Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to 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 I want to talk about pet peeves in the workplace. Anyone who works in an office knows there are ALWAYS people who are going to drive you insane. I work in an office with 7 other women, not to mention the over one hundred teachers who work in our building. We've also got nurses, secretaries, accounting clerks, librarians, computer IT specialists, principals, custodians, cafeteria staff, parent volunteers, an attendance clerk... to say that our high school building is full of personalities is quite an understatement!

Pet peeve 1: Our school has an employee who is NEVER ON TIME. Seriously, she runs 10-15 minutes late every single day, while all of us are forced to listen to reminders at every single faculty meeting about the importance of being on time for work. Um. Has anyone bothered to speak to her directly? I'm thinking no cause here's the thing... this girl is gorgeous. She's cute, little, skinny, and has a bubbly personality. And while I adore her, preferential treatment feels like a slap in my not-so-adorable face when I bust tail to get here a little early each and every day.I guess it's true that super beautiful people are treated differently than us normal folks.

Pet peeve 2: Coworkers who over-share. All. The. Time. While it's great that we generally get along as a faculty, I don't need to hear constant updates about your back pain, your child's soccer team, your house construction, your husband's project at work, yada yada yada. I internally groan when some people stop by my office because I know it's going to be the same old stuff. I'm your coworker, not your best friend or a loved one. I keep boundaries with some of you for a reason!

Pet peeve 3: People who are overly inconsistent. You know the type... you never know which "side" of them you're going to encounter on any given day. One day, they're nice, outgoing, supportive... then the next they're sarcastic, moody, and borderline rude. You want to snap on them and say, "Did you forget your meds today?!" Which of course you can't do, but the thought crosses your mind! The same goes for inconsistency among job positions. If one librarian lets kids get away with late returns, but the other one is a stickler about it, it creates an imbalance in the force if you will. This is a toned down example of what actually goes on. Our librarians are actually awesome and extremely consistent, but I'm not incriminating myself on here by listing the real culprits!

Pet peeve 4: Lazy coworkers. I know EVERYONE can relate to this one! There are always people who do not carry their weight in the office. The people who work really hard are dumped on more and more while others skate through with just a portion of the responsibility. I do my job well... but I am tired of being told how organized I am and how the job comes so easy to me. Ummm, no it doesn't. I have to work REALLY hard to be this organized and efficient. Things don't come easy, I work my tail off for it just like anyone else could, if only they were willing.

Anywho... that's my ramblings for the week. Please feel free to share any work pet peeves you have! Solidarity, my working peeps! I hope you all have a wonderful and fun-filled weekend... like me, I'm sure you have EARNED IT! :)

Waiting on Wednesday (25)


This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters...

Release date: May 29, 2012

Um... YES PLEASE!!! :) What about this book does NOT sound good? That would be not a darn thing! Vampires? Check! World in chaos? Check! Potential romance with a vamp boy? Check! I'm assuming on that last one, haha. But there's bound to be some romance going on somewhere! I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Amy & Roger's Epic Detour


Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

What a WONDERFUL book! I cannot overstate how much I enjoyed this one. It's touching, engaging, and has two main characters who are completely relatable and likable. This book is the story of a journey--an actual one, and a psychological one. You'll definitely want to ride along with Amy and Roger!

The book begins by introducing us to Amy, a teenager who has recently lost her father in a car accident and has watched the total destruction of her family. Her brother is in rehab across the country, her mom has moved to the northeast, and Amy has been spending the past month alone in their soon-to-be old house. Amy's mom's solution is to send Amy cross-country on a road trip with Roger, the son of an old family friend who Amy has not seen in many years.

As Amy and Roger begin their journey, we learn that Amy blames herself for her father's death and that she has not been coping with things well. Roger is also going through something--he was recently dumped by his girlfriend, Hadley, and not knowing the reasons behind the split is making it extremely hard for Roger to get closure. As Amy and Roger veer off the chosen path, we see them both work through some of their issues, and develop quite a bond while doing so.

I really don't want to say any more than that because spoiling this book for someone would be criminal! I have to admit that I had this one on my shelf for ages, yet I kept passing it by for something else. I'm kicking myself for that one now because this book was really, really good. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different. This book takes you on a JOURNEY, and the little scrapbook touches that are added to the pages really makes this book feel fun.

I have to admit that I'm kind of bummed that the trip ended... riding along with Roger and Amy was pretty fantastic. Hop on board with them if you haven't! And as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* New Girl


A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

New Girl by Paige Harbison is a contemporary re-telling of a book by Daphne du Maurier entitled Rebecca. Since that book was printed in 1938, I can say that I have NOT read the original so this story was completely new and fresh for me.

The story begins by introducing us to a girl who is about to enter her senior year of high school. But rather than staying at her public high school in Florida with all of her friends, she is being shipped off to the elite Manderly Academy, a boarding school that she desired going to back before she began high school. A spot has opened up at the pretigious school and the girl's parents think they are doing a wonderful thing for her by secretly signing her up to attend. Even though she has reservations, she decides to attend the school rather than disappoint her parents.

Upon arriving at the school, she meets her roommate who is anything but welcoming and it is there that she learns the truth--she has taken the place of Becca Normandy, a beloved student who disappeared at the end of the previous school year. Many of the students at Manderly view the "new girl" as an imposter, someone trying to fill a spot that is not rightfully theirs.

As the story progresses, readers are granted two perspectives: that of the new girl, and the past perspective of Becca Normandy herself. Will the new girl survive the school year and earn a place among her classmates? What really happened to Becca? Is Becca out there somewhere, waiting to return? And how does the mysterious and gorgeous Max fit into all of this?

I wanted to like this book... it was decent, but nothing mind-blowing and not a book that I would tell someone, "OMG, you have got to read this!" I found it all a little hard to swallow. Firstly, what kind of parents make a decision like that to their child before their SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL?! I found that one ludicrious. Yes, "new girl" wanted to attend Manderly when she was what, 12? 13? I think as a parent, I might have done a more up-to-date check-in with her before signing her up, cutting a check, and shipping her away from everything she knows.

And then there's Becca. Through her past POV, we get to see what happened to her during her time at Manderly. And we ultimately find out what the heck happened to her. But really? She's an AWFUL character. I really disliked her and her POV. I found myself not caring at ALL what happened to her. And she really wasn't the only one. There were some truly dislikeable characters in this book.

Something I found very interesting, and perhaps telling, is that we don't learn the main character's name until the very end of the book. And you know what? I hadn't realized that at all. I'm thinking that's a sign that I wasn't truly invested in the story. I actually found myself flipping back through the pages to make sure I hadn't seen that name before. Perhaps it's just something that slipped my mind, I don't know.

So all in all, I don't know... if you've got some time, maybe pick it up. There are definitely worst books out there and you may find yourself intrigued by the story in a way that I just was not. At the very least, you may find a character to despise as I did. Good luck! :)

Teaser Tuesday: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

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 Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson:

I pushed open to the door to the bathroom, which was thankfully empty, and locked myself in the nearest stall. Then I leaned back against the cold metal door and let the crying take over. I cried into my hands, big, horrible sobs that seemed to come from somewhere deep inside. I'd never cried like this until it happened, and I hated it. pg. 67

This book is delightful. I truly think that's the best word for it. I'm about 3/4 of the way through and I can say that it's a remarkably entertaining read. Be on the lookout for a review when I wrap things up! If you've got a Teaser Tuesday out there, leave me a link cause I'd love to check it out! *XOXO*

Manic... Tuesday!!

So my life has been super chaotic... we moved into the house on Saturday and then we moved all four cats on Sunday. That was a MESS. They were completely freaked out and are very SLOWLY getting more comfortable with the new digs. Surprisingly, the cats aren't our biggest issue. The biggest issue would be plumbing. Apparently, we are extraordinarily lucky and have a major clog somewhere that is causing water to back-up into sinks scattered throughout the house. Kill me now. I'm super glad we still have our apartment for the time being or we would be without a shower!!

Anywho... that's my nightmare, will post an update on the house on the next Fun Friday post. For today, I wanted to take a moment to squee about this book that came out today:


At long last, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sixes and the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan brings back the sassy crime writer turned amateur sleuth Bailey Weggins in an addictive story involving the mysterious death of a supermodel.

Bailey Weggins, the Manhattan-based thirtysomething true-crime journalist, is in a good place. She's enjoying her regular gig at Buzz, a leading celebrity magazine, getting freelance work, and hoping her first book will garner attention. In the love department, she's finally back in the game with her recently-turned-exclusive boyfriend, Beau Regan. When Beau heads out of town one early December weekend, Bailey accepts an invitation from her office friend Jessie to a music mogul's house in the country, hoping for a fun, relaxing getaway. But a weird tension settles over the houseguests—a glamorous crowd that includes the famously thin supermodel Devon Barr. An impending snowstorm only adds to the unease. So when Devon's lifeless body is found in her bed, Bailey immediately suspects foul play: she can't stop thinking of the day before, when a frightened Devon shivered in the woods and pleaded, "I have to get out of here. . . . It's not safe for me." When Bailey starts to nose around, she finds herself a moving target—running closer to the truth and straight into danger.

With her trademark irreverent wit, Bailey is a heroine who keeps us laughing while on the edge of our seats. New and longtime fans alike will devour this eagerly awaited mystery.

Yayyy!!! I LOVE these books and it's been way too long since Kate White released a Bailey Weggins book. If you haven't checked them out before, what are you waiting for? They always keep you guessing and flipping the pages and Bailey is the type of character you love rooting for. Snap it up. Today!! If you want to start with book one, you need to grab If Looks Could Kill. You won't be disappointed! *XOXO*


I just wanted to let my followers know that I am MOVING! Yippee! I am going to be renting a house now which I am super excited about since our teeny tiny apartment was a little small for me, my fiance, and our 4 cats. Yep, 4 cats. We are THOSE people.

The official move date is this Saturday but there's tons to do between now and then so I expect I'll be MIA until next week. Just wanted to let everyone know! Hope you all have a fantastic rest of the week and a fantabulous weekend. And Happy St. Patty's Day in advance! Eat or drink something green! And as always, HAPPY HAPPY READING!! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Sapphique

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 comes from Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. Sapphique is the sequel to Incarceron.

The deep vaults were damp and chilly. Squeezing between the barrels and wine casks she hurried to the darkest corner where the high bronze doors reared to the roof and found to her horror that they were shut. The great snails that seemed to infest this place clung to the icy metal; their trails crisscrossed the damp surface. pg. 51

I haven't gotten very far into this one yet, but I really enjoyed Incarceron and hope that this one is just as good! What are you reading? Leave me a link and I'll check out your teasers! Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Manic... TUESDAY!!

Welcome to Manic Monday on TUESDAY! You have to love busy work weeks! Normally, Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday because we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So on each Monday, I highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help my followers find that silver lining!

Since today is Tuesday, I'll be highlighting a book that actually releases today. So if you're looking to grab a new read today, this one could be for you! The book I'm highlighting today is Balthazar by Claudia Gray:


Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

SQUEEEEEEE! I really enjoyed the character of Balthazar in the Evernight Series and I can't wait to read a book where he takes center stage! And YOWZA!! This one sounds AHHHHH-mazing. Love, danger, romance, vampires... what's not to love? Bring it!!

*REVIEW* Lies Beneath


Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Lies Beneath is a romantic, tragic, and heartfelt story about a young merman torn between love and family. I was very excited to dive (pun intended!) into this story after reading the synopsis, and it did not disappoint. There’s something truly magical about mermaids and Anne Greenwood Brown’s take on them was interesting to me. The only other stories about mermaids that I am familiar with is Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Tera Lynn Childs’ Forgive My Fins books and the mermaids in Lies Beneath are FAR from the benign creatures those other stories portray.

Lies Beneath introduces us to Calder, a merman who is fighting desperately against his nature. See, mermaids kill humans to feed off of their emotions but Calder has been trying to abstain longer and longer periods of time. And although he’s showing success in this, there’s one thing he cannot overcome: the pull he feels to rejoin his sisters in Lake Superior. And this summer will be different than ever before—Jason Hancock has been found. Calder and his sisters blame Jason Hancock for the death of their mother and revenge has been a lifelong goal.

A plan is formed that involves Calder seducing Jason Hancock’s older daughter, Lily. Lily is eccentric, beautiful, and compelling, and soon Calder finds himself falling for her, completely unplanned and unpredicted. Will Calder be able to see the plan through, or will his falling in love with his prey threaten the revenge, his family, even his own life?

You really need to scoop this one up when it releases on June 12, 2012. It’s got all the makings of a great supernatural YA romance and the perspective being from a male character is refreshing and unique. This book held my attention from beginning to end and I will definitely be grabbing the sequel when it comes out in 2013. Happy Reading! *XOXO*

*thanks to Random House Children's Books and Netgalley for providing the ARC for review*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to 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 give too much of myself sometimes. This is relevant to me today because I have a friend going through a roller coaster relationship, full of crazy ups and super low downs. And I love this friend DEARLY and want to be there for her each step of the way. But it's starting to get me down a little because maybe it's the counselor in me, but I have a hard time not getting sucked in by others' emotions at times. Couple that with the fact that my life is pure INSANITY at the moment and the result is one seriously-stressed Karen.

I think my friend's situation is getting to me so much because I see my past self in her now and I have to wonder why so many of us women base our worth on our romantic relationships. There's so much more to us than being a wife, girlfriend, fiancee, whatever, but it seems like that main relationship can be what makes or breaks our happiness. Maybe it's the nature of women because we tend to place more value on our relationships with loved ones, who knows. But it's really got me thinking that if we spent a little LESS time obsessing about our men, and a little more time focusing on other things that make us happy, we'd be a whole lot happier in the long run.

Anywho... enough thinking for the day. Work is winding down and then it's back to stripping wallpaper and painting. Moving BLOWS, in case you didn't know! Hope you all have a great weekend and I hope all the ladies out there know that they are worth WAY more than one man's opinion. *XOXO*

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge: February Update!

I LOVE this challenge! It's really motivated me to read some books that I had been passing over for WAY too long. I managed to read 5 books in February that had been sitting on the shelf, feeling lonesome and ignored. Click the link to read my review of each book and if you're interested in the challenge, it's not too late to sign up! Click the picture on the right of my blog for more information :)

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