Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2020 in Kpop

 I'm working on a bunch of different year-end videos to show how we've survived this year thanks to kpop. Here's the first one which is fast clips of a bunch of favorite moments from music videos from this year. Check it out! Maybe there's a moment you'll love too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

 Book: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Magic realism

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

As with all magic realism books, sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around what's going on, because it can all be very confusing. This book is no exception to this, but the thing is.. I didn't care! Because everything is just so beautiful and poetic and romantic and... just... cool. Pretty sure I'm not going to be able to find words to describe this one!

We have our guy Zachary, who is a book nerd type minding his own business at college, when one day he finds a book in the library. The first weird thing happens when he tries to check it out and they have no record of the book, so that's weird. But they let him take it and then the second weird thing happens when he's reading and he realizes he is in the book. It talks about a time when he was a kid and he saw a door painted on the side of a wall, and he didn't take hold of the knob and open it. 

And then the story ends with the words "not yet." 

And that "not yet" haunts him and he becomes obsessed trying to figure out where this book came from and why he is in the story. If he needs to find and open that door. This leads him to attend a literary costume party where he meets a girl dressed up like Max from Where the Wild Things Are... and he meets a dude who tells him a story in the dark... and afterwards he is entrusted to the task of trying to reclaim yet another book for this dude... and then he finds himself totally mixed up in a fantastical magical world that all takes place deep deep in the Earth.

Which is where the Starless Sea can be found of course.

And it's down there in this world that he discovers all sorts of interesting and crazy stories, and stories within stories, and layers upon layers. It's really quite a beautiful word, full of books, and cats, and food, and art and very romantic beautiful people. 

I'm still not sure if there was supposed to be a point to this book. If all these things were a symbolism for something. If so, it went over my head, but like I didn't matter. I totally enjoyed this journey.

I will add that the structure of the book is fun. There are five or six parts, each one features a different book that Zachary happens upon, so we get that book's story, told in between Zachary's story. And in the end we see how they all come together. Very fun.

I think if you are a fan of her previous book, The Night Circus, you really must read this one too. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Kdrama Review: Kiss Goblin

 Drama: Kiss Goblin

Genre: Fantasy romance

Starring: Bae In Hyuk, Jeon Hye Won

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I saw someone recommend this one and it looked fun and fast, so I watched it in just a couple of sittings. It's 12 episodes, only 10 to 15 minutes each, which means this is more like watching a movie than a drama. I watched it on Viki, but pretty sure it's on Youtube too. 

It's about a dude who is a goblin and he wants to be human. In order to do this, he has to kiss 10 people at which point, he will gain a new emotion that he must learn and process. After he passes the test, he can become human.

Our girl is sick of people. She works at a cafe and everyone is rude and obnoxious. And she has just suffered a not so nice breakup. And she is just done. And says over and over again that she hates people. 

Their stories come together when she happens to be nearby after he kisses someone. Suddenly an exorcist appears whose job it is to kill off the goblins and protect the humans. When she gets in the way of this and they realize he can't hurt her, she decides she wants to protect this dude who she is suddenly attracted to and feels very protective of. 

And so it goes from there! 

Very cute and fun. Lots of kissing of course. And an impressive quick attachment to characters in such a short time. Just what I love. And it's especially fun to watch the goblin character go from very emotionless to experiencing all the emotions. 

Here's the fun scene when they realize she can protect him:

And here's the song with clips! 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Book Review: Layoverland by Gabby Noone

 Book: Layoverland by Gabby Noone

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating:  ★ ★ 

This one has the fun premise that what happens if you die, and end up in a layover situation where you have to solve some of your issues before you can go on to... wherever you've been assigned... heaven or hell. 

Our girl has this very thing happen to her! She is killed in a car accident in the opening pages of the book, and ends up in what appears to be a very run down, drab, slow, monotonous airport/hotel place. She quickly learns this is Layoverland, and she has been assigned the job to help people go through their memories to figure why they are stuck in in Layoverland. She gets trained by a fun crazy girl (who died in the 80s) who is excited to be finally done with her quota so she can move on. Now it's our girl's turn to get her quota accomplished.

It's very fun and witty for the most part, but in other parts it flipped to be a bit on the agenda-y side. At the moment, I can't even remember what those bits were, but I do remember being pulled out of the story a little. You know what I mean, yes?

But I did enjoy the funny moments and the quirkiness of the characters and the idea of trying to figure out what bugged you in your life so you can deal with it and move on. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Reading Recap October 2020


Hiking with family at Zions for a fun fall getaway.

It wasn't a bad reading month this time around! Whatdaya know!

Here's my list:

Key to My Heart (An Idol in Love Book 4) by Trish Milburn: Yet another dude from SBG finds a girl and falls in love! 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: There's a world under London that is crazy! 

Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Lynne Jensen: Our girl moves to a small town in the mountains and falls in love with an injured fire fighter.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon: Our main characters are trying to deal with being Korean American and all the baggage that comes with that. 

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater: A first in a series featuring the Lynch brothers that we got to know in the Raven Boys series. 

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: A nasty Twitter war happens between a famous burger chain and a local sandwich deli... and our main characters are the ones behind the tweets!  

Favorites: Tweet Cute

Goals for November:

  • Read The Starless Sea for book club
  • keep working on Beehive long list books
  • do some more ARC that need reviewing

I don't think my November will look as good as my October!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Book: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

So yeah, this is totally my kind of book. I really really enjoyed it, everything about it. 

A quick summary: We've got our girl whose family runs a very popular famous burger store... and our guy whose family runs a tiny local deli. When the burger people tweet that they are doing a new grilled cheese sandwich, the deli store gets upset because it appears to be a recipe someone stole from them!

And so a twitter war ensues. And our guy and our girl are the ones doing the tweets. But they don't know that each of them are... until they do of course.

Meanwhile, they are getting to know each other at school and they are intrigued. Our girl has always thought the guy was just a doofus goof off, but she is starting to learn otherwise. Our guy has thought the girl was just a "robot" going through all the motions and blending in way too well for a new girl... but he is starting to learn otherwise.

Yeah, it's one of THOSE kinds of stories! 

Scattered throughout are awesome descriptions of crazy baking things our girl comes up with... because she also runs a baking blog with her sister. And wow, but I wanted recipes to be included! Even though there is no way I could ever eat this stuff and stay on my dumb diet! 

So yeah...there's lots of underlying craziness and interesting twists to go along with this basic story. And I loved it. The banter, the social media aspects, the food... everything. So much fun.

And relatively clean too. Sheesh, I feel like YA books these days think they need ALL THE THINGS to make it... I don't know... competitive? Edgy? Relevant? Whatever. This one didn't need it and I especially loved that about it. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Kdrama Review: Twenty Twenty

Drama: Twenty Twenty (link to first ep on YouTube if you're interested!)

Genre: coming of age web drama

Starring: Kim Wooseok, Han Sungmin, Kang Yuchan, Park Sangnam, Jin Hoeun, Chae Wonbin

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So, I watched this for my two idol boys of course, Wooseok and Yuchan. Wooseok plays the main lead, with kissing scenes and everything! GASP! I wasn't sure what to expect of his acting (this is a dude who I've actually met in real life and have a certain preconceived notion as to what his personality is like... which is quite reserved and shy) but he was awesome in this!

The story is about a bunch of college kids (first year in college I think?) and they are trying to navigate the waters of growing up... of separating from their parents and becoming their own persons. Our dude is very emo (and yes this fits Wooseok totally!) and he is bugged at his parents for deceiving him when he was younger about their relationship. He trusts them not at all... and he's moved out and living on his own and trying to make a push for getting started in the music business. (LOL) 

 Woosoek (from UP10TION) plays the main lead Lee Hyunjin

He's friends with a couple of other guys, his sidekicks. Chan plays one of these guys and can I just say... I was BLOWN AWAY by this kid's acting! Who knew he was so good? He's absolutely hilarious! He has the comic timing down perfectly. He was pure joy to watch. 

                                        Yuchan (aka. Chan from A.C.E) plays the funny sidekick friend.

Our girl is living with her mom who is EXTREMELY controlling and all she wants to do is to be able to like... go out with friends now and then. But then when she meets our guy, she wants to like, hang out with him just a bit. You know? Not too much to ask.

Anyway, they do manage to get together, which really makes another dude who has hung out with our girl forever, really jealous.... and he thinks they are thing, when she only thinks of him as a friend. He was so nice at first, and then a demon comes out. Sad!

And so it goes. Just a normal coming of age everyday story about college kids. There are a ton of cameos by other familiar faces (the best is when Chan's band member Jun shows up as a snooty brainiac...the best!) 

I watched this on one YouTube... there are 20, twenty minute episodes, so it goes really fast. There's some language thrown in here and there (and yes I've finally figured out THAT word in Korean, so I know when they are actually saying it and when they aren't, because you can't trust subtitles... and yes, I think they actually say it here and there... CHAN... WHAT??? Sigh....)

Anyway, I quite enjoyed it. There's a great song performance at the end of course. And I loved seeing these two guys together. So fun.

Here's a little trailer:

And the OST (soundtrack) song done by another favorite group: Pentagon

And here's Chan singing (he's the blond... and this was years ago when he was still a baby!) He is crazy good.

And here's Wooseok's solo video from awhile back....also crazy good.

Yeah. A couple favorite kpop boys right there. So I had to support them in their drama project! I can't wait for more from both of them!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

TV Review: Down to Earth with Zac Efron

 Show: Down To Earth

Genre: Travel, Health, Food

Starring: Zac Efron, Darin Olien

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I kept seeing this one show up Netflix recommended and finally my husband and I decided to watch it together. And it was really fun!

Zac pairs up with a podcast friend of his (Darin) and they go around to different parts of the world looking for fun and and cool things people are doing to be health and environmentally aware. We learn about apples and water and how to live longer and other such things.

It's a mix of health stuff (we learn that the people in Italy are healthy by... gasp.... EATING CARBS!) and food stuff (we go to tons of quaint restaurants and make pasta and eat weird things... and milk goats as you can see above) and we travel to places like Paris, Italy, in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Puerto Rico, Iceland and etc. 

It's all very fun and interesting and eye opening and informing. Zac is quite fun... and dare I say it... down to earth. For being such a huge star, he seems really quite grounded. I've always been a fan of his, I have no idea why... and so it was fun seeing him in this sort of setting. 

There's just like 8 episodes I think, all about 45 min long.. so it was a pretty fast endeavor. We are glad we finally hit the button and watched!

(It's been awhile since we've watched something together and this made us appreciate that again. Since we've finished this one, we've started in on The Great British Baking Show, which we've seen so many rave about. And now I'm looking for other fun shoes we can watch together.)

Here's a trailer to peak your interest!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA urban fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★

I knew nothing about this book and just jumped in and started reading. It was weird because these characters seemed so familiar! And I was like...what is this?? It took me TWO chapters to figure out that this was in fact a companion series to one of my favorites from the past... The Raven Boys! Who knew!

(Yeah, I'm a bit out of the book loop these days, but I'll come around!)

Anyway, once I figured it out, everything suddenly made more sense!

So in this book we are with the Lynch brothers.. starring Ronan, who, as we remember has dreams that are a bit crazy in that when he wakes up he sometimes brings his dream things back with him. Which is sometimes cool and sometimes not so great. 

We meet another dreamer in this story, Jordan, who has the problem that she dreams up a copy of herself every time she dreams. So she is basically dying because she refuses to sleep. Meanwhile she lives with all her clones forging paintings for a living. And since the Lynch brothers are trying to track down one of their father's paintings, eventually these two stories converge. 

And we also meet another character who is part of an organization that is out to save the world by killing all the dreamers. And they are doing that will the help of people who are visionaries and can track down the dreamers. She is conflicted and thinks that maybe there is a better way. This part of the story is kinda heart wrenching to say the least. 

This is one of these books were it was both fascinating and confusing at the same time. I really love this author's writing style, but it does sometimes leave me going... wait what? I don't get it! You know what I mean? 

The things that happen are so crazy! It's all very imaginative (like how do people come up with these things?) and I appreciate that, but also sometimes I'm like...yeah... wait what? 

So... yeah... it's a confusing review. I really enjoyed it, and loved being with these characters again, but I had to make myself read it and get through it. And dang it if it didn't end on a crazy cliff hanger and now I will have to decide do I read the next one?? AHH!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails