Waiting on Wednesday #103: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

img_3437.jpg

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:

32051720Title: Wicked Like a Wildfire
Author: Lana Popović
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): “Lush. Delicious. Bewildering. And darkly magical. Popovic has created a world that you tumble into from the very first words and wish you could stay in forever.” —Evelyn Skye, author of The Crown’s Game

“Wicked Like a Wildfire was like devouring a succulent fairy fruit—it will rob your time, settle into your dreams, and leave you starving for more.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Timesbestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic’s debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

When I first heard of this book, I was immediately intrigued. I love the idea of being able to manipulate beauty, and I can tell that the curse is going to add a lot of drama. Another aspect of Wicked Like a Wildfire that I adore is the sisters. Bonds between sisters is one of my favourite things to see in a book, so I can already tell that I am going to enjoy this one.

Friday Reads #5: Textrovert by Lindsey Summers

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:

30960329Summary (from Goodreads): It’s bad enough when high-school senior Keeley grabs the wrong phone while leaving her small town’s end-of-summer fair. It’s even worse when she discovers that the phone she now has belongs to the obnoxious, self-centered Talon and that he’s just left for football camp … with her phone. Reluctantly, the two agree to forward messages for a week. And as Keeley gets to know Talon, she starts to like him. Keeley learns there’s more to Talon than the egocentric jock most people see. There’s more to Keeley, too. Texting Talon, she can step out of the shadow of her popular twin brother. Texting Talon, she can be the person she’s always wanted to be.
Sparks fly when the two finally meet to exchange their phones. But while Keeley has been playing a part online, Talon has been keeping a secret. He has a different connection to Keeley — one that has nothing to do with phones, and one that will make their new relationship all but impossible. Knowing what she now knows, can Keeley trust him? And can love in the present erase mistakes of the past?

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I am enjoying this book so far. The concept of two people who meet by picking up the wrong phones is really intriguing, and I am interested to see how Keeley and Talon’s relationship will play out. This is a pretty short and quick book, so I will probably have it finished pretty soon.

Book Beginning:

Fate had a twisted sense of humour. Either that or it hated her, because there was no way she should have been paired with a twin like this.

Friday 56:

“Never mind,” she said when the silence grew awkward.

“No, it’s okay. I had to think about it for a second.”

“I was just curious,” she rushed to explain.

“I just … I guess I’ve never thought of it before.”

“Because you can’t imagine falling in love?” The question popped out of nowhere.

“No, because I can’t imagine a girl turning me down.”

 

ARC Review: Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades by Steven Raichlen

31572195

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

Title: Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades–Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too
Author: Steven Raichlen
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Stars: 5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Barbecue sauces, rubs, and marinades are every griller’s secret weapon—the flavor boosters that give grilled food its character, personality, depth, and soul.

Steven Raichlen, America’s “master griller” (Esquire), has completely updated and revised his bestselling encyclopedia of chile-fired rubs, lemony marinades, buttery bastes, pack-a-wallop sauces, plus mops, slathers, sambals, and chutneys. It’s a cornucopia of all the latest flavor trends, drawing from irresistible Thai, Mexican, Indian, Cajun, Jamaican, Italian, and French cuisines, as well as those building blocks from America’s own barbecue belt.

There are over 200 recipes in all, including a full sampler of dinner recipes using the sauces. And the book now has full-color photographs throughout. It’s the essential companion cookbook for every at-home pitmaster looking to up his or her game.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

I have always enjoyed grilling season, and while I am not the one typically doing the grilling, I thought that this collection of recipes would give me some inspiration. There are so many different types of marinades and rubs in this book that it is actually mind-boggling! If you are in the market for some barbecue ideas or tips, this is the recipe book that has it all.

Grilling season has just barely begun and I cannot wait to try out some of these interesting recipes in Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades. Raichlen has written this book to give help to those who are new to barbecuing and there are so many ideas and how-tos alongside the directions. Important concepts, such as how not to cross-contaminate foods are addressed, yet those more experienced cooks will enjoy the interesting variety of recipes.

pineapple

Desserts are not something I would associate with my grill, however my eyes have been opened to new possibilities! I tried the grilled pineapple rub and found it not only tasty, it was simple and easy to put together with just a few ingredients, such as sugar and cinnamon. I really enjoy the simplicity of these recipes and they take ordinary foods and kick them up a notch with an easy to assemble rub or marinade.

chicken

Another recipe that I tried was Raichlen’s, “The Only Marinade You’ll Ever Need.” Well, this simple and zesty Mediterranean marinade is very versatile and can be used for so many different meats. It is essentially an oil and lemon juice mixture that has some added spice to it. I used this recipe to marinade some chicken pieces and it made my chicken flavourful and moist. This is definitely a recipe that I will be coming back to over and over again.

Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades is pretty much your one stop shop for any grilling recipe out there. Along with its tips and ideas for how to handle food, this book makes a great addition to any collection. I am going to be gifting this cookbook to a few grillers on my list this year, for sure!

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

Waiting on Wednesday #102: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

img_3437.jpg

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:

29935867Title: Midnight Jewel
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

I am so excited that we’re getting a sequel to The Glittering Court! I absolutely loved the first book and I am thrilled that this book focuses on a different character. The world of The Glittering Court is so mysterious and intriguing, and I can’t wait to get back into it. I hope that this sequel will be incredible as the first book!

Friday Reads #4: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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 eReader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

32934117Summary (from Goodreads): A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am absolutely loving this book so far! Dimple is so sassy and skilled, and I would totally want to be her friend in real life. The coding and technological aspects of this book are so interesting to me, since I haven’t seen too much of this in books. I am so excited to keep reading, since I have very high hopes for this story!

Book Beginnings

Dimple couldn’t stop smiling. It was like two invisible puppeteers, standing stage left and stage right, were yanking on strings to life up the corners of her mouth.

Friday 56:

“Okay,” Max said. “Now, for the part you’re all waiting for. The grand prize for this year’s Insomnia Con.” He paused, and the entire lecture hall held its breath. “Jenny Lindt will consider partnering with the winning team to make their app market ready and fund the advertising. Your app could go out into the world with the power of Meeting Space, Inc. behind it. Let that sink in.”

Waiting on Wednesday #101: Because You Love to Hate Me by Various Authors

img_3437.jpg

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:

31450752Title: Because You Love to Hate Me
Authors: Various
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Summary (form Goodreads): Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts: 

This anthology looks so different from anything I’ve ever seen before! It is so interesting how 13 authors and 13 BookTubers teamed up to create a collection of short stories about villains. Some of my favourite authors have contributed to this book, and I am excited to see what’s in store. Fractured fairy tales are among my favourite topics in YA, so I am sure that I will love this book. I can’t wait until the summer to have this is my hands.

Friday Reads #3: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

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 eReader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.

This week’s book:

29523625Summary (from Goodreads): From Katie Cotugno, bestselling author of 99 Days, comes Fireworks—about a girl who is competing with her best friend to become the new pop star of the moment—and all the drama and romance that comes with it—set in Orlando during the late-’90s boy-and-girl-band craze.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She was the talented one, the one who had been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, was the level-headed one, always on the sidelines, cheering her best friend along.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, New York Times bestselling author Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am so glad that I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book! I love Katie Cotugno’s writing and the musical aspects of this book. I’m not that far into it, but I am already loving the intense competition!

Book Beginning:

Jonah Royce threw a rager in the field behind his stepdad’s house the night after high school graduation, which is why Olivia and I were both so unbelievably hungover on the afternoon everything changed.

Page 56:

Once warm-ups were finished, Lucas handed us all binders full of lyrics for the songs we’d be learning over the next couple of weeks, ran quickly through each of our individual parts, then jumped right into the intro of a purring ballad called “Only for You.” I gave it my best effort, but it didn’t take more than a few minutes before it was clear to everyone, me especially, that I was, by far, the worst singer in Daisy Chain.

Waiting on Wednesday #100: Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender by Lisa Greenwald

img_3437.jpg

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:

32671352Title: Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender
Author: Lisa Greenwald
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): When Mia’s summer starts with an epic breakup, she’s sure the rest of the vacation will be miserable. But her best friend, Justine, would never let that happen. Their plan has two parts. One: use their summer job driving a snow cone truck to keep tabs on Mia s ex in person. Two: create a fake persona to connect with Mia’s ex online.

Soon both plans have morphed into something so much bigger. Add some kale to a snow cone and they’ve got the hottest smoothie in town . . . and more money than they could have imagined. And when Mia’s ex starts falling for the online girl, there’s a revenge plot just waiting to be born. A guy who dumps a girl because he thinks her thighs are too thick deserves to have his heart broken by a fake girlfriend, right? All’s fair in love and smoothies. . . .

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

Thoughts:

This book sounds like such a fun read! I have always loved revenge books, and the main character getting back at her ex is sure to be entertaining. I also love the idea of the characters working in a snow cone truck. I have never seen this before in a book, and I am excited to see how it will play out. Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender looks like such a perfect book for the summer, and I can’t wait to pick it up!

ARC Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

25893758

Title: A Year of Picnics
Author: Ashley English
Publisher: Roost Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Everyone loves picnicking—dining in the great outdoors, cozied up on blankets, and surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. Now imagine doing it year-round, where the setting speaks to the foods served, and you’ve got A Year of Picnics!

All it takes is a picnic blanket and some inspiration to take a meal from so-so to sensational. Pair the perfect location with the right foods, and you can take your picnicking to the next level. On mountaintops or rooftops, in nocturnal settings or in daylight, even in winter, this book invites readers to look at picnics in a whole new way. The twenty themed, seasonal picnics are made all the more special with activities, games, and crafts that encourage people to explore the outdoors and connect to one another—over food, perhaps on a blanket, in a special place. Grab a blanket and a basket, get outside, and start experiencing the joy that picnicking provides.

Goodreads | Amazon

If you are looking for a recipe book that is a little bit different from your typical book of tips and recipes, A Year of Picnics by Ashley English is sure to provide you with some inspiration. Not only are there themed picnics based on the four seasons, there are activities and ideas that revolve around the theme of each picnic. This book is full of fun ways to take your standard picnic and transform it into an event with its beautiful photographs and interesting approach.

As you can imagine, the most opportune time to venture out on a picnic is during the warmer months and when the weather is just right. The themed picnics included in this collection range from a coffee break picnic to a full on high altitude picnic. I am really looking forward to trying some of these ideas once it becomes a little bit warmer outside. I have already got the bird-watching picnic penciled in my daytimer, as the Carbonara Nests and Bird Seed Cookie recipes look divine and I just love the fact that they fit the whole idea of being outside with the birds.

bubbles

Each of the picnics contains a collection of activities to go along with the menu and the venue. Some picnics have things that the whole family can do and others are as simple as stretching on your coffee break. There is something that will interest anyone.

picnicSince we are just barely past winter here in Southern Ontario, I was only able to give the Winter Picnic a try. My family really enjoyed our wintry walk and we had a blast blowing bubbles and spraying the snow with food colouring to make interesting designs in the snow. The S’mores Brownies were an instant hit, as they are chocolate brownies baked on a graham cracker crust and topped with lots of gooey marshmallows.

For anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors and loves to picnic, this is a must-have in your collection. While it is fun to go picnicking, it is even more fun when you add some interesting foods and different ideas to kick it up a notch. I am definitely inspired to get out and picnic more often this year.

wkendcooking

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

Waiting on Wednesday #99: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

img_3437.jpg

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:

30285562.jpgTitle: Lucky in Love
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads): In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Goodreads | Amazon

Thoughts:

I am a new Kasie West fan. I read my first Kasie West novel last summer, P.S. I Like You, and I loved it so much that I have this author on my auto-buy list. This new contemporary has me squealing with excitement! The concept is so much fun and the whole part about working at a zoo sounds really intriguing. I know that I will be reading this one as soon as I can get my hands on it!