Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I've been saving this post, even though I read this book weeks ago, because today Stevie Nicks gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first woman to ever be inducted twice! Keep reading to find out Stevie's ties to this story.

There has been no shortage of hype surrounding this book, so I snatched it right up for my Book of the Month. After reading it, now I know that the hype is real. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows this band on their rise to the top in the 1970s, and their break up right as their star has gone as high as it could possibly go. Even though this is technically a historical fiction, it really didn't seem like one to me even though it took place about 40 years ago. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I'm typically not a fan of historical fiction. But this book? This book I loved.

The band The Six is slowly making a name for themselves, at the same time as the young and beautiful Daisy Jones. When their record label forces them together, no one knows what will happen. Will it be chaos? Will it be magic? Turns out, it's a little of both. It's sex, drugs, and rock and roll all the way for this band.

About halfway through reading this I switched over to the audiobook. As much as I loved the book, I knew that the interview format would be that much better on audio, and I was right. I've seen some comments that the interview format was hard to follow, but I found it very easy to get used to, both written and in audio. I thought it was a very appropriate format for the subject matter.

This book absolutely SCREAMED Fleetwood Mac to me. And if you know me, you know I LOVE Fleetwood Mac. A Stevie Nicks biography was actually the first physical ARC I ever received! Even the voice of Daisy Jones on the audiobook sounds remotely like Stevie Nicks. The Aurora album mirrored Rumors, the Daisy/Billy relationship was absolutely Stevie and Lindsey, and Karen was Christine through and through. There's even a reference to Stevie in the acknowledgements at the end. Therefore, I obviously loved this book. 

I want the Aurora album to be real. I want to blast it on my record player. But even though I will never get to do that, there are lyrics in the back of the book, and a bonus track of Honeycomb (without vocals) on the audio version. There's also a playlist on Spotify inspired by the book, so be sure to check that out! 

This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book, and it will absolutely not be my last. I've seen that The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gives serious Marilyn Monroe vibes, so I think I will pick that one up next.

This book had everything I love in a book: engaging characters, a dramatic storyline, and was realistic as hell. Even though it's only March, I'm convinced this will be one of my favorite books of the year, and I've already decided to collect as many editions of this as possible.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

**Sign up for Book of the Month with my link and we'll both get a free book!**

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter


Last year, I read and reviewed This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter and loved every second of it! I jumped at the chance to be a part of the blog tour for her newest book, In Another Life. 

Chloe was adopted when she was three, and after her adoptive parents divorce, Chloe and her mom move to a new town. Immediately, Chloe catches the attention of Cash, who she feels an immediate connection with. But Cash has ulterior motives. Chloe looks just like the kidnapped daughter of Cash's foster parents, and he's determined to figure out the truth. 

"Hunter deftly delivers a complicated back-and-forth point of view between Chloe and Cash, building suspense along with a steamy sense of attraction between the two teens."  --Kirkus

My Review

Cover Art Courtesy of Wednesday Books
I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. I was actually surprised at how much action it had, and how dark it got at certain points. I loved the back and forth points of view of both Chloe and Cash, their obsession with Skittles and caramels, and overall just how cute their relationship was. I thought the family dynamics were very real, even though they were hard to read at points. And the plot was definitely intriguing!

Unfortunately, this didn't quite live up to This Heart of Mine for me. This does deal with the difficult topics of adoption and being a foster child, as well as the death of a parent, a parent with cancer, and child abuse. I just didn't feel as strong of an emotional response with this one as I did by her previous book. It was still really good, but I think it might have had a little too much going on for me to really connect to it.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Author Photo Courtesy
of Wednesday Books

About the Author

C.C Hunter is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She lives in Tomball, Texas, where she's at work on her next novel. Christie's books include The Mortician's Daughter series, Shadow Fall novels, and This Heart of Mine.

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for an advanced digital copy of this read! In Another Life by C.C. Hunter is out today, so be sure to pick up a copy!

Skincare: The Lancer Method

After watching Fuller House, I was amazed at how young DJ Tanner/Candace Cameron Bure still looked after all those years. I had to discover her skincare secrets, and lucky for me, she is super open about the products she uses!

A quick trip to her Instagram revealed that Candace uses skincare developed by Dr. Harold Lancer, the "dermatologist to the stars." Three main products make up The Lancer Method, including Polish, Cleanse, and Nourish.

These products are available on the Lancer Skincare website, as well as through Sephora, Nordstrom, and a few other retailers. These products are far from cheap, so I purchased mine on QVC (thank you, EasyPay!), when they had a deal running on the bundle. I paid $68 for my bundle, which included 4.2 oz of Polish (full size), 0.5 oz of Cleanse (trial size), and 0.75 oz of Nourish (trial size). Typically, the full size products retail for $75, $55, and $125 respectively. There are other products available in the Lancer Skincare line, but these are the main ones.

Step One is Polish. This was the biggest item in my bundle, which didn't make sense considering you're only supposed to use this once daily, and a little bit goes a long way. This is a gritty exfoliating scrub meant to both cleanse and resurface skin. I hadn't used a lot of exfoliating products in the past, so I was a little taken aback at how rough this product actually was. Despite the roughness, it did not irritate my skin at all and did a great job at getting off any dead skin cells.

Step Two is Cleanse. After the roughness of the Polish, this feels fantastic on my face. The bundle I purchased came with only a very small amount of this, which was disappointing since this is supposed to be used twice daily. If I want to continue with this routine, I'll have to buy a full size very soon. This cleanser foams lightly (unless you put it on a Clarisonic, then it basically explodes with foam), and leaves the face feeling refreshed.

Step Three is Nourish. This is the moisturizing step, and the product itself is very thick actually almost seemed medicinal to me at first. There wasn't a lot of this product in my bundle either, but there was more than the Cleanse, and a tiny bit of this can cover the whole face. The moisturizer absolutely worked, and when I put it on at night, my face still felt incredibly hydrated when I woke up. My only issue with this product is that because I have bangs, I have to be careful about if/when I put it on my forehead. This did make my bangs incredibly oily so it's something I need to be conscious of if I'm not planning on washing my hair shortly after applying.

The products don't have much of a smell, and they don't have any color either. The Lancer Method is available in different versions for normal combination skin, sensitive dehydrated skin, and oily congested skin. I've been using the normal combination skin version.

I've been using the products for about two weeks now, but only at night because the bundle came with such a small amount of the Cleanse. I honestly haven't noticed a huge difference in my skin, except for maybe the extra hydration from the Nourish step. I do plan to use this until it's gone, and will probably buy a full size Cleanse to last with the other products. 

What skincare regimen do you swear by? Have you ever tried Dr. Lancer skincare products? 

Rebranding Means New Bloglovin URL

Be sure to follow my blog on Bloglovin to never miss a post!


The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
A psychological thriller about people in their early thirties based in NYC? Absolutely count me in! The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz follows Lindsay 10 years after her best friend Edie's suicide. But was it really suicide after all?

Lindsay has always thought she could put all the pieces together from the night that Edie died, but after a dinner with an old friend who was also around that night, now she's not so sure she can. When inconsistencies start to arise, Lindsay begins to believe that Edie might not have killed herself at all. Even worse, with each new discovery, Lindsay is slowly learning that she might have had something to do with it.

I really enjoyed this one! I was excited to pick this up and read it every night and it kept me engaged. And I absolutely did not see that twist coming! I liked Lindsay a lot as a main character, and was getting serious manic pixie dream girl vibes from Edie. I loved all the references to the 2000s, like Flip Cams, and it definitely made me nostalgic. 

I do think that Lindsay's romance subplot(s) were unnecessary to the story line. I also think that it was a little far-fetched as far as how the actual investigation went, but neither of these things took away from the story. This book does touch on miscarriages, so I wanted to make sure I mentioned that.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Crown Publishing for a finished copy of this book! The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz is out now!

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I had grabbed this one from the BN Book Haul Sale not really knowing what it was about other than the fact that it addressed mental health. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel is a YA contemporary that follows Hannah after her friend Agnes had a terrible accident. Obvious trigger warnings are needed for mental illness, including psychosis, depression, and eating disorders.

When Hannah's roommate Agnes falls from their second story window and suffers severe injuries, Hannah finds herself in a mental institution. She sees on her file that she is "a danger to herself and others," but how can she be? Agnes was her best friend. She would never do anything to hurt her. This must all be a big misunderstanding. But as days pass Hannah realizes she might be in there much longer than she anticipates. That's when Hannah gets a roommate, Lucy. And Lucy might be just the person to help her through this ordeal.

There was a pretty good twist in this, and it was a very fast read. Parts of this were incredibly intense and I was really invested in what was going to happen. I don't think Hannah was a likable character, but I don't think she was supposed to be. I also heavily disliked her parents, especially towards the end, but again they were clearly supposed to be disliked.

While I've never been in a mental institution, I don't think the one in the book was very representative of real life. The way that Hannah was isolated, was never able to get clean until she was granted privileges to do so, had to do her business in a bed pan because they hardly ever let her out to use the restroom, and was only given fresh clothes every few days screamed patient neglect. There is an authors note in the back that said the author took liberties with some of these things, but I think it's important to portray all aspects of mental health accurately, so I wasn't a fan of this.

I was also not a big fan of the ending. If it had ended a little sooner in the story, it would have been fine and I would have been satisfied. If it had gone on a little longer, it would have been fine. But where it did stop felt jarring and unfinished, like the author didn't want to let go but didn't have anything else of substance to write.

I liked this book enough, but it definitely wasn't as good as it could have been, and taking liberties with something as serious as mental health really rubbed me the wrong way.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Tomorrow There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
It's still pretty cold here in Virginia, and there's no escape like a read about somewhere sunny and warm. This adult fiction read, Tomorrow There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt, takes place in Mexico and has a gorgeous beachy cover that screams warmer weather.

In this book, two families head to a gorgeous villa in Puerto Vallarta on a joint vacation and birthday celebration. But as they always say, there's soon trouble in paradise. Jenna's husband keeps taking secretive calls, and she's on edge from her recent cancer diagnosis and the trouble she is having finishing her next book. Not to mention the fact that the family they are with is getting on Jenna's last nerve, and there is unrest in Puerto Vallarta dealing with rival drug cartels. 

What appeared on the surface to be a pretty light read was actually really heavy. It has the struggling family dynamic, drug violence, medical drama, references to autism, and more. Even though the dust jacket said this book was funny, I don't think I laughed once. To me it was much more serious, and evoked anger and sadness rather than comedy. 

I absolutely felt for Jenna. I thought that everyone around her treated her like crap when she was just trying to be a good wife, mother, and friend. I absolutely hated how they treated her diagnosis like it was nothing, just because the prognosis was good. I hope to God I never find myself in her shoes, because I don't know what I would do if I was surrounded by such cruel people.

I did fly through this read, as it was only 275 pages, but it left me feeling on edge and really uncomfortable. While I thought it was a good book, I don't think I can quite say that I enjoyed it simply because of the way it made me feel. But it was written well and thoroughly developed. I'm glad it's over, but I'm also really glad I read it.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Pamela Dorman Books for a finished copy of this read! Tomorrow There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt is out now!

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
Pull me out of the oven...I'm done. I don't think any book will ever top the adorableness of this read. Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren is a YA contemporary that not only checks all the fluffy and cute love story boxes, but also focuses on sports and women's equality. 

Holland "Dutch" Delviss is a girl player on a boys varsity hockey team. All her life, she has fought to prove herself and make it known that she deserves her spot, even though she is better than half the boys on the team. When her town is thrust into the spotlight for HockeyFest and the shot at a televised game falls on Holland's shoulders, the pressure starts to get to her more than it ever has. And it certainly doesn't help that she suddenly finds herself falling for Wes "Hot Sauce" Millard, the asshole team captain she has always despised. 

Oh how I loved every minute of this book. I was so sad to put it down when it was over. Every element of this story was fantastic. Yes, it was an adorable romance, but it was so much more than that. Holland had to face so much pressure as a woman in a man's world, and she held her own so well. Even when she got hurt, both physically and emotionally, she stuck to her guns to prove herself. 

The stereotypes in this book about women, that we are vulnerable and weak, are very alive in our world. We are not yet done trying to prove that they are wrong, that we are equal, and this book definitely shone a light on that.

Plus can we talk about Holland's and Wes' TASTE IN MUSIC!? Unbelievable. Glam bands, the Foo Fighters, Metallica, Poison. Their love of vinyl!? All of this spoke to me on so many levels. I feel the same way Holland does when I walk into a record store, and I really appreciated this element of the story. And the fact that there were playlists throughout the book? A total win.

And I loved so many other things that I could just go on forever. The family dynamic, the setting, the journalism references. But I'll just stop here and let you read it and discover all these wonderful things on your own.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Amulet for an ARC of this read! Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren is out TODAY, March 12th, so be sure to grab a copy of this adorable yet powerful story.

Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I've talked it about extensively on my Twitter, but I have a HUGE Hamilton obsession. So much so that recently I've jumped head first into the world of Hamilton-themed fiction. The first book I picked up was Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz. 

Eliza Schuyler, rich as she is, wants nothing more than to help with the war effort. But her parents and sisters focus more on the finer things in life, even as their fortune starts to dwindle. Eliza has no time for suitors, especially Colonel Alexander Hamilton. But the more time she spends around the soldiers, and Hamilton in particular, the more those feelings start to shift.

This obviously had a very basic plot, and exists simply to further a fictional back story between these two famous characters. That being said, this absolutely did what I was hoping for-it gave me more time with characters I love. It also developed Eliza more extensively than you see on stage, and I enjoyed getting to see more of Angelica and Peggy and their own relationships.

While a lot of this is steeped in historical fact, you have to remember that much is a creation of the author's imagination. I won't go into details as to what is real and what isn't, because if you take this simply for what it is-a work of fiction-that just doesn't matter.

Historical fiction, historically, has not been my thing at all. But I think I just hadn't found the right subject matter. I fell in love with these characters through the musical, and I'm not sure I would like this is much if I had read the book first. Regardless, I enjoyed the time I spent with this read and don't think I will get tired of Alexander or Eliza any time soon.

The second book in this trilogy, Love & War, is out now and I can't wait to pick it up. And the last installment, All for One, comes out in April!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
So I read this book over Christmas break and completely forgot to post a review. I'm usually so good about that so I'm over here kicking myself! But better late than never right? The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox is a detective/crime thriller that follows Detective Aidan Waits. This is actually the second book in the Aidan Waits series. 

Resigned to his lack of any real future and his permanent delegation to the night shift on the force in Manchester, Aidan has lost his zeal for pretty much everything. But when he and his partner come across a body one night, Aidan is suddenly invigorated with a new zeal for his career. You see, the dead man is smiling. But why? With no trace of his identity except for a patch sewn into his pants (his teeth and fingertips had been replaced, offering no help in identification), Aidan throws himself headfirst into trying to figure out who this man is and what happened. Even when colleagues and his supervisor tell him to stay away from the case, he just can't leave it alone.

This book was INCREDIBLY gritty, but I really enjoyed that! While I read a lot of thrillers, I don't read a ton of detective focused crime reads, so this ironically offered a breath of fresh air for me.  This really invoked a lot of film-noir vibes  and I really did envision everything in black and white. I loved the abandoned setting of The Palace hotel, and while I actually hated Aidan's partner Sutty, appreciated what he and all the other characters did for the story. There were some great side stories in this book in addition to the main plot as well.

I actually was not aware at first that this was the second book in the series, but apart from a few conversations where I didn't understand what was being referenced, it was easily to jump into this as a standalone.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Crown Publishing for an advanced copy of this read! The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox is out now!

Corpse & Crown by Alisa Kwitney

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I'll start this by saying I completely missed that this was the second book in a series when I requested it. That being said, it was still very easy to figure out what was going on. Corpse & Crown by Alisa Kwitney is a YA historical fiction blended with sci-fi (with a little bit of a retelling thrown in!) that is definitely different from anything on the market today.

It's the Victorian era in England, and Aggie is training to be a nurse. The hospital where she is completing her studies is controversial due to its research in Bio-Mechanicals: human robot hybrids. The hospital becomes aflutter when the Kaiser plans a visit hoping to pit his bio-mechanical soldier against British technology, but thus far nothing they have produced has been successful enough to face the challenge. Aggie doesn't like the focus placed on this research, and would instead rather help the average patients that walked through the door. But she gets trapped in the Bio-Mechanical research, like it or not, and soon discovers things she never would have imagined.

I liked the story fine, but nothing special jumped out to me. As unique as this was, I just didn't feel any attachment to the book or the characters. Between the sci-fi elements, the historical fiction setting, and the Oliver Twist retelling, I honestly thought this book was trying to do to too much. Two of these elements combined might have been more successful rather than trying to squeeze in all three. 

There were too many story lines to follow and too many points of view for my liking. I kept losing track of who each chapter was about, and with so many characters to care about I ended up not really caring about any of them at all. I don't think reading the first book would have made a difference for me in these opinions, as my struggles were more with the writing style and too much content, rather than not understanding the back story. This was one of those books that I couldn't wait to get through so I could read something else.

I will absolutely give credit where credit is due however, and I thought the world building in this book was phenomenal. I also appreciated Kwitney's inventiveness and creativity, even if it didn't quite hit it out of the park for me. All this being said, I do actually want to give the first book, Cadaver & Queen, a shot if I can fit it into my reading schedule, as I did like the overall premise and this may just be a case of "second book in a series slump."

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Thank you to Inkyard Press for an advanced copy of this read! Corpse & Crown by Alisa Kwitney is out now!

Barnes and Noble Book Haul Sale

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know about the Barnes and Noble Book Haul Sale happening right now! Barnes and Noble rarely has sales, so this is a great time to pick up both new release and backlist titles at a great price.

I went to two different stores to get everything I wanted, which meant two free bags! I love these bags so much more than the green ones with classic covers on them and was so excited for this perk. You get a free bag when you purchase three books from the sale.

Now for what I picked up!

Even though I keep telling myself I'm going to move away from YA, I couldn't help but pick up a couple of titles. I chose A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel, Anna and the Apocalypse by Katharine Turner with Barry Waldo, and The Similars by Rebecca Hanover.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I've been on a huge Hamilton kick lately, so I snagged I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott. I really wanted to grab The Hamilton Affair, but it was sold out at both stores I went to. 

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer has been on my wish list for ages, and I keep hearing a lot about The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, so I grabbed it on sale as well.

I really enjoy self-help nonfiction, and Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee caught my eye. Plus this book is gorgeous under the dust jacket-it's covered in confetti!

And finally, The Priory of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon was NOT in the sale but I have been so eager for it to come out I just had to add it to my haul. This book will be my Everest.

I'm so happy with what I was able to grab, and hope that Barnes and Noble continues offering this sale periodically! I'm excited to add these 8 books to my ever-growing TBR. The sale runs through March 4th so you still have time to add a few new books to your collection!