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BBC: ‘The Bucket List’.

Hey there! It’s about 11 on Tuesday night, and while I normally would be tucked in bed by now, I’ll admit I’ve got some nerves keeping me awake. In the morning, I’m heading to a dermatologist to have my skin examined for signs of cancer.

Right before I went on vacation, I was putting on my daily dose of lip liner when I noticed a tiny, dark brown freckle. I’ve got other freckles along my lip line, but I think this one is new and it looks darker than others. So, I made an appointment.

While a huge part of me thinks it’s nothing, I can’t ignore it. I’m almost embarrassed to say this appointment will be my first time getting a full “body scan” for any questionable signs. I figured this was as good a time as any to get a baseline, and maybe even a little education on what to look for. No one in my family has ever had skin cancer – in fact, my dad was the first person to have any kind of cancer – but I know that even those statistics can’t keep everyone safe.

Whatever happens, I’ll report back!

On that same note, Blanche’s Book Club read “The Bucket List” by Georgia Clark! Here’s the official description from Amazon:

Twenty-five-old Lacey Whitman is blindsided when she’s diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation: the “breast cancer” gene. Her high hereditary risk forces a decision: increased surveillance or the more radical step of a preventative double mastectomy. Lacey doesn’t want to lose her breasts. For one, she’s juggling two career paths; her work with the prestigious New York trend forecaster Hoffman House, and her role on the founding team of a sustainable fashion app with friend/mentor, Vivian Chang. Secondly, small-town Lacey’s not so in touch with her sexuality: she doesn’t want to sacrifice her breasts before she’s had the chance to give them their hey-day. To help her make her choice, she (and her friends) creates a “boob bucket list”: everything she wants do with and for her boobs before a possible surgery.

This kicks off a year of sensual exploration and sexual entertainment for the quick-witted Lacey Whitman. The Bucket List cleverly and compassionately explores Lacey’s relationship to her body and her future. Both are things Lacey thought she could control through hard work and sacrifice. But the future, it turns out, is more complicated than she could ever imagine.

I read Georgia Clark’s “The Regulars” and I loved it, so I was really excited for this one. I will admit that part of me was super paranoid while reading this book – I kept wondering if I had the BRCA1 gene mutation.

But the other part of me just couldn’t help but get lost in Lacey’s world – there was high fashion, designers, hot guys, (dare I say it) saucy sex scenes, and some genuine romance sprinkled in. There was also friendship and some bits of – what felt like real life – it was a great balance. There was so much detail, I feel like this would make a great movie, and it could even be a series of books!

I’m recommending this book to anyone who wants to live life to the fullest, and to anyone who enjoys reading about life-changing events, although I would say that if you’re sensitive about breast cancer, this book may contain triggers.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh. Wish me luck!


BBC: ‘The Regulars’.

Hey, hey! What a week this has been, right? I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to have a book review for you guys today because I’ve been recovering from a cold all week, and given the Tuesday night depression, I really just wanted to soak in my bathtub and cry until… well, until the next presidential election.

But, I am feeling better on all fronts, and last night, I cozied up with my book and a mug of cinnamon tea and I finished it around 9 pm. A win all around!

If you recall, the Book Club’s latest read, “The Regulars” by Georgia Clark was on my Fall Reading List – I immediately added it to my queue at the library and just picked it up a few weeks ago. I was looking forward to reading it, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite as much as I actually did. Here’s the scoop from

Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well…gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.

But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left:

What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?

Wildly irreverent, blatantly sexy, and observed with pitch-perfect wit, The Regulars is fresh “compulsive reading from a bright new voice” (Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August) in fiction, perfect for fans of Jennifer Close and Kevin Kwan.

Sounds like a fun story, right? And it is. What I initially loved about this book was its ability to combine something I think most people wonder – what would it be like to be perfectly pretty? – with a bit of fantasy: a potion that makes average women modelesque and gorgeous for seven days.

Sure, fiction is fiction, but this was fantasy that we have probably wished for at one time or another, with a bit of realism, sex, and even humor (there are parts of this book that are laugh-out-loud funny).

Naturally, this book ties things off in a pretty little lesson, but it’s not cheesy or silly, it’s nice, and I believe it would be a realistic outcome, if we were all given this same chance of beauty and physical perfection.

I was surprised to learn that this is Clark’s debut adult novel (she’s previously published YA novels), and I’m already excited to see what she’s got up her sleeve – I would definitely pick up another book of hers, and would not be surprised if we saw these same characters in another storyline. It would be fantastic!

I am happily recommending this book to any lover of female fiction, or anyone looking for a tiny escape.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by Piper Kerman. I haven’t watched any of the Netflix series because I wanted to read the book first! I am so, so excited to read this one, and you know I’ll be reporting the scoop right here next week.

Want to read it with me? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a comment on this blog, or find me on social media @OrangeJulius and let’s chat about it. After all, it’s the non-committal book club!

What is everyone up to this weekend? I am happily doing a whole-lotta nothin’ after six weeks of dance rehearsals, five weeks of teaching my blog class, and two weeks of volunteering, I am going to RELAX this weekend! I will probably do some reading, catch up on my DVR goodies, and do some cooking (I’m thinking enchiladas).

Happy Friday, all – have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you right back here on Monday!