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A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (SPOILER FREE book review)

GENRE: YA Mystery LENGTH: 433 pages PLOT Pip decides to do a school project investigating a death in her small town. It is believed that popular girl Andie Bell was killed by her boyfriend Sal, but Pip is out to prove his innocence. CHARACTERS There are too many characters to possibly discuss them all individually, so I'm going to touch briefly on the four most prevalent and then discuss things in a broader sense. Pip is a character who has good intentions but makes questiona

Enchantée vs. Splinters of Scarlet: Which Historical Fantasy is Right for You?

WHAT ARE ENCHANTÉE AND SPLINTERS OF SCARLET? Enchnatée by Gita Trelease and Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy are two YA historical fantasy novels that share several similarities. Enchantée follows Camille who uses magic to disguise herself as a baroness and gambles in Versailles. Splinters of Scarlet follows Marit who becomes a seamstress for a wealthy family she believes may be responsible for her father's death. Both novels feature orphaned girls who are elder sist

I Matched 12 Spyro Reignited Realms to Books for You to Read 🔥

I've never been a huge gamer, but I have very fond childhood memories of playing Spyro the Dragon and the two other games in the original trilogy with my family. I decided to combine my love of Spyro with my love of books and matched 12 Spyro realms to books for you to read. This blog has been a long time coming, but I wanted to wait until I had a good number of realm/book matches. What's your favorite Spyro game? Mine is Ripto's Rage! Spyro 1: Spyro the Dragon 1. Realm: Tow

I Read Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer for the 2000's Nostalgia (a review)

WHAT IS MIDNIGHT SUN?/A SHORT HISTORY If you weren't a teenage girl (or her mom) during the height of Twilight's fame then you may be unaware. Twilight is a YA paranormal/fantasy romance novel written by Stephenie Meyer. It depicts the love story between a mortal girl (Bella Swan) and an immortal vampire (Edward Cullen). Twilight is the first in a series of four books known collectively as the Twilight Saga. Twilight is told from Bella's perspective. Midnight Sun is the same

FALL in Love with Spooky Reads for October 👻 🍁

October, the month of pumpkins, sweaters and Halloween, is almost upon us. I picked out some spooky books to get you in the proper spirit. I hope you enjoy these (semi) scary stories just as much as I did. 1. School's in Session with the Truly Devious trilogy by Maureen Johnson Welcome students to Ellingham Academy! Our prestigious school is the perfect setting for a world class education with a side of murder. It's located on a beautiful, isolated mountain and is full of cou

A Guide to: Jenn Bennett's Contemporaries (Alex, Approximately and More)

Jenn Bennett is the author of 4 YA contemporary novels to date. She has a fifth coming out in early November which I do plan to read and review but, for obvious reasons, it won't be included in this blog. She also has several adult fantasy novels and one YA fantasy novel. However, this blog solely covers her contemporaries. For each book I will give a brief plot summary, my review, and my star rating. The books are ordered from my highest to lowest rating. TITLE: Starry Eyes

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty (a review) (Exploring The World of Adult Fantasy)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT *Before we start the blog I wanted to announce that I now offer proofreading services for blog posts, high school and college papers, resumes and cover letters, and short stories and poetry. Prices start as low as $2. Email me at halynnwrites@gmail.com for more info and a quote today! NOW ONTO TODAY'S BLOG... I am someone who is a massive fan of YA fantasy. It's my favorite book genre and I myself write primarily within the genre. That being said, this

Beauty & The Beast Book Tag

This is a tag I've wanted to do for some time as I love fairy tales and Belle is a huge book lover like myself. The creator of this tag is Kirsty and the Cat Read. You can find her blog linked at the bottom of this post. 1. Tale As Old As Time– A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading. Setting: I love own voices fantasies (fantasy stories set in worlds inspired by the author's own cultural background). I think it's such a fun way to explore a cult

Reading My Favorite Author's Favorite Book: Charlotte's Web

Introduction: James Howe's book Bunnicula is a children's paranormal mystery about a vampire rabbit told from the perspective of the family dog. It's the novel that first sparked my creative writing itch when I was very young. Due to this, I often refer to James Howe as my favorite author. He is, without a doubt, the person outside of people I know personally who has had the greatest influence on my life. I thought it would be a fun experiment to read my favorite author's fav

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith (a review)

Genre: YA Contemporary Length: 357 pages Rating: 4.5 ⭐️ Plot: The novel follows two teens navigating high school. Pony is a trans boy who is going stealth and Georgia is a cheerleader with other aspirations. The two develop feelings for each other but their relationship quickly becomes complicated. Characters: Pony is sweet and has an interest the film industry, and in particular the horror genre. He has a close relationship with his sister but a distant one with his father.

3 Talented Black Authors to Support Right Now

Sign the Justice for George Floyd Petition: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd I am still officially on a break from the blog until at least July as I continue to process recent personal events. However, I felt compelled to post this blog now given the current climate and recent events. There are so many wonderful books written by empowering African-American authors. These are just a handful that I enjoyed and/or found to be impactful. I hope y

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (a review)

Genre: YA Contemporary (Poetry) Length: 417 pages Rating: 5 stars Plot: Yahaira is a girl growing up in the United States. Camino is a girl growing up in the Dominican Republic. Neither girl knows of the other's existence until a tragedy brings them together; the death of their father. Characters: The two main characters are half-sisters Yahaira and Camino. Yahaira is, by her own admission, a girl who is good at most things but doesn't necessarily stand out. The one thing she

Recommending Reads: Based on Your Hogwarts House

I placed book characters into Hogwarts houses! For each of the four houses I chose two characters/books that, based on your house and personality traits, I believe you're likely to enjoy. I hope you enjoy my suggestions. This blog took me over a month and a half to curate, but was so much fun to do. I definitely intend to do another one of these at some point in the future! Slytherin Traits: Slytherins are known to be resourceful, cunning, determined and ambitious. Characte

4 Books to Read During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (Bonus Blog)

1. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan This YA magical realism novel follows 15 year old Leigh who is convinced that her late mother has turned into a bird. Following what she believes to be her mother's instructions for her to connect with her estranged grandparents, she travels to Taiwan to meet them. This novel is full of Taiwanese culture and is beautifully written. It is one of my all time favorite books. There is a trigger warning for mental health/suicide

A Nostalgic Look Back at: The Bunnicula Books by James Howe (50th Blog)

The Bunnicula books are favorites from my childhood. Bunnicula is actually the book that inspired me to be a writer. I have more nostalgia from some books in the series than others, but for my 50th blog here on Haley's Book Haven, I decided to reread all 7 books in the series (spin-off books not included) and review them. Genre: Children's Paranormal Mysteries Series Length: 895 pages Series Rating: 4.07 stars 1. Bunnicula (co-authored by Deborah Howe) Length: 98 pages Rating

A SPOILER FREE Review of: The Truly Devious trilogy by Maureen Johnson

Genre: YA mystery Length: Truly Devious: 416 pages The Vanishing Stair: 369 pages The Hand on the Wall: 368 pages Ratings: Truly Devious: 5 stars The Vanishing Stair: 5 stars The Hand on the Wall: 4.5 stars Average Rating: 4.83 stars Plot: Stevie Bell is a true crime aficionado who begins her education at the prestigious, remote Ellingham Academy. In 1936 the wealthy founder, Albert Ellingham's wife and young daughter were kidnapped and the mystery was never solved. Stevie in

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez (a review)

Genre: YA Fantasy Length: 365 pages Plot: The novel follows Ximena, a decoy for the queen (condesa) of the Illustrians whose throne was stolen from them by the Llacsans. Ximena, pretending to be the condesa, travels to the capital as the usurper Atoc's bride-to-be in order to locate a weapon of mass destruction that could change her people's fate. Characters: Ximena really grew on me as the novel progressed because she displayed a lot of character growth. As new information b

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (a review)

Genre: YA Historical Fiction Length: 513 pages Plot: In this YA historical fiction taking place in 18th century Europe, Henry 'Monty' Montague is a wealthy young man in love with his best friend Percy. The two, along with Monty's little sister Felicity, are taking a Grand Tour of the Continent, but their fun turns to a life on the run when Monty steals a mysterious box from a duke. Characters: Monty: He was a very charismatic character who loved drinking, sleeping around, and

January Reading Wrap-Up

This month was a pretty good reading month for me in terms of number of books/pages read. I'm pleased to have gotten off to a good start in the new decade! Below I've listed the books I read in order of my level of enjoyment. For any I already have thoughts/reviews on either here on the blog or goodreads will have a link you can copy and paste to find my full thoughts. Monthly Stats: Books Read: 7 (6 new, 1 reread) Total Pages Read: 2,675 Average Rating: 3.96/5 stars (approx


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