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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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!

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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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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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#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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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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OMG. SUMMER IS OVER?! | Allie’s Biggest Book Haul EVER!

Hey, guys! I am very excited to talk to you all about the massive amount of books I have bought/received this month because it’s a lot. Like this is what I get for just not posting a book haul for a while. It is totally, 100% my fault for procrastinating. I am proud of myself because many of these I did not buy myself, but I still have a lot of books to go through. I received around 16 books, which is absolutely insane, even for my standards. But let’s go ahead and get into the books I have accumulated over the past couple of months!

Books I Bought:

The first book I bought was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

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This is a book that I have read already, and I am sure most of you have heard of at least once due to the hype surrounding the Netflix series. But if you have not, this is a standalone that follows Clay Jensen, a teen boy who wakes up one day with a box of tapes on his doorstep, thirteen tapes exactly. Each tape is a reason as to why a teen girl named Hannah Baker killed herself. It’s a really great book, though I haven’t read it in years. I have seen the television show, and I absolutely loved that (though, I will acknowledge the television show did have some problems). I just did not own a copy of this, surprisingly, and when it was only like three or four dollars at Half-Price Books, I decided to pick it up. I am hoping to reread this soon, so hopefully, I can do that!

The next thing I bought was the box set of The Hunger Games trilogy, which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

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This is a dystopian series that I have already read, and if you don’t know what this is about, where the hell have you been? This has literally been everywhere. The movie franchise was absolutely fabulous, and I did really enjoy the books when I read them, though I have never reread the series. I have not reread any of the books at all because I actually did not own a copy of them. That is absolutely crazy, right? But the reason I did not own a copy of any of these books was that I read library copies of this before I started collecting books. I read all of these in like seventh grade before there was even a thought of making them into movies (I pride myself on being a Book Hipster with this series). So I haven’t read these in like seven or eight years. I bought these because I didn’t have them (obviously) and because this $40 box set was marked down to $7.97 at Half-Price and only an idiot would pass up a deal like that. Also, I just like these covers so much more than the US covers. Aren’t they gorgeous?

The next book I bought was The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead.

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This is the second book in the Bloodlines series, which is a spin-off of the Vampire Academy series, and I am so excited to finally have a copy of the second book! I read the first book like forever ago, and I have been meaning to pick up the next book, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I am just excited to be able to continue on with this series! Bloodlines has forbidden romance, alchemy, vampires, magic, and I just love it so much. I flew through the first book, and I know I will do the same with this one. I just hope I can get to this one soon! And please do not judge this series or the Vampire Academy series by their covers. All of the covers are cheesy and just romance novelesque book covers, but they make up for the horrible covers by being gorgeous on the inside. Highly recommend!

And the final book I bought was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

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This is a classic that I am sure everyone has heard of, and I honestly had no intention of ever reading this until I saw it in Half-Price Books. It’s not for lack of trying. I have tried to read the original edition in the 1800’s English, but I just could not do it. But I read the back of this and it sounded really interesting (not going to lie, the cover is why I picked it off the shelf…), plus it is has been adapted into modern English (it says modern English, but it’s more like a mix of 1800’s and modern English). The combination of the easy-to-read modern(ish) language and the intriguing story line is why I have decided that I want to try to read it, the entire tome. This is something I am hoping to do before the end of the year, so wish me luck…

Books I Was Gifted:

The first book I was gifted was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling.

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This is a book that my brother got me, and it is one of two Harry Potter books. He went to this bargain variety store in my hometown and turns out that they were giving away free books, and he saw this one and one other book in this series. There was this lady who was looking for the books in this series so before she could see them, he quickly snatched every Harry Potter book he saw and got them for me. This actually means a lot to me because my brother believes as my parents do, that Harry Potter is trash (though, probably not as vehemently as them), and for him to get these for me just means a lot considering how feels about them. But if you can’t already tell, this is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series, and it was one of the books in the series that I do not have, so I am excited to have this (AND ITS HARDBACK, GUYS. ITS A HARDBACK WITH THE DUST JACKET AND EVERYTHING. *fangirls*)

The next book I was gifted was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling.

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This is the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, and this is actually my second copy of the book. I now have two copies of Deathly Hallows, both without a dust jacket, because that is just my luck. But this copy is actually in better shape than my other copy, so I am still really happy that I have it. I have been trying to get a hold of the rest of the series because I want to reread the entire series as I have yet to do that, so hopefully, I can a hold of books 2, 3, 4, and 6! Fingers crossed…

The next book I was gifted was The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

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This is a classic that I absolutely love, and I have loved it since I first read it in eighth grade. This is a book that I think everyone should read, and you should go into it blind like I did, so I am not going to tell you anything about the story line. But this is a book that I end up referencing at least once in every book or story that I write, just because I love it so much. There is actually a story behind my brother getting this for me. He actually ordered this book for himself through my Amazon account and somehow our mail carrier screwed it up and did not send it to the correct mailbox. So I contacted Amazon Customer Service about it, and the guy was so nice. He not only called the mailing service to figure out where it was, he also sent my brother a replacement copy at no extra charge. And since the Customer Service guy also talked to the mail carrier about the original copy, we ended up getting two copies of it in the mail. So instead of just sending one back, obviously my brother and I just kept one each since we both just love this book so much. And this is a hardback edition with the original cover, so it just ended up being a fabulous adventure that we had. What started out as a very frustrating and irritating experience turned into a fun-filled adventure with a new book for each of us. That was a good day…

The next book I was gifted was The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

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This is yet another book that I was gifted to by my brother (he is literally like the greatest, guys), and I am sure some of you are scratching your heads because you are well aware of how much I don’t like this series. I think I made it about six chapters into this first book before I gave up. And again, it’s not for lack of trying. I have tried several times to get into this series, but I just am not a fan of it at all. But my brother absolutely loves this series, so I think I am going to try to force myself to read this series someday. But that day is not going to be today. I just have no interest in this series whatsoever, but I will try to read it one of these days because my brother loves it so much. You’re lucky I love you, Andy…

The next book I was gifted was The Death Cure by James Dashner.

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This is the third book in The Maze Runner series, and you guessed it. It was gifted to me by my brother. I literally have no excuse not to read this series now since I have two of the books other than the fact that I hate James Dashner’s writing style, and I really think all of the characters in the books are annoying, but those are not legitimate reasons, right? If nothing else, at least the cover looks cool. And I actually love the movies, so even if I never read this series, I still have a love for those movies. So there’s that…

The next book I was gifted was Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

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This is yet another book that my brother gifted to me, and it is the fourth book in the Left Behind series. He had no idea what it was, just figured it looked like something I would enjoy, so he got it for me. I did at one time want to read this series, but I haven’t had that kind of desire since they did a reboot of the original book to movie adaptation. I don’t know. I might want to eventually read this. This series is a Christian fiction series that is centered around the rapture and those that are left behind in Tribulation (as in what happens in Revelation). I really liked the movie, so maybe I will gain a desire to read this series again in the future.

The next book I was gifted was The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket.

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This is the seventh book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I was, of course, gifted this to by my brother. We have had many conversations about me wanting to own and read this entire series, so when he saw this and one other book in the series at the bargain variety store, he went ahead and got it for me. This series follows the three Baudelaire children (Klaus, Sunny and Violet) who are experiencing the deaths of their parents and have been shipped off to a few “relatives” houses, the first of which was Count Olaf, a horrible man who wants their family fortune and is willing to do anything to get it. I really have been enjoying this series, and the Netflix series was fantastic, so I am just excited to get more into it!

And the final book I was gifted was The End by Lemony Snicket.

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This is the thirteenth and final book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I was gifted this to by my brother. I am so excited to have another book in this series. Hopefully, by having these two books, it will give me the nudge to continue on with the series since I have only read the first four books. This is a children’s series, and it is so unlike anything else I have ever read, which is why I love it so much. This series is so strange and manages to take the same general story line and make it different with each book, which is just so intriguing. Here’s to hoping I will read the rest of the series very soon!

Books I Received:

The first book I was sent is The Crowns of Crowswald by D. E. Night.

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This is the first book in a new fantasy series, I believe, and I was sent this by the author, D. E. Night, so thank you so much for sending this my way! This book follows Ivy Lovely, a girl who has been hidden behind the wall that separates the mundane world from the magical realm. When she crosses the border, her powers awaken and she ends up going to the Halls of Ivy, a magical school that helps students learn to master their magic and the gems of Croswald. When Ivy’s life and magic are threatened by the Dark Queen, Ivy is forced to unearth her own history to save all of Croswald. Not only does that sound like a kickass story, but the cover is one of the most gorgeous ones I have ever seen. All of this just has me very excited to read this novel, so hopefully, I will get to this soon!

And the last book I received was Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Elwell Hunt.

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This is a historical fiction novel that was sent to me by Bethany House Publishers, so thank you for sending this my way! This novel follows Chava, a friend of Urbi who soon becomes Queen Cleopatra. When Chava and Urbi have an argument, Chava finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. That is literally all I know about it, and that is all I need to know. This sounds like it is going to be amazing and very interesting, so I am super pumped to read this. I am in love with Egyptian history and historical fiction, so this definitely seems like it is going to be a book that I enjoy, so I hope to get to this in the near future!

And there you have it! That was my August Book Haul. I told you there were a crap ton of books to haul. I received most of these mostly due to my generous brother, so thank you, Andy, for getting me all of these books and thank you to every author and publisher who sent me a book! What is your favorite book that you have read this summer? 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 sticking with me and reading all of this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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July / Summer Biannual Bibliothon Wrap Up!

Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about the books I read this month because I finally kicked this stupid reading slump that I’ve been suffering from since March. Not only that, but if you remember me talking about being around nine (going on ten) books behind schedule on my Goodreads Reading Goal, then you should know that I actually caught up and am on track, all because of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon. Not only that, but I am ahead of my reading goal, which is crazy! But we will get into that later. I ended up reading ten books, which is absolutely insane for me. But you know what this means? I am officially completely out of my reading slump! Oh, what a glorious feeling this is. All of these books I am about to mention I actually read in the last week and a half of July, so I actually thought I wasn’t going to be posting a wrap up. Wow, that has changed. But let’s go ahead and get into the books that I read in July!

I am going to be separating the books I read outside of the readathon with the ones I read during the readathon. So I am going to start with the ones I read outside of the readathon.

The first book I read this month was Nothing But Shadows by Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan.

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This is the fourth book in the Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy series, and I really enjoyed this. It gave me a snapshot of what The Last Hours series is going to look like. I did start out not liking this book at all, and that is totally because I was listening to the audiobook, and I hated the narrator. But I ended just reading the rest of it using my physical copy, and I absolutely loved it. While I was disgusted and appalled at the blatant prejudice in the Academy and how they were so mean and cruel to anyone who was different (see: James), I ended up loving a lot of the characters in the book, especially James. He is like a little cinnamon roll, and I just loved him. This novella ended up making me super excited for The Last Hours. I did review this, so feel free to check that out, but I ended up giving this 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was Ms. Marvel: Meta Morphosis, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona.

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Okay, I know that this is a comic book. But if Goodreads counts it, then I am counting it. This actually is not a graphic novel. I read the first single issue of the series, and I really enjoyed it. While it was short (comic book, duh), I ended up really liking some of the characters, and I thought it was really refreshing to see a Muslim Pakistani-American as the main character. The end definitely raised some questions, so I think it’s going to be interesting to see the blowback from the end of the comic. But I am really glad I enjoyed it, and I will be posting a review, but since I did not have a whole ton of things to say about this, it definitely will be in a post with a bunch of mini reviews of other comic books I’ve read (I have just been in the comic book mood). But I ended up giving this 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was Sacrificed to the Dragon by Jessie Donovan.

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This may or may not seem familiar to some of you because this was actually a reread for me. I have just been in the mood to reread books I have loved (I heard that is one of the best ways to get out of a reading slump), and I am glad I did because I forgot how much I love this story. This is an adult novel for mature readers, and I still stand by my review from last year. If you are interested in my full thoughts, you can check that out, but keep in mind that was before I started improving on how I did my reviews and before I started writing extensive reviews. It is kind of an old one. But back then, I gave it 5/5 stars, and I still stand by that. I just really love this story, no matter how many times I reread it.

And the last book I read outside of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon was Ready to Were by Robyn Peterman.

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This is another reread for me. It’s a good book with an unfortunate title. But the name of the series still cracks me up because it’s a pun. It’s called Shift Happens. But upon rereading it, I actually have changed my opinion about the story. Originally, in my initial review (another old review, but you can still check it out), I thought that this was complete and utter instalove. I actually have changed my mind about that. These two characters have known each other for years and years, they dated previous to this book and had been dating since she graduated high school, they’re mates, and they still both love each other. They have a history together. This is not instalove. I originally gave this 4.5/ stars, and I still stand behind that. I just really enjoyed this much more than I originally did.

Now let’s get into the books I read for the Biannual Bibliothon, but bear with me. This is going to take a while because I read a lot during the readathon (the most I have ever read in a readathon ever). I did end up reading 1,337 pages over the course of the week, which I am super excited about. But let’s jump right in!

The first book I read during the Biannual Bibliothon was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.

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This is a book that satisfied two reading challenges, the first being to read a Banned Book and the second being to read a book that has been adapted into a film and then watch the film. This book, I think, was the reason I got out of my reading slump. It just reminded me why I love to read so much. I actually think I enjoyed this story more the second time around than the first time. I know. All of you are probably thinking that that is kind of impossible, but it’s true. I had so much fun reading this book. It just made me laugh so much, and I just loved revisiting this world and these characters. I, of course, still stand by my rating of 5/5 stars, and I haven’t written a review ever for this book (it was pre-blogging), but I am considering writing a review based on my reread experience. If that is something you would like to read, let me know in the comments down below. But again, I really enjoyed it.

The next book I read during the readathon was A Curve of Claw by R. E. Butler.

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This is another reread for me, and I didn’t choose it for any of the challenges, but I read it during the week, so I am counting it. I have reread this book countless times, but I just wrote and posted a review of it, which was exciting. I have always loved this book, and every time I reread it, I pick up on something new. It is an adult novel with explicit sexual scenes, but I just love it. I love the characters, the magic, and the shifters, and so much more. It’s just one of my favorite books ever. I ended up giving this 4/5 stars.

The next book I read was A Flash of Fang by R. E. Butler.

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This is the sequel to A Curve of Claw, and I actually enjoyed this one even more than the first one. This is shorter than its predecessor, but there was more action in this one and more of a concrete plot line. My review of this is up, and obviously, this is a reread for me, but I really enjoyed it, as always. I just love the writing, plot line, characters and just everything. This book is so great. I really need to pick up more books by R. E. Butler…But I ended up giving this 4.5/5 stars.

The next book I read was Saga #1, which was written by Brian K. Vaughan, and it was illustrated by Fiona Staples.

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This is a comic book and not a graphic novel because I read the first single issue. But I absolutely fell in love with this story. This is the first comic book I have ever read, and it is just a really beautiful story. It’s a story of love, badassery, and how much two parents will sacrifice for their child. I just loved this so much. This is what made me fall in love with the comic book world. While I loved the writing (the humor was so on point!), I absolutely loved the artwork. It was just so stunning. And I probably should mention this is an adult comic book with explicit sexual scenes, and with it being a comic book, you see the sexual scenes. Just wanted to warn you in case you decide to pick this one up. But I did review this, so I recommend you check that out. I gave this 5/5 stars.

The next book I read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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This book satisfies the challenges in which you read a book that you have not seen or heard of on the booktube/blogosphere. This book was recommended to me by my best friend, Megan because it is one of her favorite books of all time. I am so happy to say I freaking loved this book. I don’t think there are words to describe what this book means to me, but I am pretty sure that this replaces Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as my favorite book of all time (I know; it’s practically blasphemy!) just because it really touched me, and it really just connected me to the story. I just cannot express the love I have for it. This is a book where I cried more for this book than I have cried in my entire life. And that is the truth. I did write a review where I tried to convey what I thought about this book as concisely as I could, so feel free to check that out. But I just loved this book, and it kind of broke me. But I (as I’m sure you can guess) ended up giving this 5/5 stars. Wow, this book was bloody fantastic…

And the last book I read for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon was Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor.

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This book satisfied another reading challenge, which was the Throwback Challenge in which I would need to read a book from an author I have never read before. I am so glad I chose this book because I absolutely loved it. I devoured this story. I just really connected with these characters because this book is really focused on depression (as I have depression), not only because of depression being the sole focus of this novel, but also because it features a character that never had a trigger for their depression, which we like never see in Mental Health fiction, and I never had a trigger. But this book is not just about depression, and it is not a depressing book. It is at some points, yes, but this book was absolutely hilarious. I literally was laughing out loud on the first page, and I didn’t hardly stop laughing throughout the novel. At one point, I was crying on one page and laughing on the next. I just really thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I am so glad I decided to read it. My review is up, so feel free to check that out. I gave this 5/5 stars.

And there you have it! That was my wrap up for July and for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon. What book of these, if any, is your favorite or that you find intriguing? 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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