BOTD: Envy by Gregg Olsen

Envy is book one of the Empty Coffin series. A friend of Haley and Taylor Ryan, twins with a supernatural ability, tragically dies. The book is a social commentary on cyberbullying but the paranormal twist keeps it from being heavy handed or condescending. 

This book has a great pace and is easy to get into for an hour or to just pick up and read really quick whilst waiting for the school gate to be unlocked (yes, I am THAT parent). The paranormal aspects of the book aren’t dark, although one scene involving the twins’ ability could be described as overwhelming. It is just presented as an every day part of the twins’ lives that they use to try to help people, just as another person might use other gifts, like intelligence.

I also appreciated that the ending was surprising, and that while past events that affect the present of the story are alluded to, not all of them are completely explained away so that you have a reason to come back to the series in addition to the characters themselves.

There are sensitive topics in the story, like suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders, so be forewarned. It doesn’t come off as gratuitous, but just as an attempt to honestly portray different types of teens and the problems they face.

- Eve

BOTD: The One-Eyed Man by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


The One-Eyed Man is about Dr. Paulo Verano, an ecologist sent to a colony planet to determine if there have been any effects on the ecology as the result of research being conducted by organizations. The organizations on the planet are taking advantage of it as a source of drugs that double lifespans, so there is a lot at stake politically and economically.

But is there more at stake? What makes the planet special? Why are the storms so powerful? And are the ever-present “skytubes” intelligent organisms, or not?

Oh man. YAWN. If you’re looking for a pretentious morality tale with a whole lot of vague subterfuge, by all means, read this book. If however, you’re looking for something entertaining, I very strongly do not recommend this.

I looked up this author and apparently he has written quite a lot of books, so I’m assuming the majority of his books are interesting and entertaining, and maybe this is an anomaly. However, Adam did mention (after I was about halfway in and very strongly considering not finishing this book) that he has heard about this author and that it didn’t seem like his style would be up my alley. Where were you at the store, Adam?!

That’s right, playing with the cat.

- Eve

Barnes and Noble haul!

- Eve

Barnes and Noble haul!

- Eve

BOTD: Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia

After Owen Pitt survives an encounter with a supernatural being, he is recruited by Monster Hunter International. The book follows Owen through his training and his baptism by fire. Because guess what? The apocalypse is coming.

This book was very entertaining. If you’re looking for a quick read, I don’t recommend it as it’s a brick due to its whopping 713 pages. However, it is definitely fun. I think the quote on the front about it being like a late night B monster movie is accurate. It can be cheesy and campy but it’s a fun way to kill time. 

- Eve

Julep Maven August 2014*edited to change July to August, because apparently I have trouble remembering what month it is?- Eve

Julep Maven August 2014

*edited to change July to August, because apparently I have trouble remembering what month it is?

- Eve

BOTD: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death is the story of a young woman living in post-apocalyptic Africa. She is the child of rape, and doomed to be an outcast. But it turns out that she has powerful magical abilities and she may have a significant role to play in changing her world.

If you’re squeamish, I would avoid this book due to its graphic violence. Not only is there the rape scene, but there are also scenes involving genocide and female circumcision.  These scenes are difficult to read, but they play significant roles in the story and illustrate the horror that is the main character’s reality. They don’t come off as gratuitous but add to the complexity of the story and add layers to the characters. 

With that being said, I loved the details of this book, as they really added a gritty texture to the story. I loved the complexity of the characters and of the world itself (supernatural and otherwise). I loved how she had her own spin on the typical fantasy story; specifically a quest, a group of travelers, magic, supernatural beings, it runs the gamut, but it’s from a really different perspective, and it’s beautiful. 

- Eve

BOTD: Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

Top Secret Twenty One is the 21st book in the Stephanie Plum series.

In this book, Stephanie is trying to track down a car dealer FTA who appears to be attempting to take out anyone with knowledge of his criminal enterprises. And thanks to an assassination plot at Rangeman, Stephanie also is trying to track down a Russian assassin. 

Whereas Takedown Twenty felt like Evanovich was just phoning it in, this book is more on point. It’s funny, entertaining, and action packed. I loved Grandma Mazur’s hijinks, and the explosions were totally up to par. 

This one is formulaic like the others, and Stephanie is still incompetent without trying to improve her skill set, thus relying too much on Rangeman to do her job. But it’s a quick, fun, relaxing read, and I actually laughed with this one, as opposed to #20. 

- Eve

July 2014 Julep Maven

Just some minimal customization this month!

Lorenzana, Beverly, and Bare Body Milk.

- Eve

NOTD: Julep Paulette

Paulette arrived in my May 2014 Julep Maven box. It’s a beautiful pastel, shimmery purple.

2 coats. 

Absolutely beautiful, and I’ve received a lot of compliments on it. I feel like this is a color that complements most outfits without being overpowering, and the shimmer helps differentiate it from other pastel polishes.

- Eve

NOTD: Julep Jennine

Jennine arrived in my June 2014 Julep Maven box. It is a beautiful turquoise-y blue glitter. It’s also one of their Stardust Finish polishes. It’s a textured polish, a matte glitter similar to OPI’s Liquid Sand. 

2 coats. No top coat.

This is just a lovely, lovely color. Because it’s a textured polish, application was not as smooth as their other polishes. It’s gritty and it dried extremely quickly. It wasn’t hard to apply, it just required more attention.

So, it’s undoubtedly beautiful. But what about the texture?

I had avoided textured polishes because I was pretty convinced I wouldn’t like them. I caved with this one because I loved the color. The texture is driving me a little crazy though. It’s one thing to feel it when rubbing my fingers across my nails, but I notice it when I’m putting on my clothes, or drying my hands…doing anything with my hands really. I might soldier on with it as is, because maybe I just need to get used to it, but I imagine that this will be the last textured polish I purchase. 

- Eve