Friday Reads #14: To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

Summary (from Goodreads): 

29939266Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother’s killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she’s secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it’s too late.

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s been a while since I picked up a good mystery and this one has definitely got me guessing. I also love the characters, which makes this book easy to read. The concept is very intriguing and I am probably going to have a hard time putting this one down today!

Book Beginning:

I soothe my forehead against the icy car window and breathe out a path of fog. If I squint one eye, the neon splashed across the rain-slicked street forms a wide, cruel mouth.

 

Friday 56:

He stares into my eyes, long and hard, a twisted scowl marring his face. The crowd, hungry for confrontation, closes in. I flinch as he brings up his fist and flings something right at me.

ARC Review: Treat Yourself! by Jessica Siskin

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I received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Treat Yourself!: How to Make 93 Ridiculously Fun No-Bake Crispy Rice Treats
Author: Jessica Siskin
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Stars: 5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): It all began with a giant cheeseburger-shaped rice crispy treat, created on a whim and posted online. Since then, Misterkrisp, aka food artist Jessica Siskin, has become an Instagram sensation with her joy-inducing, pop-culture-inspired treats.

Treat Yourself! is the perfect answer for any cook, crafty food lover, or creative parent looking to make crowd-pleasing and personalized treats for birthdays, holidays, school events, and virtually every other occasion. With no baking required, these playful, visually dazzling sweets are simple enough for anyone to whip up.

Each of the 93 projects, arranged from Apple to Zebra, starts with a single base recipe. There are large, cake-sized treats to share and individual-sized treats perfect for bake sales and goody bags. Step-by-step instructions, vibrant illustrations, and downloadable templates ensure that anyone, with any level of skill, can turn out delicious, eye-catching creations: Lively designs for kids’ parties—Robot, Dinosaur, Crown, Balloons. A Cheeseburger. A Statue of Liberty. A Dancing Lady Emoji. And a sweet centerpiece for your next Super Bowl bash: a Football Stadium filled with sprinkle spectators. It’ll serve the neighborhood!

Treats have never been so much fun or so doable.

Goodreads | Amazon

Having been a long time fan of Rice Krispie squares, I knew that I had to check this book out! There are literally close to 100 different ideas and designs in this book, and it will most likely inspire its readers to create their own treat projects as well. The instructions are relatively easy and the images are absolutely whimsical. Also, Jessica shares her story and how she came to be the iconic Misterkrisp in the introduction to the book, which is an interesting addition to a recipe book.

If you have already discovered Misterkrisp online, you will already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Treat Yourself! Siskin gives her readers a list of tools and tips on how to achieve the best results from her recipes, as well as a chart that breaks down the ratios of cereal, marshmallow, butter and food colouring each design will require. The book takes on the idea that this is arts and crafts more than cooking and gives the sense that there is no wrong way to create each design. The medium is forgivable and it is easy to correct a mistake with a simple fix.

As the synopsis indicates, Treat Yourself! is a great resource for anyone looking to come up with some interesting, crowd-pleasing treats. The designs range from easy to advanced, with one of the more difficult recipes being a recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night! I am not sure if I have the ability to make that one turn out as well as the one in the book, but I think it is something that would be a lot of fun trying to create.

wkendcooking

 

 

I have linked this post to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

Waiting on Wednesday #111: The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

34091699Title: The Victoria in My Head
Author: Janelle Milanes
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists.

But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.

From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

This book just sounds adorable! I love that it has a musical theme and a character that doesn’t fit the description of your typical rock star. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Friday Reads #13: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

Summary (from Goodreads): 

34754118All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming.  She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics.  It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team, and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed.  And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

No one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year.  First up? Making out with a guy.  And Levi could be the perfect candidate.  After all, they already spend a lot of time together.  But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?

Goodreads | Amazon

I am not too far into this one yet, but I have always enjoyed Miranda Kenneally’s books, so I have high hopes for this one. It is definitely a perfect book for summer with its pool/swimming theme. Summer and contemporaries go hand-in-hand, don’t you think?

Book Beginning:

Wake up at 4:15 a.m.

Swim
Eat Breakfast
Shower
Second Breakfast
School
Snack between classes
Lunch
More Class
Swim
Swim
Swim some more
Snack
Eat dinner
Homework
Sleep
Dream about swimming (and eating). When I’m not in the pool, I’m counting the minutes until I can dive back in, so most of the time my bushy, light-brown hair is wet and reeks of chlorine.

Friday 56:

I was pretty jealous when he talked to that other girl earlier, but if I tell him that, it could make things awkward between us, and that’s the last thing I need. I want us to stay normal.

ARC Review: Essential Oils by Neal’s Yard Remedies

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Essential Oils
Author: Claire Cross (editor)
Publisher: DK
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): An introductory guide to essential oils and aromatherapy from the experts at Neal’s Yard Remedies, a trusted source for natural health and beauty products.

Introduce yourself to the world of Essential Oils for treating maladies and improving mental and physical well-being. Featuring comprehensive profiles of 88 essential oils, all-natural remedies for common ailments, aromatic recipes for home and beauty, and helpful guidance for blending, storing, and using essential oils, this introductory guide is packed with authoritative information from the experts at Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Whether you seek natural alternatives to conventional medicines or want to eliminate synthetically produced chemicals from your home and beauty products, simple visual instructions and gorgeous full-color photographs make it easy. An illustrated A to Z reference section helps you identify the most useful oils, while information on application methods, tips on massage techniques, guidance on creating custom blends, and up-to-date safety recommendations help you learn how to use them for maximum benefit.

Essential Oils can help you improve your overall well-being and start you on the path to a more natural you.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have just recently become aware of the benefits of using essential oils, and while I probably will never use them exclusively to treat my own ailments, there are some interesting ideas and tips in Essential Oils. This book really is a great resource for anyone wanting to understand natural medicine and the different ways that essential oils are used. There are tips for your home, health, beauty, and a very descriptive guide about each plant and oil used in these techniques.

If you are like me and have a super sense of smell, the directions for how to make a diffuser or room spray may be of use to you. It does seem like a healthier alternative to use an essential oil to alter the scent of a room. I love a subtle floral aroma in a room and I am going to give the room spray recipe a try. It is a simple mix of vodka, mineral oil, and an essential oil. Seems fairly simple and might just be my new go-to for a quick room deodorizer.

As with most DK books, the book is packed with all sorts of information and really delves deep into the history and science behind using the oils as a benefit to your mind, body, and soul. Each plant and its oil is discussed in depth and if you are at all curious about what a simple lavender oil can do, you will be very surprised.

The section that appeals to me the most in the book is the beauty section. I have just started trying to make my own bath products to save money, and as a hobby. There are a few recipes for making bath bombs and melts that are simple and relatively inexpensive to make. If those amazing store-bought bath bombs are your thing, you may want to check this book out because I was really surprised to discover the simple ingredients in making them. Baking soda, citric acid and essential oils are really all that is required.

This is a perfect guide for anyone interested in learning about essential oils and how they can be used. The book is easy to follow and you will come away with a wealth of information on this hot trend that has been around for centuries. I look forward to trying  a few of them out myself.

 

Waiting on Wednesday #110: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

33275690Title: Foolish Hearts
Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: December 26, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

Foolish Hearts looks like just my kind of book. I am always up for an acting story, and I love a good rivalry. The Shakespearian aspects also intrigue me, and I am eager to see how this will work out. This will probably be my first book by Emma Mills, although I have had her other two books on my TBR for a while now.

ARC Review: Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories by Fany Gerson

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories
Author: Fany Gerson
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): A collection of 60+ flavor-packed recipes for ice creams and frozen treats rooted in Mexico’s rich and revered ice cream traditions.
This new offering from the incredibly popular baker and sweets maker Fany Gerson, the powerhouse behind Brooklyn’s La Newyorkina and Dough, showcases the incredibly diverse flavors of Mexican ice cream while exploring the cultural aspects of preparing and consuming ice cream in Mexico. Gerson uses unique ingredients to create exciting and fresh flavors like Red Prickly Pear Ice Cream,
Oaxacan-style Lime Sorbet, Avocado-Chocolate Ice Cream, and Rice-Almond Ice Cream with Cinnamon. All recipes are created with the home cook in mind, and written in Fany’s knowledgeable but accessible voice. Mexican Ice Cream features vibrant location photography and captures the authentic Mexican heladerias that Gerson has been visiting for decades. For anyone looking to up their summer ice cream game, this is the book.

Goodreads | Amazon

If that cover doesn’t grab your attention and get you excited for summer and the days of licking endless ice cream cones, the contents of Mexican Ice Cream surely will. When I first saw this book I was intrigued by the concept that there is such a thing as Mexican ice cream. After reading the stories, lusting over the images, and creating my own taste of heaven, I am excited to try more of these interesting recipes.

I have never been to Mexico, or New York for that matter, so this whole new world of flavours really took me by surprise. The author, Fany Gerson, is the owner of La Newyorkina, a little ice cream shop in New York that sells all sorts of Mexican treats and ice cream. This second book that she has written not only contains many different recipes for creating gelato, sorbets and ice cream, it is prefaced with some historical information on how ice cream in Mexico all began. Gerson also tells of her own inspiration in setting up her shop, making this book more than just a book of recipes.

 

gelato

 

I don’t actually own a fancy ice cream maker, mine is a hobby shop special that you have to shake to create your ice cream. Without the aid of an easier method, I did try creating the Lime Gelato with Chia Seeds recipe and it turned out quite well. The fresh lime zest gives it so much flavour and the chia seeds make for a really interesting texture.

 

If you are a fan of summer treats and ice cream, I highly suggest checking out Mexican Ice Cream. The images are beautiful and you will come away with some interesting facts about this traditional Mexican food. After I give my arms a rest, I am going to give the Spicy Watermelon Sorbet a try!

wkendcooking

I have linked this post to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

Friday Reads #12: Amish Guys Don’t Call by Debby Dodds

Friday Reads

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

35276607Summary (from Goodreads): Samantha is already facing scrutiny and anxiety at the start of her junior year, as she’s finally been accepted into the popular girls’ clique called “The Sherpas.” But when she realizes that her new boyfriend Zach was raised Amish, Sam must tackle a whole new set of challenges. Zach has chosen not to end his Rumspringa, instigating a potential shunning from his family. Not only that, but Sam’s new friends can’t miss this opportunity to tease and torment her.

Sam has never really come to terms with her parents’ divorce, so when her world crashes down on her in the form of cyberbullying and Zach’s apparent return to the Amish community, she reverts to old, illegal habits. Does Sam even want friends like these? And, will her cross-cultural love with Zach find a way?

Goodreads | Amazon

There is something about the Amish way of life that is so intriguing to me. I have often wondered what it would be like to give up modern conveniences, although I don’t think that I would survive without my phone! This book has such a unique concept and I am learning so many things about the culture. I have yet to reach the part that deals with cyberbullying and I am curious as to how this will play out.

Book Beginning:

It wasn’t like we’d seen them pull up in a horse and buggy or anything, but their Amish-ness was unmistakeable.

Friday 56:

“Denying technology instead of using it wisely just seems lobbich, um, that means silly.”

“I love learning Pennsylvania Dutch words and expressions,” I told him, leaning into him again, even closer, if that was possible.

Waiting on Wednesday #109: Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s book:

34272550Title: Piper
Authors: Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: October 31, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): #1 New York Times bestselling author Jay Asher and co-author Jessica Freeburg brilliantly reimagine the classic Pied Piper legend as a powerful graphic novel about loneliness, love, and vengeance. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Through the Woods by Emily Carroll will devour this eerie, atmospheric retelling.

Long ago, in a small village in the middle of a deep, dark forest, there lived a lonely, deaf girl named Maggie. Shunned by her village because of her disability, her only comfort comes from her vivid imagination. Maggie has a gift for inventing stories and dreams of one day finding her fairy-tale love.

When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side.

The boy of Maggie’s dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare…

With striking illustrations from Eisner-nominated artist Jeff Stokely, Piper is an exciting new departure for Jay Asher that deftly touches on the same themes of truth, guilt, and redemption that made Thirteen Reasons Why a beloved bestseller.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

I am so excited for this Pied Piper retelling! I love Jay Asher’s books, and I have very high hopes for this one. I am interested in Piper’s secret dark side and the mystery that I’m sure will surround his character. This is also a graphic novel, which I don’t read too often, so this is a bit out of my comfort zone in terms of style. I can’t wait for this book to come out this fall, and I’m sure that I will be impressed.

Friday Reads #11: The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

Friday

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share the first sentence (or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

32875348Summary (from Goodreads): Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I have just started this one, but I am loving how positive it is! It tells the story of a group of heroes who team up to do good deeds. I can already tell that I am going to enjoy this book. I can’t wait to keep reading and see who The Unlikelies save next!

Book Beginning:

A few minutes after the incident, I noticed a tuft of dune grass stuck to a discarded strawberry crate.

Friday 56:

We tried to agree on a movie. But that never happened. So we went back to troll-slamming. It was addicting.