Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

We went to this book signing awhile back when Tahereh was in the neighborhood. Very fun as usual. It was great to see her in person. She is spectacularly beautiful. I already can't remember a whole lot about what she had to say (most of it was random stuff that Alli Condie asked her) but I do find it impressive that an author truly knows everything that's going to happen in their books and how it will all end! There are still several books to come in this series I think. So much to happen!

This one starts pretty much right were the other one (Ignite Me) left off.  The bad guys have been killed and Juliette is now in charge of the country. She is preparing to meet some of the leaders of the other countries in hopes that some sort of peace negotiations can be worked out.

But, as they wait for that to happen, Warner begins to freak out because he knows he needs to fess up to Juliette about his past. And it's not good. There's so much she doesn't know. And he has to be the one to tell her.

Then, all that opens up a new aspect to this story which will now provide the basis for the following books! So for me, this is like the start of another side series of sorts, even though it's all our same people.

For the Team Adam friends, sadly, Adam is barley in this book. I'm still hoping he will get his own story at some point. New characters are introduced and they are quite fascinating.

It took me a few pages (50 or so?) to get into to this one, which made me worry for a minute, but then it got going and I was hooked. Pretty much I will need to read them all to find out how this all ends and to see if Juliette ever gets a normal life. And if Warner's mental distress ever gets healed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Kdrama Review: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Drama: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (also called Moon Lovers)
Genre: Historical
Lee Joon-gi, Lee Ji-eun (IU), Kang Ha-neul , Hong Jong-hyun, Byun Baek-hyun , Nam Joo-hyuk , Ji Soo
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So this drama. Yeah. It's one I heard about when it was being aired and everyone was going crazy over it. And then they talked about the tragic-ness of it. How sad it was. How it rips your heart out! I was like, why would I want to watch that then? It sounded way too much of a downer for me. So I stayed away.

Then it come up to do as a watch along with some other kdrama fans and friends. I thought, oh, maybe this is the way I can handle this drama! To watch with others!

Well, that didn't work at all, sadly. (Watching dramas together is way too painful since we all have a different way of watching. Some binge, some pace.) And I was very very bummed. And I thought about giving up because... just because.

But then my husband, who has tolerated my drama watching for 2 1/2 years now, said... "I'll watch it with you."  I was like, wait what? He seemed totally serious so how could I pass that up?

And so I started over (I had watched 4 episodes at that point) and we watched the whole thing together, one or two episodes a night. And it was awesome, sad tragic-ness and all!!!

This one is about a girl who is hating her life in the present day, and she jumps into the water to save a drowning kid... an  eclipse happens and when she comes out of the water she is the brand new kingdom of Goryeo (present day Korea) ... about 950 AD. The premise is that she learns she has arrived during a time of who she thinks is a bad king... and she wonders if she can change history's view of him. (Well, he's a prince when she arrives, but becomes the king of course.)

Anyway... the current king is the dude who united various kingdoms into one which started present day Korea (so yes this drama is loosely based on true history... very loosely) And in the drama he has 8 sons... the PRINCES! And a daughter or two also. And two queens. One evil. One... okay.

The princes in the 10th century garbs

Of course the princes are all beautiful. And after awhile, they all pretty much fall in love with our girl. OF COURSE! But they are all very very unattainable. Or already married. Etc. etc. The struggle.

The princes today!

We get to know them all very well. Their crazy back stories. We get to understand that they all (well not all maybe) want to be king when their dad dies. And so, what will happen when he does die?  And thus let the real struggle begin.

It's an epic sweeping royal family saga that is beautiful in all the ways it interprets this story! Like everything is just... beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it! There is some cheesiness here and there. And some convenience things. But yeah.. it's an amazing production.

There is one prince that is hard to ignore right from the beginning. And he rises to the top for our girl after awhile. He is the scary, angsty, hurt, vulnerable, pained, tortured anti hero of which I love to love from all my books and movies. He is a good bad guy, or a bad good guy. Not sure which. The lines are very blurry and I love it.

Prince 4 (4th in line to the throne)  aka. Wang So

And going into this knowing that it's all tragedy and sadness, we know that nothing ends well. Right? This is not your typical happily ever after Kdrama. And that can be frustrating. Because there are so many... if onlys!

That being said, it was easier to bear than I expected. Sigh. I survived Scarlet Heart! There was one scene though, where I wasn't sure I would. Oh my gosh. Seriously hard to watch.

This is NOT the hard scene. LOL! :)

Anyway. I loved it. So glad I pushed through and just watched it!

Here is an awesome fanmade trailer:

 Clips that show the beautiful-ness of this drama set to my favorite song from it, song by three EXO boys including Baekhyun who is Prince 10 in the drama:

There are so many awesome songs from this drama I can't even begin to tell you. So I'll leave at the one. Anyway, if you are in the mood for an epic family saga set in the brand new early days of Korea... this one is it!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review: #fangirlproblems by Jennie Bennett

Book: #fangirlproblems by Jennie Bennett

Genre: YA romance
Rating: ★★★★☆

Jennie's got another Kpop Romance book coming out! This one explores all the fantasies every kpop fangirl, well, or ANY fangirl, has had about his/her celebrity crush. Like, what if... WHAT IF, they just fall in love with you back? What if it's not a one sided love? WHAT IF?

In this story, our girl is hoping to catch a glimpse of her favorite idol as he comes through the airport. She doesn't have tickets to the concert of course, (because who can ever freaking get a ticket?) but she thinks seeing him for a moment is the second best thing. But then she is shoved just as he walks by and misses it. And then she gets called on to cover a shift at work, catering at the hotel. Sigh.

Well, and so who does she end up catering for? The whole band of course! And her boy (thank you for letting me totally picture Chanyeol from EXO for this role!) seems oddly interested in her. And he gives her a signed picture. And she breaks down and cries and runs out and he follows her.

And then, stuff happens. Suddenly a little adventure is underway!

Chanyeol from EXO

I loved how nearly every fantasy girls have regarding their favorite is addressed in this fun little story. I was like nodding right along going yep... yep... yep... so true! Much of it is very very much beyond reality, but that's the whole point... it's a fantasy. What fangirls dream about.

Another fun and fluffy kpop story. I enjoyed it!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kdrama Review: School 2017

Drama: School 2017

Genre: high school drama/romance
Starring: Kim Sejeong, Kim Jung Hyun
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

I started this one a long time ago and then quit... but decided to finish it awhile back during a bit of a lull in drama watching. It was a fun and cute one, but not one of my favorites, sadly.

There's a "school" series in the drama land... there's a 2013 one and a 2015 one and then this one. I hear that the 2013 one is awesome, so I will probably watch that one at some point. Maybe even the 2015 one sometime too. We'll see.

This one is a story about a dude who's dad runs a posh and private high school. He doesn't really like how things are run, so he rebels by dressing up in black and being a sort of vigilante... sabotaging things in the school like turning on the sprinkling system during testing day. The kids love this person, but the administration needs to catch him.

Well, our girl, who struggles to maintain a good enough GPA to even stay in school, finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and suddenly is accused of being "student X" as this kid is has been dubbed. Then the real student X has to decide if he will save her or not.

In between all this Student X business, we learn the back stories of several of the students and some of them are pretty sad. Some of these kids end up getting together to solve the problems of the school and get back at the administration.
They are all adorable.

In the meantime, our guy, who is really quite emo and ornery, starts to change when our girl ends up in his life. He turns from angsty to cute and bubbly. I love that! LOL! And there were tons of almost kisses, but guys.. .NO KISSES AT ALL IN THE END! What is up with that??? GAH!!!

Anyway, as I said, it's a cute high school romance and fun story, but not one of my favorites of late. Still, I'm glad I watched it.

A little trailer:

A cute almost kiss scene:

The song I liked from this drama isn't your typical drama sounding song:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Book Review: A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Book: A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Genre: YA... romance?
Rating: ★☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Well wow. This book was a huge disappointment. We bought it randomly at the story based on title and cover. It looked cute and fun. It says it's a love story. But in reality, it is not at all.

And now I've probably waited too long to reveal my thoughts and can't even remember anything since I've just pretty much wanted to forget that I read it!

It's told from the points of view of two kids, a boy and girl. (The authors each had one of the characters, which is usually kinda fun, usually.) And all they really want is to lose their virginity before college starts. Doesn't really matter how or with who, just that it happens.

So I was hoping that these two would actually FALL IN LOVE and then realize there's more to a relationship than... you know.. THAT. So that's why I kept reading, despite the crudeness, the cursing, the drugs, the drinking, the bad choices, the stupid behavior, the cliche parties and etc. I kept reading because I wanted to see them truly fall in love and I wanted to see a different side of them.

And I did catch a glimpse, but nothing ever really developed. And then it ended with the least romantic sex scene I have ever read. (Realistic maybe, but dang, can we have just a little romance and love in the mix?)  Sigh. Really people? REALLY? Is this how kids out in the real world live? It kills me to believe this....

Anyway. A waste of money and time, this one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Musical Review: Hamilton

Finally finally finally we saw Hamilton and now know what the fuss is all about.

I've tried to listen to the music before seeing the musical, but haven't been drawn to it at all. The phenomenon of everyone in the world pretty much going crazy over this musical has been baffling. Because I knew it was rap and most people don't really like rap, so what the heck.

Anyway. It finally came to our city and was part of our season ticket package so we didn't even have to go through the pain that was ticket buying for lots of people (yeah, but believe me I know the pain) and we had the hottest tickets in town. It was a little painful knowing how much we could get for our tickets (like five times their worth) but we hung on to them anyway and went!

Walking to our seats. If you watch to the end my mom is about to complain about our close seats
... because we have ZERO leg room. LOL. I guess you get front row or leg room... one or the other!

The energy in the crowd before it started was intense. Like I've never before felt that at a regular old music. (I feel it at concerts without fail, but musicals? Not so much.) So that got me pumped from the get go.

And then when, who is that first comes out? Aaron Burr? When he comes out and starts belting out that song, the crowd went wild. It was nearly like a concert actually. And so of course, I loved it.

I'm glad to have been more... shall we say... inclined to like rap these past years, else I'm not sure if I would have truly loved this stuff... but now, you would have seen my head bopping and foot tapping and grinning from ear to ear. My parents on the other hand... they didn't understand a word!

Yes, it was a bit hard to understand everything and now I need to listen to it with lyrics in front of me. But I caught a lot and totally enjoyed it all. The energy of the show was amazing and it's the kind of stuff I feed off of. My mom's comment afterward... "I'm exhausted!" It was a good kind of exhaustion.

Everyone in the cast was great. I loved that George Washington was Asian.. lol. And it was fun to leave the place with many songs stuck on my head. My favorite though, is The Room Where It Happens.

Anyway. We loved it. Not sure we are OVER THE TOP about it like so many people, but so happy to have finally experienced it.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Why do you think everyone is crazy over this musical, even though it's mostly rap... a genre that is not generally loved?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kdrama Review: I Hear Your Voice

Drama: I Hear Your Voice
Genre: court drama with a touch of supernatural
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Lee Bo Young, Yoon Sang Hyun
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

The touch of supernatural mentioned above is that our main dude can hear people's thoughts. Which can make life pretty interesting. Mostly he just goes around with headphones on in order to cope.

But the drama starts when he's a kid and he witnesses his dad's murder. There's also another couple of witnesses, a girl and her "friend." At the trial, they have to decide if they will come forward to testify and thus put this terrible dude in jail. One ends up coming forward and one doesn't.

Well, then they all grow up! The girl who came forward is now a public defender, and the other girl is a prosecutor. They end up sort of working together. And our boy is a senior in high school. (He's like 10 years younger than our main girl. Which makes things especially interesting!)

Well, and so all their paths cross again. And our girl ends up figuring out that our boy can read minds, and so she loves having in the court room with her. But more than that, she just starts loving him. Awkward. 
LOL! He makes a pretty good non smiley face too!

There are several different cases we are privy to, but mostly, it's about this terrible dude who is now out of prison and is coming for his revenge. Scary stuff, really. 

Sigh, it's already been too long since I watched this to remember the details! Gah, teach me to get behind! 

I just know that the all the court stuff tends to get boring for me after awhile... I mean at first it's interesting and then it's not. Like there's a fine line for me!

But of course I totally enjoyed the sweet romance. Which at first as I said, felt a little weird and then I was totally rooting for them. It's just, I really love Lee Jong Suk and he needs to smile a lot in these dramas, you know? 

I prefer the smile though.

Things get very intense towards the end when all this stuff is getting wrapped up. Crazy stuff!

Anyway, here's a fan made trailer that I really quite enjoy! It portrays the intense-ness much better than I can!

And a song from the drama:



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