Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Book Review: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by by Joanna Wiebe

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy, #2) 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.

Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves...or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben's destruction at the hands of dark leaders. Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, will Anne save others-only to lose herself?

My Thoughts:

This book begins right where the last one ended.    Anne has returned to Wormwood Island where Villicus is no longer headmaster.  The new headmaster, Dia Voletto, has brought many new ideas with him.  Mephisto is still at the island however, and Voletto and Mephisto have plans for a new college.  

Anne finds Ben, who is now a student at Cania Christy with his ex, Garnet, as his guardian.  Ben's feelings for Anne have not changed at all though and Anne has to make Ben want to try to win the Big V.   Anne will do anything to make sure that Ben wins the Big V.  Once she finds out who she is, she goes to great lengths to make sure her plan for Ben works out.

I loved that Molly, Pilot and Teddy were back in this book!  I even liked Harper in this book (at least I liked her more than I did in the last one).  Harper still has some serious attitude but I enjoyed it.  The Seven Sisters were also an amazing addition to the story! 

The twists in this book definitely keep you on your toes!  There are so many of them too!  I won't go into detail about any of them but just for an idea...there is the twist on who Anne really is, who Molly turns out to be,  what happens to Dia and who he really is.  There were so many that I was kept in the dark the whole time.  I didn't see any of the ending coming and that is how I like my books...completely unpredictable!

I really enjoy this series and cannot wait for the third book to come out!   I highly suggest you go out and get the first book in this trilogy to read if you haven't yet to get prepared for the release of this one.  You won't be disappointed!

**Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC copy for review**


Book Review: The Recipe Hacker by Diana Keuilian

The Recipe Hacker: Comfort Foods without Soy, Dairy, Cane Sugar, Gluten, and Grain 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
 Have your cake and eat it too! (and your pizza and your tacos and lots more.) This mouthwatering collection of healthy recipes takes out all those troublesome ingredients like gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and soy and leaves in all the flavor and indulgence.

My Thoughts:  

I was contacted to review this cookbook and I was really excited to accept!  In the last year, I have lost over 70 lbs. and it's all been from eating a clean diet and exercising.  Eating gluten free, grain free, sugar free is not easy for a lot of people and the recipes aren't always the most appetizing.  

This cookbook has sections for Breakfasts, Appetizers, Main Dishes, Sides and Desserts.  The first recipe I tried was the Banana Pancakes (mostly because I had all the ingredients but I thought maybe my kids would like them too).  These were easy to make but they obviously did take longer than making pancakes from a mix would.  I am happy to report that even my very picky children liked these pancakes.  The banana flavor wasn't strong at all and they had no idea that these pancakes were so much healthier for them.  

I tried the Green Smoothie next.  By the looks on my kids' faces, I knew they wouldn't even try it so it was up to my husband and myself to give it a try.  The recipe calls for a scoop of chocolate protein powder but we chose to use vanilla instead.  Both my husband and I thought this recipe was a yummy smoothie recipe.  We drink green smoothies a lot so it wasn't a new idea for us.  The flavor was mild and we didn't even use any stevia.  In my opinion, the spinach is sweet enough with the protein powder.  

The last thing I made from this book was the Teriyaki Salmon.  I love teriyaki anything so was excited to give this one a try.  Now, my husband is not a huge fan of salmon but even he ate it and appeared to enjoy it.  I loved this dish!  The sauce tasted just like teriyaki you get at the store or restaurant but it had no soy in it!  I may have added a little extra garlic because I love it so much but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and will definitely be making this one again.

Eating healthy and clean is not easy in today's world.  Almost everything has something modified in it.  We are not perfect at eating "clean" but this cookbook has definitely helped us!  It is filled with excellent looking recipes that aren't difficult to make.  Some of the ingredients (like coconut aminos), I had to really look for because I had never bought them before.  Of course, eating "clean" is also going to be more expensive.  Almond flour and coconut flour are not cheap but I figure that our health is worth the extra money and honestly, since we've been eating better, we hardly ever get sick!

I highly recommend this cookbook if you want some excellent, clean recipes.  Even if you are new to eating this way, this book will help you out so much!