Monday, October 3, 2022

Book Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

 Book: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Genre: literary fiction/mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This was September's book club book. A bunch of the members of book club have been raving about this author and I've never even heard of her. So it was fun to see what all the fuss was about!

In this one we have two sisters, each telling their story, including what life was like growing up with their mom. Most of the story is from the point of view of the sister who seems a bit autistic (Fern.) And then we get journal entries from the other sister, the one who it seems feels a bit of responsibility for the other sister (Rose.) 

Who is the "good" sister is anyone's guess at this point!

Rose is struggling with her husband and feels like having a baby would solve all the problems. But she can't seem to get pregnant. So Fern decides she is going to help her by getting pregnant FOR her. So she sets out to find a guy. And in the process, she actually falls in love with a pretty interesting dude. So things should be easy now, yes? 

But not at all. This is when things get pretty interesting and we start getting the very strong feeling that all is not as it seems. 

Most people say they can figure it out, but I can never do it, so I was pretty hooked until the end trying to figure out what was going on. 

So, yeah. I really enjoyed it! It was quick to get into it and quite easily readable. I'm good to read more by this author should she come up again.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Sunday Post: First Post

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer.

I've seen Jenni Elyse doing this meme for quite awhile now and we were talking about blogging last week and I said maybe I'd give this one a try. I've done my own newsy "Currently" post for several years, but it would be fun to try and connect to with others, so here we go!


I've been all about this song by ONEUS this week/month. It's called Same Scent.


 Here's another one from them from the same album, but a totally different feel. Just them standing and singing and not be too distracting with the dancing, lol! This one is called Gravitation.


Still trying to finish up a kdrama called Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Everyone else has loved this one, but man I am SLOGGING through it! In the meantime we started a reality show called Young Actors Retreat with a bunch of kdrdama stars doing games and interacting and being funny. I'm loving it. 

We watched the movie about the dude who wrote Rent... Jonathan Larson called tick tick BOOM. That was really good and fantastically acted, especially by Andrew Garfield. 

I'm wondering if Survivor should be starting up soon! Isn't it about time? We can't miss that show after watching it for 23 years! WAH!


I read the book club book (The Good Sister) and another for fun kpop love story book. I started J. Scott Savage's latest one in the Lost Wonderland Diaries series.  I acquired two fun romance books at the Rom Con I went to yesterday. More on that later. 


UGH! Thinking about my story ALL THE TIME, but never actually sitting down and finishing it! I need to figure out how to get back in the groove of the voice. That is SO HARD for me!


I did a lot of catching up posts the past couple weeks. Pretty much reviewed my whole summer's reading and watching consumption. I think there's a few more to go still until I'm truly "caught up."


I'm doing a ONEUS (see above) week on the kpop channel this week.  I'm also working on my 25 favorite songs of the month video. 

And I'm pondering starting a booktube/writing/life learning channel. What do you think? Am I crazy? Am I too late to the game? Is the booktube community already too saturated? If I do this then I really need to step up my reading game and get back in the loop. But I do want to do something else on YouTube in addition to the kpopping. I can't stop thinking about which is usually an indication I need to just jump in and don't look back. But I'm scared. Sigh. 


I walked once and did Supernatural once this past week. At this rate, I'm going to never make any goals in this category!! I also made a lot of cookies and treats this week. Baking is one of my biggest life joys and I wish SO BAD it wasn't something that was "bad" to do... 


* We have another kpop event in LA to go to this month. If only all the groups would stop coming! Anyway, this is a huge festival thing and we'll be seeing a ton of groups all at once including the one that starting this whole crazy thing... Super Junior! YES!!

* I spent a week with my daughter and granddaughter this past week. It was fun being a grandma for a bit again! 

* I picked a couple of things in the garden. I think it's all we'll get! Seriously one of the most depressing things in my life!

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Book: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Genre: YA SF

Rating:  ★ ★ 

Awhile back I made a pile of books for a Top Ten Tuesday with the theme of "books I've had for years but never read." That stack has been mocking me ever since. So I grabbed one off the top and read it! So there!

This particular one was interesting to me too because of the scifi theme, since that's the sort of book I'm currently trying to finish up writing myself. So I was kind of hoping that reading this would spur me on to finishing my own story. Ha.

Anyway, I remember this one getting a ton of buzz years ago and I'm assuming many of you have read it, yeah? What did you think? I should look up old reviews!

It's about a girl who decides to go on a mission with her parents, which involves them getting frozen for 300 plus years while the ship travels to the new planet they are going to settle and start civilization there. So the catch is, someone wakes her up WAY too early and now she is part of the crew of the ship that lives and dies there while they make their way to the new planet. 

She makes friends with the dude who is up next to lead this crew and there are so many strange things going on and together they get to (or try to get to) the bottom of it all.  Basically, this crew and this mission in general, is not a happy one. WAH, these people are messed up!

So of course this book is just the start and to finish the story, one must keep going! I have so many books where I've read the first one and then totally forget to keep going, even if I'm intrigued. Sigh. Has anyone read this whole series? Is it worth it? Should I keep going?

Friday, September 16, 2022

Book Review: The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves

 Book: The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves

Genre: NF self help

Rating: ★ 

I randomly ended up getting my hands on this book and was curious about what this dude had to say, so I read it. 

Let me first say I have seen/heard this guy at several conferences for Youtubing and while I can admit he is knowledgable and passionate, I just always get the impression that he struggles with how to actually TEACH his ideas. In these classes, I always get frustrated that he ends up talking about what great things he's done for other creators, but never really gets down to the nitty gritty of HOW he did it, or how things can apply to all creators, or a nice clear list of stuff to do. You know? It's so very frustrating.

Well, and of course, this book is the same way. I gathered a few intersting tidbits, but mostly it's just about experiences he's had in the youtubing world and how great it's all been. I could probably do a page or two of the bottom line tips he gives, whereas this book is like, 200 plus pages. WAH!

Anyway, it was fun to read and see how it's been done for all the popular people. Not much of it can I really use in my own experience and niche.  But some. Yeah, some. 

Youtubing is pretty much the weirdest thing. And all these experts can guess at how it happens, and what to do to make it better. But basically, people are going to click on whatever, and there's not a whole lot you can do to make them do anything different. 

My channel grew really fast and strong for the first couple of years, but then we changed directions a bit and that is a pretty big no no because your audience doesn't change with. It's so very frustrating. So now I'm in a place where I have to decide, do I keep going and try to find the viewers who like what I'm doing? or do I change directions again? Do I start over with something different? or do I just give it all up!

So, yeah, much more than any of you wanted to know about my youtubing struggles, but there you go. I've also been watching a lot of channels that talk about how to get better at this game, and those are interseting too and sometimes even motivating, but mostly, I just keep wondering why I'm even trying. 

It's because I love it I guess!

Anyone else out there reading this trying to do Youtube? Let's talk!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Review: Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book: Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: MG Historical Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This was last month's book club book as part of our Utah Book Month. Does anyone remember when we used to have a whole month celebrating our Utah authors? And a bunch of us bloggers hosted it? Yeah, good times, those. Anyway, we like to give a nod to those memories and still read a Utah author in our book club. It's great!

One of our favorite Utah authors is Jennifer Nielsen. She's pretty awesome, both as an author AND a person. So she often ends up on our lists. There are so many books to choose from. Personally, I'm way behind in keeping up with her. 

She has a line of historical fiction books so we ended up choosing one of those. This one tells the stories of five different kids during WWI, from all their points of view and ends up weaving their stories together in a really interseting way. We have the boy who witnessed the Archduke's asscination, the girl who is trying to become a nurse like her mom, the girl who is the son of German military leader, and the Russian boy fighting on the front lines. I found all their stories to be quite compelling and hopeful.

I mostly had a problem feeling like, could kids really do these things? It was hard for me to imagine. I know others in our book club had issues with how sweetly and neatly everything was wrapped up and how it all worked out so well. Granted, this is for a MG audience, but I do agree that everything seemed a bit too perfect. 

That being said, I still enjoyed reading about all these kids and look forward to trying to catch up with all the other books of hers that I have yet to read! I do wish there were more like The False Prince though. That one still remains my favorite! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Kdrama Review: Dear.M

Drama: Dear.M (on Viki)

Genre: rom com

Starring: Park HyesuJeong JaehyunRoh Jeongeui and Bae Hyunsung, Lee Jinhyuk

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

Everyone was excited about this one because Jaehyun, kpop star in NCT 127, is in it. It got delayed for some reason or another (a scandal with the original co-star or something?) but it finally aired this past summer so I jumped on in and watched it while it was airing! 

It's a cute college drama about a group of friends and roommates who are intrigued by a mysterious letter that's posted on the campus forum talking about how this person is in love with someone. They are all trying to figure out who it is and end up assuming it's one of them. 

We have all the fun different romances in this one. Our main couple have been best friends forever, but the dude is suddenly realizing he likes the girl more than just a friend. Meanwhile, she is intrigued by some hot new guy in school. Another couple has been together forever (they are the campus couple) but they start having struggles when another girl comes in on the scene and obnoxiously causes problems trying to creating a rift between them so she can steal the dude. Not cool. 

And then we have the quirky comic relief roommates... our lovely dude (one of my favorite kpop guys and in fact the one dude I've met in real life and had taken a picture with!) who has OCD about cleanliness and a girl who has diabetes to deal with, but a fun and crazy personality that you'd THINK would clash with the OCD dude. LOL!

Anyway. It's all of their stories with the bottom line mystery of whoever wrote the letter. It was your basic fun romcom with all the expected angst. I totally enjoyed it. I know some other kdrama fans found it annoying. But I found it all worth it to watch both these kpop boys doing their acting! 

There's one moment when someone is trying to get Jaehyun's character to sing a song and he is all "I don't do ballads." I died, because this dude and ballads in real life are perfection. Seriously.  

But yeah. This one is simple basic fun!

A trailer highlighting our lead couple:


 A trailer highlighting my boy the OCD dude:


 And a song from the drama with Jaehyun and his co-star actually doing the singing. This is him "not singing ballads" lol!


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Kdrama Review: Sh**ting Stars

Drama: Sh**ting Stars (on Viki)

Genre: romcom

Starring: Lee Sung Kyung, Kim Young Dae

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This is another one of those dramas that I at first dismissed just from the title and that it sounded silly. But of course, we all know, that is not usually how it really is!

What a cute fun romcom this one is! 

The story follows the antics of a company that hires celebrities, mostly for dramas. Our girl is the PR person and solves all the crazy messes that the celebrities get themselves into. Our guy is their top star. He's HUGE in the kdrama world. And she thinks he is just awful. Except when he's not. He is intrigued by her and admits pretty fast into the drama that he wants to be with her. They have a back story (not a tragic one as is the case a lot, they just knew each other at college) and so there is a  lot of banter... SO MUCH AWESOME banter!

Anyway. The situations are all funny and our couple is very fun and crazy and cute and lots of heart pitter pattering. It's great. And all the side characters have great stories too. 

And in case you are wondering the ** in the title can stand for either two O's or an I and a T. LOL! 

As for the leads, I was familiar with the girl (she's in Weightlifting Fairy) but the guy was new to me. And of course, he was amazing. And then one of the side characters suddenly turned out to be another favorite kpop dude, Seunghyub from N.Flying. That was a fun surprise!

Here's trailer to give a feel of what it's like:

And a song of course!

And now, I just kind of want to watch it all over again!


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