Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Yummy Food

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy Fall everyone! We are back for another addition to Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is books that mention yummy foods. Well both of us are huge fans of food, whether its making it or baking it, you’ll always find some good grub at our place! So we are going to come up with a list of some books that started to make our tummy grumble when reading them.

  1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Lots of talk of food in every Harry Potter book. Whether it was the treacle tart that Harry was so fond of, Mrs. Weasley’s cooking or the butter beer at the Three Broomsticks, there was something to make you want a little snack in the middle of reading.
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: Whenever I think of this book the treat of Turkish Delight pops in my head. It must have been a pretty tasty treat if Edmund decides to fall victim to the White Witch in exchange for some Turkish Delight.
  3. Heartless by Marissa Meyer: We knew from the first chapter our tummy’s would be rumbling when reading this book. All the delectable desserts and pastries that Catherine bakes up from beginning sounded all so delicious that our mouths were watering!
  4. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin: I mean, there’s a whole darn cookbook for this book (which is sitting in Emily’s kitchen right now). Things are swimming in butter and there are lemon cakes that would taste really good right about now.
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: That food in the Capitol is NUTS. So decadent that it makes Katniss feel sick. And if that doesn’t do it for ya there is always that bread of Peeta’s.
  6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: All those french delicacies sound just delicious. And the lemon cake here!? Sounds amazing as well. It’s never good to read while hungry.
  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: This is kind of a no duh moment. All that candy that we can hardly even imagine…it all sounds delicious. No worries. We would listen to Wonka’s rules.
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: The feasts that are held…the fresh fruits…meat on skewers…freshly cooked veggies…Sorry. We probably are making you hungry by this point.
  9. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: The first chapter takes place in a bakery. A BAKERY. Every single thing made there, down to the plain old bread, sounds absolutely amazing and definitely like something we need NOW!
  10. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas: Literally only made the list because of all the chocolate. Seriously…that girl can’t get enough of her chocolate and we are totally behind her on this.

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Question: What are some of your favorite books with delicious sounding food? We want to know what books made you hungry!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Boyfriends

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey everyone, it’s Tuesday, so you know what that means….Top Ten Tuesday! Hosted by those wonderful girls over at the Broke and the Bookish. While last week was ten books that had a similar main character (I chose characters with special powers), this week we are going to talk about book crushes. While both of us are happily married, (celebrating 6 years and 1 year this week actually) there are definitely books that we have read where the guys in the book make us swoon! And it isn’t always about being romantic but it could be also be having qualities that are great in a guy like compassion and protectiveness.   So without further ado, we are going to name 10 guys from books that touched our hearts.

Arika:

 

  1. Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Darren from First Year by Rachel E. Carter
  3. Magnus from Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  4. Jin from Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  5. Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Elias from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  7. Robin from Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
  8. Rowan from Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
  9. Jon Snow from A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  10. Matthew Clairmont from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Emily:

  1. Mal from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Char from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  3. Rob from the Scarlet series by AC Gaughen
  4. Day from the Legend series by Marie Lu
  5. Darien from Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  6. Black Knife from The Orphan Queen series by Jodie Meadows
  7. Kahlid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  8. Wesley from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  9. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  10. Wolf from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I know there are some that I am missing, but these ones all made me smile as I came up with this list.

Question: What are some of your swoon worthy characters? Do you have some of the same?

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Feature A Character with Special Powers

Hey everyone! Arika here this week for Top Ten Tuesday. This week we were given the task of coming up with a list of books that spotlight characters with unique similarities. Whether that be characters that play sports, characters who have a similar illness or characters who have the same job. Something that makes them unique but also alike! So I was thinking….what type of books do I love to read and the characters have something that ties them together. When BAM, it hit me, I love characters that have special powers. Whether it is powers to do with reading minds, changing their apprentice or being able to move the earth, there are all sorts of books that have characters with these cool special abilities! So my list here comprises of books that the main character (or characters) have special abilities that make them some cool, wouldn’t want to mess with, I hope they are on my side characters! Hope you enjoy 🙂

First Year by Rachel E. Carter | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Cinder by Marissa Meyer | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness | The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg | Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes | Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Question: Have you read any of these? What are some books you have read with characters with special powers?

arika

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2017 TBR

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Happy Tuesday all! It’s crazy to think we are already this far into September! We unfortunately missed last week due to crazy schedules, but we are back at it this week and ready to share our fall TBRs. Now it should be noted, we HOPE we get to these books. You all know how mood reading goes, so you know that it’s entirely possible for us to completely ignore this list and read something else. But fingers crossed that some of these books are read, because they all just sound so good! So, here is our fall TBR (subject to change as our moods may dictate).

Arika:

Frostblood by Elly Blake | Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller | Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons | All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake | Morning Star by Pierce Brown | Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Emily:

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams | Thorn by Intisar Khanani | Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas | City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C Anderson | Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt | One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus | All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | 738 Days by Stacey Kade | With Malice by Eileen Cook | Beats of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Question: What are some books on your TBR? Also, have you read any of these (because we would love to know what we should prioritize)?

Lets Talk About: Bad Bloods July Thunder and July Lightening by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods July ThunderFrom best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.
Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name—citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.
Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.
That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery—and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.
Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.

bad bloods july lighteningFrom best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.
Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name—son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner—and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.
Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

Buy July Thunder | Buy July Lightning | About the Author

Add July Thunder Goodreads | Add July Lightning Goodreads

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changed my opinion of the book. 

Hey everyone, I am back again to talk about a couple more books in the Bad Bloods universe by Shannon A. Thompson. Now we talked earlier this year about Bad Bloods November Rain and November Snow and the cool mix between the dystopian setting and x-men type book. And we continued to follow those cool characters in the follow up duology of July Thunder and July Lightening. This time we are following two different characters, Violet and Caleb.

My initial reaction to the books:

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So I think I enjoyed this duology better than the first one. I feel like Thompson has really developed more in her writing for this series and it was definitely easier to follow compared to the first book November Rain. This review, I’ve put together a list of Likes and Dislikes to help me easily convey my feelings for this book.

Likes:

  • The characters felt more developed and I felt the relationships between the characters were more real compared to the first duology. I absolutely loved Violet! She was a character I really wanted to know more about in the first two books and was glad to hear that she was a main focus in this set. She is a mysterious and unique person and I love the fact that she is a “shadow person”. She is different from a lot of the characters because she was literally stuck in her shadows for years and comes out when all of her family is gone. The other main character Caleb is interesting because he is a normal human in a bad blood world but all he wants is to protect his little flock from all the bad things still happening. The relationship between Violet and Caleb felt real to me and I was glad it ended up the way it did.
  • The struggles between Bad Bloods and the Highlanders was interesting. I felt that it mimicked in a certain way how our society today is. With groups having a hard time understanding each other. Even though we only see one side of it in this book, we see that all anyone wants is peace and to be able to live their life as normal as possible without the threat of others taking that away. I also liked how this wasn’t about a total massacre like the first duology was but about the aftermath and how it is difficult for both groups to try and work together to form a new society where everyone is seen as equal.
  • The added new Bad Bloods in Caleb’s flock are all really cool. I enjoyed reading about each and everyone of them and how they are all different then the other Bad Bloods in Violets original flock.

Dislikes:

  • Again I would say you have to read these books one after another. The first book doesn’t have as much action or big events happen in it like the second one does, which is the same feeling I had in November Rain and November Snow. It could almost be grouped into one book with two parts for me.
  • I wish we saw a little more of how the Highlanders acted and what it was like for them after the election. We got small glimpses towards the end but I felt like we were only seeing one side to the city and Violet’s/Caleb’s problems.

Ratings:

3/5 Stars for July Thunder

4/5 Stars for July Lightning

I would definitely recommend reading this if you enjoy dystopian type novels and the added bonus of some cool powers like in X-men. These were good additions to the Bad Bloods universe and I am definitely up to reading some more from Shannon A. Thompson. Thank you Ms. Thompson for giving me the chance to read your novels!

arika

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s the last Tuesday of August and we have a wonderful Top Ten Tuesday for everyone. And as always it’s hosted by those wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about those hidden gems. Those books where you love but it seems like nobody has heard of, so of course you tell everyone and everybody about it when they are looking for a good book to read. We have decided to stick with the young adult genre, as that is the genre we have read the most books from.

Scarlet Trilogy by A.C. Gaughen | The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Bedor | Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes | The Black Mage Series by Rachel E. Carter | My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows | Madion War Trilogy by S. Usher Evans | The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds | No Good Deed by Kara Connolly | Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott | Follow Me Back by AV Geiger

Question: What are some of your favorite books that you consider hidden gems?

Lets talk about… The Dollmaker of Krakow by R. M. Romero

dollmaker of krakowIn the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past. 

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him. 

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.

Add to your Goodreads | Buy the Book | About the Author


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not sway my opinion in any way.

To start out, I am a huge reader of books during WWII/The Holocaust time period. I feel like this time period is such an important part of history and I am always interested in how authors tell different stories (whether they are true or just based on the time period) about events that happened. There are a lot of stories out there about heroics during this time, whether that was on the battlefield or in the small towns across Europe. The Dollmaker of Krakow is one of those stories about the city of Krakow, Poland before and during the invasion of the Nazis. It follows a dollmaker and a doll that he brings by magic from the Land of the Dolls, Karolina, while they navigate this rapidly changing world of Nazi occupied Poland.

This book is a middle school level book and I think Romero does a great job of weaving a good story for that age group. Especially the ability to help them understand what horrible things occurred during the time period. She brings to life not only a doll but that time period and how it looked to someone younger and innocent. As a reader you make friends with a multitude of characters in the book, from a young Jewish girl and her father to a mouse that is brought back to life by the Dollmaker. You also meet people that you aren’t the biggest fan of, and they aren’t just Nazis. Each character had their own little personalities that you learn to love or hate.

One aspect of the book that I really liked was the fact that the author brought into play the culture and the different mythical creatures of Poland, which are different then what I grew up with. For instance, we are introduced to a Lakanicas, who are mythical creatures who rule over fields. It is always interesting to me to learn little bits like this in a book and I enjoyed the different aspects they bring to the story. I also really enjoyed seeing the Dollmaker and Karolina grow together through out the book. They helped each other realize that they can make a difference, whether it is helping one person or many. That no matter who you are, you deserve love, which is a good feature to have in a middle school aged book.

The only parts that I had a hard time with was the switching back and forth between Land of the Dolls and Krakow. Sometimes it seemed really random when they went back to the Land of the Dolls and it didn’t match up with the story that she was trying to tell in Krakow. Sometimes I wished there was a little more story in the Land of the Dolls and what happened to them afterwards. Though this didn’t take away too much from the story, it still stuck out to me and made me drop one star from my rating.

Overall I really did enjoy this book and it definitely deserves the 4/5 star rating. So if you are looking for an interesting book to read for the start of the school year, this book comes out September 12th! So only a few weeks away!

arika

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School Freebie

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

What’s up everyone! I know you are all nursing that crick in your neck from looking up for so long at the solar eclipse yesterday afternoon but we are gonna come back down a little closer to home and talk about books again! We have another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by those awesome gals over at The Broke and the Bookish. Now last week we talked about ten book recommendations for students, more specifically required books while we were in school, since most schools are starting up right now. Well, we didn’t realize this week was a Back to School Freebie, so we are going to change it up just slightly this week. Our top ten books this week are going to comprise of books we think should be required to read in school.

Emily:

My choices are definitely more geared towards high school students. I am thinking upperclassmen, and maybe even in to those entry level English classes you are required to take your freshman year of college. Most of these books are of the historical genre, but I think sometimes that is where we do our biggest growing. They deal with some rather tough topics, but it’s because of some of these books that I learned a little bit more about things completely outside of my world. Obviously some of these books might be a bit triggering for some students, but I think the lessons in these books and the worlds they show are so incredibly important for us. I think students would be even more set on the road of becoming better people by reading and really digging in to these books.

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat | In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez | In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke | A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Arika:

My choices are also geared more towards high-schooler’s. While I wanted to include a few classics in here, I do feel like some more modern books were worthy of being a required read for a student. There are so many lessons that can be taught from these books and its not just about right and wrong. It’s life lessons that can affect you not only in your childhood but in your adult life. I think these books can help students understand how their choices can affect others and hopefully it helps them become better people.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot | The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom | The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Question: What are some books you think should be required to read by students?

Lets talk about….The Waking Land by Callie Bates

the waking landLady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.
Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.
But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.
 

Add to your Goodreads | Buy this book | About this Author

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not sway my opinion in any way.

My Initial Reaction:

While this book wasn’t a huge hit with me, I definitely wasn’t mad that I read it. I saw a lot of potential throughout the book and I really did enjoy the magic and the basic premise of the story. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was that I had a hard time falling in love with the characters.

My Overall Reaction:

The main premise of this book is that Elanna, our main heroine, is a girl who grew up as a political prisoner in a country that has taken over her homeland. She now considers the King who captured her more of a father then her actual father (we will get to this a bit later). The one thing nobody knows though is that she has hidden powers that allow her to control the earth around her. I enjoyed this form of magic that she portrays throughout the book and (without giving away too much) I love how she grows into these powers. I also like that she wants to be a botanist and learn about plants, which goes along with her powers. But all of these plans she sees for herself are thrown out the window when the king is mysteriously killed and she is blamed for it. She is now thrown back into the life she thought she would never know and goes on a wild adventure to prove her innocence and free her homeland from the country she thought was home.

This story had a great base to it but I felt at times it fell flat. I wasn’t as keen on all the relationships throughout the book, I didn’t feel like I wanted to root for any one character or relationship to happen. She flipped/flopped a lot with how she felt about characters. For instance, it seemed that Elanna wanted a good relationship with her father one moment and at other times she would totally forget about him and act like he never mattered to her. It was confusing at times. I did enjoy her adventure throughout the land though, and how she had to meet all different types of people in her homeland, it helped her rediscover the place she was born and was meant to be in. It also helped her discover the magic that has always lived inside her.

Another downfall for me was that the story itself sometimes felt like it was being dragged along and some parts probably could have been cut out or condensed. Mostly this was because of repetition of thoughts and feelings over one character that I felt could have been summed up in a couple pages, when in fact, it took a few chapters. But all in all, a good writing style that helped build a good picture in my mind. Overall I gave this book 3/5 stars. While it wasn’t my favorite book, I would definitely read something again by Callie Bates in the future.

This book came out July 4th, 2017, I think it deserves a chance if your looking for a book to read.

Question: Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

arika

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for Students

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Hey everyone we are back!!! And we are so happy to be doing another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by those lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week the theme is ten book recommendations for a group of our choosing. Since we are getting into mid-August (I know we can’t believe summer has gone by this fast either!), we decided to do ten book recommendations for students. More specifically we are going to each do five recommendations of our favorite required reads from when we were in school. We don’t know about you but we definitely had a few really good reads that were required when we are in school, so we hope that you can enjoy them too!

Arika:

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis | To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee | Was God on Vacation? by Jack Van Der Geest | Beowulf by Unknown

Emily:

The Outsiders by SE Hinton | The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi | The War of the Worlds by HG Wells | The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien | Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

Question: What book did you most enjoy reading in school?