Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Manga Review~Special A (Vol. 1) by Minami Maki

Synopsis: Her whole life, Hikari Hanazono has been consumed with the desire to win against her school rival, Kei Takishima--at anything. He always comes out on top no matter what he does, and Hikari is determined to do whatever it takes to beat this guy!

At age 6 Hikari lost to Kei in an impromptu wrestling match. Now, at 15, Hikari joins "Special A," a group of the top seven students at a private academy, for the opportunity to trounce the guy who made her suffer her first defeat. This opens doors to the discovery of many new things for both of them....

Genre: Romance, Humor, YA, Contemporary, Shoujo, School Life

My thoughts: I watched the SA anime a couple of months ago and I loved it! I was looking for a completed manga to read because I don't like to wait for months for the next chapter to release and I saw that SA was completed so I decided to read it.

The story is good. In this volume we get introduced to this strong-willed, determined, hard-working girl who is hell bent on being number 1 and defeating a guy who beat her at wrestling when they were 6. Kei, the guy, is good at EVERYTHING. Plus he's good-looking and rich. He stays cool, calm and collected all the time, never caring for anyone else. EXCEPT Hikari. Those moments when he gave up the cool-guy facade and really showed he cared for Hikari were my favorite moments. They were really sweet. 

We also get introduced to the rest of the SA class and Kei's "fiance" but their stories have not been developed yet. Basically in these 4 chapters we get an overview of the characters and a little of the story of the main characters. How Kei cares for Hikari but keeps teasing her because he enjoys seeing her strive to beat him. He also respects how hardworking she is. Hikari, too, cares for Kei, even though she wants to beat him. She does care about his feelings and well-being and doesn't actually hate him even if she says it time and again.

I liked the drawing. It was better than the anime version and it's not that bad to look at. I don't love it, but it's good.

It's hard to say if I'd recommend this or not since I've only read the first volume but I do like the start and look forward to seeing where this goes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review~Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

Title: Teen Idol
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Pub Date: January 6th 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Childrens 

Synopsis: Ask Annie your most complex interpersonal relationship questions. Go on, we dare you!

All letters to Annie are subject to publication in the Clayton High School Register. Names and e-mail addresses of correspondents guaranteed confidential.

High school junior Jenny Greenley is good at solving problems ... so good she's the school newspaper's anonymous advice columnist. Even if solving other people's problems doesn't make her own -- like not having a boyfriend -- go away, it's still fun. But when nineteen-year-old screen sensation Luke Striker comes to Jen's small town to research a role, he creates havoc that even levelheaded Jenny isn't sure she can repair ... especially since she's right in the middle of it.

Can Jen, who always manages to be there for everybody else, learn to take her own advice, and find true love at last?

Rating: 8/10
Source: Bought

My Thoughts: First of all, I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a while! I've been so busy with college applications! It's so tiring! :/

Now onto the review. It's been a couple of days since I read this book so this review might not be that detailed. Teen Idol was a fun, quick read. It's not a book that stays with you or one that you will remember for a long time. It's just a simple, entertaining read with a good moral.

I love Meg Cabot but I didn't like the writing much in this book. It was... weird. It wasn't that bad but the "and everything" and "or whatever" got on my nerves! But I had to learn to ignore that because these are repeated numerous times throughout the book. In the first 3 pages alone these are mentioned 4 times! Let me show you some examples:

Some of her yellow yarn hair got caught in the teeth of his backpack's zipper, and everything.

..., or because they heard Mrs Mulvaney is a good teacher or whatever.

..., or run the risk of having Tater Tots hurled at your head or whatever.

..., with a pointed hat and tiny broom and everything.

I think these sentences would've been fine without the 'or whatevers' and 'and everythings'. Since this book was written in first person, the book was in the protagonist's voice. And since the writing annoyed me sometimes, so did Jen. Don't get me wrong, I did like Jen. But sometimes she got really annoying. I could relate to her in some things but still the character did not have enough depth that I would remember her. In fact none of the characters had much depth...

I really liked Luke. He was smart and likable and probably my favorite character in the book. He was different and he thought big (as in beyond the obvious). He was really mature (in some aspects) and a really great friend. Another character I really liked was Scott. He was sweet and reminded me very much of Peeta. You see, Scott is this nice, sweet guy with a good sense of humor and strong arms. He also loves to cook (including baking) and is very good at it. Peeta is also a nice, sweet guy with a good sense of humor and strong arm and he loves to bake and is very good at it. See the similarities?

Trina and Geri Lynn were the kind of girls I never liked and never got along with and try my best to avoid. So naturally I didn't like them much. Though I'm glad that they (and all the other characters) had their happy ever after.

The story was good. It was funny and short and amusing. I really liked the story! The idea of a huge celebrity coming at your high school and you being chosen to keep his identity a secret and help him study for his role, I'd love for that to happen to me! And then that celebrity teaching you an important lesson about life. I think the moral of this story was that one person can make a difference and you have to know your worth and believe in yourself. Also, you don't have to be 'goody-two-shoes' and 'everyone's best friend' all the time. It's OK to stand up for others and for yourself.

Overall, this was a really good book. If you're in the mood of a quick, light read then I'd highly recommend it.

Favorite Quotes: Instead of my favorite quotes I'll share with you parts that made me laugh (read: smile in an amused way).

Truthfully? It sounded like a load of horse manure.

When we stood on the risers for our first dress rehearsal, during class on Tuesday, he actually got teary-eyed. He said that at last we looked like a choir. I don't know what he'd thought we'd looked like before. But apparently not a choir.

'Wait!' my mother called. 'We didn't get a picture!'
But my mom didn't have to worry. Because every periodical in America - with the exception maybe of National Geographic, who didn't seem to have sent a representative - got a picture of Luke helping me put the spare helmet on over my flowered hairclip. Of Luke helping me on to the back of the bike without getting any grease on my skirt, and of Luke wrapping that skirt around my legs, so it wouldn't catch in the wheel spokes and strangle or drag me to my death. Of Luke waving as he stepped on the accelerator. Of me grabbing Luke around the waist and holding on for dear life.
And of the two of us zooming down the street, as fast as we could go without breaking the speed limit or, worse, upsetting my parents.

About The Author:

Meg Cabot (born Meggin Patricia Cabot on February 1, 1967 in Bloomington, Indiana, United States) is an American author of romantic and paranormal fiction for teens and adults and used to write under several pen names, but now writes exclusively under her real name, Meg Cabot. She has written and published over fifty books, and is best known for The Princess Diaries, later made by Walt Disney Pictures into two feature films of the same name. Meg's books have been the recipients of numerous awards, including the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age, the American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, the Tennessee Volunteer State TASL Book Award, the Book Sense Pick, the Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adult Choice – as well as many others (see awards section for specific book wins). She has had numerous No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. Cabot has more than fifteen million copies of her books—children's, young adult, and adult—in print worldwide.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TV Show/Drama Review~Princess Hours (Goong)

Title: Princess Hours/Goong
Writer: In Eun-a
Director: Hwang In-roi
Producer: Eight Peaks
Main Cast: Yoon Eun-hye as Shin Chae-kyeong, Ju Ji-hoon as Crown Prince Lee Shin, Kim Jeong-hoon as Prince Yul, Song Ji-hyo as Min Hyo-rin
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Original Run: 11 January 2006 - 30 March 2006
Original Channel: MBC
No. of Episodes: 24
Language: Korean
Synopsis: Spirited art student Shin Chae-Kyung's life turns upside-down when she is told she has been betrothed to her classmate, Lee Shin, who also happens to be the crown prince of South Korea. To save her family from debt, she agrees to the marriage. But complications arise from all sides. The newlyweds can barely stand each other. Shin still pines for former girlfriend and ballerina Min Hyo Rin. Chae-Kyung finds adjusting to palace life difficult. And after years abroad, Lee Yul returns. A past family scandal had displaced him from the line of succession. Now, he is caught between his mother's machinations and his growing feelings towards his cousin's young bride.


My Rating: 1000/10!!! But since that's not possible, 10/10. :P

My Thoughts: *This review may contain some spoilers. Read at your own risk.*

I loved loved loved this drama sssoooo much!!!! It's my new favorite!! <3 The story was amazing. The characters had so much depth. The acting was really good. I loved everything about this drama, except the ending. But we'll come to that later.

Story: I loved the story! It was different from the stories of other Kdramas but similar in some ways too. I wanted to watch something that had the 'royal' theme in it so I'm glad I chose Princess Hours. It had me hooked from the first episode! Though the repetition of Shin going to Hyo Rin, Chae Kyung getting hurt and Yool telling her to leave Shin was getting a bit too much, it still didn't bother me enough that I would love this drama any less. It was funny and made me LOL numerous times. It also had me crying with the characters, getting angry at the characters and falling in love with them. I got very emotionsally invested in this drama and that is how I know it was awesome!

Characters: I liked all the characters in this drama. Each of them had their own stories and their own reasons for doing the stuff that they did. Though I got that they made Chae Kyung out to be a childish girl her acting sometimes got to my nerves. It was annoying sometimes how she acted. I mean she was 19 years old! Ha Ni in Playful Kiss did a better job. She played a similar character but she at least did not come across as someone who had a psychological problem or something. Nonetheless, I love Yoon Eun Hye and she's really pretty. I'll have to watch her in another drama to see if I find her a good actress or not. One thing I really liked about CK is that she wasn't that stupid. She stood up for herself in front of Shin instead of taking the abuse. The best thing about her was that she didn't reciprocate when Yool made a move on her. She was wise enough to keep her distance and I respect her for that. The poor girl was all alone in the palace. A free soul forced into a cage full of rules. Shin was not open and did not share feelings. Neither did he listen to CK's feelings. Yool was the only person she could talk to. The only person who understood her. So I do not blame her one bit for being so close to him. It was obvious that she only saw him as a friend and didn't harbor any romantic feelings towards him.

I had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with Shin. I adored him as a character but sometimes I got frustrated with him and was like 'use your brain dude!'. I felt sorry for the poor guy. He was stuck in that palace with all these strict rules and regulations without any friends. That's why he never learned how to relay his feelings. In the beginning we see Shin as a rebelling teenager but he changed a lot over the course of the drama. Ju Ji Hoon's acting improved a lot too, over the course of the drama. I loved seeing Shin grow from this arrogant, selfish brat to a loving and caring guy. I started out by hating him but then ended up loving him.

Oh Yool <3 My baby Yool <3 I loved him from the moment I saw him sleeping on the couch surrounded by books. A guy who's adorable and loves to read. What could be better? AND he likes the Harry Potter books! AND he's sweet and caring. Yup. I'm a goner.

Now, a lot of people didn't like Yool and said that he was selfish and clingy. I beg to differ. The poor guy had it as hard as Shin did. He lost his dad when he was 5. He and his mother were forced to move out of the palace. Not only that but he witnessed his mother trying to commit suicide at the age of 10. That's serious stuff and leaves a scar, especially on a child's brain. His mother was crazy with revenge and had been telling him since he was 5 that his kingdom was taken from him and he has to get it back. He loved his mother a lot, that's obvious. And he did everything he could to make her happy because she was all he had. That is why, even when he was not interested in the throne, he went along with his mother's plan. Then this girl came along and he fell in love with her. People argue that he didn't love her. He wanted her because he thought she was first his and was taken from him. Well folks, then he should want the throne more, shouldn't he? Why leave the throne for a girl you don't even love? Let me remind you, he was ready to even leave his mother for the girl. If that's not love I don't know what is. Now onto the part about Yool constantly telling Chae Kyung to divorce Shin. That irritated me, I confess. BUT I seriously think he thought he was doing the right thing. He saw how bad Shin treated CK. He saw how much he made her cry. So when he told her to leave him, I think he believed he was saying that to save her. Not to bring any misery on her or Shin or bring any shame on the royal family. As you can see by my long long rant, I loved Yool. And I believed he was right in his actions. When you love someone it's hard to leave them. But he never forced his love on CK. He only wanted to stay by her, even if it was as a friend.

I loved CK's family! They were so funny! And they loved her so much. They were a bunch of really sweet and funny people and they made me laugh out load loads of times. I loved seeing them on-screen!

Yool's mother was the selfish, evil villain of the drama. She wanted her son to be the King and it had nothing to do with her love for her deceased husband. She was really manipulative and clever and I should have hated her. But I didn't. I don't know why though. I have no explanation for her actions except that she was evil. But her transformation in the end was believable. Because she loved her son too. And after that blow she only had to realize what was more important, her son or the throne. She made a wise choice, one she should have made without having to go through all the pain and without making her son go through everything. Oh well, all's well that ends well.

The royal family was... something. They were not very clever, that's for sure. The only smart person in the whole family was Shin's sister. I think they wanted to show that since she had traveled the world she was smarter than the rest who spent most of their time in the castle. That doesn't mean that everyone else was stupid! They just weren't so bright.

I didn't like Shin's father much. He had an affair with Yool's mom. But she was the only one who was punished for it and no one said a thing to him. He was too rude to his son while he liked his lover's son better. That's just wrong. I really liked Shin's mum and I felt sorry for the poor lady. She never got love from her husband. She was made the Crown Princess suddenly and unexpectedly, being forced to take so much responsibility all at once. She could not spend much time with her son. Because of the palace rules she lost herself. So the way she was strict, it was only natural for her. The actress who played her did a splendid job! I loved her acting! Shin's grandmother was the most adorable thing ever! She was just too cute and she made me laugh and smile so much! I loved her a lot!

I really liked all the servants. I loved Shin's 'heaven'. He was somewhat of an assistant or manager. He was really sweet and I really really liked him. I also really liked Lady Choi who was Chae Kyung's teacher and caretaker. The girl who played her did an amazing job! CK's servant girls were really funny! All in all, I really liked the side characters too.

Shin's friends were your typical "F4". Arrogant, mean rich boys. There wasn't really anything special about them, to be honest. The one with the camera was really weird. He seemed... not normal. The one with the glasses was weird too. The only normal one was the one who liked Hyo Rin. I kinda liked him. Chae Kyung's friends were very weird too. They made me feel very uncomfortable. I don't think any 19 year old acts like them... do they? I've seen fan-girls in real life but they were just something else. The only normal one was the one with glasses and pretty, long hair. I liked her.

I really don't know how I feel about Min Hyo Rin. I liked her but then I didn't. I hated that at first she said no when Shin asked her to marry him and then she tried to sabotage his wedding and get him back. I respected her for choosing her dream over him. But the respect when down the drain when she started saying that she wanted Shin back. Girl! Make up your mind! In the end I think I didn't like her very much...

Props, set and costumes: I bet they spent a fortune on this drama! The props they used muse have been expensive but they added a lot to the royal and historical significance of the drama. I watched in the special episode that they created most sets using computers. Well they did a pretty good job! I loved seeing the Korean culture. The real Korean costumes and attire, the ceremonies. Everything was so fun to watch!

I'm so glad that the boys in this drama did not look gay... They didn't wear girly clothes or too much eyeliner. Sometimes I loved CK's outfits and at other times I hated them. For example I loved this outfit:

But I hated this one:

I loved Yool's clothes! But more than that I loved his necklace! He wore the same necklace in every scene throughout the whole drama. I thought that maybe it had some special significance to him that they would reveal later on. But they never said anything. Nevertheless, I loved his necklace and I want it too!

Romance: I loved the romance! It was hot and cute at the same time. I was in favor of Shin & Chae Kyung ending up together. I wanted Yool to be happy but not with CK. I loved the cute and funny scenes between Shin & CK. I liked how he got jealous when CK spent more time with Yool. I loved seeing how Shin's feelings changed towards CK and he ended up falling in love with her. It was all amazing! I liked Yool's and CK's friendship but I didn't want them to end up together. I could see Yool really loved her but I could also see that she considered him nothing more than a friend.

Ending: I was disappointed with the ending. But I knew that the ending would be disappointing. How? Because whenever I watch an amazing drama, the ending HAS to be disappointing. :/ So, the disappointing thing with this ending was that it felt too rushed and didn't pack up quite neatly. You get what I mean? The drama was pretty slow compared to the ending. I didn't understand some things so I had to make up my own assumptions. It was like they said 'oh lets just end it quickly and get it over with!'. I didn't get the Macau part. That rings part was stupid. I think they should have made another episode. To end things nicely. Instead of rushing it all. It felt like they left it in hopes of a second season. Well it's been 7 years since this drama came out, I don't think we're getting a second season (though I would love to!).

Memorable Scenes: There were so many memorable scenes in this drama! Mostly the ones between Shin & CK.

I loved their honeymoon/gone with the wind trip! It was so cute! And that car scene was so adorable!

The bed scenes were so funny!

And then there were the hugs and kisses <3

Wow! That was such a long review! But I loved this drama so much and I had so much to say about it. One thing I've seen, after reading other reviews of this drama, is that you either love it or hate it. Well I loved it and I'd highly recommend it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge~Day 13 (An underappreciated book everyone should read)

Day 13 of Book Blogger Challenge hosted by Good Books & Good Wine.

Describe one underappreciated book EVERYONE should read.

Hmmm... a book that is underappreciated and everyone should read... A book that comes to my mind is His Black Wings by Astrid Yrigollen. I'm sure I have more suggestions but this is the only book I can think of right now. Maybe because I read it recently. I loved the writing and story of His Black Wings. I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book because I was not expecting it to be this amazing! I haven't heard much about it so I'm guessing it's 'underappreciated' and since it's a really awesome book with an amazing story and characters and really good writing I guess everyone should read it. To read my review of the book click here.

Do you know of any underappreciated books that you think everyone should read? I'd love to read your suggestions!

Book Review~Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub Date: September 1st 2009
Format: ebook
Pages: 391
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Adventure, Post Apocalyptic, Action, Fantasy

Synopsis: Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.


Rating: 9/10
Source: Bought

My Thoughts: Well that was fast... I mean it felt like the book went by too fast. Maybe it was because I read it quick. Or that the Games only happened over a couple of days. Though the pages weren't les in number, it was a quick read.

I really liked this one. Better than the first book. I'm still not a big fan of the writing, I think it's OK. Not that amazing but not that bad either. One thing I really liked was the way the author had told little details of the first book. Just enough to refresh your memory. Not too much that the reader would be irritated, nor too little that the reader would be confused.

I love the story! The world the author has created, the characters in it. Even the heartlessness and brutality. It's all so believable! The suspense keeps you guessing what's next. The twists and turns are very interesting  I can say one thing about this book, it will not bore you. You will feel emotions like surprise, anger, happiness and sadness along with the characters. 

The characters, too, are amazing! Katniss is such a strong character. She's smart and independent and even though she has her flaws she has a lot of strengths too which make her a character that you can look up to. Peeta is so sweet! After the first book I was Team Gale but I think after this one I switched to Team Peeta. He's really nice and in the book Haymitch says to Katniss

“You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.”

That just shows how awesome Peeta is! I liked the others characters too. Finnick was funny and reminded me somewhat of Damon. Though the other characters were not discussed in depth, it was very right for this book. And even though President Snow is the villain, somehow I did not feel hatred towards him. I did feel sorry for the people of the districts and I was sad, reading their conditions and how they lived, which are also very true for current world. But I don't think the author did much to make the reader hate the villain... Or maybe that's just me?

All in all, I really liked the book. It was very interesting and the characters and story were amazing! The little romance there was in the book was really sweet, both with Gale & Peeta and I'd highly recommend it if you're in the mood for an adventure book that, in a way, depicts the reality of life and humanity.

About The Author:

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.  While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part fantasy/​war series, The Underland Chronicles.

Her next series, The Hunger Games Trilogy, is an international bestseller.

At present, Suzanne is at work on a picture book with James Proimos.

She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge~Day 12 (Fighting Blogger Fatigue)

I skipped Day 11 yesterday because I didn't really know what my best posts were and I'm currently addicted to this Kdrama (Princess Hours) which I just can't stop watching! But I decided to do the Day 12 post because the drama is buffering right now and Viki buffering is really slow. For those who don't know, this challenge is hosted by April of Good Books and Good Wine.

How do you fight blogger fatigue?

Honestly, I don't blog much...

Guilty as charged...
I only blog when I feel like it because I don't want this to become a chore. I don't want to feel like I have to force myself to blog. I love blogging! It's a hobby. And I don't want it to become a job. Since I only blog when I feel like it, I don't suffer from blogger fatigue. So I don't have to fight it either. :)

What about you? Do you suffer from blogger fatigue? How do you fight it?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review~His Black Wings by Astrid Yrigollen

Title: His Black Wings
Author: Astrid Yrigollen
Publisher: Self-published
Pub Date: November 2012
Format: ebook
Pages: 364
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Synopsis: "Beauty and The Beast" meets "Jane Eyre..."

Claren Maidstone has been forced to flee her childhood home after the death of her parents and a vicious assault from a sadistic young man who intends to marry her. Claren changes her identity and finds employment as an assistant to the handsome Fredrick Lowood, a generous yet mysterious benefactor. However, she soon finds out his generosity comes at a price. Fredrick wishes for Claren to befriend his disfigured son who resides in seclusion at their estate, Westwind.

Fredrick Lowood knows what the history books do not teach, that the Grand Council built this new world of peace and beauty on hidden blood and greed. He has plotted for years to bring down the family that enslaved his own people. Suddenly, he has the last living heir in his grasp.

Etrigan Lowood rejects the world that forces him to hide. He is powerful, plagued with a terrible dark beauty: WINGS. It is these wings that carry him out only at night to watch the unwanted intruder in his home. A creature of refined instinct yet little social grace, he is strangely captivated by Claren but knows nothing of how her family's dark past is intertwined with his own . Through their blossoming friendship, Etrigan realizes he still retains his human heart and yearns for Claren's love.

Kurten Wandsworth is the only son of the Mayor of St.Marhen. Kurten lives his life fueled by cruelty and lust. Whatever he wants he takes and he wants Claren to be his wife even it if kills her. Scarred by Claren he hunts her down mercilessly until he can set a trap which she will never be able to escape from.


Rating: 9/10

Source: A digital copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Astrid for giving me a chance to read and review your awesome book!

Cover Talk: I love the cover! I love how the characters are drawn in anime style because it gives the cover uniqueness. And it is very much like I imagined Claren & Etrigan to be.

My Thoughts: I loved this book!! I loved this book so much!!

But I must warn you, my review is not going to be so... 'professional'. I'm having a blogger's block, plus when I read the book I was so engrossed in it that I didn't take any notes. So this will just be me rambling about how much I loved this book.

I started this book at night and I spent my night and most of my morning finishing more than half of the book. And this is how I looked in the end:

I'm not even kidding! I could have taken a picture of myself and shown it to you all but I would've scared you then. Plus I was just too tired to take a picture.

Anyway, from the first page I was hooked! What first appealed to me was the writing. The writing was amazing! It reminded me a little of Jane Austen's... but maybe that's because the only book I've read set in the time period of balls & gowns is Pride & Prejudice. And, even though this was set some time in the future (or that's what I felt), everyone and everything had gone back to the Victorian era. The writing style was really interesting and there was not a moment during the whole book when I found it boring.

The story was really good! The way the author built up the suspense, told the secrets little by little, kept the reader guessing. It was awesome! And the world she built, it was all really real. Like I could see it happening. She really did a great job with the story!

My second favorite thing in the book were the characters, especially Claren. Claren was a strong and independent girl and I saw myself a lot in her. The way she thought was very much like the way I think. She was smart and witty and I loved reading her thoughts! I loved Fredrick! He was such a nice man! I felt sorry for all he had to go through but he had a nice heart and I liked him a lot! I loved Etrigan! He was the most adorable thing ever! Sometimes I wanted to crawl into the book and give him a big hug! He made my stomach flutter and he was really cute! Kurten was one of those characters you just wanted to kill. He was evil. And I did not feel sorry for him at all. I think the book summarizes him perfectly in these words:

Sometimes people become mean because of horrible experiences. It’s a gradual process that hardens
their hearts and minds and forces them to develop a thick skin. In order to survive they must adapt to their harsh surroundings. They in turn become mean. This was not the case with Kurten. Kurten Wandsworth as the favorite and only child in the household was, from the beginning a spoiled, headstrong, bully.

The side characters were likable too. I loved Horace and Dekker! They were so funny and cute! I really liked Mrs. Whitby too.

The only thing that bothered me was the change between first person and third person. At first it was OK when Claren's part was in first person while the other character's were in third person but in the end, during Claren's part, the author kept switching between first & third person which got kinda confusing. I think it would've been better if the whole book would've been written in third person.

Overall, I loved this book! The romance was really sweet, the story was amazing, the writing was awesome and I'd highly recommend it!

Favorite Quotes:

“The most absurd thing of the whole affair was that we were never engaged. He just started showing up Sunday after Sunday and now expected to marry me. I never went out alone (or chaperoned) with him anywhere, I never even smiled at him. If that is all it takes to be engaged then I could have been married off to a hedgehog if it showed up every Sunday.” 

“Sometimes people become mean because of horrible experiences. It’s a gradual process that hardens their hearts and minds and forces them to develop a thick skin. In order to survive they must adapt to their harsh surroundings. They in turn become mean.” 

“Real love, you cowardly miscreant, is never intimidated, never frightened and is forever.” 

About The Author:

Astrid Yrigollen is a vegetarian hoping to go vegan, residing in Marin County, California with her husband, cats and her Debelius Reef Lobster. She is anxiously awaiting the newest member of their family, a dog. Lover of all things anime, she is naturally learning Japanese, her third language. Astrid is a collector of Volks Super Dollfies and is the founder of California Coast Ball Jointed Doll Convention which she co-chairs with her husband.

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge~Day 10 (Choosing My Next Book)

Today is Day 10 of the Book Blogger Challenge hosted by April at Good Books & Good Wine!

How do you choose what book to read next?

It actually depends on my mood. I don't have a list or anything, but I know which books I own. So if I'm in the mood of a romance, I'd check which ones are romances and then give them all a shot. If it interests me in the first few pages, then I'll read the book. If not, then I'll move onto the next book. I also sometimes search on goodreads lists. I search for the genre I want to read and see what people have rated as best. Then if I own the book, I read that.

What about you? How do you choose which book you're going to read next?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TV Show/Drama Review~Personal Taste

Title: Personal Taste
Writer: Kim Hee Ju
Director: Son Hyung Suk, Noh Jong Chan
Producer: Han Hee
Main Cast: Son Ye Jin as Park Gae In, Lee Min Ho as Jeon Jin Ho, Kim Ji Seok as Han Chang Ryul, Wang Ji Hyw as Kim In Hee
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Original Run: 31 March 2010 - 20 May 2010
Original Channel: MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation)
No. of Episodes: 16
Language: Korean
Links: MDL ~ Wikipedia ~ Amazon 

Synopsis: Jeon Jin Ho is a straight guy who pretends to be gay in order to become Park Kae In's roommate. His hobbies include organization and ironing, and he's known for his stoic poker face. He's a stickler for cleanliness, but he also has a talent for figuring out a women's feelings. Kae In is very trusting even though she has a habit of being betrayed. However that doesn't stop her from giving people the benefit of doubt and Jin Ho is no different. How will Kae In react when she finds out that her gay roommate is not actually gay at all and that he has fallen for her?


My Rating: 9/10

My Thoughts: I loved loved loved this drama!! It's definitely my favorite out of all the ones I've seen! I just... loved it!

Story: The story was really good and kinda different from the other dramas. Sure there were cliches but hey, which drama doesn't have them? And oddly enough, they don't bother me much in dramas. The story was pretty interesting and, despite there being small plot holes, over all it was really good.

Casting: Umm... well, this drama had Lee Min Ho in it. So even if it would've had the worst story line, camera work etc of all time, I would've watched it. For Mr Lee Min Ho. Because I love him. I love him so so much!

BUT, the other cast was really good too! The leading lady, Ms Son Ye Jin, did a great job! She was not afraid to make a fool of herself on-camera and she acted pretty well. Lee Min Ho is one of my favorite Korean actors. Not just because of his looks but also because of his acting skills. He's a great actor! Plus he knows how to kiss, which I think most Korean actors don't. See it for yourself:

Characters: All the characters were great and the actors who played them did a great job! I liked Chang Ryul. I felt sorry for him. I could see that he had good in him but because of his father he turned kinda... bad. He was, in a way, innocent. I felt sorry for Kim In Hee too. She threw away her friendship because she was too selfish and didn't trust anyone. I loved Sang Jun! He was so funny! And I really liked Gae In's best friend's character too. She reminded me a lot of my best friend...

Romance: I loved the romance in this drama! It really felt like Jin Ho & Gae In were in love. You see, usually in Kdramas I just don't feel like the leads are actually in love with each other. But in this drama it really did feel like they loved it each other. The romance was really cute and well developed!

I don't really have much more to say about this drama... I loved it. The story was great. The characters were memorable. The romance was adorable. The underlying themes were well portrayed. So if you are in the mood for a good romantic comedy drama with a hot male lead and a pretty good story, I'd recommend Personal Taste.

I'll leave you with some pictures to fangirl over ;)

Aren't they the cutest couple ever?! 

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