Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sometimes words fail, but albert goldbarth's don't.

I am the biggest poetry nerd, ever. Those of you who are obsessed with song lyrics are also poetry nerds, I am happy to be the person to make you aware of that. There is something so incredibly impacting about a person's feelings written in stanza, where words are more carefully chosen.  And that is exactly what a poetry nerd would say.

Albert Goldbarth's newest collection of poetry (he has twenty-something others), Everyday People is filled with poems of simple truths. What I love about this collection so much is that number one, the poems are not painfully long, and two, anyone can relate to them. Everyday People is a collection of beautifully crafted poems from everyday life. There is humor, love, loss, and a sense of camaraderie among the author and his readers.

“I brought a book of many words
to an emptiness in my heart,
and I shook them out in there, to fill it."

Monday, February 27, 2012

a gluten-free morning.

I am known for my super-human eating powers. I have intestines of steel, and I didn't realize how gross that sounds until just now. I can eat anything and everything, and my stomach handles it like a champ. It's like Superman or Wonder Woman, either way it's very strong. I know of a few people who are not as lucky as I am. Many of you may suffer from the same thing....belly aches after meals caused by gluten, dairy, soy or egg intolerance. You poor souls, everyone leaves the room when you eat a bowl of ice cream. Let me help you...

Tammy Credicott created a collection of pretty-much-everything-free recipes titled The Healthy Gluten-Free Life. I decided to jump on board immediately and make one of the delicious sounding breakfasts.

The pretty book.


1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp raw organic honey
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed (keep juice)
2 Tbsp toasted almonds, coarsely chopped


Cook quinoa according to package. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract, and cover with a lid and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork, spoon into bowls. Drizzle honey and add strawberries to bowl and sprinkle tops with almonds.

The final product. Feel free to add a little almond milk.
It was VERY tasty.

Be sure to put Tammy Credicott on your Christmas card list you g-free people. She includes recipes for corn dogs, mashed potatoes, pancakes and oh, about a hundred and fifty more.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

a different kind of daddy issues.

Many of you believe the advice: you can't move on with your future until you forget/forgive your past/put your past behind you. In many ways, I agree. But I am not the kind of person who feels the need to tie up every loose end from my past. I strongly believe that you can live your whole life without feeling the need to tell certain people that you forgive them, or see someone one more time. I don't have a "the one that got away" (thank you baby jesus). If someone is supposed to be in my life, they would be.

Now for those of you who feel the need to make contact with any and all estranged relationships from your past before you can move on, Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany is the novel for you. And for those of you like me....you will totally like it also, (I just talk a lot crazy in these posts).

When Eden was 10, she found her father with slit wrists after a suicide attempt. Her parents were divorced shortly after, and her father (David) disappeared from her life. Now 30, Eden has a good life in Seattle. She runs a very successful catering company, but as some of you can relate, Eden is having a difficult time fully moving on with her life without knowing what happened to her mentally ill father. Her search begins on a few clues she has of his whereabouts. She knows he's been homeless so she heads to a downtown homeless shelter and meets (very handsome) Jack, who trades her volunteer hours at the shelter for help with her search. Hatvany's points of view throughout the novel were really clever. We start out with Eden in the present and then jump to Eden when she was 10, the year before her father's attempted suicide. We also see through her fathers eyes, in the past and present.

Friday, February 24, 2012

i mean, this deserved a post of its own.

Sorry the photo is so blurry. The recipe is:
  • 2/3 cup cold beer
  • 2/3 cup frozen pink lemonade
  • 1/4 cup of vodka
    • Fill a blender halfway with ice. Add beer, frozen lemonade and vodka. Blend and serve.
This is located in the Kitchen Table Tea section of Where Women Cook. If this is what afternoon tea is about, I am totally game. 

I am not sure I even know what to say.
I haven't tried it yet, but I am extremely intrigued.

BEAUTIFUL cookbook by Jo Packham & The Publishers of Somerset Studio

Where Women Cook Celebrate!: Extraordinary Women & Their Signature Recipes is basically a mix of the recipe, decor, DIY, quotes and photography boards of Pinterest. No lie. This cookbook is a fricken beauty and incorporates profiles of women and their recipes from Montana to New Orleans to Oregon to Massachusetts and all of the delicious food that the states are known for in between. They cover all of their basis, from every corner of our fair land with recipes for birthday party treats, cookouts and booze....oh my! (And like a zillion others also).

This cookbook is honestly impossible to put into words, so I will just show you....

Soooo cute. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

when an authors bio is just as interesting as her novel...

As the follow up to Taylor Stevens' novel The InformationistThe Innocent is set mostly in Buenos Aires. Vanessa Michael Munroe is back with her latest assignment, to rescue 13-year-old Hannah, who was kidnapped eight years ago by a cult called The Chosen of God. This cult is allegedly based on the Children of God cult, which Stevens herself was born into and didn't escape until adulthood. Hello intrigue.

Stevens created an extremely fascinating character in Vanessa Monroe. In The Innocent, the reader gets more insight into the complexity of her psychological makeup as well as the changes she’s undergoing based on events in the first book of the series and the choices she makes in this one. This book also touches base on some tough issues that are based on truth. Children living in a religious cult, the selling of children, the sexual abuse of children. I may be crude, but these are issues that I have difficulty reading about. I pushed on because of Stevens' storytelling, it was brilliant, really.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

cakes and the ladies who make them.

Quick vocabulary lesson on southern slang from your favorite English teacher...
  • all y'all - you all
  • pocketbook - purse
  • sho' nuff - sure enough
  • cake ladies: women who take on the responsibility of baking cakes for their towns’ special occasions, like birthdays, church potlucks, bake sales, funerals and weddings.
I love the south, love it enough to pack up my tiny car and move there after I graduated from my undergrad. I love the warm weather, the beach, the food and especially the southern hospitality. I have since moved back north to complete graduate school, but I always head down for a trip at least once a year. I just love the people. They are these sweet (unless you really piss them off), loud and crazy people who are loyal to their families and their traditions. Southern traditions still reign in so many areas (minus the whole slave owning thing, they've done away with that one). Cake ladies are a southern tradition that is still very common today (see vocabulary lesson for reference). Author and cake lady Jodi Rhoden compiled fifteen profiles of modern day cake ladies in the book Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition, along with their delicious recipes. How many times can I use the word "cake" in a sentence?

drug chronicles series.

Last month I reviewed The Cocaine Chronicles, which is a collection of fictional stories based on the drug. People who use it and people who are affected by association with those who are addicted. The Speed Chronicles is another addition to The Drug Chronicles Series brought to us by Akashic Books. These books share the same basic concept. Popular authors, like Megan Abbott, compile their stories about speed (which is apparently crystal meth, I am not exactly fluent in illegal drug language), and how the drug ruins people's lives. Actor-turned-author James Franco offers the most bizarre selection.

Those of you who have been exposed to meth will appreciate the obvious in-depth research by each author, and take notice that these are the type of stories that are too good to be completely made up, (welllll, minus Franco's).

***For a chance to win a free copy email your name, address and this book title to jenileerose@yahoo.com!

recipes and food for thought from your book club's favorite books and authors.

I really LOVE the idea of The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. It is a cookbook that includes recipes inspired by bestselling books, typically read in book clubs. A short synopsis of the book is included, ending with how the recipe relates to the story and then you get the actual recipe. This is a revised edition including more recent bestselling titles like Water for Elephants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help. All books that I love and have reviewed on this blog.

I will give you a few examples: Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo inspires a Glogg (hot spiced wine) recipe. The story is set in Sweeden. Get it? The Secret Life of Bees inspires a Honey Cake recipe. May, June and August are beekeepers and bake these cakes when giving thanks for the honey crop. Also included are "novel thoughts" and "more food for thought" sections which give thoughts from other book clubs and some background on the authors and the time period when the book was published.

Such a cute idea, eh? Meeting for your book club and noshing on food that goes along with the setting of the story or is actually mentioned by name in the book you're reading. I love it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

read and then pass it on to someone like you.

As a (wannabe) career woman, I was extremely excited to receive a copy of Sharpen Your Heels: Mrs. Moneypenny's Career Advice for Women by Mrs. Moneypenny to read and review. She begins with the question that we ask ourselves often, "What can I do to give myself the best chance of career success?" I mean, for me, getting a job would be a start, and the first chapter shows us how to be the one who gets the job in such a competitive market. Yes, please. Mrs. Moneypenny goes into a big spiel about getting your MBA, for all of you business babes out there. But really, the advice on ways to boost your confidence by gaining the experience you need to meet a jobs qualifications will help women in any field.

The rest of the chapters touch base on the following: In life, it is all about who you know. No matter what the job. Network people! But if you're like me and have an inappropriate blog and an even more inappropriate Facebook page, don't. And don't use age as an excuse, says Mrs. Moneypenny, it is never too late. Finally and most importantly, you are NOT superwoman. As women, we tend to think that we can handle anything and everything. Everyone has their limits, and should learn how to say "no" when necessary. Take it from me. When I get called to substitute teach and the job that day does not sound appealing, I start with the "ehh, hmmm....I don't knowwww," and they ALWAYS have a cooler job available that they are hiding. Orrrr don't take any advice from me at all.

autobiography on gang life.

Bestselling author and former Latino gang member, Luis Rodriguez explains to us his recklessness and anger fueled by growing up in an impoverished barrio in the San Gabriel Valley of L.A. County, in his latest book, It Calls You Back. Where he grew up it was very common for Hispanic youth to get sucked into a self-perpetuating pursuit of drugs, gang life, repeated arrest, early pregnancy, blunted education, and dead-end jobs. Rodriquez's childhood was no exception.

This is an open and honest autobiographical account of a survivor in a violent world that kills so many. In this sequel to his first book, Always Running, Rodriquez fights to change. He details the sense of responsibility he felt for the community that had given him a second chance to be a good citizen, his involvement with Chicano activist groups, his literary beginnings in journalism and later poetry. Rodriquez watches as his eldest son begins the journey that he himself fought so hard to escape. It is as if the shadows of drugs, violence and prison will always be upon him and his family.

Kudos to you friend, for living to tell the tale, sharing your story and for always striving to be better.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

bad ideas, 100% follow through.

Everyone has a friend or family member that has crazy ideas but (thankfully) ZERO follow through. My brother for instance, wanted to get married in Vegas, and then changed his mind a few weeks later before any real damage could be done. Anyone who knows me can attest that I am the exact opposite. Whether it be in the moment, or completely planned out, I come up with ideas, some good, some bad, some really really dangerously stupid, and no matter what I ALWAYS go through with them. Let's see, I can walk home from the bar by myself. Sure, I can take a rest on this persons front yard. And why not crawl up on to their porch and into a giant dog crate and sleep it off until morning. Let me just get a ride by the lady who found me at 7AM. All seemingly terrible ideas, executed by me in one night, Spring, 2008.

Now Chris Gethard had the right idea when he compiled all of his tales of poor judgment and made a book out of them in, A Bad Idea I'm About To Do. Hello, genius. Self proclaimed nerd, Gethard (that's a silly last name) shares with us the awkwardness of his first kiss, he hilariously describes losing his virginity, how he fought the law and the law won, and how Italian ice gave him herpes.

And no, I have no intention of explaining any of the above.

detective series.

J. A. Jance is known for her mystery writing and does not disappoint in her latest thriller, Left for Dead. Once we are updated on returning main character, Ali Reynolds life, the action picks up immediately as two separate crimes (one) a seventeen-year-old prostitute left to die in the desert is found and (two) a sheriff's deputy, Jose Reyes is shot by an unknown assailant after a routine traffic stop, keep our heroine pretty occupied throughout. Reyes is a friend of Ali's from the academy, and after drugs are found in his police vehicle, she is determined to uncover who is really behind the mayhem. Set near the seedy borders of Mexico, there is more crime awaiting our girl Ali in the deserts of Arizona. It's a very suspenseful series, with investigations that are logical and worth solving.

the latest nicholas sparks.

Nicholas Sparks novels are every woman's guilty pleasure. OR every woman's normal pleasure, just guilty for me because I pretend to NOT be the hopeless romantic mush type of female, when in all reality I own every Sparks novel and cry every time I watch The Notebook, just like the rest of you saps.

In Sparks latest The Best of Me he sticks to his usual style. Teenage boy meets teenage girl, parents get in the way, college gets in the way, jail gets in the way, and grown up boy sees grown up girl twenty years later and they hash it all out. Dawson Cole grew up in a family of criminals, it was literally built in to his DNA. The Cole's are the type of people who would murder their own kin, just because they felt like it. Dawson grew up wanting to be anything but a member of that family, receiving beatings instead of hugs for his efforts at school. Amanda Collier grew up in a family of over-privileged snobs. She had a beautiful fiery spirit and would never be given her parents blessing to live happily ever after with a Cole. Amanda went to college, an accident sent Dawson to jail, and their love (a passionate Sparks novel kind of love) was not strong enough to survive. Both of them now forty-two, the death of a close friend brings them together again. Amanda in an unhappy marriage with three children, and Dawson in a content but not exactly happy life, alone.

You see, there are some people who fall in love over and over. And there are others who can only seem to do it once.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentines day lovers.

You wouldn't know this by looking at me now, sitting in my bed, eating a bagel, drinking hot chocolate with a little debbie on deck for dessert, but I DO try to eat healthy. I have been trying to even more recently, but Valentine's Day makes it's own rules. However, I will take the time to review Weight Watcher's One Pot Cookbook for when I begin to watch what I eat again....tomorrow.

As you can see by the title, Weight Watcher's created this cookbook specifically for the different "pots" we cook in on a regular basis. The casserole dish, the crock pot, the wok, the dutch oven, etc. I'm a simple eater, I am not drawn towards frills and cheeses that I cannot pronounce. This cookbook has extremely easy recipes that are also are more interesting than your average grilled chicken and salad type dishes.

Sneak Peak!

A healthy and delicious meal idea to make for your valentine.
Or if you're single, to keep you from gorging yourself on chocolate.
You're welcome.

Monday, February 13, 2012

seniors and technology.

I don't know about yours, but my family is pretty technologically savvy. We get it from our mother, who has also influenced our grandmother. My grandma has a Facebook and a Smart phone that I don't even know how to work. My dad on the other hand signs his texts "Love, Dad" because he still has no idea that his phone number and contact name comes up on our phones when he texts us. My point is, not all old people are tech illiterate, and some people (like my dad) are just hopeless.

If I was seventy years old and someone bought me iPad 2 For Seniors for Dummies, I would probably kick them. Well, I would take the book and then kick them, because it's actually super helpful and really easy to read. Author Nancy C. Muir explains (in a very not obnoxiously large size print) how to use iCloud, E-Reader, Videos, Maps, iTunes, FaceTime and other social media and applications. Every aspect of the iPad 2, iPad and iOS 5 is covered in this resource.

I recommend it for EVERY age. Don't worry eldery folk, I have your back on this one.

i prefer my thrillers to be odd and non-fiction....as well as my boyfriends.

In the novel, The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, we are introduced to the spy Simone Simonini through the pages of his diary. He decided to keep a diary, not for the present, but for the past. Searching for a traumatic event that took place. The story has multiple narrators, mainly Simonini and Abbe Dalla Piccola, who is ALSO Simonin. Two men, same body, do I even need to continue?

After reading, calling The Prague Cemetery a novel is not exactly right. There is actually not much fiction included. The narrator of this story, Captain Simonini is the only character that Eco says is fictitious, all the rest are real historical people with a few minor exceptions. Most of the events recounted really did happen in the 19th century and the characters and their speech and actions are well documented. It was a history lesson within itself. It is extremely entertaining, and I found myself laughing out loud at the madness, even though most of the contents in this story were awful, evil, disgusting, etc. Hmm, strange.

read to your kids. listen to me, i'm a teacher and related to abe lincoln, so listen to me twice.

The Magic Tree House series is an award-winning series of children's books written by Mary Pope Osborne. In the first series, consisting of the first 28 books, Morgan le Fay sends Jack and Annie, two normal children from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, on numerous adventues and missions with a magical tree house. Mary Pope Osborne started a second series called the Magic Tree House "Merlin Missions". In these missions, Jack and Annie have quests from the ancient wizard

In Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln At Last! Jack and Annie travel to the time of the Civil War, and they must help a friend of Abe's in order to find the third gift for breaking Penny's spell, the friend, is an orphan named Sam. It's a race against time as Jack and Annie try to decide to do what is right. But they must have hope. That is what Abe was mostly known for, after all.

My advice? When your kids hit second grade, start with book one. Read to them, or listen to the audio books in the car. They'll love the adventures, learn a lot, and so will you.

a little something new for you: cinematography.

I have never reviewed a cinematography book before, so I was super excited to receive Cinematography: Theory and Practice by Blain Brown to check out. I haven't thought about cinematography in ages, and after flipping through I got to experience (again) how cinema met photography, fell in love and made a little baby called cinematography.

Cinematography is the most powerful tool in film making. It is the point-of-view, the movement, the close ups of characters and the manipulating of perspective for the audience. Film is visual storytelling and mastering this art requires knowledge of the smallest things, like lighting and when to incorporate the different angles in a shot. Basically Brown created this book to assist cinematographers and directors in image making. It is filled with a lot of tips. Absolutely recommend it for you Communications/Media Arts majors (which surprisingly, I was for my Bachelor's degree), I would have killed for this book when I was in undergrad.

Blain Brown is a cinematographer, director, writer and teacher. He currently runs the cinematography program at Los Angeles Film School. You can check out his work at www.BlainBrown.com. To make sure he's legit and all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

my name is not easy either dude, everyone gets it wrong.

Like most people, I assumed the book My Name Is Not Easy, is about a girl who is trying to convince people that she is not a slut, or there's more to her than her sluttyness, or she's a slut who plays hard to get. Normal assumption. Well, it is actually about a boy who has a name that is hard to pronounce. Yes, really.

Now forget about the slutty girl and listen. Debby Dahl Edwardson uses multiple voices to portray the experiences of boys and girls who are brought together in a boarding school where Eskimo and Indian students are enculturated in white customs and values. Luke, from Arctic Alaska, is the main voice, and uses "Luke" as a nickname because the sounds of his native name are difficult to pronounce by white people. The book covers the five year span of 1960-1965, showing how Luke, along with his brothers and the rest of the children deal with being so far away from home. The food is strange, the language is strange and although these children have many similarities, Eskimo's and Indians take sides, even though they are all being taught to change what they've always known. As if acting "white" is superior to their cultures. It's a great story, and I have to say, it pulls at your heart a little.

Friday, February 10, 2012

women's health resource.

Before I begin...

The Boston Women's Health Book Collective (now known as Our Bodies Ourselves) is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 whose board members include Teresa Heinz Kerry, Susan Love, and Gloria Steinem. Their mission is to empower women by providing information about health, sexuality, and reproduction. Our Bodies, Ourselves (which will be reviewed in this post) is the organization's core vehicle for driving their mission. While OBOS is famous for its voice in policy, advocacy, and educational efforts related to women's health, they see their role as a global content provider as paramount. Judy Norsigian is the Executive Director of Our Bodies Ourselves.

Okay, now that I have your attention...

Our Bodies, Ourselves is an excellent resource designed to inform women on health issues that affect them, including health care reform and sexual health (and teens, if you ARE having sex then you ARE a woman). With dozens of contributors from all over the country (USA), Canada, Thailand, and Africa, they are really covering all of their bases with this new updated edition. Ladies, this non-profit organization is working very hard to protect women's health rights, but they cannot do everything. As women (especially you little nuggets), we need to value our bodies and our health. We need to research and become aware of how to stay healthy and safe. This will make a great graduation gift for the young lady in your life.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

i'll have what she's having.

Jennifer Hudson has been using her big voice to preach about her success with Weight Watchers to anyone who will listen, or who will turn on their television. And who can blame her? She has lost over eighty pounds using the program and her body looks amazing. As many of you know, Jennifer's claim to fame is making it to the top six in 2004's American Idol. Since the show she has won our hearts in movies such as Dreamgirls, Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees, playing the role of supporting actress phenomenally.

Last month Jennifer (and Dutton) released her inspirational memoir I Got This, which begins with her childhood growing up in Chicago. Memoirs have got to be the most fun to write, all you do is talk about yourself, with no interruption for pages and pages. Now that's my idea of a good time. Jennifer's is not solely based on singing or weight loss, it is 100% Jennifer Hudson and her experiences with success and failure in both. Singing was always something that she excelled at, and she was well aware of her talent at a very young age. This singer discovered very quickly that being plus size ruined her chances of success in the music industry. She came from a large (literally and physically) and extremely supportive family (and best friend, Walter), who encouraged her to be whatever she dreamed. Although they gave her confidence, they couldn't give her the image she needed to possess to be famous. For years she deprived herself, eating only plain chicken and brown rice to shed weight (still wearing a size 10) until she discovered Weight Watchers after she gave birth to her son and her body completely transformed. In the book she includes healthy recipes, pictures and exerts from family members who have succeeded on the Weight Watchers program under Jennifer's great influence.

Weight loss has to be a lifestyle change, and you cannot succeed at any weight loss program unless you are ready to do the work. Look to Jennifer and her story for some fit-spiration.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

is mace legal? i keep forgetting.

Every great mystery/thriller writer has their niche, Tami Hoag's is her ability to ALWAYS come up with an "I NEVER saw that one coming!!!!" ending. Her latest thriller, Down the Darkest Road is no exception.

This story is set in the same fictional land as Hoag's previous novels Deeper than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave. Both novels are set in the 1980's. Vince Leone an FBI agent and Tony Mendez a detective in Oak Knoll are central characters in all three. It's kind of like a series, but it doesn't follow the same exact characters throughout. The main drama in this installment revolves around the Lawton family. Lauren Lawton's sixteen-year-old daughter, Leslie went missing four years ago. Her husband killed himself shortly after her disappearance. She is left with her youngest daughter Leah, and moved out of Santa Barbara to try to start fresh. This most disturbing part is that Lauren knows who is responsible for Leslie's disappearance, he stalks her regularly, but there is no real proof of any crime. He even lawfully stalks her, if that makes any sense. The even more disturbing part is that Leah will be turning sixteen very soon. So Leslie teams up with our private eye, Tony to try to ensure that history does not repeat itself.

I don't want to jinx it, but I am thinking that 26 is the age when creepy men stop trying to steal you. I don't know for certain, but I'm thinking that I am around the cut off. My father seems to disagree, which is why he bought me this lovely gift.

Yes, this is a mace GUN.
And no, it is not strange to be presented with this as a gift on a random Tuesday night.
Not in my family. Thanks, dad. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

buffalo? never heard of it.

To live in Western New York, especially the Buffalo area, it takes a special type of person. We are born and raised Buffalo Bills fans, which can make anyone feel sorry for us. The Sabres are touch and go, so you can imagine how unpredictable our emotions get come hockey season. We hold onto the New York Yankees because we (thankfully) do not have a baseball team of our own, and (even more thankfully) the Yankees are amazing. Yes, being from Buffalo isn't exactly something I brag about, but thanks to Renee Levine Packer, I may have to start.

The Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo. It's still hard for me to believe this book got published. After reading it, I believe Packer was the real reason for it. Our most well-known college, University at Buffalo (UB) has apparently been keeping their musical talents and interesting history a secret all these years...

in this case young people, please judge a book by its cover.

Hello gift-with-purchase-breakout-novel by Julianna Baggott, you've won me over so there's only a matter of time before the teenagers catch on. Pure, which hits the shelves tomorrow comes with this cute little butterfly pin. When it arrived in the mail, I noticed that on the pin it says "surprise inside," so being the child that I am, I scrammed to opened the very attractive (even as an advance reading copy) cover and I have no idea if this little "surprise" was just for me, or is included inside every copy of Pure, but I had a fricken heart attack. So thanks, and no I am not telling you all what you get when it opens. I am far too nice of a person to ruin it for you.

On to the story... Sixteen-year-old Pressia is one of the many survivors after a major disaster strikes the earth. During the nuclear blasts, many were permanently fused to whatever they were standing by. During this age, all teenagers at age sixteen must turn themselves over to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are considered weak, are used as live targets.  The "Wretches" are all those who live outside the Dome, and not all are still completely human. The "Pures" are those who escaped the disaster unmarked, and live safely inside the Dome. Like many of the others, Pressia has a deformity. Her left hand was fused with the head of her doll, and she is terrified that she is too deformed to be of use as a soldier, so she's on the run. She meets up with Partridge, son of a very influential "Pure," who has set off to find his mother. This story is told from the point of view of the "Wretches" and the "Pures" to give readers insight into both sides. Oh, and it's a series so be prepared for suspense.

This is a young adult read, and as a teacher I see some aspect of the Holocaust being taught in every secondary grade. The basis of this novel IS a nuclear Holocaust. I am not saying we should teach this story in class, but it is absolutely perfect for outside reading. I recommend it for older students, because it is really creepy. I see Pure helping this generation relate to such a thing as human corruption. I just sounded totally teacher-like.