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C.H.B. Reviews: Rest In Piece By B.W. Ginsburg

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Available: Amazon/Goodreads

 

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever**

 

 

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First, I gave to give props to author B.W. Ginsburg. Not only did she is a published author whose debut novel is an astonishing take on the paranormal, but she is also the writer of the blog Getting Through Anxiety! Check her out, follow her blog, and send her some love! She also is working on a volume of short stories that I cannot wait to read when it comes out!

 

My Review

Rest In Piece is a young teen novel fit for those who are a fan of the paranormal and mysteries alike. We travel back in time to the thirties and are introduced to nine-year-old Catherine Adams who goes mad after witnessing a set of ghostly figures transforming themselves into a pile of puzzle pieces. Afraid her parents won’t believe what she witnessed, Cathrine obsessively scrambles to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. The moment she fits the final piece into it’s slot, Catherine disappears into thin air.

Fast forward twenty years, the Adams prepare to sell their house to the Eriksons’. The Eriksons are vastly different from the Adams. Their twelve-year-old daughter, Louise, immediately finds the old puzzle up in Catherine’s old room. Then strange events begin to occur. Louise starts having terrible nightmares, her face begins to change, and stories of ghosts send her on a journey on trying to save a mysterious figure hidden within the confines of the puzzle…Cathrine….

The question is, will Louise be able to save Cathrine and survive?

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I thoroughly enjoyed this new take on a a ghost story! Despite it being for younger readers, I couldn’t get enough of watching how the story unfolded with Louise trying to piece the puzzle in her own life in trying to save Cathrine. It did not turn out how I expected it too. I still recommend this book if you are looking for a new ghost story to add to your personal collection and to pass on.

 

Rating 8

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

 

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Is it just me or is this year flying by? Summer is coming up and there will be plenty of traveling to do. Even if you currently do not have traveling plans right now, there is no better time than to prep your Summer Reading List!

Each novel will take you to a different part of the world and to the future, past, or present. If you are having a summer like mine was last year, work became priority and traveling sadly had to be placed on the back burner. But as readers, we don’t need to spend gobs of money in order to do so (instead we buy books). No, books can take that place within our hearts and whisk us away to the distant lands across mountains and oceans into a whole other time where we ache to travel.

But it’s 2017! It’s time for something new! Here are my Top 5 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List! Now, these are not specific books but examples that you could use to create your Summer List this year.

1. Change Up Your Genres

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It’s always good to branch out of your comfort zone and dip your toes into genres you never thought you’d fall in love with. If you are mostly a contemporary reader, why not try to walk on the dark side and throw in a mystery or two? YA Lover? Try a few Adult novels and see if you’d enjoy them. Genres are continuing going through a metamorphosis and in some cases, mixing in with various subjects you would never believe would come together to create a masterpiece……sometimes change is VERY good! Do not allow the fear of change disrupt the power of a good book!

If you’ve kept up on my blog and Goodreads reading list, I’ve mainly been reading paranormal romances, novellas, thrillers, graphic novels, and a few fantasy novels here and there lately. I’m changing it up this summer by diving into the world of fairy tale re-tellings, fantasy, and historical fiction/fantasy mix. When will the transition begin, you may ask? You should see my library holds list…..

2. Dive Into Classics!

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School/College is out, why read classics? Um, I’ll tell you why! See the difference between being forced to read something for a grade versus reading a book because you want to is a HUGE difference. Especially if it is a classic you’ve had gathering dust on your TBR shelf. Research also comes in handy if you are searching for a classic book that is not usually required in schools.

For instance, there are classic books transferred into films but are lacking in print copies. EBay to the rescue! I’m serious. I have probably spent more time buying out of print copies for books in the last two months than I have purchasing books on the shelves everywhere. Two in particular that I will be creating Movie Vs. Book posts on these beauties. I highly recommend checking both these books and their film companions!

 

 

3. Biographies

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Now don’t stop reading! Hear me out. Our world today needs new leaders and many of us need inspiration in our lives. Who are the people we admire? How did they get to where they are today? Maybe their life story will inspire us to make a huge step in our lives.

Currently, I’m reading biographies on the late Vincent Price and author Mary Shelley. Looking into their lives has actually shown me how much one’s past, especially when it comes to family. The famous actor, Vincent Price, was constantly afraid of being destitute due to a family “curse” told from their family history. Mary Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was one of the founding women of the feminist movement. It was her teachings from which Mary was taught and she based her Frankenstein novel on the loneliness she felt with growing up without her mother around due to her death after Mary was born.

These two people had more to their stories; however, it made me realize that who you see and whose works you may read will show you a glimpse into that person’s very soul. So much so, it’s incredible to read what was going on behind the scenes as history was being made. Whose life story are you interested in reading?

 

4. Summer-based Books

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Cliche, I know, but if you can not figure out books to read or genres to move too, you can always go with ole faithful and read about books surrounding summer or the beach.

5. Fandom Reads

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Ah, my favorite one of them all! Fandom Reads! What do these include? Fanfiction, books based on your favorite film, show, or even the original series from which they came from! Fairy tale re-tellings do go under this goal category due to the fact….well…if you love Alice in Wonderland as much as I do, you have your subject to search for re-tellings, twists, or fan fiction about it! The possibilities are endless!

 

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Do you have reading goals for this summer? If so, what are they?

Do any of my goals match your own?

Have any fairy-tale re-telling suggestions?

 

Let me know in the comment section below!

 

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

My Rating System: Breaking Down the Charms

My Rating System: Breaking Down the Charms

We book reviewers are unique unto ourselves when it comes to our various rating systems. Some use Goodread’s system to help them, some use the original 5 star system, then there are others like me who use one they made themselves. With mine, if you are new to my humble abode, I describe my ratings as “Book Charms.”

Here are at the Charmed Book Haven, we hold these Charms very close because they are the vital pieces we seek within books in order to make us fall in love with them. Perhaps in one or more reviews, I’ll break down which ones didn’t make the cut in a popular book in the future, just to show you how it works. But that is for another day!

Let’s begin the breakdown!

 

Book Charm #1
The Charm of Intelligence

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This Charm is very dear to my soul. I have read great books and books where I wondered how it got published in the first place. Some books are not for everyone, obviously, but there are some that should never be seen by the human eyes. This is where the Intelligence comes into play. The Charm reminds me to ask the question, “Should this book have been published?”

Book Charm #2
The Charm of Learning

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The movie Matilda sums up this Charm quite nicely. In a way, Matilda is this Charm. Stories should teach you something or at least leave you with a new fact you never knew. Without this Charm, my brain feels like it’s grasping at empty air. Your brain craves to learn, to think, to remember. This Charm has me ask, “Did I learn anything new or interesting?”

Book Charm #3
The Charm of Character

Characters are the main elements of the story that can make it or break it. They are the author’s children, their ideas who manifest themselves upon the page. But like humans outside the pages, they must have personality and growth. There are books wherecharacters lack substance in their interaction with one another or even in transforming into that ultimate character we are supposed to love (or hate) beyond the last page. This Charm has me ask, “Do I enjoy reading about these characters? Do they speak to me or leave me wanting to ditch them on the side of a long, begotten road?”

Book Charm #4
The Charm of Agility

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Agility. Agility can have two different meanings of movement whether graceful or fast-paced. There are stories where the story lacks the agility it needs to keep the reader’s attention intact from start to finish. There are times I’d like to call this the “Charles Dickens Syndrome” or CDS for short. Back then, he earned money per word, hence the length. These days, its vastly different. There isn’t a need for an Author to suffer from CDS, EVER! Alas, some still suffer from this terrible condition. However, some may snap out of it later in the book…some. This Charm makes me ask, “Will This Book Ever Speed Up?”

Book Charm #5
The Charm of Romance

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This is an element that can or cannot be valuable to a series. There are some series where this isn’t needed but if this element is used, it must be used correctly. Not too gushy or ridiculous. Not obsessive or stalker-esque. Pure, innocent, and understood romance. Question: “Does this element make me long for it in my life, cringe, or ship the couple in question?”

Book Charm #6
The Charm of Worthiness
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The short, sweet explanation of this element is if the novel/series in question is worthy to be remembered, discussed, or shared amongst the book community and beyond. This Charm is ALWAYS in play when I review my books. 

Book Charm #7
The Charm of Length

This Charm goes hand-in-hand with the Agility Charm. There are some books that need more information while others may need to be filtered for draggy, unnecessary content. This leaves some readers, like me, skipping over a good chunk of the novel. “Are these Scenes/Information Necessary to the Plot?”

Book Charm #8
The Charm of Imagery

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Without Imagination, the world would be a lonely existence. In essence, nothing in this world would exist. When I read a story, I want to feel like I’m there in the midst of the action. Feel the imaginary sunbeams across my face, hear the clanging of iron-welded swords clash between soldiers in war, watch the results play right before my eyes. “Do I See These Events Coming To Life?”

Book Charm #9
The Charm of Believability

Let’s face it, there are some stories that are so ridiculous that even if our ideas came to life, these specific ones will never happen. We all can think of at least one novel where this comes into play. If we do not believe in this book/plot then there is nothing keeping it away from the DNR stack. “Can This Be Real?”

Book Charm #10
The Charm of Everlasting

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Stories are meant to last forever, passed down from generation to generation. It’s all we hope for and long for when we read books. Whenever they do not meet this expectation, it’s like a person who could have didn’t put in the time to reach that status. Question: “Will this story last generations to come?”

And there you have it. This is how I break down the books I read and rate them accordingly. It was fun reflecting on all of it and I hope you enjoyed it!

What do you think of my rating system?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hello Everyone!

Where should I begin? Before today and for many years, Books have been my escape from the crazy world outside as well as kept me “sane” so to speak in my own life. Whether it was trudging beside Scarlett O’Hara through her struggle to keep her family plantation Tara or survive Captain Tripps and stand up to fight the evil Randal Flagg in Stephen King’s apocalyptic novel The Stand-books have whisked me off to lands that only writers could conceive.

IMG_20130518_192315If you are a book lover/addict like me, you’ll understand what I’m about to say next. Characters are like family, lovers, friends, and companions. Whoever are our characters’ enemies are our enemies. Whenever our favorite characters triumph, we celebrate alongside them. Then……..in the unthinkable times if (I IMG_20120922_202330say “If” because come on, honestly no one wants this!) our character dies, a little piece of us goes with them. Not to mention the countless hours of us mourning over them, causing our friends and family to question our personal sanity. Yeah, those are never, EVER fun. For those who are Whovians like me as well, you perfectly understand the use of the Doctor Who David Tennant book here. (Please don’t cry!)

Now why this blog? Why would you come back to read my reviews or recommendations for different books? Because this is a place where you can discover new books, be forewarned about ones you should stray away from, or find out if there are other readers like you who have the same opinions about certain novels/series.

bf1f2cf960d3de81ecd1955fa1cd8cd5Here, I will review novels and series of genres all across the board. These include Non-Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Action, Suspense, Christian Fiction, and much much more. I also will be reviewing some books that haven’t been released yet that you might want to read!

Fair warning! In some of these reviews, there will be spoilers while others I will leave you to discover it’s hidden treasures. To be honest, I’m very excited to share with you what I read and would love to know what you’re reading!

Join Me on this Journey Through the Pages of Books!

~C.C. Campaign

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ARC Review: “The Marriage Pact” By Michelle Richmond

ARC Review: “The Marriage Pact” By Michelle Richmond

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Release Date: July 25, 2017

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.

 

NetGalley Synopsis

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
  
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
           
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
           
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
           
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
           
And then one of them breaks the rules.
           
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
           
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.”

My Review

Marriage. It’s a chilling subject for me these days. Reaching the age where most of your friends are running off, getting married, having kids is frightening to me. This book did not settle my inner fears in the least. In fact, they increased!

Jeremy and Alice are in their late 30s, successful, and have somewhat good heads on their shoulders. Told through Jeremy’s perspective, he admits in the beginning that the subject of marriage was his idea. Alice, mourning the loss of her father, sparked one of the most important questions any man/woman/etc. could ever ask someone. “Will you marry Me?”

The moment Alice agrees, a chain of events begin starting with their wedding announcement. Alice’s best client in her firm, Finnegan, receives word of the couple’s plans and invites Jeremy and Alice to join him in the secret society known as, “The Pact”. A wooden box arrives on their doorstep with instructions to which they are prohibited to open the box until after their honeymoon. Fast forward, one of Finnegan’s contacts the leaders of “The Pact” and they send a woman by the name of Vivianne to be the couple’s “Host” as she leads Jeremy and Alice into the society.

“The Pact” in it of itself has their own manual the couples need to memorize and live by. If they break the rules, they receive various punishments ranging from silly to severe. And when I say severe, I mean torture, electric shock, unremovable metal braces placed around women’s necks in order to keep them straight, and more. Jeremy and Alice start their journey into this cult, plunging themselves into a world filled with terror and nowhere to run and no way out.

This novel freaked me out in the worst way. If you follow me on Goodreads, read my notes on the book! One moment, I believed Jeremy was falling for the insane punishments “The Pact” was putting his wife through. Then it was as if Alice and Jeremy switched personalities pertaining to the cult! The ending, though, did not live up to the expectations of the novel. It felt rushed and dry, leaving me to wonder what happened to Alice and Jeremy next. As far as I know, this is a standalone novel so I guess we’ll all wonder if they survive……

For a psychological thriller, it’ll keep you on your toes for sure. The writing is solid, but the characters backstories were a bit wonky at times. One moment, you are giving the impression you needed to feel sorry for them while the next you were told they were independent. But, learning from this novel, never accept a wooden box from an Irishman who claims to want the best for your marriage.

 

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

 

ARC Reviews: The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah

ARC Reviews: The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah

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Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from SheSpeaks. This does not affect my review whatsoever.

 

Goodreads Synopsis

“Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.”

 

WWII was a dark time in the world’s history. Masses of lives ended, families torn apart, and evil reared its ugly head to destroy unity and the lives of millions of people around the world. This book takes those events and grabs readers by the hands to take them back in time to the dark events of the past.

It is a tale of two sisters, Vianne and Isabella, set in France at the beginning pressures of the war. They begin enjoying their own lives when they are suddenly turned upside down. Where the women began in the beginning is certainly nowhere compared to where they ended up in the end.

The author brings the reality and rawness which only tragedy, casualties, and constant war can bring from life to the page. It will bring tears to your eyes, as it did my own, and it will leave a scar which no literary medicine will remedy. It’s not just a tale of history, but of growth, perseverance, and struggles. Definitely a recommended historical read, to be sure!

 

Rating 9

 

Happy Reading!

 

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: “Final Girls” By Riley Sager

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: “Final Girls” By Riley Sager

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Release Date: July 11, 2017

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.

 

Goodreads Synopsis

“Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.”

 

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Quincy Carpenter picked up the pieces of her life after surviving a massacre at her friend’s party in a cabin in the woods. With the killer dead, she has no need to fear any possible future of him coming back for her. The media follows up with her, giving her the label “Final Girl”, adding her alongside two other young women who survived terrible massacres too. Quincy, though, does not want to live in the spotlight, especially since her mind has blocked her memories of the events of that dark night. The police question her periodically to see if her memories resurface; however, Quincy remains silent in also wondering what truly happened as well.

Now, she has what she thinks is a pleasant, comfortable life, but then Lisa, another massacre survivor, ends up being found mysteriously murdered. The very next day, Quincy finally meets another “Final Girl”, Sam, who at first, seems to only wish to get to know Quincy. The more time Quincy spends time with Sam, the more Sam questions Quincy’s past and her memories of that night. Sam wants Quincy to not to live comfortably in the dark….but why?

Final Girls is a brilliantly crafted thriller for the new age. It takes the question of  “What happens next?” and blows it up to create this world that thrives on digging into these poor girls’ tragic pasts and transforming them into celebrities who merely want to be normal again. Only they cannot be normal ever again nor can they hide from the cameras. These “Final Girls” have secrets and they are about to be exposed, but who will truly be the surviving “Final Girl” in the end?

 

Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

 

C.B.H. Reviews: “Throne of Glass” By Sarah J. Maas

C.B.H. Reviews: “Throne of Glass” By Sarah J. Maas

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

Over the last few years, I kept hearing about this series. I ignored the cries coming from my TBR pile till I happened to come across the first book in the series on my library’s shelf. 

Not going to lie, it took me a couple months to get through it. I was disappointed in all the hype for it because it needed a lot of work. Plus finding out it was supposed to be another retelling of Cinderella made it worse.

Lately, I’ve been witnessing several YA books having tons of hype but no dice when I read them. Many authors today suffer from “All Tell, No Show Syndrome” or A.T.N.S.S. for short. This book is no exception to the sickness, not by a long shot. Throughout the book, we are practically battered over the head with how the “assassin” Celaena Sardothien racked up a large body count and should never be trusted. Did we see evidence of this body count? Hahahahaha, no. Did we see evidence for lack of trust? Again, no.

All I got out of this book was this girl is a huge flirt, a book worm, and is pissed because her parents are dead, she was caught, and the injustice in the world she lives in. We only see a pinch of her abilities at the end of the book, and she doesn’t even prove her assassin status in that! It took me two months, two months to complete this! After being dragged through the mud in the muck, I was left feeling tired, frustrated, and wondering why I even bothered trying to read it. Then there are the men or what I obviously figured out to be the “love interests” of the series, The Captain of the Guard and the Crown Prince.

Want to know what turns me off pretty quick? Creepy guys! Those two watched her as she slept and constantly watched her from afar. It didn’t help she kept winking and practically throwing herself at them. You know, at first, I liked the Prince, but the whole sneaking up and watching her while she slept all the time killed my attraction. Oh, and if she is such a bad assassin…why didn’t she hear them and wake up? A trained assassin should always be on alert! Previous point proven.

I know this series has a huge following; however, I’m siding on the non-fan side. A fellow reader pleaded for me to continue onto the sequel, that it would be much better than the first. As stated in my last post, I’m currently reading the sequel and so far it is better but I’m only in the first few chapters.

What were your thoughts on this book/series?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Reading Slumps, Inspiration, and Book Haul!

Reading Slumps, Inspiration, and Book Haul!

Hi Everyone, it’s C.C.! Yes, I’m alive! Haha, I know I haven’t been posting much for the last couple months. This past Friday, I slowly began working my way back to what I call my “Scheduling notebook” where I have writing my book review release dates down. Is it just me or did Friday feel like a Monday instead of Friday? Usually, I used to plan on Mondays, but times as we all know, are constantly changing. 

While I’ve been on hiatus from writing except releasing a few posted now and then, I have had some high and low reading slumps. I don’t know how but last month one, I brought home armfuls of books from my library and the next I look at them and realize my original excitement for diving into these disappeared. Then earlier this month (and a few renewals later) I found my way back to them….here is my Library Book Haul!

1. The Forever Song By: Julie Kagawa

2. Vincent Price: a Daughter’s Biography By: Victoria Price

3. Final Fivr Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volumes

4. How To Hang a Witch By: Adriana Mather 

5. First two novels in the Throne of Glass series

6. Dead Girls Society By: Michelle Krys

Plus, two more ARC copies I’m working on at the moment. This week, I’ll be relasing out my Review for Throne of Glass, Dead Girls Society, and The Forever Song.
Have you read any of these books or have any suggestions?

Have you gone through your own Reading Slump? What got you through it?
Let me know in the comments below!
Happy Reading,

~C.C.