society and fashion magazines have decided for us what and who constitutes beauty - flawless skins, perfect blonde hair, tall thin body frames, well defined cheekbones and if you’re male, you can get away with dark hair and dark eyes.
beauty is what a make up artist, a camera lens and Photoshop put on a fashion magazine, advertising billboards or the red carpet.
we learn to love our body if others call us beautiful, or hate it (like I always have) if we don’t measure up. our self worth is so heavily wrapped up in what we look like. that is what this book is all about - finding your identity as a person, and using your body to house your strength and this identity, not to define it.
it’s a good read and makes it’s point. though I do wish Cat’s had more dignity and was less weepy. I do love Nate though. strong, loving, awkward at times and totally adorable through out.
recommended weekend read to remind yourself that being healthy and physically fit is more important than looking good.
The journey towards loving yourself in plus size clothing is a long and hard one.
3/5 for this story with an important message to young women.
sonnet gray is an 18 year old time traveler, and this is her story. it a story of loss - time traveling leaves you with no friends and you are constantly rebuilding your life, or succumbing to the illness of the time. sonnet has lost her sister and mother and travels with her father and a motley group of other time travelers.
the story starts slow and gentle allowing you to appreciate how hard it is to be someone like sonnet and how growing up across different centuries doesn’t make it any easier being a teenager. it also shows her normal yearning to be loved by the mother and her little sister, who she thought they had left behind.
then start the viewings of her supposedly left behind and dead sister. only she seems to see Rose or hear her and she wants to reach out and find out if her sister is real or a ghost.
this book quickly goes from a simple teenage story of coping to a page turner suspense and finally into a horror tale. I’ll admit I was surprised by the turn of events in the story, the details, the timing. I could never have anticipated the twists in the tale.
But I wasn’t too happy with the end. maybe it’s supposed to make me want to read the sequel. but the end was abrupt for me. and I don’t think I’ll read the sequel inspire of it’s favorable reviews.
all in all a pretty decent read. not to be finished at night unless you want graphic dreams though.
This book is a simple, sweet love story of a large, single 32 year old who discovers love, success and choices suddenly in her 32nd year.
if I introduced you to Carlie - a 32 year single woman, who by the way is taller than average, larger than average (she wears a size16), stocks shelves in a small town store for a living and is completing her college at this age, what would you think of her? a loser? a loner? a possibly recovering druggie / alcoholic / abuse victim? guess what… she is as normal or boring as any one of us and wants to be loved as herself, just like us.
introduced to Doug - a 28 year rural banking salesman living in another small town, by an elderly gentleman in her town, she doesn’t realize that writing a humorous and self depreciating email out of respect for the elderly gentleman can open the gates of luck for her.
Carlie and Doug email each other, meet, fall in love and come to terms with their insecurities and complex relationships in a small town. correction - they don’t come to terms with insecurities, they kep battling them through the book.
when carlie finds success as a writer and gets an opportunity to move and work in new York, guess what Doug does - become insecure and believe that she’s outgrowing him. yes, even more insecurities emerge.
written in a journal timeline from the perspectives of both protagonists, the storyline is simple, the language non-flowery and the characters very typical of small towns across the world.
all the characters are easy to identity with and the storyline is totally believable.
As a chick lit novel, I totally loved it. the romantic in me got a sugar rush equivalent to a sundae.
3.5 / 5 for this small town, large girl love story that is as simple as its title
Here is a book that casts the best romance writer in history as the lead character in a plot similar to many she herself has written - of fancies, proposals, family pressures in a small town and the dream of true love.
this book is truely austenian in the characters, the settings and the storyline. it’s impossible not to draw parallels to characters and situations ms. Austen herself has written about.
so what is the book about? an intelligent, independent thinking young woman in an age where beauty and good manners were valued more than sharp wit and independent opinions (actually it’s the same today too ironically) who has her share of affections, the pressure of marriage and her trials and tribulations when she does fall in love. does she get her happy ending?
2 things I totally loved about the book - the characters who seem to have stepped out of Jane Austen’s books and the lines from her many books incorporated through this one. I also like how the author has cast himself - am american to boot, as her true love. brilliantly done.
admit it - we all wish Jane Austen had gotten the happy ending her heroines did. and here’s a book that brings alive the wish all over again. does she get it? for that you will need to read the book yourself.
3.5/5 and totally recommended to fans of Jane Austen’s works
Hindu prayers and rituals usually invoking the Gods using fire. We worship all the elements as Gods.
This felt like a deceptively light read based on the description, but it isn’t. it touches on several deep and painful topics - abuse in a relationship, dealing with a broken relationship and mostly with how difficult being a single parent is.
when 4 characters embark on a roadtrip towards their destination - 2 people running away from something and 1 person desperate to get his destination, they build some interesting bonds and learn to trust total strangers with their deepest, darkest fears.
It is a classic tale of discovering inner strength to take on the odds, strength of friendships and the leap of faith that parenting requires.
I wish the characters were a little happier and less weepy, but then it is dark tale about hope at the end of the tunnel, or in this case, Faith.
Somehow this book feels like it’s written for female readers - the entire angelizing of all the female characters could be the reason.
2.5/5. A good story decently told.
The first book in a series, this is a fast paced book with an impulsive, likeable teenage heroine, her puzzle solving best friend and her Latin loving boyfriend. While I love the pace and plot, it moves in too much of a hurry and somehow feels like there are a lot of loose ends hanging. Like how detailed all the breadcrumbs that Jason set up for kit are. The clues are too detailed for someone on the run to have set up. he isn’t a professional spy after all. How would she ever know how to solve them? And inconsiderate - people with serious phobias of flying and heights can get an anxiety attack if forced to do. is this how he expects her to prove her love?
I think Ms.Hopper is trying to create a new age Nancy Drew here complete with a great sidekick and an interesting backstory. Maybe I am too old to comment on a new age teenage heroine. Let me know what you think.
I’d give 2.5/5 for the first in the series. Perfect for reading on a plane.
Minnie chase suffers from foot in mouth syndrome. For someone who is super intelligent, she has some seriously bad timing.
Her bad timing to tell the truth make her unintentionally break up a power couple and destroy her career. To see her fiance in bed with another is the cherry on her disaster cake.
While the rest of us would have wallowed in self pity and drunk ourselves senseless, she is determined to solving this equation and setting things right again.
The story takes us from London to san Francisco where we see a classic battle between doing what’s morally right and doing what’s worldly right - a choice between moral and rational.
What I love about the book is a classic plot of good intentions in the face of difficult circumstances, with interesting characters that are believable and yet unpredictable. Minnie Chase is simple a super-intelligent mathematician with her heart in the right place. She is no foul mouthed avenger out to reform the world. She just wants to clean up the milk she spilt, which I realized, fewer of us are willing to do today. We’d either splash our unhappiness over social media or have long, rationalizing pity-parties. I’ll admit it - she is a better person than I am.
Some parts of the book are predictable, which makes this a light read and not a dark, sombre commentary on repercussions of taking on powerful people. While making its point, the book stays easy to read and totally lovable.
3.5 / 5. Totally recommended for a Sunday read.
Set in a quaint manor in provincial France, this book has 2 stories running in parallel - the restoration of the manor by the alcoholic Mr. Becker and a flashback into the manor’s inhabitants during Nazi occupation of WWII.
The characters from both times are complex and dealing with the cards fate has dealt to them.
The restoration is a story of carefully reconstructing the manor and the lives of those who live there - Jojo - the ghost like inhabitant, Marshall - using alcohol to deal with his wife’s betrayal, and the young nanny who has to deal with the health issues her genes gave her.
The horrifying story of what the manor housed during the Nazi occupation, how the French girls went from cleaners to nurses and of Marie’s courage is the spine of the story.
The mystery and twist to the tale is well done, if with a not so happy ending.
I finished this book a single go and thought it wasn’t too deep a read. But I was wrong. The characters, the ghosts they dealt with and their very realistic problems stayed with me and kept me thinking and mulling over their choices for a few days after I finished the book.
Recommended to those who like complex characters and a little history.
3.5/5 for tangled ashes.
Here’s a simple, sweet, light read about a seventeen year old dealing with a break-up, newly discoveredvfeelings for her best friend’s younger brother and her single mother re-discovering love.
While she has seen her father cheat on her mother, at no point does this overwhelm the story with darkness.
This is a typical 17 year old girl who’s coming to terms with her relationships, friends, insecurities and growth pangs with more hope than drama.
Britta is very lovable as a character as are her best friends willow and Jamie. I think every girl has friends like this - a drama queen and a suffering but strong friend.
Tristan is a clear hero - silent, handsome, non-pushy and super-talented. What’s not to love about him.
I love the twist in Britta’s mom’s love story, which reminded me that love and relationships can be complicated, but love can overcome it all.
3/5 for this clean teen love story and recommended on a weekend afternoon or a rainy, lazy day.
Durga puja - celebrating the goddess’ war against an evil demon with borrowed weapons and strong resolve
Meadows and mountains
this book surprised me with it’s realistic narration of how we can complicate love, relationships and let baggage rule our self-esteem. I loved all the key characters and the storyline. And I loved that this is set in Australia.
the success that zoe and band get seem pretty unrealistic though as is the fact that the villain and vamp appear right at the end.
but I’d still recommend this as a good modern day love story.
3/5 for this rock ballad.
Not all of us are born with perfect skin. If you’re like me, your face doesn’t exactly glow like a goddess when you wake up in the morning. Some women can walk out the door with just a swipe of mascara and a dash of gloss, but for me, I need at least a bit of concealer (okay, maybe A LOT of concealer) to feel presentable. I’ve accepted my imperfections but I’ve also learned a few tricks for faking flawless skin to use when I need a little extra help. Here are my favorite 5 tips:
1. The Benefit Primer That Outlasts Birchbox Co-Founder Katia’s 15-Hour Day
The very first step in having long-lasting, flawless makeup is using a great primer. After working hard to perfectly blend your foundation, there’s nothing worse than having it break up or smear throughout the day. That’s why I’ve added this Stay Flawless Primer from Benefit to my makeup arsenal. It holds up for 15-hours, which means you won’t have to worry about your makeup sliding or wearing off.
2. Top Beauty Blunders: Foundation Blending
Now that we’ve got our face primed, next is foundation and concealer. While it may seem easy enough to blend out your base makeup, a lot of women fall victim to disastrous foundation situations. From mismatched shades to concealer abuse, these top beauty blunders expose the most common foundation blending mistakes and how to fix them.