25 Things I’ve Learned As I Turn 25

25 Things I’ve Learned As I Turn 25

I feel as though this is a pretty typical post you see for big milestone birthdays. I wanted to put a bit of a spin on it and let you guys into how my last 24 years have shaped and molded me into what’s about to be one of the best years of my life! I have a lot to look forward to this 25th year, so it’s been extremely refreshing to look back and reflect on how far I’ve already come.

In the past 24 years, I have graduated college; technically not high school- long story, gotten a big girl job, moved states, have lived overseas, gotten a dog, purchased a house, started a blog, and have gotten engaged!

Then there are the struggles. I have lost those that I have loved, I have left a job, I have had major surgery, been rejected, had my heartbroken, and have struggled with myself.

Good or bad, I’m so grateful I opened my eyes on my 25th birthday, ready to take on another year. So without further a-do, let’s jump into it!

  1. Self-love and self- awareness is a journey. You get better and better at it, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
  2. Self-confidence does not equal self-love. I said it. I find myself still battling my confidence in other places in my life other than the love of myself.
  3. Some people just don’t love, respect, and/or support you as you do for them. That’s okay. Recognize it, evaluate the relationship you have with them and figure out whether it’s a healthy relationship to keep in your life.
  4. Emotions are not a weakness. Learn to communicate your emotions, but understand that being “more emotional” doesn’t make your emotions less valid.
  5. As you grow, some people will always see you for the person you were. Those people are probably not in your life anymore…you know who you are. You don’t need to prove you’ve grown. Your actions will speak for you.
  6. TREASURE YOUR ALONE TIME. Being comfortable being alone only makes you stronger when you’re with others. It keeps you balanced.
  7. Just do it. Life is too short. If you want to travel, find a way. Want to start a new hobby, try it.
  8. Spend time on what brings you joy.
  9. De-clutter your life and refocus on people, goals, dreams, and versions of yourself you want to work on. Anything that doesn’t serve that purpose, let go.
  10. Fail, fail again, and then try again until you succeed. Success comes from failure. The failure to try does not bring you success.
  11. Let your mom continue to teach you…especially when you think you can sew, but can’t.
  12. There’s not one way to do something. Honestly, don’t get stuck in your ways and realize everyone has their way of doing something.
  13. Everyone falls on the dance floor at least once in their life and everyone dances on a table at some point or another.
  14. Everyone has something to contribute and something to teach you. Listen up!
  15. Just because you’re right does not make you smart. Be smart and know when to be right.
  16. Stop pacing your life to those around you. Do things in your own time.
  17. Dear college, you were the best and worst.
  18. Family isn’t always a title given to those that are blood related.
  19. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN. Skincare before makeup 100%.
  20. Making friends as an adult is so much harder.
  21. Take time and truly learn to have a healthy relationship with money. Financial independence is where real adulthood kicks in.
  22. In general, take care of yourself. Seriously, go to your annuals and don’t skip the dentist; although I’m not a fan. Just take care of your body.
  23. Get off your phone, be present.
  24. Your life isn’t over when you make a mistake. You’re alive right? Okay then, clean slate, keep living.
  25. Seriously- call out people commenting on someone’s body. It’s not cool. You don’t know someone’s story so zip the lips.

Bonus 26- Drink the beer, eat Chick-fil-A, and just be content with the fact that all your clothes will always be covered in dog hair.

Well that’s all folks. What would you tell your younger self? Let me know!

As always, thank you for stopping by.

xx Alicia

Current Skincare & Makeup

Current Skincare & Makeup

Happy hump day everyone! We’re halfway there and today I’m coming at you with some recent favorites that I’m using in my skincare and makeup routine. I have a good mix of products that range in price in my arsenal, but if I can find a good drugstore product I’m all about it! I should start by saying that I did not used to take care of my skin.


I was the girl during college going to bed with a full face and my contacts in and waking up in rough shape with my skin screaming. Once I kicked that habit, I loved how clear my skin was becoming and never went back. Now three years later I have rotated through quite a bit of product and what I’ll be sharing with you are my favorites that I have been testing and continuing to love for the last 3 months. Let me know what other favorites you want to see from me, now let’s dive in! 

Skincare Favorites

Pixi Glow Tonic: I have never used tonic until 7-8 months ago and it took some time to find one that worked well with my skin. This one is amazing for my combination skin. My skin does not get irritated as it did with other toners and my skin feels plump and clean with it. It’s cruelty and paraben-free. I also enjoy how a little goes a long way and the price tag! $15

Clinique Moisture Surge: I can’t knock what my mama got me into. I have a few moisturizers, but I tend to stray back to this one when my skin gets really dry. I have used this for years, but am now remembering how good it is which is why it’s back in my rotation of favorites. A little goes a long way with this as well. I always can feel the difference of my skin once I use it and how much more smooth my skin feels when I hydrate it with this product. They say the Hyaluronic Acid and Activated Aloe water help to plump the skin and make it feel dewy, which I do believe it does. For this product there’s no parabens, phthalates, or a fragrance. $39

L’Oreal Clay Mask: I swear my pores are smaller! When I use this mask, I always notice the texture on my face is not as prominent. I tend to use this when I treat myself to a bath or when I’m reading. It’s a 10-15 minute mask that also helps exfoliate your skin which is a big plus since I usually do it at night and need a good cleaning from a long day. $13

Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask: This is a newer favorite that I’m still messing with, but I have really enjoyed it! Hydration is definitely provided with this mask and it’s a quick mask as well. The bubbles develop quickly as it reacts to the water. I have started using this as it’s getting colder out and my skin is starting to get a bit more dry. I can feel the difference on my dry spots after almost immediately. $14

Makeup

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer: This favorite comes from a YouTuber I found named Tati. She spoke about it extremely well and I was through my last two primers and tried this one. Boy, was she right! My pores are filled when using this, but it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy at all. My makeup has sit well on top of it and has worn well too. I’ve used this in both my dry and oily areas on my face! $39


Milani Blush: I don’t see myself buying a new blush for a while. This Milani blush is perfect to build with depending on what you’re going for. The color selection is beautiful and creamy. This is a favorite for the price and performance. What I love most is that this blush doesn’t bring out my texture even more when I’m using it. $9


Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer: Okay, this is not a must but it’s a big win in my makeup bag. I have traveled quite a bit lately and have needed my makeup to wear well. This has been an amazing addition in order to keep my eye shadow in place and more vivid. Using glitters or metallics have been my favorite with this as they look twice as good! If you have a big event coming up and need to ensure your shadow stays in place, I would try this out. $24

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer: Last, but not least, is a favorite that a lot of people seem to agree with. I have a hard time with the color of bronzer sometimes, but this was a big win! Also, who can beat the smell of a tropical vacation that this has. Just like the blush, I don’t find that this enhances my texture and it blends so well. It’s easy to build, but to also veil in case you put too much on. This favorite will stay in my makeup bag for some time. $15


So, do you use and love some of these favorites? Let me know in the comments! I hope you enjoyed my round up and let me know if you try any of these out. As always, thanks for stopping by and I will see you guys next time! 

xx Alicia

My Genetic Testing Experience

Hey guys! I took a few polls on my Instagram this weekend and you guys let me know that you wanted to know more about my genetic testing experience. Please remember that this is just my story, I’m not a specialist and I’m only sharing what I learned! If you have questions, I highly suggest you talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting tested. 

I would be lying if I was not nervous writing this, but transparency is key with you guys. My experience with genetic testing was recommended by my doctor as we started digging into family history. Doctors have recommended the testing to me before, but I have never followed through. As I start to have conversations about family planning, I realized the importance of the testing due to my family history. 

No one in my family, to my knowledge, has had this testing done before. Going through this experience has taught me that cancer stems from genetics or environmental factors and sometimes both. It’s usually separated by hereditary, familial, or sporadic cancer and I’ll leave those definitions below. My family history includes throat, stomach, colon, prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. At the beginning of this process, I could attribute possibly only one of these to an environmental factor, which was smoking. Of course that’s what my mom told me, so I’ve never been sure. 

The best way to explain genetic testing is that it’s a test that helps you figure out if you carry any of the 28 main genes that are connected to 8 important cancer types that fall into that hereditary bucket I mentioned. The genes tested are for breast, ovarian, colorectal, uterine, melanoma, pancreatic, stomach, and prostate cancer. There is a ninth column for “other” cancer that really just means that with specific genes, they can tie back to multiple other cancers that aren’t necessary as “prominent” as the eight mentioned. 

For the testing itself, I had the option of a blood or spit test and was told I would have results in about 2-3 weeks. As for the results, the genes could fall into three categories: positive, negative, and uncertain variant. For uncertain variants I was told that they are treated as a negative result until there is an update on the specific gene, but often the gene is categorized as a negative anyways. 

If a gene came back as positive, there is a structured plan for managing the risk. Each plan would correlate to the specific gene mutation found. There were also statistics provided to me for positive results. One specifically that explained a positive result would correlate to a 50% chance that my parent(s), sisters, brothers, and children would have the same gene mutation. 

So exactly sixteen days later after spitting into a tube, I got my results. I locked myself in my room and listened to my specialist tell me I tested negative for all but four genes that came back uncertain variant. She explained I would get updates on those genes as more research was done, but to treat them as negative results otherwise. 

This easily has been the best news I’ve gotten in a while and made me very grateful I did it. I have truly had a weight lifted off my shoulders as I’ve always worried about cancer. Of course this doesn’t mean that I am immune to cancer, but it does mean that nothing in me has put me at an additional and elevated risk. 

All in all, my experience was a good one. I had a supportive specialist that answered all my questions and ensured I understood all the information provided. Luckily my results came back negative and my nerves have been put at ease. I truly recommend this test to those of you that have worried about cancer within your family. For me, this has calmed my mind for the simple fact that I now know my body isn’t putting me at a disadvantage to this very impactful genetic disease as well as knowing my chances of passing it on to my future children. It’s a painless process and worth it if you’ve been thinking about it. As always, thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time! 

xx Alicia

*

Hereditary Cancer: Occurs when an altered gene (gene with a mutation) is passed down in the family from parent to child. People with hereditary cancer are more likely to have relatives with the same type or related type of cancer. They may develop more than one cancer and their cancer often occurs at an earlier average age. 
Familial Cancer: Likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with familial cancer may have one or more relatives with the same type of cancer; however, there does not appear to be a specific pattern of inheritance (e.g., the cancer risk is not clearly passed from parent to child).
Sporadic Cancer: Occurs by chance. People with sporadic cancer typically do not have relatives with the same type of cancer. 

Local Spotlight: Worthy Figures

Local Spotlight: Worthy Figures

Happy Friday! I hope you all have an amazing weekend planned! Today I’ll be sharing with you my experience with Worthy Figures, a brand that offers boutique style shopping for sizes 12+. Amy is based in Charlotte and she has an amazing eye for fashion. She is also a newly appointed Mod Cloth Advocate which is exciting and she posted about it on her page if you would like more information. She keeps classic, trendy, and special occasion pieces stocked and helps you to step out of your comfort zone.  I got to experience this shopping day excursion with Shanice Littlejohn, which was so exciting and a pleasure.

When we got there, there was a delicious candle lit warming the space, a mirror ready to do its job and racks of clothing waiting to be sifted through. Amy explained that she had a rack of curated pieces that were chosen based on our Instagrams and pieces we have liked that she posted. We browsed the racks and tried on pieces that fit our style and some that pushed us out of our comfort zones. All the while, I couldn’t help but ask Amy a few questions. She explained her love for shopping and styling, while giving some great examples of how a piece in her store has fit into so many people’s closests that all had such different tastes and that were all different ages. I think that alone is a statement about how much time she invests in diversifying her boutique and her customer base.

By the end of the appointment, I walked out with three sweaters and a cute fall t-shirt she printed for her business. All four items will be featured in my Instagram posts as well as a Fall Look book I’m working on for you guys! You could say my experience was an A+ with an extra + and here’s why.

I have always had a hard time shopping mainly for any sort of top due to the fact that my chest is, well, large. I mean…I have a hard time finding bras sometimes if we’re being honest. I didn’t have that issue with Worthy Figures because it’s her niche and specialty. Amy knows what brands tend to run small or big, which have a bit more stretch in their clothing, and so much more. This knowledge showed in our appointment.

With this experience, I still went up a size in one of the sweaters simply because I loved how it looked oversized. Overall though, I have been looking for affordable pieces; under $50, for the fall since August and have struck out, but not this time. For once, I left a shopping experience with a huge smile on my face. I didn’t leave defeated or discouraged because I was set up for success and let me just say that even if I did leave with nothing purchased I still would have been happy. I believe this because this business concept is a unique one. It’s not often that this is actually an option for women that are plus-size. This Boss Babe has gotten it right, from the atmosphere to the physical stock, and I can’t wait to see the growth that this business deserves. 

If one thing stuck out the most about this experience it’s when we would try on something that was out of our comfort zone. Amy would be there telling us to make it our own and to not let the piece dictate the outfit, but to make it fit into our own personal style. Shanice found this amazing large pearl sweater that she thought was too feminine for her style, but Amy urged her to try it and with some (gorgeous) black thigh-high boots and jeans, Shanice absolutely rocked it. The bottom half of her outfit didn’t play up the femininity of the sweater, it instead balanced it.

This is a business I will continue to support because her heart is in the right place and her business’ mission aligns perfectly with who she is. Yes, I am laying it on thick, but man was I impressed. If you are in Charlotte I highly suggest you checking her out as she has a few events coming up that I’ll list below as well as linking. Worthy Figures attends events, does personal shopping/ styling, and does personal appointments. Even if you find something you love, but aren’t sure she’ll hold it and invoice you for later to ensure you want it. She’s accommodating, professional, and relatable.

This post shares a small sneak peek into what I bought and what she has available. I have always loved supporting local businesses, so I was so excited to write this post. Have a business you want me to check out in Charlotte for my “Supporting Local” posts? Send me a message or leave me a comment. This first Supporting Local post was a big win in my books and I can’t wait to continue finding businesses I fall in love with.

Worthy Figure’s Facebook with event dates are linked to the picture to the right. Make sure you subscribe to blog so you don’t miss a post and follow me on Instagram! As always, thank you for stopping by and supporting All Things Alicia! I’ll see you guys next time. xx Alicia

Five Things I Wish I Knew In College

Happy Wednesday beautiful people! We are so close to the weekend…bless. It’s been over three years since I’ve been out of college and I always catch myself wishing I knew something before I went in or during my time there. I figured, why not share my top five that I constantly think about. Things that I hope help some of you that may still be in college. Enjoy some throwback pictures and if these tips help even one of you, then I’ve done my job!

Start To Build Your Personal Curriculum 

By this I mean to take all of your experiences and opportunities and ensure they help weave you into who you want to be, not necessarily for your career. Unfortunately, there were too many times I did things that I thought would be best for my future, but not for me as a person. I made a lot of mistakes, wanted to eat my words, and often had to step back and fix a lot of problems I got myself into. By no means do I regret this as it has really helped shape me into the person I am now and has made me more self-aware, but it wasn’t ideal in the moment. Remember that with each decision you make, there is a lasting effect for yourself and those around you. Ensure everything you are doing benefits your personal growth as well as helping you build your future. Losing yourself is easy in college, but making yourself question if the the decision you are about to make helps build your personal curriculum can hopefully help combat that. Just remember in the long-run, the title you are working to get to, won’t define who you are as a person. Build the person you want to be and the title will come. 

Be Humble 

Listen, you feel unstoppable in college (at least I did), but there are times you need to humble yourself. Remember that you don’t know everything and that you’re there to learn. Open your mind and ears, truly listen and engage with those different around you. I wish I went out of my way to meet people that didn’t naturally fall into my group of friends and acquaintances. I now have loved meeting new people with such different backgrounds than me and have gone out of my way to engage in conversations that can really open my eyes to others’ perspectives and experiences. This can be so awkward to do at times, but it’s completely worth it. Push yourself to do this while you’re in one area for four years, make yourself uncomfortable once and a while! It’ll humble you for sure. This has so many benefits. You’ll find yourself being more accepting and less closed off. 

Don’t Hold Grudges, People Are Human

This one goes hand in hand with my first point. In college, you don’t have to remain friends with the first people you meet, but if you do that’s amazing! Also know that it’s okay to part ways with friends, but take it from me- don’t hold grudges. They’re a waste of time and everyone makes mistakes. It’s okay to be upset and want space, but grudges take too much out of you. I’m not sure about you, but I had my walls up whenever I had a bad break with friends and I always regretted it. I was too proud. I realize now that it could’ve been handled so much better. You can’t allow yourself to lead a conversation out of emotions, especially when the emotion is a negative one. I find that the conversation is not productive and almost a battle instead. If you’re in this predicament, think about it. How much time do you want to devote to this ugly feeling? Step back, process, and move on in the way that best fits you. 

Start Building Your Schedules And Habits Now 

This is a quick one. To help you post-grad, ensure you have built good habits and know how to schedule. Habits built in college will be hard to break later if they’re not good ones. Especially senior year, put some thought into your sleep schedule, your health habits, and how you manage your time. I didn’t have a few months after graduating to adjust for my job, I started working 28 days after graduating. I needed to ensure I was prepared for the lifestyle change I was about to go through. 

Don’t Underestimate The Need For Self-Care

In college it’s not unusual to go out and party, I get it, but please don’t forget about yourself. Take time to decompress. I learned this later in college after coming back from Spain and it’s probably what helped me survive my last year. Do a mask, buy some magazines, go get ice cream. Whatever it may be that you like to do to make yourself feel grounded and refreshed, do it. Take a day a week if you can and make this a priority. I could’ve used time to write in a journal and declutter my mind. 

I lost myself far too many times and could have really used more time like this. 

So, there’s my list. I have plenty of other would’ve, could’ve, should’ve moments, but I’ll share those in time. These five are the ones that I think of often, especially now as I mentor students and get to know them. Can you relate to these? If so, let me know! As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you guys next time. 

xx Alicia 

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe Worth It? ($50 & Under)

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe Worth It? ($50 & Under)

Have you tried the new feature from Amazon yet? Prime Wardrobe is a service kinda like Stich Fix, if you ever heard of them, but more customized. You get to choose up to 8 products- whether it be shirts, jeans, boots, or accessories, to try on at home for 5 days. Whatever you don’t like you would  send back and whatever you do like you keep and purchase. When you put in your order, you are not charged until you make that decision.

For my experience, I wanted to find some staple basics and sweaters for the Fall, so here’s the scoop based on my experience with Prime Wardrobe and if I’ll be using it again. All the pictures are linked.

My first choice was the this cozy draped turtleneck. After reading the reviews and size charts, I sized up and got a 1X so that it would have a loose feel to it. This sweater was cozy and warm, and I really loved the different shades of brown within it. I can see myself wearing this just like this or with leggings! I would suggest you size up because if I did get an XL like most of my sweaters, I think this would have been too tight. Also, if you have a large chest like I do, sizing up is a must with this piece. As for quality, it was not too thick, but thick enough that it would keep me warm coming into the Fall and Winter. I even think you could layer this for colder days.

The pink sweater below was one I was really excited for, but was a bit of a flop for me personally. I think if you do not have a large chest, this would be a solid sweater option! It was so soft and I loved the mix of light pinks and whites in the threading of the sweater. It hit me at my hips, which I find to be  short, since I like some coverage with my sweaters. I told myself I needed to stop wearing brown, navy, and black this Fall, so if you’re looking for a colored piece for your closet, this is a solid option. The cuffed sleeves as well as the horizontal paneling near the shoulders were my favorite details about this sweater.

On to basics! I wanted a few more long sleeve shirts for the Fall for my vests and to layer, so I picked out a 2-pack of cotton long sleeve shirts. These run small for sure, it even says it when ordering, but if you like a true loose fit like I do, I would size up twice especially considering the shrinkage when you wash these. I got a black and white pack and styled it with one of my J.Crew vests. Not bad shirts, but they are very thin and lightweight like the description, which now makes me think they’re not what I was looking for…oops.

Another basic I love having in my closet that I have a hard time finding, is a white button up shirt. Boy did I find a good one through this! Button ups can be hard with a large chest, but this one fit perfectly with no gaping and I honestly could have sized down to a 1X, but 2X gives me plenty of room as well. I would order this true to size. I’ll be using this for work wear and for causal days with jeans. I love a versatile basic like this that you can wear year round. A definite yes for me.

Unfortunately, the boots I ordered did not fit my calf well, but fit my foot. Even with them not completely fitting, they are a good affordable option if you are looking for some quick black boots that don’t break the bank. The sole is thick and there is a faux zipper on the outside and the real zipper midway in the inside of the boot. A solid boot for this season and maybe more depending on wear.

To Wrap Things Up:

So what did I keep and what do I think? I’m sure by the summaries above you can guess, but I will be keeping the brown sweater and the white button up this time around, so 2/5 which sounds really bad. Ultimately though, I enjoyed this service and think the next time I’ll try some more work wear or jeans. It was very easy to check out and return the items I needed to and I think 5 days is a great window to try everything on. For this first experience I wanted to try and keep it affordable to see if there were quality items available at the price point of $50 and below. Next time, I think I’ll just shop as I normally would, try everything on, and then decide if it’s worth spending my money on.

I hope this was helpful and if you were on the fence about this service, I say just do it! I think next time I order I want to share it, but on my Instagram Stories. I’d love to know what you think- if you like that idea, go to my last Instagram post and leave me comment! As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time.

xx Alicia 

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Fall Book Review

Happy Monday! I’ve been M.I.A on social media this weekend due to Florence, I’m sorry. Charlotte was very lucky not to get completely hit, but there was still some damages and a lot of rain. In the time I had inside going stir-crazy, I was able to get some reading done. If you are anything like me and love a good book, here are my three suggestions going into the fall. These choices range in genre, but have kept me turning each page rigorously trying to see how each chapter would end and begin. Let me know if you end up reading any of these and tag me or use the hashtag #atabookreview.  Without further to do, here are my favorites going into fall!

1. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave 

“Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream, she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. And then she gets hacked. When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home, and the estranged sister, she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life. In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.”


This specific book felt slightly relatable in a way to my personal journey. I think we all at some point in our lives feel like an impostor which made me root for the main character. Without giving too much away, there are times in this book where you want to throw it across the room, but then you’ll quickly run and get it to continue reading to see what actually happens! This is my kind of book. It makes you hate and love Sunshine all at the same time, you find a little bit of yourself within her, and it has a big shocker as well. This is a 241 pager and I read it in just over a day with not one single regret.

2. Boy, 9, Missing by Nic Joseph

“In the tradition of Defending Jacob or Drowning Ruth, this is a suspenseful debut that explores the ramifications of revenge, justice, and the aftermath of a terrible night in the lives of two families.

It should have been just a quiet evening with friends. But Francis lost his brother that night in what was ruled a tragic accident. He’s tried to move on in the last twenty-three years, even though his father certainly hasn’t. Indeed, his father still blames the lone witness, Sam, the nine-year-old son of friends. Perhaps if Sam would have just said something, anything, about what happened that night, but Sam still seems unable-or unwilling-to utter a word about the accident…
And now, twenty-three years later, Sam’s own nine-year-old son has disappeared.”

Boy did this one keep me on my toes! This book threw me for a loop and I am completely okay with it. I am not one usually for some suspense, but this book has actually been the gateway to trying to read more books like it! Coming in at 324 pages, this novel pushed my emotions as any good read should. I cried, gasped, and became happy in many chapters within these pages. The way this is written as well hooks you. As you flip through each chapter and secrets unravel, you just want to know what happened to this poor nine year old boy. You start to make assumptions and with each one you make, you are met with the truth or another clue. This book will keep you engaged and wanting more once it’s done. 

3. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

“In this tale of a kidnapping gone wrong, Mia, the black-sheep daughter of prominent Chicago judge James Dennett, impulsively decides to go home with Colin, a young man she meets in a bar. The one-night stand quickly turns into a nightmare when Colin forces her into his car in the middle of the night, and Mia learns he’s been sent to abduct her for ransom. But just before the drop-off point, Colin, for reasons unknown, decides not to hand her over to the man who has hired him and instead takes her to a remote cabin in Minnesota. Back at home, Mia’s mother, Eve, cannot understand why James doesn’t seem to take the news of his daughter’s disappearance as seriously as she does. Gabe, the detective assigned to the case, wonders the same thing. The narrative unfolds in four different perspectives—from Mia, Eve, Gabe, and Colin, in alternating chapters—which are also structured as “before” and “after.” The organization can prove puzzling, but Kubica’s debut thriller builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what’s really going on until the final pages.”

This book was a wild card for me as I found it through Amazon’s suggestion based on one of my monthly free books I get. Well Amazon did not let me down as this 399 pager forced me to take breaks from reading. Each chapter is a different perspective that throws you into the story more and more. As you devour all the information of one chapter, you are met with new information the next that changes what you thought previously and it goes on like that until the very end. This book truly struck a cord with me about deception, love, and life. It will make you question everything you read by the end due to the shock it’ll cause from the last few chapters. Who knew an ugly fictional story about a kidnapping could make you have goosebumps…at least it did for me. 

With each book I suggested, there was a turning point that made me grateful to have them in paperback so that I may reread them all over again. I hope you find some time to decompress and pick up a book. Now that fall is here, some hot cider, an oversize sweater, and a comfy couch will be calling my name for more literature to be read and judged. Keep checking in for more suggestions every month or so and if you have any must-reads, comment down below! As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time. 

xx Alicia