Thursday, 29 January 2015

Brunette Ambition - Book Review


Started: Jan 28, 2015 | Finished: Jan 28, 2015

Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele
Published by Harmony Books on May 20, 2014
Genre: Autobiography
Pages: 208
Book Edition: Hardcover
No. of times read: 1
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis: 
The star of the hit show Glee shares her experiences and insider tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and more in an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide.

Lea Michele is one of the hardest working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multi-tasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. In Brunette Ambition, she reveals the lessons and advice that have worked for her--from beauty and fashion secrets to fitness tips, and career insights. Supplemented with never-before-seen photos and revealing anecdotes, it’s the book Lea wishes she’d had in her teens and early twenties: A practical and inspirational guide to harnessing tenacity and passion and living the fullest life, no matter what obstacles life puts in your way.
Rating: 5/5

My thoughts: 

Okay so I actually started reading Lea's books months ago, back when I posted about it on here in, I'm going to guess, June. So admittedly I've already read the first three chapters, but I never finished it and I've really wanted to. 

I fell a little out of love with Glee the past two years, but fell back in love with it this year. But I never fell out of love with Lea. I've been a fan of hers from the moment I started watching Glee, back in 2009. She's so talented, beautiful, inspiring and I think I'll forever be a fan of hers. By far, one of my favourite singers and actresses. My love for her has only grown over the last 5 and a half years!

In this book, Lea talks about how she got started, her time on Broadway, her time on Glee. She also gives tips on make-up and hair, living a fit life, and skin care and self-care. There's a section where she talks fashion in her everyday life, an on the red carpet. There's also a section of recipes throughout the book, some I really want to try! 

One of my personal goals this year is to exercise more and have better eating patterns. I would say eat healthier, but that's a goal I know I'll just fail at right now. I live with my parents, and since I'm currently unemployed, I'm just relying on what they buy for food. I can't force them to eat healthier just because I want to. I think once I have my own income, I want to try and buy my own groceries and cook for myself. But that's going to take some time. Anyways, my point of sharing this is that reading Lea's book is a good motivator. Specifically her chapters about food, and living a fit life. 

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and getting an insight into Lea's life. If you're a Lea Michele fan like me, go pick this book up! 


Michelle

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Where She Went - Book Review


Started: Jan 24, 2015 | Finished: Jan 27, 2015

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Published by Speak on April 17, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 264
Book Edition: Paperback
No. of times read: 1
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis: 
It's been 3 years since the devastating accident...three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is a rising star at Juilliard and Adam is a bona fide rock star, complete with tabloid headlines and a celebrity girlfriend.
Then chance brings them together again, for one night.
As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future, and to each other.
Rating: 4/5

My thoughts:

Before I begin, am I the only one that sees a Emilie De Ravin look-a-like when you look at the cover?

This book is told from Adam's perspective three years after the accident. I wasn't expecting that when I started the book, so it took me a chapter or two to adjust to that and get into his story and side of things.
Three years later, Adam is now a successfully famous musician along with his band, who now has a famous movie star girlfriend. But it's clear from the start that he's unhappy with his life and suffers from anxiety of constantly being recognized and swarmed by fans. It was interesting to see the struggles that he goes through daily. He has his dream job, and it's not everything he thought it would be.

Like in the first book, we get the present and the past throughout the book. The present is how Adam and Mia handle seeing each other again after three years. Where they have pent up feelings that they've each kept to themselves over the years, feelings of anger and misunderstandings. The past, we see Adam's journey from local band player to famous celebrity. We also get to see what he went through after Mia's accident and so on.

I ended up liking this book and hearing Adam's side of things, as well as getting to find out what happened after the end of the first book. If you liked If I Stay, this is a definite recommendation especially if you're like me and was miffed with the way that book and movie ended.


Michelle

Thursday, 22 January 2015

If I Stay - Book Review


Started: Jan 19, 2015 | Finished: Jan 22, 2015

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Speak on April 6, 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 259
Book Edition: Paperback
No. of times read: 1
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis: 
On a day that started like any other..
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in a instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left, the most important decision she'll ever make.
Rating: 5/5

My thoughts:

I watched the movie before I read this book, and since I loved the movie, I was already a fan. Do you do that? Watch the movie first. I use to go back and fourth with it. But my experience is always better if I watch the movie first. Because the books are always better, this way your experience enhances as opposed to being disappointed with what was cut out and what was changed.

Anyways, I really enjoyed the book. It was a different style in that it didn't have chapters in the traditional sense. So that was something to get use to as I'm someone who likes to finish at the end of a chapter. This book also is very back and fourth with her being in the hospital and then sharing memories of the past, but it flows so perfectly that it's not confusing. The movie is like that as well.

This story is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking. Very well written! My first Gayle Forman book, and I am now a fan and looking forward to reading her other books. This book in particular has a sequel so I think it's safe to bet on which book I'll be reading next.

Michelle

Friday, 16 January 2015

Four; a Divergent Collection - Book Review



Started: Jan 12, 2015 | Ended: Jan 15, 2015

Four; a Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
Published by HarperCollins on July 8, 2014
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 208
Book Edition: Hardcover
No. of times read: 1
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis: 
Two years before Beatrice Prior made her decision, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation's faction leader did the same. Tobias's transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn into a cowering child.
Newly christened "Four," he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decision will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future, and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting the world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.
Rating: 4/5

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this one! I really liked Four/Tobias character in the Divergent series, and I especially loved to get his perspective throughout Allegiant. So to have a book told entirely from his point of view was really nice and interesting.

I loved getting a look into Tobias' past and seeing how he went from a scared Abnegation boy to a strong Dauntless man. All the callbacks to the series was a nice nod, and I really enjoyed them.

If you loved the Divergent series, I highly suggest reading this one, especially if you loved Tobias Eaton, and I mean how could you not? I really enjoyed reading the whole series, and getting lost in that world. I can't wait to see the movies, and how they do at adapting the books into the movies.


Michelle

Monday, 12 January 2015

Polar Bear Robe and New Beginnings

It's official!!!

I'm officially unemployed! Yesterday was my last day working at Tim Hortons! While some might see being unemployed as scary, I'm celebrating. While I loved working with all my co-workers, my workplace started to become the place where panic attacks occurred. I've had so many panic attacks there, that it would fill me with a sense of immense dread every morning that I had to go into work. So I finally made the decision that I can't live like that anymore. So I made sure to come up with a plan this time (I was unemployed for a year back in 2008, it wasn't a good time). You always have to have a plan!! While my plan isn't exactly foolproof, it's still a plan that I'm determined to work at until I get the job that I want.

With that said, to all the employees at store 889, I love you all and I'll miss you dearly! Working with you all these years is the reason I stayed as long as I did because you guys are some of the best people I've ever met! Thank you for always being there for me and making my day better when I got there. We will keep in touch! You guys are the best!!

Now for a little fashion! I just wanted to share with you guys my new robe I got for Christmas!! It's so comfy and cozy, and so sooo soft!


Robe: Forever 21 (n/a)

A few pics for store 889 ;)
These are from yesterday:
(The cakes they bought for me!! I'm telling you, the sweetest and nicest group of people ever! I miss them already!)

Okay that's all for me! Thanks for reading!!


Michelle

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Cake by the Pound

Today I'm off mattress shopping!! Something I think I can say with certainty that I'll be good at ;) Just going to lie on some comfy beds, yay! Why, because I got a new bed!! I'm so excited for it. I already have the frame, so once I get the mattress then it's the next step in fixing up my room.

Here's my outfit for today! Although, I of course will be swapping out the gold flats for boots as it's winter and it's freezing out!

(this is my sorry about my awful roots pic!! haven't had my hair done in over 7 months! longest i've ever gone without getting my hair done!)

Sweater: Beyonce | Leggings: Forever 21 | Shoes: Le Chateau (n/a)

Some taking blog photo essentials:
yummy smelling candle (wal-mart)
Music!! (I'm back in my Glee phase at the moment!)

Water in Toronto Maple Leafs bottle!!
The best cat in the whole wide world!! 

Now I'm off! When I get back, going to continue marathoning The Simpsons! I'm up to Season 5.


Thanks for reading!


Michelle

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Girl Online - Book Review



Started: Jan 4, 2015 | Ended: Jan 6, 2015

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Published by Atria/Keywords on Nov 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 346
Book Edition: Hardcover
No. of times read: 1
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis:
Penny has a secret.
Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her quirky family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse at school, her parents accept an opportunity to whisk the family away for Christmas as the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. There, Penny meets Noah, a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly she is falling in love, and capturing every moment she spends with "Brooklyn Boy" on her blog.
But Noah has a secret, too, one that threatens to ruin Penny's cover, and her closest friendship, forever.
Rating: 5/5

My thoughts:

Disclaimer: I will be talking about events that happen in the book, so spoiler alert. You've been warned!

Before I give you my thoughts, I just want to touch upon the whole ghostwriting controversy and how much I do not care. Zoe got so much negative hate about this that it was sickening to see, and then you see where internet hate gets touched upon in the book, and you just wonder when people will get it. Yes, maybe Zoe should have been a little more upfront about just how much help she was getting. But in my mind, it didn't surprise me one bit that this book had a ghost writer. Zoe's never written a published novel before, so of course she's going to have someone help her with it. People took it all to mean that Zoe did absolutely nothing on this book, and I don't believe that for a second. I do believe Zoe wrote for this book, and the ghost writer took what she wrote and elaborated on that and helped shape it into a well-written book.

People on the internet have this tendency to want to see the worst in people, and hid behind their computer screens and say some of the nastiest things imaginable, and it's horrifying at times and just a really backwards way of treating human beings! I have been through it, and it's awful. Especially for someone who suffers with anxiety, it makes it all ten times worse. When you try to rely that message, anonymous people will replay back with things along the lines of, 'well if you can't handle it, you shouldn't be willing to post online about yourself'. And NO! That shouldn't be someone's first response. People online are human beings! It's almost as if people feel it's okay because they can't physically see the damage they are doing because they are hiding behind their computer screens, like that makes it all okay. Being online shouldn't give you a license to bully people, and send hate so vile at times that it can cause harm (luckily it's never gotten that far for me, but I've seen and read horrible stories about it).

As Zoe has said on her blog, and even had her character, Penny, touch upon;
"Everytime you post something online, you have a choice. You can make people happy or take away their happiness."
You can read Zoe's blog post here.

I love and respect Zoe so much! I started watching her videos well over a year ago now, and from the moment I started watching her videos, I instantly connected with someone who I had/have so much in common with. She's helped me more than she could ever know, and not only my anxiety. I can be having a really bad day, and I know on those days, I can go watch some of Zoe's videos and she will instantly put a smile on my face!

So with that said, on to the book and my thoughts!

I absolutely loved this book!! I think Zoe and everyone who worked on the book did such a good job. I loved that Zoe touched upon anxiety and panic attacks in a real way, exploring how truly horrible and scary it is. I loved that she touched upon internet hate and how much it affects someone. But I also really loved the storyline and the love story!

We follow Penny as she starts the book with so many woes, that you just want to hug the poor girl. But luckily she has an amazing family, and the bestest best friend ever to help her. Something truly horrifying happens, that when given the opportunity to fly off to New York with her parents and best friend, she eventually jumps at the chance..despite feeling anxious about the flight. This all leads to her meeting Noah, and goes from there. It was just a really cute little love story. To the point where you're like this guy is the classic love story fictional character that couldn't possibly exist in real life!

But there is a plot twist as the synopsis says. Noah has a secret too! That reveal, and the events that followed were crazy. I don't know what other word to use to describe everything! But I found it all so interesting!! I don't really want to give away too much, despite the disclaimer saying I would talk about events in this book. I want you guys to want to read this book because overall it's very cute, and well written. It also gives you an idea of what people like me can go through. With the anxiety, I really like that Zoe's book touched upon this subject so strongly because there are still alot of people who might not fully understand what that's like. Same goes with what it's like to completely be a "Girl Online", with all the forms of social media and running a blog (even though mine's not as successful as others, but I'm perfectly happy with my blog as it is, haha!)

Anyways, there you have it! I'm proud of Zoe and this book! I really enjoyed it. Oh, and just so you know Zoe has a second book that she's working on now. I'm personally really excited to find out the details about that one and what it will be about. I can't wait to read it already!

Next book on the list: Four; a Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Thanks for reading!


Michelle

Monday, 5 January 2015

A few of my Christmas presents!

I'm a little late with this post! But I just wanted to share some of my presents that I got this year. I was going to do all of them, but I got lazy (shocker). I got new PJs, new robe, and a few other things as well.

Here's some of what "Santa" brought to me on Christmas morning! 

My love for The Simpsons is fully back! I grew up watching The Simpsons, as I mentioned in my post where I talk about The Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode. The show celebrated it's 25th anniversary this year! When I saw this book in Wal-Mart, I immediately picked it up!

All the DVDs! I'm building up my Simpsons DVD collection. I already had Season 1 to 3. So for xmas I got Seasons 4 to 8. Along with The Maze Runner, Once Upon a Time Season 3, and Safe Haven.

Tasha got us tickets to Disney on Ice presents Frozen in March! For years we've talked about going to see Disney on Ice together, but it just never worked out. So I'm very excited to go this year!!

All the books!! I mainly just wanted books for Christmas this year. I got the following:
-John Green box set (Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars)
-If I Stay by Gayle Forman
-Four, a Divergent collection by Veronica Roth
-Veronica Mars, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
-The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes
-It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
-How to Love by Katie Cotugno
-Yes Please by Amy Poehler
-Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
-Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

I can't wait to start reading!! I'll be starting Girl Online very soon!

Here's a few more Christmas pictures:

Michelle


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