Rayna Recommends: Dystopian

Hey guys! Welcome to another recommendation post where each month (or every other month – I still haven’t decided), I’ll be talking about some books, movies, and/or TV shows that fit the theme for the month. This month’s topic is dystopian.

Now we’ve all heard of or read dystopian books, am I right? (Divergent and The Hunger Games being the big ones right now.) So I figured that I’d recommend some things that I enjoy and that I think others that follow me will enjoy, too.


  • Divergent” by Veronica Roth. I enjoyed this book the most of the trilogy. If you don’t read any of the other books she writes, at least read this one because it is good and it has some decent politics and plot going on.
  • The Selection” by Kiera Cass. Didn’t expect to see this one on the list? Despite it mainly being a romance, it does take place after World War IV and so, technically, it is in the society’s future.
  • Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi. It’s got a lot of romance, but it’s also very much a part of a dystopian world as the Reestablishment is set out to make things run their way in the world and Juliette is probably the only one who can change that.


  • The Hunger Games movies are some great films that have great actors, and from what I hear they do really well at depicting the books (I haven’t read the books yet…I know, I know). It shows the world and how its caste system is really taking its toll on the citizens and how the Games are really not in the best interest of those who participate. I enjoy the movies, really, and think others will, too.

Okay, honestly, this was a hard topic to choose from. I don’t read a ton of dystopian, but there are the few that I do recommend you checking out.

What dystopian books are your favorites? What movies have you seen that are dystopian? Let me know!

Rayna Recommends: Romance

Hey everyone! So, I planned on doing this last month, but never got to it, so I’m going to start doing it this month! What is “this” that I’m talking about? It’s called Rayna Recommends.

On the first Saturday of every month I plan on doing a recommendation post where I will list five to ten books, movies, and/or TV shows that feature a certain genre or theme that I think other people might enjoy and should check out. Sounds cool, right?

Okay, so this month’s topic is…. romance! I love love. Like seriously, if it’s not in a novel or movie or show somewhere, I feel a pang of sadness within me. (I mean, I’m totally fine about it if there’s no obvious tension between characters that can lead to it at some point…)

So, without further ado, here are some of my top picks where romance is a big element:


  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. Guys. I mean, I’ve already read and reviewed this book, and it’s become one of my favorites really fast. Not only is there romance in it in multiple ways, but it’s a diverse read (gay teens), it made me laugh out loud (literally) so many times, and it’s just a fun read that I think everyone can enjoy.
  • The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. I loved this book (which I listened to via Audible & I reviewed it). It had romance in it – a good love triangle, if you ask me. There were times when I rooted for the main character, Lia, to be with one guy, but then later I really wanted her to be with the other. Frankly, I don’t know where I stand anymore, haha! But it also included betrayal, plot twists, great narrative, and a good plot.
  • The Selection” by Kiera Cass. I mean, a dystopian book around the themes of The Bachelor? Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it became a favorite series of mine. I did a review of the whole trilogy, and I really enjoyed it. The romance aspect was obviously the most prominent part to the story, but it also included themes of friendship, never losing yourself to pressure, a kingdom and war, and more.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor. This book was awesome, as I did a review of it, and though it features a lot about chimera and it had a lot of fantasy elements to it, it also featured a romance that stretched beyond time. I loved this book. I thought the romance was going to feel rushed and out there, but it was actually kind of beautiful the way it was written and I just loved it so much. I can’t express into words how much, actually.


  • The Notebook. Based off of the book by Nicholas Sparks, this movie will always be one of my favorites. It’s romance heavy, yes, but it’s a story that is beautiful and well loved (my mom has watched it over 100 times, I swear). It’s a story about a summer romance and young love, and how that love comes back to flourish years later and how it can transcend even a disease such as Alzheimer’s. If you haven’t seen this, see it. Now. Go. Cry like a baby (because I do, too).
  • The Lake House. I never manage to see this from the beginning, but close to it. It’s about a man and a woman who live in the same lake house built by the guy’s father a long time ago, BUT the man and woman live in different time periods. They go back and forth to communicate with one another in letters and eventually they fall for one another because of that. Even though they’re apart by years, it’s a sweet tale and I really, really loved it.

TV Shows

  • Ore Monogatari. It’s an anime & manga, but it’s about this guy who’s ginormous in stature and he falls for these girls who are kind of really mean to him. But one day, while he’s on the train, his friend spots a sketchy guy and the girl the guy is next to. So, Gouda (the big dude), goes up and yells at the guy and the girl instantly falls for Gouda and Gouda for her. AHH. So much squee and laughs and adorableness and GO WATCH IT. I can’t even right now.
  • Reign. Talk about drama! Set during the time with Mary Queen of Scots and the French court, it follows Mary and how she is to marry the heir to the French throne, Francis. But Francis doesn’t want to marry Mary and there’s a bunch of drama and twists and turns and sex. Oh my. It is a teen drama, but I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would (and since I only have Netflix, I need the second season, like, now).

Okay, I think that’s a decent list. GO CHECK THEM OUT! (I mean, if you want. You don’t have to.)

But yes! These are the recommendations I have for romance! So I’ll do my best to do this every month and give new recommendations every month. I may go back to certain themes and topics as the time goes by, but I’ll be sure to include new content and everything.

Do any of these recommendations sound interesting to you? Would you read/watch any of these? What do you recommend to me for romance books/movies/shows? Let me know!