So I may or may not have mentioned this to you before but…I’m on a diet. I have been on a diet for over a month (again). This time, I’m doing better with it. I’m doing better with it because I’m concentrating more on making healthier choices and eating smaller portions than I am on forcing myself to eat these ‘healthy choice’ recipes that make me sick. That’s right, a lot of healthy foods actually make me S-I-C-K. No, I am not lying. Yes, this is real life.
You see, things like tomatoes make my acid reflux go through the roof. I get terrible stomach aches, the acid makes my throat hurt, and I get headaches. Bell peppers do much the same thing, although since I dislike their texture and flavor I start feeling sick a lot more quickly. The same happens with celery, asparagus, most squash, all but one eggplant recipe, etc etc and so forth. On top of that, I am literally allergic to strawberries. Yes, strawberries. Yes, it does suck. (guess what my daughter’s favorite food is?? YUP! Strawberries…which mom has to cut up for her. It’s a process and a show for anyone watching me).
My friends laugh because I am a sober person with the palate of a stoner (except for pizza honestly). So finding dishes that are HEALTHY and FILLING and YUMMY without half (sometimes over half) of the readily available vegetables can be a trial. It’s really no wonder that I’m failing every few days. But I keep working. I keep finding new recipes. I keep pinning pins to pinterest. I will keep this diet going. Even if I do sneak some beef jerky and mustard every once in a while.
Some healthy foods make me sick…but that doesn’t mean I can’t be healthy anyway.
Summary: Astie has always been different. Her 12th birthday is looming and she still has not decided on her thesis. All the Learners at the Hub picked theirs years ago. If it wasn’t for her cousin, Jakob, life would be unbearable on Elemental Island. On the verge of being diagnosed with Social Syndrome, she stumbles upon Danny who has landed in a forbidden flight machine….(continued here)
Age Level: Middle Grade (ages 8-13)
Genre: Adventure (with low level Sci-Fi feels)
Pages: 224 (hardcover)
Published: December 2015 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This book is a celebration of differences. In a world where everyone loves logic, order, and alone time, main character Astie is on the verge of turning 12 with no scientific thesis to obsess over and an enjoyment of spending time with people, and hugs, that is going to get her shunned as having what is known as Social Syndrome. Of course, Astie winds up saving the day. But I will leave it to you to discover just how she does it.
I enjoyed this book very much. It was a quick read, coming in at only a few hours in one of my days to read it, but the storyline has stuck with me. The world Ms. Hoopmann created is a logical, scientific narrative of what an island full of fully functioning autistic humans might be like. They are secluded. They are safe. They have no contact with an outside world, because there isn’t one (as far as they know). They like it that way, and if anyone starts being too social, or illogical, or touchy feely. Well they might have to be retrained. This flip-flop of what we normally see in books made me happy and excited to read on. I really liked the interactions between our main character and her family and friends. They were written true to how someone with non-neurotypical tendencies might speak and react, which I really appreciated.
This book earned 3.5 dragons from me. Go check it out.
Summary: In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…(more here)
Published: 2014 Ace
I’m not going to lie to you here. I requested to review this book (from Blogging for Books) because of the cover. If you’ve been around awhile, you probably already know of my obsessions with owls. Well…that explains that right? It probably wouldn’t have mattered what the book was about, honestly. However, I have happy to report that it turned out to be a fabulous historical fiction/fantasy novel.
This book delights with a beautiful mixture of historical fiction and magical elements, adventuresome bits and slow romance, and some strong leads of both female and male variety. The scholarship and work of magic delights me to no end, and Ms. Hunter’s work here is no exception. Well done, delightful, and interesting.
This book gets a 4 out of 5 dragons. If you enjoy adventure, fantasy, and historical fiction all rolled into one very European bundle, I suggest you go grab your very own copy and give it a read.
Does anyone else ever feel like adulting is like the weirdest game show ever?
I am currently searching for a teaching job. When you’ve been interviewing and discussing possible classrooms and assignments, some conversations start making you giggle (hopefully to yourself). One such comment that has come across a couple of times is “you are a finalist for the position.” While that feels amazing to hear…it has also made me start feeling like I made it to the last step in a game.
Any minute now the deep announcer voice will come over hidden speakers and say something like: CONGRATULATIONS ELIZABETH! If you win, your prize is to be placed in a room with 15 mid-elementary students that you must teach mathematics, social skills, how to not pick their noses in public, and what a comma is used for. Good Luck!
And you know what, I really want to win this particular game!