Quick Review: “A Court of Thorns and Roses” By Sara J. Maas

Quick Review: “A Court of Thorns and Roses” By Sara J. Maas

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**Disclaimer – This is a large fan base, we each have an opinion. I respect everyone for their opinion and I apologize in advance for any hurt feelings. Remember, this is only my opinion.**

 

Hi Everyone!

Long time, no see! Been on vacation and working non-stop while trying to read as many books as possible toward my Summer Reading Goals this year. One of which, was diving into the world of fairy tale re-tellings. I first read Spelled by Betsy Schow which you can check out my review here. Next on the list was the popular Beauty and the Beast retelling by Sarah J. Maas entitled “A Court of Thorns and Roses“.

I’m not going to go extremely deep in detail since this series is very well-known and the latest installment had recently been released. I will admit some of the material lived up to it’s hype, but I have issues with this book. First of all, many readers are under the misconception that this is a Young Adult book as well as it is labeled that way in the library system. However after doing a little digging, I discovered this series is in fact not Young Adult but New Adult. It is shelved that way due to Sarah J. Maas’s past experience with the genre. So if you read this and thought the sex scenes were out of line for a YA novel, rest assured it was not intended for it.

Another issue I had was the pacing. It moved extremely slow for about 1/3 of the books, making it close to being a DNF for me. Then there was the main character, Feyre. And the ending with the main character Feyre not understanding the obvious answer to the villain’s riddle made me throw the book across the room. And the fact the villain gave the answer away before “the great reveal” and it went over Feyre’s head! Her guilt at the end of the book was only to create an plot point for the next book to attempt to fix that was really unnecessary.

To be honest, I do not like Feyre. Seriously, Feyre is a complete dolt 55% of the time throughout this book, it made me want to shake her! I’m getting tired of main characters like her for not listening and putting themselves in danger just because they wish to discover what secrets lie beyond the “forest” in this case. I’m reading the second installment right now and her attitude problem from the first book has escalated to a new height. There are times where she shows a personality and kindness, but it’s barely there.

I pray the rest of the second will improve, if not, I will unfortunately put another series to rest on my shelf.

Rating 6

What did you think about this book/series?

What drew you to it and why?

Let me know in the comments down below!

 

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: “Wink, Poppy, Midnight” By April Genvieve Tucholke

C.H.B. Reviews: “Wink, Poppy, Midnight” By April Genvieve Tucholke

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Available at: Amazon; Goodreads; Barnes & Noble

This story begins in not your average YA novel sort of way or written in the normal fashion for that matter. The story is written from the perspectives of three characters: Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. It begins after main characters, Poppy and Midnight, are finished “making love” in Midnight’s room. I placed quotes on there because when the love is only one sided, it’s not a full love as we see as the book moves along. Oh, did I neglect to mention these were teenagers. TEENAGERS! And Midnight’s father is in the house too. How could the father not hear this? I will tell you, the parents are pretty much non-existent in this book.

I must come clean, have a love-hate relationship with this story. The imagery is tremendous yet has a mystical flair to it, Wink reminds you of an old librarian reincarnated into a teenager’s body,and the mystery style leaves you questioning all actions at every turn. However, I hate the fact you are left with questions at the end of the novel and even as you read it, you receive more questions than answers.

I felt like I was on this merry-go-round sent at warp speed with the ending sending me flying through the air and landing on my butt. Was it a wise decision to ride it? Obviously not. Did I learn my lesson? Maybe so, but I wondered in the why I gave in and rode the ride anyway despite the possible pain later.

Goodreads Description:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.”

First off, Midnight is a tool. I’m not going to mince words. He’s completely worthless as far as I’m concerned. He’s a pawn in two little girl games and he’s too dull to notice what’s happening to him till it’s too late. And even then, he never develops as a character. Half of the story, he keeps comparing Poppy, his childhood crush, to Wink, his new-crazy neighbor. When he’s not comparing the two girls, he’s comparing himself and attempts to act like his half-brother Alabama. The guy has zero identity, whatsoever!

Even so, we have Poppy, a spoiled brat who always gets what she wants. That is, until she is rejected by Wink’s older brother and this makes Poppy “fall” for him. You know the old cliché where the one person the supposed bully can’t have has to become their obsession or the other character who leaves them then the bully suddenly realizes how much they meant to them. The brother fulfills the first cliché and Midnight, the second. Anytime I read from Poppy’s perspective, I rolled my eyes due to the fact she’s the girl who is starved for attention because she can. She does everything she does…because she can!

Wink is this sheltered kid from a family who believes in tarot, magic, and the expansive universe of books. Wink lives in books and she leads her own life like a storyteller, weaving her personal story by deeming who is the “hero”, “wolf/villain”, and “victim”. She comes across as this innocent girl; however, you can’t help but question her moves from the middle-onward in the book.

The whole book is this big ball of “What just happened?” Also, what time is this story located in? We assume these three are teenagers, but Wink comes across to me as a twelve year old and my mind began to think how wrong it is for her and Midnight do be together.

It had potential. Had. But I’m not into how it all turned out nor impressed by any of the characters by the time it’s over. Read at your own risk….

My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

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.C.