The Bette Davis Club: a BBRBF Book Review and the perfect red hat

The Bette Davis Club

Welcome to February’s edition of the BBRBF Book Club! My apologies for being late this month; lots of things happened in a short amount of time, and I didn’t get time to sit and read as I normally would! As always, check out Sara, Noelle, Kat, and Helene for their reviews, and be sure to welcome Laci and Justyna as our newest wonderful members! Our little club is growing! If you want to join us, be sure to let us know. Next month we are reading Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko.

As usual, here’s the synopsis: “When Margo’s niece becomes a runaway bride — taking with her a family heirloom– her mother offers Margo fifty grand to retrieve her spoiled daughter and the invaluable property she stole. Together with the jilted and justifiably crabby fiance, Margo sets out in a borrowed 1955 red MG on a cross-country chase and finds herself along the way”

I actually did not intend to use this outfit for this review. I had shot this dress and my newest vintage hat (which I found on Etsy for ten dollars!) on Valentine’s day, but then by the time I’d half cooked up an outfit to go with The Bette Davis Club, it rained. However, this dress goes remarkably well with the yellow-and-red cover. We’ll just pretend I’m the human incarnation of Margo’s father’s classic 1955 MG TF. 

Now, I have a confession to make: I am still not done reading this book. I’ve been trying all day, but toddlers, man. I am, according to Kindle, 65% done and likely will finish tonight, at which point perhaps I’ll update this post with my review of the latter half!

For the former half, however, I can offer a little review!

I found it hard to get into at first. It is the same quirky style of writing that many modern authors have taken on, with overly witty quips at first. When I began, I’ll be blunt, I thought I was probably going to hate it. I got tired of this style of writing with Swamplandia!, and was dreading getting through this novel.

However, after a few chapters the characters began to grow on me. I got used to the author’s present-tense style of writing (which is confusing at times) and started to invest in the adventure of Margo and Tully as they chase after his ex-bride. While I do think that their relationship felt a little stilted and awkward at first, and not in a purposeful way but as if the author just wasn’t quite sure how to put them together naturally, it started to smooth out as they hit roadblock after roadblock in their search. With time, they grew to understand each other, and it’s almost as if the author grew with them.

I love how Margo’s carefree and careless personality clashes with Tully’s more sedate and sensible one, how they contrast between Margo being somewhat of a floater and Tully being established in life. I like that you can see Tully begin to care about Margo as a friend, through his bugging her to quit smoking, and Margo’s reciprocation of that friendship through realizing he’s not just a jilted lover, but his own man.

Since I don’t feel like I can give a full review not having finished the book, I’m going to leave this post a bit sparse so I can update it when I’m finally done. I apologize for this half-review! And for being so late with my post. Hopefully next month won’t be so scattered for me.

But now let’s chat about this outfit, and most specifically, this hat. I feel like this ensemble is also so very apt for this review, even though by accident, because early on in the book Margo and Tully discuss the various value that things have. Some are valuable because they can bring in a lot of cash. Others are valuable because of sentimentality. Others, as Margo muses her friend Dottie told her, give the finder a sense almost of (she very bluntly put it) arousal, a rush of feeling even though there’s no sentimentality or large sums of money involved.

This hat, for me, holds the latter value. While I was browsing Etsy for the perfect hat to pair with the lipstick dress — which, by the way, arrived too late and was never marked as shipped, nor was it shipped via priority mail as claimed in their shop, and they charge almost $2 extra if you require a tracking number. Which was on my box when it arrived and is free of charge via USPS mail. And, the hat arrived smelling like cigarette smoke and heavy perfume, which was not disclosed in the listing. So… avoid this seller!

Anyway, as I was browsing for the perfect hat to pair with the lipstick dress, I stumbled upon this beauty and felt a rush of excitement. It was listed as a brand new 1950’s fascinator and the seller was letting it go for only $10!

Upon arrival — which was swift, taking only three days to arrive — I found it to be even more beautiful than it looked. It is in absolutely perfect condition. I did some research though, and discovered that it’s possibly actually 1980’s or newer, which doesn’t really bother me. The seller likely assumed 1950’s based on the look of the hat (something I have done on occasion until I am corrected by research) and I don’t believe they meant to mislead anyone. If I am correct in my research on the tag, the designer, B Michael, began designing hats under Oscar de la Renta, Nolan Miller, and Louis Faurad for the show Dynasty in the 1980’s, and following his success there decided to launch his own line, which came out in 1999.

Although, I have found several listings on Etsy and eBay with this same tag, which reads b. Michael New York and looks like this, and I’m not 100% sure whether this is the same B Michael, or whether there was indeed a vintage designer from whom this and other hats sprung. If anyone knows, please do tell me!

The feeling I had placing this gorgeous accessory on my head was thrilling. Ever since making myself wear a hat out in public, I’ve felt an insatiable desire to have the perfect hat for every outfit. The wall in my room has quickly become a place to hang beautiful head toppers, and with the help of some friends and some excellent finds online, I’m starting to have quite the collection! This one, though, tops all the rest. It is such a beautifully constructed piece, like art for your head.

And, when I read the passage in the book of the owner of Mommie Dearest going on about the artifacts from the stars and how he felt about them, I could so relate! Do any of you have feelings about things that maybe aren’t super valuable to anyone else, but for which you feel a thrill? For me, it’s vintage pieces, or items that just have a story behind them. I love the history of pre-loved clothes and it’s such a thrill to find beautiful pieces that were once a part of someone’s life once upon a time!

Dress, (old) c/o eShakti | shoes, thrifted | hat, Etsy from MyShop1020 | Necklace, grandma’s | earrings, vintage | Gloves, vintage/old

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The BBRBF Book Club: Plaid dress, vintage hat, and Stardust

Stardust | eyreeffect.comStardust | eyreeffect.com

Stardust

Welcome to another edition of the BBRBF Book Club! If you’re not sure what that is, check out this post! If you are, you can poke around on all of my past reviews here, and keep an eye on Sara, Noelle, Helene, and Kat for their reviews of this month’s choice, Stardust by Niel Gaiman! And join us next month for Helene’s pick, The Bette Davis Club!

As always, the synopsis before we get into my review(via Goodreads):

Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.”

Stardust | eyreeffect.com

I had high hopes for this novel.

Not only was it my own pick, but Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and his novel Neverwhere is one of my favorite books (alongside Jane Eyre, and Empire of the Wolves. I have a very eclectic favorites list). I had heard that Stardust was supposed to be one of his best novels, so of course I expected nothing less than excellent. I really enjoyed the movie, and was very eager to dig into the book and eat up another fantastic fairytale by my favorite author.

However.

Oh, it pains me to say this.

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I dragged through Stardust.

I felt as though I was slogging through the mud with this book, and I realize now that my review may be harsher than normal because I had such high hopes. But Stardust left me feeling the way no author wants a reader to feel at the end: apathetic.

I won’t bother to tell you the story because I am sure by now most people have read the novel or seen the movie or both. And, if you haven’t seen the film or read the words, I’ll let you discover them for yourself. But I started it feeling bored, I crawled my way to the middle feeling impatient, and I ended it not caring. I didn’t really care very much about Tristran Thorn and his journey through the fairy world in search of the Star. I never got to know him; everything that happened to him should have been exciting and propelling and intriguing, but I think Gaiman spent so much time curating the action that the character development was lacking. Stardust | eyreeffect.com

Tristran Thorn is on a mission for his supposed one true love; sure, that should be exciting. The Star hates Tristran Thorn — that should have added for some good chemistry and friction between them. The witch wants to take the Star’s heart, there’s a unicorn and a lion, there’s a sky-ship, there’s magic and witchcraft and everything one needs to create a fantastic world… except that spark in the characters to take them from words on a page to friends you root for or villains you hate.

And I am so sad to apply so much censure to this book, being the brainchild of my favorite author whose other books I have loved. But that’s just how it is. I didn’t feel anything for the characters, the storyline was somehow both filled with action and mystery yet also lackluster and predictable, and the writing was descriptive but less imaginative than I have come to expect of Gaiman’s works.

So, sadly, this may be one book that I’ll forego in favor of the movie. The only other book this has ever happened with was The Princess Bride. What do you think of these two titles, if you’ve read them?

Stardust | eyreeffect.comStardust | eyreeffect.com

Plaid Muxxn Dress Review

On to happier things, such as this dress! Ever since I used one of these photos as my profile picture (as I’ve had this outfit shot for far longer than I’ve had the book read) I’ve been bombarded with questions about the dress. It’s high time I did a proper review on a garment!

First of all, this dress is from a brand called MUXXN on Amazon. It’s one of the more affordable reproduction dresses, from which I also got my Belle dress for Halloween. Much like the Belle dress, the fabric is stretchy and comfortable to wear and the construction is fairly good considering the price point!

Stardust | eyreeffect.com

It fits me true to size; while I measure 41 in the bust, 31 or 32 in the waist (it changes depending on the week, ha!) and 48 in the hips, I usually fit a bodice that is 40-31 the best. I bought a size Large, which according to their size chart is a 38-40 bust and a 30-32 waist. You can’t really tell here, but because of the darts and seaming, the bust is just a tad bit loose – especially right where the seam is, which I would prefer to be more fitted and perhaps lower so that my chest fit squarely into the breast region of the dress — but otherwise it fits perfectly.

I’m especially impressed by the shoulders and sleeves. Being a woman with fairly good muscle tone in my arms and wider shoulders than most, I often have issues with long sleeved garments being too tight in the arms (this eShakti dress, made to fit exactly, is a good example) and shoulders, thus constricting my  movement to about half the reach I could normally have. This dress, however, has plenty of room to move about! No constriction whatsoever whichever way I reach. I appreciate that the sleeves are neither baggy nor restricting.

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My only complaints, and they are small issues, are: the thread used to sew the dress together is white, so if stretched too far (hello, large meals on holidays) you can see the thread at the seams in stark contrast to the darkness of the fabric.

The loop on the belt, which holds the excess in place, is not attached to the belt itself and falls off when you open up the belt and store it (I hang mine by their buckles). I lost it for a bit. A dab of hot glue will fix this, though (or sewing it on, though I likely won’t do that because I’m too lazy).

And, the “belt loops” on either side are those dreadfully flimsy thread-type loops, and one snapped the first day I wore the dress.

All in all, none of these little things would have stopped me purchasing the dress, and I am incredibly happy with how it fits, how it looks, and how insanely comfortable it is! While I have heard that these less expensive reproduction companies can have drastic sizing differences with their garments even within the same dress, I so far have no complaints owning two MUXXN dresses (and having tried on a third, though in the end it was not quite what I wanted for the event.)

So that’s it for this post! At the moment you are reading this I am preparing for a four-day vacation (or perhaps am already gone, if you see this late) to Leavenworth with my husband’s family. I am excited to share photos so be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram as I’ll be updating with snippets there!

Dress, Amazon (here) | hat, vintage, bought from Hailey | shoes, thrifted (similar) | brooch, grandma’s ( same here – with earrings! – and same here and here) | gloves, vintage | purse, vintage (similar here) | tights, Target | earrings, grandma’s (similar here)

Stardust | eyreeffect.com

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Jungle skirt, panther brooch, and a Swamplandia! book review

Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

Swamplandia!

Welcome to December’s installment of the BBRBF Book Club! If you want to see past posts, click through here. This month, we read Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Be sure to keep an eye on Sara, Kathleen, Noelle, and Helene for their reviews. And as always, before we dive in: the synopsis(via the back of the book).

“Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character know as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness. As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality.” Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

Swamplandia! begins as a book full of quirky characters with a promising storyline.

After Hilola Bigtree, the headliner for a gator-wrestling park, dies of cancer (a banal death, Ava thinks, for such a big persona), her family spirals into a sad kind of chaos. Her husband Samuel — referred to as “The Chief” — cannot pull himself together to care for his three children and his aging father, the latter of whom sinks into dementia and is transferred to home care. The park loses its tourists just as it lost its main attraction, and is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Kiwi Bigtree, the oldest and only son, leaves his two sisters to work at a rival theme park titled The World of Darkness so that he might earn enough money to help save his beloved home. With him, he takes the last of his father’s cash, right down to the pennies. So The Chief, hoping to save the one life he knows, leaves his two daughters at Swamplandia to care for themselves so he can act on a series of plans that will save the theme park. In his wake, the elder of the two daughters, Osceola, begins to have stronger and stronger visions of ghosts that inhabit her and fall in love with her. Ava, the younger at the burgeoning age of 13, watches as her sister falls deeper and deeper into her visions. Ava is unsure whether Ossie’s visions are real or whether the ghosts are fallacy.

Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

Eventually, Ossie finds a ghost who becomes so real to her that she elopes with him. She plans to marry him and go to The Underworld, where they will… live happily ever after in death? This part of her plans are not revealed nor does anyone really question what exactly will go on after Ossie succeeds in her elopement with Louis, the ghost from the 1930’s who died dredging the swamps around the theme park.

She tells his story to Ava before leaving, and it is so clear and factual that Ava cannot tell whether her sister is suffering delusions, or whether what her sister experiences is real. Eventually, left alone, Ava decides to go after her sister with the assistance of a stranger who calls himself the Bird Man, and whom arrives at a perfectly opportune time to accompany Ava on her journey to The Underworld.

Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

This is the point of the story where the book began to lose me a little bit.

How does this mysterious Bird Man show up at the perfect time to help a pubescent girl run after her sister who has run away to marry a ghost in the underworld? Why does Ava trust him so immediately; this girl who has kept secrets from her own family and doesn’t trust them with the knowledge of her beautiful little red pet alligator?

I desperately wanted the Bird Man to be the man of magic that, in her young and impressionable mind, Ava believes him to be. He never gives up his story nor his real name, and possesses a kind of charismatic aura that holds power over Ava. He is her guide to finding her sister and, though weakly hoped for, her mother in The Underworld. He knows how to navigate the maze of swamplands, to find The Eye that will usher them into the shallows of Hell, to tell the difference between the living and the dead once they’ve arrived.

Everything in me wanted the author to go there. To confirm that Ossie really communed with ghosts, to paint the larger picture around this mysterious Bird Man who knew the way to The Underworld, to open up a shimmering darkness of magic in this quirky yet mundane life of Ava Bigtree. Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

But, disappointingly, she did not come through.

In the end, Osceola was just a sixteen year old whose mind was not all there. In the end, Kiwi Bigtree could not save the swamp with his traitorous move of working at The World of Darkness. In the end, the Chief’s big plan to save Swamplandia! ended up being nothing better than working at a seedy casino as a beauty pageant host for women past their prime. And in the end, the Bird Man was nothing more than a predator who had somehow caught wind of the fact that a young and trusting girl was alone in the world, and pounced at the right time to squander her away in the swamps and take advantage of her youth and innocence for his own twisted pleasure.

There was no Underworld, no Ghost Elopement, no Triumphant Saving Of The Park. Just a little girl raped in the swamps and fighting through the elements to save herself after a failed mission to save her delusional sister.   Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

And sure, in the end the family somehow finds themselves back together and realizing they cannot do anything without each other, but I was disappointed.

Because I wanted something to redeem this book. It has the kind of quirky narration that must be capitalized; the Quirky Characters that are all unique and special snowflakes; the Quirky Storyline that throws everything improbable into itself coupled with the Quirky Language that is adopted by so many tales of young impressionables coming into their own awareness of how the world works. There’s a dirty grit in Kiwi’s side of the story, as he works amongst people who only care about getting high and getting drunk and getting laid. Who have affairs, who take advantage of those below them, who don’t give a crap about humans on any level other than “what can this person do for me?”

And, to be frank, I dislike this type of book immensely. It is so devoid of any hope or happiness that even its eloquence and Quirkiness cannot dredge it up from that feeling of sadness in the end. Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

When I finished, I just felt sad.

It’s a story about people taking advantage of people. Ava is taken advantage of by the Bird Man; Ossie is taken advantage of by ghosts; Kiwi is taken advantage of by the rival park; the Chief is taken advantage of by his own child and the ways of the world. At one point, Kiwi has a run-in with his dementia-stricken grandfather and they nearly kill each other.

While I do believe the underlying message of the book is that family needs to stick together, as evidenced by the last chapter, it was overall a book full of disappointments for the cast of characters, all of whom go through their various trials to learn that the world is not a fairytale but a big bad place full of untrustworthy people (and ghosts), and disappointment for me as a reader because none of the promises of and hopes for the plot came through.Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

It was the type of book that I always hope will have a big finish. Those of you who do not enjoy fairytales and who like to read books that are riddled with the grime of lowlife reality might enjoy this book for its hyper-reality in the dirt of Loomis and the sweat of the swamps. It was well written in that respect, and I appreciated the language of the author even in her over-saturation of quirk.

But it wasn’t a book for me. I prefer stories with a touch of magic in them, a sense of hope in the end, or an all-out fairytale ending.Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.comSwamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

Did you read Swamplandia!? What did you think?

As for my outfit, I though this skirt that looked like a jungle would be apt. In its leaves are hidden an exotic cat, and it reminds me of the gators that Ava sees hidden everywhere in her beloved swamps. I wanted my outfit to have a little bit of exotic wildness too it, just like Swamplandia!’s promise of exotic shows with Hilola’s brave headliner acts. And, of course, green, for the gators and for the holiday season.

I hope you enjoyed this book review (and if you didn’t, I apologize! I didn’t much enjoy writing it as I had higher hopes for this novel!) and don’t forget to visit my fellow bloggers for their reviews. Join us next month as we read Stardust by Niel Gaiman (as chosen by me! I’m very excited for this one!)

Skirt, top, belt, and fur: all vintage and thrifted | brooch, gift/vintage | boots, Amazon | hairpiece, gift | earrings, vintage/gift

Swamplandia! | eyreeffect.com

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The BBRBF Book Club: Frankenstein

Frankenstein | eyreeffect.comFrankenstein | eyreeffect.com

Frankenstein (or, The Modern Prometheus)

This month, for the BBRBF Book Club, we decided to go with a creepy classic. Don’t forget to check out Helene, Sara, Katherine, and Noelle‘s blogs for their reviews, and join us next month when we read Not Working by Lisa Owens.

I won’t bother with a synopsis this month, as I am sure nearly everyone at least knows what Frankenstein’s Monster is! Before I get into my review — if it really will be a review, as I have a hard time reviewing classics — I’ll explain my outfit.

When I first heard the group decision to read Frankenstein, I had grand ideas of myself playing Frankenstein’s Monster, and my husband playing Frankenstein. I wanted to do a whole scene of me coming to life, my husband portraying Frankenstein’s awe and then fear, the whole shebang. But as life goes, I didn’t realize that October was passing quite so fast as it did. Last week came upon me far too swiftly, I was sick for an entire week, it rained for an entire week, and suddenly it was Monday and we had to shoot something now.

So instead of playing part in my tableau, my husband manned behind the scenes and ran a fog machine and the camera instead, to give my photos that extra eerie quality I wanted.

Frankenstein | eyreeffect.com However, we only had a short hour or less to capture photos, as it was after my husband got off work, and we had an hour of light left.

So, while it may look like I’m portraying the Bride of Frankenstein, I was, in twenty minutes time, attempting to achieve a sort of… Pinup Monster mashup. Which sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I think I achieved it in a rudely fashioned sort of way. I combined the Monster’s trademark scarred forehead with the Bride’s striking white streak of hair with a patchwork cheek to symbolize the Monster’s own patchwork body. And here we are!  Frankenstein | eyreeffect.com

And the outfit is, as you can see, inspired by a dark pinup. I added my new Orchard Corset underneath to give myself a bit more structure, and decided that instead of adding a scarf to my hair as per usual, I would wear a scarf around my neck. Perhaps this pinup Monster is hiding the scar that binds her head to her body.

Frankenstein | eyreeffect.comFrankenstein | eyreeffect.com

As for my review, well.

I adore classic books for one reason: the language. The prose of older novels is so elegant, so beautiful; every word truly provokes thought (and, quite often, usage of my online dictionary for a definition) and creates rich scenery. I was slightly put off by how much backstory there is of Frankenstein’s parents and adopted sister, and how the book begins with a completely unrelated character.

It’s a common theme that I have noticed; Dracula is told through the eyes of various other characters, and I feel as though I’ve read several other classics whose tales begin with someone narrating the story as told to them by the main character. You can feel the difference in communication at the time. Letter writing was how you kept in touch with your loved ones, therefore letter writing plays a large part in so many plot points or storytelling ways.

Frankenstein | eyreeffect.com

Sara covered it adequately when she mentioned that things happen quite suddenly. Suddenly, Frankenstein made a monster. Suddenly, it’s alive. It runs away and somehow in the span of a year learns English and how people live. Of course the entire premise of the book is a bit ridiculous, but I find that to be the beauty of it.  It was an era when the fantastic could be believable; when fairytales were a possibility, when belief was not shot down by scientific reason.

I’ll be honest: I miss the days before the masses were so focused on getting realism. Before stories had to be absolutely scientifically accurate. Before movies had to be so gritty and anchored in what could really happen. I am a big fan of 80’s era movies and TV shows for that very reason: ET and Indiana Jones and The Goonies and MacGyver weren’t ridiculous, they were transportational. People weren’t worried about how unrealistic it was for a bunch of kids to discover a pirate ship on the Oregon coast, or how horrible of an archaeologist Jones was, or how ridiculous it was for three kids to hide an alien in their bedroom. Or how it really wasn’t possible to disarm a bomb with a paper clip.  Frankenstein | eyreeffect.com

Or, how absolutely unreal it was for a scientist to bring a body to life and then have that monster become intelligent to the max all by himself.

While the story might have some plot points that need explaining and overall the unrealistic methods could use some updating, what I love about classic novels is the language. The richness and the time that the authors take to thoroughly portray the background of the characters and the surroundings and the beauty of their time… I’m always blown away by that. I could get lost solely in the prose and the archaic terms. And that is why I will forever love Frankenstein.

Skirt and belt, vintage/thrifted | top, Amazon | corset, c/o Orchard Corsets | shoes, Amazon | Brooch, Circa AD

Frankenstein | eyreeffect.comFrankenstein | eyreeffect.comFrankenstein | eyreeffect.com

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Roses and Rot + Orchard Corsets

Heads up! Orchard Corsets sent me a corset as a gift, but all opinions are my very own. Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.comRoses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

Roses and Rot

It’s time for another book review! I haven’t done a non-BBRBF book  club review in quite a while because… time gets away from me. But Roses and Rot, by Kat Howard, was so incredible that I read it every moment I could and when it came to the end, I could not put it down!

As always, the summary:

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.”

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

This is Kat Howard’s debut novel.

When I picked it up, I knew this was her debut, and I wasn’t expecting it to be that amazing. But I was blown away. Imogen and her sister Marin escape an abusive mother to go to a school for extremely talented artists. Marin’s talent is dancing. Imogen writes fairy-tales. Throughout their childhood, Marin was the favorite child, and their mother did everything in her power to destroy Imogen’s confidence and skills, even going so far as to burn her dominant hand so badly she had to teach herself to write with her other hand. She was, in a word, horrific.

Thus, Imogen dreams of escaping into a fairy-tale, where everything ends happily ever after and everyone has a chance to escape the evil villains. Little does she know that Melete holds a secret far closer to her dreams than she could ever have imagined, but it’s a dark secret and one that threatens to tear her relationship with her sister apart.

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.comRoses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

I can’t even find the words to tell you how much I adored this book, and how riveted I was. I stayed up until nearly midnight finishing the last chapters, because I could not put it down. It was just the sort of dark, romantic, Gothic novel I adore, with that hint of fairy-tale that becomes full blown toward the end. It’s the type of novel that inspires me to write. It’s the type of novel I wish I could write. Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.comRoses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

Now on to the outfit

A few weeks ago, Orchard Corsets reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in a collaboration. I had just started researching waist-training corsets, and through a few emails Amber helped me choose the best corset for what I want — something I could wear over or under clothes, that will help me waist train and also fit my body shape best.

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.comRoses and Rot | eyreeffect.com I knew I wanted to debut this corset in a special way. After finishing Roses and Rot, I knew this post would be perfect. I wanted to emulate a little bit of Faerie in my outfit, with some glitter and pale brows and dark lips, and a deer’s head brooch for Gavin — the king of the fairies who has horns in Fae — and a swan skirt for another faerie mentioned who is part bird. The corset really helps push the outfit even more into fairy-tale land.

While I haven’t gotten this corset entirely seasoned to my body, and realized after taking these photos that I hadn’t gotten it properly laced in the back, I love the way it feels already and I am excited to get it to the point where I can wear it daily!

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

If you are new to corseting, I would definitely recommend Orchard Corsets!

Amber’s help was essential in getting me properly fitted; I sent her my measurements, and she recommended a few that would work best on me. We eventually settled on this satin 426 short as I have a shorter torso, and satin looks best under clothes. If you want to know more about fitting a corset and what to choose, definitely check out their links on which style to buy!

And this page on Corsets 101 has all the information you could ever need.

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.comRoses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

In short, this post is full of two really awesome things

A beautiful corset from Orchard Corsets, and one of my new favorite books by Kat Howard. I look forward to aquiring more corsets (this plaid one!) and reading more of Kat’s books whenever she publishes more!

Happy October!

Skirt, (old) Choies | shirt, thrifted | corset sent to me from Orchard Corsets | boots, Amazon | brooch (old) Oasap same here | flower crown, self-made | lipstick, NYX Stone Fox

Roses and Rot | eyreeffect.com

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