Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

Top 5 Reading Goals! Summer 2017 Edition

 

2013-08-08 16.02.29

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

tumblr_o3e9srT2q41r8jzago1_500.gif

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!

3219217694_81137f6a00_z

 

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

tumblr_ny2isy46EM1t5arjco1_500.gif

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

tumblr_oq2fglqYnc1rkdo1zo1_500.jpg

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

tumblr_inline_olmy9o6xec1s81tdj_500.gif

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!

 

tumblr_opudun8Lwc1wprp50o1_400.gif

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.

ARC Review: “The Marriage Pact” By Michelle Richmond

ARC Review: “The Marriage Pact” By Michelle Richmond

31748890

Release Date: July 25, 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 opinion whatsoever.

 

NetGalley Synopsis

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
  
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
           
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
           
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
           
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
           
And then one of them breaks the rules.
           
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
           
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.”

My Review

Marriage. It’s a chilling subject for me these days. Reaching the age where most of your friends are running off, getting married, having kids is frightening to me. This book did not settle my inner fears in the least. In fact, they increased!

Jeremy and Alice are in their late 30s, successful, and have somewhat good heads on their shoulders. Told through Jeremy’s perspective, he admits in the beginning that the subject of marriage was his idea. Alice, mourning the loss of her father, sparked one of the most important questions any man/woman/etc. could ever ask someone. “Will you marry Me?”

The moment Alice agrees, a chain of events begin starting with their wedding announcement. Alice’s best client in her firm, Finnegan, receives word of the couple’s plans and invites Jeremy and Alice to join him in the secret society known as, “The Pact”. A wooden box arrives on their doorstep with instructions to which they are prohibited to open the box until after their honeymoon. Fast forward, one of Finnegan’s contacts the leaders of “The Pact” and they send a woman by the name of Vivianne to be the couple’s “Host” as she leads Jeremy and Alice into the society.

“The Pact” in it of itself has their own manual the couples need to memorize and live by. If they break the rules, they receive various punishments ranging from silly to severe. And when I say severe, I mean torture, electric shock, unremovable metal braces placed around women’s necks in order to keep them straight, and more. Jeremy and Alice start their journey into this cult, plunging themselves into a world filled with terror and nowhere to run and no way out.

This novel freaked me out in the worst way. If you follow me on Goodreads, read my notes on the book! One moment, I believed Jeremy was falling for the insane punishments “The Pact” was putting his wife through. Then it was as if Alice and Jeremy switched personalities pertaining to the cult! The ending, though, did not live up to the expectations of the novel. It felt rushed and dry, leaving me to wonder what happened to Alice and Jeremy next. As far as I know, this is a standalone novel so I guess we’ll all wonder if they survive……

For a psychological thriller, it’ll keep you on your toes for sure. The writing is solid, but the characters backstories were a bit wonky at times. One moment, you are giving the impression you needed to feel sorry for them while the next you were told they were independent. But, learning from this novel, never accept a wooden box from an Irishman who claims to want the best for your marriage.

 

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

 

 

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Ill Will By Dan Chaon

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Ill Will By Dan Chaon

9780345476043

Release Date: March 7, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Goodreads Description

‘“We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?

A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears the news: His adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle. The trial came to symbolize the 1980s hysteria over Satanic cults; despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning.

Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients gets him deeply engaged in a string of drowning deaths involving drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses talk of a serial killer as paranoid thinking, but as he gets wrapped up in their amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence. Soon he becomes obsessed, crossing all professional boundaries—and putting his own family in harm’s way.

From one of today’s most renowned practitioners of literary suspense, Ill Will is an intimate thriller about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In Dan Chaon’s nimble, chilling prose, the past looms over the present, turning each into a haunted place.’

My Review

Ok. This book reminds me of another twisted version of another book I recently read by Gillian Flynn called Dark Places. Especially the piece where the main character has a brother who was acused of murder and later exonerated. Only, in Gillian Flynn’s case, the brother was not. Both stories bounce from the 80s to somewhat present date and they also bring in the satanic cult hysteria from back in the 80s as well. Besides that, Dan Choan takes over from there.

I don’t like predictable books, in fact, I despise predictable books. When I read, I want to the author to make me think. To show, not tell. Dan does just that. He gives you these realistic characters in surroundings that reach outside the fictional world and grab you by the hand and will not let go till their mission is complete.

Are there rough spots? Absolutely, but the author rebounds and makes up with his suspenseful turns. Be prepared to open your mind and be taken on a wild ride!

 

My Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

IllWill_SocialeCard_1080x1080_A[3]

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

booktag1

 

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:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 12.14.12 PM.png

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

489732

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

Image result for chronicles of narnia book series

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

Image result for wicked book

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

 

155

 

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

22557272

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)

Image result for the red queen series

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

bitten2

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

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.03.24 PM.png

 

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.

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

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

31375113

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.

 

wp-1484269023211.jpg

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.H.B. ARC Review: Give Me a K-I-L-L By R.L. Stine

C.H.B. ARC Review: Give Me a K-I-L-L By R.L. Stine

29939078

Available: Amazon; Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review whatsoever.**

Ok, where should I start? I’m extremely frustrated with this book. Like I said in my past post about my thoughts about the Fear Street Revival series, I had high expectations for the reincarnation of the memorable long running late 80s/90’s thriller book series. Had. I understand when a writer is used to writing in a certain fashion that earns them best-seller credits, they stick with it. But writing, technology, and teenagers have changed since the 90s. What I have read screams 90s and the kids are stuck there with a few of the technological advances of today but do not show they are part of the present. Give Me a K-I-L-L reminded me of the old Fear Street novels but it lacks the proper planning, age-fitting dialogue, and lacked the foundation the original novels laid down.

The Original Cheerleaders

 

R.L. Stine is no stranger to penning tales of cheerleaders with a taste for horror. I highly recommend readers to read the original books if you are thinking about reading the revival  “cheerleader” book. I still hope one day the Fear Street series will be transformed into an anthology series and these books will be transported to the screen because this specific story line in this series is one that sparks terror into the imagination. It has possession, evil spirits, mysterious deaths, and secrets-everything you could hope for.

Alas, the revival book has NOTHING to do with the these books. Yeah, nothing. Give Me a K-I-L-L surrounds the story of Gretchen (name now changed to Heather Wyatt) transferred to Shadyside High from her old school where she was the star of her cheerleading squad. Only she’s finding out quickly that it won’t be so easy to receive a spot on Shadyside’s cheerleading squad. Not if the spoiled little rich girl Devra Dalby has anything to say about it.

tumblr_oh0c3ahv1k1rdkhz0o1_500.gif

I admire Stine for adding two twists to this book but it does not excuse the fact it has nothing to do with the old Cheerleader books. I wished it did because it would have re-awakened my faith in this revival series! This review would have been more positive…..and ecstatic…but why, why did he have to do this? The main character treats her mother like trash, Devra Dalby is true to the spoiled little rich girl stereotype, the end result predictable, and the romantic aspect made me feel uncomfortable.

My question is: Where did my Fear Street go?

 

My Review: 3 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.