Author Archives: Ashley

Ashley’s CBR III Review #156: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

CBR III Review #156: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

I wish I could simply review this novel with two words: “simply magical”.  No two other words I think could better define the story that surrounds The Night Circus.  I’ll warn you that once you read it you will be extremely sad that The Night Circus is not real.  Summit Entertainment has bought the rights to the movie and if they can bring this film to life I’ll be ecstatic.

Le Cirque des Rêves arrives without warning and is only open from dawn to twilight.  The whole circus revolves around a black and white theme but the acts, talents, and tents bring all the color that is needed. Imagine a tent filled with what looks like clouds that allows one to bounce to and from them. Or a tent with mirrors upon mirrors but each one shows a different scene. Or a tent with magicians so phenomenal that they make you want to believe in magic.

Unbeknownst to circus goers and to the majority of the circus performers the circus has a more sinister origin.  It was created so that two magicians could compete against one another in a deadly magical battle.  Celia and Marco have entered this deadly battle where neither one of them fully understood the consequences. It is unknown what will happen to the circus and everyone they love that performs within it once one the magicians lose.  Celia and Marco decide to try and find a way to fight for themselves and the circus.

The Night Circus has a structure that takes a bit of getting use to.  The point of view jumps between several characters and between several time periods, but once you become immersed in the story line it no longer matters.  It wouldn’t make sense for the book to be laid out on a liner time line, I think it would have detracted from the over all sense of magic that the book alludes.  I highly recommend The Night Circus.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385534639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385534635
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (584 customer reviews)
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Ashley’s CBR III Review #155: Catch me by Lisa Gardner

CBR III Review #155: Catch me by Lisa Gardner

This title will be released on February 7, 2012.

I absolutely love it when a book I was going to read anyways shows up in my netgalley. Now I don’t have to wait for it to show up on overdrive! 


If you have read Lisa Gardner you know what to expect by now and her formula doesn’t change much with her latest addition.  I did however, love all the call backs to her past book characters as D. D. Warren tried to solve the latest and greatest mystery.

Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant is convinced she is going to be murdered in four days.  In the last two years her best friends were murdered on the same day, at the same time, in different locations, and via the same method.  Her first childhood friend was killed two years ago, her second childhood friend last year, and now Charlene is the last person that made up their childhood trio. However, as D.D. starts to investigate Charlie becomes the number one suspect for a vigilante who is shooting pedophiles.  Is Charlene really in danger or is she a much bigger threat?

I really enjoy the D.D. Warren series and this is no exception.  I do think it may be time for Gardner to retire the series and come up with a batch of new characters. Warren doesn’t have much more room to go personally or professionally and even though I’m still enjoying the cases I think I’m ready for a new heroine, but if  you enjoy Lisa Garnder books this novel follows the same formula with all the twist and turns you can learn to expect.

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #154: New Girl by Paige Harbison

CBR III Review #154: New Girl by Paige Harbison

This title will be released on January 31, 2012.

Callie is the new student at Manderley.  Manderley is a boarding school and Becca is entering it during her senior year.  Her parents took her requests about wanting to go to a school like Hogwarts a little too seriously.  They didn’t seem to notice that she exited her boarding school phase a few years back. Too make matters worse Callie was only accepted into Manderly because the poplar Becca Normandy disappeared without a trace near the end of the last school year.  Now Callie is living in her room, hanging out with her friends, and involved in the same love triangle that Becca was last year.  Slowly the student body, especially Becca’s good friend and old roommate starts to accuse Callie of stealing Becca’s life.


After a few Jessica Warman novels I got really into the boarding school setting, but I was hoping that New Girl was more of a murder mystery.  Or at least a search into the whereabouts of Becca Normanday, but that wasn’t really the case.  The book felt a little rushed and it never felt it had a true cohesive plot line, with the exception of “I’m Callie, I’m the new girl but everyone only cares about Becca.”  I’m sure that is a lot of plot  for some people but it didn’t really work for me.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210428
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #153: 13 Days until Midnight by Patrick Carmen

CBR III Review #153: 13 Days until Midnight by Patrick Carmen

Now that was a strange ending.

Jacob Fielding survived a car accident that killed his foster father.  Jacob isn’t sure how he survived and how he managed to walk away with no injuries.  Right before the accident Mr. Fielding tells him he is indestructible. Jacob writes the same phrase on one of his friends cast and right after he writes the phrase she gets into a horrible accident, but is able to walk away without a scratch.  Jacob and his friends appeared to have received the gift of immortality. But will they stretch it’s limits while they try to test it? And if you repeatedly deify nature what can happen?  Only one of them can possess the power at once so what happens if their is a miscommunication about who currently holds the power.

The novel reminded me a lot of that show that went off the air “No Ordinary Family”. What happens when normal people suddenly discover they have a super power?  I wasn’t expecting too much out of this novel but I really enjoyed the first half where the kids are testing the limit to being indestructible and their search for the powers origin. Then it went downhill. I didn’t really enjoy how it ended and I disliked the “origin story” that they discovered.   I also don’t see why YA novels like to have their main characters betray their best friends for their first love.  It just makes the main character come across as a douche.  It was a nice change of pace to have the guy be conflicted, but apparently no one ever taught the poor kid bros before hoes (kidding).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316004030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316004039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #152: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

CBR III Review #152: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

This is the YA novel version of David Moody’s Haters. Dark Inside follows five different teenagers as they try and survive in a world that has gone crazy.  After a series of earthquakes people have seemingly snapped and have started harming everyone that hasn’t gone “dark”.  Bombs were detonated, spree shootings took place all over the world, and assault cases skyrocketed.

Dark Inside had everything I enjoy about a good dystopian novel it was just so similar to Haters that it was hard for me to look past that and to compare the two novels.  I did enjoy the historical parallels and the indication that maybe this had occurred before in he past and that is why various civilizations had fallen before ours.  I wish the novel had gotten more into this.

Overall it’s a great quick read. I just wish it had gone more in to detail about how the outbreak occurred.  I also wish it had skipped over the chapters where someone who is possessed by “the dark” is narrating. I tended to skip over those chapters.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144242351X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442423510
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #153: 13 Days until Midnight by Patrick Carmen

CBR III Review #153: 13 Days until Midnight by Patrick Carmen

Now that was a strange ending.

Jacob Fielding survived a car accident that killed his foster father.  Jacob isn’t sure how he survived and how he managed to walk away with no injuries.  Right before the accident Mr. Fielding tells him he is indestructible. Jacob writes the same phrase on one of his friends cast and right after he writes the phrase she gets into a horrible accident, but is able to walk away without a scratch.  Jacob and his friends appeared to have received the gift of immortality but will they stretch it’s limits while they try to test it? And if you repeatedly deify nature what can happen?  Only one of them can possess the power at once so what happens if their is a miscommunication about who currently holds the power.

The novel reminded me a lot of that show that went off the air “No Ordinary Family”. What happens when normal people suddenly discover they have a super power?  I wasn’t expecting too much out of this novel but I really enjoyed the first half where the kids are testing the limit to being indestructible and their search for it’s origin. Then it went downhill because I didn’t really enjoy how it ended as well as the “origin story” that they discovered.   I also don’t see why YA novels like to have their main characters betray their best friends for their first love.  It just makes the main character come across as a douche.  It was a nice change of pace to have the guy be conflicted, but apparently no one ever taught the poor kid bros before hoes (kidding).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316004030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316004039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #151: Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking

CBR III Review #151: Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking

Hollowmen is the sequel to Hollowland and well damn Amanda Hocking you couldn’t keep any of the same characters?

Remy King has escaped from her medical torture hell hole when the compound she was being kept in was overrun by zombies.  She starts on a mission to once again find her brother.  All the character you either loved or hated in Hollowland are no longer around.  You find out quickly that they are all pretty much dead.  I’m a fan of books that like to deal a few blows and surprises but the author simply dispatched of the old characters with a few sentences here and there and we are left to wonder how they met their current fate.

The new batch of characters are introduced with very little back story so once the numbers of the group start dwindling you aren’t bothered too much by it because you never really got to know them.  The second in the series is very similar to the the first one but with less colorful characters.  Don’t get me wrong I’ll put up the third one in the series, but mostly just to see what ends up happening to Remey.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 319 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006520VDS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  

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