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.

C.B.H. Reviews: “Spelled” By Betsy Schow

C.B.H. Reviews: “Spelled” By Betsy Schow

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Title: Spelled (Spelled #1)
Author: Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date:June 2, 2015
Originally Received by Netgalley
Re-read: May 2017

Goodreads Description

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.”

My Review

I originally read this novel back in 2015 before I had this lovely blog and added my reviews outside of Amazon and Goodreads. Back then, re-told fairy tale stories were not as big as they currently are today. Now, we are beginning to see a higher increase in the re-told fairy tale/fantasy category with the Court of Thorns and Roses series, Lunar Chronicles seriesTwists Tale series, Huntedand many more now that we want to see more takes of our beloved fairy tale characters.

Spelled by Betsy Schow, though, is not your average fairy tale re-telling. It’s more like a parody cluster of fairy tale characters overlaying cliches, overlaid by over the top action in this book. Our main character is Dorothy who is a spoiled brat princess who is restricted to her castle because the females of her family are cursed and foretold to destroy the world with fire. Call back to Sleeping Beauty, the kingdom is rid of devices that can create fire and the only way the curse be prevented is the cursed princess be rescued by a prince.

Going back to Dorothy, she despises any of the princes her parents attempt to being to her attention. Dorothy would rather spend money acquiring the latest Glenda fashions and Hans Christian heel collections. Her parents decide enough is enough and set up an arranged marriage between her and prince Kato. You want to see a spoiled little princess have a temper tantrum and basically destroying her kingdom over a wish? It’s not pretty. To be honest, I almost stopped reading because of Dorothy’s immaturity. I get you are trying to change the average fairy tale princess, but if it causes pain for your readers to read about her then you need to tone it down.

The story is filled with hilarious comebacks, changes, and gives a better appreciation for the original material. It contains easter eggs you have to pay extra close attention to unless you’d miss them. Do I recommend this? Yes, but I do not suggest you place it next to your other fairy tale retellings. I believe books like this deserve a category all of their own.

 

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

 

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

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

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

1. Change Up Your Genres

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

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

2. Dive Into Classics!

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

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

 

 

3. Biographies

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

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

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

 

4. Summer-based Books

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

5. Fandom Reads

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

 

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

Do any of my goals match your own?

Have any fairy-tale re-telling suggestions?

 

Let me know in the comment section below!

 

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

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

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

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Release Date: July 11, 2017

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

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

 

Goodreads Synopsis

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

 

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

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

Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were your thoughts on this book/series?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Happy New Year! My 2017 Reading Goals!

C.B.H. Reviews: Happy New Year! My 2017 Reading Goals!

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Another year is coming to a close! It’s been a rough ride and I can’t help but can’t wait for this year to be over! It’s been a year of changes, moving, new friendships, and completing goals two years in the making. I did not read as much as I had liked and struggled with finding the right words to write for my reviews due to time constraints. This will all change next year!

I’ve read different book review blogs and absolutely loved reading all the various goals they have planned for the new year. Last night, I took out one of my many notebooks and began to make a list of my goals for the new year. Reflecting on the last two years, I’ve wanted to read and review more than I previously did in the previous years. The biggest issue I’ve found since beginning this blog is that planning is a challenge. Like a big challenge when it comes to me because life has a funny way of holding up it’s personal “Stop” sign, making you hit the “Pause” button on your goals. 2017, this will all change…..

  Goals For 2017

  • Setting aside 30 minutes a day to write/plan

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    I personally stink at putting aside time specifically for myself. I want this blog to grow bigger and better than it was when I started it a year ago and in order to do that, I need to write more. More reviews, more Book tags, more author interviews, more, more, more writing! I love receiving comments from you readers, letting me know what you think about a particular series or book being released. If there are any other blog writers reading this, please tell me I’m not alone in this!

 

  • Reading Goal – 77 Books

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    I recently joined Goodreads and will be using the challenge app to keep track of my goal this upcoming year. Since it is going to be 2017, I chose the number 77 for luck. Come on, after this year I think we all need some luck in the upcoming year.

  • Catch Up on ARC-Reads

    I am behind on my ARC e-books and currently in the middle of three at the same time while also reading new releases I picked up from my local library. There are times where I want to take the library books back to focus on the ARC’s instead of stressing my brain out. But what can I say? Momma didn’t raise no quitter!

  • Host More Giveaways & Cover Reveals

    Yes! More Giveaways and Cover Reveals! I hosted only one giveaway this year due to not having enough time to plan and host more for you all. However, I’m already making a plan to host more this year and am placing special dates on my calendar for the launch! So, keep your eyes open, Everyone!

  • Participate in Photography Challenges

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    I’ve always had a special place in my heart for photography and one of my big goals for the upcoming year is to fall in love again with my old hobby. After moving from Kentucky to Ohio, I’ve somehow lost my camera during the transition. Hopefully, it’ll turn up before my new camera arrives soon. But, this year, I’m planning on participating in photography challenges and am anxious to show you my journey throughout the new year through my photos.

 

What are your goals for the new year? Let me know in the comments!

I’m anticipating the new year and expecting great things to come! Let’s make 2017 the best year ever and be able to have this expression every day:

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Happy New Year From Charmed Book Haven Reviews!

 

Happy Reading!

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~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews “Eerie” by C.M. McCoy

C.H.B. Reviews “Eerie” by C.M. McCoy

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Available: Amazon; Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my opinion nor my review in any way.**

 

Twin orphan sisters Hilary and Hailey Hartley always stuck together through thick and thin. Planning on going to college at the same time, they save up their money by working in their family’s bar. They have a loving uncle who raises them under the watchful eye of a hot-blooded Irishman alongside their childhood friend Finn/Padraig. Everything seemed to be going great, until Hilary is kidnapped and body is later discovered.

Hailey attempts to pick up the pieces as much as she can while finding out she received a full ride scholarship to an Alaskan based college called Bear Towne University where everything is not so normal as it originally seemed. Imagine a supernatural Hogwarts filled with Banshees, zombies, ghosts, and book worms. I’m serious, literal book worms. If these worms don’t have their tiny spectacles, books, and diet of tea they become ear worms who bury themselves into human ears in order to reach the brain.

Anyways, there is a love triangle, a confusing one at that. The main love interest is an Envoy named Asher. Asher has been a figment of her dreams since she was a child. Only, Hailey does not remember anything that occurs in the dreams until after Hilary dies. Then she discovers Asher is actually real and is the founder of Bear Towne. Plus, he has ulterior motives when getting involved with Hailey instead of solely liking her for her.

Turns out a handful of Asher’s kind are stuck on Earth, searching for a way to get back to their home in another dimension. The longer they are around emotions, especially love, they become stark raving mad. This includes becoming murderous Jack Torrence wannabes *coughs* evil Envoy Cobon *coughs*.

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tumblr_n6ij3s8ao91qhf4j4o3_250Second love interest, obviously, is Finn. I don’t have to really explain why because the whole childhood friend crush thing is frequent in recent books. Honestly, Finn comes off as this player most of the time, is extremely self-centered regarding his looks, and enjoys using his “manly” ways in order to get girls to do what he wants. Now seeing as knowing Hailey most of her life, you wouldn’t think he would do the same thing to her. WRONG! Him, just like Asher, have alternatives in what they want from Hailey. While I was reading this, I could not get the image of Chris Evan’s character when he was in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Even the way he interacts with the Envoys has me hearing Chris’s voice!

Thoughts Whole Book

For a first book in a new series, it hits you with quite a bit of info. I read it twice in order to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I wish Hailey would show more backbone!! Whenever I’d hear Finn or even Asher mention she was a feisty girl, I highly disagreed. I did not see any feistiness in her at all. Instead, I see this girl who asks too many questions, cries too much,  does not stand up for herself, and allows both Asher and Finn to walk all over her in order to get what they want. I want to see her fight back in the next book!

Ending wise, I was left stunned. I even clapped after I finished the last page. I was totally not expecting it to turn out that way, period. It alone makes me excited for what is to come in the future.

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Highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something new and exciting to add onto your shelf!

My Rating

8 out of 10 Book Charms!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.