Sunday, May 27, 2012

Giveaway Ideas...I want your input

I have been brainstorming about my next giveaway. Currently I have these two books sitting on my shelf that I would love to give to someone else to enjoy. However I am open to giving away other things such as nail polish, summer themed things and stuff like that. That is where you come in! I want to know what kinds of things you want to win. Nothing crazy expensive obviously as I am a collage student with a part time job and I dont make much. :) That being said I am open to considering all reasonable ideas. Ideas for giveaway themes are also welcomed. I am thinking I will put the giveaway together when I get to 20 blog followers. So leave a comment below with your ideas and send people to follow my blog so that we can get a new giveaway up soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Insurgent Review

by Veronica Roth
Published Date: May 1st 2012
by Harper Teen
3 1/2 stars

What Goodreads has to say: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

My Review: I could not wait for insurgent to come in the mail. When it finally did I ripped the box open, immediately began reading and did not stop until I was finished with the book. I liked that Roth jumped right back into the story, she didn't bother with a recap of Divergent. However the events of Divergent are referenced throughout the book so the reader still gets a reminder of how great the first book was. Tris and Four spend a good amount of time faction hopping in Insurgent. I enjoyed getting a closer look at the layout of the factions and how they worked. As much as I wanted to like this book more than the first truth be told I did not. Insurgent was good, and the story was interesting but I just didn't feel like it grabbed me the way Divergent did. It did not seem as fast paced and exciting and I found myself struggling a bit to reconnect to the characters. I loved Tris in Divergent but in Insurgent I felt she was extra reckless, she did not seem to put much thought into her actions and her relationship with four did not feel as strong. Overall I did enjoy the book I was just hoping for a little more. The big reveal at the end was fantastic and I cannot wait to see what Roth has to offer in the next book. 

About the Author: Veronica Roth is only 23, so her bio will be short. She’s from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, which doesn't have a title yet, will come out in Fall 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan
Published Date: March 9th 2010
by Delecorte Books for Young Readers
3 stars

What Goodreads has to say: Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

My Review: After finishing the first book in the forest of hands and teeth series I was eager to start the next. The Dead-Tossed Waves starts off a few years after the ending of the first book. We are introduced to a new cast of characters, the main one being Gabrielle, Mary's daughter. I was excited by the introduction of new characters. I felt the author did a fine job of interweaving the new characters with the story told in the first book. She writes this story in a way that allows you to be drawn into the new story without completely forgetting the one that came before it. My favorite thing about this series so far is actually the zombies. I feel that frequently when reading books that include zombies I am unable to fully picture a zombie as described in the story as one that would truly frighten me. I have no problem imagining the ones described by the author in this book. The author leaves some mystery to the zombies while still providing enough information for the reader to picture a perfectly horrifying zombie. She writes about them in a way that makes it hard to just write them off as soulless dead people. The biggest disappointment of the book for me was that I felt it mirrored the first book to closely for my liking. Again the main character is pulled between two different boys, again the main character has a falling out with her best friend, and again a good portion of the story revolves around the characters finding their way through the forest. At parts the book was predictable however overall the author had enough surprises and twist in the book to keep me reading. I am hoping the next book will be a fresh story that does not involve a love triangle or the characters making their way back through the forest. Overall I am liking this series and I cant wait to move on to the 3rd book.

About the author: Carrie Ryan was born and raised in Greenville, SC and is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now pursues her true passion and writes full time. Although Ryan's 2009 novel, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, is set in a world roamed by the living dead, before meeting her fiance JP she was actually a self-proclaimed "scaredy-cat" who avoided horror movies. JP was the one who convinced her to go to her first zombie movie and opened a whole new world up to her, which is why she dedicated her first book to him. The second novel in The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES, came out in 2010 and the final in the trilogy, THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, will be out March 22, 2011. She lives in Charlotte, NC with two fat cats and one large puppy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pizza you have to try!

This post is a little different from the ones I have posted on the site so far. I guess it would fit into the and more category of the tag line. :) Today I want to share with y'all a pizza recipe that my boyfriend and I tossed together with amazing results! Delivery pizza can be expensive, and in my experience, can leave your stomach feeling not so great. Making pizza at home is not only fun, but it can also be cheap and it allows you to have complete control over your pizza. My boyfriend and I knew we wanted spinach and chicken on our pizza. In the end we came up with a pizza that was topped with spinach, chicken, feta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese and sun dried tomatoes. We piled all of these delicious toppings onto a thin layer of pizza crust that we seasoned with a mixture of olive oil, dried oregano and dried basil. The pizza came out better than we could have ever expected! Our pizza before it went into the oven:

And our pizza after it came out of the oven:
Are you drooling yet? One of the things I love about this pizza is that we never measure anything! We use the same ingredients every time and we just toss on as much of each topping as we feel like on that day. This is just a general "recipe" for this pizza but you can customize it any way you want.

Things you need:
1 bundle of fresh spinach
1 jar of sun dried tomatoes (depending on how much you use 1 jar can last you for a while!)
1 Package feta cheese
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pack of boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 pizza crust ( we use the Pillsbury ones that come in the biscuit cans)
1 bottle of your fav chicken marinade ( we use a lemon garlic bottled marinade)
Optional: Olive oil, dried oregano, dried basil (for seasoning the crust)

This is how we make ours:
  • First we roll out the dough on a dark flat cookie tray. We like to roll ours out thin but you can roll yours out to be as thick or as thin as you want.
  • We then pre-cook the crust for just a few minutes. On the Pillsbury crust can it tells you how long..we usually cook it for about 5 minutes. While the crust is cooking we line up all of our ingredients. 
  • I then chop up 2-3 chicken breast tenders into little cubes and toss them into a bowl full of our favorite marinade.
  • Then I chop up a handful of spinach that has been washed and dried. I just eyeball it and stop when I think I have enough. 
  • I like to get the sun dried tomatoes that come in a jar and are pre-chopped. I have also gotten the ones that come whole in the jar and both work just fine. If I am using the pre-chopped ones I use 1-2 regular size spoons full. If I am using the whole ones I chop up 3-4 depending on the size. Again we just use as much as we feel like on that particular day. I always use a paper towel or two to drain off as much of the oil as possible off of the tomatoes. The ones I get come packed in a jar of oil.
  • While I am getting everything else ready my boyfriend cooks the chicken on the stove. ( He tosses the marinade right into the pan with the chicken and lets it cook out)
  • Once the crust comes out of the oven I toss together some olive oil, dried basil and dried oregano and I brush that mixture all over the hot crust.
  • I start topping the pizza by putting a layer of mozzarella cheese on the crust.
    Then I toss on the spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Next I spread the chicken around the pizza and then add another layer of mozzarella cheese. Finally I top it off with a few handfuls of feta cheese.
We toss the pizza in the oven for another 8-11 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust begins to brown. Keep an eye on yours as the cooking time may be different depending on your crust type. The pizza takes little time to put together but it taste amazing! It taste fresh and the flavors really pop!  Since tasting our first pizza my boyfriend and I have cut out delivery pizza for the most part and make this pizza at least once a week.
Note: Some of these ingredients like the spinach, tomatoes, cheese, and chicken will last you for a few pizzas! We just bought a second jar of sun dried tomatoes and the first one lasted us at least 4 pizzas. This of course would depend on how much of each topping you use.
I will leave you with one last look at the delicious pizza you could be eating!

I love to cook almost as much as I love to read! If you make this pizza I would love to see pictures of how it turns out for you or if you have a favorite pizza recipe please feel free to share it!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I have a good reason for being away...

Hi Guys! So I know the post have been lacking a bit the last few days. I just started a new job and my hours are crazy. I haven't been getting off work before 1am and by the time I get home I barely have the energy to eat dinner. I am hoping my schedule will be getting more regular soon and I will be able to get back to posting regularly. Until then here is a picture of some cute puppies I found on Google..Hope they at least make you smile :) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Books To Read

Everyone has a to read list. Sometimes mine seems to go on for miles. Today I want to share some books I am looking forward to reading!

I per-ordered this one shortly after reading Divergent. I am expecting it in the mail any day now and I cannot wait to read it.

I came across this one on Goodreads and I am hoping to get the money to purchase it soon! The description on Goodreads grabbed my attention and I look forward to seeing if its as good as I am hoping it will be.

This one is a bit out of my reading comfort zone as i dont usually go for books like this. I am willing to give it a chance though and if its really good maybe I will start reading more books like this one. :)

What books are you looking forward to reading?
You can check out some more books on my to read list on my Goodreads page here.