Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso

Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso   (Release Date July 8th 2013)
blurb via goodreads
"Sisters uncover an unbelievable family secret

Barbara “Babie” Bunting is constantly mistaken for her sisters, but she’s determined not to end up like her family. She doesn’t plan to stick around Shallow Pond after graduation, and she certainly won’t be ruined by a broken heart. That is, until fellow orphan Zach Faraday walks into the picture, and Babie can’t deny their chemistry.

When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness—initially dismissed as “love sickness”—Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls’ mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything."
Review: Shallow Pond was a completely unexpected and unpredictable book! I have found myself constantly predicting the out come of books and movies lately, and Shallow Pond threw me for a loop. Without giving any spoilers, I have to say that Shallow Pond is a great YA sci-fi read! This is the perfect read for the younger reader who isn't into Sci-fi but would like to start. I do have to say that the characters were a bit difficult to connect to. They were written badly..just needed a bit more depth.
Overall, Shallow Pond was a great read that I recommend to all readers!
Special Thanks to NetGalley and Flux books for providing this e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

Blurb via Goodreads-
"Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable—they finished each other's sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she's always wondered what if..."

I could not put this book down. I was sucked in from the start! The only thing that bothered me about the book was the writing style..I'm having a hard time trying to describe it but it was almost middle grade like. However, I quickly became use to it while learning more about the interesting characters. Autumn and Finn were wonderfully written, however I would have liked more "scenes" with them. It seems that the author focused a lot more on Autumns' life and friends, than her relationship with Finn. I don't think we learned enough about Finn.

Overall this was a wonderful book!  If you plan on reading this, have tissues near by!

Special Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing this e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby

blurb via goodreads

"Infused with history and mystery, this tale of ghosts, love, and murder takes place in present-day Gettysburg, where the Civil War still looms large.

Lori Chase doesn't know what to think about ghosts. She may have seen a few in the past, but those were just childish imaginings...right? Only now that she is living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, spirits seem to be on everyone's mind. The town is obsessed with its bloody Civil War history, and the old inn that Lori's parents run is supposedly haunted by the souls of dead soldiers.

Then Lori meets one such soldier--the devastatingly handsome Nathaniel Pierce. Nathaniel's soul cannot rest, and he desperately needs Lori's help. Because Nathaniel was not killed in the famous battle. He was murdered. Lori begins to investigate the age-old mystery, stumbling upon shocking clues and secrets.

At the same time, she can't help falling for Nathaniel, just as he is falling for her..."

Rebel Spirits was a wonderful, fast paced read. I really loved the history aspect of the book, Lois Ruby did a marvelous job. The characters were well written and the story was interesting.  This was clean and easy to read, perfect for young adults (and older). Great read and I can't wait to read more from this author.

Special Thanks to NetGalley and Scholastic Inc. for providing this e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis

blurb via goodreads

"Sixteen-year-old Olivia loves living in Silverlake, Los Angeles, with her dads, Bell and Enrique, and her brother, Jeremy. But when Olivia discovers that Bell's restaurant, FOOD, is in trouble, she applies for a job at a casting agency. The day of her interview, Olivia meets a psychic in an elevator who tells her that this summer will be pivotal. Soon after, Olivia stumbles upon a vintage cookbook with handwritten notes in the margins and starts to date a gorgeous boy named Theo. As Olivia reads the notes in the cookbook and cooks the recipes, she forms a kinship with the previous owner and becomes increasingly aware of the emptiness she feels without a mother. When Olivia discovers her birthmother's name and address, there's nothing to stop Olivia from meeting her. But sometimes the things we search for are the things we've always known."

I really loved The Secret Ingredient but the characters fell flat, I didn't feel much emotion from them. While they were still interesting and the different story lines were well thought of, some of the scenarios just fizzled. I really enjoyed the overall concept of the book and would love to read more from the author.

Special Thanks to Netgalley and  Random House Children's Books for providing this e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Parissa Chamomile Body Sugar Natural Hair Removal System review

Body Sugar - Chamomile
(from their website)
"Sugar waxing is a great natural hair removal treatment. Gentle on skin, yet tough on hair. Body Sugaring paste is water washable."
"Chamomile Body Sugar: a natural, washable hair remover infused with soothing Chamomile, gently lifts away hair from the root for clean, salon-smooth results up to 6 weeks. Includes vial of Azulene Oil to soothe & soften skin and prevent ingrown hair
3 Easy Steps: 1. warm sugar 2.apply thin layer 3. zip of with strips
Ideal for: beginners & pros.
Contains: 140ml sugar, 20 washable strips, easy to follow photo-instructions, 8 ml Azulene oil, 3 spatulas.
Satisfaction Guaranteed: Read Instructions & cautions before use."
" Ingredients:

wax:, sucrose, aqua, glycerin, chamomilla recutita, citric acid
azulene oil:, isopropyl mystrate (vegetable source), tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e), azulene (chamomilla recutita extract), menthol crystals"

So, I am a bit of a beginner when it comes to waxing. I was excited yet nervous to try this at the same time. I was so worried about the pain that I took my time to try this. I totally wish I didn't because, wow, this waxing kit is amazing!!  I'll admit I made a huge sticky mess of this, my hands became a sticky monster...I accidentally got wax all over a towel. I thought to myself, "omg how am I ever going to get this stuff off when I'm finished"  The moment my hands an towel were put under water, the stickiness disappeared! No soap was even needed! This stuff is seriously a miracle!  So I followed the directions (im including pictures of the directions because I'm really glad they included pictures!)  besides me making a sticky mess (and its only really because I'm a newbie at waxing) this kit was extremely easy to use. I heated it up for a tiny bit, just enough to make the body sugar runny like honey and I applied a very thin layer to my hairy leg, quickly patted a strip down and quickly "ripped" the strip off.  Was there lots of pain? NOPE, no pain at all! The strip took most of the hair off..just a few strands were left. It took me a while but I was able to successfully remove all the hair from my legs, painlessly! After washing the wax off I used the Azulene Oi, which soothed and moisturized my legs. I did have a few little red dots around my legs which is very normal and they disappeared within hours.  My legs look and feel amazing. One of the best parts about this system is that everything is reusable. The strips can be washed off and used again. Even though I made a mess there was still A LOT of wax left over in the jar.. in fact it still looks brand new. So I let it cool off and put the lid back on. This is not just a one time kit, this can be used many many times.

This hair removal system is perfect for teenagers or beginner waxers like me. Absolutely wonderful product!

I checked out Parrisa's website and the have a roll on applicator! I will be investing in that in the future!!

Special Thanks to the awesome people of Parissa for providing this product in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 6, 2013

NYR Organic White Tea Enriching Facial Mask review

White Tea Enriching Facial Mask
(from their website)

"About the product
  • Deeply nourishing
  • Gently cleansing
  • Detoxifying
  • With anti-ageing, antioxidant white tea 
  • Directions
    Using fingertips, apply a thin, even layer over clean skin, avoiding the eyes and directly around the mouth. Leave for up to 10 minutes then rinse with tepid water and pat dry. Use once a week or as needed for stressed skin. Use enough to cover the face with a thin, even layer of mask. A teaspoon of the mask should provide enough coverage."
    I LOVE THIS MASK!! This is my holy grail of facial masks!  My skin can sometimes be really dry and sensitive, especially around my nose (I get flaky dry skin in the creases of my nose). This mask is so gentle and my face felt so unbelievably soft..for days.. and the flaky dry skin vanished!

    embarrassing picture alert  

    The mask is actually all over my face- not just my forehead. It actually blends into the skin well and didn't tighten when it dried. And after 10 minutes, It rinsed well also. This mask really refreshed my skin. It would be absolutely perfect to use after a long day outdoors! My face is very happy!

    Special Thanks to NYR Organic for providing this product in exchange for an honest review

    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    Isis Essentials Black Pepper & Juniper Oil Detoxify review

    Black Pepper & Juniper Oil - Detoxify
    from their website
    "In antiquity, Indian monks believed peppercorns were great energizers, and were prescribed seven to nine peppercorns a day when they traveled long distances.
    Nowadays, you may enjoy the lively taste of fresh ground pepper on your food, but you probably never realized that the essential oil in black pepper is well known as a powerful digestive remedy.
    The essential oils in this blend cleanse your skin from the inside out, increase circulation, burn fat and help reduce cellulite. Jojoba and sweet almond oils moisturize deeply. Apply this blend directly to your cellulite to help rejuvenate and tone skin, and visibly improve the texture."
    " Custom Blend of organic essential oils including: Cupressus sempervirens (Cypress), Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium), Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit), Juniperus communis (Juniper), Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel), Thymus zygis (Thyme), Piper nigrum (Black Pepper), Angelica archangelica(Angelica), Santalum spicatum (Sandalwood)
    Suspended in a custom blend of organic carrier oils including: Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba), Sesamum indicum (Sesame), Prunus dulcis (Sweet Almond)"
    How to Use:
    For best results, after skin stimulating and bathing,pump a small amount into your palm and rub your hands together. Take 4 deep breaths to receive the aromatherapy benefits and then massage the oil into your skin using firm strokes and circular motions, always moving towards your heart."
    First I have to say how much I LOVE this sent!! When I think about black pepper I only associate it with food...but after trying this essential oil mixture I am in love with this unique sent!! Black Pepper & Juniper are a marvelous combination. I usually am more of a fan of fruity or sweet floral scents so this is quite the change for me. Its peppery-woodsy with a tiny bit of sweetness. I would wear this as a perfume too!  Isis Essentials has opened my eyes to the properties of peppercorn! After massaging the oil I felt rejuvenated and my skin felt moisturized. This essential oil combination states that it can increase ,burn fat and help reduce cellulite. I only had a little sample size, so I don't know how true that is but I love this sent so much that I will definitely buying more..and massaging A Lot into my tummy! :)
    Special thanks to the wonderful people of Isis Essentials for providing this product in exchange for an honest review