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Friday, July 20, 2018

Siriously Delicious

 
Siriously Delicious: 100 Nutritious (and Not So Nutritious) Simple Recipes for the Real Home Cook is such a cute little cookbook!!

I have a newfound love for baking and Siri Daly did not disappoint with her fantastic sweet treats. Of course there is more to the cookbook than that, she breaks it down into six categories, Wakey Wakey! (breakfast), Halftime (lunch), It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (mixed drinks), Time for Dinner (dinner), Sidekicks (side dishes), and Sweet Treats (my fav).

What amazed me is most of these things are super simple to make!
She also includes helpful cooking tips like what to add if your caramel sauce is too stiff and alternatives if you're missing things!

I would highly recommend this cookbook!

Here's a few recipes I am looking forward to trying!!
Browned Butter Caramelized Banana Bread
BBQ Chicken Nacho Bites
Quick Chicken Masala
Sneaky One-Pot Mexican Pasta 
Chocolate Chip- Peanut Butter- Banana Cookies
Homemade Samoas
Homemade Tagalongs
Lemon Bars

I'll update once I try all of them out and let you know how delicious they are!

Huge thanks to NetGalley for providing me an e-copy of Siriously Delicious, in stores now!!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Side by Side

Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
The story of Bonnie and Clyde is has fascinated people for decades, which really isn't all that surprising. Their story is one of fiction, one that people never dreamed could happen, one that Bonnie Parker never dreamed of living. But she did, she stuck by Clyde knowing the only thing he could bring her was a life on the run, a life spent hiding. But she wouldn't change it for the world.
In the first book, Becoming Bonnie, we learn who Bonnie was, what made her choose a life with Clyde Champion Barrow, a small time farm boy with a record. Her best friend, Blanche, married into the Barrow gang soon after convincing Bonnie to work at a speakeasy with her. Prohibition was in full swing and Bonnie needed a little extra cash so why not? Thus beginning her life of crime and meeting her one true love.

Side by Side picks up with Bonnie typing pardon letters to try to get Clyde out of prison for good. She can't stand him being locked up and needs him back in her arms. Little does she know he's got a trick up his sleeve. In an attempt to get out early, Clyde has another inmate chop off two of his toes. Of course that's after he's already been branded with a new charge, murder. Clyde went in a petty thief and came out a hardened criminal. Going home wasn't an option for him, there were too many people casting doubt in his direction, if he wanted to start over it had to be somewhere else. A farm maybe, with Bonnie by his side. But the only way to get the money for a farm is robbin' here and there, nothing major.... until they decide to hit a bank. 
From there the story of Bonnie and Clyde takes flight.
There's no turning back, they're wanted now.
Dead of alive.
Huge thank you to NetGalley for an arc and an even bigger thank you to author Jenni L. Walsh for a signed bookplate! 
Looking for the first book?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Sin Such as This

YAY ELLEN HOPKINS HAS A NEW BOOK! 
Not only is it the sequel to Love Lies Beneath, but I managed to win a signed copy!

Okay, enough about me. You wanna hear about the book.

I wasn't totally prepared for A Sin Such as This mainly because I couldn't remember being thrilled by the first one. But once I got started, I couldn't put it down!
So we pick back up with Tara and Cavin coming back to the real world after having the time of their lives on their honeymoon. But the real world has so much drama; work, stepchildren, family, friends, maybe even a stalker. But Tara doesn't let that rock her world. She's still knows how to turn on the charm and get her way. But will that work on her husband? It's barely been three months and she already feels married to a man she hardly knows. Not to mention her niece, Kayla, is dating her stepson, who TOTALLY has the hots for her Tara, Sophie, and God knows who else. No one in their right mind wants teenagers in their home that aren't even their responsibility, but Tara still expects them to respect her. It's just drama on drama on dramaaaaaa in their house. Especially when Melody comes to visit. It's no secret that Tara and her sister, Mel, aren't the closest but maybe that could change when Mel starts letting her hair down. Sure, she has no control over her kids, and her marriage is crumbling, but please sleep with that stranger the day before burying your mom.

Honestly, I hope that I'm not this petty or secretive in my 40's (I know it's 20 years from now but ya know whatevs). There was so much drama but honestly, the drama is what makes the book. The ending kind of had me squirming because Tara is such an eccentric character that I'm not quite sure how to respond to; it's almost like I love to hate her. 

Anyway, get the book!

Looking for more books by Ellen Hopkins?

Anthologies:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shattered

Maxine Revere is her name.
Cold cases are her game.
But this time.....
She has a federal agent on her side.
 
In this dynamic crossover novel, we see Max and Lucy Kincaid working their hardest to find a killer they know is still out there. They both have personal stakes in this collection of cold cases. These cases came across Maxine's desk when longtime friend John, called for help clearing his wife's name. She couldn't possibly have killed their son. The proof? 3 other cold cases where a young boy was killed in a similar manner. One of those boys was Lucy's nephew and best friend. 
Justin was killed when the two of them were seven and a half years old. This monster took her nephew, ruined a marriage, and confused the family for almost 20 years.... until now.
 
Fair warning because I'm about to post spoilers.
You guys all know, I love the Maxine Revere stories and have since the first one randomly showed up on my doorstep. However, this one was incredibly predictable. I quickly learned from other reviews that it wasn't near as predictable to them as it was to me. It was obvious, to me, from the first mention of no sexual assault during the kidnapping and murder that the person of interest would be a woman who also lost a little boy. The second they mentioned drugs in the system, it was even more obvious that it was a woman. Then they say he was buried with his favorite stuffed animal and my mind was screaming LOOK FOR A FREAKING WOMAN.
 
So while others found this suspenseful and a shocking twist, I knew.
I've done extensive research in infanticide and mothers who kill their children.
I also have degrees in Criminal Justice AND Psychology.
But I am by no means discrediting Allison Brennan because this book was still absolutely fantastic and the amount of research she must have put into this book is astounding. 

Looking for the rest of the series?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Secret Keeper

The fabulous Jane Alvey Harris has written a PHENOMENAL addition to the My Myth Trilogy!
In book one, Riven, we meet Emily, her family, her friends, and all those in the Third Realm. We see her struggle with a variety of issues that ultimately land her in a rehab/psych ward.
 
 But in Secret Keeper.. oh man, Emily grows.
Reading her story as it unfolds and hearing all the things she's learning about herself is actually incredibly hard for me to explain. Jane does such an amazing job of portraying a real character with real flaws, who is going through something that happens far more often than it should. Emily is relatable, not because we've gone through the same experiences, but because she's feeling emotions that we all feel.

On another note, this book deals with a wide variety of mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and victimization; not to mention the stigma that comes with each of those struggles. But each aspect of these illnesses are so perfectly described for the given situations. As a psych major, I can definitely tell the amount of research and knowledge put into this book and I'm so beyond grateful that Jane sent me a copy!
 
I loved Riven. 
I loved Secret Keeper.
And I'm bound to love Primed as well. 

I hope all of you will pick up these fantastic reads!

Looking for the My Myth Trilogy?

Want to know more about Jane?
 
Make sure to check out my giveaway for both Riven AND Secret Keeper on my bookstagram page (@a_readers_diary)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Glass Forest

So I was lucky enough to win a contest through PageHabit (in January/February, whoops).
I chose the mystery box which included The Glass Forest!
 
The story begins with the suicide and disappearance of Ruby's parents. When her Uncle Paul gets the news that his brother is dead and his niece is now an orphan, he knows he has to drop everything and go help her. So he packs up his wife and kid and treks from Wisconsin to New York at the drop of a hat. Paul's wife, Angie, isn't much older than Ruby herself. But she knows that Ruby needs a mother and she's more than prepared to step into that role. 
 
The book is told through a variety a viewpoints: Ruby, Angie, and my favorite, Silja. Silja is Ruby's missing mothers but what I find most interesting about her perspective is that it's told over the course of 16+ years. The alternating views and time frames really help shape the story. With all the information given by these women, it's not hard to see where the story is going. I caught on fairly early on in the book, but there were a few twists that I wasn't expecting. 
I fear that if I keep writing, I may start giving things away.
But overall this was a fairly decent read that I'd definitely recommend to my friends! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Fates Divide

Okay, it took me W A Y too long to read this book.

My review for Carve the Mark was mostly opinion. Actually, I don't think I even gave you guys a plot, just what the planets were called and the main gist of the premise. So I kind of think I'm going to write another review like that for The Fates Divide.

It's not that I don't love being in this little galaxy that Veronica Roth has created, because I absolutely love it and she definitely develops the planets even more in this book. It's just not a series I would sit down and devour. I mean, it is only a duology and I think that's good for this type of book. However, I wish that the soujourn was the basis of the books instead of the currentgifts. Sure the currentgifts are super interesting and when you tie them in with the fated families, it makes for some interesting reading. But I think the soujourn would be more interesting. We'd get to see the main characters visiting all the planets and finding a way to combine or trade resources (kind of like in Divergent where each faction is responsible for one aspect). 

Now that being said, there's not near as much action in this book as there was in the first, BUT the scenes with action are written so much better. Not to mention character development!! Oh boy, in Carve the Mark we only got to read from Cyra and Akos point of view, whereas in The Fates Divide we get to read from Cyra, Akos, Cisi, A N D Eijah! The dynamic of switching from each character made the story so well rounded and honestly may be the only reason I kept reading. 

All in all, this book wasn't great but it also wasn't terrible.
If you made it through the first one, you'll like this one better.

Looking for the rest of the series?

Looking for other books by Veronica Roth?
Divergent Series: