The Belles Review

the bellesfour stars

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Buy Now on Indiebound

The cover of The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton is Barbie Dreamhouse pink, with sparkles and roses adorning the cover. Inside is a map of the fictional island setting, beautifully detailed in hot pink and white. On the front of the cover is a beautiful girl (although her eyebrows are a little scary) in fancy dress with a sultry expression. Okay, so I can’t say I’m a fan of the girl’s look on the cover, but, overall, I believe that this cover perfectly reflects the tone of the novel. It’s ornate, and so, so pink, enough to make me slightly uncomfortable picking up the book.the belles border 2.png Yet this was one of the factors that drew me to the novel, the sheer audacity of all that hot pink in anything but a middle grade novel about popularity and hot crushes. Yet, in a YA that professed to be about the dark side of beauty, the cover, and its choice to be so glaringly, overwhelmingly pink and flowery felt almost like a dare.the belles border 3.png

So I gave The Belles a read. And kept reading. I finished this book in less than a day, all 434 pages. It was flowery. It was ornate. And it was dark.

 

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For the full review, click here

Bridge of the Gods Guest Review

I received this book from the author. This is my honest review. Thank you to the author for letting read your work!
I am huge Percy Jackson fan. To be honest, I have not read the books, only watched the movies. When I was given the chance to read and review Bridge of The Gods, I was excited. The book blurb lead me to believe it would be similar to Percy Jackson. The only thing in common was the use of Greek mythology.
Bridge of the Gods (Generation Son Chronicle)

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

Luthor McAlester is a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father died when he was a child. Leaving him to become man of the house, living with his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now. He is unsure what to do with it in the absence of this father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. Can Luther figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask with just the help of his best friend? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than young Luthor can handle?





My Review:


*The Bridge of The Gods* was an awesome read. The author loosely uses Greek mythology to tell a wonderful coming of age story. Our MC, Luther, has no idea that he has special abilities until he turns 18. Then, he is approached by Zeus to help the major and minor gods. They face devastation if Luther can’t help them.

The story is a fun. Luther and his best friend run into all kinds of danger and meet lots of cool gods along the way. My favorite is Apollo. He tries hard to be smooth with the ladies but dead down inside he is a sweetheart.

There are a few twists to the story but it ends well. I can’t tell you more than that without revealing any spoilers. 😀

Tank and I give this a 3 paw rating.
🐾🐾🐾

 

I enjoyed it but it didn’t keep me up at night reading it.

 

Read more reviews like this one here: https://girlwithagoodbookandherdog.blogspot.com/

Bury What We Cannot Take Guest Review

35433674Bury What We Cannot Take
by Kirstin Chen

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published on: March 20th 2018 by Little A

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

**I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Great cover, great synopsis, awesome title. So why not read it?

In Other Lands Review

in other lands

blue ribbonfive stars

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Buy Now from Indiebound

 

            In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan is probably my favorite book I’ve read this year. So if you plan on reading just one of the books I’ve recommended this year, read this.

First I have to give a disclaimer. I was not intrigued by the plot summary. A boy discovers that he can see the Borderlands, a place where humans and mythical creatures live side by side. Yawn. Read it before. However here is what I didn’t factor in to the book, that I wouldn’t give a shit about the plot. That’s right. Sarah Rees Brennan has created a book where the characters are so amazing, hilarious, and wonderful that the plot could literally be about a sparkly vampire named Tedward Mullen for all I care.

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Okay, where to start. Well, first there is Elliot, the main character. Unlike many novels, the main character is the best character. He is a freaking hilarious idiot genius with an IQ of about 180 and an EQ (Emotional intelligence) of about 60. Optimistically. He doesn’t play mind games, or use tactful diplomacy to get what he wants (until he learns to properly flirt with the elves), he just says what he thinks, and that’s that. So why is everyone mad at him all the time?

Elliot breaks stereotypes, and he breaks them with a bang.

To read the full review, click here

Guest Review of Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

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Black Bird of the Gallows
Black Bird of the Gallows #1
by Meg Kassel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: YA Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Pages: 300
Add it on Goodreads
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece – and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death. 

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I was really surprised that, in a book centering around death and this horrible catastrophe that’s going to hit Angie’s town, it was still a love story. Right away, you see that Reece doesn’t know what disaster is coming and he says flat out that he can’t stop it. He’s just there to feed off the death, honestly. Sounds bad. So you come to terms with the fact that part of the book is going to be about this horrible tragedy. How is Angie going to survive it? Is her family going to survive? What’s coming?

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The funny thing is, that’s not really what I focused on.

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I saw the budding love story. You wouldn’t think it would be possible but Reece is actually a decent . . . what do I call him? Semi-human? Used to be human turned harbinger? I loved the snarky attitudes between them and the clashing at the beginning. That always makes for an interesting love story. It’s not like she swoons and falls madly in love with him right away. Believable.

I also liked Angie’s strength. She’s been through hell and back with her mom and the drugs. But she’s not shriveled up in the corner, unable to cope with her life. When you see her in the beginning, she actually seems pretty happy. She’s got a good life with a dad that loves her and dotes on her.

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I was surprised by the ending, as well. I didn’t think there was a way for the author to spin this book so that you didn’t close it going “what just happened?” Everything wrapped up in a way that I could be okay with. It was actually a really good ending.

Meg Kassel
About Meg Kassel 

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart winner in YA. 

 

 

To read more reviews like this one, visit the book blog  Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest

How to Properly Caramelize Onions

408_09.jpgHello loyal readers. It is time for yet another of my (soon to be) famous random informational posts! Last time we learned the basics of how to shoot a bow and arrow. Today we will be discussing something even cooler.

How to properly caramelize onions.

Now, just for the record, I can’t stand onions. They are slimy, smelly, weird tasting, and just generally unpleasant to find in your food. This is why I love to properly caramelize the daylights out of my onions. The more I do, the smaller and less visible they get. They also taste…not bad (really amazing) when caramelized properly.

Okay” you might be thinking. “Why is this worth my time? I just dice them up and put them in hot oil, right? Isn’t that okay?”

Well, when I went to my one and only Indian cooking class last summer, and the woman saw me tearfully dicing up the onions (I have absolutely no onion tolerance, it’s horrible) she kind of gave this restrained pterodactyl screech, then proceeded to tell me that I had pretty much almost ruined the entire meal with my heathen onions. What she showed me next changed my life.

  1. Do not dice the onions. Cut them in large, paper thin strips, like this, but even thinner:

onion slices.jpg2. Heat up the oil before you put the onions in. That way the onions don’t absorb the oil and get soggy and gross.

3. Now, here is the most challenging part. Put the heat on medium-low. Put the onion strips in. Then be patient.

You see, in order for the onions to properly caramelize, it must be cooked slowly, ideally over a period of 15 to 20 minutes. Although I won’t lie, I usually get impatient and turn the heat up a little. Don’t do that. It’s worth it to wait. Just make sure to give them a little stir every now and then.

If you sliced beautiful, paper thin onions, and slowly caramelized them over low heat, you should eventually get something like this:

PALEO-CARAMELIZED-ONIONS-RECIPE

I know, right? With these babies, you could make a killer curry, or marinara sauce, or a creamy mushroom potato soup, flavored by caramelized onions, with croutons and a light sprinkling of middle eastern yoghurt over the top. Or something.

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So what are you waiting for? Go and cook! And have an excellent Sunday.

Follow the Flow Chart to Find Your Next Book!

Tired of seeing the same old stories recommended on Goodreads? Desperately searching for a refreshing and engrossing novel so that you can be sucked away from boring reality for a day before being rudely thrust back in after the last page has been read, desperate for yet another fix? Well, boy, did I randomly create the flow chart for you!

Just answer the questions and make your way through the chart. I tried to mostly include books you likely haven’t read before, although there are a few popular novels in there that were just too good to resist. Start at the question about reading YA.

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