Perfect Pins: Easter Edition


Welcome to PERFECT PINS, the EASTER Edition! 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 amazing that I've pinned.

This week's pins are my favorite Easter-inspired things from the site. First, an adorable Easter cake:

HOW adorable is that cake?! And since it calls for simple ingredients, like box cake and pre-made icing, it's easy-peasy. And for those of you who are like me and who prefer making things from scratch, it's easy to substitute in your own cake and icing. SCORE! For details, click here.

Next up is a ridiculously cute Easter centerpiece idea:

There were no instructions attached but it's pretty self-explanatory and beyond adorable. Great use for peeps! And I LOVE Gerbera Daisies so I think it's perfect!

And last, but not least, is an Easter Egg Wreath:

SQUEEEE! TOO cute! I can't wait to make one of my own. I've already got the wreath, just need to get some eggs and get to work! For instructions, visit this site.

Hope you all have a FABULOUS Easter holiday with your loved ones! If you've got any great recipes or craft ideas for Easter, please feel free to share! I'm always looking for new ideas. Take care! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Severed Heads, Broken Hearts


Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts was a total surprise for me in that I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. This story is SUPER engaging and I had the hardest time putting it down, a true testament to how good it really was. The book has been renamed and will be published as The Beginning of Everything which personally, I think is a TERRIBLE switch, but that's just me. Whatever you choose to call it, this is a GREAT book that will appeal to many.

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts introduces us to Ezra, a seriously popular high school student who has just had a major life-altering event happen to him. Ezra was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that leaves his knee shattered and his tennis hopes and dreams annihilated. He goes back to school completely unsure where he will fit in and how he will survive the last year of high school. Lucky for him, an old friend adopts him into his group of social misfits and things seem like they might not be that bad after all.

Enter Cassidy Thorpe, a beautiful and slightly mysterious new addition to the misfits at their school. Ezra and Cassidy quickly form a bond and a beautiful new relationship that opens Ezra up to new and exciting things. Just when Ezra thinks things can't get any better, a shocking turn of events leaves him feeling miserable, confused, and alone. Will Ezra figure out the truth in time to save his relationship? Or are there some truths that cannot be overcome? All will be revealed in this addictive tale by Robyn Schneider.

This book is REALLY good. I love books told from the male perspective, and Ezra is a character you can't help rooting for. I just found this book to be engaging in a way that is hard to describe... it's almost like you don't feel that it SHOULD be as engaging as it is and it's a pleasant surprise as you keep reading. I was shocked at the number of times I had to force myself to put it down!

I think this book has really good messages about picking yourself up after a tragedy, the true meaning of friendship, hope, love, and letting go. I truly think there is something for EVERYONE in this book and highly recommend it when it comes out in August. It's a fast, easy read that you won't regret. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: August 27, 2013 by Katherine Tegen

Waiting on Wednesday (38)


Fans asked for it, and now they've got it! Andrea Cremer is continuing the story she began in in her internationally bestselling trilogy: Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. In this new installment, Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All Against All. Will he turn Adne to the dark side? Will Logan reclaim his birthright? And will darkness take over our world? In a novel filled with magic, romance and breakneck action, master storytelling Andrea Cremer's newest installment will not disappoint!

Expected publication date: December 10, 2013 by Philomel

WHAAAAAAAAT! I saw this on Goodreads and about peed myself in excitement! I had NO idea Andrea Cremer was continuing the story but I am SO stoked that she is! Girlfriend needs to redeem herself after some of her decision making in Bloodrose (IMO of course). Anywho... can't wait to read it, YAY!!

Teaser Tuesday: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts

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!

Today's teaser comes from Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider. The book has actually been renamed to The Beginning of Everything, but the ARC I'm reading has the Severed Heads title which I think is way superior so that's what I'm going with:

It was strange, my crew acting the same as they always had, and for a moment I wondered if it was really that easy. If I could go for Mexican food with a team I no longer belonged to. If I even wanted to hang out with them, now that I'd gone from leader to liability. pg. 32

This book has been a surprising delight so far. I've inhaled half of it already and it hasn't lost any of it's charm up to this point. Definitely can't wait to see where the story goes next! Be looking for a review in the next couple of days *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Night School


Allie's world is falling apart...

She hates her school. Her brother has run away. And she's just been arrested.


Now her parents are sending her away to a boarding school where she doesn't know a soul.

But instead of hating her new school, Allie finds she's happy there. She's making friends. And then there's Sylvain, a suave French student who openly flirts with her. And Carter, the brooding loner who seems to have her back.

Soon, though, Allie discovers Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Nothing there is as it seems. And her new friends are hiding dangerous secrets.

Something about this cover just drew me in and I knew the second I saw it that I HAD to read this book. The synopsis is so intriguing, yet really doesn't give anything away, so readers will really have to wait to find out all that is going on in this one. I really enjoyed this book and rated it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The thing keeping me from rating it 5 stars is I felt a little letdown... more to come on that below.

Night School introduces us to Allie, a teenage girl with a knack of getting into trouble. Her latest escapade lands her at Cimmeria Academy, a mysterious boarding school that Allie has never heard of. Much to her surprise, Allie ends up enjoying her time at Cimmeria and even makes some new friends, including two boys that could end up being more. All in all, things are better than Allie could have ever hoped for. That is, until strange and dangerous things start to happen at the school...

Allie is thrust into mysterious waters and begins to question everything she knows about herself, her family, and Cimmeria Academy. Shocking revelations come to light, along with a dangerous adversary. Will Allie learn the truth in time to save herself and others? Or will she remain in the dark, never learning the truth that she seeks? All will be revealed in this fast-paced and engaging story by C.J. Daugherty.

This book was really, really good. It keeps you guessing for a LONG time about what is going on and that's so RARE in a story these days! Usually, it's pretty easy to suss out what's happening and what's coming next, but not with this one! And there's still SO MUCH that I don't know after reading it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!!! The only, and I mean the ONLY, thing that marked this book a little down for me is a major spoiler so I don't want to go into it, but let's just say that the truth about what's going on was a little bit of a letdown for me, I was expecting something much more.

That being said, I still REALLY enjoyed this book and am anxiously awaiting the next one. I highly recommend everyone check it out! Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: May 21, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

Waiting on Wednesday (37)


Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

Expected publication date: June 11, 2013 by Egmont

YAY! This book sounds awesome and has GREAT early reviews on Goodreads. Berry sounds like my kind of gal and I really enjoy investigative/mystery books so this one is right up my alley. Can't wait to get my hands on it this summer! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! And as always, HAPPY HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Furious


Three high school girls become the avenging Furies of Greek legend.

We were only three angry girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.

We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.

Furious is an interesting take on the Furies of Greek legend. I've always been a fan of Greek mythology so when I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. While it didn't completely rock my socks, I did enjoy it and would rank it a solid 3 of 5 stars. Read on for a summary and my finishing thoughts.

Furious introduces us to Meg, a foster child who has been bounced around and who is currently residing with a horrible woman, The Leech, who treats Meg like a piece of unwanted garbage. Meg harbors an inner anger at her circumstances but has found a true friend in Raymond, her quirky sidekick. An unusual event in Western Civ class places Meg on the radar of Ambrosia, a mysterious and exotic classmate. Ambrosia brings together Meg, Alix, and Stephanie who quickly bond and form a friendship based on their shared anger, and the fact that the three are destined to become The Furies, powerful creatures of Greek mythology.

All of a sudden, Meg's life begins to change in miraculous ways as she and the girls begin to correct injustices, forcing people to acknowledge their bad behavior and make amends for it. When a humiliating event pushes things too far for one of the Furies, things begin to quickly get out of hand. What starts as good intentions quickly becomes escalating hatred and revenge. Will Raymond be able to save Meg from herself, her anger, and the puppet strings Ambrosia uses to control her? Or is the anger she carries inside just too great? Justice and revenge collide in this modern tale of The Furies.

I thought this book was solid, yet there is nothing mind-blowing about it. It had good pacing and the story was engaging, but predictable at times. I liked the idea of a modern Furies story and if you're a fan of Greek mythology, you may enjoy it. See for yourself when it releases later in April. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: April 16, 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. BYR

*REVIEW* Gates of Paradise


Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.

I am a huge fan of the Blue Bloods Series... in fact, I read through them so quickly that I never got around to writing a proper review for any of the books before now! Rather than going back and reviewing each of the seven books, I figured I would just do a review of the seventh and final book and leave it at that. Because really? While the journey through a series is indeed fantastic, it's the ending that sticks with you long after you've left the series for good.

Gates of Paradise continues with the multiple-POV storytelling that readers should be well-accustomed to by the seventh book in this series. We follow along as Schuyler continues the quest her mother tasked her with, the Van Alen Legacy, where she must find and protect the Gate of Promise. While this is going on in Schuyler's life, Bliss is busy with Lawson and the wolves, working not only to free the wolves from the oppression in Hell, but to fix a rift in time itself--a rift that could send the world into total chaos. Mimi and Jack find themselves at the beck and call of Lucifer himself, putting themselves in his debt so he will eradicate their bond. The pace is quick, quick, quick as readers bounce between the various point-of-views, watching the story unfold from multiple angles.

Will the forces of good be able to come out on top? Or will the push from Hell be too much for them to take? And when it is all said and done, will Schuyler be able to make an awful choice, a choice that will stay with her forever? All will be revealed in the stunning conclusion to the Blue Bloods Series.

Mmmmkayyy. My thoughts: It was a good conclusion. I was very happy with several things that happened and can feel good walking away from the series. I've heard rumors that there is a spinoff series in the works and that makes me really happy because I do feel that there's still so much more to be experienced in the world de la Cruz has created. I was really pleased with some of the characters' growth in this final book and I'm curious to see if they'll pop up in the next cycle of Blue Bloods books.

I DID only rate this book 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads and that's mainly because the ending left me confused as crap sometimes! There's a twist at the ending dealing with Schuyler's heritage that I still to this day do not understand. And it's such a MAJOR plot point, I feel like I NEED to understand it to fully grasp the ending. I plan on doing some sleuthing through interviews to see if de la Cruz answers any questions about it now that I'm done reading the series.

Anywho... this is still one of my FAVE vampire series out there. It's definitely unique, the characters are awesome, the love is swoon-worthy, and the pacing is super fast. These books will keep you HIGHLY entertained, this I promise you. If you haven't read them, PLEASE do. You won't be sorry. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday (36)


When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

Expected publication date: May 14, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

SQUEEEE! This one sounds super promising and even though there are only a handful of reviews in already on Goodreads, the book is gaining great word of mouth! It sounds fun, dangerous, and highly entertaining. Can't wait to get my hands on it when it releases in May! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link and I'll check it out! And as always, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

Perfect Pins (10)

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 amazing that I've pinned.

This week's pin is a craft idea I recently found that I CANNOT wait to try out:

SQUEEEE! I've seen a lot of crayon craft ideas out there but wasn't a huge fan of the "straight in a line melted" look but when I saw this heart, I KNEW I wanted to give it a go. How adorable is it? YAY! Can't wait to try it out. For inspiration on melted crayon craft projects, visit here. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Blue Bloods Series

I had read the first four books in the Blue Blood Series by Melissa de la Cruz back in April of 2010. That is a LONG time ago! I found this blog entry about the books and thought I would share because as I've been re-reading the books, I've been reading them too quickly to write proper reviews. I FINALLY got to the fifth book, Misguided Angel which I hadn't read yet. Just finished it today and I will be writing a review hopefully later this weekend. It's nice to finally be reading new material!

Super excited to dive into the last two books and to see how she wraps up the series. If you haven't tried it out yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! Go for it, they are super easy to read and entertaining books. 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 am ready to be a mom. EEEEEEP! Just saying that, and meaning it, is somewhat scary but I know that it's true. I've found the right man, I have adorable furry babies, now I'm thinking it's time to consider having the real thing. I never wanted children when I was in my twenties... but in the past couple of years, it's something that I've been thinking about more and more. It seems like there is nothing more rewarding in the world than raising a child and I really hope my husband and I get to experience that joy.

Now that's not saying I'm going to go out and get pregnant this very second! But it's something we're definitely thinking about and talking about quite a bit. My husband has been in school for over 2 years and will be graduating with his bachelor's degree in May so we've got some upheaval headed our way in terms of him starting a new career, possibly having to relocate depending on his job opportunities, etc. So I guess we'll see! Isn't life exciting?! Hope everyone has a FAB weekend and as always, HAPPY, HAPPY READING! *XOXO*

Teaser Tuesday: Keys to the Repository

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!

Today's teaser comes from Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz:

Charles left for Paris to hunt Leviathan, only to get caught in his own trap. The Conclave, reduced to seven ruling houses, proposed a resolution reinstating Charles in the position of Regis when he returned. But Forsyth Llewellyn had other plans. He immediately called for a White Vote, nominating himself as Regis, under the orders of his true master, Lucifer. pg. 21

This book is a re-read for me but I'm loving it! This is the last book I had read originally, so everything after this will be new for me. I really like the Blue Blood Series and if you haven't given it a shot, you should go for it! Totally worth it and they're easy reads, you'll fly through them in no time. Enjoy! *XOXO*
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