Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Recipes!

Here's a list of my all-time favorite, yummtastic recipes! Some of these are family/ friend inspired, while others I grabbed off Pintrest.


Appetizers:


Side Dishes:


Main Course:
Special K Chicken (Family Recipe)


Desserts:


Drinks:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fangirl Wall!

Series:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Delirium by Lauren Oliver  Divergent by Veronica Roth
Fever by Karen Marie Moning  Gemma Doyle by Libba Bray
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
If I Stay by Gayle Forman The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Revenants by Amy Plum Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent  Study by Maria V. Snyder
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater




Bloodlines by Richelle Mead Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout Delirium by Lauren Oliver Fever by Karen Marie Moning The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Chain Reaction" by Simone Elkeles


From Goodreads: "Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. But that didn't stop him from taking risks- whether he's scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can't stop looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules- boys lie to get there way, don't trust a boy who says 'I love you', and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor's daughter, she has more in common with her north side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex's wedding, and suddenly, she's tempted to break all the rules. 

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis's family, the youngest Fuentes brother finds himself questioning everything he's ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?"

Simone Elkeles does it again! In this third installment of the Perfect Chemistry series, I fell in love with the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis. I honestly don't know which book I like better, Perfect Chemistry or Chain Reaction. I'm usually all about the originals, but Elkeles spins this tale so fantastically, that I'm torn. Luis is in a field of his own, completely different from Alex or Carlos, and yet similar. Elkeles brings the perfect amount of familiarity in this story so it fits in with the Fuentes world, but makes sure we know it's not the same as the other two books. While similar, they are completely different. 

What I really loved from this book is Nikki. She holds her own and gives Luis a run for his money. I think her story is the easiest to relate to- what girl hasn't be scorned by ex's and puts up a wall? Granted, their wall probably isn't as high as Nikki's. 

I love Luis's boyish charm. He's cocky, and has the possibility to be dangerous, but it's hidden- unlike Alex or Carlos. His life hasn't been touched by the gang violence, so he's more innocent than his older brothers. His personality definitely shines through the most to me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's interested in the YA genre, and I hope they make a movie out of this series! I think it would do so well in theaters! ...Plus, I would really like to see who they get to play the boys! I'm slightly in love with Giancarlo Vidrio (the guy who plays Carlos in the book trailer).
*SIGH* He's so attractive!


Book Rating: 5/5 stars

Friday, December 23, 2011

Life With River!

Pregnancy:

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry #2)

From GoodReads: "When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico, he doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve out his own path- just like Alex did. Then he meets Keria Westford. She doesn't talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos' wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Keria thinks she's too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Keria needs right now."


I absolutely loved this series! I'm actually kicking myself for not reading them sooner. I was a little weary of reading this story, because  I was afraid it would be the same as Perfect Chemistry, just with different characters. I was wrong. The characters in Rules of Attraction are completely different from those in Perfect Chemistry. They're each uniquely their own. The plot, while having some similar qualities of PC (girl meets boy, boy is too tough for girl), is totally different. While Perfect Chemistry is more about overcoming physical barriers (ex: being in a gang), Rules of Attraction is more about overcoming mental barriers (deciding who you want to be). This book can be read as a companion to PC or it can be read as a stand alone. I personally recommend reading PC first, only because it gives the full history of the Fuentes brothers, but Rules of Attraction gives enough history to where you wouldn't be lost. 


What I really love about Simon Elkeles is the point of view changes she does. Each chapter is alternated between Carlos and Keria as the narrator. I thought at first I would find this distracting, however it actually made me more immersed in the story. There was never a time I felt like saying "No! Go back to Carlos'/Keria's head!" It just flowed very naturally, and give me more insight into what was really going on. I don't think I would like this if just any author tried it, but Simone Elkeles can pull it off.


The relationships in this story are incredible, and not just between Carlos and Keria. I'm always looking at the "side-kicks" in a story to see how well written they are. If they feel fake and plastic, only there to force the story along, or if they are just as real to me as the main characters. In Rules of Attraction each characters is as realistic as the next. I particularly love the relationship between Keria and her gay best friend, Tuck(er). Tuck has some of the best lines in the story and really lets you know he exists too, without over shadowing the main story. The relationship with all of the Westford family and Carlos is so touching and wonderfully done. You can really feel the connection they all have. 


Besides love overcoming all obstacles, their is also the lesson of carving out your own path and finding out who you truly want to be in life, overcoming all barriers. The saying "You can be anything you want to be" is strongly weaved in these words. I think this is the perfect lesson for the audience this story is geared for. 


I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the YA genre!


Rating: 4/5 stars

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zack's Reviews

Here is a list of reviews that my Guest Blogger/ Amazing husband, Zack, has done. Just click the name to be taken instantly to his review!

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K

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Review Policy

*Update 08/07/2015: As of right now I am being VERY selective about my reading material. Having fun with my little River and working has made a pretty big dent in my reading time. Please don't be upset if I turn you down or refer you to another blogger.*


I would love to review your book- after all that's what this is all about! All books will be reviewed depending on when they were given to me and the date they will be (or have been) published. Please keep in mind that sometimes life events happen out of my control and I may not be able to put your review up in time for its publishing date. However, I will always post a review as soon as possible and I do try my very best to get them in on time!

Preferred Genres:

I read Adult, YA, and Children's Lit in all these genres:
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Dystopian
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Horror
  • Gothic
  • General Fiction

What Format do I Take?

I have both a Kindle Fire and a Nook Simple Touch. I prefer to either read on my Kindle or with a physical book, but I will accept any format (e-book, paperback, hardback).

What to Expect in a Review:

  • Book Cover
  • Title, Author, and Pages
  • Publication Information
  • Book Description from either Goodreads or Amazon
  • What I thought of the book (including plot, character development, relationships, and writing style in general)
  • Rating (1-5 Stars)
  • Extras (if available) such as: book trailers, teasers, miscellaneous photos, etc.

What Happens if I Don't Like Your Book?

If I start to read your book and I find that it's not for me I will send you an e-mail explaining that although I appreciate the ARC, I was unable to finish it because of _______. I will then ask you if you still wish for me to review what I have read of your book while leaving out a rating. I will never bash a book, but I will give my honest opinion on it.  

Contact Information:

SunshineAndWhimsy(at)Outlook(dot)com

Review Catalog

This is my review catalog of all the books I have reviewed thus far. It is in alphabetical order by the author's first name. Click on the title to see the review.



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L

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Other Awesome Blogs

If you enjoy my blog, make sure to check out these other awesome blogs!

A Purrfect Read

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K Books






lola's Reviews


ARC'S

These are the current ARC's I have received. They are in order of when they will be reviewed depending on when they were sent to me and their publishing dates (*subject to change*).  Clicking on the title and author will link you to their descriptions on Goodreads.


Published: March 8, 2012 by NLA Digital

Published: March 27, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
*I was unaware of that this is actually book 2 of The Goddess Test series, so I will have to read book 1 first!*


Published: May 10, 2011 by Egmont USA


Published: April 9, 2012 by Cedar Fort Publishing

Published: April 24, 2012 by Harlequin Teen


Published: May 1, 2012 by Abrams Books

Published: May 12, 2012 by Marshall Cavendish

Published: June 11, 2012 by Cedar Fort
*Blog Tour on Lit Girl on May 21, 2012*

Published: May 29, 2012 by Thomas Nelson

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