Glass Heart: A Review of I Want to be Your Doll, by Mira Ong Chua

            On the surface, romance can seem like a very simple and straightforward literary genre.  Characters meet, spend time together, and eventually (or quickly) fall in love.  Romance novels are both the source of great affection and great ridicule for readers, and the romantic comedy has become a movie powerhouse of its own right.  However, many of these stories are often criticized for following similar patterns, and can be maligned for focusing on unrealistic character pairings or even pairing the main character with someone who feels bland or boring.  However, when a good romance story comes along, it feels like a breath of fresh air.  Stories that push the characters’ emotional growth to the forefront and really allow them to examine why they are attracted to another person, and why it is alright to be a littler selfish.  Good romance does not involved complete and total dedication, but putting your own happiness first, and finding someone to share in that happiness.

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Reign: A Review of Critical Role: The Mighty Nein—The Nine Eyes of Lucien

            Critical Role, a web series where a group of nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons, is a dominating force in nerdom.  It has provided hundreds upon hundreds of hours of entertainment to its fans over the course of three D&D campaigns, one-shot games, and mini-series.  It would not be hyperbole to say that the show is the face of the role-playing game for many people.  Ever since the show spun off from Geek and Sundry to form its own, independent production studio, Critical Role has been expanding into other formats aside from actually showing the cast members playing Dungeons and Dragons.  It began with a series of comic books filling in parts of the story from before the show began airing, then moved into novels, and now they even have an animated series two seasons deep on Amazon.  The ways for fans both new and old to engage with the fictional world never stop.

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