Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven book review

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Synopsis

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

 

Review

Welcome to the book whose original synopsis broke the internet. (seriously look it up if you don’t know what i’m talking about)  This book was wonderful! Jennifer is a beautiful author who writes an even more beautiful YA book. This book hit home to me as i read about Libby and her emotions of going through being labeled as the fattest teen. There is so much raw emotion in this book that i was left with many tears. The ending is a bit predictable but overall still worth reading every page. These characters really grow and you can see how cruel some people can be and how beautiful others are despite their differences. Jennifer is an amazing writer and really lays out a good scene! Jennifer shows us many stereotypes but does it in a way with out being too over the top. This book is beautiful even against all the negative initial blurbing. (PS thanks Jennifer for handling it in a classy way) This beautiful heart wrenching tale gets 4 stars from me! Thanks to BFB’s for this copy in exchange for my open and honest review.

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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales from Ivy Hill #1) by Julie Klassen book review

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Synopsis

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood–along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.

Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family’s inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell’s owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.

Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband’s legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband’s brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?

 

Review

This is my first novel by Julie Klassen and i am in love with this author. I have never read anything by Julie before so the first thing i did was to look her up. Turns out she is an avid Jane Austen fan, so now i know this author is my book soulmate! When i first started reading this novel I noticed that included in the first pages was a map of the town in which this story takes place. I love when authors included this as it paints a more vivid picture and you see what the author sees in their mind. Before i start my review over the book as a whole, can we take a moment to just breathe in and look at how gorgeous that cover is? I mean i was immediately pulled in to this book from that alone! So on to my thoughts. I think that Julie has set us up nicely for the series she is starting. I have fallen in love with these characters. They are beautifully written and each one stands on its own./ Each character brings something to the table and has their own unique voice that you can hear and see in your head. This book draws us in to a quaint little town that is full of surprises! I think this book does a wonderful job as portraying the social classes in its time period. There were also beautiful messages along the way. It inspires growth, forgiveness, compassion, and many other beautiful tales. The writing in this book is so strong and unique, that i dare say I have yet to read anything like it! I have become a true fan of Julie’s and I can not wait to read whats next. Thank you Bethany House [publishers for letting me read this in exchange for my open and honest review. 5 stars from me!

 

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Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker book review

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Synopsis

From the two-time New York Times best-selling author of the Against All Grain series, comes 125 recipes for grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free comfort food recipes for holidays and special occasions.

When people adopt a new diet for health or personal reasons, it’s the parties, holidays, and events with strong food traditions they worry about most. In Celebrations, best-selling author Danielle Walker provides recipes and menus for twelve special occasions, from a child’s birthday party and baby shower, to a backyard barbeque, romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for two, and even a Halloween party. Of course, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve party, and Easter/Passover brunch are also covered–along with suggestions for beverages and cocktails and the all-important desserts. Nearly every recipe is photographed, and food and party images shot on location provide beautiful and creative entertaining ideas. Delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes encourage the whole family to get into the kitchen and create lasting memories–no matter what the occasion.

 

Review

So it took me a while to be able to review this book. Not for lack of interest but due to way too much interest. I have cooked several of the recipes in here and have found them all to be delicious! This book is great and includes many helpful tools and pictures. I particularly loved the conversion chart that was located within the back section. She also includes a chart that shows all the recipes and whether they are nut free,etc. So as that you can find things to cook for people who may have certain allergies. This recipe book is great for holidays! Each section is divided up into its own holiday, for instance, Christmas, New Years, Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, 4th of July, etc. The book is beautifully illustrated. I found it nice that the majority of the recipes call for things i can easily find in a grocery store. There were some higher end items i had to purchase such as coconut flour but once these items were in my pantry they lasted for multiple recipes. I truly loved this cook book. 5 stars from me.

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