I used a plain chocolate cake recipe, substituted the water for strong coffee, and added mini chocolate chips. The coffee gave it a deeper chocolate taste and the mini chocolate chips added texture. I used leftover frozen vanilla buttercream and sprinkles I bought at Home Goods.
One of my goals this year is to read 100 books. I have read 7 books this month. Last week, I finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I liked the book, but probably won’t read it again. The book is thought provoking, and makes some good points. Here are a few of my favorite quotes (my notes are in italicized):
-Stated by Bill the English professor, “Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.” Charlie’s sister was being beaten by her boyfriend.
-This a conversation Charlie’s father and mother had with his sister after finding out she has been dating a boy that hit her.
My sister then said that it was all her fault, that she was provoking him, but my dad said it was no excuse.
But I love him!” I had never seen my sister cry that much.
“No, you don’t.”
“I hate you!”
“No, you don’t.” My dad can be very calm sometimes.
“He’s my whole world.”
“Don’t ever say that about anyone again. Not even me.” That was my mom. I love this statement by the mother.
-There is also a section that I liked when Charlie is describing a science project resulting in a rat putting up with a lot of pain to seek pleasure even more pain than to seek food.
This book covers several heavy topics such as abuse, sexuality, sex, suicide, drugs, and rape.
What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with his best friend's recent suicide. Charlie's letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:
I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of "being infinite," is a kindred spirit to the generation that's been slapped with the label X. --Brangien Davis
I also finished reading Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. When I first started this series, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I wasn’t too excited about love being a disease and I thought it might be similar to the Uglies series, which it is not. The Uglies series was good; I just didn’t want to read a series similar to it. These books are quick reads with shocking endings.
Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author of Before I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. --Jessica Schein
The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen. It was good, but not great.
Book description from Amazon:
Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.
Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.
Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.
Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen is a great book. I loved this book and couldn’t read it fast enough. I finished this book on the treadmill and the ending almost caused me to fall off. It was that good and surprising.
Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover is also a great book. This book was unpredictable. I can usually guess what is going to happen, but not this one.
Book description from Amazon:
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies...
That's what Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she's never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he's nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn't at all who he's been claiming to be. When the secrets he's been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky's life will change forever.
I promised my husband I would start the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I have been putting these books off for a long time. He swears I will fly through the books and not be able to put them down. I’m afraid it will take me forever to read. Luckily, I’m great at reading several books at one time.
What are you reading? I’m always looking for new books to add to my list.