Teaser Tuesday: Lament

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

This week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater.

I wanted to ask him why They would watch him, but I was afraid he wouldn't answer. I wanted to ask him why he was sleeping in his car a stone's throw away from my house, but I was afraid he would answer. I thought about his hand darting to his ankle and wondered if there was something hidden beneath his pants leg, something a bit more deadly than the golden band his shirt sleeve had obscured. pg 100

I've had this book on the shelf for ages and decided to stop putting it off since I adored Maggie Stiefvater's writing in the Shiver series. I'm not completely sold on Lament yet, but I'm only five chapters in so I'm reserving judgement for the time being. Hope you are all enjoying your current read! If you participated in Teaser Tuesday, leave me a link and I'll be sure to check it out. Happy Reading! :)

Manic Monday! (14)

Welcome to Manic Monday! Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday, because who loves Monday? And we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So each Monday, I'll highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The first book I'm highlighting this week is Incarnate by Jodi Meadows:


Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

This book sounds INCREDIBLE. I love the premise, it's fresh and not like a lot of the other books out there on the market right now. I'm super intrigued and cannot wait to delve into this world. What I have heard from people lucky enough to get the chance to read the ARC has ALL been positive which is really exciting. Can't wait!!

The second book I'm highlighting this week is Lenobia's Vow by PC Cast and Kristin Cast:


The second in the enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Lenobia's Vow tells the gripping story behind the House of Night's enigmatic riding instructor – and one of Zoey’s closest allies against evil

The House of Night is an international publishing sensation; with almost 12 million books in print, and an incredible 120 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, the series has taken the world by storm. Now, the excitement continues as the Cast mother-daughter duo shares the back stories of a few of the House of Night's most important – and mysterious – characters. The second of the House of Night Novellas brings us Lenobia, the strong, beautiful horseback riding instructor, who guides Zoey through some of her darkest hours, and has a dark secret buried in her own past...

In a small southern town at the turn of the century, young Lenobia is developing into a beautiful young woman with ideas of her own. But when she is Marked as a fledgling vampyre, her world turns upside down, and she is drawn to the musical streets of New Orleans. There, she learns of the city’s dark underbelly, ruled by powerful black magic. As Lenobia experiences her first love – and loss – and discovers a passion for horses to sustain her, she must come face-to-face with Darkness itself. And she may not escape without scars.

I am completely addicted to the House of Night world and I can't wait to get my hands on this next juicy tidbit. I love that the Casts are doing these novellas, what a fabulous idea! Gives me something to look forward to in-between the HoN books.

Is there anything you're dying to get your hands on tomorrow? Hope you're all having a decent Monday! For my East Coast peeps at least, we're halfway done!! Enjoy your day and as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Fins Are Forever


On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?

Tera Lynn Childs’s sequel to Forgive My Fins offers another tail-flicking romance with plenty of fun, sun, and underwater adventure.

I just ADORE this series! Another cute, fun, and magical story from the lovely Tera Lynn Childs. While I did like Forgive My Fins just a teeny smidge more, Fins Are Forever was a great sequel and shared some of the same wonderful characteristics that made Forgive My Fins such a pleasure to read.

Fins Are Forever picks up not long after Forgive My Fins. Lily is adjusting to her choice--instead of her plan to return to the sea and accept her role as Crown Princess Waterlily, she is instead focusing on getting accepted into college. Lily is in frantic cram mode with a looming SAT date and the stakes have never been higher. If she truly wants to enact change on the land that could protect her merkin below the sea, the first step is being accepted into college.

A major wrench is thrown into Lily's plans when Doe shows up at her doorstep, exiled and powerless. On top of her staying-human-now responsibilities, Lily will face one more task as the Princess of Thalassinia: She must help Doe overcome her hatred for humans. Chaos ensues as an unexpected event is triggered that forces Lily back into the sea, causing problems for her as she misses an important event on the land. Lily is also reunited with a childhood mer-friend, Tellin, who has an unexpected proposal for Lily... a proposal that could change everything.

Fins Are Forever is definitely worth a read. It's quick and easy and it surprised me a lot. Characters that I didn't care for much in Forgive My Fins really grew on me. The story moved quickly and I was left wanting more. Which THANKFULLY, I found out I won't have to wait all that long for! A third book in the series, Just For Fins, is coming out on July 3rd. Mark your calendars!

In the issue of fairness... I will divulge one thing that bugs me about this book. The cover. I get that the girl is supposed to look mermaidish... but to me, she kind of looks like a goth kid. I know that's being picky, haha. But I don't want to be too gushy! I just took off the jacket though while reading it cause the book itself was quite nice. Not as cute as the bubbly pink that came before it, but still nice to look at all the same.

Anywho... if you haven't checked out this series yet, do yourself a favor and get on it! You really won't be disappointed. Tera Lynn Childs's books are addicting in that can't-put-it-down way and I always seem to have a smile on my face at the end. What more could a girl hope for? Enjoy! *XOXO*

Fabulous CHALLENGE Alert!

The fabulous ladies are back and at it again! Lena from Addicted 2 Novels, Tiger from All-Consuming Media, and Karen from For What It's Worth are hosting the third Ultimate Reviewers Challenge all during the month of February.

This challenge is awesome because all we bloggers have to do is what we should already be doing: writing stellar book reviews! Visit the blogs above for all the details on how to sign up and how to be eligible for prizes. Yep, I said PRIZES!! The ladies have prize packs set up that look amazing, you won't want to miss out! And with 6 winners being chosen, you have a really good chance of being selected as a winner! I know I don't want to miss out, and you shouldn't either. So check it out today! Good luck and HAPPY READING!! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Forgive My Fins


Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

This book surprised me more than I thought possible. I had been putting this book off for AGES, bypassing it over and over for other books that I thought had to be way better. I'm not sure what influenced me to pick it up this time, but am I ever glad that I did! Forgive My Fins is a super cute, easy, and fun read that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a "feel good" book.

Forgive My Fins introduces us to Lily, a half-mermaid girl who is hopelessly infatuated with popular swimmer boy, Brody. Since Brody and his long-time girlfriend have broken up, Lily decides it's time to make her move. Besides, she's running out of time before her eighteen birthday. A birthday significant in that she needs to bond with someone to solidify her claim to the throne.

Throne? Huh? Yep! Our girl Lily is ACTUALLY not just any other mermaid... she's a princess, sole heir to the throne of Thalassinia. Finding her mate is vital to her world and she's convinced that Brody is the one for her. Determined to help her is Quince, obnoxious neighbor boy who clearly has an interest in Lily. Madness ensues when an accidental encounter creates a bond Lily could never have foreseen. I don't want to spoiler this book cause that would be tragic, but let's just say that Lily finds herself on quite a journey. A journey that shows her the truth about what lies in her heart, and where her loyalties ultimately lie.

This book is made of win. Grab it up if you haven't read it! It's fun, sweet, cute, and a super quick and easy read that I couldn't seem to put down. I finished it in a day. A WORK day, haha. And when I read hardcovers, I always take the book jacket off. Do yourself a favor and do the same because the book is simply adorable. It's impossible to not look at the happy pink shade and not smile.

I'm getting ready to crack open the sequel, Fins Are Forever. I'm hoping it's as magical as Forgive My Fins. I'm thinking it might be since I heard there's a THIRD book coming out this summer. Yay! If you haven't tried out this series, get to it. You won't regret it! Happy Reading!! *XOXO*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to the second edition of FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit: I really struggle maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For many years, I was living a life that wasn't truly fulfilling, so to make up for it... I ate. A lot. All the time and rarely anything anyone would consider nutritional. I ended up hating myself when I looked in the mirror because I hated how I had let myself go.

That all changed when I forced myself to make changes in my life. I got out of my unfulfilling existence and started actually LIVING again. I lost over 60 pounds without even really trying and became happier, healthier, and way more confident in the person that I was. I could do things again that I had been avoiding because being unhealthy makes you FEEL different. You're tired, sluggish, embarrassed at times! It's really no fun. Not that I'm saying losing weight will change your life over night because it doesn't work that way! But for me, it was one step in a life transformation that was WAY overdue.

Fast forward over a year later... I met and fell in love with my true mate in life. I could not be happier than I am in this relationship. The problem with this happiness? We got lazy. I'm sure we've all been there. You get in this fabulous relationship, start eating out a lot, spend evenings cuddled up on the couch instead of at the gym... before you know it, almost 30 pounds have creeped back on! Definitely not what I wanted, but that's where I'm at today.

Soooo... time to get back on the get healthy wagon. I joined a Biggest Loser Competition at work and hope to lose the weight I've gained by the end of the school year. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Recognizing that you struggle with something is often the first step in correcting it. Self-awareness is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Here's hoping I find some success again!

Hope you all have a smashingly fabulous Friday and WEEKEND! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Bumped


When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Soooo... Bumped was really, really interesting. I have a habit of not reading the synopsis before reading a book and I really wish I had this time because being thrust into that world unprepared was mega-confusing! But once I had a firm grasp on what was going on, I found I quite enjoyed the world that Megan McCafferty had created, a world extremely unique and different from any of the books I've read recently.

Bumped is the story of two girls, identical twins split up at birth who have grown up in vastly different worlds. Both girls are raised in an age where a virus has made it impossible for people over the age of eighteen to procreate. This has created a world where teenage girls are coveted for their "breedy bits" as they so lovingly call them. While one twin, Melody, is raised by parents who encourage and foster her to be the best candidate for "bumping", the other twin, Harmony, is raised in a strict religious community who abhors bumping for profit, or any bumping (or humping!) done out of wedlock. This religious community regularly arranges marriages for girls at the tender age of thirteen, when there is still plenty of fertile years ahead.

Harmony flees her sheltered world to save her sister from a life of sin... or at least, that's what she believes are her reasons but deep down, Harmony is harboring a major secret of her own. Harmony is mistaken for Melody at a most convenient time, a time that allows her to make a decision that will impact her life in more ways than she could possibly imagine. When the repercussions from Harmony's decision become known, will they have an impact on Melody? Will Melody bond with her twin and help her no matter the cost, or will she stay locked in a world that has lost the appeal she once thought it had?

So what did I think of it? Well, there are the goods... and then there are the bads. The goods: A unique story in an outrageous future world. When thinking about it, it's easy to see how such a world could be created. What WOULD happen if a virus wiped out reproductive capabilities to all but the adolescent population? I think the author does a wonderful job of showing how such a thing could escalate to the point where teenage girls are pimping out their wombs. I liked seeing Harmony and Melody come to realizations about who they really are, and what they really want. I can't wait to read the sequel to see where these revelations take the twins next.

The bads: For me, some of the language bordered on HIGHLY obnoxious. If I read the word "neggy" one more time, I might have thrown the book at the wall. And then there's the comfort factor... reading about girls as young as eleven having babies for profit was uncomfortable. I work with teenagers and teenage pregnancy is a major issue. Realistically, I know that this world is a total product of fiction and that of course the author is not promoting or condoning teenage pregnancy. But coming from my counseling background, there were moments I found myself cringing and wanting to slap some of these girls in the face!

That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. I applaud the author for creating such an unexpected world and I'm really looking forward to the sequel, Thumped, coming out April 24th. Consider reading Bumped before then... I scored the Kindle version for 99 cents! For 99 cents, you owe it to yourself to try it out. Happy Reading!! *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (19)


Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

Release date: February 14, 2012

*squee* I am SOOOOO excited for this one!! I REALLY enjoyed Beastly and I cannot wait to get into the mind of Kendra. (I just hope I don't picture her as Mary-Kate Olsen the entire time I'm reading it! Hahaha) She's definitely an intriguing character so I'll be gobbling this up ASAP! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Frozen Fire


A paranormal thriller from Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler!

It starts with a phone call. I’m dying, a voice tells Dusty. Who is he and how has he gotten her cell number? Dusty wants no part of this strange boy . . . until he begins saying things that only someone who knows her intimately could say, things that lead her to think he knows the whereabouts of her brother, who disappeared over a year ago. Suddenly drawn in, Dusty very much wants to save this boy. Trouble is, she cannot find him. Part human, part spirit, he won’t let himself be found. He is too dangerous, he says. There are mobs of people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.

A gripping, hair-raising mystery about a boy not of this world, and a girl determined to protect him.

Well... I really wouldn’t call this a hair-raising mystery. Unless you’re like me, and you get to the end and you’re still not entirely sure what the heck all happened and what the point of the whole thing was. I think the premise of this book had potential, but it really fell way short of my expectations.

The story follows Dusty, a spunky teenager struggling with the disappearance of her brother two years ago. She receives a strange and spooky phone call from a mysterious boy, and finds herself thrust into a dangerous world of thugs, secrets, supernatural happenings, and just plain weirdness. The pacing is slow, the dialogue is boring at times, and the action is very spread out. I think the book is supposed to feel suspenseful, but all I felt was a desire for it to end.

I can’t really recommend this one as I was so disappointed with it the entire time I was reading it. I had grabbed this one off a shelf at Barnes and Noble, the cover appealed to me and it sounded like an interesting read. Really wishing I had researched it a bit before snapping it up. I can say though that although it felt like one of the slowest books, it didn’t take all that long to read. So if you’re still intrigued and would rather trust your own opinion on the book, it won’t take you longer than a couple days to get through it.

Best of luck! Hope you like it better than I did! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Bumped

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

This week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Bumped by Megan McCafferty.

"I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts in keeping your EYES on the PURITY PRIZE." He traces an imaginary line from my neck to my ankles. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that you would have the opportunity to bump with Jondoe." (25% on Kindle edition)

This book is definitely unique. I'm not quite sure what to think about it so far, haha. I'm about a third in so we'll see how it goes! What are YOU reading today? Leave me a link to your teaser and I'll be sure to check it out!! :)

TBR Pile: You're Going Down!

I've decided to join the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge! :)

I have WAYYYY too many books sitting on my bookcases... collecting dust, getting repeatedly passed over for bright and shiny new releases, feeling lonesome. It's pretty sad and it's time that I make a serious dent in the ever-growing pile. 2012 will be the year that I FINALLY stick to the resolution to get through as many of my TBR books as possible. Sound like something you could use too? Check out all the details below. But first... my goal for this challenge:


Challenge Details:

1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.

2. As the hosts would like to see quality reviews linked up to the monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!

3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)

6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.

7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.

9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - they will be checking ;)

10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.

11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of them to be entered in giveaways!

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

Evie from Bookish
Nicole from All I Ever Read
Bonnie from Hands and Home
Donna from Book Passion For Life
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading
Rie from Mission To Read
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea
Christa from Hooked On Books
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision

Wrap-up POST Schedule:
January - Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February - Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March - Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April - Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May - Christa (Theme: MayDay - Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June - Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July - Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August - Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September - Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October - Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November - Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December - Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)

Good luck and as always, HAPPY READING!!! *XOXO*

1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
3. Frozen Fire by Time Bowler
4. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
5. Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
6. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
7. Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
8. Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
9. Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison
10. Something Deadly This Way Comes by Kim Harrison
11. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
12. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
13. Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
14. The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
15. Hush by Kate White
16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon and George Jeanty
17. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
18. Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
19. Torment by Lauren Kate
20. Passion by Lauren Kate
21. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
22. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
23. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Manic Monday! (13)

Welcome to Manic Monday! Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday, because who loves Monday? And we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So each Monday, I'll highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The book I'm highlighting today is Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate:

What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.

Yayyy! I love the Fallen Series and can't wait to get my hands on this book! Love stories? Yes, please! Time to swoon all over again!! And could the cover get any more stunning? Gorgeous covers in this series. Love all of them! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Where She Went


It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I have to say, Where She Went was a complete and total surprise. I didn't read the synopsis before I started the book, so each step along the way was unexpected. And having the story told from Adam's perspective was refreshing, heartwrenching, and so enjoyable, there are hardly words to describe it.

Where She Went picks up several years after the conclusion of If I Stay and boy, have things changed! Adam has become a bonafide rockstar and has a sexy celebrity girlfriend to boot. Turns out, Mia hasn't been doing too badly herself. A prodigy at Juilliard, she ends up graduating early to head out touring on her cello.

We learn through Adam that Mia abruptly ended their relationship by the classic disappearing act not too long after heading to Juilliard... an action that has left Adam completely broken. His life has been spiralling out of control since on a whirlwind of anxiety, fame, and music industry obligations. A chance encounter reunites Mia and Adam for a single night--a night that gives the ex-lovers the opportunity to finally open up about past hurts, regrets, feelings, and possible future changes. Will this night give Adam and Mia closure? Or does fate have another plan for the two of them?

If you want to know the answer to the above questions, you're just going to have to read it! I can say that this book did what it's predeccesor failed to do for me: It hooked me emotionally. Adam's POV was riveting. And tears? Yep, this time I had them. I was moved and touched and overwhelmed with feelings, feelings I couldn't quite get to when reading If I Stay. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book. 4 of 5 stars. Read them in order for the best experience, you'll be happy you did. Enjoy! *XOXO*

FUN FRIDAY: Superstitions (and upcoming GIVEAWAY news)

Happy Friday!! :) I'm starting a new thing here on my blog entitled FUN FRIDAY where I will reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit: I am highly superstitious. HIGHLY. One season, the Colts (I'm also a humongous football fan, but that's no secret!) started out undefeated for many, many weeks. That first week, I had used a specific spoon at work and since they won, I decided I couldn't wash that spoon and had to keep using it. I'm talking almost daily yogurts here, people. And it couldn't be rinsed off or it would lose the magic! Who could have predicted they would have won 13 games that year before losing. 13 games. 13 weeks!! Of using the SAME SPOON. It started to have visible nastiness on it and coworkers and friends threatened to steal it to wash it, it was that gross.

I attribute that amazing season to my dirty spoon. I can't help it. And I have weird rituals about almost everything. I have to use the same bookmark right now. It's a paper bookmark of Melissa Marr's Radiant Shadows. There's nothing special about it. It's not signed, it's not laminated, nothing. My cats have chewed on the corners and it's gotten wet and a little wrinkly in places. But I feel like I MUST use it with each new book or the book will suck. It's completely illogical, but it's just something I have to do.

I also wear the same necklace every day. My fiance bought it for me on our 5 month anniversary. The design on the charm matches the tattoo he has on his chest so I wear it daily to keep him close to my heart. That's not the strange part. The strange part is that the clasp LOVES to turn around and end up in front and every time this happens, I have to kiss the clasp and make a wish before turning it around to the back again.

What can I say? I'm an odd one. I could list more examples, but I think the above ones prove I have some weird superstitions. I think it's just something about me that adds to my charm. That's what I tell myself anyway! Do any of you have weird superstitions? If so, please leave a comment about them, I would love to hear them!

One last thing before I jettison off to what will hopefully be a fantastic weekend... GIVEAWAY NEWS!! I have reached 250 followers!! *tosses confetti* How very exciting. I'll be coming up with a giveaway to mark that accomplishment and hope to have it up next week so be on the lookout! Hope everyone has a smashingly fantabulous weekend! And as always, HAPPY READING!! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* If I Stay


In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces - to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

If I Stay is an emotional book that gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of Mia, a girl who literally watches as her existence hangs in the balance. Mia "wakens" outside of herself after a horrible car accident, an accident that strips her family from her forever. She gets to witness the aftermath of the accident in an out-of-body type of experience and it is through this that we learn Mia is faced with the ultimate choice: Does she stay, or does she go? The choice between life and death is an extremely difficult one as the life that Mia has known is gone.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a gripping read, I found it very difficult to put down. Mia's life unfolds before us through flashbacks that give us glimpses to the life she's led, the people she has lost, and the life possibilities that await her should she decide to stay.

While I enjoyed the book, and read it in a day since it's an easy and short read, I did find that the emotion in the story didn't grab at me the way that it seemed to for others who have read it. While I found myself touched and moved by the story, not once did I tear up. And for those of you who know me well, that is surprising considering everything seems to make me tear up! I just couldn't seem to get there with this book. I was invested, and I did keep flipping the pages, wanting to know what would ultimately happen, but I found that I didn't actually have a preference for the decision Mia would make. If she stayed, if she went, it didn't matter to me which way she chose. I think that fact alone is what made me rate it 3 of 5 stars.

All in all, I would still highly recommend this book as it's very different from many of the books out there right now. It definitely is thought-provoking and you will likely find it very hard to put down. I can't say grab the kleenex though, because I definitely didn't need any. But many, many others did so maybe have some nearby. You know... just in case. Happy Reading!! :)

Waiting on Wednesday (18)


Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Release date: February 21, 2012

I'm really intrigued by this one! Love, heartbreak, betrayal, death... what's not to like? Being a counselor, I'm definitely interested to see Brie go through the five stages of grief. Here's hoping she finds a happily ever after--even if it's after the grave. What are YOU waiting for this Wednesday? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Bloodrose


Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

Bloodrose is the final book in the Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer. Let me tell you... this book is a WILD RIDE! Full of action, heartbreak, love, loyalty and sacrifice, it will definitely keep you flipping the pages at a breakneck speed as the book rushes towards its conclusion.

Bloodrose continues the journey of Calla, Shay, Ren and the gang as they rush to gather the pieces that will help secure victory over the Keepers. This book is FULL of action around every corner, you will definitely not be bored with the pacing of this one! As the pieces come together, and war becomes inevitable, loyalties and relationships will be put to the test. Who will survive? And at what cost? The final battle is upon us... you will NOT want to miss it. And the ending has a surprise twist that will keep you on your toes.

So what did I REALLY think about the conclusion of this series? Without spoilering, I will say that in some ways, it met my expectations and left me with a smile on my face. But there is one event in the book that had tears streaming down my face, an event that muddied my love for the book because I feel that it made things too easy. And while many will consider the ending happy, I was left wanting more.

I'm sad to leave the Nightshade world behind. There are many characters I will continue to love and miss. But the series kind of lost its sparkle for me as it went through books two and three. Book one had a magic that can sometimes be hard to duplicate. That being said, I would still recommend this series to anyone who loves the wolfies. It's an entertaining and engaging series that you won't regret reading. Just choose your favorites carefully--remember that in war, there are always casualties. And as always... Happy Reading. *XOXO*

Book Blogger Confessions

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme created by Tiger at All-Consuming Media and Karen at For What It's Worth. Book Blogger Confessions gives participants the opportunity to discuss some of the frustrations that are unique to book bloggers. Check out their sites for more information.

This edition's question: Have you ever had reading/blogging slumps? How do you work through them or work around them?

Well, I had a MAJOR blogging slump... I was MIA for over a year and a half! My reasons stemmed from serious personal upheaval, but the result was the same: I checked out. Stepped away. Fell behind in posts, fell behind in reading, got overwhelmed, and then just completely fell out of the game. While I know that my experience is a little extreme, and it's unlikely that many of you fellow bloggers will fall off for as long as I did, I think many can relate to the common reasons some of us may become lackadaisical with our blogs.

Life happens. And sometimes, it happens at such a rapid rate, it's hard to find the time to devote to my blog. I have a very stressful job and in the past couple years, it's gotten more so as I have been forced to take on more responsibilities to carry the weight of some new team members who don't seem quite able to get into the swing of things. Days are long and when I get home, I have to force myself to not check out. A realization I've recently come to, hence my return to the blogosphere, is that more than ever, I NEED to carve out time for the things that bring me joy. Reading and blogging are two things that make me happy, that give me an escape, and I will not allow myself to drift so far from them again.

So for me, it's all about time management. Not everything is going to get done. That can be a hard thing to accept, as I tend to be type-A about certain things. But the reality is: I am only one person and I can only do but so much. I will find time to read, to blog, to do the things that make me happy, but there will be times where life interrupts and I have to be ok with that. Whether that means skipping a post, or not writing a review for a book that I didn't love, it's ok. And the reverse is true as well: I can put off the laundry for a night if I need some time to unwind, to blog my thoughts and to just be me. Balance. It's all about balance.

The answer to the reading slump is a whole lot simpler for me: Variety. Mix it up! Right now, for example, I'm reading Bloodrose, the third book in the Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer. And honestly? I'm ready to tear my hair out! It's another super-predictable love triangle where I know the main character is going to choose the safe character that everyone is supposed to love but who I just can't seem to form a connection to. The way I plan on solving this is to read something COMPLETELY different. I'm going to take a break from the supernatural and PRAY that my next book doesn't have a poor love triangle--meaning, there's no chance the character is going to veer in any direction but the obvious one. Reading slumps are easy to break: ask a friend for a recommendation, visit Goodreads, go browse the shelves at your local library. ANYTHING that will help you find something different, something you hadn't considered. Often, it only takes one "different" book to snap me out of my funk.

But if that fails? Go back to a tried and true: Harry Potter. Or whatever YOUR Harry Potter is. If my reading slump is severe, that has always worked for me. I go back to a beloved series full of characters and storylines that feel like home. Those type of series remind me why I LOVE to read. They recharge my batteries and make me feel content again. Seriously. Try it. Find your Harry Potter. You'll never regret it. Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Bloodrose

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

This week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer.

It happened in the space of a blink. Gabriel had just reached the deck and it dropped onto him--a shape descending like an ebony cloak. The panther screamed as it leapt from its hiding place on the other side of the roof. (pg. 208)

I'm liking this book a lot so far! It was hard to choose a teaser because I really, really don't want to spoil this book for anyone. Fans of the Nightshade Series, get this book NOW. Can't wait to see how it ends!! Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Manic Monday! (12)

Welcome to Manic Monday! Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday, because who loves Monday? And we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So each Monday, I'll highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The first book I'm highlighting is Hallowed by Cynthia Hand:


For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Hallowed is the second book in the Unearthly Series. I've been holding on to Unearthly because cliffhangers drive me insane! Now that book two is coming out, I'm ready to dive into the series. Anyone read it? Thoughts?

The second book I'm highlighting is The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, The Asylum by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, and Julie Plec:


The hunters become the hunted. . . .

Driven from their hometown of Mystic Falls, both Stefan Salvatore and his brother, Damon, arrived in Europe looking for a fresh start. But Samuel, a wealthy and cunning vampire, has other plans for them. First he ruined Stefan’s peaceful existence and now he’s framing Damon for the most gruesome murders London has ever seen.

United against their common enemy, Stefan and Damon are stunned when they realize that the source of Samuel’s rage lies in their past—tied up with the woman who forever changed their lives. Haunted by the memory of Katherine, the brothers find that their uneasy alliance is tested. Can they overcome their rivalry to defeat Samuel before he exacts his final revenge?

This book is volume 5 in the Stefan's Diaries series. This series is based on the show, and reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began. I'm addicted to all things Vamp Diaries so I can't wait to get my hand on this one!

Hope there are some things you're looking forward to! Happy Reading!! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Wolfsbane


When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

First off, let me say that I LOVE this series. I have grown extremely attached to some of these characters and truly enjoy the world that Andrea Cremer has created. That being said, second books can be a little tricky sometimes. While I was pleased and quite happy by the end of Wolfsbane, there were some moments in the first half of the book that didn't quite meet up to my expectations.

The book begins basically where Nightshade ended, with Calla waking up after being taken captive by the Searchers. Turns out, these guys may be the good guys after all. Calla is given the opportunity to form an alliance that could possibly spare all of her loved ones she was forced to leave behind. Sounds easy, right? Ha!

We're introduced to a ton of new characters and while I did end up growing to like some of them, I have to admit I found them tiresome in the beginning. Only because of the frequent banter between them. I found it distracting to the story and would end up off of my train of thought. Other than that slight annoyance, I did end up getting to know, and quite like, the majority of the new arrivals.

I really don't want to spoiler this book for anyone, because if you liked Nightshade, you're definitely going to want to read this one. It's got a lot of action and some truly touching moments. There's a surprise that frankly isn't much of a surprise at all if you're paying attention as you read the book. I was a little disappointed with how quickly I sniffed that one out. But don't forget, there are the BOYS! While I was on the fence on the Team Shay/Team Ren debate at the end of Nightshade, I have to say that I slid a little bit more towards one side by the end of this book. One of the boys lost some magic for me, while one gained favor. Especially when I realized how much I missed his presence since he played a much smaller role this time around.

All in all, this is a great book. The last half definitely made up for the slightly disappointing first, so don't give up if you're not loving it in the beginning. And you'll want to get your hands on Bloodrose as soon as possible, because the ending of Wolfsbane will leave you panting for more! Enjoy!

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Here are books I've either won, been given, borrowed, or bought this past week:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield.
The crazy thing? I vaguely remember winning this a VERY long time ago. Like 2010 long ago and I can't remember where I won it from! It showing up in my mailbox this week was a total surprise. Thank you to whoever sent it!! :)

Wolfbane by Andrea Cremer
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Super excited to finish the Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer!! I INHALED Wolfsbane in a day and just started Bloodrose. Reviews to come! And some Cassandra Clare? Yes, please! I've missed that world, ready to dive back in.

What did YOU get this week? Leave me a link so I can check it out! Happy Reading!! *XOXO*

The Return... of a Blogger

Summer of 2010 marked a period of extreme upheaval in my life. I went through some major personal changes, which culminated in me losing touch with the things that mattered to me. I'm happy to say that things have turned around in unexpected, and truly fabulous ways. My life is completely unrecognizable from the one I was living before, and I could not be happier with where I am.

That being said, I want to get back to doing the things that I love and reading is something I had drifted from. I've gotten back on track with reading since this past summer and falling in love with books again has made me miss my blog something fierce.

So... I'm back. *tosses confetti* Getting back into the swing of things may take some time, but I'm super excited and stoked to make the attempt. Thanks to my followers who stuck around, I adore each and every one of you. 2012 is going to be a fantastic year, so happy you will all be with me each step of the way.
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