. I wish we got more of the beautiful and poetic writing of Hannah’s journal entries. Hannah is a very intelligent person, and at times I felt like she wasn’t writing to her full potential.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I read Buffering, as it helped me learn more about Hannah. Not only do I respect and admire her even more than I already did, but this book provided me with more confidence in my own life. I know that it will help many other readers, too. Buffering is an emotional and hopeful read, and I think all of Hannah’s viewers should read it.

BUY THE BOOK

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Affiliate links used. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

Zoya Perfect Lipstick | Swatches + Review of Full 12-Piece Collection

Happy Monday! Today I am excited to bring you swatches and a review of the complete Zoya Perfect Lipstick Collection. This line of 12 lipsticks is created with a hydrating formula designed to last 4-6 hours without drying or cracking. The Perfect Lipsticks are also vegan and environmentally friendly, and have a wide shade range to fit any skin tone. Let me share this lipstick collection and my thoughts on it with you!

The Perfect Lipstick Collection contains nine cream finishes, two mattes, and one frost. All of the lipsticks are unflavored and unscented.

First up is MatteVelvet Red, a cool-toned red with a matte finish. I am pleasantly surprised with how comfortable this lipstick is to wear. Even though it is matte, it feels very smooth and creamy on the lips. Plus, MatteVelvet Red is a classic red shade that I think is a staple in any lipstick collection. 

Next up is Cameron, a light beige lipstick with a cream formula. Cameron has a great pigmentation for a lipstick that is so light in shade. It makes me look a bit washed out because of my very fair skin tone, but I otherwise really like how it wears. I can see this being an everyday color for many people!

One of my favorite lipsticks in the line is Paisley, a purple-toned mauve with a cream finish. Paisley does require about two coats for opacity on the lips, and it is a bit messier to apply. Otherwise, the shade is beyond gorgeous, and I can see myself reaching for this lipstick regularly.

If you’re looking for a red lipstick with a cream finish, Frankie is the pick for you! Frankie is a bright, true red, and it feels really comfortable to wear. It reminds me of my days as a competitive dancer when we were required to sport red lips at our performances. Whether you’re hitting the stage or simply running errands, Frankie is a stunning red!

Next up is Georgia, a bright berry shade with purple undertones. Georgia is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but it is a beautiful lipstick. It has a cream formula, and I do recommend about two coats for an opaque look. Georgia is a great shade to take you from winter to spring!

The next matte shade in the line is Maxwell, a deep plum shade with fuchsia glitter. Maxwell has a great formula, and it is surprisingly comfortable to wear despite containing glitter. However, it is one of my least favorite lipsticks in the collection simply because I don’t like wearing glittery lip colors. Maxwell is also a bit troublesome to remove, as the glitter gets all over the place without coming off my face. That being said, if glitter lipstick is your thing, Maxwell is a nice option.

The other glittery shade in the collection is Brooke, a mauve shade with pearlized glitter. Brooke is more of a tinted lip balm than a lipstick. Unlike the other shades in the collection, this one is not pigmented at all, and it barely shows up on my lips. Brooke does have a cream formula, but I’m not a big fan of it because it just makes my lips look oddly glittery.

Wren is another favorite for me in the collection. This is a pinky-peach shade with a cream finish, and I think it’s another everyday shade. Wren is a lipstick that can be worn any season of the year, and it’s a great choice if you are just getting into makeup and hesitant to wear bright colors.

Next up is Candy, a blue-toned bright pink lipstick with a cream finish. Candy is a Barbie pink for sure. It is extremely pigmented, and I know this will be a spring and summer staple for many people. I’m usually hesitant to wear bright pink lipsticks, but I’m excited to have this in my collection for sure.

Mellie is a the next cream lipstick that is somewhere between a red and pink shade. I think Mellie is a very wearable color, and it also feels really hydrating and comfortable on the lips. Mellie is a great lipstick for any skin tone, and it is work appropriate as well. This is a must have for your lipstick stash!

The one frost formula in the collection is Belle, a blue-toned pink with a golden frost finish. I do not like frost lipsticks, so Belle is not the shade for me. However, Belle is nicely pigmented and is a pretty color for those of you who do enjoy frosts. It reminds me a bit of cotton candy!

Last but not least is Jasmine, a deep plum lipstick with a cream formula. Jasmine is absolutely beautiful and extremely pigmented. This shade is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I think this is one of the best lipsticks in the collection. Jasmine feels so creamy and hydrating on the lips!

All in all, I think Zoya’s Perfect Lipstick Collection contains a great variety of shades and formulas. The majority of the line is well pigmented, and they all feel very comfortable to wear. My personal favorites are Paisley, Wren, and Mellie, but I recommend all of the shades except for Brooke. You can purchase the Zoya Perfect Lipstick Collection on the brand’s website HERE for $12 each. Make sure to follow Zoya on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for sale information and discount codes.

Which Zoya Perfect Lipstick is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

The products in this post were provided for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

2017 Love-a-thon Questionnaire

Happy Saturday! Today I am excited to announce that I am taking part in this year’s Love-a-thon, a bookish event dedicated to spreading positivity and love. The event runs all weekend long beginning today, February 18, and ending on February 20 at 12:00am EST. You can learn more about the Love-a-thon from THIS informational blog post. The purpose of this blog post is to share a bit more about myself so you can get to know me better. Whether you’re a regular reader of Adventures in Polishland, or you’ve stumbled across my blog through the Love-a-thon, welcome to my adventures!

Welcome to Adventures in Polishland!

My name is Christina, and I’ve been blogging here at Adventures in Polishland since April of 2012. I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. My parents read to me constantly as a child, only stopping once I took control of the books myself. My love for reading only grew as I did, but once high school and college came I let my passion for reading take a back seat to all of my schoolwork. During my second year of law school, I decided that reading needed to become a priority in my life once again. I began reading for fun whenever I wasn’t studying, and I’m so glad I jumped back into it.

I first discovered the online book community in 2013. I finished reading Divergent by Veronica Rothand needed to talk to someone about it. I turned to YouTube and found Christine of the channel PolandBananasBooks. From there, I discovered the BookTube community. I couldn’t believe there were so many people online who loved to read just as much as I did! Once I discovered Bookstagram as well, I knew I had to start sharing about books, too.

My primary platform for sharing online is definitely this blog. As you may have guessed by the name, Adventures in Polishland started as purely a nail polish blog. Within my first year of blogging, I slowly began talking about other beauty products, too. However, I kept a separate (and much smaller) blog for lifestyle content and book reviews. After a while, I decided it was silly to separate out all of my online content, and in August of 2015 I decided to make Adventures in Polishland a lifestyle blog. While I still talk primarily about beauty products, I love to review books here as well. Adventures in Polishland reflects whatever is going on in my life at the moment, and books play a big role in that respect.

Favorites

  • Favorite food? Beverage? Chipotle Burritos have become a favorite for me. I get rice (white or brown, depending on how “healthy” I’m feeling that day), black beans, peppers and onions, mild salsa, corn, guacamole, and lettuce. My favorite beverage is black coffee. I don’t recommend drinking it whilst eating a burrito, though.
  • Favorite color? Green
  • Favorite things to do apart from reading? I love planning (with stickers!), watching YouTube videos, baking sweet treats, and talking with my nephew on FaceTime.
  • Favorite TV shows? Full House, The Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, Degrassi
  • Favorite movies? Legally Blonde, RENT, The Rescuers, Back to the Future
  • Favorite musical artists? Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga
  • Favorite places to shop? Antique stores, Target, Amazon, Michaels Crafts

Book Talk

  • Favorite childhood books? I loved the How Many Bugs in a Box? series, The Jolly Postman series, anything by Avi and Judy Blume, and (of course) Harry Potter.
  • Favorite books read in the last five years? The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This short list was extremely difficult to create and is in no particular order!
  • Favorite genres? I try to read a wide variety of genres, but my favorites are dystopian, fantasy, and hard-hitting contemporary.
  • Underrated book, series, or author you love? I really love the Game of Triumphs duology by Laura Powell. It’s an urban fantasy set in London in which tarot cards play a big role.
  • A book you want to see made into a film or TV show? The Balance Keepers trilogy by Lindsay Cummings!
  • Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family? Bishop from The Book of Ivy duology by Amy Engel is a great romantic partner. I would also love to have Emily from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson as a BFF. It’s probably not a surprise that I would happily join the Weasley family from Harry Potter!
  • Books you want to read in 2017? I really want to get to Replica by Lauren Oliver, and I need to continue A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.

That wraps up the 2017 Love-a-thon Questionnaire for me! I’m excited to take part in this bookish event and meet other people in the community this weekend. Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

Book Review | Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on January 3, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Format: eARC

Pages: 281

Source: NetGalley

Goodreads: ★★★★1/2

Love is more than meets the eye.

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a sweet but shy girl named Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

BOOK REVIEW

My reading got off to a great start in 2017 with Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist. This young adult contemporary story is about a teenager named Will who was born blind. Will decides to attend public high school for the first time, and the book opens on his first day of school. What follows is an absolutely adorable story filled with romance, friendship, and seeing for the first time.

I was a bit nervous going into this book, as I read We Should Hang Out Sometime by Sundquist a couple years back and thought it was just okay. Unlike his earlier memoir, Love and First Sight sucked me in right away. The story is told from Will’s first-person perspective, and I absolutely loved his voice. Will sounds like a teenager does in real life, but his narrative flows really well. I was also very impressed with how Sundquist was able to use his writing to create a unique atmosphere for the reader. Since Will is blind, Sundquist describes things without any visual cues. I could feel the difference in his storytelling, and I really appreciated his attention to detail.

Similarly, Sundquist did extensive research in order to accurately represent what it is like to be visually impaired. While I am a sighted person, it felt like this representation was done quite respectfully. A big part of Love and First Sight focuses on how sighted people treat those who are visually impaired, and also what it is like to learn to see after being blind.  I learned a lot from this book, and I really like that Sundquist does not hold back when it comes to pointing out some of the horrible things sighted people do when around the visually impaired. For example, I was shocked at the secrets and deception in the novel!

Moreover, I absolutely love the romance in Love and First Sight. Will meets a girl named Cecily and the two get paired up for a project in journalism class. I was on board with their romance from the beginning, and I found it so cute! I am not usually a big fan of romance, but this one had me swooning and hoping for the best. Plus, Cecily plays an important role in the novel in addition to being Will’s love interest. I am impressed with how Love and First Sight is so multi-layered. I loved the theme of beauty in the novel, and what it means to be beautiful in society versus being beautiful to another person. I can see myself rereading this book in the future to get a new perspective on it now that I know what is to happen.

My criticisms of the novel are quite small. First, some sentences are repeated in the novel in order to introduce a person or theme. I did read an advance copy of the novel, so it is possible this repetition got edited out. In addition, I found Love and First Sight to be extremely fast-paced. However, I did think the ending was a bit too rushed, and I would have appreciated the action slowing down a bit to make the book last just a bit longer. Otherwise, I truly loved and enjoyed everything about this book!

All in all, I highly recommend picking up Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist. It is a very balanced novel in that it will make you laugh and make you cry, and you will be swooning over the adorable romance as well. Plus, I loved the inclusion of the board game Settlers of Catan! Sundquist gets some bonus points for that. I hope to see more novels from Sundquist in the future, as I adored his storytelling and will definitely pick up more books by him if they are released!

BUY THE BOOK

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

Dollar Shave Club Update | My December & January Boxes

Happy Friday! A few months ago I signed up for Dollar Shave Club and shared my first box with all of you HERE. I wanted to check in and share what I received from this monthly subscription service in both December and January, as these mailings are quite different from my introductory box. If you missed my first blog post, I signed up for Dollar Shave Club because not only are the brand’s razors extremely affordable, but they are vegan as well. I subscribe to The Humble Twin plan, which costs me $3.00 per month, and I receive five razors per month. Let me show you what arrived in both December and January!

DECEMBER

JANUARY

My December and January subscriptions arrived in cardboard envelopes and contained my blade refills along with an issue of The Bathroom Minutes. I think it’s a lot of fun that Dollar Shave Club has its own newsletter each month. It gives me something new to look at each month instead of just getting my blade refills! Of course, I can edit my monthly box at any time by adding in other products from Dollar Shave Club, such as hair care, skincare, and more. At some point in the future I will be sure to test out other products when I run out of something I’m currently using.

All in all, I am really happy with my Dollar Shave Club subscription, and I highly recommend joining! There is no reason to be paying a lot of money for your razors when you can get a month’s worth for just $3.00. If you would like to sign up, I would appreciate it if you would use my referral link HERE. Please also let me know if you would like me to review any of the other products Dollar Shave Club offers!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Taupe Review

Happy Wednesday! Today I have a review of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in the shade Taupe. I’ve been in the market for a new eyebrow product for several months now, and decided to splurge on this powder during the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale in December. I’ve never tried a product from Anastasia before, but when I discovered that the brand has many vegan options (see the full list HERE), I knew it was time to see why the brand is so well-loved.

I decided to purchase the Brow Powder Duo instead of the hyped Brow Wiz for a few reasons. First, my eyebrows are naturally wide and sparse, so I need a lot of product to fill them in, and powder looks a lot more natural than pencil. Similarly, brow powder is a lot more affordable for me, because a powder will last a lot longer than a pencil. While it was tempting to try the Brow Wiz, I knew the Brow Powder Duo would suit my eyebrow type a lot more.

Here is a look at the Brow Powder Duo packaging. I love the sleek black palette with rose gold accents. It also snaps closed and is very secure, so I know it will travel well.

The Brow Powder Duo comes with two shades, a light and a dark, so that you can get a perfect color match and also add dimension to the brows. I only use the dark shade in this duo, as it matches my eyebrows perfectly. I apply the powder using the EcoTools Angled Eyeliner Brush, and it does an amazing job. I also set my eyebrows using the ELF Cosmetics Clear Brow Mascara, as my eyebrows tend to get wild throughout the day. This product is advertised to be smudge proof and long-wearing, and overall I do agree with that. I do experience a very small amount of smudging while finishing up my makeup application, but my brows otherwise stay in place all day. I love how I can get a really natural looking brow with this powder, but I can also create sharp lines using my angled brush.

All in all, I am really happy that I purchased the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Taupe. This is the best brow powder that I’ve tried by far, and I think it is worth the $23.00 price tag even though I am only using one of the shades. I use this product every day that I wear makeup, and I’ve barely made a dent in the powder. I know the Brow Powder Duo will last me a very long time. Thus, if you are looking for a brow powder, I highly recommend trying out this one from Anastasia. You can purchase it on Sephora’s website HERE, and make sure to shop through Ebates to earn cash back. This product comes in 11 different shades, so there should be an option for you no matter your hair color!

Have you tried any Anastasia brow products? Let me know in the comments!

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

 

Book of the Month Club | January 2017 | Unboxing & Review

Happy Monday! Today I am excited to share with you a new-to-me subscription box that I recently purchased. I’ve been eyeing up Book of the Month Club for a long time now, and finally decided to buy a subscription because of the amazing promotion the club is running in January. If you are a fellow reader, I definitely think this subscription will interest you. I made an unboxing video so you can see how my first box arrived, and I will also share my review of the service as well!

Book of the Month (hereinafter “BOTM”) is a monthly subscription service for books. There are a few different plans from which to choose, but I went with the 3-month subscription for $29.97, or $9.99 per month. This 3-month subscription also comes with a free tote bag that is a $20 retail value! Each month there are five books chosen from the BOTM judges, and you get to choose one book for your subscription. I really like that you pick the book you like best – you never have to worry about getting stuck with a book you won’t enjoy! In fact, if you don’t like any of the selections in a particular month, you are free to skip that month’s box without getting charged. Your subscription will roll over into the next month!

I decided to choose Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally for my January selection. This is a young adult book, and because I am primarily a YA reader, I thought this would be a great first pick. My book came with a sturdy bookmark that has a quick blurb about the book from the judge who selected it. I think I will really enjoy this book based on the blurb!

As I mentioned above, BOTM ran a promotion in January where everyone got a free copy of The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. I absolutely loved Gone Girl, and I’ve been wanting to read more from Flynn, so this was a great incentive for me to finally sign up for this service. I highly recommend signing up before the month is over if you also want this great freebie!

 

Another great thing about BOTM is you can choose to add two books to each month’s box for just $9.99 each. You get a choice from any of the past BOTM selections, so long as they are still in stock, and some other books, too. I’ve wanted to read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon ever since it was released, so I decided to add it to my box. I’m so excited to get to this one in particular!

BOTM JANUARY SAVINGS

Whenever I purchase a subscription box, I’m very interested in the monetary value of the products, and whether I am saving money. I decided to crunch the numbers in several ways to determine my savings!

What I Paid: $19.98 ($9.99 January Selection + 9.99 Additional Book)

Retail Value: $66.97 or 70% off ($9.99 The Grownup + 17.99 Girls in the Moon + 18.99 The Sun is Also a Star + 20.00 Tote Bag)

Retail Value of the Books Only: $46.97 or 47% off

Amazon Value of the Books Only: $28.68 or 30% off ($5.99 The Grownup + 11.32 Girls in the Moon + 11.36 The Sun is Also a Star)

Amazon Value of Girls in the Moon + The Sun is Also a Star: $22.68 or 12% off

Thus, no matter how I crunch the numbers, I saved money by purchasing these books through BOTM Club! If you are a reader who loves to check out new releases and own your books in hardcover, I think this is an amazing option. I am so happy with my first box, and I am excited to see what the February selections are going to be. If you would like to get a free copy of The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, make sure you sign up in January! Please use my referral link HERE when you join.

Are you a Book of the Month Club member?

Let me know which book you chose for January in the comments!

This post includes affiliate links. Book of the Month Club Subscription purchased by me. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

Book Review | Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Published by Dial Books on May 20, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 256

Source: #BooksforTrade

Goodreads: ★★★

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

BOOK REVIEW

After hearing great things about John Corey Whaley’s work, I was interested to pick up Highly Illogical Behavior very soon after its release. This young adult contemporary follows a teenager named Solomon who has agoraphobia, and hasn’t left his home in three years. One of his old classmates, Lisa, decides that she is going to “fix” Solomon for her college admissions project. We follow these teens as they become friends, and discover whether Lisa will be able to solve Solomon’s problems all on her own.

I was unfortunately left a bit underwhelmed by Highly Illogical Behavior. It took me a long time to get through this short book because I found it difficult getting immersed into the story. By the end, I did become attached to the characters, and I was overall pleased with the book. However, there are many things about this book that I find quite problematic.

First, Lisa’s character really bothered me. She is a know-it-all who thinks she has the capacity to be giving a fellow teenager mental health advice. I would like to say that she had good intentions, but Lisa is a huge liar and I feel like she never learns her lesson. I don’t think Lisa is necessarily a bad person, but all of her poor choices made her very unlikable for me. I can see how her character is purposefully written to be flawed, but I did not see Lisa truly grow even after sabotaging the people she is supposed to care for the most.

Moreover, Highly Illogical Behavior seemed very derivative of other books in the young adult genre. For example, I saw a lot of parallels between this story and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. In the same way, this book includes one of my least favorite tropes in young adult literature, which is the absent parents. Lisa and her boyfriend Clark spent a lot of time away from home at Solomon’s house. They stay nearly all hours of the day, and their parents never bat an eyelash as to where they are. I find it difficult to believe that any parent of a teenager, especially the ones depicted here, would let their child stay out until 1:00-2:00am without even touching base. The inclusion of this trope in Highly Illogical Behavior took away from the story’s credibility for me.

My final critique of this book is the ending. I did like the big event that takes place as the book comes to a close, but there are a lot of loose ends that did not get tied up for the reader. I wrote down a list of questions that I had after finishing the book, and I think an epilogue could have easily answered them.

Nonetheless, I really appreciate how Highly Illogical Behavior is #OwnVoices representation for mental illness, specifically agoraphobia. It was very helpful to see what Solomon goes through on a daily basis from his perspective and through the eyes of other characters. I thought it was great that Whaley includes both positive and negative receptions of Solomon’s mental health, as that portrays how he would be treated in the real world. Highly Illogical Behavior is also an #OwnVoices LGBTQIA+ novel, as Solomon is gay and Whaley is, too.

Overall, Highly Illogical Behavior is a good story that has an important place in the young adult world. While I did find a lot of issues with it, I also do recommend reading it. If the plot sounds interesting to you, read a few more reviews and see if you would get more enjoyment out of this novel than I did.

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Affiliate links used. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

2016 Reflections & 2017 Goals

Happy Friday! Today I wanted to check in with the New Year’s Resolutions I made for 2016, and also share my goals for 2017. I go through different phases in my life where sometimes I want to make very specific goals, and other times I don’t want to make any goals at all. When 2016 began, I definitely had specific goals in mind. This year, however, I would much rather focus on overall themes than particular resolutions. What I’ve decided to do is check in with the five resolutions I made for 2016, and then share with you what I hope to accomplish in 2017.

If you would like to see my original 2016 New Year’s Resolutions blog post, you can read it HERE. I will be mentioning each resolution as I share my reflections with you.

My first goal for 2016 was to paint my nails more often and try out more nail art. The main reason I made this resolution was because I began this blog to talk about nail polish, and I felt like I needed to use the polish in my collection and share more with all of you. While I did blog a good amount about nail polish in 2016, I did not wear polish much in my daily life. However, I did a fantastic job at decluttering my nail polish collection and getting it down to a somewhat reasonable number for me. I’m at the point right now where if I don’t feel like painting my nails, I’m not going to, and there is nothing wrong with that. I will not attempt  to force myself to paint my nails more, nor try any new nail art.

My next resolution was to nail down a skincare routine. While I definitely did not achieve this goal, I did focus on skincare more than I had in the past. I still struggle when it comes to taking care of my skin, and I know I need to make skincare a daily habit. I see a huge difference in my skin when I use skincare products regularly, and I know taking care of my skin is important. I hope that in 2017 I can make my skin a priority.

Wow! I can’t believe how much my health has changed in one year. In my 2016 Resolutions post, I mentioned how I didn’t aim to go vegan yet, but as it turns out I made the switch in June. I began seeing changes in my health after a few weeks on a vegan diet, and I’m sure that is attributed to eating more products, whole grains, and legumes. I would still like to exercise regularly, as I majorly struggle with being active. I did go on a lot of walks in the fall, but I want to prioritize movement more in 2017. Health is very important to me, both physically and mentally. In 2017 I hope to care for myself mentally by journaling regularly and connecting more with people in person rather than online.

I also wanted to become a more organized person in 2016, and I made great strides with this goal. I got rid of many boxes and bags of my belongings, and I continue to declutter my space on a regular basis. I’m especially proud of the work I’ve done in my bathroom – I no longer hoard products, I only buy what I need, and everything has a place. I even got a lot of products and tools off of my bathroom countertop! My organization was aided by my paper planner, and the dedicated journals I began for my reading and my blog. In 2017 I want to continue to declutter my space. In particular, I want to get rid of the things I own for purely nostalgic reasons.

My final goal for 2016 was to read 40 books. I achieved this goal early in the year, and ended up reading 67 books total! This year I’ve decided to challenge myself to read 50 books. I should easily be able to accomplish this, but I wanted to keep the number on the small side to encourage myself to read longer books. I also want to read more adult fiction this year. I still love young adult, but one reason I love reading is because of the shared experience I can have with other people. My real life friends tend to read popular adult fiction, and I would like to be able to discuss those books with them.

Overall, I am happy with the progress I made in 2016, and I am looking forward to the strides I can make in 2017 as well. I am constantly reminding myself that every day is a new opportunity, and we are in full control to better ourselves at any moment. It’s okay to fail at goals, and it’s okay to change your goals and your direction. I hope you will join me as I discover what adventures 2017 has in store!

 

 

December Empties | #365DaysofEmpties | 2016 Conclusion + 2017 Goals

Happy Wednesday! Today I am really excited to share my December empties with all of you, and to discuss how my #365DaysofEmpties project went for the year. I decided to challenge myself to complete 100 products in 2016, and at the end of November it was pretty clear to me that goal would not be possible. Let me show you the products I used up in December, and then I’ll share my thoughts on this project for 2016 and whether or not I plan to continue in 2017.

SKINCARE

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser [BUY] – 1 bottle

  • Mini Review: It took me over a year to use up this entire bottle of cleanser! I kept this in the shower, and I really like it. While this cleanser is gentle on the skin, it does an amazing job at cleaning my face and clearing it of dirt and impurities. I did get a bit sick of using it in the last few months, but it felt great to use this whole thing!
  • Would I Buy it Again? I can definitely see myself going back to this cleanser at some point in the future.

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes [BUY] – 1 pack

  • Mini Review: I used up another pack of my current favorite face wipes! I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as I mention how much I love these wipes in a ton of blog posts!
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes! I have a stock pile!

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment [BUY] – 1 sample

  • Mini Review: My skin was in a very bad place for a while, so I used this sample I got in a subscription box. Wow! Good Genes really brought my skin back to life! It helped clear my breakouts and balance out my skin tone. I did not like the pungent smell, and I do wish this product was vegan (though it is cruelty free!). Unfortunately, I would not be able to repurchase this even if it became vegan – it’s $105!

BODY CARE

Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter [BUY] – 1 sample

  • Mini Review: I got this sample from Dollar Shave Club, and it did not work for me at all. In fact, my skin felt quite irritated after trying out this shave gel!
  • Would I Buy it Again? No!

The Body Shop Mango Sugar Body Scrub [BUY] – 1 jar

  • Mini Review: I really like this scrub from The Body Shop. I didn’t use it as often as I would like because mango wasn’t a seasonal scent. I love using seasonal scents, so I need to plan my purchases a bit better going forward. For example, the only scrub I have now is pink grapefruit, and I haven’t wanted to use it!
  • Would I Buy it Again? Yes, but in the summer!

Seventh Generation Natural Hand Wash Free & Clean Unscented [BUY] – 1 bottle

  • Mini Review: This hand soap was a huge disappointment for me! First of all, it is not unscented. It has a chemically smell, which is ironic since this is supposed to be natural. Plus, I feel like my hands didn’t get 100% clean with this soap. Even if this soap was vegan, I would not buy it again.

DECEMBER EMPTIES: 6 

TOTAL 2016 EMPTIES: 90

As you can see, I did not reach my goal of completing 100 products in 2016. I did come very close, and I am happy with my progress. I had no idea when I began this goal that I would be switching to a vegan lifestyle halfway through the year. This switch resulted in my decluttering many of my non-vegan products and repurchasing vegan items. This is especially true when it came to makeup. Of course, I still have a good amount of non-vegan products to use up, and you will see these in future empties posts until I decide I’m no longer comfortable using those products (or until they are all done!).

This was the first year I tracked all of the products I’ve used up, so it will be very interesting to see how I do in 2017. I will continue to document my empties with all of you on the blog, but I will do so seasonally instead of monthly. I felt like my empties posts seemed a bit repetitive sharing them every month.

My new goal for 2017 is to use up 120 empties, or an average of 10 empties per month. I do think this is an achievable goal, as I won’t be switching to a new lifestyle as I did in 2016, and thus can focus on my current stash. I’ve also become much better at only buying what I really need, and only using 1-2 products at a time. I also know that while it’s fun to give myself a specific goal to strive towards, my main focus in doing the #365DaysofEmpties project is to save money and not hoard excess products. I hope to be even better at this going forward!

Did you participate in the #365DaysofEmpties?! Please share how you did in the comments!

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