A *HOT* Summer Read and a *BEAUTY* Giveaway

Summer: perfect beach read and stunning mani/pedi, sounds good to me!  I am here to deliver readers.  Not only do I have a HOT summer read (also recommend by Reese Witherspoon) but I also have the perfect mani/pedi set from Julep.  Up first is Kimberly McCreight’s newest, The Outliers.  Already optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, this book has been getting high praises!

via Goodreads

The Outliers

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

 

Kimberly McCreight by Beowulf Sheehan

The writer Kimberly McCreight (USA), photographed June 12, 2014, New York, New York. Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan mail@beowulfsheehan.com.

 

via Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram

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“I could not put down this thriller by Kimberly McCreight about a teenage girl who sets off on a mission to save her best friend, uncovering secrets and betrayal as she slowly realizes something more sinister is at work … 😱 #TheOutliers #RWBookClub#Thriller

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I am also so excited to be able to giveaway some amazing mani/pedi tools and shades to one lucky follower pas well as a copy of The Outliers.  To enter, open to US residents only, just head over to my Instagram and FOLLOW me and comment on the post there or here.

 

A little about Julep’s founder Jane Park.

“I started Julep with a vision that beauty can be
a fun and fearless experience for all women.
Whether your look is big and loud, or quietly proud,
all that matters is that you’re trying it. And having fun with it!”

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Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry

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If you follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram you know she is all about posting amazing books that she is currently reading.  When I saw Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry pop up I knew I had to read.  I mean if Reese recommends it then it has to be good and this was no exception.  I would say this book is a cross between Wall Street, Working Girl and Legally Blonde.  Maureen Sherry, a former Wall Street managing director, writes a funny, poignant take on what it means to be female in the male driven finance world in New York.  At times laugh out loud to moments of frustration and emotion, Opening Belle is a book fit for the big screen.

Opening Belle centers around the career driven Isa”Belle” who has it all- great career, wonderful husband and children and beautiful home within New York City.  Belle works long hours and is the sole breadwinner for her family.  She makes great money and sometime wonders is this all worth it?  Each day she enters into the male dominated finance world, a place that is not easy for a woman to survive in.  She sees the discrimination and derogatory work place they are in but knows nothing will change.  A group of her female co-wrokers also see the terrible circumstances and decide they want to make a difference and start a revolution.  They want Belle to head this “glass ceiling” group.  Together they meet and discuss the issues at hand but know it is going to take something drastic to get the men to listen and heads to turn.  Belle agrees but knows this is risky not just for her career but for her family as well.  At the same time, Belle starts to work with her ex-fiacee, Henry, on a big account which makes her work life even more difficult.  With the pressure of her female co-workers to make a change and the awkwardness of working with Henry, Belle starts to feel the pressure.  At the same time she starts to sense change in the finance world and fears for the crash of the market.  Will she be able to make a change for her fellow ladies or will the downfall of the market cause a crash in her perfect life?

 

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I loved Belle and all she stood for.  Although I am not in the finance world I respected the fact that she stood for what she believed in and united this group of women to make a difference for themselves and all future women to come.  I will say that not being a finance person I was lost a little in the jargon but Sherry wrote such a fabulous character within a great story that, that was easy to move through (my husband is in finance so I had lots of questions for him).  I do not think you have to be in finance to read this “shero” story.  If you are strong and like to fight for what you believe in then you will love this story.  If you are lost within the inner struggle of work-family-life balance then you will love this story.  It truly has something for everyone and it had an great ending to leave me satisfied.  There is no doubt this will be a great film as Reese Witherspoon is adapting into a film.  It’s a laugh out loud and cheer for the underdog tale that will leave you wanting to conquer your biggest mountain.

 

*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending a copy for review.

 

 

Happy All Hallows’ Eve!

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Happy Halloween fellow bliss seekers and book worms!  Quick post today for book readers who dare.  I finished up in a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware this week for my inaugural book club meeting with my fellow Simmons College gals.  What a spooky, suspenseful, thriller worthy of all its current accolades.  The story takes place on a hen, which is a british version of a bachelorette party, where a group of people do not know the weekend that lay ahead.  Murder, mystery and a house picturesque for a horror movie, are the perfect blend of macabre for this fantastic read.  Luckily for us readers, Reese Witherspoon bought the rights and will be making this thriller into a movie!  Once you read it, you will see its the perfect book to keep you on the edge of your seat in a theater!  Enjoy your evening ~ trick or treat?!

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

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Wow.  I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, another debut novel, and I am speechless.  This. Book. Was. AMAZING.  Now I can talk all the amazingness of this book in my review but until you get your hands on it, nothing will do it justice.  Not only that but you know if Reese Witherspoon is raving about it AND got producing rights then it’s obviously a must-read.  Knoll a former Senior editor at Cosmopolitan and articles editor at Self, tells a story that is so twisting and addictive you better set a day aside, preferably at the beach with a glass of rose’, to fully immerse yourself in Luckiest Girl Alive.

LGA tells the story of TifAni “Ani” FaNelli.  Ani works at Women’s Magazine while living in New York City.  She is just around the corner from her wedding to Luke, a wall street guy who comes from a good, wealthy family.  It’s a picture perfect setting, two career-driven individuals, living the city life and in love.  But Ani has a dark past with many sharp turns going all the way back to her adolescence in Pennsylvania.  The backdrop of her school, Bradley, plays a major role as things aren’t what they seem in upper class schools as status is everything when you are a teenager.  Knoll ties in the glossy and shiny present day of Ani’s life with her unfortunate dark past at Bradley.  Issues such as low self-esteem, rape, family troubles and peer pressure are what keep the pages turning in this story.  The ebb and flow of the plot will have you guessing and flipping pages at a rapid pace and just when you think you have it, Knoll takes a hairpin turn.

I do not want to give too much away as to fully experience this book is to read it.  I received a copy for review and was surprised to see a letter from the author sent out to reviewers about Ani.  Knoll basically gave a disclaimer regarding the integrity and personality of Ani and to stick with her throughout the book.  I read the letter, peaking my curiosity more, and could not agree more.  I was questioning Ani’s character at the beginning and then was finding myself rooting for her in the end.  She is complex.  She is ruthless.  She is also real and raw.  She reminds me of the idea of never judging anyone at first glance as you do not know where they have been or what they have gone through.  Fantastic read that will stick with me for awhile- Jess Knoll can not wait to see what you have for us next!

Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram post about LGA!

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Have any of y’all read #LUCKIESTGIRLALIVE?! My description? It was the most non-stop nail-biting crazy train of a book with one of the most intriguing characters I have read in a long time! (So it makes sense I feel pretty LUCKY that @pacificstandardfilms is going to produce it!!) #BookClub #StayTuned#LuckiestGirlAlive
Reese Witherspoon Instagram
What would Ani carry in her beauty bag?
Beautycounter Nourishing Cleansing Balm– a facelift in a jar, this part cleanser/part overnight mask would keep Ani looking youthful and glowing without all the trips to her dermatologist.
Beautycounter Matte Bronzer– a beautiful, natural bronzer that would give her a hint of sun and keep her bronzed and beautiful.
Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Scarlet– a true red lip sheer that says “I am strictly business”.
*Luckiest Girl Alive was sent to Bliss, Beauty and Books for review purposes.