BOOK REVIEW: Ice Wolves {Elementals, Book One} by Amie Kaufman

If I’m being honest, I must tell you that I purchased Amie Kaufman’s Elementals: Ice Wolves because…wolves! Y’all know I’m Team Wolf, so I couldn’t pass this one up…and I’m glad I didn’t!

Twelve-year-old twins, Rayna and Anders Bardasen, are street kids. Orphaned as tots when their parents were killed in a supposed Scorch Dragon attack in Vallen, the two ditched their orphanage digs years ago, preferring to fend for themselves using nothing but street smarts. Stealing, pickpocketing, occasionally running with other orphans, the two have done it all {typically with Rayna at the helm}; but everything changes during the Trial of the Staff.

The Trial of the Staff {think The Hunger Games’ Reaping Ceremony} is an event that brings Elementals to life. Those who transform into a wolf while touching the staff are immediately enrolled in Ulfar Academy to train as Ice Wolves; those who fail to transform are mere mortals. Then there are the rare few whom transform into Scorch Dragons. Scorch Dragons live in the secret location, Drekhelm, and are sworn enemies of Ice Wolves. Which brings us to our predicament.

During a pickpocketing gone wrong, Rayna and Anders find themselves in line for the Trial of the Staff. Believing that their placement will merely make those around them forget about their thieving faux pas, they’re unconcerned about what may happen; but when Rayna transforms into a Scorch Dragon all bets are off. With the town of Holbard in an uproar as the Ice Wolves attempt to capture Rayna; very few notice that Anders himself as transformed as well - into an Ice Wolf.

Virtually unheard of for siblings to transform into different elementals, Rayna and Anders are an anomaly, and manage to escape unscathed - for a short time, that is. When an attack leaves Rayna captured by Scorch Dragons, and Anders enrolled as a student at Ulfar, however, Anders must use his new resources {and friends} to find his sister before she is used as a sacrifice on the equinox.

Rather than beat around the bush, I’m going to be blunt: this book fell short for me; but I’m eager to read the sequel. I know, I know, random right? Here’s the sitch…Rayna and Anders were very ho-hum characters for me. They left no impact on me after the pages were closed; however, there were secondary characters whom I loved {despite the fact that they had little page time}.

Lisabet was lovable in the same vein as Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger. Bookish; inquisitive; a bit of a loner, but intriguing; helpful. I loved every. single. moment that she was on the page. Hayn was brilliant. He has hero status written all over him; and I can only hope that his character plays a more pivotal role in Scorch Dragons. Last, but not least, the dragons of Drekhelm {notably Leif}. Y’all, I may have come for the wolves; but I am determined to stay in this world due to the dragons.

Star Rating: ***





Topshop Tiger Crop Sweatshirt in CREAM

Obvi a necessary purchase for any cat lover.



NOTD: OPI Mexico City Nail Lacquer Collection in Mexico City Move-mint

Three coats of OPI Mexico City Nail Lacquer Collection in Mexico City Move-mint. Deep Sapphire Blue Crème.

Le sigh...ladies, I haven't been this head over heels for a mint polish since the iconic Essie Mint Candy Apple hit shelves; but OMG it's that good.

Mexico City Move-mint is a shade for all seasons. The fresh mint hue would seamlessly transition from spring to summer and fall to winter, which is why it's going to be in constant rotation in my collection. Formula here is v thin; but builds beautifully to create a rich, decadent color that makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Highly recommend this beauty - and buy backups!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?




Sam Edelman Faux Fur Teddy Coat in COGNAC

Fall 2020 staple, amiright? Also can't get over those Almost Famous Penny Lane vibes.



BOOK REVIEW: Fire and Ice {Warriors # 2: The Prophecies Begin} by Erin Hunter

Y’all I know Fire and Ice is geared towards kids, but I’m not gonna lie, I love Erin Hunter’s Warriors books. Blame it on my affinity for fantastical adventures or my unwavering adoration for felines, but this is just a brilliant series that all ages can really enjoy. And this particular tome showcases that.

Fire and Ice picks up directly where Into the Wild left off – opening just after Fireheart and Graystripe earn their Warrior status in ThunderClan. As their first mission, the two friends {one a former kittypet, the other Clanborn} are tasked with bringing WindClan back to their territory after being chased away by ShadowClan. The mission goes successfully, earning Fireheart and Graystripe a new opportunity: to train Warriors of their own.

In dire need of new Warriors within their Clan, Bluestar, the ThunderClan leader, names siblings Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw to serve as apprentices. Cinderpaw, a female with a fiery spirit {who reminds me so much of my kitten Liesel!} is assigned to Fireheart; while Brackenpaw, a timid yet tough little fella, earns an apprenticeship under the watchful eye of Graystripe. Thrilled at the chance to be mentors so early in their Warrior journey, Fireheart and Graystripe begin training immediately, and that’s precisely when things take a turn for the worst.

While on hunting patrol, Graystripe chases a vole onto thin ice, nearly drowning, and requiring rescue from a sleek she-cat known as Silverstream. A prestigious member of RiverClan, Silverstream catches Graystripe’s eye, leading the two young Warriors into a secret relationship that goes against Clan laws, and tests loyalties.

With Graystripe sneaking out for clandestine meetings with Silverpaw, Fireheart finds himself suffering from loneliness, and begins questioning his own loyalty to the clan – especially when he starts having flashbacks of his former kittypet life, and the siblings he left behind. Namely, a sister named Princess whom he has recently reconnected with. But when a series of attacks by ShadowClan warriors, accusations of ThunderClan spies invading RiverClan, and a terrible accident involving Cinderpaw take place, Fireheart and Graystripe must officially get their heads in the game, and make decisions that will impact not just their friendship, but their entire clan.

Fact: when I first started this series, I thought the premise of warrior cats was odd; but by the end of book one, I had fallen under the spell of such a far-fetched concept, and was thrilled to read Fire and Ice which exceeded my expectations.

This series is so character-driven. You truly empathize with the cats, and grow to love them in a very short period of time. Though many have dubbed Fire and Ice Graystripe’s story, I disagree to a certain extent, as I feel that Fireheart and his untold origins, along with his reservations about Warrior-hood, and reflections on his former life as a kittypet, is truly at the forefront. And then, of course, there’s Cinderpaw.

Give me more of this character now! Cinderpaw is endearing from the moment she prances onto the page. Her spunk and wildness {sometimes viewed as disobedience} are captivating; and the relationships she forms with both Fireheart, and ThunderClan medicine cat, Yellowfang, is thrilling to watch. Cinderpaw reminds me so much of my blind kitten, Liesel, which makes me love her even more.

Calling all cat lovers, this one’s for you!



balloon sleeve

Topshop Crop Balloon Sleeve Sweater in PINK

Killin' it with those 90s vibes!



NOTD: China Glaze Trolls World Tour Collection in Funky Beat

Two coats of China Glaze Trolls World Tour Collection in Funky Beat. Purple Creme.

Purple will forever be a hit or miss with me; but this beauty was 100% a hit!

Funky Beat is a g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s shade that transitions perfectly from the height of summer to the start of fall. The shade bridges the gap between bright and muted, and is such a pleaser for those who love girly with an edge. Formula here was perfection! It self-leveled without issue, and was perfectly opaque in just two simple swipes. Highly recommend!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?





Madewell Caldwell Plaid Double Breasted Blazer in GROVE HOUNDSTOOTH

LOVE the Old English Countryside feel this would create paired with riding boots and skinny denim!

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