*REVIEW* The Rules


1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules...

The Rules was an unexpected treat! I had lukewarm feelings going into the book but BOY was I wrong! This book snagged my attention from the very first page and those feelings have lasted long after I put the book down for the last time.

The Rules introduces us to Ariane, a hybrid alien/human teenage girl who escaped GTX, the genetics lab, where she was created with the help of her adoptive father, head of security of GTX. Ariane's entire life has been focused on rules to keep her safe and off the radar of GTX. Ariane has done a great job of flying low, remaining invisible, and avoiding attachment to any of her human peers. The only exception she has made is her friend, Jenna. When Jenna becomes the target of the meanest girl in school, Rachel, Ariane loses control and starts to experience powers that she thought were lost to her forever...

Enter Zane: Super popular hunk who is also over Rachel's cruel games. Zane and Ariane team up to try to take Rachel down once and for all. What Ariane could never have predicted was the real connection that would form between them. Pretend becomes real very quickly and Ariane begins to break every rule she has ever followed. When things take a very ugly turn, will Ariane's powers go out of her control? Will GTX finally catch up to her? Shocking betrayal, high school drama, and life and death decisions await readers in this fantastic world created by Stacey Kade.

The Rules was really, really good. Ariane is a fighter! I adore her. Her creation and younger years were AWFUL, yet she remains hopeful and determined and that's just so inspiring! And she's FEISTY, love that in a main character. And Zane? Awhhhhh. What a sweetheart! If anyone can look past some alien DNA, it would be him.

This book really has it all though... I laughed at times, I got emotional, I got ANGRY! Haha. I love it when books make me experience all different types of emotions. This is one book that will reel you in and keep you hooked all the way until the end. The only thing that makes me sad right now is how long I'm going to have to wait for the sequel!! Seriously... add this to your TBR pile now. You can thank me later. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: April 23, 2013 by Disney-Hyperion


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 love snow!!! :)

I live near the coast in southeastern VA so we rarely ever get snow, but when it happens, I freakin' LOVE it! Last year we got ZERO snow and it royally sucked. But the two years before, we got a serious snow storm at least once. Serious snow storm for us equals anything over 3 inches, haha. Seriously... EVERYTHING shuts down. Schools, city offices, military bases, you name it. And that's part of why I love it so much. It's a total break from life. You hunker down with your loved ones for days and it's really the best thing ever.

It's snowing here now but unfortunately, it's just a small dusting. It will all melt away by afternoon tomorrow but I got to see it coming down and it was so worth it! Now I plan on making some hot chocolate and hunkering down with the husband for the night. YAY winter! And YAY snow! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Enjoy! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Boyfriend App


In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

The Boyfriend App was decent... it definitely had its' cute moments and was a super easy and fast read. There were some things that really irked me while reading it though and it's for those reasons that I ended up rating this book a 2 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads. I kind of think I would round that up to 2.5 but that's about it.

The Boyfriend App introduces us to Audrey, a high school student with major computer hacking talent. Audrey learned these skills from her late father, and is more comfortable in the computer lab with her fellow geek friends than anywhere else in the school. When a nationwide contest by the biggest technology company in the country asks high school students to develop a kick-butt mobile app, Audrey can see her collegiate money woes trickling away...

But creating the super popular app is not all it's cracked out to be... and a shocking discovery turns the tables for her at the last minute. Will Audrey be able to use her discovery to win the competition? Or will her discovery put her, and her friends, in danger? All is revealed as mean girls, jocks, geeks, and high-powered executives collide in this super fast read by Katie Sise.

This book has potential... it's interesting, super quick and easy to read, and has some romance, some mystery, some conflict and more. My issues with it: The mean girls. UGH. I wanted to smack the smirk right off of Blake's face almost every single time she appeared in the book. She seemed OVER THE TOP mean. Are girls really that bad?! I found myself uncomfortable at times reading about her. And then there was Audrey's complete stupidity when it comes to seeing that a guy is into her. REALLY?! No one is THAT slow. I mean, what else does a guy have to do? Those two things irked me so much at times that it was hard for me to enjoy the story!

All in all, this is a cute read. It's not going to rock your socks or anything like that, but it's worth the day it will take you to read it. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: April 30, 2013 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Perfect Pins (6)

Welcome to PERFECT PINS! Perfect Pins is a nod to my newest obsession: Pinterest. Pinterest is AMAZING and I am so addicted to that site! I've gotten so many awesome ideas, DIY projects, and recipes from the site and I've really started to accumulate a list of things I've tried. So I figure once a week, I'll highlight something (or things!) amazing that I've pinned.

Today's pin is a wedding idea I found that we did for our wedding this past November:

We each wrote the things we loved about each other and displayed them on the escort table. It was really neat to see what we wrote about each other and it was a cute personalized thing for the wedding. We have them displayed in our house now so we'll have them forever. It's the little things that mean the most! Click here to see where I found the inspiration. Enjoy! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Rules for Disappearing


She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky... But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

OMG, this book was so much fun! Talk about a fast-paced adventure, I GOBBLED this one up! I never wanted to put it down and just fell in love with these characters. This book needs to go on your TBR list NOW! :)

The Rules for Disappearing introduces us to Meg, a teenage girl in the witness protection program. Meg doesn't know why her family is in the program but she is OVER the constant moves. After landing in Louisiana, she vows to herself that "Meg" will be the last person she has to become...

Meg is determined to find out why her family is on the run and a random event unlocks a floodgate of information for her. Now that she knows why her family is in hiding, can she do something to help set them free? And will she regret becoming involved with Ethan, when involvement with her could place him in extreme danger? It's a race against time as Meg fights to save her identity, and her life.

*squeeeeee* What a FANTASTIC debut novel for Ashley Elston! I so enjoyed this book. It hooked me RIGHT away and that feeling didn't fade through the very last page. This was an awesome book with some fabulous characters. Meg was awesome, what a tough little cookie! And Ethan? SWOON. What a great lit boy. This one is highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: May 14, 2013 by Disney Hyperion

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Synopsis: In the Faerie realm, Noli Braddock's relationship with her best friend V has grown into something more. But V's mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, has ruled that they are forbidden to see each other. Returning to the mortal realm, Noli joins the crew of her brother's air-pirate ship, the Vixen's Revenge. There she discovers that her brother has hired the scallywag Faerie huntsman, Kevighn Silver. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact--one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.

Expected publication date: August 8, 2013 by Flux

*squeeeeee* I am SO excited about this book!! Charmed Vengeance is book two in The Aether Chronicles by Suzanne Lazear. I ADORED the first book, Innocent Darkness, and can't wait to see where Lazear takes the story next. If you haven't heard of this series, consider giving it a whirl! Check out my review of the first book here. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: The Wise Man's Fear

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 The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss:

The strange heat moved through my body, like there was a fire inside me trying to find a way out. It started along my left side, then wandered down to my legs, then back up to my left arm. When it moved to my head, I ducked underwater. pg. 183

I have REALLY been enjoying this one! While I wasn't as crazy about the first book, The Name of the Wind, the second has completely hooked me in! I'm so bummed that work and life are keeping me from continuing Kvothe's story at this very second! If you haven't tried this series, I recommend you give it a go. Patrick Rothfuss is weaving quite a tale! Enjoy! *XOXO*

Perfect Pins (5)

Welcome to PERFECT PINS! Perfect Pins is a nod to my newest obsession: Pinterest. Pinterest is AMAZING and I am so addicted to that site! I've gotten so many awesome ideas, DIY projects, and recipes from the site and I've really started to accumulate a list of things I've tried. So I figure once a week, I'll highlight something (or things!) amazing that I've pinned.

Today's pin is my FAVORITE recipe that I've gotten from the site so far:

It's Jalapeno Popper Chicken and it is sinfully good!!! And while it looks like it would be totally rotten for you, it's actually not too bad. We manage to fit it in on diet days and it is totally worth the flavor. Just the RIGHT amount of kick to rev you up. The main ingredients are panko, cream cheese and jalapenos. Click here for a flavor explosion! 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 I want to talk about a dilemma I'm facing... I don't know what phone to choose next! (I know, I know. Big world problems, huh?) I've been a Droid user ever since I got a smartphone and I LOVE the Android system. I ADORED my first Droid, the original one with the keyboard. It was awesome! But this most recent one? UGH. I got the Droid Bionic and it has been pure crap!! I will NOT be getting a Motorola this next time around so that leaves me very unsure where to go.

As of right now, I think it's between the Samsung S3 and the iPhone. And it PAINS me to say the iPhone is in the running because I have always been anti-Apple. Well, other than my iPod. I heart my iPod! But I've always thought the iPhone was a little trendy and "hipster". One day, I'll go into my intense dislike of that whole phenomenon! But anywho... now I face a tough choice unless the market comes out with something amazing in the next couple months.

See, the Samsung S3 is BIG. I mean, HUGE! And while it's cool to have a screen that size, I'm looking for a phone, not a tablet! (already got one of those I rarely use, thank you very much) I don't know how it would be carting that thing around every day. But the iPhone redesign? EWWWW. The iPhone 5 got taller but not any wider and now it looks bizarre to me. *sigh* And then there's the whole, "Can I get used to iOS" and all that noise. Why, oh why, did the Droid Bionic have to be such a dud?

Anyway... rambling and whining a bit. If anyone has a helpful opinion, I'd love to hear it! The husband is getting an S3 this weekend so at least I'll be able to play with it for a couple months before I have to make a choice. Technology!!! Making our lives easier but giving us some tough choices. Especially cause 2 years is a long time to be stuck with a phone you don't like. I would know!

Hope you all have a fantabulous weekend and get some reading done! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Name of the Wind


Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

I read The Name of the Wind because my husband and brother-in-law absolutely ADORE this book. In fact, when I told my husband that I was finally going to read it, after months of him asking me to, his face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning! I'm always a little hesitant about books that come to me so hyped because when you go into the book with high expectations, you're demanding a good and entertaining story. That, and I read online that this book was highly recommended for people who had grown up loving Harry Potter. The Name of the Wind is supposed to be an adult book that will appeal to fantasy and magic lovers. Here is my experience...

You can't read this book if you're one of those people who expect right-out-the-gate excitement. This book really didn't get going for the first 150 pages or so. In fact, I found it extremely easy to put down and I DESPISE that in a book. But once I got through that, and we got into the meat of Kvothe's story, I did find myself engaged. Hearing his story in his voice is really nice and WOW, what a life he has led! There are some truly heartbreaking things in his past, and an extremely difficult childhood, and this all leads him to attending The University where adventure awaits... epic fires, hated enemies, wonderful friends, interesting subjects, and confusing and spicy women.

The Name of the Wind is the beginning of Kvothe's story and by no means will you feel like you have a grasp on everything that is going on, and where the story is headed, by the end of the book. When it was all said and done, I rated it 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads because it is entertaining and I DO want to know what happens next. Kvothe is an extremely interesting character but I still don't feel like I totally understand the world that Rothfuss has created. I'm hoping the second story answers more of my questions, rather than creating more as I go like the first book did.

But let me say... this book is NOTHING like Harry Potter. Not even close. I would more compare it to Eragon or The Lord of the Rings or something. The magic in Harry Potter is completely different and The Name of the Wind does not come CLOSE to being as wonderful as the world that J.K. Rowling created. J.K. Rowling created a fantastical world with a lovable cast of supporting characters. One of my major complaints with The Name of the Wind so far is that I don't feel like I'm getting to know any of the characters other than Kvothe. And there's potential as there's some REALLY intriguing characters, but I'm not feeling a connection to any of them and that saddens me.

Here's hoping book two is full of action and doesn't experience the lags that the first book suffered from, we learn more about the world, the magic, and the Chandrian, and that we get to know the supporting cast a bit more than we have so far. After writing my review and reflecting, this book is probably more like a 3.5 for me but I'm generous and will leave my rating alone. So many people seem to adore this book so maybe it's just me! I hope that you love it if you try it out. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Perfect Pins (4)

Welcome to PERFECT PINS! Perfect Pins is a nod to my newest obsession: Pinterest. Pinterest is AMAZING and I am so addicted to that site! I've gotten so many awesome ideas, DIY projects, and recipes from the site and I've really started to accumulate a list of things I've tried. So I figure once a week, I'll highlight something (or things!) amazing that I've pinned.

Today's pin is all about reaching goals. It's called "Sticky Goals" and I am totally doing it this year:

I love the idea of a visual representation of goals. The author of the article recommends you place the sticky notes on a bathroom mirror but I take SUPER hot showers and thought the steam wouldn't do my notes good, so I put mine on my bedroom closet door. I see them every single time I go to get dressed in the morning. I chose a neon pack of post-its and I LOVE the way they look. I've chosen 50 things I want to accomplish in 2013... let's hope I get there!

If you think something like this could help YOU achieve your goals, click here for more information. Make 2013 awesome! *XOXO*

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Happy 2013!!!! *tosses confetti*

In the spirit of resolutions and all that jazz, I have decided to sign up for the 2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge being hosted by The Book Vixen.

Please click here for more information about the challenge and to sign-up. I read 79 books in 2012 and have set the goal for 80 so my goal for the challenge is:

Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books

SUPER excited about this! Consider signing up yourself and BEST OF LUCK on reaching your 2013 reading goals! *XOXO*

Happy 2013!

Happy 2013, y'all! SO excited to put 2012 behind me... because while I had arguably my BEST DAY EVER in 2012, the rest of the year kind of stunk it up for me! So YAY, YAY, YAY for 2013! Here's an Irish blessing for everyone as we start a new, and hopefully fantastic, year :)

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

Here's hoping 2013 brings great things to all of you. And best wishes for a FANTASTIC reading year! I read 79 books (actual books, no short stories or manga) in 2012 so am aiming for 80 this year. Hope you all reach your goals in the coming year. *XOXO*
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