With the Fire on High – Review & Recipe

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published May 7th 2019
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 400
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

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This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and I hadn’t even noticed that I didn’t do a review for it so I’ll do a mini one with what stuck with me since 2years ago.

This is a beautiful book full of love, passion, family, and food. It’s about fears and dreams and never giving up.

It deals with teen pregnancy and all that entails, but Emoni is such an amazingly strong character (in fact one of my favs)! She inspires me and I even tried some of her recipes – which is why I decided to review this book, so keep reading for that*. She goes above and beyond to do what she must for her family. She is incredibly passionate and strong and I loved reading about her and her journey.

Another thing that I absolutely love is the family dynamics. Latino families just feel more united and alive, but I might be biased here… I loved Emoni’s grandmother and how much she cared for her and her granddaughter, it couldn’t be easy, after losing her own daughter, but she is such a strong and beautiful soul! Without her Emoni’s and her baby girl’s life would have been a lot different and sadder for sure. She encouraged her and stuck by her side and it just made me SO happy. She made Emoni who she is and she is a hell of a woman and mother.

This book has a lot of important messages, but the one that stuck to me most was that no matter the circumstances, the only thing stopping you from moving forward and following your dreams is yourself. She could have used so many things as excuses… But she didn’t. She went for it, she tried and that’s something not everyone does for fear of for example failing. Despite her problems and tough moments, she had a strong friendship, a role model, and a passion bigger than herself and she tried. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have because no one life is perfect but if you use what you do have and a lot of work, you might just manage to follow your dreams. So, apart from teenage pregnancy, Emoni is a hell of a role model, am I right?

Also, food makes everything better. I knew I loved books with food as atopic or just random food references/moments, but this was the first book that showed how much it meant to me.

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Emoni’s “When Life Gives You Lemons’, Make Lemon Verbena Tembleque” Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Two cans of coconut milk
  • Handful of white sugar – I put 1,5dl
  • 4 shakes of cornstarch – I put 4tbsp
  • Pinch of salt
  • Bunch of Lemon Verbena leaves – Adjust to your taste, I put what you see in the photo
  • Bunch of Vanilla Beans – Used 2
  • Cinnamon, enough to garnish

I’ve done this recipe before but not with verbena leaves. I’ve previously tried both without any herbs and with lemon balm. I’ve also never used two vanilla beans just to let it seep. They tend to be quite expensive, so I’ve previously used vanilla extract and the vanilla beans seeds – the only problem with the latter is that it loses that all-white effect…

Emoni’s directions:

  1. In a saucepan, heat coconut milk until it comes to a boil. Muddle a bunch of lemon verbena leaves and vanilla beans and had to the heated coconut milk. Let steep.
  2. After fifteen minutes, mix infused coconut milk, salt, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir the mixture until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. (I tend to prefer to mix it first on the side with some of the infused milk to prevent lumps from forming) Let the combined ingredients come to a boil and keep stirring until the mixture begins getting pudding thick.
  3. Pour into a big cereal bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for five hours. ( I prefer tiny-sized portions tho since I like to eat directly from them… It’s just more convenient and just as good)
  4. After removing the mixture from the cereal bowl mold, sprinkle with cinnamon. (Just run a knife through the edge and invert it into a plate!)

According to Emoni, this is best eaten cold while daydreaming about palm trees and listening to an Héctor Lavoe classic.

Ever tried a recipe from a fiction book yet? Which ones have you / would you like to try? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

Jane Anonymous – ARC Review

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37650881._SY475_Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Series: N/A

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Published January 7th, 2020

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21This was not an easy book to read by any means but it’s a fantastic one. It took me some time to gather my thoughts because of the topics this book handles.

The thing is, I really enjoyed this book and it hits hard and it’s as realistic as it could ever be. But I wanted it to dwell even more on the trauma and mental health aspects, and less in the mystery part as I solved it right at the beginning and believe many of you might too…  That was my only negative-ish point.

So, let’s get to what I loved about it. This is Jane’s story. Everything in her life seemed to be going great until she was kidnapped and held captive for 7 months. This book tells her story like a diary, retelling all that passed from the beginning when she was taken until now, 3 months after she returned home. It jumps from past to present (which isn’t one of my favorite things but it worked perfectly here) and holds your attention from the very beginning in a way that’s impossible to put it down no matter what.

It was really hard to see Jane dealing with everything while she was captive, and it was hard seeing her cope after the nightmare ended… It’s like a new one started, where one would think everything would be better. I can’t even imagine being in Jane’s situation but her feelings, the panic, the withdrawal, are afterwards present after many other abusive situations, so it really hits hard.

Jane is a very relatable character because she was just a normal 17 yo girl when everything went wrong. And seeing her broken like that… It was so impactful! Jane’s emotional, heart-wrenching, terrifying survival journey was remarkably told. I could feel Jane’s feelings, fears and questions so well. I literally loved the writing and how on edge it put me.

I was especially taken aback by how well put together was her slow recovery. It felt so real and hard to read! It made me cry and many moments were just… Like I said, this book was incredibly and realistically written and I would recommend reading it with caution. It’s unlike anything I’ve read and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

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What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

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From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published May 22nd 2018
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 330
Format: Hardback – Owlcrate Exclusive Edition
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
First published November 4th, 2014
Genres: Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction
Pages: 204
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

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Owlcrate May 2018 Unboxing

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Hey guys! This will be my first ever Owlcrate unboxing!! I’m SOO excited!!

May’s box theme is Fight Like A Girl and it’s truly incredible!! Owlcrate is an amazing YA bookish subscription box that I would highly recommend getting. Plus, if you live in Europe like me, it still arrives incredibly fast although I believe it’s a Canadian based subscription box!

I had a pretty good hunch on what the book was going to be, and I was lucky enough to have read it already and absolutely loved it, so I needed to get this box!

If you wanna check out what this box included, just keep reading! I will show photos of all the items, information on them and some of my thoughts!

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Unfathomable Chance by K. T. Munson

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Unfathomable Chance by K. T. Munson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Published September 30th, 2016

Genres: Sci-fi, YA/NA, Fantasy

Pages: 194

Format: E-book

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

When Diana woke up on her 23rd birthday she thought it was going to be a normal day. She thought of donuts, coffee, and laughter. She did not think she was going to become the center in a galactic race to win her heart. None too pleased with the prospect of alien races descending on Earth to try and woo her, Diana does the only reasonable thing she can; she runs. Now she has to try and find a way to get rid of the blasted bracelet that is the cause of all the recent craziness in her life. The problem is this isn’t an ordinary bracelet; it contains the Heart of the Cosmos. Furthermore the Cosmos chose her for a reason and it isn’t keen on letting her go until she finishes what it started over ten years ago. Something tried to destroy it and now Diana isn’t just worried about her heart, she is worried about her life.

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Series: N/A
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Published September 21st, 2017
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
First published September 20th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, YA
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Series: N/A
Publisher: Pocket Books
First published February 1st, 1999
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

“I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day…or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why.”

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer

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Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
Series: Wires and Nerve #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published January 31st, 2017
Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA
Pages: 238
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

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