Foolish Hearts

By: Emma Mills
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Pages: 320

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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

First Impressions

I really enjoyed Mills’ first novel, so I was very excited when I saw that she had this one coming out. The cover is unique and I really like all of the covers. The summary also piqued my interest, more so than her second book. However, I recently read her second novel (like no more than a few weeks ago) and LOVED it. I got even more excited about this one and couldn’t wait for it to come out!

What I thought

This book was just as fun as her previous two books. I think she has cemented herself as one of my new automatic read authors! A bit of a momentary tangent, but after reading (and loving) The Fault in Our Stars, I picked up John Green’s other two novels, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska. Granted, he was not the first author that I binged after loving a novel of theirs. But, his style of writing was so strong, that I felt like I was reading the same book back to back and burned myself out on his books. When I started Foolish Hearts, I was a bit worried that’s what was going to happen with Mills’ books. Her voice is very unique, and while I loved it, I worried it was going to be overload having read two of her books so close together.

I can happily say, that was not the case! While there is a similar tone and even a bit of a similar theme, they were different enough that it didn’t feel like she was writing the same book but with different characters. I do feel like I can confidently share that Mills has a specific style, but it’s one that I love. Her books are very focused on friendship with characters who have a sarcastic and dry sense of humor. The main characters often feel like they are alone in the world with only one or two people who understand them, until they’re proven otherwise. There also is a male character who is popular, but that they’re not the stereotypical popular guy.

In Foolish Heart, Claudia attends an all-girl high school, while her best friend Zoe, attends the public school. As a result, she’s never found reason to make friends. During the final party of the summer, Claudia accidentally witnesses the gruesome breakup of Paige and Iris. This spirals into Claudia and Iris haing to be partners on a group project, failing terribly, and then being forced to take part in the fall play in order to earn extra credit. Oh, and there’s an all boys partner high school that they put the play on with.

In addition to Iris and Claudia learning how to tolerate each other while working together, Gideon (the popular for unconventional reasons boy) pulls Claudia into his orbit. I loved Gideon so much. His quirky sense of humor and just all around goodness made me smile every time he was in a scene. He might be my book crush of the year.

I also liked that she had a close relationship with her siblings. Her brother Alex is only a year older than her, but her sister Julia is 11 years older. Yet she still has a great relationship with both of them. There’s no pettiness, and during the moments that they need each other, they are there for one another. It was really nice to see, since I feel like a lot of brother-sister relationships, especially when they’re close in age, are not good.

The other thing that I’ve started to love about Mills’ novels, is that while they’re YA, there are storylines that are relatable for adults. In This Adventure Ends, there was the storyline about her father having writers block and struggling with some depression, in Foolish Hearts, her 29-year-old sister is terrified about becoming a new mom. It’s just seems to acknowledge a little bit that YA novels aren’t just for teenagers. There’s a little bit of everything in these stories for everyone, and I really appreciate that.

I loved this book. I devoured it in 24 hours and enjoyed every moment. Gideon is easily one of my favorite characters, and Claudia’s friendship with Iris was great. As with Mills’ previous novels, the sense of humor was right up my alley. If you’ve read her other novels, I think you will love this one just as much. If you haven’t read her previous books, what are you doing?? Go read them now! Honestly, read them in any order because I think I’ve liked them all equally.

I loved this book. I devoured it in 24 hours and enjoyed every moment. Gideon is easily one of my favorite characters, and Claudia’s friendship with Iris was great. As with Mills’ previous novels, the sense of humor was right up my alley. If you’ve read her other novels, I think you will love this one just as much. If you haven’t read her previous books, what are you doing?? Go read them now! Honestly, read them in any order because I think I’ve liked them all equally.

New year, New skincare!

In case you haven’t noticed by my lack of beauty posts, I’ve been a bit bored with my beauty routine. Thanks to Liz at sequinsandstripes.com (who is amazing and if you haven't checked her out, what are you going?) and my friend Stephanie (who has been mentioned multiple times on this blog and is one of my fellow book clubbers), I heard about Blue Mercury. Blue Mercury is a higher end beauty store and spa with their own makeup and skin care line. Stephanie had been wanting to go there for a while and also wanted some new skin care, so we took a trip there the other week.

I’ve been having a lot of chin/hormonal acne, so that was the biggest thing I wanted to fix. Steph and I worked with a wonderful consultant (thanks Jo!) who introduced us to the M-61 products. M-61 is the Blue Mercury skincare brand which is gluten free, paraben free, and vegan. Their makeup line, Lune + Aster, is also gluten free, paraben free, and vegan.

I apologize for the set up, but I just had to get the snow in the background!

I apologize for the set up, but I just had to get the snow in the background!

The first product that I purchased is the M-61 PowerGlow Peel ($28-$11). This is a exfoliating facial peel that is made up of glycolic and salicylic acid as well as vitamin K, bilberry, and chamomile. In the past, I’ve used the Cane + Austin Retexturizing pads with glycolic acid and have enjoyed them, but I haven’t used them in a while. I really like the presoaked acid exfoliators, and my skin reacts to them well, so I was excited about this product. Also, this was one of the holy grail products that Liz had mentioned in her blog post.

In case you are unfamiliar with acid peels, they're an exfoliant that uses acids with various properties as opposed to grainy textures (such as salt and sugar). The benefit of glycolic acid is that in addition to exfoliating your skin, it is meant to reduce pore size, even skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. If you are an acne sufferer, you are familiar with salicylic acid which is meant to help clear skin and combat acne. It's in a lot of acne specific skin care products. 

The PowerGlow Peel is meant to treat fine lines, clarify and firm skin, reduce pore size, and treat acne. The website also says that the Vitamin K is specifically meant to combat dry, rosacea-like patches, and the bilberry extract is meant to promote an even skin tone. Jo, our makeup consultant, recommended using this 2-3 times a week on our faces, necks, and the backs of our hands. I loved the recommendation of using it on the backs of our hands because that is definitely a part of my body I don’t think about treating with the same care as my face.

I’ve only used this 2 times since buying it, but each time that I’ve used it I’ve woken up with super soft skin the next day. I’ve also already noticed some lightening of some acne scars on my skin. I am really enjoying this product so far and look forward to using more of it! It is a bit pricey, but I’ve learned that good skin care usually is.

The second product I purchased was the M-61 PowerSpot Blemish Lotion ($16). This is similar to the Mario Badescu drying lotion, but doesn’t include alcohol in its ingredients. This product includes salicylic acid, tea tree, witch hazel, cucumber, and aloe. For times when my acne decides to act up even with the use of the pads, this is a spot treatment that Jo recommended for taking care of the spots overnight. To use it, you take a q-tip and dip straight down through the liquid and into the powder. Don’t dip too deep and don’t shake the bottle! Al little bit goes a long way.

I used this product two nights in a row when I had some stubborn spots on my chin. After the first nigh they were visibly reduced and after the second night they were gone! I love that this product doesn’t only have the acid to treat, but has soothing ingredients too.

Hopefully a few new (wonderful) products will help reignite my beauty spark! I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on the beauty front, but I honestly haven’t tried much that’s gotten me excited. I’ve barely even spent money on new products lately, instead using the products I’ve been getting from the Play By Sephora boxes. Which, I have still been getting, but have just been slacking on reviews. I will try to be better about that in the new year!

Have you ever tried Blue Mercury? Any new products in your life you’re enjoying?

8 Books I'm Most Excited for in 2018

Until I started blogging, I was never really aware of upcoming books, with the exception of books that were a part of a series. Now, I hear about books decently far in advance, so there is definitely a list of those that I start to look forward to. I do love the anticipation of a book I’m excited for, so let me share that excitement with you! I did try to find 10 that I was looking forward to, but I only got to 8. Whoops! At least 8 is my lucky number.

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8. The Elizas- Sara Shephard- This is an adult debut of Shephard’s who is the author of Pretty Little Liars. It sounds like an interesting mystery and I did enjoy the first few books of the PLL series (even though I never watched the TV show). I only recently heard about this one which is why it’s a little lower on my list. Publishing in April 2018

7. My Oxford Year- Julia Whelan- I am a sucker for books about studying abroad, especially ones in England. It also seems like it had a hate to love relationship which I am also a sucker for. This is a debut and it is described as being for fans of Nicholas Sparks and JoJo Moyes. While they’re not my favorite authors, I do love the movies based off of both Sparks’ and Moyes’ books, so I’m hoping this one will be fun. It’s also already been purchased to be made into a movie, so it’ll be fun to be ahead of the game for this one. Publishing in April 2018

6. The Way You Make Me Feel- Maureen Goo- This book popped up on my twitter feed and the cover totally sucked me in. It’s about a girl who is sentenced to working on her dad’s food truck for the summer alongside a classmate that she doesn’t like. Remember how I mentioned I’m a sucker for hate to love tropes? Add in summer romance and I am all in! The hate to love is a bit different in this one as it’s with a female classmate, so it’ll be a bit more of a friendship love, but I’m always looking for a good friendship story! Publishing May 2018

5. By The Book- Julia Sonneborn- A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anne Corey is working towards tenure until Adam Martinez (her first love and ex-fiance) shows up as the new president of the college where she works. Books, love, and a Jane Austen retelling. Can I ask for more? Publishing February 2018

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4. The Wedding Date- Jasmine Guillory- “Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do.”- That right there is why I’m excited for this book. It sounds exactly like the beginning to a cheesy Hallmark movie and that makes me so excited. It’s another debut, so I’m hoping that it will add a new author to my list of ones I love. Publishing January 2018

3. The Queen of Hearts- Kimmery Martin- This book was actually brought to my attention when I was asked to review it. It’s about two woman who became best friends in medical school. They’re now married and enjoying their lives until a secret is unearthed from their past. Friendship plus a little bit of mystery just sounds intriguing. And for some reason, even though I have a decent amount of review for the beginning of the year, this is the one I’m most looking forward to. Publishing February 2018

2. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hynotik- David Arnold- I have greatly enjoyed two of Arnold’s previous novels (Mosquitoland and The Kids of Appetite) so this was added to me list before looking at the summary. Then I read an interview he gave about the book and was hooked. It sounds so different from anything that I’ve ever read and I don’t think Arnold will disappoint. Publishing May 2018

1. Save the Date- Morgan Matson- Yay!!! A new Morgan Matson book! She is one of my favorite authors and I was beyond excited to see she was coming out with a new one in 2018. It’s about a wedding that is pretty much pure chaos. Honestly, I don’t care what it’s about. It’s by Matson so I know I will love it! Publishing June 2018

That’s my list of books I’m looking forward to for next year! Anything that you’re looking forward to? Are any of these books on your list?

Play! By Sephora December 2017

Play! By Sephora is a monthly subscription box by Sephora. It costs $10 a month and you received 5 beauty and skincare samples plus a perfume sample each month. Previously, you needed to put yourself onto a wait-list and wait to receive an email before you could subscribe, as they were rolling it out to limited quantities.

In addition to the products, Sephora includes a booklet that includes information about the product, the brand, and then tips of how to use the products. Also at the back of the book is a Play! PASS. This Pass gives you a complimentary one-on-one session with a Sephora artist as well as an extra 50 Beauty Insider points when you scan the pass at the register with any purchase. If you have the Sephora app, you can also scan the images of the products to learn more about them.

When the subscription first started, it seemed as though everyone received the same box. Now, it seems as though they have a handful of box varieties that everyone receives based on the survey you fill out at the beginning and their theme. This month’s theme is Glam Straight.

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Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Shadow Duo in Golden Hour (Full-size $29)

This is a sample of two eyeshadows that come in their Cover Shot Golden Hour eye shadow palette. I LOVE Smashbox eyeshadows, so I was very excited to get these. Smashbox is one of the brands that first got me into higher quality makeup and I still think it’s hard to beat the quality of their shadows. These ones are beautiful and go together perfectly. The first color is a beautiful pinky/gold (think eye shadow version of NARS Orgasm blush) and the second is a purple/brown. I don’t often buy palettes as I feel like I can’t justify the price, but these are relatively inexpensive and still contain 8 shadows!

Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Rose Wood (Full-size $22)

A beautiful nude pink, this soft lipstick is perfect for the holiday season if you’re not into bold lips. I haven’t tried it on my lips (yet) but it feels like it will be moisturizing. It’s definitely a “your lips but better” type of color. I’m hoping to try it soon (maybe on Christmas day) and see how it holds up to the wear and tear of the holiday meals!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (Full-size $23)

This mascara is one of those that you hear a lot about in the beauty community. A lot of people LOVE it, but I have yet to try it. One beauty guru that I trust has tried it and isn’t crazy about it, which is why I haven’t been too tempted in the past. I am excited to try it out though, sine I never would’ve spent the money on it. Now, do I really need another mascara sample? Definitely not, but at least it’s one I haven’t tried before!

Bumble & Bumble Thickening Volume Hairspray (Full-size $29)

A bit pricey for a hairspray in my opinion. This is meant to lift your hair and make it appear full and voluminous. While also keeping your hair in place. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll play around with it for sure. My hair does tend to fall a little flat right at the roots so we’ll see. If not, I know some people who would love this!

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream (Full-size $48)

So this cream claims to do a lot of things. Sephora says that it was developed with plastic surgeons and contains ingredients meant to moisturize, reduce the look of pores, discoloration, and signs of aging. It also claims that the concentrate is activated upon contact with the skin. The main ingredients listed are collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and ceramides. The only one I’m super familiar with is hyaluronic acid which is a super moisturizer. The collagen is meant to support skin elasticity, the peptides to reduce appearance of wrinkles, and the ceramides to restore the skin barrier. If this product does what it claims, it is a great deal! $48 for 2oz of a good moisturizer is not bad at all. Fingers crossed this will be a holy grail product! Only downside is there is no SPF involved.

Dior Miss Dior (Full-size $94)

This fragrance is described as having top notes of bergamot, middle motes of grasse rose and may rose, and base notes of rosewood and pink peppercorn. I (surprisingly) have never actually smelled Miss Dior before. It’s really not bad! I like the mixture of floral and spice.

Overall, a great box to end the year on! I’m honestly excited to try every product in this box and hopefully won’t be giving anything away.