#YABookCook with “The Looking Glass”

#YABookCook with "The Looking Glass"
#YABookCook with “The Looking Glass”

For #YABookCook tonight I’m making steamer clam soup and reading The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold. The Looking Glass takes place in a haunted hotel in Main, so something seafood inspired seemed appropriate. This dish is totally easy to make, and goes well with French bread and salad.

Steamer Clam Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs. responsibly farmed manila clams
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt
First wash the clams really, really, really well
First wash the clams really, really, really well
Next sauté the shallots and butter for about five minutes
Next sauté the shallots and butter for about five minutes
Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook until soft (about 5 minutes)
Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook until soft (about 5 minutes)
Add salt to taste (about 1/2 Tb)
Add salt to taste (about 1/2 Tb.)
Fill the pot 3/4 full with water (about 6-8 cups)
Fill the pot 3/4 full with water (about 6-8 cups)
After water is boiling, add clams and cook for 15-20 minutes or until clams have opened all the way
When water boils, add clams and cook for 15-20 minutes
When the clams open, the soup's done
When the clams open, the soup’s done

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Now for the book review!

The Looking Glass, by debut author Jessica Arnold, is an otherworldly YA fantasy tale unlike anything I’ve read in a long time. The hook is that 15 year old Alice has been tragically injured in a swimming accident, and is now mysteriously trapped in a haunted Victorian hotel.

If you see the name “Alice” and the title “The Looking Glass” and immediately think “Lewis Carroll”, you’re not alone. There’s definitely an Alice in Wonderland vibe going on throughout the plot. Unfortunately, I’m not enough of a Carroll fan to spot all the references. But I did note that like Carroll’s version of Alice, the titular character in Arnold’s novel doesn’t always make the best decisions. You, the reader, are left thinking “Why’d you do that?” even while rooting for Alice to succeed.

The Looking Glass is engaging, thought provoking and ethereal. If you’re looking for something more on the literary end of the YA spectrum, this book’s for you.

 


The Looking Glass