I am in the midst of the last sprint of reading I have to do for the Georgia Peach Book Awards and I am barreling through some of the best writing for young adults that 2016 had to offer. Jerkbait was on my list and I wouldn’t have picked this one up on my own because I’m not into sports at all. I mean AT ALL. We don’t follow sports in my house and I ran track in high school so team sport dynamics elude me. I’m also partial to stories with female protagonists, but I’m glad that this one was put on my list because it immediately drew me in.

Tristan and Robbie are twins. Tristan has always been in the shadow of Robbie because of his monumental talent on the ice as a Hockey star. He’s got potential to go pro and everyone knows it, supports, exploits, not the least of whom are his parents. They’r so invested in his success that they try to hide the fact that Robbie has tried to kill himself. Now that Robbie’s suicidal it falls on Tristan to be his babysitter and savior.

Why does Robbie try to kill himself? Simply, he’s gay and being gay and being a hockey star don’t mesh.

I read the book in one sitting which says something about the pacing and skill of the writer. Issues of homophobia, family dynamics, and gender norms are all explored and in a subtle way. I will say that the ending went kind of left with a bit of sensationalism that I didn’t like or thought was necessary, but the overall book felt real and heartfelt. If there is a marginalized character in a story and that character is victimized because of their… Click To TweetI’d love to hear what you guys think if you’ve read it or are in the midst of it. Still it’s worth a look. Try it out.

Because of the monumental part that Hockey plays in this story I had a wintry feeling in my bones that called for soup! I usually add a musical accompaniment to my reviews, but I thought that some recipes would be good for some of these too. I’m a vegetarian so I’m always asked for recipes and thought I’d share.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium sized cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c milk or cream (can sub almond milk)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c shredded cheese
  1. Cut the stem off the cauliflower and chop the head into florets. Toss them in some vegetable oil and salt. No more than a tablespoon or more of oil is needed and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour or until the tips start to brown.
  2. Chop your onion and garlic and toss into a pot with a teaspoon of vegetable oil and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the vegetable stock. (I use veggie bouillion so I always have stock at the ready. It’s cheaper too.)
  3. Take your cauliflower out of the oven and toss into the pot with the stock. Bring to a boil. Boil for about 5-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft enough to break apart in the liquid.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and either use an immersion blender to blend in the pot or toss the contents in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add your milk and then incorporate your cheese in small clumps at a time to incorporate. Salt to taste. You can adjust your cheese amount based on how cheesy you like your soups. Delish!

 

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