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Let’s Eat: A Novel Cuisine – Wisconsin YA Book Bloggers/Librarians Dinner!
Dec 20th, 2011 by Liza Wiemer

Enjoy cooking? Try some yummy food inspired by ten YA novels written by eight awesome authors.

On December 19th, seven Wisconsin YA book bloggers/librarians/book addicts met for our first book club meeting. And what a night we had!!! Heidi from http://www.yabibliophile.com , Rani from Next Chapter Bookstore http://twitter.com/#!/couldberuthless, Jillian from http://heisereads.blogspot.com, Erica from http://www.thebookcellarx.com Sasha http://twitter.com/#!/FzngWizbee, Maggie http://twitter.com/#!/MaggieMelchior and me. We had a blast talking about YA novels we loved from 2011, novels we can’t believe we waited so long to read, novels that surprised us or disappointed us. We talked about the authors who have hilarious tweets and are so wonderful in person. (There are a lot of them!!!!) We talked about how we review books for our blogs and Goodreads. Time flew by! It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time with just the best gals to hang out with and talk books. And I can’t WAIT for our next book club meeting, which is scheduled for February. For more info check out the awesome Heidi’s post! http://www.yabibliophile.com/2011/12/my-book-club-rocks.html

Besides reading and writing YA, cooking is another one of my passions. (I used to volunteer my time and cater events for a non-profit organization. That’s how much I love to cook. 🙂 ) Whenever food is mentioned in a novel, I pay attention. And so I decided to create a menu and cook a dinner as a surprise for our first book club meeting. All the recipes were inspired by YA novels. Some mentioned a specific food, like mariquitas in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Noah and Mara

Mariquitas and Garlicky Sauce inspired from THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (Click photo to enlarge)

are eating in a Cuban restaurant in Miami, page 222) while others mentioned atype of food, for example Korean in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Lola runs into Mr. Lim and asks him about his Korean restaurant, referenced on page 9. Lindsey Lim is Lola’s best friend.)

Here’s the menu and the YA novels that inspired the food:

A NOVEL CUISINE (All recipes are vegetarian except the chicken tikki masala, but feel free to substitute tofu)

Pita Chips (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)

Chummus (How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles)

Guacamole (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles)

Mariquitas w/ Garlicky Sauce (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)

Hot-Sour Soup (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman)

Chicken Tikki Masala (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)

Brown Rice (We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han)

Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi inspired by LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins

Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi inspired by LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins (Click photo to enlarge)

Bok Choy and Cucumber Kimichi (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)

Moelleux au Chocolat (Molten Lava Cakes) with Strawberry Sauce

(Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)

Sprecher* Cherry Cola  (Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Duff by Koby Keplinger)

Hot Mint Tea (Timepiece by Myra McEntire)

Water with Sliced Lime (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)

*Note – Sprecher is a Wisconsin favorite local brewery. Try and find their soda if you can. Once you taste their cherry soda, will will never want to drink Cherry Coke or Cherry Pepsi again!

Click here for ALL THE RECIPEShttp://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1015

Brilliant NOVELS by Brilliant YA Authors – Gayle Forman, Lauren Oliver, Jandy Nelson
Apr 13th, 2011 by Liza Wiemer

This is a very quick post, my friends, but I need to share with you some YA novels that have  blown me AWAY!

Gayle Forman’s Where She Went – the sequel to If I Stay – OMG incredible. So absolutely amazing. Can’t stop thinking about these books, can’t stop talking about them.

Here’s my comments about If I Stay as posted on Goodreads: This book received the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor – Superb! Do you have a choice to live or to die? How does one continue on when everything is lost? This is an emotionally charged, powerful YA novel perfect for YA and adults. The voices are powerful and intense, the characters interesting and passionate about life and music. Don’t miss this novel!

My comments about Where She Went: I loved WHERE SHE WENT, every word. I started it around ten and stayed up until I finished it three hours later, and I can’t stop thinking about it. (I had a hard time falling asleep after that, so I reread some of my favorite parts.) Seriously, I don’t think you could get any more perfect than this novel when it comes to depth of character, emotional baggage, authenticity of voice.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but what’s there to criticize about this book? In my opinion it doesn’t get better than this. WHERE SHE WENT had to be one of the most gut-wrenching books ever written. Perhaps I’m experiencing sympathy pains as an author – knowing what it’s like to put everything into your characters and have your characters put everything into you, into your book – THIS IS IT! WHERE SHE WENT is lyrical and beautiful. I love Adam and Mia. Wow, talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes.
I know IF I STAY is being made into a movie – and I do wonder if this book will be incorporated. I could visualize every scene, all the heartbreak. This one will haunt me for a long time. Incredible, absolutely mind-blowing incredible. Do not miss IF I STAY or WHERE SHE WENT.

Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere – Loved it! A few weeks ago I stood in Borders and recommended this to so many teens. Had a frank discussion with quite a few girls and all of a sudden we had a nice crowd and an amazing time talking about this book and other favorites. Here’s what I had to say about it as posted on Goodreads: Oh yeah, I loved this book! It’s not too often that I go back and reread sections of a novel, but I did with this one! So vivid, heartbreaking, lovely, romantic! And wow the creative storytelling through poems written on scraps of paper, trees, benches, napkins, paper cups . . . loved it! This is a novel that takes you in, holds you close, and takes you along page by page on an emotional roller coaster! Hop on, you’ll love the ride!

Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Delirium – Two absolutely extraordinary YA novels that I’ve recommended over and over and over again. And Lauren, your endings get to me every time! Holy wow!

My comment as posted on Goodreads about Delirium: DON’T READ PAST THIS FIRST LINE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DID AT THE END!
This book was so extraordinary. Loved the characters, the settings, the premise of LOVE being a disease. Lauren Oliver is a BRILLIANT writer. I read the ending at least 10 times. I cried and cried and cried and cried! Then I paced the living room floor, headed to the bathroom for tissues, and started over again! OMG! Truly one of the most mind-blowing endings I’ve ever read. I could picture it perfectly in my mind. This book takes hold of your heart and doesn’t let go! WOW! JUST WOW!

My comments about Before I Fall: Impossible to put down! Another must-read for teachers, parents, and of course HS students. BEFORE I FALL will leave you breathless and wondering until the very last page. Brilliant, extraordinary… the characters will jump off the page and become a part of you. This is a novel you need to read more than once because you don’t want to miss any nuance or angle. Lauren Oliver-a standing ovation! Before I Fall is an honors winner for the Milwaukee County Teen Book Awards (MCTBA) for 2011! Well deserved.
http://mctba.wordpress.com/

DO YOU WANT TO WIN A COPY OF LAUREN OLIVER’S MG NOVEL, LIESL & PO – GO TO HER WEBSITE NOW http://laurenoliverbooks.blogspot.com/2011/04/introducingliesl-po.html


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