28.1.15

Book Review :: Let's Let Lost, by Adi Alsaid...

I first heard of this book when Erin over at e-elise etc posted about it in her July Reads post last year, and then Ria, from Wishing for Chanel, posted a review of it on Blogger's bookshelf in August. After reading their thoughts and seeing how many stars they gave it (and, of course, checking out on the ever-faithful Good Reads), I decided I needed to read this book. And it did no disappoint.

While it's been called a road-trip book, Let's Get Lost, by Adi Alsaid, is not your typical road trip. Leila is headed up the country to Alaska to check out the Northern Lights. On the way she meets 4 other teenagers, hangs out with them for a bit before ehading on her way. The first four sections are from the other character's perspectives. Hudson is about to head off for a Scholarship interview to become a Doctor; Bree is a care-free soul who has run away from home; Elliott just wants to get the girl, like in the 80s movies that he loves; and Sonia is a mess in the relationship department, and needs help illegally getting into Canada. Leila runs through their lives and changes them in some way, as she road trips by herself through different states. The last chapter is Leila. In there you discover why she's road tripping, and the events in her past that have lead her to this point.

It's a really amazing story, and while it's not your typical road trip story, like I said, I really enjoyed Alsaid's different spin on road tripping. It was really refreshing to not know everything about the 'main' character until right at the end. Each section of book revealed a little something more about who Leila was and what she was really doing. It was focused more on the lives that she touched as she journyed than about her, and that was fantastic to read.

While it was different to a lot of the books I've been reading lately, it was still full of love, loss, laughter, teenage angst and drama, weddings and adventures. If you're after a great, refreshing read, do grab a copy of this book. It will be one I'll be reading again sometime.






27.1.15

Recipe :: Silver beat, mushroom and asparagus stir-fry...

Recipe :: Silver beat, mushroom and asparagus stir-fry...
Lunch is my least favourite meal of the day. Mostly because I hate sandwiches. 13 years of school sandwiches made me sick of them. At work it's usually fine because I have lunch with the students of the college that my work is associated with, and that's something different everyday, as well as a normal spread of amazing salad. Perfect! But when it's not term time, lunch becomes the bane of my existence. If I'm at home, then often I just won't have lunch because that's how much I don't want to make anything.

However, the other week I made this for lunch and it was delicious. I know it doesn't look like much, but yum! We have an infestation of silver beat in our garden at the moment, which would be terrible and traumatic if I hated silver beat. But I like it, so thumbs up, garden. Thumbs up. On this particular day we also happened to have some mushrooms and a few shoots of asparagus, so I made this stir-fry thing (for want of a better name). If you want to make this at your place, here's what you do:

You'll need:
Silver beat (or spinach would be fine too)
Mushrooms
Asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chilli flakes

Recipe :: Silver beat, mushroom and asparagus stir-fry...


Chop your silver beat into decent chucks, as well as your mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms), and your asparagus. In a flat pan (or wok), put in a dash of olive oil and get that nice and hot. Throw in your mushrooms, adding a bit of crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and chilli flakes. When they start browning up and getting softer, pop in your asparagus pieces. Fry for a few minutes. Lastly, add the silver beat, as it needs the least amount of time. Fry fry fry.

And that's basically it! So super simple, with very little ingredients, but turns out it's really yummy! Serve on a plate or in a bowl, add some salt to taste, and you're done! Eat! Great...this is making me hungry...

Recipe :: Silver beat, mushroom and asparagus stir-fry...







26.1.15

Book Haul #20...



Book haul #20! Woop woop! Actually, that's kinda sad, isn't it? Any more books and I think I'll need some sort of library cataloguing system. I think you guys know me well enough now to know that I'm not kidding. These books are all books that I got for free. Okay, so that's a lie. Well, no. Is it? I only paid about $6 for one of them. Let me explain.

A while ago (before Christmas) I was the photographer for the local preschool's Christmas event, which I loved doing. The kids were super cute and were all dressed up as Nativity characters (and animals), and there was a photo booth set up for the families to have photos etc etc. It was really neat. Anyway, so I did this just because they asked me to, and low and behold they gave me a voucher as a thank you gift! What! I was not expecting it at all, so it was a lovely surprise. The voucher was for the mall, so when I went I went straight to the cheapest book store (more books for the money, you see!), and bought 6 books. Woop woop!  The other book was a voucher too, but I'll tell you about that one in a moment. Here are the books:



Let's Get Lost, by Adi Alsaid
I have heard great things about this book (and you can read Erin's review of it on Blogger's Bookshelf), so it was on my list of books to buy using my voucher.

Four, by Veronica Roth
This was another that I really wanted to get. I loved the Divergent series, so I am looking forward to jumping back into that world, and reading from Four's perspective.

Spark, by Rachael Craw
I had seen the book before, and seen some people review it on Good Reads, but it had sort of escaped from mind. And then I found it and read the back, and promptly put it in the basket. Craw is a New Zealander author, and this is debut YA novel.

The Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare (and Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson)
Being a great fan of the Mortal Instruments series, and also the Infernal Devices, I really wanted to get The Bane Chronicles, and add it to my collection. This is the one that I did't by with my preschool voucher. Because it was my birthday a few weeks ago, Mighty Ape sent me a $10 voucher! Thanks, Mighty Ape! And I knew exactly what book I was going to buy. In the end I only paid a few dollars for it, and then just postage, which, again, was only a few dollars.  Better than the twenty-something dollars it was in the book store.

City of Halves, by Lucy Inglis
This was one that I hadn't heard of, actually. But the front cover said 'a must for fans of The Moral Instruments'. Yes, that is often how I judge my books. Please don't judge me. It really does sound neat though, don't worry, I did read the back cover and decide after I found out what it was about to buy it. I'm not that ridiculous (okay, a little).

Fire and Flood, by Victoria Scott
I hadn't heard of this series either, but thought it sounded like a mix between the Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. I believe there is also a second book too.

Solitaire, by Alice Oseman 
While I didn't set out to buy this book, it had been on my Good Reads 'to read' list for a little while, so I did recognise it and pick it up when I saw it in the shop. If I remember correctly, Good Reads said it was YA book for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell. That's me!


And that's it! Now, can we please just take a moment to gawk at how awesome that Punch and Judy/mini play puppet stage is?! The preschool was throwing it out (I think they probably got a newer one) and I found it in the rubbish bin! I'm thinking of doing it up a little bit, but that's about as far as I've got with ideas for it. It might just become a photo prop for things like this, or for photoshoots with kids. I'm not sure yet, so if you've got any great ideas, I'd love to hear them!


Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 




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