Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 5/5
This cocktail is a different take on the traditional Bellini instead it’s a Honeydew Melon Bellini. The reason for the twist is well… read the book and then let me know about why it’s honeydew. For this one instead of using prosecco or champagne I suggest using a cava. They are all virtually the same, but they differ in region of origin. Cava comes from Spain and its vineyards and I personally fell in love with it while studying abroad there and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to use a sparkling wine.
Ingredients (This recipe is for using a whole bottle. I find it is easiest to use an entire bottle of sparkling wine then try to save it. Plus that means you get to invite friends over to drink it with you.)
-5 cups of diced honeydew melon (about half of a large melon)
-2 tablespoons lime juice
-Sugar to taste based on sweetness of the melon
-1 bottle of Cava (for a relatively affordable option I love Freixenet Brut in the blacked out bottle)
"Sometimes the heartbreak that comes with loving is worth it, even if loving that person means eventually saying goodbye to them."
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 5/5
Pairing: Sippin’ Pretty Tequila Mule
I love, love, love Sippin’ Prettys so very much. I recently discovered this fun twist on them and I have not gone back. It is a very quirky and aggressive take on a classic mule and it reminds me of Poppy and her personality.
-1 ¼ oz Silver Tequila
-2 parts Sippin’ Pretty
-1 part ginger beer
-A lime wedge
Step one: Measure out all ingredients
Step two: Mix all ingredients in a shaker and shake
Step three: Pour into a glass or Copper Mule Mug
Take a Shot: (18+ for sexual content) Poppy is the Maiden. As the Maiden she is not allowed to speak with anyone, show her face, have close relationships or even be touched. Her entire life she has been sequestered and guarded. Her closest companions are her assigned lady Tawny and Viktor her guard. However, events have been set into motion for some time that will change the course of her life and they start when she ends up in a tavern room alone with the new sexy guard Hawke Flynn. If you love Sarah J. Maas and Game of Thrones this is the book for you.
I have seen this book for months on TikTok and I hate to admit that TikTok made me do it, but this book was awesome so I’m not that mad. I saw it on many TikToks for spicy books and boy did it deliver. I don’t want to get too much into it, but it’s great like actually great. The sexual tension could be cut with a knife and I read this one in a day and a half because I was so ready to read what was going to happen to our sweet Poppy.
The characters in this title are amazing. Poppy is written to be naive in her lack of awareness because of the seclusion of her position in the world and Hawke is seductive and experienced and is a great counter and adds a good balance. I also really like Poppy’s inability to wrestle her aggressive side into submission. She’s spicy in all the right ways that make it perfect for her not to conform to the role that she is supposed to do.
The only problem that I had was with the plot and the setting. They weren’t bad, but there were many moments where I was confused as to what was even happening and why she was the maiden. A lot is explained at the end of the book, but as a forewarning it can be confusing to read a book when you don’t know what is happening and you are purposefully being left in the dark like in this book. That’s the only issue I took with the book, but that’s also typical of 1st books in series and now I feel like I’m prepared to keep reading the series because I’m informed from the first one.
Overall though I feel like my new book boyfriend is Hawke and it definitely was worth raising a glass to. It’s a great fantasy world with a good amount of spice that makes it a great read for those who are wanting to get their YA fix with adult themes. Definitely don’t recommend it to your mom...or do I’m not gonna tell you what to do.
Take this as a much needed lesson Penallaphe. Some truths do nothing but destroy and decay what they do not obliterate. Truths do not always set one free. Only a fool who has spent their entire life being fed lies believes that.”
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Cheers Factor: 4.5/5
Pairing: Twinnings Buttermint Tea
This is my pairing because you want to be sharp when you read this one. This tea is a great herbal tea to drink when reading at night which is exactly how I read this title. It’s great to curl up with a soft blanket and drink your tea and read your book.
Author: Kim Scott
Cheers Factor: 3/5
Pairing: Canned Peach Bellini by Infinite Monkey Theorem
This fun little canned cocktail is great for this book because it’s light and airy, but also makes you feel like a bad mamajamma. Plus the color of this can match the color of the book jacket which believe it or not is hard to do with those colors of orange.
Scott was a faculty member at Apple University and worked at Google for AdSense so she has experience working with teams. She also worked very closely with Sheryl Sandberg who wrote Lean In which I have reviewed on this site and will link down below.
I really enjoyed reading this title even though a lot of it’s not necessarily applicable to my life right now. A lot of the focus of the book is about how to better work in a professional setting as a leader and some of the advice is to the employees as well. One of the parts I found incredibly interesting is when Scott quotes the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise. There’s a line in the movie where Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character says to Tom Cruise’s character, “you think we’re fighting, I think we’re finally talking”. I felt this resonated with my own experiences of working with a team. I spent a year in 2019 on my sorority’s executive council and before you make any assumptions about it, I will be the first to say yes it was a sorority, but it was also real work. I ran the finances for the organization and handled a 6 figure budget while also handling a department as well as managing the house and working with general members. It was no small feat that taught me a lot personally about what it means to work with people that have different leadership styles, thoughts and opinions than you may have.
In this section of her novel Scott writes about how the Jerry Maquire quote resonated with her when she was working at Google. It’s very accurate in my own experience too. I am best friends with the woman who served as our president while I ran finances and we fought fairly consistently throughout the entirety of our term. I preface this by saying that friend Ashlyn and Sarah were not fighting just exec Ashlyn and Sarah because there is a difference and separating friendship from before with our work relationship definitely helped us to remain friends after. Anyway, but my point to that is we spent a lot of time not talking about important aspects of our jobs until we were fighting about them. We spent hours talking in person and on the phone about all of these issues it became all consuming. Although the fighting felt, at times, aggressive we were actually making decisions and resolving our problems. We were able to disagree and “fight” about it in order to resolve the problems that we needed to fix. Again I’m not saying fight it out to the death for your opinions at the expense of others, but also stand up for your opinions and fight for what you believe is best. However, more importantly concede and compromise when you are wrong or see a better option. I felt it was important to share this story because it’s crucial to know where your relationships start and end and how to separate them whether that’s a work relationship to a friendship or a love driven relationship to a partnership because there is a difference. Sarah and I fought like a married couple that’s house was going into foreclosure, but I never loved her any less because friend Ashlyn and Sarah would still go to each other's rooms right after fighting and ask to grab dinner together. Not all fights have to be true fights and they shouldn’t be, they can be talking and you can come out stronger at the end with a clear path to start down.
“Blaming people’s external essence rather than their external behavior leaves no room for change.”
Author: Rachel Hollis
Cheers Factor: 5/5
Pairing: I Ain’t Sorry - I think of the Beyonce song Sorry and I think it has a very similar vibe that Hollis was getting at with Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is one of my favorite juice combinations that I actually drink regularly. I put mine into a Starbucks to go cup and take it with me even. Also this is an alcohol free drink which is a nice change in pace. Hollis talks about taking responsibility for being healthy and making good decisions. Now I’m not saying this doesn’t have a lot of sugar, but everyone knows I have an obsession with juices.
3 ounces Pineapple Juice
2 ounces Cranberry Juice
1.5 ounces sparkling water
Step One: Measure out ingredients
Step Two: Mix ingredients into a glass and enjoy
Take a Shot: Rachel Hollis started out as a blogger that has built her media business into a multi-million dollar company. She’s now a New York Times Best-Selling Author and she’s a badass. She talks about topics from excuses we need to stop telling ourselves to skills to start helping yourself. This one is great for a wide range of ages which makes it super awesome.
Author: Molly Blume
Cheers Factor: ⅗
Pairing: Reese’s Cup
I love drinking this as a nice strong sipping drink. Not only is it delicious, but it’s perfect for feeling like a badass, but it tastes great. Molly drinks whiskey a lot and talks about doing so. I’m also inspired by the way Jessica Chastain drank it in the movie so here it is.
1.5 ounces Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey
¼ cup chocolate chips
½ ounce Milk
1 Ice ball (cubes can work but a singular solid is better)
Step one: Start freezing an ice ball at least a few hours before drinking
Step two: Heat a pan on a stove on low and add chocolate chips and milk
Step three: Stir often until melted consistency (add additional milk as needed)
Step four: Add ice ball to a rocks glass
Step five: After allowing the chocolate to cool, but not harden pour over the ice ball in the rocks glass. Just add enough to cover the ice ball
Step six: Add whiskey to the glass and enjoy
Molly Bloom, sister to Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom, ran one of the most exclusive poker games between LA and New York City. She herself was a skier and almost made it to the Olympics, but decided on a different path. Her players were celebrities, business tycoons, oligarchs and likely politicians. She had access to the exclusive on just about everything and had the ear of just about everyone who was an anyone. That is until she was indicted on mob charges and spent years trying to recover from the life she used to love so much. In this tell all book she takes readers behind the scenes to look at just what happened in her Oz while she was the Wizard.
I read this book because I absolutely love the movie Molly’s Game. Jessica Chastain is absolutely incredible in that movie and she’s amazing. I think she is so damn talented and any movie she makes is great. However, obviously the movie version changes some events in order to spice things up that aren’t as Hollywood in the book. The movie takes place after the book was written and essentially explains how exactly she fell into becoming the Poker Princess.
You essentially get a look into her lucky moments, her unlucky moments and the ones that you just can’t believe. She met the likes of Jake Gyllenhal, Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck. She got lucky with getting to take over what was just some guys playing poker and she turned it into an empire, but sadly it grew to be something she no longer could keep control of. Molly started taking a rake and that made her game illegal and she also had enough buzz that people wanted to exploit her multimillion dollar business and take advantage of her which led to some of her scary encounters.
Overall, I thought the book was okay. It wasn’t really my cup of tea just because I don’t really read too many memoir type stories. I felt like, for me, watching the movie was better. Just give it a shot though if you like a life of glitz and glam and poker.
“Although I had been told my whole life that money couldn’t buy you happiness, it was certainly clear to me that it could provide some desirable upgrades.”
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Cheers Factor: 3.5/5
Pairing: Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
My roommates and I are currently on a slight health kick so that means no alcohol and I have been good about it. We are holding out until around Christmas because two of us are going to be by the beach soon. This smoothie is one I used to make back when I was on a huge health kick. I make no claims that it’s crazy healthy, but I enjoyed it and used to drink it in the mornings. Plus this seems like something Celaena would drink because she loves food and sugar and all the decadence that is life.
1 ½ cup milk (I use coconut so it’s not actually dairy)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup of ice
Step 1: Measure out ingredients and combine in a blender
Step 2: Blend until combined
Step 3: Enjoy
This reminds me more of making flavored milk, but I really like drinking it and you get a serving of fruit and some protein from the peanut butter. Again, I’m making no claims that this is super good for you. There is a lot of sugar in it from the banana and the peanut butter, but it is a nice substitute for things like soda or juice which I drink lots of.
Take A Shot: The Assassin’s Blade is a set of novellas that take place before the first book in the Throne of Glass series. There is popular debate about when it should be read and whether reading it entirely before the series is more appropriate or in publishing order. If you read it in publishing order then it comes after book 2, Crown of Midnight. However, the individual novellas were actually written around the same time book 1 was published so to each their own. I read TAB long after I had finished the entire series because I was impatient and wanted to know what happened and I didn’t want to go back in time. However, upon reading it I see how it could be important to read before Empire of Storms in that lots of characters are delved into in TAB that come back in EoS. That being said this series follows Celaena Sardothien who is Adarlan’s greatest assassin trained to be the heir to the Assassin’s Guild of Adarlan. She’s a ruthless character with a penchant for exquisite dresses and jewelry. However, there is so much more to her story than meets the eye and I’m not just talking about the men that fall in love with her. That’s about all I can give without spoiling anything, but just read her books, they are magnificent. I love this entire series.
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!