Last week, in this post, I started a new series on the blog wherein I am going to recommend different book series for different types of people. But first…an update on my marathon training.
Today, (I’m writing this on Sunday night) was going to be a quick run. 5-8 miles. Instead, because NYC is expecting the blizzard which may or may not end the world as we know it, I did my long run. Tomorrow, I will do speed work before doomsday arrives.
It was just the crazy Scotsman and me, and we made quick work of our 14 miles. (just over 2 hours) I then ran, quite literally, to the grocery store for various and sundry supplies. Just in case Mother Nature decides to be an obdurate bitch, and opens up a can on Brooklyn. I’m beginning to question my decision not to include booze…tomorrow. I’ll get wine tomorrow.
Gods save me from snow days.
THE BOOKS!! (And then the food. You know how I do.)
The series of the week is… (book is link)
The Soul Eaters Series by Eliza Crewe. Honestly? I JUST read the first one last week, and I JUST finished the second book in the middle of the night last night. The third is due out this year.
And I want to go and do it all again.
Who should read this series?
This book is perfect for the girl who talks to herself in the shower. Not out-loud, mind you, but the girl who has a vivid imagination, and isn’t afraid to use it. She is caught smiling to herself on long runs or walks because she just thought of something funny.
She may have a soft spot for damaged people, and secretly finds a dumb jock endearing, but nothing to get excited about.
She knows that life isn’t black and white, and that learning to live in the gray areas is the best way to move forward.
She may like the comedy of Margaret Cho. She probably watched Buffy. She may fucking love every word Darynda Jones has ever written.
Overall, she’s a funny, super-chill chick with whom you just want to get a beer and hang out.
Is this you? Of course it is. You’re reading my blog.
Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.
They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.
Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.
The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.
My favorite quote:
“I’m pretty sure Jo couldn’t talk about the weather without somehow including a threat. Forecast today: cloudy with a chance I’ll kick your ass.”
These books are YA, yes. However, there is absolutely no reason for an adult not to go over the moon for them. What Eliza Crewe pulls off in these books is a stunning feat. Imagine, you’re an author, and you have this protagonist who could very much end up being completely unlikeable and unsympathetic. She’s a halfling of evil, and does terrible things. She’s not a straight-forward, you have to like me because I’m cute, cheerful MC. She’s an enigma with a wicked sense of humor.
That character isn’t going to be easy to make genuinely likable–yet–Ms Crewe pulls it off. She pulls together the strangest filaments of personality from the Meyers-Briggs, and braids them together into a fine knot-work into a deeply textured character. A character you can cheer for.
*A character for whom you’re willing to end a sentence with a preposition, because the alternative sounds too weird in the review.*
Meda is snarky and sassy, humble, and self-deprecating. She doesn’t always react with grace, but who in the Hell does? (pun intended–read the books) Sometimes, when life throws you a curveball, you get hit.
Sometimes you have to take the fall to land where you belong.
That’s exactly what Meda does. And she does it while kicking ALL THE ASS.
The book has great pacing, with very few bits where you’d think “ok and then?” Which is my normal reaction to YA. I didn’t find myself rushing through passages to get to the action, because the building scenes were just as interesting. I also found myself sort of falling in love with the secondary and tertiary characters–which is great. Because, usually, one character will not propel me to read an entire series.
A twisted bit of the story I found myself really enjoying is the anthropomorphizing of the hunger (read:The Hunger) into an entity. Ms Crewe rather brilliantly spirals a natural/supernatural bodily function into a nearly fully-formed character or subset of Meda’s self. It doesn’t sound like it could work, but it does. I think it works even better here, than did “The Nothing” in The Neverending Story. Both unusual uses of “it” as “whom,” but, in the end, I appreciated “The Hunger” more for its realization.
By the time I finished the first book, I sat back and realized that my damned cheeks hurt. from.smiling. I read for hours, and apparently, smiled for approximately the same length of time. I am no pageant queen to have cheeks and facial muscles that are exercised in this manner as to not cry foul at their mistreatment. I am a writer. I brood. I’m really good at scowling. I will need botox very soon for that line in the middle of my brows that I get from frowning. Seriously, even while acting, I’m the crass and dodgy bitch in the green room trying to game face the fuck out of my competition.
wanna see my gameface?
totally sober, people. Also the light is giving me a lady stache. I hope it’s the light. I am Eastern European.
Boom. Mic Drop. I’m out. Read it.
So, I really wanted cheese…and broccoli…and tomatoes, after my run. Sure, I could’ve made broccoli and cheese soup and tomato sandwiches, but then, I’d have to, you know, work for my lunch. PSSSHHH, I was not doing that. Plus, I don’t think I had enough heavy cream to make the soup base.
So I did the next best thing. I made stuffed tomatoes. Broccoli and cheese stuffed tomatoes. So good you’ll want to lick my face, stuffed tomatoes. But not the gameface. I can’t laugh while gamefacing.
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (4-6 tomato halves depending on)
- 2-4 large beefsteak tomatoes, halved and gutted
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated fontina plus 3 tbsp grated fontina for topping
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup chopped, cooked broccoli (great use up for leftover roasted broccoli)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning/herb mix
- 2 tbsp mayo
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- salt and pepper
preheat oven to 400F
slice a sliver off of the bottom of each tomato half so that it sits flat
place halves on cookie sheet
salt and pepper the halves
combine all the ingredients save the topping cheese and mix well
stuff a scoop into each half and top with more cheese
roast until crispy brown on top and JUICY.
consume. now. in your face hole.