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Saturday, November 15, 2014

[BLOG TOUR] Novel Nails #19: The Young Elites by Marie Lu



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.


This week's feature is a nail set I've cooked up for The Young Elites blog tour. Everything hand drawn.

Nail polish used:
NARS Superstar (base)
Orly White Tips
OPI Push and Shove (silver chrome)


The book.


My nails with the book. Hope you can see the sword.


Closer look.


Love how Push and Shove looks. It's a super gorgeous chrome.


Thumb view.


So that's about it. No tutorials this time around. If you want to check out more of my nail art head on over to my nail art blog Novel Nails Designs OR you could just check out my instagram HERE.

Hope you liked this and watch out for my Legend themed nail sets!



                         



Thursday, November 6, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Title: The Perilous Sea
Author: Sherry Thomas
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: September 16 2014
Publishing House:  Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 0062329383
Source of Copy: Edelweiss

Summary: 


After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny - especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies or forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)

Review: 


The Perilous Sea is the sequel to the Burning Sky which I reviewed HERE. I'm going to keep this short to avoid spoilers.

The Perilous Sea begins at the end of summer holidays. Titus and Iolanthe, who thought they would be spending it together, are finally reunited and are more determined to bring down the Bane. Their plans get messed up when Titus makes a surprising discovery in his mother's diary that makes him question her prophesies and drives a wedge between him and Iolanthe. But prophesies are prone to misinterpretation and is Titus willing to deviate from what has been foretold and try to forge his own path?

What's different about this sequel is how Thomas writes two separate timelines at the same time and does it well. It was not confusing and the point where the two timelines converged was surprisingly seamless and natural.

If you've bothered to read my review on the first book you can see that I was generally okay with it - a little slow, way too perfect characters. But things have changed in the second book and Titus and Iolanthe have done a little growing up and their relationship is one I am totally rooting for. (more kissy scenes in this book people)  What I liked about these two characters was their resilience in the face of intense hardship. A lot of things didn't go as planned and they had to find a way to either deal with it or risk getting smothered by defeat.

Thomas also puts more emphasis on the secondary characters and did a really good job with their personalities. Her characters all had roles to play and when unveiled left me rather surprised - in a good way. 

The pacing in the first book was rather slow and only seemed to pick up halfway into the story. The second book is totally different seeing as it offered up plot twist after plot twist tossing Titus and Iolanthe into a variety of difficult situations so much so that defeating the Bane seemed pretty much hopeless at one point.


The ending? Epic. This is one of those rare sequels that manages to outshine it's predecessor and fans of The Burning Sky will be more than pleased with this book. I cannot wait for the next book and I can only hope that it's even better than this. 

Rating: 



                       


Thursday, October 23, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

Title: The Dolls
Author: Kiki Sullivan
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publishing House: Harper Teen
ISBN: 9780062281487
Source of Copy: Edelweiss

Summary:

Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn't seen her hometown since her mother's suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn't have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies - and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything - including an explanation for what's going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn't trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something's wrong in paradise, and it's up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)

Review:


I could never resist a book with a gorgeous cover, much less a cover with a killer (Ha, pun, HA!) shoe. Cover aside though, the synopsis also zeroed in on another perennial favorite of mine: a setting in the South! And then there's voodoo, magic, what everyone and their nana surmises as the uber rich girls' version of Mean Girls, and you got me praying relentlessly to the Edelweiss deities that they have this up for download soon.

Eveny Cheval finds herself back in her mother's hometown, and something is just a teeny bit off. Maybe it's because people need keys to get inside Carrefour, or maybe because everyone creepily knows everything about each other. Well, almost everything. After all, no one can deny that there is something at work in Louisiana just like no one can deny the power of the Dolls, who are in the all too corporeal form of self-entitled teenage fashionista brats. Despite having the Dolls interested in her however, Eveny isn't buying it, but it's only a matter of time before she finds herself just one little lost sheep that's finally come home... and changes everything.

The Dolls kept on losing me because champagne and caviar everyday for lunch sounds terribly boring  I could just not keep up with their "reality". How any authority figure could allow a reptile running amok in the school because chihuahuas and terriers are so Paris Hilton and are "not hot" is beyond me. I can only imagine how the Peregrine vs High School Principal smackdown went down about the snake:

High School Principal (HSP): Peregrine, why is there a snake in your bag? 
Peregrine (P): Don't you like Audowido? I think he adds a certain je ne sais quoi. See, look at this outfit. Then look at my outfit again with my snake wrapped around my neck. Hold on.. 
HSP: *aghast* It's a SNAKE, Peregrine! Get it off before it kills you!!!
P: *winds Audowido around her neck* Nope, because this is not actually a snake. See, it's a gorgeous boa. *snickers* It's actually all the rage in Paris right now.
HSP: *entranced* Of course, you're right. It must have been a trick of the light...
P: *blows HSP a kiss* Merci beacoup! *flounces off to luxurious lunch with entourage of hot boys*
HSP: *snorts* Huh, snake! Maybe I should get one of those myself...
Some books are downright unreal, but then there will always be a voice inside your head - Oh, just me then? - that cannot be reasoned with and will be screaming come hell and high water that, "NO, THIS IS FINE! THIS IS OKAY! COMMENCE READING, HUMAN!" The Dolls just didn't give off that same vibe for me. Neither was it fun as some of the most out there books could be, nor thought-provoking enough to make me scratch my hairless chin.

Moving on: I love fashion, and I devour fashion magazines so getting to read about designer clothes was fun for me. Those Mary Janes? Holler, I was thisclose to Tweeting the author and asking if they were Miu Mius. (Speaking of, anyone here a fan of the abruptly discontinued Poseur books? I LOVED THOSE! They were quelle amusant!And for a town like Carrefour being filled with so many secrets AND being set in Louisiana at the same time, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in whether they do sport the big hair to match as well.

The Dolls kind of reminded me of the Sirens from Amanda Hocking's Watersong books - only that those girls were more interested in which human they were having for dinner, and these ones were much more inclined to have a serious debate whether they were stopping by either Saks or Barney's after school. But my beef with The Dolls is that this isn't a book about girls who needed to shop to induce magic. I felt like the book was taking too much detail with the clothes and their status symbols to truly focus on anything else. I needed less reminders that someone's stunning Dolce and Gabbana brocade t-strap pumps got dirt on them, and more of "I'm in Louisiana and there are terrible things happening and something must be done, but oh no Eveny watch out!" sorts of things.

The Dolls already had the basic components for anyone to devour - a dash of magic, intrigue, suspense, clothes that would make any fashion-loving girl die. Sadly and regretfully, it didn't measure up to its premise.

The Dolls could potentially appeal to reluctant readers who can nonchalantly quote Mean Girls and readers who aren't looking for anything entirely too time-consuming or something to lose sleep over. For the reader who is already heavily invested in YA lit however, I can't imagine this title possibly working out. 

Rating: