C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

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Title: The Rattled Bones
Author: S.M. Parker
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse


Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

 

Goodreads Description

“Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.”

My Review

This story is one filled with self-discovery, mystery, ghosts, and beautiful imagery. This is a for sure read to add to your October reads or even start reading it now. S.M. Parker has presented us with a tale unlike once you’d see under the YA Thriller category, but it makes it’s mark within your mind and in the genre.

Rilla Brae newly inherited her father’s lobster fishing business after his untimely death, and its seeking to discover what her purpose truly is in this life. Being raised on the sea, she was told never to trust it when it appears quiet. It proves true as she is led astray to the mysterious Malaga Island by an abandoned wooden boat and an eerie song floating across the sea to her. The Island is shrouded in the old tale where it’s inhabitants mysteriously disappeared. what happened to the inhabitants and why is Rilla drawn to it?

Highly recommend this read! Grab a blanket, cup of tea, and lock your doors – it’ll leave you with chills and grasping the pages for more.

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.B.H. ARC Review: “Dead Girls Can’t Lie” By Carys Jones

C.B.H. ARC Review: “Dead Girls Can’t Lie” By Carys Jones

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Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads
Publisher: Aria
Release Date: August 15th, 2017

 

**Disclaimer – I received this book via NetGalley and Aria in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.

 

 

If you awoke from sleep to discover your best friend committed suicide, what would you do? What if the circumstances surrounding the suicide left more questions than answers to you? What if the events leading to the suicide made no sense whatsoever…..maybe even set off alarms in your head that it may not be a suicide after all….but a murder?

North Stone loses her best friend Kelly in what the local authorities rule out to be a suicide. Deep in her gut, North believes this is all wrong. She’s known Kelly her whole life and the events surrounding her death were the direct opposite to how Kelly would act. North begins to go down a rabbit hole filled with self discovery, a mysterious pregnancy, and answers she may not like.

My Review

North is one of those characters you truly sympathize with on some levels. She lost her parents at an early age where normal kids were discovering who they were. Instead, she never truly grasps who she is which is where Kelly comes in. Kelly is a stubborn, attention-grabbing girl who seems to always get her way with anything and anyone. Fast forward to when they are adults and Kelly all of a sudden commits suicide.

Because North practically spent her time attached to the hip with Kelly except for the last three months of her life, North immediately becomes suspicious. Now as much as I can understand her reaction, her and Kelly’s relationship almost feels kind of toxic in some ways. North does not know how to survive without Kelly making decisions for her and whisking her off from what adventure to another. A few land them in trouble where North takes the fall for Kelly’s actions.

We are given flashbacks to various occasions when the girls were growing up where we get the feeling of the girl’s personalities through their lives. We see Kelly is this “free-spirit” who wanted to make sure everyone knew her while North hung back as Kelly’s shadow most of the time. After Kelly’s death, we see North struggle with finding her footing as a person and even taking on Kelly’s personality at times in order to engage with people around her during her investigation into Kelly’s death.

In the end, this book needed a bit of work. Was it engaging? Yes. However, it was predictable. There were tropes in this novel that have been used repeatedly in mystery/thrillers both in print, films, and television shows I’ve seen over the years.

The unhealthy relationship between North and Kelly was a turn off as well. How can you continue to be friends with someone who causes you to lose your own identity and prevent your growth due to your dependence upon them? I get it if you are best friends, but there is a line between being controlled and being friends because of a connection. I wish North grew more in the novel, I honestly did. She had potential to be more than an obsessed “friend” who had concern over a friend’s mysterious death….

 

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

 

~C.C.

 

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

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New Years Resolution Tag

 

I discovered this book tag from Bella @ Bella Blogs Because Books. Definitely check her out and her answers for this tag! Now onto my resolutions!

1. An Author I’d Like to Read (that I’ve Never Read Before)

Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas, author of the Throne of Glass and A Court of Throne and Roses series. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series. Yes, I want to read it but I have to clear my ARC shelf before I even think of touching the series. *Sighs* Soon, Throne of Glass, Soon.

2. A Book I’d Like to Read

Have you seen my “To Read” List on Goodreads? Here’s a picture:

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Scary part is, it keeps growing every day and I’m always looking for more books to add. But there is one recently released book I’d love to get my hands on and that would be Roseblood   by A.G. Howard. It’s a re-telling of the Phantom of the Opera and the cover of the book is absolutely breathtaking! If I had to narrow it down to one book right now, hands down, this would be it.

RoseBlood

3. A Classic I’d Like to Read

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This story has intrigued me since I witnessed Dorian Gray’s portrayal by both Ben Barnes and Reeve Carney. I consider it a cautionary tale for those who wish to stay young forever. Yes, there are other tales like this with Dracula and Frankenstein but Dorian is a whole other entity. The fact his soul is contained by a painting while his outer shell in the world reeks havoc proves how high a cost eternal youth can be regardless of being outwardly “young” but dying on the inside. I can’t wait to finally read the tale this year!

4. A Book I’d Like to Re-Read

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I actually want to re-read a series instead of a book. If you read one of the Chronicles of Narnia books, it is necessary you read the rest. I first read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when I was in sixth grade and my teacher suggested I get a head start on it.

Due to the strict household I lived in, I would read it in secret until my father stumbled upon it in my backpack. Surprisingly instead of getting angry, he brought me his personal set of the series he had since he was a kid. After three months, I had read the whole series and fell in love with the mythological world of Narnia. Now twenty-three, there are days where I still miss it so why not re-read the series this year?

5. A Book I’ve Had for Ages and Want to Read

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I have had this book along with it’s sequel on my bookshelf for what it seems like forever. I’m always distracted with another book or series and have not had time to get back to it. One of my other goals is to finally read it from front to back and hopefully see the musical adaption as well.

6. A Big Book I’d Like to Read

 

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7. An Author I’ve Previously Read and Want to Read More Of

Stephen King

Stephen King.  The “King of Horror” so to speak, but he’s written Fantasy and Mystery pieces as well. I have read The Stand, The Shining, Carrie, The Dark Half, and Salem’s Lot. Each of his stories are witty, ingenious, and tap into the parts of our brain containing fears we didn’t even know existed. I have his books Christine and IT set aside to read this year to dive into when the time comes.

8. A Book I Got For Christmas and Would Like to Read

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My aunt gave this to me for Christmas and I have yet to read it. I’ve read all the hype but skipped the movie. I’ve slotted to read this in March and can’t wait to see what it brings!

9. A Series I Want to Read (Start to Finish)

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10. A Series I Want to Finish (That You’ve Already Started)

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11. Do I Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do I Want to Read in 2017?

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12. Any Other Reading Goals?

Aside from reading the books I mentioned and meeting my 77 book goal, I’d like to read more ARC’s and other Independent authors’ works. There are talented independent authors who deserve to have their books read by readers. They many not reach the bestseller list because they do not belong to a big publishing house, but their stories deserve to be read all the same.

~

I tag all of you readers to do this tag! Don’t forget to tag me in your post so I can see your answers!

What did you think of my answers? What do you think of the books and authors I mentioned? Have you read any of these works?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Alice In Wonderland Tag!!!

Alice In Wonderland Tag!!!

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the publication of one of the most memorable pieces of literature known to man. On November 28, 1865, author Lewis Carroll welcomed readers everywhere to a place filled with opposites, celebration of unbirthdays aside a mad hatter and scruffy hare, talking flowers, an anxiety-ridden white rabbit, a blood thirsty queen, and a curious blonde haired child who fell down a rabbit hole into a world not her own. I fell in love with the story as a child even more now as an adult with my closet filled with Alice costumes, Mad Hatter Hats, and Cheshire cat plush toys to prove it.

I discovered this tag on Shori’s World blog and instantly wanted to take a crack at it! There are 12 books for each of the 12 chapters in the novel. Each question represents something that is relevant to the theme addressed in the chapter. Some of the original questions asked for Anime instead of books so I switched them for this blog. Here we go!

Chapter 1: Down The Rabbit Hole

PICK THE FIRST NOVEL YOU’VE READ / REMEMBER READING

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I listened to books on tape when I was little and as I began to read, I remember Charlotte’s Web being one of the first books I actually fully read.

 

Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE BATTLE BETWEEN REASON AND EMOTION

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To sum it up in the words of author Max Brooks, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Chapter 3: The Caucus Race and a Long Tale

PICK A BOOK WITH A LACK OF CLEAR PURPOSE OR A BOOK THAT COMMENTS ON MEANINGLESSNESS

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When your life is an endless circle of work, work work with nothing to show for it, you sometimes ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” This book makes you wonder if that is all life is until the main character has two choices, but each choice has her meeting a special person only at different moments in time. It makes you question whether this meaningless feeling is nearly temporary or leads you to your true purpose in life.

 

Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill

PICK BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE DISCOMFORT OF GROWING UP.

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Enough said, it’s Peter Pan!

 

Chapter 5: Advice From a Caterpillar 

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH IDENTITY CRISIS.

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I personally call this an identity crisis novel. Why? You have a man go from nothing to something then try to regain his love from his past and instead of having the “happy ending”, his whole magnificent present begins to unravel at the seems and he ends up as he was at the beginning of his personal journey, nothing.

 

Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper

PICK A BOOK THAT CHALLENGES TRADITIONAL SOCIAL NORMS.

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This whole series challenges their world. Every dystopian novel can fit into this category.

Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-Party

PICK A BOOK THAT CHALLENGES PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIVERSE.

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This book is the complete opposite of The Chronicles of Narnia, more like a darkness to the light of that series. I remember people, especially religious individuals, freak out over the metaphors contained within this series. It definitely challenged the principles of the universe in terms of fiction.

Chapter 8: The Queen’s Croquet Ground

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL BEAUTY.

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This series encompasses this. The Lunars make you see what you want them to see while our characters are the “misfits” and seek to disprove the lies. All of these girls have flaws while the Lunar Queen wishes her subjects to see perfection. This is truly a test of natural beauty vs. artificial beauty.

 

Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle’s Story 

PICK A BOOK THAT QUESTIONS MORALITY.

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In WWII, Jews were persecuted by the German Nazis. For the families who harbored Jewish families or runaways, they were considered to be enemies to the German government. For Annemarie Johansen, her family questions the morality set by the government. Instead they do the true good and rescued a young girl and kept her safe.

 

Chapter 10: Lobster Quadrille 

PICK A BOOK WHERE A CHARACTER IS ISOLATED, WITH NO ONE BEING ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM.

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This story is centered around a character who after she loses everything she knows, she isolates herself within herself. Throughout the book, she discovers who she is through falling in love and the choices she must make in order to survive.

 

Chapter 11: Who Stole the Tarts 

PICK A BOOK THAT QUESTION JUSTICE OR LEGAL SYSTEM.

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I first read this book back when I was a freshman in high school. The mysterious figure known as “The Scarlet Pimpernel” saves the innocent lives of the French elite from the guillotine. His moves against the French judicial system is not only a mere question against their legal system but a rebellion unto itself. I highly recommend this book!

Chapter 12: Alice’s Evidence

PICK A BOOK WHERE A CHARACTER HAS AN EPIPHANY.

This one, I had a hard time coming up with a book for because there are so many. I’m personally keeping it blank due to the fact any main character or multiple characters can have an epiphany about an event, mystery, or circumstance. This, in part, can make or break the series or the novel. I can think of several in the Mortal Instruments series, specifically. Then there are some in the Harry Potter series. But narrowing it down is too hard.

 

Think you can take this challenge? Fill out the questions yourself and don’t forget to tag me so I can see your answers!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “At the Cemetery Gates, Year One” By John Brhel and J. Sullivan 

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “At the Cemetery Gates, Year One” By John Brhel and J. Sullivan 

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**DISCLAIMER-I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. This, however, does NOT AFFECT my views or rating of book.**

Available: Amazon; Goodreads

 

It may not be October anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a set of spooky stories to send shivers down your spine. I personally got lost in my own stack of books with this one in the midst of it all. I chose to read one short story each night before I went to sleep. Ok, ok, I may have sneaked in another one as well.

Each book has a good setting, middle, and twistful ending. Some of these stories included ghosts, others monsters hidden in the most unlikeliest of places, and stories leaving you wondering if there will be a part two to the story. There were a few you could tell came from urban legends with their own modern twist to them, but the terror remained in the tale all the same. They each are the perfect length to read if you’re reading on a trip and in need of a quick, creepy read before bed, for campfire tales, or even for your own personal enjoyment.

 

My Top Favorite 3 Short Stories

(With Ratings)

1. Pictures of a Perpetual Subject (9 out of 10 Book Charms)

This short story dealt with a young girl, bullied at school, who chose to do with a photography project featuring an overgrown field bordering the town cemetery. After gathering her pictures over the course of a period of time and placing them into a video, she notices a ghostly figure attempting to make it’s way toward her house. I personally loved this one due to the fact I thought she was going to get revenge on her classmates in some way by using this ghost. Only, the author clearly had other plans with this jaw-dropping explanation of the figure.

2. Delaying Decay (10 out of 10 Book Charms)

Twin boys, Sean and Zack Grady, are looking to discover the secrets hidden at the local mortuary. Of course, one antagonizes the other over witnessing the various dead bodies stored in the basement of the institution. They are in for a rude awakening when they are caught in a broom closet when the owner appears with a new, dead specimen. Or is the specimen truly dead? This one, above all, gave me the most chills. I need a follow-up to this one!

3. The Burial Vault (9 out of 10 Book Charms)

Holy crap! This one is a total mind warp! These high-school/college kids decide to throw a party at this sealed up crypt with a dark history. A tradition they always hold is for their leader, Tom, to tell ghost stories at the closing of the night. Turns out, this family crypt holds the body of only one family member. One to be rumored to be a possible monster who was sealed up by the locals to keep him from his murderous hunger. After the party, people end up missing….could this monster still be alive…after all this time?

 

My Rating (Per Story) 

A Dark and Desolate Recurrence 

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

A Casket For My Mother

7 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Time’s Harbinger

10 out of 10 Book Charms

 *

A Tale of Palpable Violence

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Passion’s Paroxysm

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Hermit of Russian Lake

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

A Late Blight

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Girl With The Crooked Tooth

7 out of 10 Book Charms

*

New Year’s Eve, What a Gas!

8 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Call Is Coming From Inside The House

10 out of 10 Book Charms

*

An Epistle From The Dead

10 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Like I said, each story is it’s own entity. Those three are my top favorites, but it you all get a chance to read it, what are your favorites out of this collection? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

 

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

C.H.B Reviews: My 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.

To be blunt – Stine’s editor needs to be replaced. Immediately! The majority of these stories are made up of repetitive phrases, imagery, and attitudes twisted around a less than enthralling story. I mean, I don’t know how much more I can take hearing the following: “frightening, horror, crazy, or horrifying” in a continual loop 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 comes through.

Dear Fear Street Editor, if these revival books were re-written with proper sentences, better dialogue, and fresh scares – 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 for now. Unless he embraces and utilizes how things are today, his books will not reach the high status they once held.

If you’re a fan of this past series, the revival is not what you’ll remember or has improved from it’s dark, bitter past. I believe it’s time for Fear Street, along with Angelica and Simon Fear’s legacy, to be put to rest for good.

 

Happy October Reading!

~C.C.