Book Review: A Long Way From You - Gwendolyn Heasley

Author Website: Gwendolyn Heasley
Form: eBook
Genre: Young Adult - Fiction, Romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads): For too long, Kitsy has had to satisfy her dreams of becoming a real artist by giving her friends makeovers before prom. So when her best friend Corrinne's family offers to sponsor her for a summer art course in New York City, Kitsy bids a temporary good-bye to Texas to say hello to the West Village.

Between navigating the subway and the New Yorkers--namely, the Art Boy who has a nice trick of getting under her skin--Kitsy knows that this summer is going to be about a lot more than figure drawing.

My Review: 
A Long Way From You was an impulse library ebook decision I made when I was bored and looking for a nice simple young-adult romance to read.  Something simple and easy, not a lot of fighting off demons or time travel or any of that kind of thing, just a laid book about a boy and a girl.  It never does work that way, does it?
That is not to say that A Long Way From You wasn’t a simple easy-going book, because for sure – it was.  However, the romance was minimal (which is surprising considering the title), but that’s okay.  Regardless, this book was pretty great.  Kitsy, small-town Texas girl, is awarded a chance to spend a month in big –town New York on a sponsorship from her friend’s parents, as a thank you for being such a good friend to Corrine during her time in Broken Spoke.  This sponsorship is for a prestigious summer art program – the entire concept is a dream come true for Kitsy.  Except for the part where she has to leave her younger brother at home with her alcoholic mother, who doesn’t seem to understand the concept of taking care of her children.

So at first, I thought this book was going to be all big parties and super hot super models and that kind of craziness the entire way through.  It started off that way, at least.  Corrine seems to be really, really into her money and lifestyle, to a fault, and she seems to be trying to suck Kitsy into the scene as fast as she can.  Thankfully, Kitsy sticks to her guns and really doesn’t lose herself to the high life.  She does, however, lose herself in the big city life, literally and figuratively.  Kitsy has almost always been the caregiver, and the one who just makes sure everything is running smoothly, and everyone is happy.  But here, on her big adventure, I think she veers a little bit left of center when attempting to do something for herself.  Thankfully, Kitsy is a strong character, and is able to find some perspective.  Just at the moment where I was grabbing my head and screaming (mentally – can’t have everyone thinking I’m crazy) ‘What are you doing??? What about this perfectly good guy back home, and what about …..” Kitsy gets a clue, and drives her life back into an amenable, and quite honestly, a realistic place for a High School senior’s  life to be.

In the end A Long Way From You, though it has it’s share of craziness, wild parties, and a few heart thumping boy moments, this book was a very happy, satisfying book to read.  I love how Kitsy is able to put her life into perspective, and find out who she really is.  So while I may not have gotten the romance that I was looking for, I did get the feel-good happiness that comes with that kind of book anyway.


Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers - Reinvented

I was pretty excited about getting the opportunity to participate in the MorningStar Farms Veggie Burger campaign through Bzzagent.com, not because I wanted to try veggie burgers, but because MorningStar is a brand name that my family and I already love and turn to whenever we are going to be attending a cookout or if we just are looking for a burger.  We've been a vegetarian family for nearly a year now, so we've had lots of opportunity to try MorningStar's many varieties of veggie burgers.  What we never had done prior to this campaign was branch out and use the veggie burgers as anything other than...well, veggie burgers.

That is until last night.  Typically when we have spaghetti now, we just have noodles and sauce.  I might add some plain black beans to "beef it up" so to speak, but I'm the only one in the family who does that.  Last night I decided to use the MorningStar Spicy Black Bean Burgers as the "meat" of our meal.  All I did was throw the veggie burgers into the frying pan, and started chopping away.  Before I knew it, the burgers looked a lot like regular ground beef that you would use in spaghetti. 

Next, I proceeded as usual - and walla, you have Spicy Black Bean spaghetti!  The veggie burger added a little extra spice to the meal; lots of flavor.  But my favorite part was - as I was was grinding the veggie burgers up, I could really see the ingredients used - whole black beans, corn and rice were all very recognizable in the frying pan, making me feel even better about the quality of food that MorningStar used.

Here's Azalyah getting ready to try her Black Bean spaghetti!

And Elijah's A-okay approval (sorry for the blurry shot!)