K-Drama Reviews: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim & Thirty But Seventeen // Mysterious and hilarious

Okhaaay! The thing is, both the dramas I am about to review, I have watched quite a long ago. Not that long but uh… a bit long. Anyway, I adore both of these dramas sooo much and both of these were absolutely worth the hype according to me! When I get hooked to a drama, I am all in! It takes me about 1 to 2 weeks to decide what to watch next after finishing a drama, so yeah due to this, I rewatched Descendants of the Sun and right now, Love O2O, both of which I loved very much. (I think I would be over with Love O2O by the time this review is posted… LOL). Anyway, I divert… so onto this review!


Show Name: What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Adult]
Director: Park Joon Hwa
Cast: Park Min Young, Park Seo Joon, Pyo Ye Jin, Kang Hong Suk, Kang Ki Young etc.
My Rating:

 

Synopsis:

The series revolves around the narcissistic Lee Young Joon, the vice president of a company run by his family. He is very self-absorbed and thinks highly of himself, so much that he barely acknowledges the people around him. Lee Young Joon has a capable and patient secretary in Kim Mi So who has remained by his side and worked diligently for 9 years without any romantic involvement. However, Mi So now want to set her life & focus on herself so when she decides to resign from her job, hilarious misunderstandings ensue. After 9 years of their strictly-workplace relationship, can it now develop in something more?

~~ Adapted from the webtoon “Kimbiseoga Wae Geureolgga” by Jung Kyung Yoon.

This drama was absolutely epic! From incorporating a dark tragic past to the point of absolute hilariousness, all was in this drama. The comedy and the mystery were what made this drama fun from the beginning. Especially the “Aura!”

Kim Mi So (played by Park Min Young) and Lee Yeong Joon (played by Park Seo Joon) were the shining stars of this drama. Although some of the side characters definitely left an impressive impact as well. I don’t think this drama would have been that hilarious without the occasional missteps of these side characters. Lee Yeong Joon, a born narcissist is the president of his company where is assisted by Kim Mi So. Normally, he loves staying within his world but when Kim Mi So she wants to leave the company to find out her inner-self, Lee Yeong Joon becomes the epitome of a panicky-mush and that’s where the fun begins!

The character of Lee Yeong Joon is so dramatic! I think it’s one of the very charms of this drama which keeps the audience thoroughly engaged. And Kim Mi So, my god, she was soooo hilarious! They were literally perfect for each other also since Kim Mi So was the only one capable of handling Lee Yeong Joon. In order to stop Kim Mi So from leaving, Lee Yeong Joon tries various methods to pursue her from leaving. From increasing her salary to even offering himself for marriage! XD As for the story process, we get to see the softy behind the narcissist exterior. I mean, he will always stay that but his character also has a sweet and genuine side. Definitely swoon-worthy!

The signature style, i.e. Korean finger heart were such a treat to watch! Although they stay professional (well almost…) during their work but the chemistry between them is booming! (Booming? Do people even use that word in this context? XD). Although Kim Mi So understood that Lee Yeong Joon wanted him as his secretary but his genuine affection was not lost on her. It was a slow and gradual process where they fell head over heels for one another. SO KYOT I TELL YOU, PEOPLE!

This drama was also incorporated a dark past which traumatised both the characters as a child. Both of them developed a phobia for certain things which they are finally able to face together. I loved how the past neatly tied with the present circumstances. Although I felt that this aspect was not as dramatic as I expected but it might be for the people present during that particular incident.

The acting was indeed marvellous and I loved each and every character of this drama. I think almost every character in this drama was over-the-top dramatic but Bong Se Ra (Hwang Bo Ra) and Yang Cheol (Kang Hong Suk) were something else! Especially the slow-mo scenes between them. Their romance was absolutely hilarious but I was definitely rooting for them from the very start! Anyway, the drama ended on a beautiful note which definitely left a lasting impact on my mind and I really hope you guys give it a shot.

Recommend it?

Absofreakinglutely!


Show Name: Thirty But Seventeen
Episodes: 32 (half an hour episodes)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Adult]
Director: Jo Soo Won
Cast: Shin Hye Sun, Yang Se Jong, Ahn Hyo Seop, Ye Ji Won etc.
My Rating: 

Synopsis:

Woo Seo Ri, a violin prodigy at 17 who was about to study in Germany, got into a bus accident and fell into a coma waking up 13 years later. Mentally she is still only 17, while physically she is now 30.
Due to a trauma he experienced 13 years before, Gong Woo Jin does not want to have a relationship with others.
This series is about a man and a woman whose lives in their own ways essentially stopped when they were 17. Together, they use all their might to try and open the door to the happiness that they once thought had been closed to them.

Thirty but Seventeen is definitely one of the gems among K-drama land. It has a mixture of so many different emotions and is executed so beautifully. Although it was the plot and the trailer which made me interested in watching this drama in the first place but I also might just be a little biased (OKHAY, A LOT) towards Yang Se Jong ever since I watched Temperature of Love.

This drama starts with Woo Seo Ri (played by Shin Hye Sun) waking up from a 13-year long coma to find herself in her thirties. A violin prodigy, she was left heartbroken and speechless, she starts a hopeless journey to find her uncle and aunt who were her only relatives after her parents passed away. Gong Woo Jin (played by Yang Se Jong) believes himself to be responsible for the accident which took the life of his first (unconfessed) love. Not knowing that she was still alive but in a coma, Gong Woo Jin secluded himself from the rest of the world. He became a mere shell of what he used to be. But when Woo Seo Ri turns up in her home, now owned by Gong Woo Jin and his cousin, Yoo Chan (Ahn Hyo Seop), fate collides and brings them together once more.

Gong Woo Jin used to be the most lively person as a child but since that incident, he has not genuinely smiled, not even for once. His hostility towards Woo Seo Ri is crystal when she first comes to the house, it would have been impossible for her to stay without Yoo Chan’s support. However, her sense of familiarity with her home brings a calming atmosphere in the house of the two men where Gong Woo Jin finally starts to find some peace. I loved the slow-building romance between the characters and the chemistry was simply electric! He finally started to wear his emotions on his face again which he had long lost forgot. Woo Seo Ri’s optimistic self was so admirable, which was also one of the factors which made the two characters come together.

My heart ached whenever Woo Seo Ri could not play her violin. It broke her heart to see someone else in the pace where she might have been if not for her incident. I was thrilled to see her not giving up on her dreams and keeping on practising to make her skills flawless as it used to be. Gong Woo Jin often froze when he was reminded of the past due to situation or two. If not for Woo Seo Riv, he never would have got the courage to step up. In a sense, they both helped each other to live again.

The side characters in this drama were very cuuuuuuuuuute. Jennifer (Ye Ji Won) was essentially mysterious but handled the house like her own family. And I absolutely adoooored Yoo Chan, he was such a sweetheart. He behaved like a kid but when it came to making decisions, his maturity amazed me. I really wanted the past to be revealed much sooner so that Gong Woo Jin realised Woo Seo Ri was none other than her first love. There were multiple hints but oh dearie, who am I kidding, this is a drama after all. I wished the revelation was a bit sooner but I was still pretty happy how every threat was connected at the end. The acting was fantastic, especially of Shin Hye Sun who portrayed that even she was 30, her brain was still stuck at 17. Due to this, it made the drama bittersweet yet a heartwarming watch!

Recommend it?

Yuuuup!!


So guys, have you watched these 2 dramas yet? What did you think about it? ANY RECOMMENDATIONS GUYS??

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series by Jenny Han // Fluffy, cute and mushy!

  

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: Ebook
Published: April 15th 2014 (book 1), May 26th 2015 (book 2), May 2nd 2017 (book 3) by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

P.S. I Still Love You

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next-door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is one of the most hyped up series out there and I think it was one of the reasons I was afraid to go into this series wholeheartedly. On top of that, I did not exactly enjoy the first book of the Summer trilogy and hence my reluctance. I also think that I have kinda grown out of young-adult contemporary as I don’t find it relatable anymore. However, when the movie released and the hype re-started, I knew had to pick it up! And I am glad I did. This series was such an adorable and fluffy read!!

*A bit spoilerish!*

Lara Jean has a unique way of confessing to her crushes. She writes them letters instead of actually voicing her words. It’s her way of ending a love story from growing out her control. However, when her letters get revealed to her crushes, she takes the help of Peter who was also one of the crushes to tone down the rumours. However, things take a 90 degree turn when she finds herself falling for Peter Kavinsky. (I am addicted to uttering Kavinsky as Lara Jean was… dang!)

Character-centric plot

The plot of this book was whole-heartedly character-centric which paved the whole path of the novel. One of the most ground fact of this trilogy was the character-growth which we got to see as the novels proceeded. Of course, there was teenage angst and drama but it was pretty realistic which made me fall in love with the characters. This series had all the classic cliches, the mean ex-girlfriend, a soccer-team main lead and a geeky best friend. The thing is although this series had its ups and downs, it played the cliches perfectly to get the right combination of drama along with swoon-worthy romance. Apart from Peter and Lara Jean who dominated the series, the Song family, Josh as well as John Ambrose McClaren (This guy!!!! I loved him to bits!).

The first book follows all the letters of Lara Jean getting busted which leads up to making a pact with Peter to avoid the necessary embarrassment. Lara Jean takes this step, especially to avoid Josh who she has been in love with since forever, who also happens to be her elder sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. Josh is a character whom I liked in the beginning but he kinda faded away and completely disappeared in the 3rd book. I knew he had college and stuff and it kinda felt like Lara Jean and Josh’s so many years of relationship vanished, just like that (I wanted closure *sniffs*). Anyhooo, Peter and Lara Jean along with their romance grew to something so much bigger. Their fake relationship grew into something real without their knowledge which made things complicated. However, it was also the one thing to root for in this series!

Lara Jean… ah! Our main protagonist was so effing relatable! Of course, there were times I disagreed with her but most of the times but I couldn’t help but fall for her. Yes, she was a bit judgemental and anxious almost all the time, however, these flaws were the characteristics that made her, her. Although I won’t say this series had the best character-development Lara Jean seriously had some major transformation. She went from the shy girl to voicing out her words. Most importantly, I genuinely admired how she took the decision while choosing school even is she had to do long-distance!

Diversity

Hello! Dang! This book has it all! The Song girls are half Korean making them a biracial family. There were some unforgettable moments in the book, especially of Korean cuisine which I sooo wanted to try! And I was pretty green with envy with the mention of their visits to Seoul. Can they please, like, take me too?

The Song family

The family dynamics was one of the best aspects of this trilogy. The Song girls had lost their mother as a kid but Margot, Lara Jean and Kitty have been thick as thieves. They have always tried their best to maintain a beautiful relationship with their dad which I loved so much. The family focus of this series was not at all overbearing but equally balanced with the romance and drama. Although Lara Jean was the protagonist of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, Margot and Kitty played quite a vital role. I sometimes felt like Margot who was the elder sister was a stuck-up. But when I thought of myself in her shoes, I could understand where all the hesitancy and her strictness was coming from. Lara Jean was the middle one while Kitty was the smol bean. However, Kitty was quite mature for her age and there would not have been “books” if not for her (If you know what I mean… XD) And their father was such a sweetheart! He had such a wonderful relationship with his Song girls and they were his first priority!

Cheesy romance

Ah! The romance of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky was epic! Actually, it was pretty simple yet unique due to which this series was such an engaging read. Peter had an on and off relationship with Gen who also used to be Lara Jean’s best friend once upon a time. However, this on and off thing paves the way for Peter towards Lara Jean. I loved how their relationship evolved. It was so cheesy yet so cuteeeeeeee! Oh my goodness, it was really so sweet I thought I was going to have diabetes!

We also had the classic love triangle which I actually enjoyed! (I know right? Me? I enjoyed a love-triangle! XD) John Ambrose McClaren was so precious. I definitely fell for the 2nd lead and there were times I thought he was the perfect one for Lara Jean. Although I was all in for Peter, John Ambrose McClaren definitely gave a tough competition. Peter, on the other hand, was a jokester and kinda tried to maintain a strong facade, however, he was a complete softy. He was so effing cute. My god! He and Lara Jean were the complete opposites, however, somehow they were the perfect fit.

Overall

This trilogy was a fluffy and fun read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and although a few parts might have slowed me down but I was glad I was able to binge read this trilogy. It made me realise how much, book binging is fun!  The writing was simple yet maintained an uninterrupted flow and the pace was mostly steady throughout the series. Apart from these, I also loved the fact, how this book ended with a positive note while hinting towards the many more adventures of the future.

Recommend it?

Yes!


So guys, what did you think about this trilogy? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book in the series?

It’s a new year! A new beginning and a fresh start.

First of all, happy new year guys! ❤
It’s been a long time. How have you guys been?

I have been absent for quite some time now but this year I plan to bring a fresh ton of content! Okay, I might be not as regular as I used to but I am officially back. I already have quite a few posts written and I am really glad to have my blogging days back.

2018 was a mixed year for me. On the positive, I made and met a lot of friends (mostly BTS A.R.M.Y!), started working, found positivity again. On the downhill, things got a bit rough at work. Nothing I could not handle but the mental toll was too much. So after changing office, I feel like I have a fresh start again and I am enjoying working as a content writer. Also, I only read 35 books which is a bummer but I discovered quite a few gems among them. According to Goodreads, my shortest book was Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin of 104 pages which was a novella while the longest book was Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman of 659 pages! Yohoo!! I finally completed The Illuminae series which was definitely one of the best reads for me this year!

I definitely plan to read more this year as well as write and maintain consistency on my blog. Apart from this, I don’t have any particular resolutions apart from staying positive and spreading that positivity everywhere!


So guys, what about you?

How was your 2018?

Any resolutions for this year?

What is the best book you have read in 2018 and what are your most anticipated for 2019??

Review: Good Girl by Piper Lawson // A bit of a let down

Title: Good Girl
Author: Piper Lawson
Series: Wicked, book 1
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count & Format: 200 pages, Ebook
Published: October 16th 2018
Source: I received an eARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 

Blurb (from Goodreads):

I’m a good girl. Jax Jamieson is a legend.

The day I wrote my first computer program… he launched his third platinum album.
The night I drank my first beer… he spent in jail.
The day he tried to get me fired… I ended up on his tour.

I’m a college junior with my whole future ahead of me. And he’s the vice I’d give it all up for.

Haley and Jax’s story continues in Bad Girl and concludes in Wicked Girl! A new adult romance series from bestselling author Piper Lawson. If you like nerds, hot rock stars, friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers, pet skunks, home reno shows, flip phones or existentialism? You’ll love WICKED. 


Soooo… the thing is, I usually end up head over heels with Piper’s characters. Not only are the sassy but they have a realistic and hardcore edge to them. But this book kinda fell down from that level of expectation. I felt that this book had nothing new. The surprising element was missing which was a big let down.

In Good Girl, we get to see a rockstar romance. Jax is one of the most popular rockstars, and Haley is one of his massive fangirls. She is out of the world happy when she bangs an internship at the record label company and is sent to tour with her favourite rockstar as tech support. Although I did not warm up to Jax the moment I met her, Haley was someone to root for. I have to say one thing, the female characters are the best parts of Piper’s novels. You just cannot help but root for them.

Haley’s initial facade of Jax dissolves quite early because of his behaviour but she slowly gets a glimpse of the man behind the facade. The chemistry between the characters is palpable as the plot proceeds, however, it was not as explosive or eh…. you know what I am trying to say! Anyway, the mystery part of this novel was what kept me intrigued. I enjoyed the plot and I am definitely up for knowing more!

Overall, Good Girl was an okhay read. The plot felt too common, however, the characters saved the day along with the mysterious twist. I enjoyed the writing and the plot was steady throughout the book although some parts did feel a bit choppy. But I am still interested to know what new turn this story takes.

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, what did you think about this book? Have you read it yet? What is your favourite book from Piper? 

Review: When Forever Changes by Siobhan Davis // A unique twist on love triangle

Title: When Forever Changes
Author: Siobhan Davis
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Heat Rating: very warm
Page Count and Format: 427 pages, Ebook
Expected Publication: September 30th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Gabby

Looking back, I should have seen the signs. Perhaps I did, but I subconsciously chose to ignore them. 

From the time I was ten, when I first met Dylan, I knew he was my forever guy. Back then, I couldn’t put words to what I was feeling, but, as the years progressed, I came to recognize it for what it was—soul-deep love. The kind only very few people ever get to experience. Dylan was more than just my best friend, my childhood sweetheart, my lover. 

He was my soul mate. 

We were carved from the same whole—destined to be together forever.

Until he changed. 

And I believed I was no longer good enough. 

Until he shattered me so completely, it felt like I ceased to exist. 

And I’d never experienced such heart-crushing pain.

Until he leveled me a second time, and I truly wanted to die.

But I had to stay strong because I wasn’t alone in this cruel twist of fate.

I look to the sky, pleading with the stars, begging someone to tell me what I should do because I don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t know how to cope when my forever has changed, and I can’t help wondering if I had seen the signs earlier, if I’d pushed him, would it have been enough to save us?

Or had fate already decided to alter our forever?


My Thoughts

When Forever Changes was definitely a refreshing take on love-triangle. If you know me, then you know much I hate love triangles, however, I dunno what but I can’t help but fall for the love-triangles she has written! This was a beautiful and heartwrenching story, albeit there were a few eye-rolling moments but it did manage to win my heart in the end!

Dylan and Gabby have known each other since forever. In fact, they were each other’s forever until Dylan changed. Not only did he start acting out of his character but broke Gabby’s heart as well, a thing that Gabby didn’t think was ever possible. Slater on the other hand always harboured feelings for Gabby and when Dylan left her with pieces, he helped Gabby to pick them up. However, things take a turn for the worse when Dylan’s truth is revealed. It only breaks Gabby all over again but shatters all three of them.

When Forever Changes starts out with Dylan and Gabby’s relationship. I was not invested in this book at the beginning, I think especially because of Dylan’s douchey character. Gabby worshipped the ground he walked on and her thoughts and Dylan’s characters were not matching up. Of course, the reason behind it comes up later but like Gabby, it never mended that part of the heart he broke. Slater, on the other hand, I fell for him immediately. He was not only considerate but also patient and sweet. After Dylan, it took Gabby a lot of time to get back on track and that’s when she realised Slater have been there for her all along.

Dylan and Slater’s love was both different and it was the most precious thing to Gabby. However, she made a lot of stupid decisions, like unnecessary pushing Slater away when proper communication would have made the circumstances more bearable. Gabby expected a bit too much, even after her worse decision-making skills. I kind of semi-guessed the plot twist but I was still hit hard. It was such an unexpected situation where I fell in love with the three all over again. It was heartwrenching yet there was hope. Although this book ends on a bittersweet note, the ending had me pretty satisfied.

Overall, When Forever Changes was a pretty memorable read. I loved how the author dealt with the love triangle. It was quite different from the usual ones I have read until today and for that, I think I will always remember this book. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was moderate throughout the book although I felt some parts could have been a little faster. Anyway, I am gonna wait eagerly till her next book comes out!

Recommend it?

Yes.


Sooo guys, what do you think about this book? Are you excited to read it? Have you read any previous book by this author?

**Yeah, September did not turn out as I planned it to be. My life is kinda all over the place now but I am not giving up on blogging!

Monthly Wrap-Up: May to August // Where I rant about being behind everything! Oh my!

Heeeeeey guys!!! How are you all doing??

I am like sooooooo behind everything. Freaking everything. From reading to writing to blogging. I can’t even properly go on blog hopping.  I feel sad that I am unable to do these stuff like before. Not like I was a steady writer ever. Anyway, adulthood sucks. Seriously. I finally managed to jot down a schedule for September. Hopefully, I will be able to follow that. I have accepted that I can’t post like before but I am going to try as much as I can.

The number of books and reviews I have written this last 4 months doesn’t even compare to how much I usually do. Moi is sad. *sighs* I NEED TO GET BACK TO BEING A BOOKISH DRAGON!

It’s time to dragon up!

Anyway, ehm! Onto the actual post!

Books I’ve read from May to August:

Young-Adult

  

     

  


Books I’ve read from May to August (link to my reviews):

4/5 stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar

Wolf by Wolf & Blood by Blood by Ryan Graudin

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

American Panda by Gloria Chao


Other Stuff:

  • I wrote the movie review of Ready Player One with my BTS A.R.M.Y buddies. It was a blast and the movie itself was awesome. Lived up to my expectations and proved to be much more!

K-Drama Reviews:


Life Update:

Well, nothing much to say besides that I am behind everything. Thank goodness for Love Yourself “Tear” followed by Love Yourself “Answer” I was able to survive these past months! The MV “IDOL” is soooo freaking awesome. And damn those underneath meanings! The other songs… oh my oh my! I can’t even!

I finally purchased Scrivner!!! I had my discount code since Camp NaNoWriMo April but due to bank issues, the transaction was being possible but finally oh finally I was able to buy it a few days ago. Hopefully, now I can be productive as well as organised in my writing. I sooo need to complete Crown’s Bane and The Boy Who Touched the Moon.

I alsoooo finally got Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I also got a few others but no big hauls. Anyway, work life has its up and down but it’s okay so far. Some days are fun, some days are not. Well, that life. But it has sucked up all my time. I am not going to stop that from returning to my bookish world.

See you guys month! Lemme know if you have discovered any good books or tv shows or k-dramas in the comments below! ❤


So guys, how have your months been? Bookishly awesome or meh? Been busy or on hiatus anyone?

Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao // A combo of refreshing and realistic

Title: American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 320 pages, Ebook
Published: February 6th, 2018 by Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfil the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes to a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.


My Thoughts

American Panda was such a heartfelt read! There were some aspects I could really relate and Mei is bae! ❤

She is an early college student aiming for a doctorate degree when all she wants to do in dance. But she doesn’t have the heart to tell her parents about it as her brother already walked on their family. She develops a crush on Darren Takahashi who is actually Japanese. Another no go from their parents who only want Mei to marry someone of their choice who is also specifically Taiwanese. A breaking point comes into Mei’s life when she is forced to make a choice about how to live her life, according to her own will or her parent’s.

The plot of this book was refreshing and relatable. American Panda is a more of a character-centric novel which focuses on the life of Mei. Mei is a hard working above average students who are working towards a career path to be a doctor. Apart from being a germophobe, she manages to fall asleep in the core subject of medicine, a.k.a biology. She goes by the rule of her parents as she does not want to disappoint them at all cost. A chance encounter with his brother changes her aspect of living life. Her opinion finally clashes when she sees her brother’s life through her own eyes rather than their parents’ words.

“If I lied, the real me would disappear.” 

Her rebellion starts in a slow process but it takes a turn as she experiences a whole new world. Her crush towards Darren slowly intensifies. Mei actually tried to do everything possible to do that she had been taught. She really tried but the heart wants what it wants. Of course, Darren is by her side but she gathers the courage to stand up for herself. And on boy, she does! The most surprising as well as beautiful moment was Mei’s reuinon with her mom. I wish her dad felt the same but well things take time. Sometimes the broken pieces can be mend together and sometimes it’s just better left alone. Mei felt like whole different person when she danced. She truly felt like herself. I can totally get this point. All parents want their children to have a stable career but that doesn’t only come from money. Happiness is the other factor which goes hand in hand.

“I couldn’t go through life as a shadow.” 

Overall, American Panda was a beautiful lesson that one should learn about both sides of the coin before judging. The plot was fresh and kept me engaged. Although I couldn’t identify it but I felt something was missing but the characters made up for it. This book was not only diverse but also shone light on various cultural aspects. The pace was kinda slow and steady in different portions of the book an the words flowed smoothly. I will definitely be anticipating her next book.


Sooo guys, have you read this one? If yes, what are your thoughts on it? And if that’s still a no, are you think of picking it up anytime soon?

Also, yeeeeeah. I have no excuse of abandoning my beloved blog for so long. I am just too lazy and tired after coming back from work. But that’s a lame excuse. I am tryiiiiiiiing guys! Hopefully September will show its magic!

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // A diverse book which lived up to the hype!

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 447 pages, Ebook
Published: February 28th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterwards, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


Hi guys!! I am still pretty much AWOL, I know. As much as I would like to blame everything on my schedule, I am kinda lazy too! XD So umm yay to me not being for once!

I also just realised I have not done a wrap-up in 3 months!!! I love doing wrap-ups!! And I haven’t done them since May!! Oh! What has the world has come to! I also veeery dramatically failed in Camp NaNo this July. I mean… I didn’t even write. *facepalm*

Anyway, one can only hope. So I am hoping to bring myself back on track this month!

Okay, enough blabbering. Now let’s move onto this review, shall we?

I believe I am the last person on planet Earth to pick up this book. I haven’t seen a single blogger who hasn’t read this yet. (Any minority out there?!) Hehe… if you get the reference!

Sooo this book was eye-opening and absolutely heartbreaking. Hell, I did not realise this book was going to be so realistic. I mean I know this was going to be a serious one but this one just hit it in the feels. The Hate U Give tells the story of a young black girl named Starr who has a pretty normal life. Well, at least on the outside where she maintains two different kinds of avatars. She is someone different when she goes to her school while a different person with her kind of people. Everything turns up and down for her when her friend Khalil is shot in front of her eyes without any reason. Even after his death, the injustice does not stop and that’s when Starr decides to speak up. But telling the truth comes with a whole lot of prices.

“Once upon a time there was a hazel-eyed boy with dimples. I called him Khalil. The world called him a thug.
He lived, but not nearly long enough, and for the rest of my life I’ll remember how he died.
Fairy tale? No. But I’m not giving up on a better ending.”

This book is pretty character-centric. I absolutely loved the diverse representation. And a realistic portrayal at that. It really deals with some sensitive topics like racism and I felt that the author did an absolute justice to that. Well, this book is pretty much more than that. It brings out the injustice, unfairness a certain amount of people have to deal with even if it’s the 21st century just because they are of a different colour or have a different faith. Unfortunately, it’s a sad truth which exists even today. And for the fear of being judged, Starr, our protagonist of this book maintains a different facade when she’s at the “white” school as quoted by some of her friends. (Frankly, quoting those made you racists too! Stupid people! But well that’s how the world functions I guess.)

“I’ve taught myself to speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people. I’ve mastered it.”

Starr is not a biggy for parties but she decides to go with her step-sister. There she meets her childhood friend Khalid with whom she hadn’t talked for quite a long time. It’s on their way home when the calamity strikes. Even it was a book, I felt everything happened at slow-mo. I knew what was about to happen next but it still shocked me to the core. I actually had to put the book down for a few minutes before I could pick it up again. The thing is Khalid even didn’t do anything wrong but him being black was what got him killed.

“People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”

I fiercely wanted justice for Khalid but I could understand Starr’s reluctance too. Especially after she and her family were personally attacked. And those of you know me already, can understand how badly I wanted to go after that with a frying pan. Anyway, I want to highlight a few things which I absolutely adored in this book. The family rep!! Like a huuuuuge thank you to Angie Thomas for representing such an awesome functional family which we rarely get to see in YA. Starr’s parents were thankfully normal and mature, unlike some books where parents are even more childish than the main characters. She had a two brother, although one was a step-brother who was annoying as hell but it was clear how much Starr cared for them.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Starr’s boyfriend was a white guy. And he was such a damn gentleman! I mean he had his shortcomings but Chris really was a pillar of strength to her. Thank god, he wasn’t a douchebag! I was very much afraid he was going to turn out that way. I also didn’t like Kenya, Starr’s step-sister at first but she slowly grew on me. I don’t think without her motivation Starr would have gotten the courage to speak up. Ms Oprah was pretty awesome too.

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”

The ending of this book hurt like hell. I mean I kind of knew this book was not going to be all rainbows and sunshine in the end (I still hoped?) But yes, it definitely left me with hope. (J-Hooooooooooooooooooooooooope!! Sorry!! Sorry!! That was absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary. But that has become a habit like breathing!!!) Anyways, I loved the fact that how everything made their family more unified. I even enjoyed the small aspects like Uncle Carlos and DeVante’s story. I mean I was not a fan of Carlos in the beginning but as I got to know him more, I understood he was a genuine person as well. I loved Starr’s character development. She grew up so much from a scared girl to a matured person who’s able to let her voice shine for her!

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

So why did I give it a 4 star? It’s because the beginning was pretty slow. I almost put it down but then again this book was received too much hype for me to shut down my curiosity. I am glad I listened to that voice and continued with it. Overall, The Hate U Give was a pretty fantastic read. I adored Starr’s parents to the moon and back, especially her father. I mean usually, parents encourage to stand up against wrong but when it’s something that big, they usually fear for the children’s safety. But Starr’s father went beyond that. Even after getting personally harassed, he not for once told Starr to back down. That man earned my respect! Her mom was no less by any chance. Now. let’s come to the writing. It felt a little weird in the beginning because the author wrote in a different accent but once I got the hang of it, it didn’t matter much. Whoever still has not picked this up, really needs to asap!!!

(Wow. I did not realise how big this review was. Thank you to those of you who have made it till the end. Sarangheeeoo!)

Recommend it?

Yes.


So guys, have you read this yet? Well, that might be an understatement. I think I was the only one yet to read this book!! Is anyone out there who still haven’t picked this up? Then, is it in your tbr?

Also, who’s excited for the movieeeee???

Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo // Gorgeous action and stabby stuff!

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Standalone
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Format: 368 pages, Paperback
Published: March 6th, 2018 by Hot Key Books
Source: Purchased
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


This was one gorgeously stabby book.

“In my heart, I’m as wild as the ocean that raised me.”

Princess Lira is the heir siren throne, also known as the Prince’s bane because of speciality in stealing the hearts of princess rather than normal sailors like the other sirens. But when she performs a deed against her mother, she is cursed to become something she hates the most. A human. Meanwhile, Prince Elian is a pirate who specialises in killing sirens and is more interested in spending his life at the sea rather than become the next ruler after his father. Prince Elian sole aim is to hunt down Prince’s bane while Lira gets the order to bring Elian’s heart if she wants to return to her kingdom. Both of them start out in the same direction but when Lira gets the opportunity to bring justice against the unfair decision taken by her mother, a.k.a the Sea Queen, she changes her path in reaching the desired goal but along the way things start to change as they get to know each other.

Refreshing plot

The plot of To Kill a Kingdom was really unique. The twists and turns continuously surprised me The only thing that didn’t make it a 5 star read was the pace at the beginning.

“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

I felt that the beginning of the ultimate journey of the plot took too much time. I mean, I wanted the protagonists to met a lot earlier than it happened in the book. Other than this fact, I have no other complaints. When the characters finally meet, it’s with a BAM! It felt like world war 3 was about to break out but as the book proceeded, so the did the plot in a neat manner.

Stabby book in a neat manner! Ha!

World-building

Oooh also the world-building was pretty good. I loved how the author eased us into this whole new crazy world. I have seen and read sirens as malicious creatures who lure their prey with this voices.

“Everyone is a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the colour of discovery.”

But this was on another level. It was like, they enjoyed killing for fun. Which was very disturbing indeed. But somehow I could never hate Lira for her actions. Of course, she did a lot of wrong stuff but she still had humanity left in her.

Character Development

One of the main factors that worried me from the starting of the book was how would the romance develop in the book since both the protagonists had one goal in mind, that is to kill one another. But the character development in this book really surprised me. The characters were complex and they were fleshed out in such a thorough and detailed way that left me speechless.

“How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.”

I was like, how could those two ever fall in love with one another but surprisingly they did and wow, boy did I love it! Lira’s redemption was portrayed pretty well too. Well, if you can call it that. Also, the sea queen aka Lira’s mother was a straight up *********!! She sooo deserved what she got served in the end.

Action! Stabby stuff!

The action was one of the aspects which I enjoyed thoroughly. One thing or the other was constantly happening. There were numerous other characters who contributed equally to the story. The politics was also kind of intriguing but the last battle was the one which was spectacular. It didn’t end in a second which I have seen in many other books. The build-up was steady before the stuff went down. In a good way!

Overall, To Kill a Kingdom was pretty fantastic. Although I think the beginning took up more time than necessary but it was still engaging. The characters were the ones who kept me glued to the book and the pace was somewhat fast. The writing flowed smoothly as well and I was satisfied with how everything wrapped up in the end!

Recommend it?

Yes!


Soooooo guys, have you read this yet? If yes, then what did you think about it?

K-Drama Review: The Great Seducer & The Liar and His Lover // Where I found my bias in Red Velvet!

Show Name: The Great Seducer/Tempted
Episodes: 32 (half an hour episodes)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Director: Kang In, Lee Dong-Hyun
Cast: Woo Do-Hwan, Joy, Mun Ka-Young, Kim Min-Jae etc.
My Rating: 

Synopsis:

In an act of revenge, Kwon Shi Hyun makes a bet with his friends to seduce Eun Tae Hee, who believes people that are swayed by love are pathetic. After Tae Hee meets Shi Hyun, her view on love starts to change. As Shi Hyun’s secret deepens, he starts to fall in love with Tae Hee.

Ohmygosh! I loved this so much, guys! This drama literally had me screaming!

I think it’s a hit or miss drama and fortunately, it was the former for me. I don’t think I would have given it a try if not for Joy, I was still pretty reluctant when I started it. I watched The Liar and His Lover a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely fell in love with her smile (She is so effing cute!!). The decision to watch this drama was sooo right, it was so freaking addicting. I have to admit most of the times I wanted to hit the characters with a frying pan on their head but oh well, when you are in love, you are.

The Great Seducer depicts the life of 3 spoiled brats who in order to suppress their emotional pain relishes in causing others trouble. Kwon Shi Hyun (Woo Do-Hwan) is notorious for his charms of seducing and in order to stop his father and his best friend’s mother Choi Soo-Ji (Mun Ka-Young) from getting married, he proposes to Soo-Ji. Sii-Ji takes this as an opportunity to get her revenge on his former lover Lee Ki-Young (Lee Jae-Kyoon). She wanted to ruin Eun Tae-Hee’s (Joy) life as she thought Lee Ki-Young left her for Tae-Hee. And so begins the game of lies where Soo-Ji agrees to marry him if she manages to make Eun Tae-Hee fall in love with him. But he begins to fall into his own trap when he realises his true feelings for Eun Tae-Hee.

My first thought for the three musketeers was that what a close knitted group they were. They would do about anything for each other and I quite loved that. Until the actual fact surfaced. They were so malicious that they would reach any extent to hurt another person who gave them any pain. Kwon Shi-Hyun, Choi Soo-Ji and Lee Se-Joo, all three have unstable families and they have dependent on each other since they were children. I get that, they were actually so dependent on each other and forced to care for their own but this made them completely forget that others were human too.

The trying to impress moments were goddamn hilarious! Like this one. This drama definitely had its moments!

I did not know what to think of Kwon Shi-Hyun at first. He was such a flirt and well, kinda too much. The kind of men I loathe. But his character development was so effing good! The selfish guy started caring about others after he met Eun Tae-Hee. She was a strong character, positive as well as realistic. I mean her smile lightened up the whole drama. (Yaas, I think I have a bias now… Red Velvet here I come!!) Anyways, the romance although was started all of a sudden, did not feel forced. It was kinda cute to see how both of them were struggling to convey their feelings because it was kinda first for both of them.

I honestly thought Lee Se-Joo (Kim Min-Jae), who is the third musketeer wouldn’t be as evil as Choi Soo-Ji. But oh well, he turned out to be the biggest douche-bag. He totally deserves my frying pan beating!! It was pretty clear from the start that he was in love with Choi Soo-Ji. It should have been sweet but I felt it was kinda toxic. The ultimate douche-bag of the drama was Lee Ki-Young for which this whole act started. The only one who was perfectly able to reply to him was Eun Tae-Hee. That guy was seriously too audacious, I mean how can someone be this shameless? I would have loved to see what finally happened to him but we are devoid of that. I actually loved the fact, how matured Eun Tae-Hee was in compared to those three.

The ending felt a bit rushed. Although it was beautiful, I wanted more closure. The way it ended, it wasn’t enough. Overall, this drama was pretty addicting and I would have missed out on a gem if I hadn’t given it a try. The acting was really engaging as well as the sub-plot which added more mystery to the story. This is one element which every K-drama has in common, somehow it all ties up to that one thing. Anyhoo, I will be awaiting Joy’s next drama.

Recommend it?

Absofreakinglutely!


Show Name: The Liar and His Lover
Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [New-Adult]
Director: Kim Jin-Min
Cast: Lee Hyun-Woo, Joy, Lee Jung-Jin, Lee Seo-Won, Sung Joo, Shin Je-Min, Chang Ki-Yong etc.
My Rating: 

Synopsis:

A love story about a depressed genius music composer Kang Han Gyeol who meets the high school student Yoon So Rim when he’s living under a hidden identity. With her courageous honesty and beautiful singing, So Rim draws Han Gyeol back to her again and again. They meet love obstacles along the way as So Rim found out that Han Gyeol was actually Crude Play’s producer K and others.

The Liar and his Lover was in my to-watch list for a very long time but when of my ARMY friend recommended it, I instantly picked it up. This was my first “Joy” drama and gosh, this was sooo sweet and the songs!! I loved each and every one of them.

Yoon So-Rim (Joy) is an aspiring singer and a huge fan of the band known as Crude Play. For Yoon So-Rim, it was love at first sight when she saw Kang Han-Kyeol (Lee Hyun-Woo). For him, she was only a nuisance until he heard her voice which kept leading him back to her. Kang Han-Kyeol also known as K, is the producer of Crude Play but nobody knows his real appearance out his agency. He hides the fact to Yoon So-Rim even when they start getting close. The relationship between then starts with lies (see the common factor with the above…) but as Crude Play starts facing their own problems, he is forced to come out his hiding and deal with the problems.

Kang Han-Kyeol is the producer of all the hit songs for Crude Play but his arrogant nature and anger outbursts tend to keep everyone at bay. His character begins to change after he meets the ever shining Yoon So-Rim. Honestly, the chemistry between them was sooo sweet! Although their relationship started on a lie which was very much unintentional, its development was slow and steady. According to the drama, the age gap between the two was kinda big (not in real life though, they are only 3 years apart) but I was so relieved to see that no unnecessary issue was created on that subject. 

The inner politics of the entertainment industry was portrayed in this drama. I don’t know how much of this actually happens in real life but I wouldn’t be surprised. Because for some people in Show Biz, only the money matters. Although Kang Han-Kyeol was the childhood friend of the members of Crude Play, except one, the relationship between the guys wasn’t perfect. The development of this aspect was also refreshing. Getting accepted as who they are was the biggest competition faced by Crude Play but I absolutely loved the approach taken by the members of the band.

That damn smile…

Overall, The Liar and His Lover was worth the watch! All the OSTs were pretty much amazing and the acting was superb as well. The character development was the topmost thing that I enjoyed about this drama aside from the sweet romance. Yoon So-Rim starts out as a naive character but by the end of this drama, she has matured a lot. Same goes for Kang Han-Kyeol who realised what his selfishness had cost him. Anyway, I absolutely loved how everything was wrapped up in the end!

Recommend it?

Yuuuup!!


So guys, have you watched these 2 dramas yet? What did you think about it? Do you stan Red Velvet? If yes, who’s your bias?