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The Sunday Post #78

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • I'm slooowly coming out of my reading slump. I think it's helping that I'm reading something completely different for me. I started a YA fantasy, Shadow and Bone, that has been sitting on my shelf for ages (uh, a couple years). Shaking up genres seems to be doing the trick because I'm really enjoying it.

  • I attended a food tasting this week at the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Village. Our company Christmas party is held there and since my boss was going he invited me to go along. Oh my gosh, the food! Butternut squash soup, roasted baby vegetables, rice pilaf with nuts and caramelized onions, maple-glazed chicken, red snapper with lobster sauce, butter rum cheesecake, key lime tarts... it was all so good! It felt like we all waddled out of the resort when it was over - and I definitely skipped dinner that night. Ha!

Tuesday, October 17
Top Ten Tuesday:
Foodie Edition

Wednesday, October 18
Top 5 Wednesday: 
Paranormal Creatures

Who Do You Love - Jennifer Weiner    
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) - Leigh Bardugo
Fuel the Fire (Audio Re-Read) - Krista & Becca Ritchie

Saving It - Monica Murphy

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

Top 5 Wednesday: Paranormal Creatures

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
Click HERE for a complete list of participants and future topics.

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic:  Books Featuring {Paranormal Creature of Your Choice}
I don't read a whole lot of fantasy or paranormal; therefore I don't read a lot about any one creature. So instead of focusing on one type, I'm just going with my favorite books that feature some kind of paranormal being.

Fae: Rhysand | A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

I’ve read books where Fae are the “good guys” and books where Fae are the “bad guys.” Either way, I enjoy reading about the different types, their different abilities, and the various lore about them. Rhysand will always be at the top of the list, though.

Brownie: Tink | The Wicked Saga
I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered another Brownie before Tink. Maybe that’s because he is one of a kind. Equal parts snarky and sympathetic, Tink steals every scene he’s in.

Demon: Roth | The Dark Elements Trilogy

Who would’ve thought that when it came to who main character Layla would end up with I was firmly on the side of the Crown Prince of Hell? Yeah, maybe his title is a little off-putting, but Roth was seriously the total package. Demon FTW!

Vampire: Vladimir Sanguinati | The Others Series

I absolutely love the vampire contingent in The Others series. Vlad is always so calm and collected and the brief glimpses of his sense of humor are priceless. And Grandfather Erebus likes to watch old movies and has a soft spot for main character Meg, while still being the most powerful vampire in their world.

Alien: Daemon Black | The Lux Series

Did anyone really doubt that Daemon would be making an appearance on this list? You know me, I’ll find a way to work Daemon and/or the Lux series into any list. My favorite paranormal series and my favorite book boyfriend. ‘Nuff said.

Do you have a reading preference when it comes to paranormal creatures? Are vampires your thing? Werewolves? Let's chat about it!

Top Ten Tuesday: Foodie Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned in Books

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 
As a child, I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and was utterly enchanted by this strange and exotic concoction Edmund requested called Turkish Delight. I imagined it to be some warm, savory dish and thought it sounded like the most fantastical thing ever. Years later, as an adult, I discovered that Turkish Delight is actually a sickly sweet confection with a jelly-like consistency. Even though I no longer have the desire to eat Turkish Delight, I still love the sound of the name.

“The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds on the best Turkish Delight. And Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.”

When Feyre had her first meals in Velaris, she immediately noticed a difference between them and the overwrought dishes she was used to in the Spring Court. Simple fare but warm, rich and savory.

“The food appeared across the table in platters and spreads and bowls. Roast meats, various sauces and gravies, rice and bread, steamed vegetables from the surrounding farms… I nearly sighed at the smells curling around me.” – A Court of Wings and Ruin

Harry Potter series
I’ve wanted to down some butterbeer ever since its first appearance in the Harry Potter books. I’ve seen it compared to cream soda which I loved as a child so there’s also a nostalgic element there. There are recipes online to make your own, or I could hop down to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, but really I’d rather go to Hogsmeade and have mine there.

“Why don’t we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it’s a bit cold isn’t it?” – Hermione Granger, (Goblet of Fire)

Kissing Max Holden
Main character Jill is quite the baker. In fact, she has plans to attend a prestigious culinary school after graduation. And she spent a lot of time in the kitchen de-stressing by baking and cooking. The one that had me drooling? Pumpkin spice snickerdoodles.

“I’ve found my happy place. Flour, eggshells, and butter wrappers are strewn over every inch of counter space, and the smells of chocolate and almond and spice dance in the air.” - Jill

Outlander series
There were some dishes served up in the Outlander series that I could do without (who can forget the eels in Dragonfly in Amber *shudder*) but there were also plenty that sounded so tasty and had my mouth watering. Most sounded so simple and warm and filling. Bannocks and porridge and meat pies… I’d try ‘em!

“He could do with a cup of hot tea, he thought, preferably with a great deal of whisky in it. Hot tea, hot buttered toast, jam sandwiches, and cake… “ – An Echo in the Bone

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Did anyone read Simon and not have an immediate craving for Oreos??

Okay, first of all, Oreos absolutely qualify as a food group. Second of all, They’re the ONLY food group that matters.” - Simon

The Hunger Games
There wasn’t much to drool over in District 12 (maybe some of Peeta’s bread?) but the Capital was a whole other story. Lavish meals and everything in excess. 

“The supper comes in courses. A thick carrot soup, green salad, lamb chops and mashed potatoes, cheese and fruit, a chocolate cake.” - Katniss

Food didn’t play a huge part in the Divergent series (being Abnegation, it was probably considered rude and indulgent for Tris to discuss food) but there was one stand-out: the Dauntless cake. I’m not big on chocolate cake, but if my slice came with a side of Four… count me in.♥

“Have a piece of cake for me, all right? The chocolate. It’s delicious.” 

The Fault in Our Stars
Let’s ignore the heart wrenching sadness of the story and instead focus on the divine meal Hazel and Augustus shared while in Amsterdam. From the champagne (“We have bottled all the stars this evening, my young friend”) to the incredible dinner, that wasn’t just a meal but a dining experience.

“I want this dragon carrot risotto to become a person so I can take it to Las Vegas and marry it.” – Augustus Waters

Wait For You
It’s not enough that Cam Hamilton is possibly the book boyfriend to put all other book boyfriends to shame. Tall, dark and handsome, beautiful blue eyes, cocky without being obnoxious, sweet and thoughtful and romantic. Does it get any better? Yes, yes it does. Because Cam also bakes. Cookies, banana bread… all kinds of deliciousness. But it’s his cookies that are the star of this show.

“It’s the combination of walnut and chocolate. You mix that together and it’s like an explosion of sex in your mouth, but not as messy. The only thing better would be those teeny tiny Reese’s Cups. When the dough is warm, you plop those suckers in… anyway, you just need to try it.” - Cam

What book have you read that made you hungry?

The Sunday Post #77

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • I've been in a tiny bit of a reading slump the past week. Other than listening to an audio book during my commute, I've barely picked up my current read. It's not the book at all - it's off to a good start - I just haven't felt like reading. *shudder* Hopefully this passes quickly.

  • It was a quiet week at the office with one boss on a cruise in Greece and one boss on business travel. So it was just me and Boss #3. Amazing what you can get done with fewer interruptions. :)

  • Last night my sister and I went to see Harry Potter in Concert. It was a showing of the first movie accompanied by the symphony orchestra. Such a great event! The audience was encouraged to be interactive so there was a lot of cheering at certain scenes, booing at Draco, etc. Lots of fun.

Monday, October 9
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Wednesday, October 11
Top 5 Wednesday: 
Creepy Settings

Saturday, October 14
After the Game by Abbi Glines

Asa (Audio Re-read) - Jay Crownover

Who Do You Love - Jennifer Weiner

The Opposite of You - Rachel Higginson

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

Review: After the Game by Abbi Glines

After the Game by Abbi Glines

Series: The Field Party #3

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: August 22, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Edelweiss/Simon Pulse

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?

This final installment in The Field Party trilogy was by far my favorite. With less soap opera drama and less obnoxious behavior from the local football gods, After the Game was able to reel me in with Riley and Brady’s story.

Riley was a character I truly liked and respected. When she accused the son of the town’s most powerful family of rape, she was branded a liar. Now back after a two year absence, she is solely focused on raising her daughter. Riley had to grow up quickly and her maturity showed in how she respected her parents, helped care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother, and finished high school from home with online classes. Because of this, Riley was largely unconcerned about gossip and petty small town drama. Yes she was sometimes lonely, but for the most part she was busy raising her fifteen month old daughter Bryony and focused on their future.

Brady has always been painted as the “good guy” even though I’ve often felt his actions spoke otherwise. (He spent the first two books using a girl for sex when he admittedly had no real feelings for her.) However, in this book I felt like Brady truly grew up and, when faced with difficult situations, he really came into his own and made choices that defined who he was. A family situation surfaced that I never saw coming and I was equal parts crushed for Brady and proud of how he handled himself.

Riley and Brady came together as friends and even though their relationship developed fairly quickly (they did know each other previously so it wasn’t totally insta-love) I still appreciated the support they provided one another. Despite a rocky start, Brady stood by Riley against the gossip and those in town who would still shun her. And Riley was there for Brady and encouraged him to follow his own path instead of the one that had been chosen for him.

After the Game was a satisfying ending to The Field Party trilogy with a strong focus on family and moving forward in spite of life’s challenges. Riley in particular proved to be so strong and resilient and I admired her for her determination to work for a solid future for her and her daughter. Fans of Abbi Glines will surely love this one.

Note: I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

3.5/5 STARS