8 March 2014

Requium by Lauren Oliver

I must remember in future to write a book review very soon after I reach the end of a book. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago, so although I expect this review to be very short I thought it deserved being written.

Once again, I will present to you the synopsis for this novel. Surprisingly Amazon doesn't provide this, I guess they assume, rightly so, that you would only want to read this book after reading the previous two. But still, it may be helpful in order to get an overview of the trilogy.

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.
But we are still here.
And there are more of us every day.

"Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing."

Following the theme of the second book this one is written in a slightly different way. The story is told from both Lena and Hannah's point of view, alternating with each chapter. Their stories and lives seem very separate right up until the end when they ultimately converge. 

I enjoyed reading this book, and would certainly recommend it if you have read the previous two novels in the trilogy. Although I would have to say that this was my least favourite of the three. For a long period in the book the story doesn't seem to be leading anywhere, but the ending does conclude the trilogy and is worth it for that. 

What did you think of this trilogy? Do you have a similar book recommendations?  

4 March 2014

Sweet Potato Curry

This creation was something my Mum and her partner made when they came to stay with us last September, and I've recreated it a few times since. The simplicity of this recipe is down to the number of steps it takes to make. It contains no dairy and can be vegetarian if the prawns are left out or replaced with an alternative.

Serves: 4-6 people

You will need:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion (diced)
1 red pepper (diced)
2-3 tbsp curry paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can coconut cream
1 large/medium or 2 small sweet potatoes (diced)
250-300g bag of frozen prawns (defrosted)


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan pan. Add the onions and fry until softened. Mix in the curry paste and the red pepper and continue to fry for a couple more minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and sweet potato to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender.
3. Add the prawns to the curry and continue to cook until the prawns have heated up, but no longer as they are already cooked. Serve with rice.

note: this recipe works using either coconut milk or cream, although I do prefer the thicker, slightly richer sauce created using coconut cream. So I would recommend, if you can find it, using coconut cream as a preference.