Book Review of “Sage’s Eyes” by V.C. Andrews

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I promise this will be the last V.C. Andrews review for awhile; but like I said in my review of Whitefern I’ve just really been in the mood for these types of books. They’re quick, entertaining reads that I just really enjoy. I came across Sage’s Eyes at a Second & Charles bookstore just randomly. I had never heard of it before but Andrew Neiderman, the ghost writer for the Andrews’ estate, puts out a new book about every six months so it can be hard to keep up with new releases. Unlike most of the Andrew/Neiderman books Sage’s Eyes is a supernatural based story. There is only one other series that I’m aware of that is also supernatural and that is Daughter of Darkness and Daughter of Light. Those two books are a series based around vampires that I didn’t really care for so I was skeptical to try out another supernatural story. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

*No Spoilers*

The Plot

Sage is a sixteen-year old only child who was adopted as an infant. Her parents have always been overly strict with her. Sage believes it’s almost like they’re waiting for her to fail or mess up in some way. It doesn’t help that Sage has memories of experiences that couldn’t possibly have happened to her and can also sense things about other people. Her psychic abilities confuse Sage and seem to annoy her parents. As she has grown things have only gotten more tense and when she meets a boy she likes, Summer, everything in her life begins to implode. Her adoptive parents know more about who she really is than what they’re allowing her to know and Sage is determined to find answers.

*Slight Spoilers*

My Thoughts

I liked and disliked this book. It was a fun and short read but it didn’t have any substance to it. A big problem I have with a lot of Neiderman’s books is that the characters aren’t fully fleshed out so it makes it impossible to relate to them or really care about them. Along those same lines, his characters tend to be 100% good or 100% bad and that was the case for this book. The mother, Felicia, was this super overbearing, strict and honestly, just mean woman until the last few pages. Even when the book is ending and you find out who Sage really is there isn’t really an explanation for why her mother was so awful except for she was worried that Sage would turn out badly. Felicia was just an annoying character, to me, because she was so unlikable. Sage on the other hand, is too good. She allows everyone to push her around and take advantage of her. She never really pushes to find out why she’s different and why everything in her home is so secretive. She was just a very passive and unrealistic character. I did enjoy the big twist between Sage and Summer, which I won’t spoil, and I wish that part of the story would have been more fleshed out and not just thrown in at the end of the book. With this book you don’t really get into the good stuff until the last fifteen pages or so. It was written like there would be a sequel but it’s a stand alone book and that was disappointing.

I recommend this book if you’re just wanting a quick read to pass the time with. There isn’t really any sexual content like there is in some Andrews’ books so I feel this could be appropriate for young teenagers and up. It seemed to be written more toward younger readers and I feel they would enjoy it more than the young adult/adult age groups. That’s basically all I have to say about this book. Let me know what you think about this book or V.C. Andrews in general! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Book Review of “Whitefern” by VC Andrews

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I have been on a VC Andrews kick here lately. This genre of books (drama) are something I have to really be in the mood to read. With that being said, Whitefern is one of the newer releases that I really wanted to read. It is the sequel to My Sweet Audrina and I usually would not review a sequel before the first book, however, I’ve read My Sweet Audrina around three times and I just wasn’t in the mood to read it again right now. I do not review books that I haven’t recently read. The link above will take you to the My Sweet Audrina Wikipedia page or you can read the book yourself, which I recommend. Eventually I’m sure I’ll backtrack and review it here. My Sweet Audrina was released in 1982 while Whitefern wasn’t released until 2016. I felt like this might be just a money grab by Andrew Neiderman, the ghost writer for Andrews, like he’s been doing lately with all of the Flowers in the Attic sequels and unfortunately after reading the book I’m even more sure of that.

*Spoilers*

The Synopsis

Audrina Adare is a young, married woman still living in her childhood home with her husband, Arden, her mentally disabled younger sister, Sylvia and her father. Her marriage is crumbling because of her infertility and because her husband has grown cruel and self centered as the years have gone by. When Audrina’s father passes away the home becomes even more unhappy. Audrina keeps trying to be a good wife and take care of her sister. Sylvia loves to paint so Audrina hires an art teacher to come to their home but that doesn’t go as planned. Soon after hiring the teacher Audrina walks into Sylvia’s room to see that the teacher has made Sylvia undress. This sends Audrina into a rage and she fires the teacher for taking advantage of Sylvia. A few months later Audrina realizes that Sylvia is pregnant and Arden comes up with the plan for them, Audrina and himself, to raise Sylvia’s baby as their own. To complete the ruse Audrina will pretend to be pregnant and they go so far as to hire a nurse to live in the home with them so that none of their acquaintances will know that it’s not really Audrina’s baby. Sylvia gives birth to a girl they name Adelle and everything went perfectly to plan. That is until Audrina starts asking questions after a visit from the art teacher’s wife. His wife informs Audrina that that couldn’t be her husband’s baby because he was always infertile. Audrina confronts Arden and he admits to raping Sylvia because he wanted his own child. The two begin arguing as they’re walking up the stairs which brings Sylvia out of her room and she pushes him down the stairs. Arden dies and Audrina raises the baby with Sylvia.

My Thoughts

Before I rip this book apart, remember that we all have opinions. If you enjoyed this book I’m glad that you did. I love VC Andrews/Neiderman’s books and will continue to read them but not all of them are masterpieces. With that being said, I hated this book. My Sweet Audrina was never my favorite because I just didn’t care for the storyline and that’s partially why I didn’t like Whitefern. The characters in both are some of the most unrealistic and strange of any of Andrews/Neiderman’s creations. Audrina is a weak character with almost no personality. Arden is just 100% cruel, selfish and unlikable. In My Sweet Audrina he watched Audrina be raped when they were children, so he knows the trauma she endured, and then when they get married as adults he proceeds to rape her on their wedding night when she’s scared of sex. With all of that, somehow she didn’t get the clue then that he was awful and she shouldn’t be with him. Another issue I had was the weird way Audrina describes her father. As a side note, all of the books that VC Andrews or Neiderman has written are known for there shock value as far as rape, incest and other controversial topics. With that being said, most of the time it makes sense in the story. In Whitefern Audrina and her father did not have any kind of incestious relationship but she describes him as sexy on multiple occasions.  On page seven Audrina says “Gray had devastated his unique black hair…and his lively, sexy, almond-shaped dark brown eyes had dulled…” Audrina also refers to how he flirted with her when she was younger like that was totally normal. None of these characters or situations are believable. Obviously, this is a work of fiction but I believe it’s supposed to be based on reality. It’s supposed to make you think that people could act that way or things like that could happen and this book just doesn’t accomplish that.

If you loved My Sweet Audrina I believe you’ll like Whitefern. If you’re like me, though, and didn’t care for the first one the second one isn’t any better. I would love to hear your opinions on this! Thank you for reading and have a great day!

NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat Foundation Review (Spoiler Alert it was pretty awful)

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My all time favorite cruelty free foundation is e.l.f.’s Flawless Finish Foundation in the color Light Ivory. However, it has literally been out of stock for months so I’ve had to start trying out some new foundations and I’m not having much luck. The first one I decided to try is NYX’s Stay Matte but Not Flat Foundation. It is $7.50 on the website and cruelty free like everything NYX.

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My finished makeup right after application wearing this foundation.

I bought this foundation in the lightest color they offer, Ivory, and it is described as being for porcelain skin with yellow undertones. One thing I love about NYX is the accurate descriptions they give for almost all of their products. This foundation was a perfect shade match for me because I do have porcelain skin with yellow undertones, so I was very pleased with that. Sadly, that was the only thing I liked about this foundation. My skin is combination with redness and acne. I get oily around my nose and chin but will have dry skin in other places. This is a matte foundation but I thought since my skin is combination it might work for me. I was very, very wrong. This formula clings to every dry patch or any texture your skin may have. This foundation also claims to have full coverage and that is laughable. In the picture above the only reason it looks full coverage is because of the amount of concealer I had to use just to cover my redness. Another negative for some people could be the smell. This has a very strong almost paint-like scent. Now let’s talk about wear time…

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My makeup after around three to four hours of wear.

Around three to four hours after applying my makeup I was horrified to see how it had broken down. In the picture above you can see how it is almost non-existent on my nose and forehead and what is there is just an awful, clumpy looking mess. I have worn this foundation two different times with two different types of powders and two different types of primers thinking that the problem may be just how it reacted with another product but nope it’s just this foundation.

The shade range for this foundation is awesome but besides that I can not recommend this. If your face is very oily it may work for you but even in my oily areas it just wore off even faster and it didn’t do anything to keep those areas matte. As of right now the e.l.f. foundation is still the one I recommend the most. If you know of any good cruelty free foundations please let me know. I’m even willing to pay a little more for them if they will actually work. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Book Review of “Splendor” by Anna Godbersen

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Splendor by Anna Godbersen is the fourth and last book in the Luxe series. It is also my least favorite. I loved the first three: The LuxeRumors and Envy but Splendor just didn’t do it for me. I’m very picky about the ending in books and book series. I like for the ending to make sense and resolve any issues that there may have been. Without further ado, let’s get into why I didn’t care for the conclusion to the Luxe series.

*Spoilers*

The Plot

Elizabeth Cairns, formerly Keller/Holland, is happy as Snowden Cairns wife. She doesn’t feel any romantic feelings toward Snowden because she is still mourning her deceased husband, Will; but she is happy in their new home and her pregnancy is progressing well. Soon however, she discovers some suspicious things. She finds a note addressed to her husband that alludes to the fact that he had something to do with Elizabeth’s father’s death. Elizabeth confronts him and also discovers he was responsible for Will’s death as well. Snowden’s goal was to marry Elizabeth the whole time and receive the oil money Will made out West. Snowden drugs Elizabeth with ether and keeps her locked away in a bedroom where he plans to kill her once she gives birth and make it look like she died in childbirth. Meanwhile, Diana Holland is in Cuba where she went after she learned Henry was stationed there with the army. She ends up finding him and they are blissfully happy until Henry’s superior discovers them together and sends them both back to New York. Once there, Henry decides to tell his father he’s going to divorce Penelope and marry Diana but when he does his father has a heart attack and dies. Since Henry is now the head of the household he still plans to marry Diana but when he proposes Diana tells him she just can’t stay in New York and will only be with him if he goes to Paris. Henry tells her he can’t do that so Diana heads off to Paris without him. Back in the Cairns household Elizabeth awakens from her drugged stupor and manages to creep into the upstairs hall where she sees Snowden coming up the stairs. Elizabeth pushes him down the stairs and the fall kills him. Teddy Cutting, who has always been in love with Elizabeth, shows up shortly after because he knew something was wrong when he tried to visit Elizabeth previously. He saves  Elizabeth and the two marry. She later has her son and then they go on to have many more children.

My Thoughts

I did not like this book for a few simple reasons:

  1. The ending felt rushed. It’s like the author really wanted to finish up the series but she also wanted to load it down with unnecessary details so this made the ending just feel sloppy and thrown together.
  2. The Diana and Henry romance went in a weird direction. Throughout all four books these two are chasing each other and desperately want to be together but now that they can Diana is like nah. It just didn’t make sense. I get that Diana is supposed to be this independent feminist but I don’t see any real person doing something like that.

I actually did like Snowden Cairns being the evil mastermind behind everything. I had thought something was off about him since he was first introduced because he was just a little too nice. I also liked that Elizabeth and Teddy ended up together because let’s be honest, they’re perfect for each other.

I’m sure the author had her reasons for writing Splendor the way she did but I just don’t feel it matched the caliber of the first three. However, it is a necessary read if you want a conclusion to the series. That’s about it. If you’ve read this series let me know what you thought about it! Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso Review

It is no secret that I love Milani. I decided I wanted to try one of their baked blushes. They all looked beautiful but I though the peach colored Luminoso would probably be the best for my fair skin tone. Their baked blushes cost $8.00 online and I want to say are $6.00 at Wal-Mart, not sure why there is a price difference. Before I get into the review, if you purchase online be aware that the picture is not an accurate representation of the color. Luminoso, for example, is more of an orange color than a fair peach.

This is a baked blush so it can be worn wet or dry. In the swatches above dry is on the left and wet is on the right. As I said above, this is more of an orange toned blush than peach so for my skin I have to apply it VERY lightly and blend it out. I definitely could not wear it wet because it’s just too pigmented. However, if you have a deeper skin tone than me it will look like a very gorgeous deep peach color. This blush is very creamy, pigmented and has no fall out. It lasted all day on my skin.

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I hope you can tell how pigmented this blush is and this is after I blended it out like crazy!

This blush was fantastic, but like with a lot of Milani’s products, the colors are very deep and vibrant so be cautious if you have fair skin. I still really like this blush and will buy more eventually. Let me know if you’ve tried any of Milani’s blushes! Thank you for reading and have a great day!

NYX Lid Lingerie Eyeshadow Palette Review

NYX is not a brand that I’ve tried much of and I wanted to change that. I’ve bought and been trying out quite a few of their products over the past few weeks. Some of what I bought is absolutely amazing and others are complete garbage, my opinion of course. If you’re not familiar with NYX, they are a cruelty free and somewhat affordable brand. They are considered drugstore and their products range from around $5.00 to $40.00. One of the items I purchased that I have fallen in love with is their Lid Lingerie Eyeshadow Palette. The palette has six different matte shadows and costs $10.00.

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The cream color is there; it just doesn’t show up on my skin.

The pictures of this palette really do not do it justice. The shades included are: cream, lavender, burnt orange, brown, peach and a burgundy-ish brown. These are not the brand’s names for these shades, it’s just how I see them. My absolute favorite colors in the palette are the burnt orange, brown and peach. They are so creamy and pigmented. I’ve had no trouble with wear time, however I do use Milani Eyeshadow Primer. My only complaint with this entire palette is the burgundy brown color on the far right bottom row. It is so dry and crumbly. It’s honestly confusing how it’s texture could be so different from the others. Besides that one shadow the others all blended beautifully and were great.

Overall, I think this is a great deal for $10.00. Five shades out of six are beautiful and work perfectly. This was my first experience with matte shadows and this palette was great for somebody like me that’s not the best at applying eyeshadow. Let me know what your favorite NYX products are! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Book Review of “Envy” by Anna Godbersen

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I usually don’t like to do back to back book reviews of books in the same series but I read Rumors and Envy by Anna Godbersen in the same weekend so I wanted to review them both while they were still fresh on my mind. To be honest, these books are so good that I’m wanting to read straight through the series and not read others in between. Envy is the third book in The Luxe Series and second to last.

*Spoilers*

The Plot

Book three begins shortly after the death of Elizabeth’s husband, Will, and Henry, Diana’s lover, marrying Penelope Hayes. Both sisters are deeply depressed but are still trying to keep up appearances. Henry, meanwhile, can’t stand his new wife that blackmailed him into marriage and refuses to even sleep in the same room with her. He’s missing Diana desperately and wants to still figure out a way to be with her. Henry plans a fishing trip to Florida with his friend, Teddy Cutting, and Penelope invites Elizabeth and Diana to go as well, just to be cruel. The group goes and while there Elizabeth becomes better friends with Teddy, who has always liked her. Diana and Henry only manage to speak in private a few times but Henry promises her he’s going to somehow leave his wife. However, while there Diana sees what she thinks is Henry and Penelope being intimate together so she vows to have nothing else to do with Henry. Shortly after the trip Elizabeth realizes she’s pregnant with Will’s child. Her mother tells her she needs to either have an abortion or get married. Elizabeth won’t have the abortion and wants to marry Teddy, who she does have feelings for, but Teddy has enlisted in the army and has already been shipped out. Her father’s former associate and family friend, Snowden Cairns, knows her situation and offers to marry her in a marriage of convenience. Elizabeth agrees and the two marry. Meanwhile, Diana is trying to make Henry jealous by dating Penelope’s brother, Grayson. Grayson is actually falling for Diana and when Henry sees this he decides to follow after his friend Teddy and enlist in the army.

My Thoughts

Like books one and two, three did not disappoint. I love that Elizabeth was able to marry such a good man and can keep her child. However, I feel so sorry for Diana. I just want her to have her happy ending with Henry; but maybe that’s coming in book four. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up in the final book and as unrealistic as it is I want everyone to have a happy ending, well except maybe Penelope, haha.

These first three books have been so enjoyable to read and I’m sure the last one will be no different. If you’ve read these books before let me know what you thought about them or let me know if they seem interesting to you! Thanks for reading and have a great day!