The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith | SERIES REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to talk about one of my all-time favorite trilogies, The Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith. This is a very creepy series that I read back in high school. I absolutely loved it then and I still am in love with it now. I had been meaning to reread this for awhile, and I finally did. I am so happy I finally got around to rereading it because I loved it just as much as the first time. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“When Jenny buys a game for her boyfriend, Tom, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the guy behind the counter. There is something mysteriously alluring about Julian’s pale eyes and bleached-blond hair. And when he places the Game into her hands, she knows their connection is something deeper.

But as Jenny and her six friends begin to play the Game at Tom’s birthday celebration, a night of friends and fun quickly turns into a night of terror and obsessive love. Because the Game isn’t just a game – it’s the seven friends’ new reality, where Julian reigns as the Prince of the Shadows.

One by one the friends must confront their phobias to win the Game. To lose the Game is to lose their lives. And that is only the beginning…”

My Thoughts on The Hunter:

I forgot how much I freaking love this series. This first book is equally scary and creepy and it is just an interesting world that L. J. Smith has created, and I still love it. I think I forgot this was based on Norse Mythology, and I honestly forgot a lot about what happened in this first book. There is only one part of this book I could never ever forget, and that is the bug scene. It was like my own twisted nightmare brought to life. It scared the crap out of me the first time I read this, and it still scares me to death. I had nightmares for months after finishing this first book back in High School. It is everything I want in a spooky, scary novel. There are family elements, friendship, love, and so much creepiness. I just fell in love with this series all over again.

Something that I picked up on in my reread of this book was the similarities I saw in Julian’s character with Sebastian Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I don’t think they are the same by any means, but Julian looks a little bit like him (they’re both unbelievably sexy with white hair), they have similar background in who/what they are (literally can’t say because spoilers), and they are both obsessed with a girl who is taken by another guy and who they really can’t have (which is frustrating as hell because I ship Jenny and Julian with a vengeance). My mind just kind of connected the two of them while I was reading, and now I can’t not see the similarities, even if the stories are completely different. I just thought it was interesting, considering this book was published over 20 years ago.

But I loved the storyline, the writing, the love story, and just everything about this. It is still my favorite thing to read around Halloween, and I think it is just great. Highly recommend!

5stars

My Thoughts on The Chase:

Oh, this was so good! This one had the creep factor, but it was different. It was scarier, more suspenseful. When you’re reading this book, you kind of become paranoid. Like, who is going to disappear next? How are they going to disappear? It just kept me on the edge of my seat, and the last fifty pages of this book were like terrifyingly suspenseful. I literally could not stop reading! With this one, while the actual romance is not touched on a lot, I was living for every single scene that had Julian and Jenny together because I am absolutely trash for those two. I freaking love them, and I will ship them until my last dying breath.

This book just gave off a very cool vibe to me, and I was here for it. It was interesting how L.J. Smith took the Game, and just made a new one, but on their turf in the real world, in reality, and not the Shadow World. It really forced us to see the repercussions of looking over their shoulder constantly. We got to see the aftermath of Summer going missing and how everyone thought that Jenny and all the rest of them killed her. We also saw how the Game was affecting their familial relationships. They were having to lie to everyone they cared about, and people were noticing how changed they all were. It just really put a strain on their relationships with everyone around them, and it was really cool to see.

I just really loved the different take on The Forbidden Game, the writing, the development of all of the characters, and I just think this was a solid installment in the trilogy. I loved this, I think, even more than I did the first time around, so I am really excited to finish up my reread of the trilogy with the last book, The Kill!

5stars

My Thoughts on The Kill:

This book was very creepy, I’ll give it that. It was a scary experience, and I am convinced that this book is the reason I find my local amusement park so creepy, but it was just missing a certain element. The romance. One of the reasons I loved the first two books so much was the romance between Jenny and Julian. You could see how much he cared about her. You could see how much Jenny really did care about Julian. But that element was just missing from this book. It was in the first part of the book, so I really enjoyed the first part of the book, but then that element was just suddenly gone, and that was why I was dragging my feet when I was reading this. It was missing my favorite part about this series.

I would say the character element to this story was what was really lacking. You don’t really get much character development because this time the story was plot-driven, and I just missed all of the character moments we got in the first two books. With this last one, it was just plot. And the storyline was really interesting, but it should not have taken precedence over the characters and their development, and I just feel like that is what happened. There was no chemistry between any of the characters in this book. I just didn’t feel emotionally connected to anyone in the story except for Julian, even if I do think he was behaving off in this book.

I had problems with this book, compared to the other two books, but I still really enjoyed it, and I want to continue my reread of L.J. Smiths’s other works! The writing was on point, as always, I still really enjoyed the first half, and I do think it was still a good conclusion to the series!

4-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Forbidden Game trilogy by L. J. Smith. What is your favorite urban fantasy 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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This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so excited to discuss This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. This is a Frankenstein retelling, and I really enjoyed it. I think it was such a well-written and interesting take on the traditional Frankenstein story,, and I just really loved it. If you love spooky reads, you definitely will like this. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real-life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…”

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely fabulous. I was entranced with this story from the first page, and it was such a good retelling of Frankenstein. Having just finished Frankenstein, the story was very fresh in my mind. I loved trying to figure out what was going to happen when trying to parallel this story with the original work, and it was just a fun time reading this.

I really loved the characters. Oliver was a difficult character, but I still found him appealing. I loved how Mackenzi Lee really gave substance to his character with the plotline of him being resurrected. With the original work of Frankenstein, we just knew him as the monster. He had no name, he had no life prior to his creation, and he was more of a thing than a person. With Lee’s reimagining of the original Frankenstein story, she gave us a person who is definitely more human than monster. Oliver had a life before everything happened. He was a person who was loved and who just enjoyed life. We really build on that over the course of the story and build on the relationships between him and his family and other characters. Oliver is so complex when comparing his life as Alisdair’s creation to who he was before. He is just such an interesting character, and I loved learning more about him.

Alisdair was someone who we had to get to really know over the course of the entire book. We peel back all the layers of who he really is. We piece together the mystery surrounding how his brother really died, and it just made me want to keep reading, to figure it out. And we also need to figure out what went down between him and Mary, how she is connected to everything, and just the complexities of his character coupled with the complexities of who she really is because she put on an act for everyone, as to who she is.

I also really loved Clemence’s character. We got some lesbian rep in this book, and it was really interesting how it was handled in this novel. While it wasn’t a major element to the story, it is addressed, and I loved seeing that. I also just loved how kickass Clemence was. She was never afraid to speak her mind, and I just loved her character so much. She was easily one of my favorite characters.

I also really loved the fantasy and steampunk aspects to this story. While this is not my first steampunk novel that I’ve read, I did really enjoy it! I found it super interesting how Lee managed to weave all these fantasy elements into this retelling of Frankenstein, and it just made the book even better, in my opinion. I also loved how the actual book of Frankenstein was woven into this story. It isn’t just quotes and nuances that are in the story. The actual book plays a major role in the plot of this story, and it was so interesting to read a retelling of Frankenstein with the actual book being in the story, and it just added something extra to the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed the characters, the world, and the writing, and I could not be happier with this retelling. I highly recommend you all check this out, and I am so excited to read more from Mackenzi Lee in the future!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. What is your favorite Halloween read? 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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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am very excited to discuss a Gothic Horror Classic, and that Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This was my first time reading it, and I am so glad that I did because I really enjoyed it. If you love spooky Halloween reads, then I definitely think you will like this, so I highly recommend you pick it up if you haven’t already. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever. ”

My Thoughts:

I definitely understand why so many people love this story. I had mixed feelings about the monster that Frankenstein created because, at the beginning, I felt it was unfair for Frankenstein to seem so repulsed and horrified by the monster. He never gave him the chance to be a good person at all. The continual revulsion and mistreatment of other people along with Victor Frankenstein led to him becoming a very resentful, evil being that was hellbent on destroying Frankenstein’s life. If he had been afforded kindness he probably would have been a pretty decent guy, but because of the treatment of every human he had come into contact with, he truly became a monster. If you treat someone like a monster, soon enough that is what they become.

I honestly was not a huge fan of Victor Frankenstein at the beginning. I liked his character a little bit, but my opinion of him just went south after he treated his creation the way he did coupled with the fact that he had this immense hatred for the monster. But I did end up more on his side when everything the monster had done was revealed. I think he was really trying to just keep his family safe from this monster that was hellbent on destroying it based on the treatment he had received from Victor and other humans alike. But Victor did end up winning me back in the end.

I really loved seeing the huge family dynamic in this book as well. There are not a lot of books out there that feature a theme of family, and it was really refreshing to see. Victor’s love for his family is really the core of this story, and it was nice to see his family so prevalent in this story. We really got to know his family, and I just really appreciated that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story, the characters, and the writing. I just think it was a really fascinating book, and I am so glad that I finally read it!

4-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. What is your favorite spooky read? Comment down below! I would love to know. 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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Dawning Ascent by Jen L. Grey | PREORDER BLITZ

Hey, guys! Today we are going to be talking about how you can get your hands on Jen L. Grey’s upcoming new release, and that is Dawning Ascent. This book will be released on December 7, 2017, but is available for preorder, so I highly recommend that you do that! This is a fantasy novel centered around magic and political intrigue, and I am so excited to read this because it sounds absolutely fantastic! But let’s go ahead and get into it!

Image6 Pre order blitz

DA Release Date Banner

Title: Dawning Ascent (The Pearson Prophecy Book 1)

Author: Jen L. Grey

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Release Date: December 7, 2017

DA full cover

Image7 about the book

Power comes with a price

Treated like a stranger in her own kingdom, Ariah has learned to live in the shadows. But as she comes into her own powers, she catches the eye of her lifelong crush and an unlikely ally. Can she trust them to help her find the truth along a dangerous journey?

When enemies come to light and distrust spreads, Ariah’s safety is put in jeopardy. If she places her trust in the wrong people, her hidden powers will be unveiled to those who wish to use them against her. If Ariah wants to survive, she’ll have to discover who has her best interests at heart. Will she trust the right people? Will her powers be discovered?

Image8 pre order links

Amazon US / UK / CA / AU

B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Add to Goodreads

Pre-Order now $2.99

DA teaser 4

Image9 author bio

Jen L Grey pic 2

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, even as a little girl. When I was a toddler, my parents would read stories to me over and over. I would hear them so often that I had the books memorized and could recite the story word by word.

The past year, I started having stories stuck in my head and finally decided to start writing. My favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. So, of course, that’s what I’m inclined to write.

I have a husband, two young daughters, and a mini Australian Shepherd. I’ve lived in Tennessee the majority of my life and love the state.

I’m extremely addicted to caffeine and enjoy drinking coffee and lattes.

Image11 author links

Website / Newsletter / Amazon / Facebook

Facebook Group / Twitter / Goodreads / Bookbub

Jen L Grey logo

And there you have it! That was all the information you need to have to preorder Dawning Ascent by Jen L. Grey. 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 Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing a book everyone has been raving about for months, and that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. This was absolutely freaking fabulous. I loved every single second of it. This book made me feel so many things. It was just a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, and I absolutely freaking loved it. But enough with the gushing. Let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.”

My Thoughts:

This book was one I was definitely expecting to love. This story went places I was not really expecting. Like, I had no idea that any of this shit would end up happening, but it did. And I freaking loved this book. I listened to this via audiobook with my best friend Emily, and we both really loved it, and I think we have decided to do this more often, listen to audiobooks together. That is literally what we have done all day. All we did was listen to this audiobook for eight and a half hours straight. And it was a really fun time!

I really loved all of the characters, even if I did want to physically murder some of them at one point or another. These are all flawed characters, but I just really loved them despite their flaws. Monty was hilarious and very emotional, but he could also be a bit daft at times, very selfish, and a bit of an asshole, not going to lie. But he is still a character that I ended up loving. I loved him despite his flaws. He had so much depth to him as a character because yes, he was definitely a privileged, rich, white aristocratic man, but he also has had to put up with a lot of shit in his life. To overcome all of that and remain a strong person just really elevated his character in my eyes, and made me like him so much more than I already did.

Percy was literally my heart and soul. I freaking wanted to murder anyone who dared to look down on him because he was an African American. People assumed that he was a slave because of his skin color, despite him continuing to tell people that he actually grew up with a nice family in England. I hated how people ended up treating him. It just rubbed me the wrong way. But he is literally the definition of a cinnamon roll and he deserves all that’s good in this world. I just loved him so much, and I never wanted any harm to come to him. He was just one of my absolute favorite characters and there was never a moment in this book where I hated him. He was just a really kind person, and I just loved him so much.

Felicity was literally my spirit animal. I freaking loved her. She was not backing down from anything. She was not one of those girls who was just going to let people walk all over her. She was not going to stay quiet, and she will tell you exactly what she thinks no matter the consequences. She was so kickass, for one, and so intelligent and ambitious, and I honestly think Percy and Monty would have ended up dead in a ditch if it was not for this girl. I think she is just a really good role model for women today. She just is going after what she wants, and I admire the shit out of that. She was just my everything, and she will forever be my favorite character. She is just the best!

Man, the romance between Percy and Monty was difficult with this novel. This is not the sort of novel where they immediately get together. The amount of build up in this novel is absolutely absurd. The amount of almost things happening scenes (whether a kiss or just SOMETHING) is literally ridiculous. There was literally a point where Emily and I were gasping and squealing and holding onto each other for dear life because we were like, “OH MY GOD. SOMETHING IS GOING TO FINALLY HAPPEN.” And then something came along to screw it up, and we were so pissed. I think we ranted about it for a good ten minutes before we could continue on with the story.

But the romance definitely was not easy. It was complicated and difficult. It’s something you have to have patience with. It is totally worth it in the end, even if there are still a thousand bumps in the road along the way. But it was really beautiful, and the amount of times Emily and I rolled our eyes because Monty said or did something stupid or hurtful or selfish was kind of ridiculous. I wanted to throttle the man most of the time, but eventually, he stops being daft and stupid and actually doesn’t screw up as much. But that is the thing about relationships. They take a lot of work, but they are totally worth it in the end, which definitely proved to be true by the end of the book. But it was still frustrating as hell…

Now the plot actually surprised me. It went in a completely different direction to what I was expecting. It was action-packed, emotional, suspenseful, and just so many other things. I definitely was not expecting it to go to all these different places, and I really loved it. It was a good unexpected. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and it was just super enjoyable. I am not going to say too much about the plot of this book just because I think it is better to go into this book blind, but just know it was absolutely bloody fantastic.

Overall, I really loved the characters, the love story, the plot, the writing, and just everything about this book. I think it was fantabulous, and I am so happy I decided to read this. The audiobook was fantastic, as it was narrated by Christian Coulson who portrayed Tom Riddle on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and this book as a whole was just absolutely fabulous. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I am so excited to read more from Mackenzi Lee!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. What are you currently reading? 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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October TBR

 

Hey, guys! I cannot believe it is already October. September flew by like a witch on a broomstick (#sorrynotsorry). But I am really excited for it to be October because that means all the spooky books are coming out, the horror film classics are playing on tv, and it is finally going to be getting cold. I am so sick of this heat. It was literally sixty degrees yesterday and nearing ninety today. Ohio needs to get its shit together…But I am super excited to get into the books I want to read, so let’s go ahead and get into it!

The first book I want to read is a classic that I, surprisingly, have not read. And that is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

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This is something that I am convinced that practically every human on the planet has heard of at least once, but I actually don’t know very much about it. All I know about it is it involves a monster that was created by Doctor Frankenstein. Literally, that is it. I think I might have seen a really, really old movie years ago based on the book, but I honestly can’t remember any of it. And I could be mixing that up with The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. But regardless, I am really excited to read this!

The next book I want to read is The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith.

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This is a trilogy that I have already read, but it is a very creepy story, and it’s by one of my all-time favorite authors. From what I can recall, as it has been a few years since I’ve read this, it follows a group of friends who get sucked into this game and are forced to confront their deepest, darkest fears. It creeped the hell out of me in high school when I originally read it, and it is also a love story, though not the typical one you would think of. I am super excited to be rereading this since I loved it so much the first time that I read it, so hopefully, I will be getting to this trilogy this month!

The next book I want to read is 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 (and terrified) to continue on with this series. This is easily the creepiest series I’ve ever read, and I tried to start this last month, but I had to stop because it was freaking me out so much. This series is very psychological and Mara is a very unreliable narrator, so we don’t actually know if she is just crazy or if she is actually killing people. And it just really messes with your head. I started getting so paranoid when I tried to read this a few weeks ago, so while I am definitely apprehensive, I am still really excited to read this one!

And the last book I want to read in October is Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

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This is the first book in the Miss Peregrine’s trilogy, and this is another reread for me. I loved this so much when I first read it a few years ago, and I honestly have forgotten a lot about what happens in this book, so I just really want to reread it. This book is mixed media, as it does feature creepy photographs that go along with the story, and I just really am excited to dive back into this world. This is like the perfect book to read around Halloween, so I am just so freaking pumped to reread this!

And there you have it! Those were all the books I plan on reading this October. What spooky book are you wanting to read in the spirit of Halloween? 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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September Wrap Up!

Hey, guys! I am really excited to talk about the five books I read this month because I loved every single book I read. This month just feels like it has flown by so fast, and I have had a few changes in my life, one of which is that I started a BookTube channel! I will be making a full announcement post, so keep your eyes peeled for that! But let’s just go ahead and get into the books I read in September!

The first book I read was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

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Yes, it finally happened. I finally read this book, and I thought it was absolutely fabulous. This is the first book in The Wrath and the Dawn duology, and it is a retelling of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. It is so good, and I highly recommend it. But I actually read this for a twenty-four-hour readathon I hosted and vlogged, which is linked here, if you want to check that out. I really enjoyed the writing, the characters, the world, and just everything about it. I think it was a really interesting retelling, and I just really, thoroughly enjoyed it. I ended up giving this 4.5/5 stars, and I also posted a review.

The next book I read was Masquerade by Victoria Vale.

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This is an adult romance novel that is set in Victorian England, and I actually reread this because of a topic we were covering in my Women’s Studies and Women Writers classes, which is the Cult of True Womanhood. True Womanhood stated that a True Woman had four traits, which are Piety (Protestant Christian), Purity (virgin until marriage), Submissiveness (submissive to husband, all men, and God), and Domesticity (stayed in the home, cared for the children, cleaned the house, etc.) During the Victorian era, this was something that was pretty heavily enforced in society, and it was prevalent in this book, so I reread it and loved it just as much as I did the first time I read it. I did post a review of this book, and I gave this 4.5/5 stars.

The next book I read was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

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I reread this for the billionth time because I was marathoning a bunch of HaileyinBookland’s reading vlogs where she was talking about buying all these new editions of this book, so I just got in the mood to read it. So I read it, and I loved it just as much as I did the first time. It was just as magical and quirky as the first time I read it, and I actually think I picked up on details I missed the first time around, so I just really thoroughly enjoyed it. I gave this 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu.

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This is a recent release that came out on September 26, and I really freaking loved it. I already knew I was going to love it. It involved feminism, so I was sure I was going to love it. And I did. This book follows a teen girl named Vivan who is fed up with all of the sexism in her school, so she decides to make a feminist zine in order to fight back against it. This was so freaking good, and I am honestly having trouble expressing how much I loved this. I think men and women can gain something from this, young or old. I think everyone can relate to this story in some way, so I think everyone should just read it. I did post a review, so you should consider checking that out for my full thoughts. But I ended up giving Moxie 5/5 stars.

And the last book I read in September was Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, and it was illustrated by Fiona Staples.

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This is the first volume in the Saga series, and it was a reread for me as I did read this last month. I reread it again because it was Banned Books Week last week, and I wanted to read a banned book, so I chose this one. I knew I wouldn’t have time to read anything else because at the time I was also trying to finish Moxie. But this story follows two parents as they make sacrifices and are willing to do anything to give their daughter a good life. It is also science fiction. I loved it just as much as I did the first time, so I gave it 5/5 stars.

And there you have it! Those were all the books I read in September! What is your favorite book that you read this month? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this video 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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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to talk about Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. This is one of my top favorite books of the year, and I just really loved this book. This book deals with so many different topics like sexism and racism and just the importance of letting your voice be heard. This book just inspired me, and I am so glad I decided to read it. I highly, highly recommend you all check this out because I just freaking loved it. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.”

My Thoughts:

OH MY GOD. THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY BLOODY FANTASTIC.

Like, I am having trouble putting into words how I am feeling right now. This book just has me inspired. It makes me want to go out and do something, make some noise, and just let my voice be heard. I identified with this entire book. I went through a lot of these same experiences when I was in high school. There were always these jerkface guys who would always just tell me and all of the girls that women belonged in the kitchen, which is what the guys in this book were saying. Also, similar to this book, the word, “feminist” is considered to be taboo and kind of like a dirty word.

I just found myself drawing similarities between this book and my high school because I am from a small town and while it isn’t just one sport that is literally the center of the school, sports, in general, were the center of the school. If you weren’t doing sports, it is like you never existed. It’s like you were invisible. I wasn’t involved in something like that, so people did not know I existed. I also was just afraid of speaking out against all the antifeminism and sexist bull crap because I would end up being part of their sexist jokes.

Also, at my school, it was very clique-ish. You saw the cliques clearly and you did not cross over into another clique. I was looked at like an outcast because I was not part of a clique. I had not gone to that school for my entire life. I transferred there in eighth grade. I had two best friends. Two. I didn’t eat in the cafeteria because I was avoiding the people in there. I would eat lunch in one of the classrooms.

And standard policy at that school was to not draw attention to yourself, especially because of what you were wearing. I identified so much with the stupid dress code crap we saw in this book. At my high school, the girls were slut-shamed and told what to wear and what not to wear, what color to dye their hair, and how they should just generally look so as to not distract the male students because they can’t control themselves if they saw a female’s shoulders. You couldn’t wear leggings unless you were wearing a dress or shirt that was practically down to your knees lest one of the male students suddenly get distracted from their education, nevermind the girl’s education. They were objectifying the female students. Did the boys ever break the dress code? Yeah, but did they ever get in trouble for it? No. Not even once.

This book also discussed that classic guy line that says, “Oh, but not all guys are like that!” Like, yeah, that may be true, but in saying, you are belittling and dismissing the fact that a lot of guys are like that. They do objectify women and treat us like we are second-class citizens. This book challenges that, and for that reason, I think everyone, male and female, should read this book because feminism is for everyone, not just girls. I think people look down on feminism because they don’t understand it, and they believe in stereotypes. That’s how my family is. They believe in stereotypes.

This book just tackles so many different topics in relation to women, and I just think that everyone can learn something from this book. This book is so realistic because this stuff does happen. It is real, whether you choose to believe it or not. All of these characters are so relatable, and I could just see myself in every single one of them, so I think everyone can relate to this book. This book was just executed so wonderfully, and I am so happy I decided to read this because it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and it has jumped onto my all time favorite books list. This was just absolutely fantastic!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. What are you currently reading? 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 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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