16 April 2013

Book Review No. 71 ~ Legend


















Legend by Marie Lu

Summary:  Once known as the western coast of the United States, the Republic is now a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors, the Colonies.  Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy.  Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles.  Born into the slums of the Republic's Lake sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal.  But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.  From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.  Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June tries desperately to avenge Metias's death.  But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "My mother thinks I'm dead."

My Critique:  Ok I know what you're thinking...another dystopian book...am I right?  But before you judge this book to harshly as being another in a string on the dystopian bandwagon, read what I have to say about it.  This book is one I could have easily read in one sitting had I had the luxury of time.  The plot alternates between the perspectives of Day and June, each chapter written from an alternating point of view which keeps it moving along quickly and interesting.  I'm a big fan of this type of writing style.  I was excited to finish this book because the second book in this series (Prodigy) just came out so I can go right into reading it.  I can't wait to get started and I definitely recommend you read this book.  It's well written, entertaining, witty, climatic, smart, sinister, and everything in between.  All of that is made even more remarkable by the fact that Marie Lu was just 14 when she started writing this series.  What had I done by 14?  Perfected mascara application technique and that's about it...

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Legend, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

I don't like soup but I love cabbage

In a recent conversation with a friend I was thinking about what my favorite vegetable would be.  Finally it came to me...it's cabbage.  I love cabbage.  I like it in stir fry, I like it stewed, I like it raw...  So then I started looking up cabbage recipes and not surprisingly I came across many for cabbage soup.  I've never actually had cabbage soup but love cabbage rolls and the soup has a lot of the same flavor profile of cabbage rolls so I decided to go for it.  AND it's calorie friendly...so yay!  This recipe makes a TON of soup and I took out a few servings for me this week and froze the rest.  It is delicious!!  It ends up being a very thick and chunky soup.  Here's the recipe.

Cabbage Soup

1 medium head green cabbage, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water (could use beef broth but that would affect the nutritional content)
1 packet dry onion soup mix
Salt & Pepper to taste (about 1 Tablespoon each)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef, browned and drained
2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 small can tomato paste

In a soup pot, brown ground beef.  Remove from pot and drain.  Cook cabbage, celery, onion, and garlic until beginning to wilt.

Add water.  Cook on medium-high heat until tender (this could be as long as around 20-30 minutes).  Add onion soup mix, salt, pepper, ground beef, and tomato sauce.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add brown sugar and tomato paste.  Simmer 10 more minutes to allow flavors to blend.  






Yield 5 quarts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 80 calories, 3g fat, 6g carbohydrates

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