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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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!




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…… 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


C.H.B. Reviews: Sweet Evil; Sweet Peril (The Sweet Series #1 and #2) By Wendy Higgins

C.H.B. Reviews: Sweet Evil; Sweet Peril (The Sweet Series #1 and #2) By Wendy Higgins

October 24th

Angels and Demons

Moving, is a pain, especially when it consumes you, especially cutting into your reading time. Extra time is currently a luxury but somehow there have been books sneaking their way into my ears through the airwaves. I miss having an actual book in my hands right now but it’ll have to do. Today’s “spooky”-ish theme surrounds the mysteries between angels and demons.

I finished this book earlier last week and it’s sequel a few days later and now I’m on the third book. The narrator in the audio book series is kind of boring and can get annoying at times, but the story itself balances it out nicely.

Available: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Goodreads Description

“What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?”

As the daughter of an angel and demon, she struggles between both of her nature. Only, you see her lean towards the angel side more than the demon side. Very rarely do you see her slip up in her nature. Although when she does, it’s either to save someone’s feelings or someone forced her into the compromising situation.

She wonders around the beginning of the novel, knowing she’s different from being able to see people’s auras (strangely just like Alyssa Noel’s character Ever from Evermore) and her memory stretches all the way back to in vitro. She remembers her father, a demon “Duke of Addiction”, who is in prison on drug charges, while her former guardian angel mother passed away after Anna’s birth. Despite the weird circumstances, she does not discover her true heritage until she meets the UBER hot Kaidan Rowe at one of his concerts.

Kaidan, oh Kaidan, how I wish he were real. And the accent? I was absolutely, positively done for! He’s perfect and despite being the son of the Duke of Lust, he tries to be a gentleman toward Anna. Even I wanted to push her over to try to talk to him! He’s too perfect for words.

I have a love-hate relationship with Anna. There are moments where she’ll act like a teenager her age then around her adoptive mother, Patty, it’s like she transforms into this child. And after she meets Kaidan, she all of a sudden learns her origins and she’s a nephilim. Oh and Patty has known about Anna’s powers and helped her cope with them and STILL did not tell her about her parents till Anna met Kaidan. She keeps Anna sheltered in this little box in order to “protect” her but it seems like it’s done more harm than good.

Anna is now thrown into this world of demons, Demon Dukes, and learns that they have to “work” in order to sooth the hunger of these freaky demon ghost phantoms or else she is put to death. Yeah, dead. How do they work? By making people sin, of course. Depending on who the nephilum’s father is, that is how they need to make people sin. But we don’t see Anna forced to work till close to the end of the novel. As soon as you think the novel is really getting good, it’s over.

After the first two books, they seemed like they should both be mashed into one book. In the first book, we only hear about her getting a hilt of a sword from a nun who knew her mother and witnessed her birth. The second book, we discover Anna is the “chosen one” for an ancient prophecy which deals with ridding the demons off of Earth forever.

It’s a good series to try out and I’ll keep you updated on books #3 and #4!


My Rating:

Book #1: 6 out of 10 Book Charms

Book #2: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!


C.H.B Reviews: My True Thoughts on the “Fear Street” Revival

C.H.B Reviews: My True Thoughts on the “Fear Street” Revival

October 10th

Return of Fear Street

In these times of nostalgia we live in, all of us 90s kids are longing for the past. We long for our old music, shows, surroundings, and memories. Full House is back with Fuller House, our beloved cartoons are being re-imagined for another generation, favorite bands and figures are playing shows in Las Vegas or coming out with new albums, and old favorite authors are coming back with book series we used to swoon over. But the real question is, should some of these be back? This, in particular, is The Fear Street Series.

I’ve already written about my old favorite series. Author R.L. Stine still writes his Goosebumps today and last year, he revived Fear Street in an attempt to terrorize a new generation of teenagers. So far, these revival books are less to be desired. I even re-read a couple of the old books in order to prepare. But when you begin to read a revival series and you’re within 10 pages and already feel like adding it to the DNR pile, it’s truly a dark day.

Whoever is the editor for Stine’s new stories is needs to be replaced. The majority of these stories are made up of repetitive sentences, phrases, and words twisted around a less than enthralling story. I mean, I don’t know how much more I can take hearing “frightening, horror, crazy, or horrifying” over and over in a 220 page book.

The worst part of it all is these teenagers he writes about are frozen in this time warp where they still dress like the former kids of Fear Street. They don’t speak, act, or even react like today’s teenagers would. Stine tries to incorporate technology and it does not fit, period. Short, simple dialogue that can take place through a phone-never does.

If they were re-written with proper sentences, better dialogue, and new editor-I’d read them. It depressing to know that one of your favorite authors is trying to bring one of his beloved series back to life but does not have the proper tools in order to do it appropriately. Honestly, Stine needs to stick to writing children’s books now. Unless he embraces and utilizes how things are now, his books will not reach the high status they once held.

If you’re a fan of this past series, it’s not what you’ll remember or better. I believe it’s time for Fear Street to be put to rest for good.


Happy October Reading!


C.H.B. Reviews “Monstrous Beauty” By:

C.H.B. Reviews “Monstrous Beauty” By:

October 9th




Available: Amazon; Goodreads

I know it’s a little strange to review a mermaid novel during October. But when the book also involves a curse and ghosts, it fits right along with the season. I feel extremely ashamed that aside from The Little Mermaid fairy tale, I had not read a mermaid story and I absolutely adore the legend and mystery behind them. When I was little, I used to imagine I was a mermaid searching for my one true love amongst the waves of my own bathtub. Hey, a girl had to have dreams, haha!

I discovered Elizabeth Fama’s book Monstrous Beauty in my library’s mobile app and after reading the description, I HAD to borrow it. It took me around a day and a half, a bowl of chocolate ice cream, and tissues to get through this story. I can’t remember the last time I cried this much during a book and it’s mainly because of the tragedy behind the love story.

Goodreads Description: “Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.”

The story bounces back and forth between the nineteenth century to now. Syrenka’s tale is heart wrenching to the point where you wish you could give her a giant hug. The story opens with her falling in love for the first time with a sailor who eventually ends of drowning when Syrenka was merely trying to make him able to swim under water. It all seems to continue to go up and down from there like the waves of a sea.

We fast forward to Hester who keeps her distance from any possible relationship due to the fact every woman in her family dies quickly after the birth of theor first born daughters. I have a small problem with Hester. I can understand why she’d be afraid of beginning a relationship but the fact she won’t have one because of the curse is beyond me. She says in the beginning that birth control isn’t a sure way of not getting pregnant and she didn’t want to take the risk. There are other ways you can protect yourself, Sweety. 

She is rude to every guy she comes across, including her best friend Peter who clearly cares about her and would do anything for her. I’m completely shocked he stayed by her, she treats him like dirt half the time while stares at him longingly from the side lines. Pick a side, Hester! Then she meets Ezra and tosses it all out the door. 

Another thing, Hester has a hard time piecing together obvious problems that are practically screaming at her! Girl needs to get lessons from Sherlock because she’s clueless half the time. And it’s bad when the ghosts figure out and have to spell everything out for her in order for her to fully get the picture.

On the other hand, I have to give props to the author who dug deep into the origins of Plymouth, people’s speech and dress in the nineteenth century, and the accuracy behind the myths of the sea creatures. She rightfully earned the Book Charm of Learning with this book. I became solely enamored with the depth of Syrenka and Ezra’s story from its abrupt beginnings to it’s sorrowful end.

The whole set up of the town, the reenactment village Hester works at, even the ghosts who haunt the grounds deserves more books or even a television show. It made me want to discover more about it! Plus, I’ve already come up with a “Dream Cast” for the book, it’s that good!

If you enjoy legends of mermaids, ghosts, curses, or historical facts – pick this up right away!

My Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms 

Happy October Reading!


Unpopular Opinions Tag-October Edition

Unpopular Opinions Tag-October Edition

I’ve seen this tag swimming around in my feed for months. Tags are like candy, you can never have just one but if you don’t stay on top of it, you’ll have a whole bunch of candy to eat and get sick in the end. So here is my turn on tackling this beloved Tag.

1. A Popular Book or Series that you didn’t like.

The Hunger Games, the jump-start of the Dystopian movement. I read it just to read it and it was ok, but not great. The moment someone mentions it, I roll my eyes. There was more to the life of books than this series.

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.


Everyone adores this series but I honestly could not stand it. I read this first book and couldn’t continue. The whole premise is interesting but the delivery is a bit of a mess. I may get some backlash from this because many people like the fact love the fact Gansey flip flopping his personality. I previously reviewed this book a few months ago and I stick by what I say, this book just didn’t do it for me.

3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.



I hate the series but yeah….Belthazar deserved better….

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

Fantasy, Dystopian, and Sci-F. I have tried to read a mix of them into my normal routine but it’s difficult. It’s like this huge list of responsibilities that is thrown upon me for the sake of my book loving community and…and….procrastination rears it’s ugly head.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

Katniss Everdeen….overrated. And I HATE the film adaption of her too! She deserved a personality. She’s supposed to come off as a fighter to me when, especially in the last novel, she doesn’t fight. She more or less just hears what’s going on then reacts.

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

John Green and Nicholas Sparks. I can’t do it. I can only take so much sadness or sappiness before I slam the book shut or give it away.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)


LOVE TRIANGLES!!!!!!!!!!! They have become too much for me. Pick a guy, or girl, and stick to her! Don’t go all flip-floppy on me! It’s not creative anymore. The moment I find out there is a love triangle in a series, I’m not going to touch it. It was fun and games when I was an innocent teenager but now that I’m older it’s not fun anymore. It’s more exhausting than anything else these days.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

I can’t think of any at the moment, temporary brain fart in progress.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

This is the biggest reason why I love writing posts of the movie adaption verses the original book. My list is extremely short of adaptions I prefer better than their original counterparts. I have a problem with The Vampire Diaries, Twilight series, and a few others. When I think about good adaptions, my brain immediately goes straight to one movie and one movie only……The Princess Bride!


Ahhh, Wesley. I read the book in high school after watching the movie over and over again. There are a few pieces of the book that would have been awesome if they were in the movie. But the movie is perfection on it’s own! Seriously, look like that face! You can’t say no to it!

I challenge, YOU READERS, to take this challenge! Don’t forget to tag me in your posts so I can see your responses!

Happy October Reading!


C.H.B. Reviews “The Accident Season” By: Moira Fowley-Doyle 

C.H.B. Reviews “The Accident Season” By: Moira Fowley-Doyle 

October 4th: Secrets

Decided, why not have a theme for each day this October. We are up to the fourth with Vampires, murderers, and witches stories behind us. I recently finished today’s book, The Accident Season last week and it is WEIRD!


Available: AmazonGoodreads

Families have many secrets. Some have various ways they keep them hidden through not speaking about them, their past haunts them in the way they carry themselves, or pretend they don’t exist and the universe reminds you of them for one month or so out of the year.

Cara, a seventeen year old Irish girl, and her family go through this very strange events every October where they are 100% accident prone. Like no matter where they go or what they do, they always seem to get hurt. For instance, in one scene Cara is merely walking home from school and a bridge she crosses all of a sudden collapses for no reason. Another is one night, her mother gets hit by a car that came out of nowhere. You automatically can’t help but know the family is cursed and desperately crave to discover the cause of this “season”. 

The writing is different compared to your normal YA novels and to be honest it’s pretty jumbled. The author jumps from the Accident Season to Cara becoming strangely obsessed with discovering why one of her classmates mysteriously ends up in the background of all of her and her family pictures. Next, it jumps to Carl’s awkward relationship with her stepbrother Sam (it’s gross) then to Cara beginning to see strange apparitions. Like I said, it’s jumbled.

 Yes, the author tried to explain The Accident Season through these events but there was so much going on but the pacing lacked to keep my attention. I kept stopping the audiobook version of this but found myself starting back up solely because I wanted to know how it ended however that became predictable.

This is one of those books are for if you’re looking for a new twist to YA writing or love Ireland, where the story is based. The mystery of it all fits into a good addition to your October Reads. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read it and your thoughts on it!

My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy October Reading,


C.H.B. Reviews “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” By Seth Grahme-Smith

C.H.B. Reviews “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” By Seth Grahme-Smith

Available: Amazon; Goodreads

Abraham Lincoln, one of the most beloved presidents in United States history. The Kentucky born man with the loving fatherly smile, sad eyes, and a heart full of gold. A man who stood for freedom for all and fought for it with his words and actions. I remember doing a presentation based on his life back in high school and there are mounds upon mounds of books about him. Books ranging from his psychological state to his upbringing and even his sexuality are exposed to the world. But I think I admire him not only for his courage to take the helm of a country on the verge of war but continuing to be a leader while he fought his own battle with depression and loss of a son. 

But of all these books I read on him, I cannot but talk about Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  Seth Grahme-Smith, author of the famous Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series, took vampires to a whole new level by the placing them in the middle of an extremely important part of U.S. History. I have not read a novel like this one since and have yet to seen one this well thought out and succeed.

The author opens up his book with a foreword on him acquiring the secret diaries of Abraham Lincoln through this mysterious stranger named Henry. Henry leaves a letter for, stating his wishes for Smith to pen a story about Lincoln and his battle with the creatures of the night.

The whole book reads as a biography of Lincoln’s history including how he became a vampire hunter after the discovering the truth behind his mother’s untimely death. Lincoln starts off as this gangly, bitter farm boy and transforms into this fighting hunter who seeks out to slay all vampires for the betterment of humanity. 

I have to talk about the pictures in the book! The author includes well Photoshopped photos of Lincoln holding his axe or vampire remains in the background, adding a realistic feel to the tale. I absolutely loved them! Even though the vampire additions to Lincoln’s story are purely fictional, you can’t help but wish they were real after reading this.

I highly recommend this for your own October Reads! It’s action packed, thrilling, and come on, it’s Abraham Lincoln killing vampires. Enough said!

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy October Reading,




Boil boil, Toil and Trouble, it’s the second day of October and why not touch base on the 90s classic Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman based on the novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman.


It follows the story of orphans Sally and Gillian Owens who are taken in by their magically gifted aunts. While growing up, they begin to learn how their magical backgrounds have caused quite a stir in their town in Massachusetts through taunts, whispers, and women sneaking to their home in the middle of the night for love potions.

Sally and Gillian long to be considered normal and will do anything in order to do so. Gillian escapes her small town by running away and jumping from man to man while Sally gets married and has two children, Antonia and Kylie. But they soon learn that you can’t run away from your past and especially can’t run away from your true self.

The book is pretty heavy on descriptions, there are often times when they span a couple pages, making the story drag along. We see the growth of Gillian and Sally from childhood onto their forties through their actions. We also get to know Sally’s children Antonia and Kylie and their growing powers.


I watched the movie when I was younger and have been in love with it for many years. I found a copy of the book at a library sale last year and finally got to read into the Owen sister’s true background story. Before I go further, I always go for the book instead of the movie but in this case I enjoyed the movie more so than the book.

The differences, for starters, are the descriptions of Gillian, Sally, and the aunts. Gillian is described as a blonde siren of a woman in the book and ages at a rapid pace. Sally is introverted and keeps most of what she wants to say on the inside. The aunts are barely there in the book, but the movie brings them to life in such a way that I fall in love with them instantly and wish they were my aunts!


I would take midnight margaritas any night, I’m just saying!

I don’t know, the movie makes me appreciate the characters more. The story is well developed for a film adaption. It differs quite a bit to the book but not in a bad way! In the book, Gillian finds love not just Sally. I honestly wish they would have added that into the movie to wrap it up with a pretty black bow. I’m not complaining, but it could have added an extra romantic element.

tumblr_nrxevsmfk91uta9o4o1_500In the book, Sally’s daughters names are switched and they are more vocal than their film adapted counterparts. We get a deeper insight into Sally’s marriage and her mourning for her husband. They skim over it in the movie in just the right way without overly drowning you in emotions. The movie reveals Sally poisoned Jimmy, Gillian’s abusive boyfriend, with bella donna while the book says differently. I prefer Gillian doing the dirty work because book Sally does not seem the vengeful type.

Oh, two of the most memorable scenes in the movie never existed in the book.  If you’ve seen the movie, remember that whole resurrection scene? Yeah, never happened. And Gillian’s possession? Never happened either. Jimmy is a poltergeist but he never makes his slimy way to Gillian. And Gillian and Sally bury him under lilac bushes instead of attempting to resurrect him.

Regardless of the differences…


In this case, I believe the movie won this round.


Have you read Practical Magic?

Which did you prefer, the movie or the book?

Let me know in the comments below!


Happy Reading!