One of Us Is Next: Bayview High Book II

Books, Entertainment

How’s that new blog schedule going? Terrible 😛 I have just been incredibly lazy lately, I literally cannot sleep enough even though I’m in bed by 8 most nights. Well, aside from one night where I decided that I would check out the Star Wars saga and stayed up until 3 AM. I can now say that I have watched these movies at the ripe old age of 33. You heard me, I had never seen a single one but they were OK if a little light on plot. Anyway, this post was supposed to be my January To Be Read but it’s already mid-January and I’ve read most of my picks. Instead, I will share my thoughts on the wildly anticipated sequel to the YA novel One of Us Is Lying which I really enjoyed. Now, I’m almost middle-aged and don’t dabble too much into this genre because of the corny high school scenarios but the plot of both books is pretty shocking and twisted for a YA novel which I appreciate.

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This book picks up where the first left off, there’s drama at Bayview High again and this time, the stakes are deadly. The main characters from the first installment have gone off to college, started lives of their own but still share an unbreakable bond after the death of one of their schoolmates, Simon. He ran a gossip app that tormented and entertained the population of Bayview, in his absence some have tried to rekindle the popular gossip forum without much success. That is until an anonymous schemer kicks off a game of Truth or Dare exposing the darkest secrets of the students.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author brought back some of the main characters from the first one but also fleshed out a few of the supporting characters that we didn’t know a lot about. The story is told from different points of view, the main characters this time are Phoebe, Maeve and Knox whose lives are somewhat already intertwined before they become the focus of the Truth or Dare game in one way or another. I like this narration style but it can be hard to follow each story line which is why I will most likely give this one a second read. As the story picks up towards the end, I found myself losing track of small details. The game kicks off with the anonymous texter exposing Phoebe for sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend which starts a rift between the sisters who are already under strain after the death of their father. Then Knox is exposed for an unfortunate performance during what was supposed to be he and Maeve’s first time. The game turns deadly though when a fellow classmate Brandon falls to his death after deciding to take the seemingly lesser high risk dare option. You’d think that everyone would tell their parents what was going on at this point but in true teenage fashion, they don’t. Problems only escalate when the anonymous texter tries to bomb a rehearsal dinner. Yeah, apparently high school students know how to build bombs and aren’t afraid to use them. Knox and Maeve save the day and we find out that the most unlikely student was involved with the anonymous bomb maker and Brandon’s death.

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It’s really a sad story all around, all of the kids involved have had their lives ruined by some family tragedy. There’s a weird feeling of revenge not being the answer but also thinking that some people deserved what they got. Then, when you find out who was really behind the whole ordeal, it just gets even sadder. After I read these types of books, it always makes me wonder if these things are really happening in schools or if it’s just the author embellishing the sometimes irrational actions of the American teenager. Not to get real dark here but in light of some of the violence that has happened in our schools, some of these events really wouldn’t even shock me. I enjoyed the pace of the writing, the characters are fun if a little moony at times and apparently none of these kids had any homework…or parents around to pay attention to what they are doing. Even if you aren’t into the whole YA genre (which I’m not) I would still recommend both Bayview books as pretty decent thrillers. I also like the writing style of the Author, Karen M. McManus and plan to check out her recent standalone novel.

Have you read either of these, let me know what you thought!

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Moody Monday & Bathroom Refresh

Life

I am not one of those people who dislikes Mondays but the Monday after the holidays is a terrible day. I don’t know about you but I tend to feel deflated after the merriment has commenced, the tree comes down and the world just looks a little duller. I took my tree down this weekend and even though I do leave out a few winter decorations, my apartment just looks so drab and sad. I recall seeing a comic strip when I was a kid, it was a tree thrown in the gutter to be picked up and had a forgotten ornament hanging from one of the branches – I am that tree today. Anyway, it’s weird how something like that sticks with you – I must have been 8’ish when I read that comic strip. My birthday was Friday, I skipped posting since I was out and about but will post a birthday haul once all of my goodies arrive. I did make a stop at IKEA to pick up some items for my bathroom that I had been going back and forth on. It feels complete at this point, I have been slowly collecting items for months now. At one point, I had a bright white hotel bathroom theme in mind but soon realized that hotel bathrooms are so bright and shiny because they get bleached all of the time. I kept some white elements but added in a dusty pink similar to what I have in my bedroom.

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These rugs are my favorite thing that I have ever purchased from IKEA. I’ve had them in grey in my other bathroom and those rugs are at least 6 years old but still look great even with weekly washings. The color hasn’t faded, the fabric hasn’t pilled or frayed and they are only about $9 each. The white curtain is from Target, I think but also I don’t remember because I picked up this past summer. I do recall being shocked at how much a freaking shower curtain costs. The pink and white towels were a clearance find at Bed, Bath & Beyond – they are a bit smaller than I prefer, I am more of a bath sheet person but they are nice and thick.

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I’m showcasing the fact that I now only have 6 of these plastic drawers full of makeup and not 18 that I had less than a year ago. Most of what was not expired, I was able to give away but I have pledged to reduce my collection by another 3 drawers by the end of this year.

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My vanity is pretty boring, just how I like it – the pink vase was an IKEA pick up from this past summer, the baskets were also Bed, bath & Beyond finds, the wax warmer is from Amazon and I purchased a second Echo device for my bathroom. Still loving the Echo, I can listen to the news or books while I am getting ready, it’s awesome. I don’t love apartment bathrooms because they always have a used feeling about them, this one isn’t too bad but the sink is stained and it drives me nuts. Also, the drain stopper popped off at some point in time, I cannot figure out how to get it back on but also don’t want to lose it so it just sits there 😀

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Another part of the reason that I ditched the white theme is because of this little dude. He is 8-weeks old and his name is Pluto, I had been sitting a cat for a few weeks and my cats were totally into it so I figured that they’d like a permanent playmate. Oddly, not the case but they are starting to warm up to him. Anyway, since he’s too small to be out with the big cats all of the time, he has to be in the bathroom during the day if I am not home.

Did you survive your Monday? Does anyone else feel like a gutter tree or sooty pile of snow 😛 Let me know how you get through the post-holiday funk & thanks for reading!

New Year, New…blah, blah, blah…

Life

New Year’s has never been my holiday, growing up with my mother, we were always expecting the world to end. To me, the year already starts off fantastic simply because the world didn’t end. When I started living on my own I planned on sleeping through the stroke of midnight so then I would at least miss the Apocalypse – or whatever the fuck the religious zealots always say is going to happen. Is it the Rapture? Don’t we want that? I always wondered how the end of the world worked with time zones. Is it when the first continent hits midnight? Does Death just pick at random? Wouldn’t it be a laugh if the world actually ends at like 1:42 AM or other seemingly insignificant, unassuming time? Exactly where will he be riding from, are there numerous entities? How can the entire world end all at once? Won’t some countries hear of the arrival of the end of the world and be able to prepare? Always things that I wondered as a child, it was a relief watching the NYE celebration in New York because I could relax knowing they were 3 hours ahead of us and hadn’t been smote so we were probably in the clear. It’s nuts right? Thanks, Christianity. Let’s not even get into the fact that time is a man made construct and only exists because we all adhere to it and say it does. So, like I said, not big into New’s Year 😀 I don’t make resolutions, if you want to make a change then do it whenever you feel like it! Also, the world could be ending so why wait for New Year’s?! I appreciate the concept of leaving things in the past year and have some things that can stay in 2019.

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I’m sure that most people can relate to this one, I will jump on Instagram to see what’s happening and spend hours on the explore page absorbing shit that isn’t enriching my life. I definitely want to be choosier with how I spend my time and stay up to date on current events without the unnecessary bullshit.

Smol Kitty Boi

I have been working since I was 16, I’m sick of it and I am sick of working all of the time. I was thinking just the other day that I wouldn’t be up at 5 AM if I didn’t need to be at work, my work day starts 3 hours before I’m even there. I wouldn’t use as much gas, I wouldn’t have to waste money on work specific clothes. And no, I am not compensated for these things with my salary – my salary is for what I do when I actually get to work. How is this not talked about more?

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Not much to say here, I don’t like being around a lot of people.

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They know who they are 😛

Smol Kitty Boi

I have been treating myself all over the place, this is the year that I hope to purchase a house and should be more conservative. We won’t talk about the David’s Tea order that I treated myself to for my birthday 😀

Do you make resolutions or set goals for the new year? Let me know if you did anything fun for the holiday! Oh, and Happy New Year 🙂

Blogmas Day 25: So This is Christmas

Blogmas - 2019

It’s raining & foggy in Minnesota, on Christmas. Most of my merry making happened yesterday since that’s how we did things growing up. Christmas day was spent at Mass & eating dinner. I also spent a large portion of the day cleaning. I tried relaxing in the bath but then noticed that the tubs needed cleaning, then I decided to go through my bathroom cupboards and throw out at stuff I wasn’t using. This led to cleaning the kitchen cupboards out and then the oven 😂 Then I watched Die Hard and had some pie. I just have a few items to take care of tomorrow before my vacation. I was supposed to post my December beauty favorites today but do you ever start something that ends up taking way longer than anticipated? That was like everything I did today. I will post them tomorrow and hopefully the sun will come out for photos. Anyway, I’ll just wish you & yours a Happy Christmas. What did you get up to today? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what do you do on the extra days off? I’ve always wondered this, to a lot of folks this was just another Wednesday. What’s your Christmas wish? Mine is for greater understanding & empathy for others this year.

I think I’m going to get in one more viewing of The Grinch & enjoy some tea ☺️

Blogmas Day 23: Merry Christmas Eve, Eve

Blogmas - 2019

I can’t lie, I’m kinda ready to be done with Blogmas 😂 It’s fun but hard to come up with content that’s unique. Although, I love reading all of the festive posts and will be a little sad going back to business as usual. Tonight’s post will just be a bit of a catch up ☺️ I’m enjoying some hot cocoa and listening to some Christmas tunes, I feel very festive but wish it was snowing.

Today was my last day of work until January 6 and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s been a long year, I’m ready to not be at work for awhile. Two blissful weeks of sleeping, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sleeping.

I almost finished wrapping all of my gifts, I’m loving the new wrapping paper and how sparkly it is. I need one of those bins for storing paper though because my cats like to futz around in the rolls. I plan to hit Target bright and early to score some more string and will look for one then. I’m loving the rustic look of the string against the glitzy prints.

I received an Echo Dot as an early Christmas present and it’s the coolest thing! It’s the perfect size for my bedroom and I’m already thinking about one for the living room. I don’t own a television and my apartment can be too quiet at times, I can play just about anything on the Dot and it’s awesome.

I went to confession, it was as boring and sad as I thought it would be 😂 I’m all set for Christmas Mass though which is the only reason I went, that and the damn sign. Confession does have this weird ability to make you feel shiny and new, it’s hard to explain but glad I got it done.

That’s about it in my neck of the woods, a quiet evening before the hustle and bustle of Christmas celebrations commence. I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas Eve, Eve ☺️

💙

Blogmas Day 19: Christmas Traditions I Can Live Without

Blogmas - 2019

I post something along these lines each year and most of it is hyperbole, I know and love that the holidays mean something different to everyone!

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I know that it’s not raw eggs but I can’t with the texture of eggnog, the flavor or the smell. Why does it always taste and smell like there is booze in it when there isn’t? It’s milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, I can’t even. Also, booze doesn’t make it better.

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I think that popcorn garland looks lovely but stringing it is a nightmare. I was terrible at stringing popcorn when I was a kid and repeatedly stabbed myself with the needle, I would never subject myself or others to this activity.

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It’s creepy & everyone knows it, lets all collectively stop doing it.

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I’m probably overthinking this but it’s odd to me that children everywhere are excited about their homes being invaded. I much prefer the kindly, charitable Saint Nicholas as opposed to the modern day, breaking & entering Santa. Who, by the way, doesn’t even eat the cookies that are left for him.

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The milk and cookies thing – what a waste.

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When I was a kid, it literally took my mom like 16 hours to cook a turkey. I have no idea why but it was Christmas Eve tradition that she would be up all night basting this stupid turkey. In my adulthood, I have found out that it does not take that long to cook a turkey – even a big one. I’ll never know why she cooked that thing so long.

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Have you ever really listened to some of the lyrics to popular Christmas songs? Some are really bizarre, Winter Wonderland comes to mind. First of all, who is Parson Brown? Second, that whole are you married bit and the part time husband thing. Again, probably overthinking it but can someone write some new Christmas songs for the love of Parson Brown?!

Let me know what holiday traditions you could do without & thanks for stopping by!

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Blogmas Day 15: Sunday Funday

Blogmas - 2019

I have a two week vacation coming up next week and I cannot wait. This time of year, while one of my favorites, is hard for an introvert. There’s just so much going on; potlucks, parties, work, shopping all on top of just regular existing and I’m exhausted. I’m in the middle of making 3-dozen chocolate spoons, I have to make a dish for work on Wednesday and a dessert for Friday and it will all be here and gone before you know it. I thought I’d just do a rambling update post for this evening.

Amilya Regular

I don’t have a metabolism that allows me to not work out everyday. It’s been so cold and icy that I decided to join a gym. So far so good, for $20 a month I can use all of the equipment and attend their classes. I’m liking it more than I thought I would, partly because I also picked up some cute new workout clothes 😝

Amilya Regular

Yup. I’m getting a new kitten, I have one senior cat and one younger cat who is a bit rambunctious. I’m thinking the younger cat could use a companion since my senior kitty is really mellow. I’ll be sure to post about him when he arrives in about 2 weeks.

Amilya Regular

I’ve been doing really well with not buying stuff I don’t need but I’ve been in a shopping mood. I think it’s partly due to the fact that I’ve been gift shopping and keep gifting myself 😉 Also though, my birthday is coming up and I’ll get back to better spending habits after that.

Amilya Regular

I totally spaced on sending any cards this year! On the one hand, I don’t mind because they’re just unnecessary waste but this is the first year since I was 18 that I haven’t sent any ☹️

Amilya Regular

I always claim that winter is my favorite season and then we have a winter like this one, we’ve already received 20 inches of snow and the first day of winter isn’t even until the 21st! Also, we’ve been having January temps and it’s been driving my MS crazy. Apparently, it makes me more sensitive to the cold and this year I’m really feeling it.

Amilya Regular

I don’t know where but I’ve had a hankering to see new places and meet new people lately. Unfortunately, all of the places that I’d like to live (in the middle of nowhere) don’t have an abundance of jobs. Living in a metro area has worn on me, I don’t like it but I do like my job. Who knows where I’ll end up but hopefully somewhere new soon.

That’s it for today, let me know what’s on you mind. Thanks for reading!

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