Friday, July 24, 2020

Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Book: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Genre: Literary fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★

The book club is in love with this author! My feelings are somewhat neutral. I mean I enjoy her books, but I don't devour them like some do. Not sure why, but there it is!

This latest read was probably my least favorite of the ones I've by her (which are Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot.) And again, I'm not sure why. Just didn't grab me fully I suppose.

It's about three couples all dealing with life and especially some incident that happened at an impromptu BBQ they all attended two months before the book actually takes place. The incident drives the story, and we bounce from the current day, to the "day of the BBQ." We are strung along forever it seems, dying to know what actually happened and trying to guess the whole way what it is. I didn't guess it. And when all was revealed, I was a little surprised by what caused all the stress.

I won't reveal this incident in case you want read this book, but it did hit home for me since a very similar incident happened in my own family just last year. So given that, it was a bit painful to read, but I'm happy everything.... spoiler.... ended okay. Otherwise I may have felt very different.

Anyway, the characters are all really well written and so true to life. This is the biggest strength of this author I think, such realistic characters. But that being said, I really didn't like any of them! And as you know, not liking the characters goes a long way to how you end up enjoying the book I think! I just see that they all have pretty awesome lives, and yet they complain like crazy! Maybe it means I should take a look at my own awesome life and stop complain, right?

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Kdrama Review: Reply 1988

Drama: Reply 1988 (this link for Netflix watching, though I watched it on Viki since their subtitles are so much better and correct.)
Genre: melodrama
Starring: Park Bo Gum, Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

It only took me two months! But I'm finally done with this drama and with that, also done with the whole Reply series... a goal since lock down began back in March! WHEW!

This last one centers on five families living on the same street in the middle of Seoul. Several of the kids (4 boys and a girl... of course) are the same age and have grown up together all these years. We join them in 1988 when they are about to enter their senior year in high school.

It's so fun remembering how life was back then. Also seeing how similar (and different too) life was in Seoul compared to here, since I totally remember 1988. (Doesn't seem that long ago really.)

Anyway, these families are all best friends. The parents AND the kids. The drama has no plot, only we the viewers experiencing life with them. School stress, work stress, health stress, romantic stress and etc. It's all total character based, and I love it. So much. As with the other Reply dramas, these characters have become part of my life and it's going to be weird to let them go and move on!

So it's mainly the relationships between friends, siblings, spouses, kids with their parents and etc. I related to so much of it.

There isn't a whole lot of romance in this one... but of course, two of the boys fall in love with the girl, and she is actually pretty clueless. They hold this secret in their heart for years until the both of them start understanding that each other have feelings. And the both of them are so sweet and nice that their tendency is to give up and let the other guy win.. .until their feelings for the girl override that and they want to fight for her. Gah. It's so painful! And yet, they remain friends throughout the whole thing. Of course I am always rooting for the boy who DOESN'T win in the end. Sigh. Always.

One of my favorite parts about this drama was the massive amount of music they used. All the old songs, both Korean and Western, from this era. I loved it so much! There are lots of playlists on Spotify that claim to have found and gathered all these songs, so I found one to follow and listen to now whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. So good.

Let's see if I can find a little trailer: (Nope I can't find a good one... but there's a song from it that highlights the relationship between these friends.)

But this one is my favorite song of the lot.. and these clips show more stuff, like the importance of music, food and family:

Seriously though. All these dramas in this Reply series have been so heart warming and full of life and perfect to watch during this hard time. I've really enjoyed this experience.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Reading Recap June 2020

Family selfie (partial family) in June

I'm still not believing it's July, and now July is actually nearly half over. What the heck.

I did not too bad reading-wise in June! Here's my list!

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell: A fun graphic novel about the last night these two friends spend working at the pumpkin patch/corn maze

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist: What if you fall in love when you are blind, and then get your sight back and you see what your love looks like?

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: What if you kill your knee in an accident can no longer be the sporty jock you are used to being? What's next?

Station Eleven by Emily Mandel: Twenty years after a pandemic kills nearly everyone, how are the survivors doing?

Make My Heart Sing by Trish Milburn: Our tall shy Wook falls in love!

Favorites: Station Eleven was really good. And I also totally enjoyed Love and First Sight. Trish's second kpop romance book also made me happy. :)

Goals for July:

  • read this month's book club pick: Truly Madly Guilty
  • keep going on the idol in love books
  • I was approached by a brand new author to read her kpop romance book too, so that's on the list!
  • finish The Toll and see how this scythe series wraps up
Man I better get busy since the month is almost over! 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Book Review: Rhythm of Love (An Idol in Love 3) by Trish Milburn

Book: Rhythm of Love (An Idol in Love 3) by Trish Milburn
Genre: kpop romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★

This whole series starts in book 1 when a biographer comes to live with the group and write their story. That's all because this particular member of the group, Remi, read her previous books and thought she would be perfect for the job. So everything is thanks to him! When she finishes the book, she has him write an introduction blurb. So when the book actually comes out, she invites to tag along to the signings.

Which is all to say this book opens at one of their signings and all the chaos that ensues because Remi, famous idol, is part of the event! Poor Remi. And the poor manager of the book store who has to deal with it all. She is not a really a fan of kpop and just thinks all the hubbub is crazy. But she thinks this particular dude is pretty nice, for an idol. And he thinks this manager is pretty cute and also oddly strong for such tiny little thing.

He is intrigued. She is intrigued. And from there, they suddenly seem to end up in the same place at the same time a lot. But ah, Remi doesn't want to just follow in the shoes of his two buddies who have already fallen in love. So what's he to do?


It's about now that this group is seeing a pattern. And they have decided to embrace whatever is happening in their lives and make songs and an album featuring finding love. And try to send a message to their fans that this is normal for dudes in their mid-twenties, and that it's okay for them to fall in love. And fans can still be fans, even if their idols are in love with a real life person.

Good luck with that boys! It will be fun to see how this goes down! (And I love that Trish is addressing this real life problem in the kpop fandom.)

So, after having my thoughts last book confirmed regarding who I pictured in the starring role, I tried to think who I would picture as Remi. There are several bookish kpop boys, but the one that came to mind is Jinyoung from Got7. I have yet to confirm with Trish if I was right or not this time around. But even so, this is who I envisioned as Remi!

I have yet to figure out who I would picture as Hajoon from the first book. A cool rapper that much is certain. I'm still pondering...

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Book Review: Make My Heart Sing (An Idol in Love 2) by Trish Milburn

Book: Make My Heart Sing (An Idol in Love 2) by Trish Milburn
Genre: kpop romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

As mentioned in the review for the first book, this is a series where each book will feature a different member of this fictional kpop boy group and how that member finds love. Such a fun premise! So in this book 2, we get to know Wook better... described as quiet and shy, tall and lanky, with a killer sweet voice. Just that description put a real life idol instantly into my head. But more on that later.

In the first book a character was briefly introduced, the girl who works at the cafe in the building where the group lives. So I knew she would be featured in later books, and so it was fun that she is the main character right away in this next book! She has her eye on Wook, but she is afraid to show any fangirl-ness because... how embarrassing! Also her boss is very much against it. So when Wook comes to the cafe, she has to act very nonchalant, even though she is freaking out inside. I love this conflict.

But at the same time, Wook has his eye on her. And he loves how she makes him feel like a normal guy.

So of course, somehow they manage to get together. And then have to fight those feelings because they both are afraid of ruining each other's lives, especially seeing how it went down with the romance from the first book.

But they then fight through THOSE feelings and figure out how to make it work. This particular story line features getting away to a lovely home in the country, a setting which I absolutely loved. And now when I go to Korea next time, I need to find an airbnb in the country in a traditional Korean house. Add that to the list!

Anyway, after finishing this book, I tweeted that I'm pretty sure Wook would be my bias if this group were a real group. Trish saw this tweet and asked me if I could guess which real life idol inspired this character, so I told her my guess...and I was right! No wonder I felt like this character would be my bias!

So let me introduce you to Leo (from VIXX), one of my all time favorite kpop boys:

And Leo singing:

So if you ever happen to read this book, you can totally picture Leo as Wook and will be pretty much spot on!


Related Posts with Thumbnails