*REVIEW* Demonglass


Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

OhmygoodNESS, I freakin' ADORE this series! Demonglass packs just as much of a punch as Hex Hall, if not more!! Rachel Hawkins continues her story in this second installment of the Hex Hall Series bringing readers even more passion, mystery, danger, and some pretty darn evil characters. Fans of Hex Hall will devour this book.

Demonglass picks up a few months after the events that ended the first book. Sophie has been dealing with the fact that Archer betrayed her and all Prodigium by working with The Eye. And oh yeah? He tried to kill her. If only she could stop thinking about him...

A visit from her dad, the head of the council, sends Sophie reeling as she learns that she, her friend Jenna, and Cal will be spending the summer in London. Why will Cal be going? The answer to that question may come as a bit of a shock! Sophie is floored when she arrives at Thorne Abbey and learns that Nick and Daisy, two teenagers living at headquarters, are demons who were made. Who is raising demons? And will this spark the war that Sophie and her dad so fear?

In addition to that concern, Archer bursts back onto the scene in a powerful way and Sophie must make an important choice: Does she follow her heart and trust the boy she loves? Or does she listen to everyone in her life and avoid temptation? Allies and villians are hard to tell apart in this super exciting sequel.

Whew. Writing that was HARD! It's so tempting to reveal some pretty big spoilers but that would be criminal! Demonglass is action-packed and full of twists and turns. Frankly, I have no idea WHO our dear Sophie should trust. Things are definitely not as they appear and trusting the wrong person in this world can have dire consequences.

And the ending.... THE ENDING! Talk about a cliffhanger. I actually moaned a little, I was that annoyed that the story had to end. Lucky for me, book three is already out and bought and waiting on my bookshelf. I don't know HOW readers did it when they had to wait a year between books!

If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend you hop right on this train because these books are SUPER fun rides. Rachel Hawkins knows how to tell a story that is engaging, funny, full of action, passion, love, friendship, betrayal, and just the right amount of horror tossed into the mix. I love these books. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. You could too! Read them NOW! Enjoy! :)

*REVIEW* The Lost Girl


Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

This book definitely is unique. What an interesting, and horrifying, concept... echoes that are woven into life just to be there as waiting replacements when someone dies. It's kind of creepy to think about. If you die, would you want someone who looks just like you, who has studied you and your habits, likes and dislikes, your entire life to step into your place? To hug and love YOUR loved ones?

And what if your significant other died, could you love their echo? Knowing that inside, underneath the twin exterior, there's a different soul residing within? *shudder* This book will REALLY make you think!!

The Lost Girl introduces us to Eva, an echo who has been studying to replace Amarra her entire life. Eva resents having to learn to be someone she isn't but she knows that if she isn't called to replace Amarra at some point, she will likely be unwoven when it's decided she is needed no longer. And although she's been preparing for it her whole life, it comes as a total shock to her when Amarra is killed and Eva must leave everything, and everyone, behind to go resume Amarra's life.

Eva finds it hard to assimilate into Amarra's world, especially when there are people who seem suspicious of her. Will she be able to perform and have everyone believe that Amarra lives on? Will she be able to let go of her own past and of the boy she loved? And when the time comes, will Eva choose to be Amarra or to take the risky route--the route that may allow her to be herself?

As stated above, The Lost Girl will really get you thinking. It seems like echoes are really given a raw deal in the world that Mandanna has created. Solely created to be someone else, they are given no chance to develop into their own individual self. The thing I liked about Eva though is that she is independent, independent enough to carve out facets of her own personality. And while it's dangerous and against all the laws, Eva really is her own person.

I only rated this book 3 stars on goodreads, though I was leaning towards 3.5. And that is because this book really really drags the first half. I had contemplated putting it down for good SEVERAL times. Now that I've read the whole thing, I'm really glad that I didn't quit and I'm hoping the next book (cause there's got to be one!) will pick up with the same pace that the second half of The Lost Girl had. I would recommend this book to others with the caution to not give up. It gets better! Enjoy! *XOXO*


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 had never had surgery before today. In fact, I'm a total rookie when it comes to most things medical because I've been extremely lucky when it comes to those things. But this past week has NOT been my week... I found out on Wednesday that I needed to have surgery. Unexpected and completely unwanted. But it is what it is and I was at the hospital bright and early this AM.

The nurse was surprised by how little medical stuff I've been exposed to. I almost fainted when getting my IV! She had to take a break (it didn't want to go into my hand) because my blood pressure plummeted and I broke out in a sweat. I had to lay flat on my back for about ten minutes before we were able to continue. But once that stress passed, the rest wasn't so bad. I was nervous about the anesthesia because I had never been put under before, but I woke up! Haha. While I hope to never have to have surgery again, the likelihood of that is small and at least now I've had the experience.

Basically, this long diatribe has been to explain my absence this week on the blog. It's been a long and emotional week and I'm happy to now begin the healing process. I've slept most of the hours since I've been home today, and my eyes are starting to get droopy again, so the recovery is definitely a work in progress. I'm sore, but I have the next three days to recuperate, really glad I took Monday off of work!

I don't know that I'll be back on here until next week but I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the remains of the summer! Fall is right around the corner. And as always, HAPPY HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Hex Hall


Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

This book was sooooo GOOD!! Totally hooked me in right away and kept me engaged until the very last page. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend everyone read this book! It's got great characters, a steamy hot boy, intriguing magic, and potential dangers lurking around every creepy corner of Hecate Hall. This book is made of WIN!

Hex Hall introduces us to Sophie, a teenage witch who has gotten herself into quite the pickle... a spell gone wrong has landed her at Hecate Hall, better known as Hex Hall by the students who go there. Hex Hall is a place for Prodigium to go when they seem to have lost their way. Sophie quickly makes enemies with three powerful witches, attracts the scorn of an evil teacher, and makes friends with her vampire roommate, the girl who ends up as the number one suspect when students begin being attacked.

Sophie learns more about the forces in the world set against Prodigium, begins taking private magic lessons from a special ghost, and develops intense feelings for Archer Cross, a warlock she's been spending a lot of detention time with. When Sophie uncovers a shocking truth, will she be able to handle it? And will she find out in time to prevent another attack? And when Sophie figures out something shocking about herself, what will she do next? All will be revealed in this magical book!

I really loved this book. It just SNAGGED my attention from the very beginning and it never waned which is so rare. Sophie is an awesome character and Archer? Oh my YUM! Definitely have a new lit boy crush! I also loved Jenna and felt so sorry for her at times! This book has a great supporting cast. Even some of the more evil-seeming characters are intriguing.

I really like the world that Rachel Hawkins has created. Who doesn't love magic? And magic coupled with scary hate groups and danger and demons and secrets? Yes, please! This book has it ALL and I cannot wait to inhale the second book in the series, Demonglass. But Hex Hall? Easily a 5 star rating. Superb!! Seriously: if you haven't read this series, do yourself a favor and check it out. It is SO worth it. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (31)


When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out... no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow.

Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.

Expected publication date: March 26, 2013 by Bloomsbury

This book sounds so adorable! I love the idea of "going vintage" and trying to recreate a simpler time. Definitely cannot wait to get my hands on it! *SQUEE* What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link and I will check it out! *XOXO*

TBR PILE Reading Challenge: July Update!

Well... I honestly wasn't sure if I was even going to do a post for July considering that I read absolutely NO books towards the challenge, but I decided that it would help me be more accountable if I owned up to it. Yep, you read that right: ZERO books towards the TBR PILE Reading Challenge. Epic fail!!

That's not to say that July was a wash in terms of reading... cause I did PLENTY of that! I read and reviewed nine books but unfortunately, they were all either an ARC or a new release book. Bad, bad Karen! Luckily, I'm still well on my way to reaching my goal so it's too early to panic.

Here's hoping I have better news on my August update! Best of luck to all the other participants. And if you're interested in the challenge, it's not too late to join up! Check out my sidebar for more information. Happy Reading! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Return to Me


Three months before Rebecca Muir is set to begin college, her father reveals a secret that tears the family apart: he is leaving them.

In an instant, Rebecca’s life crumbles—she has to rely on her mother now, when her whole life she’s been her father’s girl; she’s not sure she can trust her high school boyfriend; and her carefully planned-out life suddenly feels all wrong.

Reb’s journey takes her across the country and back, and is for anyone who has experienced uncertainty or betrayal. This book will inspire readers to overcome life’s challenges and come out triumphant on the other side.

Hmmm. I'm not really sure where to start! I like the premise as I feel that the topic is very relatable and that most readers will be able to empathize with the characters and what they are going through. Heartbreak, betrayal, divorce, and figuring out one's true path in life are things many people will face. But I had a hard time emotionally connecting to the story and the characters and I think that's part of the reason this book stayed firmly in the like, not love, category. There's also another reason, but we'll get to that later!

Return to Me introduces us to Reb, a girl about to embark on a major milestone: Reb is going off to college. The summer before her freshman year begins at Columbia, her family is moving to the East Coast. New Jersey in fact, right outside NYC. Reb leaves behind a devoted boyfriend and some truly amazing friends. She thinks that this move will be the start to great things... little did she know how horribly wrong things would go.

Reb's father is leaving them. He's been seeing another woman and wants a divorce. This comes as a shock after the family has moved clear across the country for his career. Now Reb must help her mom pick up the pieces, in addition to figuring out once and for all what career path she herself belongs on. Will the Muir family be able to move on from this betrayal? Can Reb hold on to love when she's unable to truly trust? And will she finally learn the truth about where her passion lies? Buckle up! This ride takes you coast to coast and off the beaten path...

Soooo... yeah. I thought the pacing was a little slow in the beginning but once the news leaked out about Reb's father's affair, things got moving. I did really enjoy the grandparents and the time the characters spent in Hawaii. I thought the author did a really good job of portraying Reb's mother's character as she began to piece back together her world. Reb was a little frustrating at times... mostly because she didn't seem to SEE the things that were so obvious from an outside perspective. She seemed a little slow when it came to realizing some things and I actually wanted to go through the book and shake her a few times! She did, finally, come to see the light though and I was pleased with that.

One thing I was NOT pleased with though is the seemingly ease to which these characters ALL seemed to make ALLLLL their dreams come true. The ending didn't feel real to me because it just seemed a little TOO perfect. Everyone achieves all their dreams and professional contacts just fall out of the sky! And money grows on trees!! But maybe these characters were born into a privilege that I, myself, cannot relate to. And maybe that's why I found it so hard to stomach the ending. But to each their own! Here's hoping you enjoy it more than I did. Find out for yourself when it releases early in 2013.

Expected publication date: January 15, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
*Thanks to ATWT for the ARC*

*REVIEW* Speechless


Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Speechless was a complete and total surprise for me. I really didn't have high expectations going into it. I mean, the cover is very plain (and you all know I love me some pretty covers!) and the synopsis sounds decent, like something I'd be semi-interested in, but it wasn't one of those, "OMG, I have GOT to read this book!" To say that I am pleasantly surprised after reading it would be a MEGA understatement.

Speechless introduces us to Chelsea, a teenage girl with a MAJOR gossip problem. Chelsea loves being in the know and has never had a secret she could keep from anyone. At a raging New Years party at her BFF's house, Chelsea walks in on a shocking scene--a scene she promptly runs downstairs and blabs to everyone within ear shot. Chelsea could never have predicted the events that would transpire due to her loose lips...

The fallout from Chelsea's gossiping, and her subsequent confession to the police, has made her a social outcast. Everyone is angry at her: Some for talking to the police, some for sharing a secret that wasn't hers to tell. Chelsea takes a vow of silence so that her mouth can cause no more harm to herself, or to others. Through her silence, Chelsea begins to reflect on who she is, what really matters to her, and what true friendship and forgiveness looks like. She meets new people who open her eyes, and who begin to help her mend her broken spirit.

SQUEEEEEEE. Recapping this book makes me want to read it again! Hannah Harrington does a remarkable job with this book. The major topic of the initial big secret is so important in our world today... getting to read about teenagers dealing with feelings of hate, acceptance, and forgiveness was truly touching. I was rooting for ALL of these characters to gain some self-awareness. Unfortunately, not all of them got there, but that's the same as it is in reality.

Seriously, this book is a wonderful surprise. Solid 4 stars, if not leaning towards a 4.5. Everyone needs to place this book on their TBR pile. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: August 28, 2012 by HarlequinTeen

Teaser Tuesday: Return to Me

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 Return to Me by Justina Chen:

My nausea now had nothing to do with the flu. Honestly, what kind of ice-pick woman discovers her husband has been cheating on her and a scant eight hours later devises a divorce plan? pg. 80

Return to Me releases in January 2013. I am currently reading an ARC through ATWT. I'm not very far in, but here's the synopsis in case you want to add this one to your TBR pile:


Three months before Rebecca Muir is set to begin college, her father reveals a secret that tears the family apart: he is leaving them.

In an instant, Rebecca’s life crumbles—she has to rely on her mother now, when her whole life she’s been her father’s girl; she’s not sure she can trust her high school boyfriend; and her carefully planned-out life suddenly feels all wrong.

Reb’s journey takes her across the country and back, and is for anyone who has experienced uncertainty or betrayal. This book will inspire readers to overcome life’s challenges and come out triumphant on the other side.

*REVIEW* Crewel


Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

This book is very interesting and unique. It actually took me quite a bit of time to wrap my mind around it. Gennifer Albin has created a completely fresh world that will shock and surprise readers.

Crewel introduces us to Adelice, a teenage girl who has been hiding a terrible secret--she can weave, without the presence of a loom, and she accidentally reveals her secret at testing. Now the Guild will be coming for her, to take her away to become a Spinster and there's nothing that she can do about.

As Adelice begins to learn the ins and the outs of the world she's been thrust into, she learns things that make her realize that the Guild is worst than she ever thought possible. Possible allies emerge and Adelice learns that she is set to inherit a very important role, a role that places her in great danger. Will Adelice manage to integrate into this world or will her independence and lack of faith in the way things are done lead her to a dangerous procedure--a procedure that can take everything from her forever?

By the end of this book, I could honestly say that I enjoyed it. But it did take me awhile to get there because this world is just so different, it took me awhile to really grasp all that was going on. Gennifer Albin has really created a unique and unusual world, a world where women are treated like second-class citizens and the men in power make choices that are all about control.

A host of characters are introduced, some readers will love, and some readers will hate. I am very interested to see where this series goes next. I wasn't loving this book in the beginning and actually had a hard time reading it. Meaning, I was able to put it down and not go back to it which is rarely a good sign for me. But towards the end, things really started to come together and it got me engaged. I am highly looking forward to the next book and have a feeling that it will be even more enjoyable than this one ended up being in the end.

To form your own opinions, be sure to snag this one when it releases in October. Enjoy! And as always, Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Expected release date: October 16, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
*Thanks to ATWT for the ARC*
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