Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

18304322 Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

This is the story of Willowdean, an overweight teen, who has a pageant-obsessed mother…ironic, right? Will has always been fine with herself, happy even, with a best friend named Ellen (whom looks like she should be in a pageant) that has always made her feel loved and included. Then, she starts working at Harpy’s, a local fast-food joint, and meets Bo–a cute boy from the Catholic high school in town. She would never have thought he would be interested in her, but develops a “secret” relationship with him. Instead of being happier, she starts to question why she feels like it should be “secret”, or is it him that feels like that? And what about the other guy that is interested in her? Would she be better off with him? With all this in question, she decides to throw everyone for a loop and enter the pageant that her town is famous for and that her mother is in charge of…and, thus, the fun begins. With the help of some other non-standard contestants, they shock everyone.

My thoughts:

There were some great, quotable lines!

Also, there is a lot of Dolly Parton in this book. 🙂

Part of me LOVES this book and the fact that Will didn’t have to lose weight to become a skinny, “happy” person during the course of the story. Another part of me was a little underwhelmed I guess, hoping something really big would happen. I have read some comments that the main character is too judgemental and hateful about other people, but I find it to be truthful. Teen girls, no matter their size, are harsh to and about each other, so I didn’t take offense to her feelings towards some of the other characters. She is just one of those people who doesn’t censor her thoughts. Overall, I felt this was a very fun, yet real, book and will definitely be recommending to my high school students.

My rating: 4/5

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What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth

25577179 What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 8/3/15.

This book description grabbed my attention immediately because it is supposed to be like The Devil Wears Prada in a makeup company. Seems like just my style!

Alison has tried and tried to be a success in the acting world, but decides it’s finally time to give it a rest and tries to find a new job. She knows a little about Sally Steele Cosmetics, a well-known brand on QVC, and walks right into the studio and makes herself known. Sally Steele decides she likes Alison’s charm and bravery and hires her to be her assistant. Though it takes a bit, Alison starts to see the ugly side of Sally, the side the other girls have warned about and she becomes miserable. In the meantime, she is working the dating scene and finally finds Bret and is falling in love….until he makes a business deal that she just can’t handle. Though she is having a rough time at the makeup company, she starts to learn to assert herself and be more open about how she feels as she tries to advance in the company. This is all taking place while she is also looking for other jobs, preferably some kind of hosting gig. Will Alison learn to deal with Sally or finally have her fill of the woman’s horrible attitude and manners?

I liked this book because Alison grew so much as a character, it made it seem so realistic. She was a very well-developed character and easy to relate to. I can’t imagine dealing with a boss like Sally and still keeping my cool or my sanity. It was nice that there was no insta-love in this book either, I hate when a relationship is “too easy” because it is just not real. I will recommend this book to friends.

My rating: 4/5

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Review

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So, I have decided to cater to the “Princess” side of my blog some too by posting about girly stuff! Not only am I a book nerd, but I also love beauty products, hairstyles, and clothes (oh, how I love clothes). From now on, you will be seeing both book-related (Library) posts and Beauty & Style posts and you can navigate to just one or the other on the top menu.

To start my Beauty & Style section, I want to review a product that I am grateful to have found. I have always loved the look of painted nails, but had a horrible time getting polish to stay on my natural nails. While I like the look of acrylics, I don’t like the feel and always wanted to chew at them (gross, I know!). I would paint my natural nails in the evening and they would chip overnight…while I was sleeping! What?! So, I saw this product in my local Walmart and decided to give it a go.  Each color was $7.97 and you must have the Miracle Gel top coat for this product to work. You do not need a UV light to get this to work. There is quite a selection of shades to choose from and these are the two above that I have purchased so far (Shock Wave-pink and Sugar fix-blue). I purchased the pink and top coat first and tried it out.  It lasted 5 days (5!!) before I got bored and took it off, so it probably would have lasted longer. That is a record for me, though, so I was happy. I have also tried just the top coat with other quality brands (non-gel) and it did help them last much longer than normal as well. Using both the Miracle Gel color and the Miracle Gel top coat does work better, of course. I bought Sugar Fix over the weekend and am now obsessed with it…until I get bored again. I don’t usually match my fingers and toes, but I did this time and was disappointed that it was a bit too chilly out to show off my toes today!

Sum it up: If you have always avoided polish because you get frustrated with almost immediate chipping, try this product! I love it! I do get occasional air bubbles so be careful with that, but great overall.

Bonus factor: My nails have been growing like crazy because I have kept them nice and polished, so I am not picking and chewing at them constantly!