Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Club: Divergent

This month’s book for Bon’s Book Club was Divergent by Veronica Roth. Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

“In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.”

 I LOVED this book! I was finished reading it by the first week.  In fact, I’ve read almost all three books in the series this month (Insurgent and Allegiant are books two and three)!

I was really excited to read it since I had heard so much about it being like the Hunger Games. Well, the rumors were true!  If you liked the Hunger Games series, this will be right up your alley.

I was able to really connect with the character of Beatrice, which I loved.  I could feel her fears, confusions and everything in between.  I also loved the bit of love story that was involved.  I felt myself rooting for the characters and I remember thinking “just kiss already” several times!

I enjoyed the style of writing of this book.  It was descriptive enough that I felt like I could be there, but no overly so that I felt it was a waste of time. There were lots of twists and turns and unexpected moments, which really helped moved the story along.  

I can’t say the ending of the book was completely satisfying though.  For me it just felt like it ended too abruptly. There wasn’t really a complete wrap up. In fact, the second book just starts where the last sentence of the first book left off. Almost like was one book, they just decided to split it into two. 

The third book switches it up a bit. Each chapter changes between Four’s and Tris’s points of view. It’s actually a little bit confusing to me.  I have to remember to look at the top of each chapter to see which characters view I am getting. 

As I read through the book, I often wondered what faction I would live in.  My dad would most likely be an Erudite (the intelligent) as he is a chemist.  My mother would either be in Abnegation (the selfless) or Erudite. If that were the case, I would probably be in Erudite as well.  I don’t think I would be brave enough to switch! If you switch when you are sixteen, according to the book, you leave your family behind forever.  You never see them again.  I would never want that. 

I know this is supposed to be all about the book, but C and I also saw the movie during our “staycation.”  If I had never read the book, I would have probably really liked it.  They were very different. Now, I understand that they change things in movies often, but they really did a number on this book.  The ending was completely different!  

Overall I am really glad I read these books and I would suggest them to anyone!  They are a great, easy read with a lot of twists and turns. Admittedly, the first book was the best and the third book took a little bit longer to get into (I am 50% finished with it now) but I still liked them all!

Next up for Bon’s Book Club is the Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern.  I have already read half of this book and I am only slightly into it.  I hope it gets a lot better!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boxy Charm Review - March

It’s my third Boxy Charm review!

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite boxes.  I adore the packaging which honestly goes a long way!  It always makes me even more excited to receive it in the mail.  

This box is $21.00 a month with free shipping and is a “beauty box subscription that surprises you each month with the best beauty products from popular and chic brands. Each box contains full size and luxury size beauty samples from preferred well-known brands.” They aim to cover a whole look from makeup to nails, which I really like. 
March’s Boxy Charm theme was “Spring Beauty” and the packaging was just a teeny bit lacking this time, which made me sad. It came in a sleek black box with a purple bowed tied on the side this time. Inside, everything was wrapped in purple tissue paper and when I undid the paper all of the products were resting in lavender crinkle paper.  Quite pretty.
So without further ado…. Boxy Charm number three!  

            1)     bellapiere Make Up BASE .03 oz. (FULL SIZE)
            I’m not really sure what to think of this product. What exactly is a make up base? It seems so 
            broad. A quick google search says the product “helps transform all of our shimmer powders, 
            from shimmery to matte; it also provides a water proof base for any of our pigments. Some 
            clients also choose to use our makeup base as a Concealer for blemishes and impurities that 
            are more difficult to cover with makeup.” So it does nothing and everything at the same 
            time?  Clearly, it is supposed to go with the next item.
Full Size: $18.99 My Value: $18.99

            2)     bellapiere Shimmer Powder in “Earth”– .08 oz.  (FULL SIZE)
I have this product already and I love it.  I think the color is beautiful.  You definitely have to like shimmer though!  I use it only as an eye shadow. It looks like with the base above, you can actually make this a matte, which is interesting. I will have to try it out!
Full Size: $14.99.00 My Value: $14.99

3)   StrangeBeautiful Nail Polish in “Pussy Willow” and “Bandaid”- .5 oz. each (FULL SIZE)
This is a brand I have definitely never heard of. In fact, I could barely find it online. Seems like a pretty high price for an unknown brand!  I am not a polish user, so these are a no go for me. Also, why in the world would you call the color bandaid? What an unappealing color!
Full Size: $9.00 each My Value: $18.00

4)  ModelCo Party Proof Cream Lipstick in “Pinking of You” – .13 oz. (FULL SIZE)
Ugh. You already know how I feel about red lip products and I kind of feel the same about these bright pinks.  I just can’t do the Barbie look. Why the heck do I get so many of these??!?  Gggrr.
Full Size: $17.00 My Value: $17.00

5)  pur~lisse – hy-dra~balance moisturizer – 1.7 oz. (FULL SIZE)
This little tube of moisturizer must do some serious miracles to warrant that price! I actually kind of need a new moisturizer, so I will definitely be using this.  I just don’t think I will be purchasing another tube when this runs out!
Full Size: $55.00 My Value: $55.00
Final Cost: $21.00
Final Value: $123.98

Wow!  Check out that value! Such a great deal. I do feel like it is a bit skewed though, as I don’t think I would ever pay $55.00 for that face moisturizer.  But like I said, maybe it’s some miracle product I don’t know about!

I continue to enjoy this box, so I am definitely going to keep this one going. I can’t wait to see what packaging they have next month! 

If you’d like to get Boxy Charm, you can sign up here!

(Also, I swear I’m not a review blog….I just like sharing these fun things! I have not been compensated for this review.)
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Petit Vour Beauty Box Review (+ Staycation!)

This week C and I are taking a "staycation" since his team has a bye week.  We plan to do a bunch of cool things around Arizona (like Horseback Riding and visiting Canyon Lake) and I will be taking the week off of blogging.  Because of that, you get multiple beauty box reviews this week!

I have yet another beauty box review for you!

This time I ordered a box called PetitVour and it promises to show you ethical brands and vegan beauty.  Not sure why I thought this was really up my alley, but I’m sure it’s just the fact that it was yet another box I haven’t tried! 
This box was $15 with free shipping and the theme was “Le Boutique” (whatever that means).
So here it is…. Petit Vour beauty box!  

             1)      NCLA Nail Wraps -  (FULL SIZE)
             This actually came with two different styles, but both are something I would never wear.        
             The colors are just too bright and the black flowers in the middle are just too dark. I’ve 
             really been wanting to try the whole nail wrap thing, but these won’t be the ones I will try!  
             These also came with a nail file.
 Full Size: $18.00 My Value: $18.00

            2)      Lotus Wei Balancing Serum in “Pure Energy” – 10 mL
This stuff smells terrible.  There is no way I will be using it.  The decription says “This regenerative blend uses flower alchemy to bring your body back in tune.” Um what?
Full Size: $50.00 (50 mL) My Value: $10.00

3)   California Naturel Skincare Set  - no size listed (.25 oz per sample is a generous guess)
These are small one use sample packs of their Gentle Cleansing Gel, Balancing Complex, and Nourishing Cream. They are all free of parabens, sulfates and harsh synthetic chemicals which is nice.  I like that they are natural, but I am going to guess that they are nothing to write home about.  Also, they spell naturel weird. I don’t like it.
Full Size: $33.00- $45.00 each My Value: $15.00 (generous estimate)

4)   I.C.O.N. India Oil – 10 mL
I believe this is some sort of hair oil and believe me, my hair doesn’t need any oil!  For some reason things like this just make my hair so greasy looking.
Full Size: $40.00 112 mL My Value: $3.57

5)   LA FACE Hydrating and Firming Body Lotion – .118 oz. (2 packs)
$80 for lotion!?!? I don’t even think I need to say any more.
Full Size: $80.00 6.7 oz. My Value: $1.40 per pack ($2.80 total)

Final Cost: $15.00
Final Value: $47.97

While this seems like a good value, I liked nothing in the box. Nothing. I will probably use the face lotion and body lotion packs, but the rest is a waste to me.

I should have looked up other reviews of this box before I purchased it. I would have learned it is not for me.  This is the only you review you will get because I cancelled it less than an hour after I got it in the mail!

(Also, I swear I’m not a review blog….I just like sharing these fun things! I have not been compensated for this review.)
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