Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.

I love to bake during the fall season, especially any sweets with apples in it. I made these delicious apple tarts because I was inspired by the latest book from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu - The Rose Society. One of my favorite parts about this series is the world building. There is a sense of the Renaissance era throughout the book, so I wanted to bake an upgraded version of something they might have made back then.

First, let's talk about this amazing book because I didn't think Marie Lu's new series could get any darker than The Young Elites.. but I was wrong. The Rose Society is full of so much darkness, I started to root for the evilness throughout the story and I was beginning to wonder if I was evil, too?

Goodreads Summary // Adelina Amouteru's heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

- - -

"I pledge myself to the Rose Society until the end of my days, to use my eyes to see all that happens, my tongue to woo others to our side, my ears to hear every secret, my hands to crush my enemies. I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way."

This story is pure darkness and evil, and incredibly unique being told through a villain's point of view. Adelina is one of my favorite characters, EVER. I haven't loved a character as much as I love her in a really long time. She is so interesting and complex - we continue to learn more about her as the story progresses.
In The Rose Society we see how the pain of Adelina's past has affected her. It doesn't help that Enzo is gone now, because we find her feeling like the whole world is out to get her - including her own sister. It's interesting, and very believable, how all her pain has allowed her heart to open up to all the evil and darkness inside of her now. There really isn't much good left in her heart.

We are introduced to a lot of new characters, and I loved every single one of them!
Sometimes new characters can be misplaced, or not needed at all to tell a story - but all of the new characters in The Rose Society had a purpose. Each one helped the story move along, and develop the world and characters that we already love. My favorite was Magiano, he was the light of this whole book - and it isn't surprising that he even brought out the light, and calmness inside of Adelina.

"A long time ago, I might have listened to that. Not an abomination. An Elite. But I am the White Wolf, and I am too powerful to be swayed by the Beldish Queen's words."

There is so much development in The Rose Society - so many more twists, a lot more pain, and more evil throughout the story. I don't want to spoil any of this book, because it sends you on a crazy ride that is fun to experience on your own while reading it.
Marie Lu continues to be one of my favorite authors, her writing is amazing. I really enjoy how she writes this series - the different POVs, and having Adelina's point of view the only one told in first person while the others are told in third. It keeps the story intriguing.

Overall, I loved The Rose Society.
It was everything I wanted and more in a sequel. It was intriguing the whole time - I never wanted to stop turning the pages. Now, we will wait until the next book and wonder will there be any redemption for Adelina? I'll be sitting here hoping the Rose Society defeats everyone, including the Daggers, even though that may make me an evil person. I just think they have good intentions behind their evilness. Also, I think there might be redemption for Adelina.. even if it is with her death.

"Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, so she destroyed them all."

I would recommend The Young Elites series to everyone! Anyone who loves a good, thrilling, fantasy read then pick it up now!


5 out of 5 stars

Now, it's time for Adelina's apple tarts! I honestly don't know if Adelina enjoys the happiness that comes from eating sweets, but I'll just keep believing she's not that evil not to enjoy it.
These apple tarts are simple, and easy for anyone to make - and perfect for Fall.

These apple tarts are delicious!
I hope you enjoy these tasty treats while checking out The Rose Society!



Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.

First, I would like to thank Spencer Hill Press for providing me with an early copy of Hello? via NetGalley.
In my last 'Book Spotlight' I talked about how much I've been reading sci-fi and fantasy stories, well it was time to take a little break from those intense adventures and read some contemporary books instead.

Hello? by Liza Wiemer fell into my lap last week, and I'm beyond happy that it did.
Hello? perfectly captures the raw emotions of how it feels to deal with all of our struggles in our lives, from losing someone to leaving a relationship to facing our worst nightmares, all in the hopes to move on. I haven't felt such a deep connection with a book since I last read All the Bright Places, and we all know how I feel about that book. This story tackles a lot of tough situations, such as dealing with suicidal thoughts, and it will bring you all the feels. Hello? truly helped me, and I honestly wish I had this book while I was growing up as a teenager struggling with depression/anxiety.

Goodreads Summary // One HELLO? can change a life. One HELLO? can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).

"If you forget the past, you're doomed to repeat it.
I can't and won't forget my past."

Guys, it's hard for me to find the right words to explain to you how much I love this book.
The story was so unique - full of heartbreak and hope all at the same time.
It is a little slow paced, I mean the book only takes place within a week. I enjoyed this though - usually it becomes boring, especially when you hit the middle of the story and it begins to drag everything out.. but that was not the case in Hello?. The slow pace allows us to get to know our characters on a deeper level, and they are the most important part of this whole book.

There are five different POVs in Hello? - Tricia, Emerson, Brenda, Angie, and Brian.
We find each of these characters in a different point in their lives at the beginning of the story, and I was immediately drawn into each of their individual plots. The characters in this story are unique in their own way, and I found myself rooting for each of them.
Even though they were each inspiring in their own right, I was drawn to Tricia the most because like myself she was dealing with not only loss, but depression as well. As someone who dealt with depression as a teenager - I was intrigued while reading the real emotions of Tricia, and how she deals with everything in her life while suffering from this heartbreak and loss. It was such an honest point of view for me, and I think if I dealt with the struggles that the other characters dealt with then it would be just as honest as Tricia's point of view.

As the story continues, we see these characters develop in such a special way.
They have to make hard decisions - and sometimes they aren't the right ones, but sometimes they are.
Each of them end up exactly where you hope they would end up and it leaves you completely emotional. You are full of hope, heartache, unease, and love.

I'm usually apprehensive about having so many different POVs - but Liza Wiemer's writing is so beautiful, and done so well that it worked for Hello?. The character's lives weave together throughout the whole story, and each individual plot point only helps move the whole story along more. This never becomes confusing, and it never made me want to skim through a certain character's chapter - which is a huge plus! I was intrigued the whole time.

Hello? deals with a lot, like I said earlier, and Wiemer actually wrote a letter to all of her readers at the end leaving information to anyone who may need it. I thought that made the book extra special.

There is so much hope, love, and strength throughout this story.
It's hard to explain how that can be unless you read it yourself. It's beautiful to see how much inspiration and heart was put into this story. I hope when people finally get to read this story they find the power in Wiemer's words. I hope they see how powerful human connection is, and find a bit of themselves in this book. I don't think it matters if you've been in these character's shoes or not - if you've been lost or unsure of your future in any way then I truly believe this story will help you find a bit of yourself.

Overall, I loved Hello? - if you couldn't already tell.
It's one of my favorite contemporary releases of 2015.
The raw emotions, and the beautiful writing is more than enough for you to check this book out! I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good contemporary novel. It's full of love, friendship, and hope!

Hello? will be published on November 10th.
Make sure you go check it out and fall in love with this beautiful story!


5 out of 5 stars



When I was a senior in high school I was positive that I would have my life together by the time I was 25 years old. I know, I know, I've said that before.. Anyways - I thought I would have graduated college, found a great job, and be living a perfectly happy life. Well, that is far from the case today. I'm not saying that I'm not happy though, but I am nowhere near where I thought I would be now that I'm actually 25 years old.

After my birthday, there was a moment where I thought to myself.. "what now?"
There have been many dreams in my life, especially in my early twenties.
They have always been centered around art, it's always been the thing that I'm most passionate about.
I love to create.
My plan was to go to art school after graduation and figure out my career soon after, but then I got pregnant. My next dream was to become a hairstylist - I thought "hey, this is creating right?" - and even though it is creating in a different way, it never truly fulfilled my passion. Then, my plan was to be a stay at home mom and enter the blogging universe. My first blog, Twist & Sprinkle, was a failure.. and I hate to say that because it's more like I just gave up on that dream.
Now - here I am.
It's been over a year since Simply Nicollette was born.
It's been about 6 months since I relaunched Simply Nicollette.
This is my last dream.
It's simply really, I want to be there for the people who believe they are alone in their problems because they aren't. We all have problems, and we are all going through something whether it be big or small. I wanted needed to inspire others by sharing my own story, and my own struggles. I didn't want people to only see the good in my life. I wanted others to see my insecurities. I wanted people to see how much my flaws affect my everyday life. My imperfections make me who I am, and I wanted people to see that no one is perfect - we all have flaws. I wanted to talk about my real life.
I thought by doing all of this I would help others find their own voices.
The reason behind my book reviews, or when I talk about other things I like, is to give my own opinion and thoughts about it. We all see and feel different things - I can like a book whereas you can dislike it. We all have a voice though, and I think it's important to find that. If we find that voice then we can start embracing each other's differences, and we can learn together instead of calling each other names just because we disagree over something.
I think our differences make our world beautiful.
And -
If we find our own voice then we can be there for other people that need us, so all of us can feel less alone in our problems.

I don't know if my little blog is making a difference or not.
I can't say that I am succeeding, and I can't say that I'm failing in my dream either.
I can say that all my effort into this little dream of mine has been really scary.
I put so much of who I am into this little blog that I get scared of what people will think of me.
I can only hope that one day, this dream of mine will be accomplished.

When you have a dream you have to put your all into it, so it can become a reality.
And - that's what I have done.. Simply Nicollette is my heart.
I'm putting my all into this last dream of mine.
It's been scary.
It's been hard to not give up.
Some days I don't believe in myself.
It can be hard to believe in ourselves.
Sometimes we have these dreams, and we just don't know where to start.. but there has to be more to life than just feeling comfortable everyday, right? Don't we all deserve to wake up and feel amazing by doing things that make us happy? I believe that we do.
I believe in dreams.
I believe in you.
I believe in my own dream.
I hope you stick around to see if I fail or succeed.



This Moment is a weekly ritual of a single photo - no words - capturing a special moment from the week. These photos represent a moment that is dear to my heart, whether it be of someone or something I love.



Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.

There are a lot of books in our world - so many, many books. With there being so many books I don't think every book that deserves to be loved gets the chance because there are just so many great writers writing amazing books. So, I've created my own 'Book Spotlight' where I'll be sharing book reviews on books that I think readers need to give some love to.

I want to thank INscribe Digital for providing me with an early copy of Quanta via NetGalley.
This year I've been reading a lot of fantasy/sci-fi YA stories. I believe the books we read reflect who we are as a person at that time of our life - so I'm probably wishing I was extremely brave, confident, and maybe have some magic. I like books that have a strong heroine right now, and Quanta had exactly that - it was a thrilling, magical ride full of a surprisingly sweet blooming romance!

Goodreads Summary // Just because Quanta can see the future doesn't mean she can change it. She's spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she's finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.

The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.

Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They'll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she's seen how their love plays out?

Quanta is the second book of The Shadow Ravens series - the first book was written by Aileen Erin, Cipher. I haven't read the first book, I actually didn't know it was part of a series until I read some reviews before I began reading. I'm going to admit that there were some parts of the story that I didn't really understand, but by the end of the book I began to finally understand everything better. So, I would recommend reading the first book, but for me I still understood the world and enjoyed Quanta a lot.

The story is really unique.
This world is a lot different than any story I have personally read.
I thought it was really interesting how these characters looked. One of our characters, Altair, was from a 'catalogue' where his parents just picked how they wanted him to look from a magazine! They can just build their own children, from their DNA to their looks, to ensure they will succeed in life, so crazy! It makes you feel like they should be some sort of artificial intelligence, but they are completely human who have real feelings. It was interesting to learn about this whole world, and Lola Dodge did a fantastic job building this world for the readers to understand every surrounding.

The characters were just as unique.
There is Quanta - our main character, our heroine, who is a Red Helix with a power to see the future. Then we are introduced to Altair, who is our hero of the story, and he is from a whole different world than Quanta - but soon he will become mixed up with her and both their lives will forever be changed. I loved both of these characters equally, which never happens - there is usually one character I'm rooting for more than the other.
A romance starts to bloom between the two characters - BUT it's definitely not the kind of romance that is predictable because there is something that is keeping it from being completely real. I won't spoil it for you, but when you read it you'll understand. It's kind of bittersweet at the beginning, but it soon becomes so sweet where you'll easily fall in love with it. 

The romance was a big part of the story, which I don't mind because I love me some love, and I think Dodge did a good job writing it into the main plot because it helped develop each character. Which we really see these characters develop a lot throughout the story. Quanta is told in two POVs - I enjoyed this a lot because it helped us get to know each character and grow to root for them more.

This is the first book I have read written by Lola Dodge and I really enjoyed her writing. It was fantastic - especially without reading the first book, I thought she did a great job building this world and creating the characters, and making the readers feel these emotions the characters were feeling. It was draining and fantastic at the same time, trust me you'll understand when you read it.

Overall, I really liked Quanta.
There was a part of me that felt like something was missing, but I think I just wanted a bigger world which I feel confident that will be fulfilled in future books.
It was fun and exciting to read such a unique story with NO love triangle!
If you love sci-fi/fantasy YA stories with a little dystopian mixed in then you will love Quanta!

Quanta will be published tomorrow - October 13th.
Make sure you buy it and fall in love with this world and the characters inside!


4 out of 5 stars


Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.

Like most people, my mood is constantly changing.
I believe that trying to find a book to read is just like trying to figure out what TV show you're going to binge watch next. Sometimes we feel like crying, being scared, or falling in love.
During the weekends, I usually like to choose my next read by finding something easy going. It's usually a celebrity memoir or a coming-of-age story, and sometimes a romantic story. I like to keep my reading light on the weekends because I usually have so many other things going on.
If you're like me, then you are in luck - I've come up with a simply list for easy going reads you can enjoy this weekend! I've read all of these books this year, some of them are older and some are new - but each of them are perfect for the weekend!

- - -

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

"The truth is, it's hard to get people to like you, but it's even harder to keep people liking you."

Goodreads Summary // In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it's falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you're constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who's ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate too. And those who've never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

If you're a fan of Mindy Kaling, then you are bound to love everything about her second book. Mindy has this awesome way of being so honest, hilarious, and inspirational all at the same time - and all of that shines in this book! There is a little something for everyone to enjoy - from Mindy's dating life, career, and friendships. All of it is from the heart and truly inspired me. I remember why I aspire to be as great of a writer as Mindy.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

"Love is scary: it changes, it can go away. That's the part of the risk. I don't want to be scared anymore."

Goodreads Summary // To All the Boys I've Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This is the first book in a duo-logy and it's full of everything we love about Jenny Han's writing! It's fun, cute, and romantic. Oh, the romance in this story! While I was reading this I was brought back to my high school days of having a crush, and falling in love. I related a lot to Lara Jean - I think she has a little bit of all of us in her, especially as a teenager. A sweet story filled with love, family drama, and a lot of growing up.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

"Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it."

Goodreads Summary // My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black - black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

This is one of my favorite books that I've read this year. It was a great story, and the book is beautiful inside and out - Nicola Yoon's husband was the illustrator and there are a lot of cute drawings inside! There is a lot of meaning behind this story - that you can relate to as a parent or as a teenager, because you can see a part of yourself in this family. I wish there were another 50 pages to really explore the ending more, but it wasn't bad. This story has a special place in my heart, and if you read it I'm sure you'll feel the same.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

"There was just something about her dying that I had understood but not really understood, if you know what I mean. I mean, you can know someone is dying on an intellectual level, but emotionally it hasn't really hit you, and then when it does, that's when you feel like shit."

Goodreads Summary // Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia - cue extreme adolescent awkwardness - but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

This story is one of the best coming-of-age stories, in my opinion, right after Perks of Being a Wallflower. You know what makes this story so real? There is no romance, Greg and Rachel don't magically fall in love just because she's sick and he's being forced to hang out with her. Greg has a lot of issues, and Rachel is exactly what he needs in his life. It's just a great story about love without any of the romance - but real love we all have for others, such as our family and friends. A lot of people didn't enjoy the book as much as the movie - which I agree the movie was fantastic.. but I loved them both. The book has a certain kind of humor that some people don't find funny - it was hilarious to me though! A truly touching story.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

"I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they "want to do" and start asking them what they don't want to do."

Goodreads Summary // In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

I love Amy Poehler, and Leslie Knope will always have a special place in my heart. This book is hilarious, just like Amy, and surprisingly relatable. The way Amy talks about everything she has gone through - from raising her children, trying to write her book, and going through a divorce - you can find at least one thing to relate to in her book. I personally related to her raising her kids, and all her attempts at trying to write her book. If you love Amy then this book will make you love her more - you're left feeling like you honestly know her better.

- - -

What will you be reading this weekend?



Let me start off by letting you all know that I'm not writing this post looking for reassurance that I'm a good mother. I'm not writing this to attack anyone, because I'm talking about myself as well. My hopes are to open all of our eyes to how easily we judge each other and how easily it can hurt - especially when it's parents against parents.

So, this post is for all the people who have judged me without even knowing me.
Especially you.
A couple of weeks ago, you saw my family and complimented how beautiful my three children were. After getting a good look at our faces, I knew you immediately noticed how young we are - your mood completely shifted without you even noticing. You were selling a vacation getaway to Branson, Missouri - which you then assumed I had no idea where it was, just by the way you asked me. After telling you that I did know where Branson was, and how I've been there - you brightened. I decided to talk to you even after you clearly didn't think I was worthy of the time, and that's when you started to ask me more personal questions. How old I was, if we owned a home - nothing that had to do with what you were selling - and once you realized how young we really are, and how we rent not own a home.. You hurt me. Hurt me so much that I'm still thinking about your words to me.
This person was judging us by the way we looked and a basic conversation.
How did they come up with the fact that we probably didn't have any money to take our children on a vacation? How did she come up with the assumption that we would never visit this place with our kids? Just because I'm 25 and we rent our home?

A part of me realizes where all these assumptions led to that conclusion in their mind.
I was a hairstylist. I've cut a huge diverse of client's hair.
I'm just naturally a nice person, so I was nice to everyone who sat in my chair. One thing I taught myself as a hairstylist was to never judge anyone by the way they looked, or even the way they responded to your conversation. I never assumed if they had/didn't have money based on their dirty clothes or nice suit. This method worked well for me, because most of the people who only appeared to be standoffish ended up being friendly and tipping me a lot.. while the others who, on the outside, appeared to be worth the extra time on their hair for a big tip ended up tipping me $1. So, it doesn't matter how someone looks or how they converse with you. You can never know someone's story based on the basics. So why do we spend our time judging each other so easily?

Especially as parents..
The judging never stops - from social media to walking our kids to school.
We can never catch a break.

I make a lot of mistakes - I'm not perfect.
I might send my kid in shorts to school because I didn't check the weather on time.
I might pack my kids chips and ham for lunch all week because we ran out of fruit.
I'm still learning how to be a parent every day.. & learning how to be a parent is hard.
It doesn't matter if you are old or young. Last year, I wrote a post about the struggles I face as a young mother, and the response I got was mind blowing. My eyes were open to all the struggles parents face - whether they are young or old, whether they have one child or more, whether they were single or married. Writing that post taught me how different all of us are, too.
We are all so different as individuals, which makes us different when it comes to parenting our children. So, why does everyone expect us to parent our children the exact way?
Isn't the fact that we are so different the beauty of our world?
We need to learn and grow from each other.
Maybe the way your potty training technique isn't working for your child and your fed up, well guess what? There's so many other parents with different techniques in this world, that you are bound to find at least one person to help you out with a new method.

I hope one day we can all stop judging each other so much, even for myself.
When you see another parent having a hard time with their screaming child at a restaurant - don't roll your eyes, just give them a hopeful smile because I know we've all been there one way or another.
Let's stick together.
Our children can only gain from it, right?



This Moment is a weekly ritual of a single photo - no words - capturing a special moment from the week. These photos represent a moment that is dear to my heart, whether it be of someone or something I love.