DarqueDreamer M.
Review for A Monster Calls - 1 month ago

This story transcends reading levels by connecting to the reader on a deeply emotional level. You know what is going to happen, but you are able to connect with the main character and the story through empathy. For anyone who has ever lost a loved one to cancer, prepare yourself for a tear-jerker. For those lucky enough to have not experienced that type of loss, this story will send you on the emotional roller coaster that those of us have ridden before.
Review for A Little Princess (Hardcover) - 1 month ago

"Everything's a story. You are a story--I am a story..." (Burnett, p. 92).

A Little Princess is a timeless classic; an enchanting tale. It is full of magic and wonder. This book is the epitome of imagination and childhood fancy.

The Plot: Seven-year-old Sara Crewe has always been a princess at heart, as well as a princess in her own, wealthy home in India with her loving father. When her father decides to invest in a business venture, he takes little Sara London to Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies. There she is envied and adored by her fellow pupils. She begins to find her place in the school, making friends, and telling fantastical stories, until news of her father's passing yanks her from the fantasy she has created. Left penniless and without care, Miss Minchin decides to keep her as "charity" and forces her to move in to the attic with the servant girl Becky. Working and living as a beggar weighs heavily on her heart and her fancy of pretending to be a princess. Can she overcome the obstacles life has thrown at her and prove that all girls truly are princesses in their own rights?

“Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” (Burnett, p. 108).

A Little Princess has always been one of my all time favorites stories (and favorite childhood movie). I love the morals portrayed in the story and the imagery the author uses to make you feel like you are in London during this time frame. I am in awe of the fantastical imagination that Sara has and I love the childhood nostalgia the book emanates. The characters are well written and I have always loved the faerie-tale like feel of the story.

Before we discuss the characters, let me talk about the morals and theme of the story. A Little Princess is known most for having the theme that all girls are princesses no matter their appearances or wealth. This is such an important theme, especially in this day and age, when girls are so focused on their appearances and social media statuses. Girls are so mean to each other, and a lot of girls think they are better than others. This book teaches young girls to value themselves and to believe in their self worth. Some amazing morals found in this book are: to treat others with respect, help those in need, pay it forward, and to never give up. Sara lived the life of a spoiled, rich girl, but never once acted like one. She treated those around her with kindness, even when they did not deserve it, and, even though she felt like giving up at times, she never did.

Sara Crewe is a beautiful, intelligent, lovable little girl. She is kind, caring, and selfless. She is full of imagination and personality, and is most definitely a true princess at heart. Her character is proven time and again when she does things that seem too wise and mature for a seven-year-old to do, such as taking little Lottie under her wing when she realizes how badly she misses her deceased mother, befriending the servant girl Becky when she is told not to friend those beneath her, and giving her food to a beggar child even thought she is hungry. We could all take a lesson from Sara on how to treat others and I think we would all be happier if we could use our imaginations the way she can.

"She was a child full of imaginings and whimsical thoughts, and one of her fancies was that there would be a great deal of comfort in even pretending that Emily was alive..." (Burnett, p. 18).

Miss Minchin, head mistress of the school, is a horrid, ugly woman. She spoils Sara thinking that it will earn Captain Crewe's respect, therefore causing him to pay her more money. She praises Sara in the presence of others, not because she actually believes her praise, but to better her status in the eyes of the other pulpils' parents. She is selfish and cruel, the only reason she allows Sara to stay in the attic as a servant is because she is worried about her reputation if she throws her out on the streets.

"She was very like her house, Sara felt: tall and dull, and respectable and ugly. She had large, cold, fishy eyes, and a large, cold fishy smile." (Burnett, p. 10).

Ermengarde St John is such a lovable, contrasting character to Sara. Though she shares the same kind, selfless qualities, she is different in appearance and mannerisms. Ermengarde does not share the ability to pretend and imagine as Sara does, thus she becomes enamored with Sara's stories. She doesn't carry the confidence and the quick learning like Sara, but she makes up for it with her ability to become a caring friend with a big heart.

"He'll like it if I learn anything in any way," said rueful Ermengarde..."Perhaps," she said, "to be able to learn things quickly isn't everything, To be kind is worth a great deal to other people." (Burnett, p. 136).

This truly is a beautiful, magical story. It will forever hold a place in my heart and I hope it continues to spark kindness and imagination in the hearts of others. The morals and theme of the story bring tears to my eyes and I will always love the beauty and enchantment of Sara's character and her fantastical stories and "pretending".
Review for The Fault in Our Stars - 1 month ago

I don't think anyone could depict this book any better than Jodi Picoult did when she described it as, "Electric...filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." The Fault in Our Stars isn't your average story about a teenager fighting cancer. It's a story about a teenager LIVING with cancer in every sense of the word. Cancer isn't the enemy here, dying is. Cancer is trying to live and grow as much as the person it becomes a part of. 

We learn right from the beginning that Hazel is terminal, and expect to lose her at the end of the story. What we don't expect is the relationships she builds when she meets Isaac and Augustus, and the twists the story takes as it unfolds. We expect the world around these kids to stop moving because they have cancer, as if hit by a "grenade". We find out that life does go on, for those with cancer and those without.

I found myself filled to the brim with emotion while reading this book. Many different emotions. I went in to this expecting to be overcome with nothing but sadness and pity for Hazel and, instead, found myself living through her, feeling happiness, humor, excitement, and grief. I fell in love with Augustus, felt pity for Isaac, and felt joy for Hazel. I felt the friendship between Augustus and Isaac and felt the passion between Hazel and Augustus. I learned what it felt like to be a parent to a child with cancer. 

The Fault in Our Stars became one of my favorite books over night and I only wish I was able to properly convey how full my heart felt after reading this. John Green infused this story with so much emotion that you feel like you are living Hazel's life with her. Cancer is that "four letter word" that no one wants to hear or live with. It is automatically assumed that the quality of life, for both the cancer patient and those around them, suffers and leaves no room for love, laughter, and happiness, but life still goes on, and these precious moments are still felt and lived, despite the sadness, sickness, and impending demise.
Review for ZenniOptical.com - 1 month, 1 week ago
Zenni Optical is incredible! Their glasses are stylish, sturdy, and super affordable. Every pair I have gotten has been accurate, long lasting and better quality than pairs that cost $300+! I love being able to afford multiple styles too! The wait time is not bad at all either.
Review for Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Color Protect Sealing Spray 3.3 oz - 1 month, 1 week ago
The Pravana vivid color protect sealing spray is a great addition to my hair care routine. It can become oily if too much is used, but it detangles, smooths and prolongs and protects vivid color.
Review for Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray 9.1 oz Hair Spray - 1 month, 1 week ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Aveda Control Force has perfect hold. It has a pleasant smell and it is easy to use. I am able to stand my mohawk up when I use Control Force, but I can also use it lightly for every day hairstyles. I can do wonders with it when styling my 50's hairstyles too!
Black
Dry, Color Treated
Color Protection, Hair Loss
Review for Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick - 1 month, 1 week ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Review for: Ruthless more...
I was lucky enough to receive the Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks, in the shades Dominate and Ruthless, from Influenster, and Laura Mercier, for testing purposes, in exchange for my honest review. So, I will begin by reviewing the lipsticks together, and then continue on to review each color.The packaging of the lipsticks is very nice. They have the twist motion to expose more lipstick, or to expose less to protect it. They also have sharpeners on the opposite ends. The packaging is sleek and black, with the names in a gold/white font.The shape of the lipsticks look and feel like crayons. The sharpeners work to an extent, but can be a little messy with the shavings. The lipstick also feels a little like a crayon consistency when applying it.Ruthless is the first shade that I tried. I was not a fan of this one, unfortunately. I felt that it looked, and felt, chalky, and was definitely more pastel pink than nude. It was too matte and dry, felt like I was using a crayon when applying it, had to apply it over a few times to get a decent coverage, and crumbled when it was re-applied. It also did not stay on my lips through eating and drinking. The only positive thing I can really say it that it did not stain my lips, or skin when swatched. I would give it a 1.5 to 2 star rating because I would like to try it again after a good lip scrub and moisture treatment.
Medium
Brown
Black
Review for Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick - 1 month, 1 week ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Review for: Dominate more...
I was lucky enough to receive the Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks, in the shades Dominate and Ruthless, from Influenster, and Laura Mercier, for testing purposes, in exchange for my honest review. So, I will begin by reviewing the lipsticks together, and then continue on to review each color.The packaging of the lipsticks is very nice. They have the twist motion to expose more lipstick, or to expose less to protect it. They also have sharpeners on the opposite ends. The packaging is sleek and black, with the names in a gold/white font.The shape of the lipsticks look and feel like crayons. The sharpeners work to an extent, but can be a little messy with the shavings. The lipstick also feels a little like a crayon consistency when applying it.I then tried the shade Dominate. Dominate had a smoother texture and applied a little smoother than Ruthless did. It was more pigmented and had a more flattering shade. It still felt like I was using a crayon to apply the lipstick and had a sticky texture, though. It still took several passes to get an opaque layer of the lipstick. It wiped off on everything that touched my lips and did not stay on while eating. It also never turned completely matte either. I would give it a 2.5 star rating because the shade was nice. it did not stain my lips, and it was a smoother texture, but it was not what I expected and still crumbled a tiny bit on reapplication.
Medium
Brown
Black
Review for Melt Cosmetics Love Sick Stack - 2 months ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
This is my absolute favorite stack from Melt Cosmetics! The colors go so well together, and I can create so many beautiful looks with this stack. I love making sunset type looks with these highly pigmented, easily blend-able colors! Amelie is my favorite!
Medium
Brown
Review for Melt Cosmetic Ultra-Matte Eye Shadow - 2 months ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Review for: Blurr, Promiscuous, Unseen, Fixated, Amelie more...
In this review I am rating these particular shades, since I created my makeup look with them today. Melt Cosmetics will always be in my heart. Their eye-shadows are all super pigmented, very blend-able, and work very well together. I can create a variety of looks with them.
Medium
Brown
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