Hey guys! Today’s post is a little different than what I normally do. Since quitting my job I’ve been working more often in coffee shops around town. So I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on some coffee shops around Oakville! Today I am sharing my thoughts on the five coffee shops that can be found in downtown Oakville.

I want to share my criteria for what I think makes a good coffee shop. This might be a bit ironic, but I’m not a huge coffee fan – I know I’m going to coffee shops and don’t drink coffee! But I like to get out of the house sometimes and I enjoy the ambiance in a nice coffee shop. So instead of rating their coffee, I’ll be rating their chai lattes, my drink of choice! The three big things I look for in a good coffee shop are good food and drinks, reliable wifi and a nice atmosphere. Let’s get into it!

Second Cup


  • Affordable
  • Lots of seating options


  • Corporate feeling
  • Bland chai latte

Let’s start with the two chain coffee shops downtown. There has been a Second Cup downtown Oakville for as long as I can remember. Since it’s a chain the prices are quite affordable. On the flip side, the atmosphere is trying to be cute and cozy but also has a big dose of corporate feeling to it. That being said, there are lots of seating options. The wifi was free and no password was needed. The wifi was fast and reliable. My chai latte was alright. It was pretty nice but also on the bland side. It’s affordable but not my favourite option available.

Aroma Espresso Bar


  • Lots of seating
  • Free chocolate with a drink!


  • Need to use Facebook account to connect to wifi
  • Mediocre latte

The second chain downtown is Aroma Espresso Bar. I’ve been quite a few times before so I knew what the place is like. The lower level is pretty sparse but the upstairs has many tables. I love sitting by the window and getting the overhead view of the street. While the chai is alright (very cinnamon heavy) all the drinks come with a piece of chocolate which I love! The wifi is free but you have to connect through a Facebook account which was annoying. I think this cafe is better for socializing than working.

Tribeca Coffee Co


  • The best latte (and donuts!)
  • Amazing atmosphere
  • Small business


  • Busy and limited seating
  • Hour wifi limit

Near the top of my list of favourites is Tribeca Coffee Co. It has probably my favourite chai latte of all the coffee shops in this post. It’s the perfect sweetness level, very creamy and the perfect spice blend. They also sell fresh-made donuts in store so the whole shop smells lovely. While there is a good mix of seating (high top, table, chairs) it’s always pretty busy and it can be hard to find a good table. The biggest con is the wifi. The wifi network isn’t open. Once you purchase something you get a voucher for an hour. Now I haven’t tried asking for another voucher so I don’t know how strict the one-hour policy is. I generally like to work for two hours at a time so it’s a little annoying to be limited. I will usually do work that doesn’t require wifi, such as editing videos, during the second hour I’m there.

Pilot Coffee Roasters


  • Lots of seating
  • Small(er) business


  • Free wasn’t very reliable
  • The atmosphere felt a little old

One of the newer coffee shops downtown is Pilot Coffee Roasters. I know they have a few other locations so I was excited to try this shop but I have to say I was a little disappointed. They were the only coffee shop on the list that didn’t offer coffee mugs. I don’t mind paper cups but it’s nice if you’re sitting down to have a mug. The latte itself wasn’t bad but very cardamon heavy. The shop has a very industrial feeling which some people enjoy but isn’t my favourite. There was free wifi but it wasn’t very good. It was super slow and disconnected a few times on me. Overall I think this is a great place to great grab a coffee to-go but not to sit down.

Figaro Coffee House


  • Outlets and great wifi
  • Lots of seating


  • More modern than cozy

The final coffee shop in downtown Oakville is Figaro Coffee House. The latte was quite nice. While the spice blend was a little more subtle the mug was huge. They had lots of seating options, with two levels of space. I was able to get a cozy corner banquet. And they had lots of outlets, not something every coffee shop offered. There was some lovely jazz music playing – I normally listen to my own music but this time just listened to the music playing in the shop. They had free wifi available as well. I don’t have any major complaints. The only thing is that’s more ‘modern’ than ‘cozy’. But overall a great option.

And those are the coffee shops I checked out in downtown Oakville! Let me know if you’ve been to any of these coffee shops before and what you thought about them! And please let me know if I should be a part two – I’ve been going to more coffee shops and I’d be happy to share my thoughts about them with you guys.




Hey guys! I’m baaack! My family and I went on vacation at the end of February/early March. It was so nice to have some time to relax and hang out with my family. We stayed at the Melia Caribe Beach Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This was our third time going to a beach resort (we’ve gone to Mexico before) and our second time in Punta Cana. Today I will be sharing my review of the resort and comparing it to the other places we stayed at. If you want to see more of the fun (and hear about our flight cancellation horror stories), then check out the vlog on my Youtube channel. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

We had decided to pick the Melia Caribe Beach Resort for a few reasons. First, it was close to the airport, only about a 15-minute drive. Second, it was close to an affordable golf course. This was a big deal for my dad and brother who ended up golfing three times during our trip. Third, it had a great beach that was within walking distance. Finally, there was *supposed* to be a two-bed option for my brother and I. I’ll get more into that in a second. We booked our stay through a travel agent and did a Westjet package that included our flight. I won’t be sharing pricing because I didn’t pay for anything – thanks Mom and Dad!

The past few times we’ve gone on family vacations, my brother and I have shared a room and my parents have their own. It allows us to sleep according to our sleep schedules. My brother and I prefer having two beds (double or queen) which is usually pretty standard and easy to get at hotels. Now when booking our package my parents had decided to upgrade to an exclusive package called The Level. This provides you with a special pool, restaurant, etc. While it does not advertise it online, according to our travel agent they did offer a two double bed option for The Level. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the resort they didn’t have any double bed options available – which granted we arrived a day late so they might have given them out already and it wasn’t guaranteed. So my brother and I ended up in The Level Suite Beach Side and had to share a king bed. My parents stayed in The Level Grand Suite.

My brother and I enjoyed our room. It was the perfect size. While I prefer not sharing a bed with my brother it was comfortable. Our room included a beach view which was pretty. It did face one of their main paths so it was noisy during the day with golf carts, bikes and people going by. But it wasn’t noisy at night. Our room was right near many of the amenities, it was a 2-minute walk to the gym, spa and pool. It was a 3-minute walk to the beach and a 5-minute walk to the breakfast buffet.

Our parents’ room was near The Level pool and restaurant as well as the lobby. They enjoyed their room because it had a separate living space. This was great for them because my dad would do work in the morning and was able to not disturb my mom. While it was close to The Level amenities and the main lobby, it took them 10 minutes to walk to the beach.

This resort is easily the biggest one we’ve stayed at. As I mentioned, it can take 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other. They do have two trollies that will take you across the resort but you do have to wait for them. We found that if you catch the trolly it’s faster than walking but if you don’t then it’s faster to walk. The trolly will stop at any point to pick you up. The staff also drive golf carts around the resort and will offer to pick you up if they have space.

The resort itself was very nice. The beach is beautiful, it’s one of the classic endless white sand beaches that you think of when you picture the Caribbean. They had plenty of grass huts to provide shade. They also had beds which were super comfy. There did offer beds at the front of the beach but you had to pay for them. It was quite busy when we went to the resort – we learned that it was Quebec’s ‘spring break’ so there were many Quebecoise people at the resort. We did have to go early to the beach to secure a good spot. They also had an inflatable course in the ocean. It cost extra but they were pretty relaxed about how long you could stay on the course. It was much harder than my brother and I anticipate it to be and got many bruises. But it was a unique amenity that not many resorts have.

The pools were quite nice as well. We didn’t often sit by them because my mom prefers the beach. The pool was nice in the late afternoon when it got windier by the beach. They also had a full waterpark that is free to use. They had three different areas for different ages/swimming abilities. The ‘big kid’ area had seven different slides! We had a blast and we knew that if we were little kids we could have easily spent a day in the waterpark.

Food is very important to my family. We made sure to check reviews about food before picking a hotel. None of the food was bad, but some meals were better than others. The breakfast buffet was pretty mediocre. They had fresh eggs but everything else was in food-warming trays. For lunch, we liked alternating between the buffet and the exclusive Level restaurant that was right on the beach. For dinner, we enjoyed the sit-down restaurants the most. We liked their Mediterranean, Spanish and Mexican restaurants the most. Sometimes the food was a little bland and we found it hard to find salt and pepper shakers, so in the future we’ll pack our own packets to bring down. My favourite part of the resort was its dessert offering. I ate ice cream almost every day haha.

The drinks were also great. They could make you any drink imaginable. They used named-brand liquors but had higher shelf brands available in The Level areas. My dad wasn’t a huge fan of their house red wine but they do have bottles of other brands available for an additional cost. Our only complaint is that they served everything in paper cups. In the past, we’ve always had plastic cups. So we ended up buying reusable cups to put our drinks in. We’ll bring our own reusable cups in the future.

The staff were all very nice. Their English skills varied but we noticed it was weaker than the other time we had come to Punta Cana. My dad suspects that during COVID many of the English-speaking employees left the industry. I also think that it’s because we’re staying at Melia resort, which is owned by Spaniards so they might not focus on English speaking as much (We had previously stayed at AMResort brand hotels which are American and might focus more on English speaking skills). It wasn’t a huge issue because the staff were all friendly and always provided excellent service. Also many spoke French, which my mom, brother and I speak so we could speak in French if their English wasn’t as strong.

This is a family resort so many of the activities are focused on kids or families. We did attend their magic show on the first night but found it a little too childish for our tastes. The rest of the time in the evenings we would just hang out in the lobby and play cards. Their lobby has many tables and seating areas. The decor was beautiful and it felt very relaxing. My brother and I went to one of their evening parties but just found the vibe to be off because there was no designated ‘late night’ area. There was a big casino but we aren’t gamblers.

Overall we enjoyed our vacation and I would recommend the resort to families. I think all the amenities which nice. It was clean and the staff was very friendly. The food was good – not the best I’ve ever had but pretty good for a resort. It was on the larger side and I think we would prefer something smaller but if you like the big resort vibe then the Melia Caribe Beach Resort is a great option.

Now my family has decided that we won’t be going back to a family resort in the future – probably not until either my brother or I have kids. The Level area was originally adults-only but they changed to family access at the beginning of this year. We found that there were crying kids almost everywhere we went and that’s just not something we enjoy. My brother and I are adults (23 and 25 respectively) so we don’t need to be at the family-friendly resorts. We have been to an adults-only before and found it to be much quieter. Yes sometimes you’d get louder partygoers but they usually stayed around the bars. It’s easy to find a quiet corner away from the bars. At a family-friendly resort, it’s almost impossible to escape the kids. There wasn’t a lot of nightlife as well which my brother and I missed. We don’t want to go crazy every night but we at least want the option to party at the resort at night.

In the past, we stayed at Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa. It’s farther away from the airport but it’s a great adults-only resort. It’s a smaller resort so it feels more intimate and the staff was great. The breakfast buffet was amazing and the nightlife was incredible. My mom didn’t like the beach as much but overall my family liked the resort.

When I mention I’ve been to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, people always ask which I prefer. I would have to say it depends. I think the people and beaches are way better in the Dominican. But I think if you’re big into excursions then Mexico is much better. Mexico offers a variety of excursions whereas in the Dominican there are just boat rides and more physical activities (like hiking, ATVs, and snorkelling). The Yucatan and Quintana Roo provinces in Mexico have so much history and cultural activities that you don’t see as much in the Dominican. So I would say it’s really a personal preference when deciding which you want to go to.

I hope this post helps give you guys some more information on the Melia resort and visiting the Dominican Republic. If you have any questions about my vacation please let me know in the comments and I’d be more than happy to answer them!




Hey guys! Today I have a fun little dupe for you! Like many beauty lovers on the Internet, I am a huge fan of the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. Last year, ELF released its own version of the product, the Halo Glow Liquid Filter. It took me forever to get my hands on it. It wasn’t available in Canada for quite a while. Once it was released, the ELF dupe was always sold out. But I have it and now I’m happy to share my thoughts on the products. Let’s get into it!

The Charlotte Tilbury filter is a ‘complexion booster’ meant to blur, smooth, and illuminate the face for a ‘real-life filter effect’. Charlotte Tilbury says you can wear it four different ways: alone all over the face, under foundation, mixed with foundation and on top of foundation like a highlighter. The filter comes with 1 oz (or 30 ml) and retails for $62 CAD. For quite a while there were only a few shades but they now offer 12 different shades.

The ELF dupe is described as a multi-purpose, liquid glow booster to give your complexion a ‘soft-focus social filter effect IRL’. ELF recommends the same four ways as Charlotte Tilbury to apply the product. It comes with 1.06 oz (or 31.5 ml) and retails for $18 CAD. ELF has eight different shades available.

I want to note that the two shades I got are not exactly the same. For Charlotte Tilbury, I have shade 3 Fair which they describe as a warm peach for light to medium skin tones. With ELF, I have shade 2 Fair/Light. There isn’t a shade description available but I would say it leans more yellow. I can see a slight difference when I wear them but when I asked my brother his opinion, didn’t notice a difference between the two shades.

Now onto comparing how the two perform on my face. This is such a good dupe. I like to wear this product both under foundation and on top like a highlight. I tested both methods and I noticed no difference in the performance between the two filters. As I mentioned, I asked my brother he if noticed a difference at all and he couldn’t tell I was wearing two different products.

My only issue with the ELF dupe is quite a minor one. Both come with a duo foot applicator which I find very convenient to apply the product. I find the ELF applicator is bigger so it dispenses a little too much product for my liking. But I don’t wear this all over my face like other people do so this is more of a personal preference.

I would say this is a very very good dupe. I would recommend the ELF product because it’s cheaper and performs the same. I will say that both come with a lot of product. I’ve had the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter for years and have a lot left. Charlotte Tilbury does sell a mini version in a limited number of shades for $22. So if you think that 1 oz is too much product, the Charlotte Tilbury mini could be a good option that is only four dollars more than the ELF product. But otherwise, I would recommend the ELF product.

Let me know if you guys have tried either of these products and what your thoughts were! If you have any other dupes that you would like me to test let me know in the comments!




Hey guys! Today I am going to share with you my three favourite lip products that I like to wear every day. They are all a step above a lip balm. It took some time after masking ended for me to find lip products that I love. I stand by all three of these and if you follow me you’ll probably recognize a few of these. Let’s get into it!

For me, a perfect everyday lip product meets three requirements. First, it’s comfortable on the lips. Sometimes I’ll wear a drying liquid lipstick or a super sticky lip gloss if matches the look or outfit perfectly. But for everyday wear, it needs to be comfortable. Second, it must fade nicely (or last all day). There is nothing worst than putting on a lip product in the morning and seeing yourself in the mirror at midday looking crazy. My final requirement is easy to reapply. Sometimes I’m too lazy to go to the bathroom and just use my phone to reapply. I also don’t bring a lip pencil with me so it can’t require a lip pencil to look good. All of the lip products I’m going to mention meet these three things.

My first favourite shouldn’t be a surprise, it’s the Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil. I’ve mentioned these a ton on my Youtube channel but I love this lip oil! Unlike other lip oils, it’s quite thin so it’s very comfortable on the lips while still being hydrating. It adds a little shine and colour to the lips but is still pretty natural. Since it’s an oil it almost gets absorbed into the lips throughout the day. Since it’s sheer it’s easy to apply without getting everywhere. I’ve gotten quite a few of my friends hooked on these, they’re so good!

My next favourite lip product is the Clinique Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey. Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s a lot of money for a tinted lip balm, but my cost-per-wear with this lipstick is so good because I love it! The shade changes to match your natural lip tone so it’s super flattering. It’s a sheer but buildable formula which means I apply as much as my mood desire. Since it’s similar to a balm it fades well. Now a good affordable dupe for this is the Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm in Bliss Your Berry. I prefer the Clinique lipstick for the packaging. It’s slick and smaller so it’s easier to have a precise application. This is a great everyday way to add colour to the lips!

And my final favourite is the Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm. It’s similar to the Merit lip oil but like a lip gloss. It has a slightly thicker consistency and is shinier. It’s comfortable on the lips and not too sticky, unlike a traditional lip gloss. The pointed duo foot applicator makes it very easy to apply to the lips. The formula is a little more pigmented compared to the Merit lip oil but it’s still nice for everyday wear. There are some fun bright shades in the range though if you’re into that.

And those are my current favourite lip products. Let me know in the comments what some of your favourite lip products are right now, I’d love to try them out!



Tattoo & Piercing FAQ

Hey guys! I always get asked questions about my tattoos and piercings, so I thought it would be nice to do a little post about it. That way all this information can live in one place on my blog! I don’t have many tattoos and piercings but I do love each of them dearly. So let’s get into it!

Q: What tattoos and piercings do you have?

A: I have three tattoos and three piercings! I got my ears first pierced when I was a baby. I got my nose pierced before I went to university, in the summer of 2015. I got my first tattoo in 2017 and my second in 2018. I got my second earlobes in February 2022 and my third tattoo in April 2022.

Q: Do your tattoos have any meaning?

A: People always love to ask about the meaning behind tattoos, which I always find funny. I don’t think you need any justification to get tattoos but that being said two of my tattoos do have meaning.

The three daisies on my foot have many meanings. Daisy is my birth flower and it’s also my middle name (in french – Marguerite). My paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother were named Marguerite, so I have three daises for each of us.

My bee tattoo I got because I liked the look of bee tattoos!

My pinecone is for my mom. My mom’s term of endearment for me is cocotte, which is pinecone in French Canadian. She gave me a silver pinecone necklace that I love so when I was thinking of a new idea for a tattoo the pinecone stuck out to me. It also matches the nature theme I have with my other tattoos.

Q: Did they hurt?

A: I just want to start by saying that I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I find going to the dentist more painful than getting tattoos and piercing – but to be fair I have sensitive gums haha.

Piercings just feel like a strong pinch to me. They hurt for a few seconds and then it’s over. I always find it helpful to not look at the needle. I do the same thing when I get any shoots or immunizations.

I don’t find tattoos particularly painful, it’s more uncomfortable. My most painful tattoo was the one on my foot because part of it is on my ankle bone. Tattoos are more painful over bones than fat or muscle areas. Since you have to sit still while getting tattooed, I find that the area usually goes numb (or ‘falls asleep’) just from the fact that I’m not moving it. When I got the one on my right bicep my shoulder got sore just from how I was sitting. But I would describe the sensation as a cat scratch. It’s not fun but you get used to it.

For both my piercings and my tattoos I didn’t take any medication before or after to help with the pain. I didn’t feel like I needed it.

My piercings

Q: What was the healing process like?

A: My tattoos were all easy to heal. Every tattoo artist and piercer will give you different aftercare instructions. For my tattoos, I have them wrapped for a day and then left them to air dry after that. I was told to wash it with unscented soap and then just let it be. I didn’t put any lotion on. All my tattoos have healed and worn well. I’ve had the one on my foot for five-ish years now and it still looks good.

I would say the most annoying thing about healing my tattoos is that you’re not supposed to soak them in water. Which was difficult when I worked as a lifeguard, I had to work it around my schedule to have enough time to heal them before I had to be in the water again. Now it just means that I can’t have any baths while a tattoo heals.

I can’t comment on my first earlobes because I got them done as a baby. I got my nose pierced twice, as well as my second earlobes, and all of them were so difficult to heal.

Both times I got my nose pierced I had bad keloids. I had a stub before I got my current ring. The ring took quite a while to heal. The only thing I really found that was effective in helping with my keloids was tea tree oil. But honestly, it just took time. Now my nose piercing is fine.

I got my second piercings about a year ago and they also have keloids. Luckily they’re on the back of my ears so you don’t see them. But for that reason, I haven’t changed my earrings because I’m afraid of what would happen with the keloids. I don’t have any advice on how to help, I’m just once again letting time do its thing.

Q: Where did you get them done?

A: I got my nose pierced both times at my local tattoo parlour. They did a fine job. The reason why I got it pierced twice is that I had to take out my stud for work and then it accidentally grew in. I still wanted my nose pierced so once I was done with that job I got it re-pierced and switched to a ring. I’ve had the same ring in my nose since 2016.

I wouldn’t recommend where I got my second ear piercing done because they were overpriced.

I’ve gotten all three of my tattoos done by Tori Kopp. When I was looking to get my first tattoo done, I was recommended Tori by a friend. I fell in love with her work and found her prices to be more reasonable than tattoo artists in Toronto. She does work in Niargara so it’s a bit of a drive but it’s so worth it. She’s not only an amazing artist but an amazing person. I always feel so comfortable around her, it’s like hanging out with a friend for a few hours. She now has her own shop and it’s such a safe and inviting space compared to other tattoo studios.

Q: How much did you pay?

A: I honestly forget how much I paid for everything except my second piercing, which was overpriced.

Q: Do you want any more?

A: I was never huge into piercings. When I was in my late teens, it was very big to get a lot of ear piercings and I was never into it. I just wanted my nose and that was it. I am happy that I got my second earlobes. But with how difficult all of my piercings have been to heal I don’t think I’ll get any more any time soon.

As for tattoos I definitely want more. I know what I want to get next, just waiting for the right moment. While I want more tattoos I don’t see myself ever having full sleeves. I think I’ll just have a collection of little tattoos all over. Most people don’t even notice my tattoos unless I’m wearing a tank top and am barefoot. I like that my tattoos are not super obvious and I see myself keeping it that way or at least for now. Who knows how I’ll feel in the future.

If you guys have any questions about tattoos and piercings, please let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to answer them!



January Boxycharm 2023

Hey guys! Today we’re going to talk about what I got in my January Boxycharm!! For those that are new, Boxycharm is a monthly subscription service that sends five full-sized makeup and skincare products. The base box (which is what I get) costs $27.99 US. I pay what the exchange rate is when they charge my account – because I’m Canadian if you didn’t know. Now let’s get into what I got in the box!

January Boxycharm 2023

The first product is the Earth Harbor Naturals Nebula Adaptogen Clarity Ampoule. This a natural skincare product, with the key ingredients being Sea Lavender and Ginseng. It’s meant to brighten the skin but also helps with acne. I’ve only been using the serum for a week so it’s hard to see if it’s made a difference in my skin. It’s a pretty lightweight oil and it absorbs quickly into the skin. I like the packaging, I think the purple ombre is pretty. Overall I need to test this ampoule more before I can say if I like it. Price: $46 US

The next product is the Wander Beauty Suite Escape Palette. I started doing this last year, but if I don’t think I’m going to use a product very often I won’t open it just for the sake of this review. I own so many eyeshadow palettes, many of which I barely use anymore, so I don’t need to open this palette. I rather give it to a better home than use it once for this review. The colour story is nice, I just have similar palettes. Price: $42 US, $58 CAD

A product I have been loving so far is the Persona Cosmetics E-Balm Tinted Lip Balm. As the name suggests, this is a sheer, tinted lip balm. It feels super comfortable on the lips. I have the shade Manifest which in the tube is a bright red but on the lips is a subtle wash of colour. I think this balm will be great in the summer when I want a pop of colour but nothing too intense. Loving this lip balm so far. Price: $22 US, $31 CAD

Another hit product for me is the Shaina B Miami Cream Blush. I can’t seem to find the shade I have on the website. I have the shade Rosa, which is a dusty rose, while on the website they only have the shade Bellini. Either way, the formula is pretty nice. The blush applies easily to the face and lasts pretty well for a cream. It’s a natural finish so not too dewy and not too matte on the skin. I would say it’s pretty similar to the Honest Beauty blush that I have (which is cheaper btw). Price: $23 US (it says $18 on Boxycharm’s information card)

And the final product I received is the Love + Craft + Beauty Quasar Goo Plasma Gloss. This gloss can be worn on the eyes, cheeks or lips. I was able to blend it out on the eyes for a subtle wash of bronze but I think it could be built up as well. Not sure how well it would work with powder products. This was a pretty easy product to use but I’m unsure how often I would reach for it. I guess time will tell! Price: $18

And the overall total (according to Boxycharm’s card) is $146 US. Not a bad total overall. I think the box is pretty good. I like the ampoule, the lip balm and the cream blush. I liked 3/5 products, not bad! Let me know what you guys think in the comments!



Ranking Every Book I Read in 2022

Hey guys! I have finally caught up on all my book reviews and it’s finally time to do my 2022 book blog post! I wanted to get all my individual book reviews up so I could link them in this post.

If you didn’t read last year’s post, I’m going to rank all the books I’ve read this year. I read 18 books this year, just shy of my goal of 20 books. I want to note that I rate series together, so while I read 18 books, there are only 15 entries. I’m going to start at the bottom and finish with my favourite book. Let’s get into it!

All the books I read in 2022.

Two Star Books

15. I did have one DNF this year, but it’s a part of the Order of Darkness series, which I gave 2 stars overall. It had a good start but the later books just weren’t good. The series was slow and predictable. All of the characters were one-dimensional and I didn’t like where the series was heading which is why I did not finish it. I wouldn’t recommend the series.

Three Star Books

14. At the bottom of my three-star list is Normal People. As I mentioned in my review, I couldn’t decide between giving it two or three stars which is why it’s at the bottom of the list. I didn’t like the main characters and didn’t enjoy reading the book. Yes, there is some literary merit to the novel. But I’ve come to a point where I just want to enjoy what I’m reading and didn’t enjoy reading this book.

13. Unlike Normal People, I didn’t mind reading The Revolution of Sabine. It just wasn’t meant for me. I think this book is on the cusp of young readers and young adults so it was just too simple for me. It’s a good introduction to the ideologies of the American and French Revolutions. But I just want something more.

12. The premise of Bewitching Season was good. It had kidnapping and magic against the backdrop of Victorian England. But it focused too much on the melodrama. Miscommunication is a trope that really bothers me but I could see other people enjoying it.

Three-and-a-half Star Books

11. Another example of a book not being bad but just not for me was The Twelve Topsy-Turvry, Very Messy Days of Christmas. It was a cute, family-friendly novel. You know when you watch a kids’ movie as an adult, sometimes they’re fun and other times they’re just so obviously meant for kids? This book feels like the latter. It was unique and original so I give it props for that.

10. I love a great atmospheric book and Into The Water was that. But it was also confusing with too many points of view and lacking suspense. The pacing was also a little off for me, with the middle section being slow and the ending rushed. Paula Hawkins’ other novel, The Girl on the Train, is much better.

9. One of the few series I read this year was The Remnant Chronicles. This series had a unique premise, something hard to find in the fantasy genre. I also appreciate that the war wasn’t long and dragged out, unlike other fantasy series. That being said, the second book dragged quite a bit. It was a good series and I enjoyed reading it but it doesn’t stick out in my mind compared to other fantasy series I’ve read over the years.

Four Star Books

8. Similar to The Remnant Chronicles, Reminders of Him was a good book but it doesn’t stick out in my mind. The premise was interesting and I appreciate the nuance that was brought forward. But I didn’t have any emotional connection to either of the main character. It’s a good book but not memorable.

7. Another great atmospheric book was The Guest List. It gave me all the spooky vibes I wanted. This was a multiple point-of-view but unlike Into the Water, it wasn’t confusing. My only issue is that I prefer a whodunnit when you know what the crime is at the start and try to figure out what happened. In this book, you don’t know what happened until the end and find out the antagonist about a chapter later.

6. It’s funny because my top six novels are all romance books. I guess that happens to be my favourite genre right now haha. In sixth place, we have The Love Hypothesis. There was a lot of hype online about this one and I liked it but didn’t love it. I loved the setting, the relationship and the banter. I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character. And once again it had miscommunication!!! It’s a fun read though.

5. Cracking into the top five we have November 9. Despite not being a huge fan of the instant-love trope, I did enjoy the book. It was super easy to read and I binge-read it. The plot twist is what sold me on the book.

4. I know I said I rate series together, but I felt like the Bellinger Sisters duology deserved to be separated. I gave Hook, Line and Sinker four stars because while it was super fun and cute. It lost a star because of the miscommunication trope. A super great summer read and follow-up to the first book.

Five Star

3. I feel a little silly putting a Christmas novel so high but I absolutely loved A Merry Little Meet Cute. I love cheesy Christmas movies and it was like that but also self-aware and full of spicy romance. It was just so good.

2. It Happened One Summer was so fun to read. I found myself laughing so much while reading it. The spice was amazing but I also loved the character development. I started off the book a little unsure of the main character and I loved her by the end. This was a little predictable but it was a light-hearted and fun read. I enjoyed it so much.

1. My top book of the year had to be People We Meet On Vacation because I happy cried at the end of the book. If a book can make me happy cry it’s a win in my book because it shows that I was truly invested in the characters. The main character, Poppy, just reminds me so much of myself and I wish to have a great romance just like her. I love reading about all the vacations Poppy and Alex went on. It was full of tension and character growth and just so good. So so good.

And those are all the books I read in 2022! If you guys read any of these books let me know what you think. And also let me know what your favourite book that you read last year was! I’m always on the lookout for new books!



Book Reviews: The Final Books of 2022

Hey guys! We are almost all caught up on my 2022 book reviews! Today’s post will feature the last four books I have yet to review on my blog. After that, I’ll be posting my 2022 books round-up and then we’ll be done with book posts for a while haha. Now let’s get into it!

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List

I read The Guest List back in the fall when I was in the mood for a good mystery. This book is a multiple point-of-view at a high-profile wedding off the coast of Ireland. The whole party goes awry when a waitress comes in screaming bloody murder. The book is an adult mystery thriller.

I like the book overall but my biggest issue is that the reader doesn’t find out what the crime was and who the victim was until the very end of the book. This meant that I couldn’t figure out who did the crime since I wasn’t sure what it was until the end of the book. I felt like it didn’t hook me in quite the same way as a classic whodunnit does.

I think the atmosphere created in the book was so great. It was the perfect fall novel. I also like the storyline. While it’s improbable that all of these issues would happen to the same small group of people, I think that each storyline was believable.

Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars. I think it was a good mystery and there were quite a few things that I didn’t guess which I always enjoy.

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

Bewitching Season

I decided to read Bewitching Season because I thought it would be the perfect spooky season read since it involves witches! The story is about two twin witches, Persephone and Penelope, who are about to start their first season when their governess disappears. This is a YA historical fantasy.

I had high hopes for the book because the premise is so cool. There is secret magic and a kidnapping yet the book focuses mainly on the petty drama of the season and the girls coming out. This had too much teenage melodrama for my liking. There was so much miscommunication that it was antagonizing to read.

I found another one of the issues was the pacing. It just took a little too long for everything to happen. That being said, I think the setting and atmosphere were great. I know a bit about Queen Victoria, so while I was able to guess the villain right away, it was fun to read more about it.

Overall I gave the book 3/5 stars. I think if I was younger I would enjoy the melodrama more. This book would be good for anyone who likes historical fiction and wants a sprinkle of magic.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Near the end of the year, I was trying to up my reading total by reading shorter novels, the first being Normal People. This book was very hyped online and has won quite a few awards. The story follows Connell and Marianne, who grow a strange connection as they go through high school and university. The book is an adult contemporary/literacy fiction.

This is the book that made me realize I don’t like literary fiction. If you want something thought-provoking then you’ll probably love this book. But I was bored, depressed and frustrated while reading this book. I can see how this good be a good literary work worth reading as it was full of social commentary. I want to enjoy what I’m reading and I didn’t enjoy this book.

I didn’t like either of the main characters. I thought Connell was spinless and Marianne self-absorbed. There were so many times when I had hoped the characters would do the right thing and then they would do something stupid. By the end, I almost felt betrayed by the online book community because they hyped it up and I didn’t the book.

Overall I give the book 3/5 stars because I do think it has some literary merit. But based on pure emotion and enjoyment I would give the book 2/5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone studying literature and looking for something to write a research paper about.

The Revolution of Sabine

The Revolution of Sabine

The final book I read in 2022 was The Revolution of Sabine. I finished this book on New Year’s Eve and just squeaked it right in. The story follows Sabine, the daughter of aristocrats, who learns about classism following a meeting with Benjamin Franklin. This is a YA historical fiction.

It was a quick and simple read. I think this is perfect for younger readers who want to learn more about this time period. For me, I found the story and concepts were oversimplified. I want something to go more in-depth into the topic. I think this is more of a case that this book isn’t meant for me than it being a bad book.

It was a little predictable. I don’t mind predictability when I’m emotionally invested in the story. But since it was so short I hadn’t had the chance to connect with the characters. All the characters are pretty one-dimensional. No character besides Sabine had any development.

Overall I have the book 3/5 stars. It’s not a bad book, just a little too simple for what I prefer nowadays. This would be great for younger readers!

And those are the rest of the books I read in 2022! If you read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!



Book Reviews: Christmas-Themed Novels

Hey guys! I am working my way through the books I read in 2022 that I have yet to review. In today’s post, I’m going to focus on the two Christmas-themed novels I read last year. I know I’m out of season but I still wanted to share them so I can include them in my 2022 round-up post. So grab a peppermint late, take the Christmas tree back out and let’s get into it!

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

A Merry Little Meet Cute

The first of my two Christmas novels is R-rated. A Merry Little Meet Cute follows Bea (a porn star) and Nolan (an ex-boy band, bad boy), who are the two stars in an upcoming Hallmark-esque Christmas movie. This is an adult romance novel.

I have to start off by saying I love cheesy Christmas movies. I start watching them right after Halloween is over. This book is aware of the cheesy tropes and plays into them. The story shows off the behind-the-scenes of being on a movie set. Adding the spicy romance was the cherry on top for me. I loved this book.

I like the relationship between Nolan and Bea, it was perfect. Even though the book was on the longer side (over 400 pages), it was nicely paced. And it had a happy ending like the Hallmark movies!

I gave this book 5/5 stars. I had so much fun reading it and could see myself re-reading this next year to help get myself into the Christmas spirit. I would highly recommend this book.

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas by James Patterson and Tad Safran

The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas

This book is more wholesome compared to the last novel. My mom picked up The Twelve Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas because she’s a big James Paterson fan. This story follows the Sullivan family, who haven’t celebrated Christmas since their wife and mother passed away. The Sullivan family’s holiday gets turned upside down when they start receiving gifts related to the Twelve Days of Christmas from an anonymous sender. This Christmas book would be appropriate for the whole family.

It was a cute and unique story but it wasn’t anything special. It’s a kid-friendly story so I’m not the target audience. I could see this being a great audiobook to listen to with the family on a road trip.

There is some magical realism going on in the novel so if that’s not your thing I would pass on the book. I did find the story dragging a bit, it could have been condensed.

Overall I gave it 3.5/5 stars. I think it’s a cute Christmas story but I prefer the raunchy romance novel over the wholesome one. Not my cup of tea but still objectively good!

And those are the Christmas book I read in 2022. If you read these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!



Book Review: Colleen Hoover’s “Reminders of Him” & “November 9”

Hey guys! As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am slowly working my way through all the books I still need to review from last year. Today’s post is going to feature two books by Colleen Hoover. I know she’s a big author right now, with her books being featured all over book Tiktok and bestseller lists. Let’s get into the books!

Reminder of Him by Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him

I liked Reminders of Him but I didn’t love the book. The story is about Kenna, who is trying to reconnect with her daughter after spending the last five years in prison. After her release, Kenna meets Ledger, who has ties to her daughter. The two form a connection and the story goes from there. This is marketed as an adult romance novel.

I like one of the reasons why I didn’t fall hard for this book is that I didn’t feel strongly about Kenna or Ledger. I can sympathize with what both characters are going through, but I didn’t have a strong emotional connection to either of them. I enjoyed how Hoover portrayed Kenna’s situation, she included a lot of the nuances related to death and grief.

I found myself often thinking of the book when I wasn’t reading it yet I didn’t feel this strong pull to binge-read it. I believe it’s because of the pacing issues, I found the middle section dragging a bit. The ending was a little rushed but I did enjoy it. The ending was a little rushed but I did enjoy it.

Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars. It was unique and unlike anything I have read before, but it didn’t pull on my heartstrings like I think it could have. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for your not-so-typical romance novel.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9

I liked November 9 more than Reminder of Him. The story follows Fallon and Ben, who unexpectedly strike up a relationship by meeting once a year – on (you guessed it) November 9. One day Fallon becomes unsure of Ben’s intentions and a big plot twist ensues. This is a new adult romance.

I’m not a huge fan of the instant love trope, so it took me a while to get on board with Fallon and Ben’s relationship. But as the book progressed I got more and more into it.

The plot twist is what really sold me on this novel. I didn’t expect it but reflecting back the plot twist made sense. It took the book to the next level. I also really like how easy it was to read the book. I was binging the book, often reading one ‘year’ in a sitting.

Overall I gave the book 4/5 stars. I think the plot twist made the novel and this book makes me want to read other Colleen Hoover books. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the instant love trope or enjoys a good plot twist.

I will be reading other Colleen Hoover books in the future – I already own four of her other books. If you’ve read either of these books let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me leave them as well because I’m always on the lookout for new books!