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.

C.H.B. Reviews “Kill The Boy Band” By: Goldy Moldavsky

C.H.B. Reviews “Kill The Boy Band” By: Goldy Moldavsky

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Available: Amazon; Goodreads

 

Ah, boy bands. My childhood in the 90’s were filled with them. We had 98 Degrees, *NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and Hanson. I remember the clash between Team The Backstreet Boys and Team *NSYNC. I personally was Team *NSYNC with my Justin Timberlake puppet doll and McDonald’s special release of remixes of their songs paired alongside Brittany Spears. Classmates in my first and second grade classes would discuss who were the best boy band and sometimes it transformed into fights.

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Fast forward to today, I’m a twenty-three year old college graduate who is into punk rock, energy drinks, and black skinny jeans. My fan girl days for a random pairing of guys with choreographed moves with vocals to match that made you jump and scream were over when the 2000’s began. But, a few years ago, a new band or rather conjured up band rose for a new generation. One Direction became a world-wide sensation. I despised them immediately. I thought boy bands were over a long time ago…I was sadly mistaken. I began to watch friends and younger family members go wild for this new generation of auto tuned-filled group of boys. They have finally died down within the last two years or so (Thank God), but that did not stop writers from penning books about the boys or even parodies of them.

I had seen Kill The Boy Band on bookshelves earlier last year. I added it to my TBR pile and finally reached it earlier this month. I immediately found myself into the crazed minds of the next generation of boy band fan girls. These girls were NOTHING like my generation’s fan girls. These had the internet, social media, and more various avenues to achieve their goals for seeing their favorite band. This story is about girls who not only achieved their goal, but made the mistake of getting too close to comfort and made a who new description to what a “fan” is.

 

~Goodreads Description & Excerpt~

“Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room in the hotel where they were staying.We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him—his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.

We were not planning on what happened next.

We swear.”

People have called me crazy.
It’s understandable; fangirls get a bad rap all the time. They say we’re weird, hysterical, obsessed, certifiable. But those people don’t understand. Just because I love something a lot doesn’t mean I’m crazy. And I did love The Ruperts a lot. I loved them more than soft-serve vanilla ice cream in summer, more than seeing a new review of my fanfics, more than discovering a good ’80s movie I’d never seen before.
Just because I was a Ruperts fangirl does not mean I was crazy.
I think it’s important that you know that up front. Because everything I’m about to tell you is going to seem . . . well, crazy.”

We get a very strange set of five fan girls to follow through this story. None of these girls body-shame one another, are ethnically diverse, and have personalities all their own. None of them are the same. Moldvasky matches them up for each of the members of “The Ruperts” aka One Direction in fictional incarnate. Only, there are some ways where they are equally matched too well.

We follow them as they are attempting to meet their favorite band of all time. Secrets, kidnapping, and twists ensue when these girls happen upon one of the band members in their hotel room. From there, we are dragged into the world of fan girls and what lengths they would go through just to get to know their idols. That is, until their fandom takes a darker, more sinister turn.

I’ll admit, these girls kind of scared me a bit. I have known other girls who would go to these lengths just to catch a glimpse of their favorite artists or stars, but there is a line. There has to always be a line that you do not cross and these fictional characters crossed that line. Goldy Moldavsky, thank you for reminding me why I’m not a fan girl anymore.

My Rating: 6 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

 

 

 

 

ARC Reviews: “Beautiful Broken Girls” By Kim Savage

ARC Reviews: “Beautiful Broken Girls” By Kim Savage

Title: Beautiful Broken Girls

Author: Kim Savage
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Release Date: February 21st, 2017

*Discalimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Macmillan Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.*

 

Sisters, Francesca and Mira, are found dead at the bottom of a quarry. Their deaths were ruled as suicide, but Mira’s ex-boyfriend Ben believes there is more to the story than meets the eye. About a week after their death, Ben receives a cryptic letter in the mail sent by Mira the day of her death. She sends him on a scavenger hunt, searching for hidden notes giving clues as to why they are truly gone. What seemed to be a mystery unravels into a path filled with secrets, insane religious practices, and a story not involving only two deaths….but three.

My Review

The story jumps back and for between the past before the girls were dead then the present with Ben trying to solve it all, with Mira’s clues being his only guide. I’m going to be up front and say this book did not turn out the way I expected. In more ways than one, I believed the story would go deeper into the scandal lingering behind the scenes involving Francesca.

Francesca has it in her mind she is a saint because she has these mysterious makes that appear on her hands. She seeks out her Catholic church counselor, but she has other plans in mind other than having him guide her. She becomes obsessed with becoming a saint and causing her counselor to fall in love with her. Her counselor leads her on, in a way, to continue her “path to becoming a saint”. She starves herself, puts herself through her own version of hell by donating the majority of her time volunteering at homeless shelters, and goes through these seizures deemed as “ecstasy”.

There were too many questions left unanswered. I needed more, DESERVED more! The ending left me so mad I almost threw my iPad across the room. The fact they also hinted that the girl’s father could have been involved in a lot of sketchy stuff left me wondering why we didn’t get more dirt on him. With a story beginning with a big question, it left even more in the end than answered.

For that I would say it deserves a sequel but more than likely, we won’t receive that….

 

My Rating: 6 out of 10 Book Charms

 

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

C.B.H. ARC Review: Chasing Eva By Camellia Hart

C.B.H. ARC Review: Chasing Eva By Camellia Hart

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Available: Amazon; Goodreads

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

 

Goodreads Description

“An addictive, suspenseful & sensual story about a man and a woman whose lives are about to get sizzling hot…

After living through her share of disloyal relationships, Evangeline Avery will be damned if she lets another man cheat her. A beautiful and confident woman, Eva is the owner of an interior design firm at the brink of collapse. She swears to bring her company back to its past glory, even if it involves sweet talking the one man who caused this turmoil in the first place – Clive Stanton.

Notorious playboy Clive Stanton is a powerful businessman and a formidable enemy of many. He doesn’t do love, or at least not until he meets her again, fifteen years after he saw her last. Eva, his crush from teenage years, the one that got away, is back in his world and he is determined to do anything to make her his.

Will passion and lust bring them together or conflict and the unforgettable scars from their pasts forever tear them apart?”

 

Eva did not expect to inherit her father’s interior design business. All she wanted to do with her life was be a professional chef and bring smiles to patrons through her food. Instead, her father dies unexpectedly, leaving Eva the business who has gained attention from the FBI. Turns out someone in Eva’s corner is spilling secrets to her competition and may have murdered Eva’s father. With all the attention, the FBI have recruited one of their former top agents, Clive Stanton, to crack the case. Problem is, Clive is one of Eva’s clients and he cannot let her in on the case.

This is the first book in the In the Light of Shadows series and it is quite an opener. The romance is steaming, the thrills are there, the mystery as to who is behind these crimes remains a mystery, and the ending of this book will leave you starving for more Clive and Eva. I’m eager to seek out the next book on it’s OFFICIAL RELEASE DAY on February 14th! I can’t wait to discover not only if Eva is “caught” but especially the identity of the perpetrator is revealed and they are brought down.

 

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Camellia HartCamellia Hart, a techie turned author of romance, lives in San Francisco with her husband, the love of her life. Other than writing her next romance novel, her hobbies include traveling, lazing on a beach with a good read, watching movies with happy endings while gorging on endless buckets of popcorn, red wine, and champagne truffles.

Check out her website here!

You can also check her out these various platforms:

Amazon, Facebook, & Pinterest

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms!

 

Happy “Charmed” 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.

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “The Bone Witch” By Rin Chupeco

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “The Bone Witch” By Rin Chupeco

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Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publishing Date: March 1, 2017

**Disclaimer – I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

NetGalley Description: “In the captivating launch of this darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. if there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in her community. But under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch, Tea learns to wield her magic in the face of dark forces and the deceit of those who would plot against her- including the ruling royals, who are waging their own war for control of her homeland…”

My Review

I read author Rin Chupeco’s last two novels The Girl In the Well and The Suffering. I instantly fell in love with the books about this semi-malicious spirit who became justice for murdered individuals by killing their murderers. This new novel, The Bone Witch, is a quick change of pace compared to the other novels.

Chupeco turns her attention to the asha community and travels to a world we are told a tale from the perspective of our main character Tea. She foretells parts of her life in the beginning of this tale, including a possible love triangle, but it honestly was not needed in my opinion. The basis of this tale lies within a world filled with families of asha who are gifted in various ways. Tea’s sisters are gifted in the ways of creativity while her brother was more of a farmer. At the time, Tea was not aware of the gifts she held until the death of her brother. Her gifts finally rose up out of the “grave” within herself to breath life back into her brother’s lifeless body.

Tea is suddenly deemed a “Bone Witch” and feared amongst her community.  Word of a traveling Bone Witch by the name of Mykaela soon reached Tea’s village and Mykaela immediately took the helm as teacher and mother figure towards Tea. Upon there Mykaela, Tea, and Tea’s brother embark on a journey filled with conquering demons, curing illnesses, and lessons to learn.

One particular subject I find fascinating in this story are the heart glasses. People’s attitudes, feelings, and health are projected as colors through these heart shaped glass necklaces they wear about their necks. They are basically aura readers which project an individual’s aura colors outward for everyone to see. These are special in the ways towards love where soul mates exchange their heart glasses with on another. But, they must be careful because whomever you share your heart glass with has the power to control you if the person is not your soulmate.

My only issue with this book are the massive volumes of descriptions. The majority of this book is consumed by descriptions, more so than the plot itself. If the descriptions were trimmed by half, it would have been a one hundred percent success.

My Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.