Grill It, Braise It, Broil It by American Heart Association

Pages: 304
Publisher: Harmony
ISBN: 978-0-307-88809-9Genre: Cooking

Review by Geraldine

Synopsis (

Master 12 easy cooking techniques to make 175 heart-healthy recipes for any night, including: slow cooking, grilling, baking, microwaving, blending, stir-frying, steaming, roasting, broiling, poaching, braising, and stewing.

Whether you’re craving bright, summery flavors or a rich meal for a cozy night.

Whether you have just minutes to cook or a bit of extra time to add some TLC to your dish.

Whether you want new ideas for your beloved slow cooker or a chance to try out that wok.

American Heart Association Grill It, Braise It, Broil It is the cookbook for you! A primer on each technique helps you make the most of your oven, stovetop, and favorite appliances, while the 175 recipes expand your repertoire of go-to meals with tons of delicious variety.

My Thoughts:

Grill It, Braise It, Broil It is a wonderful cookbook that teaches you many techniques ranging from slow cooking to roasting. The only thing that bothered me was that there weren't many pictures, but I'm a picture kind of gal. On the other hand, since there aren't many pictures, you get double the recipes!

I've tried a few of the recipes and they've all been great! The almond, kale and blueberry smoothie recipe is one of my favorite recipes and go-to recipes for breakfast or as a snack. It's very easy to make but will leave you wanting more! Thankfully, there's one more smoothie recipe I still have to try in this cookbook but I'm sure it will be just as good.If you're looking for a healthy cookbook that has delicious recipes, this is the cookbook for you!

Video on how to make the almond, kale, and blueberry smoothie recipe soon!


Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Pages: 305
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316210171
Genre: Paranormal YA

Review by Phil

Synopsis( When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

My Thoughts (Spoiler Free)

Unbreakable was everything I would have loved three years ago. It was extremely quick and easy to read. The characters were spunky and all had individual and distinct personalities and on the surface the story was entertaining. However, now that I am no longer an overweight high school Sophomore who could literally have read a pile of shit and think it was amazing, I am wholly unimpressed.

The story, while it does move quickly, was really just bland. There was no plot development and overall the adventure seemed too easy for the characters. Every time they were faced with a new dilemma they either figured it out immediately or take a ridiculous chance based off of little evidence and either way it ends up leading them exactly where they want to be.

Also don't get me started on the insta-love in this book. But really I can't even call it love. The "romance" between Jared and Kennedy is literally introduced out of nowhere. She says he is dark and mysterious (seriously how many dark and mysterious but wildly attractive teenage boys can there be in the world YA authors?) and he talks to her like twice, and then they are making out when they are about to die (seriously priorities people).

It really pains me to say this but I think Garcia needs Stohl to write. Im still a fan of hers, just not a fan of this book. 3/5 stars.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Pages: 308
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 9781416986430
Genre: I literally couldn't tell you, maybe romance? I have no idea

Review by Phil

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm ofIce.

My Thoughts

Really glad this book came along because I haven't written a bad review in a while, and boy was this one a stinker. There were so many things wrong with this book that I really don't know where to begin. For one lets talk about the fact that Ice sounds like it will be awesome, well everything you think its going to be it isn't.

Ice is not the amazing fantasy adventure that McElderry marketed it to be, it actually is a sad excuse for romance with blah characters, no character development, over plot development while seeming to have no plot at all, and the lesson that if a man kidnaps you that you should fall in love with him, let him get you pregnant, and never talk to your family ever agin, also the man isn't a man but a polar bear. Also it is marketed to be a retelling of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", when in reality it is a poorly written Beauty and the Beast wanna-be.

The biggest problem I had with this book was that the main character Cassie went from being an independent, smart, and determined young girl in the first chapter to an annoying, whiney, and overall nothing character. Within the first 20 pages all of Cassie's personality disappeared and was replaced with a blank slate of a person. The "lost souls" in the troll castle had more substance than the main character.

An overall crappy adventure with a poor lesson and an abrupt ending gives Ice the reawrd of being my least favorite book of 2013. Don't waste your time and money, luckily I only got this for 4.99, but now even that seems like it was too much. 1 star.

Wishlist Wednesday #38

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paperwhere we tell you about a book that is currently on our wishlist that we are excited for!

This week on Phil's Wishlist:

Moloka'i is the story of Rachel Kalama, growing up in Honolulu in the 1890's, who at the age of 7 is taken from her family and sent to Kalaupapa, the isolated leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i.

Its funny but I literally haven't a clue as to how I discovered this book. So there is no story behind that. Whatever caused me to look for this I can assume that the cover is what initially drew me in. I love the floral patterns, and with a title as unique as this one I knew I wanted to check it out. I also can't recal having ever read a book that takes place in Hawaii or one that deals with leprosy, which sounds awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Champion by Marie Lu

Pages: 369
Publisher: Putnam Juvenille
ISBN: 9780399256776
Genre: YA Dystopian

Review by Phil

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

My Thoughts (Spoiler Free)
What can I say about Champion? There is one word I can think to describe this book...amazing.

I read Legend over two years ago when it first came out and honestly, I was not too crazy about it. Then about a week and a half ago I picked up Prodigy, and finished it and was like....woah. I seriously loved that book. Immediately I picked up Champion, finished it in three days...and just I can't even. I still always say that Legend is not amazing, but the last two books are absolutely amazing.

Champion has literally everything I could want in a book, EVERYTHING. Because this is the last book in a series I really do not want to give too much away, but let me just tell you, this series is amazing and you shouldn't give up with it after Legend. Marie Lu is fantastic.

Champion obviously got 5/5 stars!


Wishlist Wednesday #37

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paperwhere we tell you about a book that is currently on our wishlist that we are excited for!

This week on Phil's Wishlist:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and was overall unimpressed. The writing was good, but I needed more action in the storyline. So I never finished the series, but when I was she had a new book coming out I read the synopsis and the storyline sounds awesome.It seems like it has enough action for me to give Lauren Oliver a second try. If this doesn't end up good though I think I am going to stop trying.

Poison Study by Maria V Synder

Pages: 412
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 9780778324331
Genre: Adult Fantasy

Review by Phil

Synopsis (
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

My Thoughts

This book was a total impulse buy, my friend Alyssa recommended it and I decided to pick it up. It sounded interesting and I loved the cover real reason for buying it. I picked it up eventually and ended up liking it a lot.

Fantasy is my favorite genre, whether it be YA or adult, so I knew from the get go that I was probably going to like it. It has a totally original story line, and while the character development isn't what I think it should have been, it was extremely enjoyable.

Yelena is a very strong female protagonist, and the love interest between her and Valek was fun to see play out. The writing reminded me a lot of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, but much better and not sucky (for the lack of a better word).

I look forward to the next in the series, and I have already bought the second one called Magic Study. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone who likes fantasy, as well as anyone who likes YA, because even though this is an adult book the writing is very easy and the only real adult themes are the scenes where um... sex.

I gave Poison Study 4/5 stars!


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