Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream Review

Happy Friday! Today I am excited to review for you a CC cream that I picked up at the drugstore a couple months back. In the summer months, I love to wear a BB or CC cream instead of my usual liquid foundation. Not only is it lighter on the skin, but CC cream contains moisturizing properties and sunscreen that can take the place of other products in my skincare routine. I decided to grab the new Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream during a sale at CVS, and I’m so glad I did! This is a great option from the drugstore, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream Review First, let me share a bit more about the product and its claims. The Organic wear CC Cream is of 100% natural origin and is 70% organic. I am definitely becoming more aware of the ingredients in my makeup, so it is always nice to know that I’m not putting harsh chemicals on my face when I use this product. As with any CC cream, this one has a few claims including color correction, instant hydration, and “naturally perfect skin.” This CC Cream also includes SPF 20, which is great.

Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream Review The CC Cream comes in a silver metallic squeeze tube. I purchased the shade Light, and am very disappointed that in only comes in one other shade – Light/Medium. I really don’t know why Physicians Formula didn’t include, at the very least, a Medium/Dark and Dark shades. While CC cream does adjust to your skin tone a bit, it would be nice if more shades were made available so that all consumers may use this product.

Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream Review
Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream Review

The CC Cream itself is quite thick in consistency, almost like a mousse texture. I like to wear it over a mattifying face primer, as I tend to get oily skin. If you have dry skin, you can probably go without a primer. I use a BeautyBlender to apply the CC Cream, and find that it does a great job at getting an even application. I am very impressed with the coverage in this CC Cream. As you can see in the photos above, it cancels out redness and blurs any imperfections. CC Creams are not designed to be full coverage, and I would describe this one as medium coverage. That being said, it is buildable! I go over some areas with a bit more product to get the coverage I want.

Moreover, the reason I really enjoy the Organic wear CC Cream is because it wears well throughout the day, even in hot summer weather. My oil is controlled, with the help of my primer and a setting powder. While you can tell I am wearing makeup, my face does not look cakey at all. In fact, the CC Cream dries to a nice satin finish that is not tacky to the touch. This is by far one of the best, and most affordable, CC creams I’ve tried!

All in all, I highly recommend the Physicians Formula Organic wear CC Cream. You can find it at your local drugstore for $14.95, or online HERE. Keep an eye out for sale events to score this product at a discount! Please let me know if you’ve tried this product from Physicians Formula, or if you recommend any products from this brand. I know I tend to look over Physicians Formula at the drugstore, as it can be more on the expensive side. I’ll be paying more attention from now on!

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

Book Review | The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle

The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle

Published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age

Format: eARC

Source: NetGalley

Goodreads★ 1/2

Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.

She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.

Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.

But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.

REVIEW

When I heard that Entangled Teen was releasing a book that takes place at opera camp, I knew I had to read it. I love when music plays a role in the novels I read, and The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle definitely piqued my interest. Readers follow teenager Kiki Nichols as she goes away to a prestigious opera camp to compete for one of seven scholarships to college. Kiki is a shy girl who spends most of her time watching TV and talking with her Twitter friends, and hopes to break out of her shell at camp.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Sound of Us. The story idea is great, and had me turning pages to find out what would happen next. I loved the competitive aspect of Kiki’s opera camp, and could relate to everyone vying for one of the seven scholarships. Plus, there was an added mystery element to the novel, because one of the students is a mole, and will tell the teacher if any of the kids break the rules. Of course, it is also great to see Kiki grow in the short time she is away at camp.

Similarly, I liked the writing style and think it is very well done. Hammerle does a great job at maintaining a realistic teenage voice, while at the same time not compromising the quality of her writing. I’ve read a lot of young adult books that speak just as a teenager would, and for me that detracts greatly from the reading experience. The Sound of Us is easy to read, but not cliché.

Unfortunately, there are several things about the book that I did not enjoy. First, I was very uncomfortable with the role of underage drinking in the novel. Yes, some teenagers do drink in real life, but I think the way it is handled in the book does not send a good message to the readers. Not only are the repercussions for the drinking very minor when the students are caught, but Kiki makes a statement that really caused me to take a step back. In one scene, Kiki says: “The beer is a license to make bad decisions.” Kiki never seems to realize why it is not okay to use alcohol as an excuse. While drinking does play a small role in The Sound of Us, it definitely impacted my enjoyment of the novel.

In the same way, I also felt very uncomfortable with how cheating is portrayed in the book. I won’t discuss this issue fully due to spoilers, but I did want to mention it because I know many people will not read a book if they know it involves cheating. Just as the drinking issue is not fully resolved, the cheating isn’t either. At the end of the book, it’s basically swept under the rug without being dealt with head on.

Moreover, there are a few little things about The Sound of Us that detracted from my reading experience. For example, I really loved how pop culture plays a role in the book. Kiki loves TV, and often talks about how the people she meets in real life remind her of actors or characters in pop culture. However, Kiki is a big fangirl for a fictional show called Planet Earth. At times I was confused between the fictional references versus the real life ones. There were some instances where I didn’t know if I just missed a reference, or if it was based on something fictional.

The author also uses a slang word quite often in the book that I had to look up to get the meaning. It turns out the word is British slang, which I found surprising, as the book is set in America and none of the characters in The Sound of Us are from the UK.

Finally, I got a bit annoyed with how often Kiki talks about how she doesn’t want to be seen as the ‘aunt’ in her friend group. Apparently, being seen as an aunt is a bad thing to her, as it seems to mean she is the side character that no one likes. As a proud aunt myself, I thought this was frustrating and quite insulting, especially because it is repeated so much in the book.

Thus, while I did really enjoy The Sound of Us for the most part, there are definitely things along the way that I wish were not included in the novel, or were handled in a different way. This is Julie Hammerle’s debut novel, and I would definitely consider reading books from her in the future if the story sounds like something I would like. I do recommend this book if the premise sounds interesting to you. It is a quick and fun read, and great for music lovers.

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$300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday! I’m very excited to announce my participation in another collaborative giveaway! Today you can enter to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card. How awesome is that?! It’s Back to School season, and this will definitely help purchase some textbooks and school supplies. Of course, if you’re not headed to school you can stock up on some basics or treat yourself to some goodies on your wish list. I know I’ve been eyeing the Polaroid Zip Printer so I can put photographs in my planner, but that’s just me. The possibilities of how the winner can spend this prize are endless! Best of luck in the giveaway, and please read the details carefully before entering.

$300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: $300 Amazon Gift Card

Co-hosts: Coupons and Freebies Mom // Misadventures with Andi // SWEETHAUTE //  Splash of Teal // Jenns Blah Blah Blog // Pretty Thrifty // A Better Me // The Mommyhood Mentor® // Simone – Your Style Architect // Sweating Champagne // Fleek Week // Dorky’s Deals // Behind Blue Eyes // True Story Book Blog // A Wandering Vine // It Girl Accessories // A Noted Life // Casey At: Work, Home, Play //  Taffeta & Tulips // Surviving Mommy // Heartfully Heather // Style On The Side //  JUGGLING ACT MAMA // Blog by Donna // Smartysaver

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/17 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Dare to Compare | Comparing 4 Bright Pink Nail Polishes

Happy Tuesday! I told you in my last Dare to Compare post that my love for pink polishes is strong, and bright pink is one of my favorite shades to wear. In fact, one of my first ever Dare to Compare posts back in 2013 featured three bright pink polishes (read it HERE). Today I have four more polishes to compare with all of you. I’ll be reviewing each polish individually, and swatching them side-by-side to see the colors together.

Milani Color Statement – Hot Pink Rage Milani Color Statement – Hot Pink RageFirst up is Hot Pink Rage from Milani’s Color Statement line. Hot Pink Rage has a perfect formula that is opaque in one coat! I did apply two in the photos above to see if I could achieve a richer pigmentation, but one coat is definitely all you need. Hot Pink Rage is definitely a deeper pink in shade, while still being very bright.

Milani – Raspberry Delight Milani – Raspberry DelightNext up is Raspberry Delight from Milani’s older nail polish line that is now discontinued. Raspberry Delight has a good formula, but it did get a bit streaky during application. I applied two coats for opacity, and I can see some uneven texture in the finish. This is a gorgeous pink, and a bit lighter in shade than Hot Pink Rage. Raspberry Delight does have a very subtle shimmer in the bottle, but I can’t see it on my nails at all.

Covergirl – Tickled Pink Covergirl – Tickled PinkTickled Pink from Covergirl is up next, another polish I’ve owned for several years now. Tickled Pink has an amazing formula that is opaque in two coats. It applies really smoothly, and just looks amazing on my nails. I’ve had great luck with Covergirl polishes, and Tickled Pink is one of my favorites!

Priti NYC – Nice Gal PeonyPriti NYC – Nice Gal Peony

Last but not least is Nice Gal Peony from Priti NYC. Nice Gal Peony also has an excellent formula. It applies well and is opaque in two coats, and just so pretty! I also like that this polish is made in the USA by a smaller brand. I do take those things into consideration when buying products, because it’s always nice to support companies in my own country.

Dare to Compare | Comparing 4 Bright Pink Nail Polishes Dare to Compare | Comparing 4 Bright Pink Nail PolishesHere is a look at all four polishes together. From left to right are: Milani Color Statement in Hot Pink Rage, Milani in Raspberry Delight, Covergirl in Tickled Pink, and Priti NYC in Nice Gal Peony. It is obvious from the comparison that these polishes are not exact duplicates for one another despite being very similar. Hot Pink Rage and Tickled Pink are almost dupes, but they are slightly different. It’s so difficult for me to declutter any of these polishes, because they all have such great formulas. However, there is no need for me to keep all four, so I’m letting go of Raspberry Delight and Tickled Pink.

All in all, I’m surprised that these bright pink polishes are more different in shade than I first anticipated! Sometimes the way a polish looks in the bottle is not exactly how it dries on the nails. That is certainly the case with some of these pink shades! As always, I would love to know what bright pink polishes are your favorites. Please share in the comments!

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

Book Review | After Alice by Gregory Maguire

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Published by William Morrow on October 1, 2015

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Format: eARC

Pages: 273

Source: Edelweiss

Goodreads

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis’s Carroll’s beloved classic

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next isAfter Alice.

REVIEW

After Alice by Gregory Maguire is a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. While I’ve not yet read the beloved classic, I did read and enjoy Maguire’s Wicked several years ago. Unfortunately, After Alice was not my cup of tea, and I struggled to get through the novel despite its short length.

The main reason why I had a difficult time with After Alice is the flowery and complex writing. I’ve been reading so much young adult literature lately that it can sometimes be hard to transition back to adult. I did settle into the book’s pace after a while, but I honestly never got into the writing style completely. The vocabulary was difficult to follow, partly because this is a historical fiction book. This dense writing slowed down the pace of the book, and I even put it down to read another book at one point.

Moreover, there are a few things I really did enjoy about After Alice. First, I thought the setting was really interesting. The book takes place in Oxford, England in the 1860s, and follows two families of the time. Ada is the daughter of a vicar, and suffers from a physical handicap that makes it difficult for her to walk. Her only friend is Alice, of the original Wonderland story, who lives nearby. I really enjoyed learning about the society of the time when it comes to family, race, the class system, and more. I did learn quite a bit, and it’s always nice for fiction to teach a thing or two about history. Charles Darwin is even a character!

In addition, I kept reading the book because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Ada ends up falling into Wonderland, and she is trying to find Alice so she can bring her home. Ada meets many of the familiar Wonderland faces along the way, so I was intrigued to find out if she would find Alice after all. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit lackluster to me, and a bit of a let down in the end.

Thus, while there are a lot of aspects of After Alice that I did enjoy, my reading experience was not a great one. I think it would have improved significantly if the book was constructed in a different way. For example, the point-of-view, though always in third-person, changed randomly throughout the story. Sometimes we are following Ada in Wonderland, other times her governess Miss Armstrong and Alice’s sister Lydia. This constant switch did create suspense in the story, but it also was quite confusing. I also found that many aspects of the book were skimmed over when I wish they were explored more.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend After Alice, I think if you enjoy retellings of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this might be more your style. I did enjoy the book I read by Maguire in the past, so I’m not giving up on his writing completely. One day I want to return to his Wicked series, and I would also love to hear your thoughts on his books in a comment.

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When you buy a book through the Amazon or Book Depository links above, I earn a small commission through each website’s affiliate program. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 

Disappointing Beauty Products!

Happy Monday! Today’s blog post is going to feature a bunch of products that I’ve tried in the past few months, but unfortunately didn’t love. I share my favorites with you every month, so it makes sense to spend some time discussing the products that left me underwhelmed. The products I’m sharing today are not bad products, but they simply didn’t work for me. In fact, I have a couple cult favorites to share that disappointed me! Without further ado, let me share the beauty products that didn’t make the cut for me these past few months.

Disappointing Beauty Products!

MAKEUP

L'oeal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

L’oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara [LINK]

My biggest shock in this post is L’Oreal’s Miss Manga mascara. L’oreal is one of my all-time favorite mascara brands. My holy grail is the Voluminous Million Lashes, and I also love the Butterfly mascara. I heard good things about Miss Manga from other beauty bloggers, so I figured I would love it. Unfortunately, this mascara didn’t work for me at all! My lashes turned into one big clump, always resulting in me trying to solve a makeup disaster. I used this mascara for about two weeks before giving up on it.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme MascaraRimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme Mascara [LINK]

This next mascara is one that doesn’t work for me personally, but I know a lot of you will enjoy. Rimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme reminds me a lot of Benefit They’re Real mascara. It is thick and very black, and gives a dramatic look to the lashes. I prefer to use dry mascara formulas because heavier ones weigh down my lashes and tend to clump them. Thus, this mascara isn’t my cup of tea, but I know it’s a great product for others.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer [LINK]

I tried the cult favorite Instant Age Rewind Concealer from Maybelline and can’t believe how disappointed I am! This concealer only made the lines under my eyes look more pronounced. I tried it with primer and without primer, before foundation and after foundation, and nothing seemed to work. After going through about a quarter of the bottle, I gave up. This concealer is just not for me!

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream [LINK]

The last product in my makeup category is this BB Cream from Dr. Jart+. I’ve tried other BB creams from this brand in the past and really enjoyed the, but the Water Fuse did nothing for me! I felt like I had to apply a ton of this product to get any payoff whatsoever. Plus, this cream leaves the skin looking really dewy, which is a no-no for people like me with oily skin. After one use I said goodbye to this product! It’s a sample, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

 SKINCARE

DDF Amplifying Elixir DDF Amplifying Elixir [LINK]

Another surprise for me was this serum from the brand DDF. I used an acne treatment from DDF in the past and really enjoyed it, so I thought this serum would work well, too. However, about thirty minutes after I applied the serum, my skin felt like it was burning. Sure enough when I looked in the mirror my cheeks were turning a bright red color. Needless to say I immediately washed my face and stopped using this product.

HAIR CARE

Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-PowderBumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder [LINK]

Last but not least is a hair care product from high end brand Bumble and Bumble. This is supposed to work as both a dry shampoo and volumizer, but unfortunately it was a loss for me. I used it as directed, but the powder would not blend into my roots no matter what I tried. I even used the powder in my hands and then applied it to my hair and that didn’t work either. Putting the blending issue aside, I didn’t think this was very effective as a dry shampoo anyway. I might recommend it for blondes, but definitely not brunettes!

That wraps up this disappointing beauty products post! I hope you found it helpful if you and I have similar skin types and beauty preferences. The products in this post were all disappointing because I’ve tried other products from these brands and really enjoyed them, but that’s just how life works! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these products and what you think of them. You can also share your disappointing products with me!

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

Erin Condren Life Planner Monthly Color Comparison 2016 vs 2017 | #PlanWithPolishland

Happy Saturday! Today I’m here with a quick #PlanWithPolishland blog post to share a color comparison between the 2016 and 2017 Erin Condren Life Planners. I purchased the Horizontal Life Planner for both 2016 and 2017, and I noticed that the colors in the planners are the same, just in a different order. I thought this information would be really helpful for all of you who, like me, purchase stickers in the monthly colors. That way you can easily figure out which stickers from last year go with the 2017 planner! First I will show you the planners side-by-side in video form, and then provide you with a shareable graphic. If you would like to learn more about the 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner, you can see my unboxing and review HERE.

 

As you can see in the video, the 2017 monthly colors are the same as the 2016 colors, with a very minor change on the Monthly Calendar. This is the case if you own the 2016 Horizontal or Hourly planner, but not the Vertical planner. While all of the new 2017 Life Planners in the Watercolor color scheme share the same color palette, the old Vertical planners had different colors. Thus, only the colors in the 2016 Horizontal and Hourly match with the new 2017 color scheme.

Erin Condren Life Planner Monthly Color Comparison 2016 vs 2017 | #PlanWithPolishlandI created this graphic so you can have an easy-to-use list of the matching colors. Feel free to share it on Pinterest or social media, or print out a copy to keep in your planner! You can also place this in your sticker collection as a cheat sheet if needed!

That wraps up today’s #PlanWithPolishland blog post! I hope you found it helpful if you purchased the new 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner in the Watercolor color scheme. I know many sticker shops put their monthly colors on sale at the end of every month, so take advantage of the affordable pricing and stock up on stickers for next year. Of course, if you are a new Erin Condren shopper, please use my referral link HERE to save $10 off your first purchase! Let me know in the comments what you think of the Erin Condren color scheme – do you love it, or do you prefer the neutral (black and white) planner? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Dare to Compare | Comparing 5 Coral Nail Polishes

Happy Friday! Today’s nail polish comparison is going to be the biggest yet. I own five coral nail polishes that all look extremely similar in the bottle, and I just had to test them out together to see if any were dupes. Coral is the perfect shade to wear in the summertime, so I hope you’ll find these swatches helpful if you’re on the lookout for a coral shade. Let’s jump right into the individual reviews and side-by-side comparison!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear – Coral Reef Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear – Coral ReefFirst up is Coral Reef from the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line. This is the most affordable polish of the bunch, and it also has one of the best formulas. Coral Reef is a bit on the watery side, but it applies smoothly and is opaque in two coats. If you’ve been following my blog since its beginning, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of the Xtreme Wear line. While some of the formulas are duds, most of them are excellent and can fit nearly any budget. Coral Reef is a great option!

Milani – Splendid Strawberry Milani – Splendid StrawberryNext up is Splendid Strawberry from Milani’s older nail polish collection that is now discontinued. Splendid Strawberry looks a bit more pink-toned in the bottle, but dries to a beautiful coral shade. This polish has a very good formula, but is again a bit on the watery side. I really like the flat brush that came in this Milani line, as it makes application easier than thicker brushes.

Milani Color Statement – Corrupted Coral Milani Color Statement – Corrupted CoralAnother polish from Milani is Corrupted Coral from its newer Color Statement line. Corrupted Coral’s formula is okay, but quite thick. I found that it dragged upon application, so make sure to let each coat dry completely before adding another layer. I also recommend thin coats as this polish can be very tacky.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri – Peachy Breeze Sally Hansen Insta-Dri – Peachy BreezeThe next polish is Peachy Breeze from the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri line. Peachy Breeze is a go-to polish for me, and my most used coral polish for sure. The formula has gotten a bit tacky over time, but it is still easily workable. I applied two coats to achieve opacity, and as promised, this polish dried extremely quickly.

China Glaze – Surreal Appeal China Glaze – Surreal AppealLast but not least is China Glaze Surreal Appeal. This polish has a wonky formula. It is very watery, and then when it dries it becomes very uneven. I applied two coats in the photos above, and you can definitely see the uneven texture. I just don’t have much luck with the China Glaze brand!

Dare to Compare | Comparing 5 Coral Nail Polishes Dare to Compare | Comparing 5 Coral Nail PolishesIt’s time to look at all of these polishes together! I’m wearing a different polish on each finger in the photos above, and I think it is fair to say that these are all dupes for one another. I cannot tell a difference between these five shades! I can’t believe I own so many of the same polish color. That being said, I am going to declutter all but one of them. I will be keeping Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Peachy Breeze, because although the formula is not perfect, it is my favorite out of the bunch since it applies well and dries fast.

All in all, I can’t get over the fact that I had five coral nail polishes that are virtually identical in my collection! I hope you found this post helpful if you are looking to find a coral, or if you already own one of the above. Now you won’t be wondering if a polish is a dupe when nail polish shopping! Definitely let me know in the comments if you have a favorite coral shade. I would love to hear your polish picks!

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

Book Review | The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published by Harlequin Teen on May 17, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 480

Source: Library

Goodreads

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

REVIEW

I was drawn to read The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout from the moment I saw its stunning cover. After hearing great reviews from bloggers that I trust, I decided to pick up the book from the library. I was in a bit of a reading slump, and needed to read something I knew would be quick, yet heartfelt. The Problem with Forever is definitely the book I wanted at just the right time.

The story is told from teenager Mallory’s point-of-view. Mallory grew up in an abusive foster home, but was adopted four years ago by a loving couple. After being homeschooled, Mallory decides to attend public high school for her senior year. It is there when she comes face to face with her hero and best friend from childhood, Rider. Mallory and Rider quickly rekindle their friendship, and perhaps become something more.

The Problem with Forever opens with a bang and creates a lot of tension in the reader. This shocking opening scene immediately sucked me into the story, and I read the book at a very quick pace. I really enjoyed that this book focuses on the foster care system in the United States, and also mental health. While I am not highly educated on these topics, it felt like they were handled very well and with respect. I admire that Armentrout chose to wrote a book about such difficult topics in a non-preachy way.

In addition to the book’s subject matter, I really enjoyed the characters. Mallory is a very sympathetic character, but so is Rider and many of the teenagers Mallory meets at school. They have flaws, but they try to be better people for themselves and those around them. It is so nice to see a young adult book with realistic characters in situations that many teenagers are facing on a daily basis.

My one critique of the novel is the writing style. The Problem with Forever has a cliché feeling that many of the romance novels I’ve read share. There is something about it that makes me cringe at some points. For example, there are a few times in the book where Mallory is “worrying her lower lip,” and many others where she spends a bit too much time describing Rider’s body. While there is nothing wrong with this writing style, it is just not my cup of tea. That being said, I read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout a couple years ago and I much preferred the writing in The Problem with Forever. 

All in all, I really enjoyed my read of The Problem with Forever, and definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an emotional read. I laughed, and I cried, and I fell in love with the characters. I know I read this book at the perfect time, but I think it is one I would enjoy even when not in a reading slump. I am definitely interested in reading some of Armentrout’s other work now, after having a good experience with this book.

BUY THE BOOK

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Dare to Compare | Milani Color Statement Cupcake Icing vs Milani Cupid’s Touch

Happy Wednesday! Today’s nail polish comparison features two nail polishes from the same brand. Milani Cosmetics relaunched its nail polish line a couple years back, and understandably many of the nail polishes are quite similar from the brand’s old line. I wanted to test out two polishes that appeared very similar in the bottle. That way if you own the original polish, there is no need for you to purchase the new version. Let me show you Cupcake Icing and Cupid’s Touch both individually and side-by-side.

Milani Color Statement – Cupcake Icing Milani Color Statement – Cupcake IcingFirst up is Cupcake Icing from the Color Statement line, the range currently in drugstores. Cupcake Icing is a blue-toned pink polish and has a great formula. It applies well and it opaque in two coats. I think this shade of polish looks good on everyone no matter the skin tone. It is also work appropriate as it is just a step away from a neutral polish.

Milani – Cupid's Touch Milani – Cupid's TouchNext up is Cupid’s Touch from Milani’s older nail polish line. Cupid’s Touch is also a blue-toned pink, and has the same great formula of Cupcake Icing. I never reach for this polish, but I really like how it looks on me as I’m typing up this blog post. I’m going to have to make an effort to wear it more often!

Milani Color Statement Cupcake Icing vs Milani Cupid's Touch Milani Color Statement Cupcake Icing vs Milani Cupid's TouchHere is a look at Cupcake Icing and Cupid’s Touch side-by-side. Can you tell a difference between the polishes? I can’t! It appears that Milani rebottled Cupid’s Touch for its newer nail polish line. That is completely understandable, as a relaunch will inevitably include some older polishes. I do find it interesting that the polish name was changed, but perhaps that was a marketing technique. Whatever the reason, it is not necessary to purchase Cupcake Icing if you already own Cupid’s Touch. I will be decluttering one of these polishes, and I think I’ll keep Cupid’s Touch since it can’t be purchased any longer.

All in all, I hope you found this post helpful whether you were looking for a dupe of Cupid’s Touch or you simply enjoy comparisons! Let me know in the comments how you feel about rebottled nail polishes. In this case the rebottling makes sense to me, because Milani revamped its entire nail polish line. I would also love to know if you own a blue-toned pink polish and if you wear it often.

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