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.

ARC C.B.H. Reviews: Freeks By Amanda Hocking

ARC C.B.H. Reviews: Freeks By Amanda Hocking

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Title: Freeks
Author: Amanda Hocking
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Available: Amazon; B&N; Goodreads; iBooks

**Disclaimer-I received an ARC Copy courtesy of St. Martin’s & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not have an effect on my review whatsoever.

 

Goodreads Description

“Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.”

I finished this book last night and I’m afraid I was left with a feeling that I wish didn’t linger even now. Amanda Hocking is a talented author and I’ve read her other books. However, this book lacked depth, structure, and too much repetition. The copy I received from NetGalley was an unedited copy but there were problems that extended mere spelling and grammar errors.

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Once the traveling carnival reached Caudry, Louisiana, Mara went off on her own to explore the town. She comes across a party taking place at a mansion-type house along the way and decides to go inside. Firstly, who does that? I get this takes place in the 80s but who enters a town, comes across a random party filled with strangers, then you decide to go inside despite not knowing the people. And secondly, the moment she goes in and falls in insta-love with the host of the party named Gabe.

Ok, Mara and the carnival are only going to be there a week. Throughout this whole week, these two are constantly kissing and putting their hands all over each other. Half the time I kept wondering if they were going to actually explain their backgrounds except for the same bits they continuously tell one another. It grew annoying after the third time Gabe spoke about his family moving to Louisiana and now he couldn’t go to NYU like he wanted too. Mara, on the other hand, kept drowning on and on how she couldn’t tell Gabe she was part of the Carnival because of past ridicule. For being nineteen, these two needed to grow up instead of acting like fifteen year olds.

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I thought this was a YA novel not an adult novel, but fair warning there is a sex scene in the book. It’s a quick page, but if you’re a parent whose kid is about to read this…be warned! I personally don’t have a problem because I’m an adult but normally, this is a “no-no” in YA novels.

Back to the story, the workers at the carnival begin to get attacked late at night. At first, the workers believe the tigers escape then the attacks grow more intense as the week goes on. Each one of the Carnies have a supernatural abilities. The longer they stay in the town, their abilities begin to waver or quit operating properly. The carnival attempt to receive help from the local police to help discover and arrest the attacker, but they disregard every cry for help and in turn try to get the carnival out.

The novel’s pacing is pretty quick but the problem is resolved too quickly for my taste. The explanation behind the attacks comes so fast it’s like, “Wait, what just happened?” I needed more depth to the characters other than what Mara repeatedly said about the backgrounds of the characters. Telling me is one thing, but the characters in question need to show me their wounds, their memories, act like they are the survivors they are instead of sole entertainers.

 

Have you read this novel yet?

What were your thoughts on this book?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

Thriller Review: The American Girl By: Kate Horsley

Thriller Review: The American Girl By: Kate Horsley

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Title: The American Girl
Author: Kate Horsley
Released: August 2, 2016
Available: Amazon; Goodreads

Goodreads Description

“A riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident and the dark secrets a small town is hiding. . .

On a quiet summer morning seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch, barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her.

Quinn’s appearance creates a stir, especially since her host family, the Blavettes, has mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl has anything to do with the missing family.

A Boston reporter named Molly Swift travels to St. Roch, prepared to do anything to learn the truth and score the ultimate scoop. After Quinn is arrested and a trial by media ensues, she finds an unlikely ally in the young journalist. Molly unravels the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American girl makes a compelling suspect.

Is Quinn truly an innocent abroad, or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder?”This is one of those books that follows along the lives of Gone Girl. It makes you question what you are reading and the characters in play. This book, though, involves blogging, podcasts, and takes us overseas to a village in France where even the most innocent scenery holds dark secrets.

Quinn Perkins, an exchange student from the United States, wakes up from a coma wondering what is happening around her. A mysterious woman who claims to be her aunt lingers while doctors flood her with questions about where her missing “house” family, the Blavetts. Given a video camera, Quinn records her emotions, what she does remember, and we as readers experience a transformation like no other.

Molly Smith traveled to France in order to unwind from her busy life as a reporter for a news podcast where they expose the ugly truths behind crimes and the government. Molly soon discovers Quinn’s story in the midst of a flurry of reporters from all over the world beginning to arrive at the village hospital. Under the guise of a concerned “aunt”, Molly infiltrates the hospital and begins her journey into the mystery of Quinn Perkins.

Development

tumblr_nkvbgzwhzh1s4jr0no1_500.gifMolly is a misunderstood individual aside from being a reporter. She strangely reminds me of Lana Winters from American Horror Story: Asylum, including the constant need for a cigarette.

We flashback and forth with Quinn’s past blog posts from before the accident and it lays down the groundwork for what is to come in the future. Quinn is this teenager who came from a family where her father marries his young pregnant secretary right after Quinn’s mother died and drops Quinn. Because of her mother’s death, she has psychological problems which makes you question what she posts in her blog.

We come to the future and watch as Molly tries to uncover the life of the Blavetts and discovers a dark past involving the mob, drugs, and death. Quinn, on the other hand, begins to slowly transform from an innocent amnesia-ridden girl into a mouthy brat with secrets she’s not willing to reveal. It all goes downhill from there.

The development of the story became predictable after I hit the mid-way mark. I blame the countless mystery novels and crime shows for spoiling it a bit for me.

It’s a good novel but it needed a stronger ending! The fact Quinn began showing her true colors gave it away that she did do something. No, it didn’t spoil the complete truth, but you knew she did something as soon as she began to snap. Molly is too gullible to the wrong people. I admired her courage though. Other than that, it is a great story!

 

My Rating

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

ARC Review: “To Trust a Wolf” By: Danielle Hardgrave

ARC Review: “To Trust a Wolf” By: Danielle Hardgrave

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Title: To Trust a Wolf (Unnatural Alliances Book 1)
Author: Danielle Hardgrave
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Caldwell Publishing
Release Date: June 3, 2016

Amazon Description: “As an archivist in a small museum, the biggest thing Helen Jurist has to deal with each year is the Annual Donor Gala. When her museum becomes a flurry of activity, due to the nearby discovery of a large Viking hoard, Helen finds the additional responsibility more of a pain than an honour. She doesn’t know anything about Vikings, or what makes the hoard so unusual. She just wants to get through the gala without her boss catching the drapes on fire.

Nobody from the public is supposed to have access to the find, but try telling that to Rune Helsen. A handsome Dane with wolfish desires, he walks around like he owns the place. He’s Helen’s worst nightmare—if only her traitorous body wasn’t so attracted to him.

But Rune has a secret, one that brought him to see the artifacts for more than just scholarly interest. Unknown to Helen, there’s so much more at stake than just pulling off a successful evening. A whole world she never knew existed, a world of vampires and shifters, stands on the precipice—and there’s something in the Cutler Hoard that could burn it all down.”

This past week, I had the opportunity to review author Danielle Hardgrave’s new novella To Trust a Wolf. It surrounds museum archivist, Helen Jurist, as she is thrown into a world of vampires and werewolves who are harboring a secret about a Viking village whose artifacts contain an ancient mystery they sought to track down.

Lately, I’ve been strapped for a large amount of time, but I sped through this novella in a day and a half. It is quick, witty, and to the point without lingering on unimportant details. Helen works extremely hard considering her museum is having a hard time acquiring funds to continue running and obtaining different exhibits in order to attract the public. The Cutler Hoard is their golden ticket to gaining needed publicity and funds in order for the museum to keep running. Everything seemed normal until Helen is interrupted by on of the Cutler Hoard’s donors shows up for an unexpected tour of the exhibit. The donor, Rune Helsen, is mysterious and has his own agenda unbeknownst to Helen.

All in all, it’s a good start to the Unnatural Alliances series. I have not read many books containing anything based on Viking lore nor throwing vampires and shifters into the mix. If you enjoy paranormal romance, Vikings, and need a quick read-this is the book for you!

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If you’d like to purchase your very own copy of this novella, you can purchase it HERE from Amazon!

~

About the Author

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Danielle Hardgrave has been active and successful in the freelance ghostwriting community since late 2015. With her passion for storytelling and tendency to daydream, it’s a surprise it’s taken her this long to turn that passion into a career. She was born and raised in Victoria, BC. When not writing, Danielle’s usually annoying her roommate or trying to figure out how to play tennis/box/longboard/whatever else she’s picked up that week.

Her business partner is a graphic designer and editor, and they decided to combine their skills to offer a new kind of brand that incorporates the business model of an online publishing company, but offers the personality and passion of real authors. 

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My Rating: 8 Book Charms out of 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

Author Wars: Charlotte Bronte VS. Emily Bronte

Author Wars: Charlotte Bronte VS. Emily Bronte

Books

Charlotte Bronte:

Tales of Angria

Jane Eyre

Shirley

The Professor

Villette

Emily Bronte:

Wuthering Heights

Popularity & Film Adaptions

 

C.H.B. Reviews: “The Eternity Cure” By Julie Kagawa

C.H.B. Reviews: “The Eternity Cure” By Julie Kagawa

I am crying….literally crying. ZEKE!! ZEKE! Why, oh why? I am laying here wondering what life is after the experience I had with this book and it’s not even the last one in the series! If you haven’t read my review on the first one, you can read it here.

But this book picks up with Allison searching for her master Kanin who has been kidnapped, tortured, and starved by the lunatic vampire Surran. The only way she is able to track them is through their vampire visions from her link to him.
Surran is a villain where you’d think you’d feel sorry for him but you can’t after what he does. In the first book, we found out *spoiler* that Kanin had offered some vampires as test subjects in order to cure the Red Lung Virus that took over the world. One of the vampires was Surran who went mad during the testing. Now he’s looking for revenge by creating his own brand new strand of the virus and releasing it on Allison’s former hometown in New Covington.

I cannot tell you how many times I had an inkling of what would occurred and stopped to try to imagine the book would go away. Seriously, there are some books I don’t finish because I know bad stuff is about to happen to the characters I love!

The ending of the book left me on the edge of my seat, begging the author that she didn’t truly kill one of my favorite characters. I must get the third book, soon! As far as sequels go, this one is a great addition to the series.

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

What Did I Read In May?

What Did I Read In May?

I have read quite a bit of books this month, more than usual. The feeling of getting back into the swing of reading is indescribable! It’s almost like meeting an old friend who keeps visiting daily instead of a few times a week. Here are the various books I’ve read this month and the reviews to go with them:

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The Immortal Rules
Rating: 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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The Flame and The Arrow 
Rating: 10 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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                                         Rating: 4 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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A Spell In Winter
Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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Nearly Gone
Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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Soundless
Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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Daddy Dearest
Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

 

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Adventures From My World
Rating: 10 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

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Summary & Analysis: Sylvia Day’s One With You
Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

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The Hatching
Rating: 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms
Click Here For Review

Many books and much more to come this coming month that I can’t wait to share with you! Have you read any of these? Do you agree with my ratings? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.