The Lady With the Dog by Anton Chekhov | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing a short story I read for my Critical Reading and Writing class that I had so many strong feelings about that I just had to write a review. To be frank, I had a strong dislike for this story. I was not a fan of the topic in question in this story, and I just did not like it. But let’s go ahead and jump into the review!

Synopsis:

The Lady with the Dog is a short story by Anton Chekhov first published in 1899. It tells the story of an adulterous affair between a Russian banker and a young lady he meets while vacationing in Yalta. The story comprises four parts: (I) describes the initial meeting in Yalta, (II) the consummation of the affair and the remaining time in Yalta, (III) Gurov’s return to Moscow and his visit to Anna’s town, and (IV) Anna’s visits to Moscow.”

My Thoughts:

I did not like this book at all. I knew I was going to hate it from the second I started reading it. I can handle many different topics in literature, and I can remain objective in most of them. But I absolutely cannot like a story if it has even a small aspect of cheating in it. This book was nothing but cheating. I knew I did not like the main character, and I would never like his character because he was a misogynist through and through. I didn’t approve of the relationship. I did not like the age gap between them. I did not like them sneaking around their spouses to be together, and I just felt like Anna could have done worlds better.

The writing was decent enough. I think Anton is a very talented writer, but I hated this storyline. I was not a huge fan of these characters, and I don’t think things should ever work out between those two. I don’t care if they think they are in love. Leave your spouse, if you are that unhappy. Disappear and start a new identity, if you want. But do not cheat. That is one thing that just makes me instantaneously hate a story, and this story had it, so I was not a fan of this story, and I don’t think I ever will be.

2-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Lady With the Dog by Anton Chekhov. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Masquerade by Victoria Vale | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing Masquerade by Victoria Vale. This is an adult romance novel set in the 1800s, and I really enjoyed this book. Since it is an adult novel, there are many graphic and sexual scenes, so if that makes you uncomfortable, I think you should steer clear of this one, but if you are okay with that kind of thing, I definitely recommend you check this one out because I think it was really great! But let’s go ahead and get into the review.

Synopsis:

“Margaret Seymour is bored by the stifling constraints of society dictating her behavior as a debutante in search of a husband. Her prospects are promising by the standards of London society, yet, not one of them causes her heart to flutter, or her head to fill with scintillating, forbidden fantasies. Those feelings are reserved for Camden Rycroft, Duke of Avonleah—a man who isn’t even aware of her existence.

While attending a scandalous Vauxhall Gardens masquerade, Margaret finds herself in the duke’s arms. His promise of a night of pleasure is tempting, but is it worth it when Avonleah is a known rake notorious for his short attention span and avoidance of marriage?

Camden Rycroft is intrigued by the masked vixen he encounters in the Gardens. After one night with her leaves him hungry for more, his desire for her turns into a fiery obsession. Despite the scandal that could ensue from their affair, he finds himself unable to extract himself from a situation destined to end in pain. When faced with losing Margaret to a potential husband, will he rise to the occasion, or risk living without her?”

My Thoughts:

This is the second time that I have read this, but I actually really wanted to reread this because, in a couple of my classes, we had been covering the topic of the Cult of Domesticity. This was largely popular in the 19th century, which is when this book takes place. The Cult of Domesticity is all about being a True Woman, meaning that as a woman, you have four unique virtues that you possess. One is piety, so you are a Protestant Christian. You also are pure, so you are a virgin. You are submissive, so you’re more of a wallflower. You do what men tell you what to do, and you do not try to attract attention to yourself. And the last one is domesticity, so you stay in the home. I was so intrigued by reading this book again because our main character pretty much says, “Screw it.” to all of that.

The Cult of Domesticity also says that women do not have sexual drives. Men do, and women only have sex for children and because their husbands want them to. With Maggie, she is a very sensual woman, though she does hide that spectacularly well. She is very intrigued with sex, and she does have a desire to have sex. That is pretty much how she dons a mask, an attention-grabbing red dress, and goes to a masquerade ball and ends up in the bed of the Duke. Clearly, she did not stay in the home, she went out without a chaperone or family member (which is what you had to do back then because everyone was so worried that a woman with no sex drive would just cheat, which makes perfect sense…), she had premarital sex, and she definitely was not submissive. I loved seeing her just throw that True Woman bullshit out the window.

Camden, the Duke, defies expectations as a male in this society as well. Men generally viewed women as a doormat, almost. Or a piece of furniture. You’re there to sit there and look pretty and have no intellectual ability at all while you stay home with the children while they go out and live their life. But Camden is the one who encouraged her to be who she wants to be, to say, “Screw it.” to what people say she should be like and to be the beautiful, sensual woman he knows her to be. He wants her to stop trying to hide from society and to be herself, and I just loved that.

But ultimately, what I enjoyed the most was the romance. I loved seeing how much Maggie really loved him, how much they could not stay away from each other, and how, in the end, he realized he truly does love her, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. I think it was really sexy, but also beautiful to see their romance progress beyond the physical attraction they felt for one another. I think that Victoria Vale is a fantastic writer, and had her writing skills not be this fantastic, I would not like this nearly as much as I do.

Overall, I loved the story line, the romance, the historical aspect, and the beautiful writing. I am really looking forward to reading more from Victoria Vale, and I am so glad I picked this one up again because I enjoyed this even more than the first time around. It was just absolutely fabulous.

4-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Masquerade by Victoria Vale. What are you currently reading? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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#BookOutletHaul

Hey, guys! Now I know what you’re thinking. “Allie, you just posted a book haul!” And yeah, I did. And then, like always, classes started and because that gives me anxiety, I just went and bought a crap ton of books to make myself feel better. Yeah, it’s not a great reason, but it is the true reason I ended up buying thirteen books in like less than two weeks. I can’t say I regret the decision because of the books that I brought to college with me, I had no desire to really read any of them, and I just needed new books to read. But let’s go ahead and get into the haul!

The first book I bought was from Amazon, as I did buy a couple from there, and that is Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan.

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This is the first book in the Saga series, and it is absolutely fabulous. You all are probably aware of my love for this series, but if you are not, then you should know this is my favorite graphic novel series of all time, and I highly recommend you all pick this one up. It follows two parents who are willing to do anything in order to give their child a good life, and it was such a good story. This is for mature audiences only because there is some graphic language and some sexual scenes, so keep that in mind before you read this, but I highly recommend it because it is so damn good.

The last book I bought from Amazon was Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

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This is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, and it was the only book in the series I did not own, so I bought it. I love this series and consider it to be one of my favorite series of all time, and it really sparked my love for retellings. This is such an interesting take on fairytale retellings, so I just loved it. If you have not read this series yet, you definitely should consider picking it up because it is absolutely fantabulous, and I highly, highly recommend it!

Now let’s get into the real reason for this post, which is my Book Outlet binge. I kind of went a little crazy. But the first book I bought from Book Outlet was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

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This is the first book in The Bone Season series, and I have had my eye on this for a while, but when I saw the reduced price on Book Outlet, I just had to get it. This book follows nineteen-year-old Paige who is attacked, drugged and kidnapped. I think this might play around with Stockholm Syndrome a little bit, and because of that, I have heard pretty mixed reviews about it. So I definitely would have to be naive to set that aside, so I am keeping that in mind, but I am still very excited to read it and get my take on the whole story.

The next book I bought was The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon.

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This is the second book in The Bone Season series, and this was also discounted, so I just had to get it. I am just really excited for this series, and I really love the new covers, so I really wanted to get the second book while it was cheap. I think the main reason I wanted these so badly is I love the new covers, and I think these books are just beautiful. Hopefully, I will get to this series soon!

The next book I bought was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

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This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, and I am so excited I finally have my hands on this! I have been wanting to read this for literally like ever, and when I saw that Book Outlet had the beautiful hardback edition of this marked down, I had no choice. I had to get it. I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this series, and I am honestly a little bit obsessed with Renee Ahdieh because that woman is freaking beautiful, and I need to know her make up ways. But this book sounds like it is going to be a good one, and I am so excited to read it!

The next book I bought was The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh.

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This is the second book in the Wrath of the Dawn series, and this was also another hardback, beautiful edition of a book I really wanted to read, and I just could not say no to it. I physically could not. I have been so excited to read these books, and I am just so obsessed with these covers, so I needed to get my hands on it. I am definitely reading this series next, and hopefully, I will love them as much as I think I will!

The next book I bought was The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

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This is the second book in the Mara Dyer trilogy, and I am so freaking excited to finally have my hands on this. Several months back, I read the first book in this series, and I absolutely loved it. I was immediately obsessed with it, and I just never got around to reading the rest of the series, and I am just really happy that I finally can continue on with the rest of the series. The first book was creepy and thrilling and just a rollercoaster ride. I loved it, so I am sure I am going to love this one. It’s going to be great!

The next book I bought was The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

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Are you guys noticing a trend here? I keep buying books in pairs. But this is the third and final book in Michelle Hodkin’s fantabulous Mara Dyer series. Admittedly, I am very apprehensive about this final book because I have heard lots of mixed reviews about it, but I am still excited for it. I am sure this finale will break me and cause me lots of emotional trauma, and I am just ready for this! But at the same time, I am not ready. I’m pretty sure this book might kill me…

The next book I bought was The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan.

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This is the second book in the Kane Chronicles trilogy, and I am excited that I finally have my own copy of this book! If you are not aware, this is my favorite Rick Riordan series. I freaking love it. This series is centered around Egyptian Mythology, and I just am so in love with it. I know a lot of people are not a huge fan of this series, but I think it is better than Percy Jackson. I was not a huge fan of that series, but this series is so under appreciated, and I think it’s great, so I highly recommend it!

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Are you guys surprised? This is the third book in the Kane Chronicles series and hot damn. I love this book. This finale is so fantastic and just everything I wanted, so I am so happy I finally own a copy of it. All I need to do now is buy a copy of the first book, and then I can do a marathon reread of this series because I haven’t read it in forever. But I am so excited to finally have these books, and I highly recommend them!

The next book I bought was Frostbite by Richelle Mead.

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This is the second book in the Vampire Academy series, and I am so happy I can finally start my collection of this series. I have loved this series for many, many years, so I am glad I can finally start building a collection for it. This series has forbidden romance, magic, vampires, badassery and so much more. Like, why would you not like it? It is just great. But I am hoping to reread this series since it has been so long since I have read it, and see what I think of it, so hopefully, that can happen sometime soon. Because I just love this series so much.

The next book I bought was These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

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This is the first book in the Starbound trilogy, and this was an impulse buy for me. The only thing I know about this book is it is a science fiction book, and it is set in outer space. I literally bought it because the cover is freaking gorgeous and because I want to read more books by Amie Kaufman. That is it. But I am really excited to read this soon, so hopefully, I will really enjoy it!

And the last book I bought was Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.

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This is the first book in the Tiny Pretty Things series, and I am so excited to read this. I know that this book follows three girls who are dancers, and I think it might deal with some aspect of either mental illness or possibly an eating disorder. But I am not 100% sure, so don’t quote me on that. But I really became interested in this when Emma Giordano of Emmmabooks on YouTube really enjoyed it and reviewed it, so hopefully, I will enjoy it as much as she did!

And there you have it! That was my Book Outlet Book Haul! What is your current favorite read? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to discuss The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh! This is a book that I have been meaning to read for like ever, and I am so glad I finally did because it was fabulous. I loved everything about it, and it definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it. If you love beautiful writing, kick-ass characters, and an amazing plot line, then I definitely recommend you check this out because it’s fantabulous. But let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?”

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely bloody fantastic.

I did not have low expectations going into this. There is so much hype surrounding this series, that I don’t think I could possibly go into this thinking it would be bad. I did not have ridiculously high expectations either, though. Basically, I knew what it was about. I knew it involved a retelling of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, and that it had beautiful and lyrical writing. That was it. I knew that I wanted to read this. I have been wanting to read this book for years, and it was definitely well worth the wait because it was absolutely fabulous.

I ended up liking the characters so much more than I thought I was going to. Our main character Shazi is a freaking firecracker, and I absolutely loved her. She was outspoken and passionate, but she also had a soft side, and I loved seeing all of the dimensions to her character in this novel. She spends the majority of this novel conflicted because she wants to kill Khalid for killing her best friend, but he is not really the monstrous murderer that she was expecting. He is actually a human who has decent human feelings, and she did not know how to deal with that because the only reason she volunteered to be his wife in the first place was so that she could kill him and avenge her best friend’s death. But she ends up falling in love with him, despite everything that he has done. And I just think that really shows her growth as a character because she can see the man behind the mask.

I really loved Khalid. I liked him from the beginning because I could just instantly feel that it was a facade that he actually was not the monster everyone believed him to be. I instantly loved him, not because I wanted him to be with Shazi. I will get more into that in a minute, but I loved him because he just was a good person that was put in an impossible situation and as the King, he had to deal with that, knowing he had no other option than to make his people believe he was a monster. I think we really get to see his depth as a character over the course of the novel because we don’t just see him through Shazi’s eyes. We get to see who he believes he is, and who his true self really is. It just was really beautiful to see.

I loved Tariq as well. I don’t know if he is a character that other people have a problem with, but I loved him. I did find it kind of cliched that he started a rebellion because of one girl, but putting that aside, I think he is a very interesting character. He is willing to do anything to save Shazi. He loves her so much, and I just hope that at the end of the series, he is still this wonderful and caring person and that Shazi loving Khalid is not going to make him grow into this really cold character like so many other YA books do. I think he deserves the world, and hopefully, he will be happy by the end of the series.

I also really loved Despina and Jalil separately, but also together. Despina was always such a sassy woman who ends up becoming a real friend to Shazi, which I loved seeing. It was really refreshing to see two female characters caring for each other in their own ways rather than wanting to kill each other. Jalil was one of my instant favorites. He is just a really likable guy, and I loved how he ended up actually considering Shazi family rather than a potential enemy. He also just really cares for Khalid, and I think that really showed through.

Now we should talk about the characters I don’t give a rat’s ass about. I freaking despise The Sultan (that’s his name, right?) I think he is just a jerkface who needs to die like tomorrow. I did not really care for Yesmine’s character, even if she really does care for Khalid. But I especially ended up not liking Shazi’s father. He is heading down a very dark path, and I think he is not going to end up helping her. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I do know it is not going to end well…

I just want to express that for the first half of the novel, I did not ship Khalid and Shazi. It’s not like I was anti them being together, but I definitely didn’t ship them together. I personally wanted Shazi to be with Tariq because I thought they were really cute together. But once we hit the halfway mark, I was pretty much like, “See ya, Tariq. Hello, Khalid!” because damn. That man does things to me. He is definitely my favorite character, and he cares so much about Shazi. He loves her so much, and once we know the full truth of everything that is going down, I just loved him all the more. And I just think Tariq needs to chill and let them be together because I want them to be together forever. They are just my OTP…

But something I actually ended up having no interest in whatsoever was the stupid rebellion that Tariq is leading. I personally don’t give a shit about it, and this is the one time that I’m like, “Yeah, rebelling is not the answer.” I think it is going to cause more harm than good, and I think it is going to hurt a lot more people than it helps. I just have no interest in that plot line whatsoever, and I really hope it crashes and burns in the next book because it is just a really, really bad idea.

I did enjoy the writing much more than I was expecting to. With me, lyrical writing styles are either a hit or miss. I have only come across a handful of lyrical writing style that I genuinely like, and this is one of them. I think that everything Renee Ahdieh says is just beautiful, and I think I could literally read her grocery lists and think they were beautiful. She just has a gift with words, and I really loved that.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am really looking forward to reading the next one! I loved the love story, the plot line, the world, the characters, the writing, and just everything about it. I am so excited to see where the story goes next and to read more from Renee Ahdieh!

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. What is you favorite retelling? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to discuss the final book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s fantabulous Lux series! I really enjoyed this, even if it is not my absolute favorite finale I’ve ever read. It dealt with some cliches, though I did not mind them too much. I am very sad that this series is over, but I actually ended up picking up on some things I missed before in the thousand other times that I have read this book. It really surprised me with how much I enjoyed it this time around. But let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

“Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing…”

My Thoughts:

In many ways, this could be considered a cliche end to the series, which mirrors that in television shows where the world ends up ending in the final season. That happened in the final season of H2O: Just Add Water, The Vampire Diaries, and many, many other shows. But the beauty of different shows and different books doing an explosive apocalyptic ending is they all seem to do it differently, and that was the beauty of Opposition, the final book in the Lux series. Some might say it was a cliche ending because this is a science fiction series about aliens, and there was an alien invasion at the end of this series. But I think Jennifer managed to make this alien invasion unique to this series, and it ended up being super interesting.

Speaking of the plot, I thought it was interesting how we got to see both sides of the war. We got to see the military/human side of it and the alien side. We really got to see the resilience of the humans and the psychopathic tendencies of the Luxen. That was something that particularly creeped me out. Just seeing how the Luxen who hadn’t been living on Earth just annihilated (or tried) the human populace with their malice, violence, and arrogance really made me want to run in cover, to be honest. I totally would not have survived the war. I would have been killed for something stupid if I am being honest. Like being sarcastic at the wrong time…

But anyway, regarding the human side, we saw the sacrifices they were willing to make to try and fight back against the Luxen. They really were willing to sacrifice the few to save the many, and Katy and Daemon and all of them knew that was wrong, so they decided to do something about it. Two warring species come together to end the war, and that just shows how resilient people can be. But these two species coming together really made me reminiscent of Twilight (because I am fairly certain this was at one time Twilight fanfiction) with the werewolves and the vampires. Also, there was at least one Twilight reference in this book, which I didn’t catch the first time I read it, and when I came across it this time, I burst out in uncontrollable laughter because it was the most relevant thing ever.

Our characters went through a tremendous amount of character development in this final book, as if they had not already gone through so much. We got to see how much Dawson really cares about Beth, and the sacrifices he is willing to make to ensure the safety of the girl he loves. I think we really get to see Beth more in this book and start to see the confident, beautiful girl that caught the heart of a Luxen in the first place. Just seeing their relationship with them together really solidifies their romance in the reader’s mind, and I just loved that.

We really get to see Katy and Daemon’s relationship develop as he finally stops trying to protect her from everything and really sees her as someone who can kick some ass. He doesn’t try to shield her from everything, which just shows so much development with his character. He shows even more development by not trying to like annihilate Archer for the way he looks at Dee, for even liking Dee. Because he protects Dee like nobody’s business, and to see him finally start to loosen the reigns a little bit was nice to see. Katy also goes through a lot of development. Katy just starts kicking ass and really shows how strong she is. She really shows how fucking brave she is. She just has grown so much from the character we meet way back in Obsidian. She just is not backing down, and I admire the shit out of that!

Okay, but we need to talk about something else in regards to Katy and Daemon. This is going to be a really awkward topic, but can we just talk about the fact that Jennifer put 10x more sexy scenes in this book than any other book in the series. I don’t know if it is because it’s the end of the world or the fact that it is just Daemon and Katy, but that was just something I noticed. That there were a lot of sexy times in this book, and one of those times was just so one of them would not have to think about what happened in the war. I don’t know; it was just something I noticed.

And that actually reminds me about this one really important event that happened in this novel. It is what really set off the waterworks for me. This event that happens really changes one of our characters. Forces this character to grow up in ways they should not have to. I think we all knew that this was a possibility, that this event could happen. But it almost seems cruel that it ended up being this way. But it didn’t become unrealistic in its cruelty. I think that to have this event not turn out this way would be the unrealistic thing, in my opinion. Not everything could turn out great and everything has its breaking point. These bastards just wanted to hurt a certain character as much as they possibly could, and they did.

I think that we just get to see the extremes that people will go to, whether that be born out of love, desperation, hatred or a combination of all three with this book, and that just made it very different to other books about alien invasions that I have read. I absolutely loved this explosive series finale, I loved the writing, the character development, the war and the different sides we got to see, and I just really loved seeing our characters come out the other side, though not without their share of scars. I just really thoroughly enjoyed my reread of the finale, and I think it was just the best way Jennifer could have ended the series.

4-stars

 

And there you have it! That was my review of Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout. What is your current favorite science fiction novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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August Wrap Up!

Hey, guys! I am very excited to get into the books that I read in August! I did not read as much as I did last month, sadly, but I am still pretty satisfied with the amount I did read, considering how busy I ended up being this month. From moving into my new apartment to starting classes, I just had a lot on my plate. I actually think I ended up doing pretty decent, even if a lot of the books that I did read were re-reads for me. But I did end up reading eight books this month, which I am so very excited about, so let’s just go ahead and jump right in!

The first book that I read this month was Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman.

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This is the first book in the Hot Damned series, and this was a book that I reread. For years, this was my all time favorite paranormal romance book, and upon rereading this, I actually have changed my opinion on it drastically. The last time I read it and really analyzed it (even then, I did not look very much into it because that was pre-reviewing) was when I originally read it back in the beginning of high school. After analyzing it and really reading it, I actually ended up having a lot of issues with it. I was not a huge fan of the actual story line, and I ended up having problems with the romance among other things. I did review this, and I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

The next book I read was Astonishing X-Men #1 by Joss Whedon.

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This is the first issue in the comic book series Astonishing X-Men, and I ended up really enjoying this. I did at first think I would not end up enjoying it because I thought some of the characters seemed like they were acting weird, but ultimately, I felt that the dialogue was great, the characters were acting on point, and I did really enjoy this, even if I did still have a few problems with the simplistic art style. I am definitely continuing on with the series, and I also wrote a review for it. I gave this 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

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This is the second book in the Lux series, and this was another reread for me. This is one of my all time favorite series, so of course, I loved this just like I did the first time I read it. This series is just like a guilty pleasure for me because it is pretty much like Twilight fanfiction, but it doesn’t really bother me. It actually is really fun! But this second book was just as amazing as the first time I read it It is still one of my favorite books in the series. There is so much sexual tension and just Katy and Daemon and aliens and holy God, it is so good. I can never get enough of it! I actually did not write a review for this one, but I did end up reviewing the rest of the series, oddly enough. But I, of course, gave this 5/5 stars.

The next book I read was Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

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This is the third book in the Lux series, and I am begging you not to judge it by the romance novel cover because it is really fabulous. But this book is one of my least favorite of the series, not because it’s bad or anything. I just was not a huge fan of the overall story line. This book was an emotional one for me, however. I sobbed while reading this. It really hits you. But I did enjoy seeing Katy and Daemon together and not trying to kill each other. They are literally my OTP. But I did review this, and I gave it 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

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This is the fourth book in the Lux series, and it is actually my favorite book of the series. Origin is the book that has all of the super emotional scenes along with the kickass fighting sequences and sexy, all-consuming romance. It has everything I love about the series in one book, and I just absolutely love it. I honestly can’t say I have any problems with this book at all, and it is worth it to read the entire series because A. It’s fantastic and 2. Because this book is fantabulous. But I did also review this, as per the usual, so if you want to hear more of my gushing thoughts, I suggest you check that out. I ended up giving this 5/5 stars, of course.

The next book I read was Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

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This is the fifth and final book in the Lux series, and I did really enjoy this, even with it being the millionth time that I have read it. Basically, if I am bored, I end up rereading this book. I would say this is another one of my least favorite books of the series just because this book didn’t really grab my emotions like the others, even if I actually was a huge fan of the plot line. I’m all up for apocalyptic endings. It was still fantastic, but I was, unfortunately, missing that emotional tie that the rest of the series had, but I did still really enjoy this, so I gave it 4.5/5 stars. My review is also up.

The next book I read was Ms. Marvel: No Normal  by G. Willow Wilson.

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This is the first volume in the Ms. Marvel series, and I really wish I could say I absolutely loved this, and it was the best thing ever. But, unfortunately, this one was a really big disappointment for me personally. I had heard such amazing things about the series, and it had some diverse Pakistani-American rep, so I was really excited to read it. But it just did not end up being my thing. I don’t know if it was the age of our main character, my dislike or aversion to the art style or what, but something just made it to where I could not enjoy this story. I found all of the characters to be quite one-dimensional, I wasn’t a fan of the story line, I did not like the artwork, and I just felt that the writing was not as great as it could have been. Ultimately, I did write a review for this, which is posted with my full thoughts, but I ended up giving this 3/5 stars. It just was not my cup of tea.

And the final book I read this month was Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan.

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This is the first volume in the Saga series, and man am I excited to get more into this series. I freaking loved this first volume. This is definitely my favorite graphic novel that I’ve read thus far, and it is definitely my current favorite series. I just loved everything about it, from the family dynamic to the intricate world and the dialogue and humor and love displayed in this novel along with the amazing artwork and the kickass storyline and characters. I just loved everything about this graphic novel, and I am so freaking pumped to read the rest of the series. I wrote a gushing review, and I obviously gave this 5/5 stars. This was absolutely bloody fantastic!

And there you have it! Those were the eight books I read in the month of August. What is your favorite book that you read this month? Sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking pumped to discuss this amazing and wonderful graphic novel. This is the first volume in the Saga series, and it was absolutely fabulous. Everything about it was just amazing. But with that said, this is definitely an adult graphic novel, so there are explicit sexual scenes, a lot of violence, and a lot of explicit language, so if that bothers you, I can’t really recommend this to you. But if you are completely comfortable and cool with that kind of thing, I definitely recommend you give this one a go. But let’s just go ahead and jump right in!

Synopsis:

“When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

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My Thoughts:

This was so good. Like this lifts the bar so high for graphic novels to me. I absolutely love the characters and the story line and the world and just…This was so fantastic. This is definitely an adult graphic novel, but if you can handle a lot of adult topics (explicit sexual scenes, violence, language, etc.) I definitely recommend you pick this one up. It is just so great.

Something that I really loved was the story line. Just the premise of two parents making huge sacrifices, willing to do anything, to save their daughter and give her a good life is just a really good message. I loved seeing how much Alana and Marko cared for each other and their child. It just sent a really good message, I think. People need to see that kind of love. It’s rare in today’s world. Speaking of the characters, I freaking loved them all. They are all so complex, and I just loved it.

Now I really did not care about The Stalk, to be honest, but I did really enjoy seeing the other Freelancer, The Will. While he is a killer for hire, he did find it absolutely horrendous that a child would be sold into slavery, and that really showed his depth as a character. He definitely has a human side to him, and there are certain lines he would never cross. Using children like that is wrong, and seeing him upset over it like that was just really heartwarming to me.

I still love Alana and Marko. They are hilarious and care for their family so much. They can kickass and will do anything to protect each other and their family. It was just really beautiful to see. Another character I loved was Izabel. I freaking loved her. She was like my everything. She was a standout character to me, and I think she adds an interesting dynamic to this story since she is a teenager. I also just think she’s hilarious, and I love seeing her interact with Hazel.

I also just really loved the writing and the artwork. The writing was funny and badass and definitely kept me engaged throughout the entire story. And the artwork was absolutely stunning. It really captured each scene beautifully, and it really made the story even more beautiful. Fiona is super talented, and this makes me super excited to see more of her artwork because she is just so amazing.

Overall, I loved the writing, the plot, the characters, the world, and the artwork. I am super excited to see more from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and I am really anticipating reading the next book in this series. It will definitely be epic!

5stars

 

And there you have it! That was my review of Saga Volume 1! What is your favorite graphic novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about the fourth book in the Lux series, Origin, which also happens to be my favorite book in the series. I really have been enjoying re-reading these books, and it just has made me so nostalgic while reading this one. From the emotional turmoil to the kickass fight scenes even to the toe-curling sexy romance, this book just has everything I love in a YA novel. But let’s just go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?”

My Thoughts:

I am really glad that I reread this because I loved it just as much as the first time around, possibly even more. I definitely loved this more than Opal, and I stand by my original rating of five stars. I loved so many things about this novel. This next installment in the series really tested the relationships between some of the characters and we really got a glimpse into Daedalus and the Luxen community, and it was really interesting, if not downright terrifying.

I am just going to start off by saying that I hate Nancy’s guts and she can burn in hell for all I care. There is something seriously screwed up with that woman. But it was kind of very painful and scary just knowing the kind of crap that Kat had to go through. But something that really seemed to develop a lot over the course of the book was the relationship between Katy and Daemon. Those two go through so much shit together, and they still come out stronger for it, even if it does seem like the events that occur seem to strip away little pieces of these characters’ souls. I just think the development of their relationship is very beautiful, and I just always love reading about it.

I really loved the story line of this installment to the series. I think it really tested the relationships between all of these characters and we really got to see the lengths to which they will go to protect those that they care about, whether that be with the crazy horrible things born out of love or the desperate but ultimately fulfilling actions. Desperation affects different people different ways, and we really got to see both sides of that in this book, which I really appreciated.

I also just really enjoyed some of our new(ish) characters. I loved seeing more of Luc because he is literally like one of my favorite characters. And he can also be scary as hell. I think we really got to see a bit more of him, who he really is, with this novel and the shit that goes down. And one new character we are introduced to is Archer and I freaking love this man. He is so freaking adorable, he’s a good friend, a sassy character in general, and I just love him. Yes, he is not like the characters we have come to know, but I think that is really interesting. He is so different from those we have read about, and it was really refreshing. Also, I just really ship him with a certain character…

But this book definitely had me crying even more than Opal did. Like, I balled my eyes out when I read Opal. But there were so many characters that ended in not so great circumstances, and even if I wasn’t a huge fan of them, it really upset me when they were gone. I cried several times throughout the course of this book, especially at the end. Lord knows that Jennifer is a goddess at cultivating heartbreaking and soul wrenching cliffhangers…

But overall, I just really loved this next installment in the series, and I want to say this is my favorite of the series. We just get to see so many sides to this world, these characters, and this story line. Everything was just crazy in this book, and I am looking forward to continuing my reread of this series with the fifth and final book, Opposition!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout. What is your favorite book in this series? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing the first volume in the Ms. Marvel series by G. Willow Wilson! I would say I am excited, but unfortunately, I did not like it. I just had a lot of problems with it, which I will get into. I just think this is better suited to someone younger than me. I think fourteen-year-old Allie would have liked this a whole more than nineteen-year-old Allie did. But let’s just go ahead and get into it!

Synopsis:

“Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey! ”

My Thoughts:

I don’t know what I was expecting from this graphic novel, but this was not it. I honestly was just really excited to read this because there was a person of color as the main character, and I am all about having diverse representation, but I ended up not enjoying this as much as I thought I would. I read the first comic book issue a couple of weeks ago, and I really enjoyed that, so I figured I would enjoy the rest of the comics too. But that did not end up being the case.

Just to be clear, I did not hate this book. I kind of just felt, “Meh.” about it. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. I did not really connect with any of the characters, and I didn’t find any of them to have anything appealing about them. It’s not that they were terrible characters, but I ended up just not caring for them at all. I had trouble even trying to feel anything towards her parents, even when there was supposed to be emotional scenes in it.

I honestly did not care about the storyline at all. I thought it was super simple, kind of boring, and I just had no interest in it whatsoever, which was really disappointing for me. I think the writer and illustrator both were trying to make the storyline emotional, which would have to be tied to the characters, but that did not end up happening. Because I didn’t really care about the characters, I didn’t care about the storyline.

Overall, I really wish I would have liked this more. I thought the artwork was really simplistic as well as the the characters being one-dimensional and the plot being very underdeveloped. I wish I would have enjoyed this more, but ultimately, I just was not a big fan of this graphic novel, and I will not be continuing on with the series.

3-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Ms. Marvel: No Normal. What is your favorite graphic novel? Sound off in the comments down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am super excited to discuss one of the books in one of my all time favorite series, and that book is Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is the third book in the Lux series, and I just freaking love this book, this world, the writing, the sass, sexiness and just so many other things. This series I am 500% sure is Twilight fanfiction, and I just love it no matter how many time I reread it. I did decide to reread it for the billionth time because I always like to reread it at the beginning of the school year, and at the end of the school year, and during the school year…I just in general love to reread this series. But it’s absolutely fabulous, and if you have not read this series yet, I highly recommend it! But let’s go ahead and jump right on into the review!

Synopsis:

“After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

My Thoughts:

Upon my reread of this novel, I haven’t changed my opinion at all, but I have lowered my original five-star rating for a couple of reasons. Regardless of the reasons, I still really enjoyed this book. I absolutely loved seeing how much Daemon truly loved Kat. How much he cared for her, how much he was willing to sacrifice for her. And Kat’s character definitely went through some development. She went through a lot of crap in this novel, and that changed her. The things she went through, the things she has been forced to do…It is kind of horrifying. I know I never would have made it out to the other side. And then there is just everything that happened at the end, and it hurt just as much as when I read this for the first time a couple of years ago.

I ultimately changed my rating because I honestly was not a huge fan of the entire story line, especially with a certain asshole coming back and blackmailing people. I still think the douche is a creepy little fucker who I want to strangle. I really had a problem with two of our MCs just not getting along. That was something that I loved about the first book in particular, and that was not here in this book. At all. That relationship is one of my favorites of the series, and I had a little bit of trouble just enjoying the story when that was not there.

But like I said, I did ultimately still enjoy my reread of this, and I am still completely in love with the series!

4-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of the third book in the Lux series, Opal! What is your favorite book/series that feature something with science fiction elements? It does not necessarily have to be about aliens. But sound off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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