Book Review: Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-oldsβ€”smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

One day in Omaha, Nebraska circa 1986, an adorably awkward, overweight, shy girl gets on a school bus.. a cute Asian boy gives her a seat when other kids are giving her the cold shoulder and thus a blossoming friendship begins. Park wins Eleanor over with comic books and music. How could you not love a boy who brings you comics and cds every day?! In the book Eleanor gives her take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and I found the parallels between them to be quite fascinating. 2 young lovers torn apart by circumstance and family.

I enjoyed the subtle 80′s references (total nostalgia for me, I was a kid in the 80′s!), my emotions were all over the place with this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually feel a little bad that I didn’t absolutely adore this book.. the beginning half of the book I couldn’t put it down!! The second half was… very depressing. I hate Eleanor’s family.. I genuinely felt hatred and loathing for them which gives credit to Rainbow’s writing style. She doesn’t over-burden you with descriptions & facts, she lets you form your own opinions about the way the characters look, and the author has left the ending up to the readers interpretation.. The last 2 pages of the novel gave my heart wings, and I choose to believe the glass is half full. ;)

I really enjoyed the book over-all and gave it a 4.5 Cupcake rating. While this book is classified as Young-Adult, it is fun reading for any age. There is some light sexual tones so use discretion for young readers. Go ahead and pick up this book, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Rainbow Rowell’s website
Eleanor & Park on Goodreads
Purchase this book on Amazon

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February 2015 Wrap-Up

I read a lot in February and I loved most of what I read.. how do I pick a favorite from all of these great books?! Ok, maybe Fangirl? or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? The Shatter Me series was amazing!! I dunno, go read all those books, they were great! I’m going to keep this short and sweet since the list is quite lengthy..

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan / 4 Cupcakes
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi / 4 Cupcakes
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins / 5 Cupcakes
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater / 5 Cupcakes
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi / 5 Cupcakes
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White / 4 Cupcakes
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge / 3 Cupcakes
The Young Elites by Marie Lu / 4 Cupcakes
Talon by Julie Kagawa / 3.5 Cupcakes
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes / 5 Cupcakes
Hexed by Michelle Krys / 2.5 Cupcakes
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black / 4.5 Cupcakes
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins / 4 Cupcakes
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins / 3 Cupcakes
Eleanor & Park / 4.5 Cupcakes
Yes Please by Amy Poehler / 4 Cupcakes
Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout as J. Lynn / 4 Cupcakes
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman / 5 Cupcakes
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco / 4 Cupcakes
Kill Devil Hills by Sarah Darlington free copy for review / 4 Cupcakes
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi / 5 Cupcakes
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell / 5 Cupcakes
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins + 11 other authors / 4 Cupcakes
Manga for the Beginner Kawaii: How to Draw the Supercute Characters of Japanese Comics by Christopher Hart / 5 Cupcakes
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood / 4 Cupcakes

Full reviews of some of these books are coming in the next few days. Stay posted! :)

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February 2015 Book Haul

I thought I did well on the no book buying front but… I guess not! lol I did do most of my reading this month from my own bookshelf and the public library.. however, I did finish all but 2 of these books. :) I get to those in March!

Alienated by Melissa Landers
Invaded by Melissa Landers
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Manga For The Beginner Kawaii by Christopher Hart
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Uninvited by Sophia Jordan
The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Space Donuts! : WIP Wednesday

I had originally had purchased fall prints for my Donut quilt and had other plans for the constellation print but then I saw Amanda’s space donuts and knew that I just had to join her! I chose to make the twin size and I used the background for the borders.


The finished quilt turned out better than I expected, it’ll be a great reading quilt! I’ve asked for a warm batting (Michigan gets cold!!) and I think we are going to use Hobbs 100% wool batting.


I’ve shipped this one off to Crinklelove to quilt. She was generous enough to offer her services at a discount for all of the #donutqal quilts if they are shipped before 10/31! I am so excited to see what she can do with it!


Here are my original fabrics… I’m still thinking I might go ahead and make another Donut quilt! I mean… you can never have too many donuts right!?

Date Started: October 14, 2014
Pattern: Donuts by Johanna Masko
Fabrics: Various but background is Witch Hazel by Riley Blake

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Book Review: Melinda Harris – Sometimes You Know

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Boats…

Sydney Campbell hates boats, almost as much as she hates unsweetened iced tea, mornings and people that insist on wearing pantyhose with open-toed shoes. But when it comes to sexy London Boys singer, Simon Young, there aren’t many things Sydney wouldn’t do. And that’s how she finds herself aboard a cruise ship to the Bahamas trying to not only win his business, but maybe even his heart.

Simon Young has spent the past four years drowning in a sea of booze and women, trying to dull the memory of a night he knows he’ll never forget. The only thing keeping him from calling it quits on life is a beloved silver locket that has somehow kept his sanity in check for nearly a decade. But it’s not until he meets his new confident and incredibly beautiful public relations manager that he feels like he can finally breathe again.

Simon and Sydney are both shocked by their instant connection, but even more surprising is how right it all seems. And now given the chance, Sydney hopes to repay a favor that changed her forever, but she may be too late. Simon may be too far gone to be brought back to life.

Only time – and a silver locket – will tell.

Remember being a teen and having a crush on your favorite rockstar? That one that even as an adult, when you hear mention of, it brings you right back to that teen who worshiped him? What would happen if you were not only doing PR for your favorite group but actually spending one-on-one time with your favorite guy? That is exactly what happens for Sydney!

Simon, a hunky pop-star, comes from a troubled past and seeks comfort and peace.. Sydney a business woman with a knockout figure and a mind full of creative ideas shares a deeper connection with Simon than either of the two know… Simon is forced to confront his demons while Sydney is also forced to face her fears.. the two of them together is a love story that grabs the reader from the beginning to end. Love, romance, twists, turns, sex, music, and devastation.. what more could you possibly want from a book?! The chapters alternate between Sydney and Simon giving you a unique view of each other and how their relationship develops, as the story goes on, I really appreciated that. I read the entire book in a few hours. I felt connected to the characters throughout the book and couldn’t wait to see how it ended. This was the first book I have read by Melinda Harris but it won’t be the last!

“Sometimes You Know” is part 2 in the Fangirl series but, is a stand alone book (you do not have to read the first one to understand this one). This story contains some adult language and adult situations. Not recommended for readers under the age of 18.

Melinda Harris website
Book Tour Reviews
Purchase this book on Amazon

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Bout of Books : August 2014

Bout of Books

I am excited to announce that I am participating in Bout of Books this August! If you know me, you know that I really love to read.. but I seriously lack the motivation to speak-out about them. I have issues with rules and lists.. what can I say, I am a rebel.. so I will loosely lay out a list of candidate books that I will attempt to read (I will edit this post as I read/finish them, and add/replace them as I go, like I said, I need flexibility here!). I will also make a plan to faithfully review 5 books, respond to all comments on this post, and visit & comment on 5 new blogs from the bout of books listing.

So! Without further adieu, the candidate books…

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Hush by Anne Frasier
The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Matched by Ally Condie
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Happy Chaos by Soleil Moon Frye
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
“The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Secrets of an Organized Mom by Barbara Reich
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Coldest Girl In Town by Holly Black
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
* Some are re-reads and others are need-to-be-finished series.

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Chocolate Body Scrub : Beauty Tuesday

I absolutely love homemade body scrubs! They always smell good and leave my skin so soft and who wouldn’t want a delicious smelling body scrub? Make up a batch of this and save half for yourself and give the other half to a friend. I promise they will love you for it! It’s also edible so you could use it for a lip scrub as well!

Chocolate Body Scrub
1 cup granulated sugar (brown or white)
1/2 cup sweet almond oil (olive oil will also work)
1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil (or 2-3 vitamin capsules)
1 tsp real vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp chocolate shavings

Combine all ingredients except chocolate shavings in a bowl and mix until sugar and oil are combined. Add chocolate shavings and fold in. Store in air tight containers.

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Paris Charm : WIP Wednesday

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I finally finished the quilt top! I still haven’t decided on what to use for the backing.. but I am thinking I might like a simple Eiffel tower pantograph like this might be nice..

After finishing up this one, I went back and hunted down two more patterns from the company.. now that they are out of business, it’s really making me sad because they had some incredible designs!! I picked up this peace sign pattern, it’s a baby quilt but I intend to make it much larger.

and then I came across this one and I just had to have it!

I know some of you will want to know where to find them and unfortunately I have no leads for you :( I would suggest you google “Blue Meadow Designs pattern”.
Pattern: Paris Charm by Blue Meadow Designs
Fabric : Hello Luscious by Basic Grey

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Manicure Monday :


I wish I had, had more time to photograph this manicure :( the color is a beautiful deep purple with fine flecks of glitter inside. Life has been far too busy lately and sadly I just don’t have time to keep up! :( Sorry about the strange shadows across my hand, it’s from my cell phone.

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Finger Paints Polish in Icy Iris
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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