Thursday, February 11, 2021

Movie Review: Space Sweepers

Movie: Space Sweepers

Genre: science fiction

Starring: Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Ri, Richard Armitage, Seon Kyu Jin

Rating: Two thumbs up


When I learned that two of my worlds were colliding in this movie, I knew I needed to give it a try. Yes, a favorite British actor and a favorite Korean actor...together... in one movie! Also... space! I haven't seen a good fun space adventure for a long time it seems. 

Anyway, it lived up to fun space adventure-ness!

It's about a ragtag group of misfits who are space "sweepers"... with the job of cleaning up junk floating around in space. Also, Earth is dying and a dude has created a utopian-like society in space that is quite exclusive, which many people don't agree with. 

And then there's this girl who somehow gets lost and everyone thinks she is dangerous because of some special powers she has. Our little group of crazy people find her and they are so excited to claim the huge reward for doing so. But then they learn that the plan is to destroy her. So they have to rethink everything.

It's very fun with all these crazy people interacting with a kid.. .and to see that bond happen. And the whole theme of Earth dying and what's the best thing humanity can do about it. And what are solutions that will work. 


Our hero and the kid he rescues.

I enjoyed the acting, and the music and the crazy very unrealistic space fights! And all the characters of course. It was very fun to see my two actors interact with each other, though that scene was very brief in the end. 

The movie is mostly Korean, but there is also lots of English too, and many moments with French and Spanish and Russian ( I think) and even a language I didn't know... maybe something made up? I don't know, but yeah. Lots of languages used, so I loved that. 

Anyway, despite many familiar space movie tropes, it was quite a fun diversion for the night, this movie!

Here's a trailer:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book Review: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Book: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Genre: romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


I've watched a kdrama with a similar premise so I was interested to see how this book would handle this funny situation! And it was just as delightful as expected. 

We have our girl who needs an apartment, and especially needs to get to away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. And we have our guy who needs to earn some extra cash. So since he works nights as a nurse, he figures why not have someone come and sleep at his place at nights and work in the day while he is there sleeping. Makes perfect sense, eh?

And so they come together, and for months all works as planned, and they communicate leaving cute post it notes around for each other. But never actually meet, until one day. 

It's very fun and full of lots of British-isms which I loved. We flipped between the POVs of both of these characters and it was fun to see the differences between and yet how they worked so well together. 

So yeah. Fun!!


Monday, February 8, 2021

Kdrama Review: True Beauty

 Drama: True Beauty

Genre: Romantic comedy

Starring: Chan Eunwoo, Moon Ga Young, Hwang In Yeop, Park Yoo Na

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


I guess this one is based a very popular webtoon that I have not read, but that a ton of people have. It's about a girl who is "ugly" (basically she has bad facial skin) and is bullied by the students at her school. When her family moves and she is transferred to a new school, she gets a chance to change. She becomes an expert and make up and no goes to school looking fabulous. She instantly popular.

But there's a guy who hangs out at the local comic store and they have a run in there. So he knows her true face. When she realizes he is in her class, she is mortified and tries all she can do to make sure he doesn't figure out who she really is. But he has already figured it out! And does he care? NO! He likes her despite her face... whether it's made up and beautiful... or bare and "ugly."

And so they fall in love, but she is determined to make sure the other kids never find out her secret.

Ugly...????

Beautiful


Meanwhile, another beautiful dude (because the first dude is extremely beautiful too... and the smartest kid in the class besides!) appears. And he is the cool dude... the "bad" boy if you will... and something about our girl calls to him, and he also falls for her. Her beautiful face. What will happen when he finds out about her true face? Hmmm....

Well, and so... much happens. There is A LOT in this drama about bullying. It's upsetting to watch at times. But mostly this is a lighthearted one with so many laugh out loud moments. So many. And as usual played brilliantly by all the leads. And rips your heart out with the second male lead syndrome for sure. 


The relationship between these two is what made me tear up the most.

I'm very familiar with our lead dude... Cha Eunwoo... seeing him in other dramas and on the stage with his group Astro... but I'd never heard of our second lead dude and he blew me away as he did everyone else watching this drama! I may have seen him some very secondary roles, but I don't remember him at all. But he is awesome. And is now on my list to watch whatever else he does!


Hwang In Yeop... beautiful.


Anyway, a very heartwarming drama with great messages about how we treat each other and deal with hard things. Watch it!

Here's a trailer and a song:

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Book Review: The Elephant's Girl by Celesta Rimington

 

Book: The Elephant's Girl by Celesta Rimington

Genre: MG 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Our girl was lost from her family during a tornado, saved by an elephant and adopted by the zoo. What a premise, yes? This happened when she was about 5 and now she is 12. She still hasn't found her family and the zoo train engineer has taken care of her all this time. She lives in the zoo with him and is friends with a boy that also lives in the zoo. She has lots of plans for this summer, but everything ends up going a little crazy and not according to plan.

That's because she finally gets to visit the elephants and it turns out that the elephant that saved her can actually sort of talk to her. And this elephant tells her to go check out a spot in the woods next to the zoo. And when she does, she unearths quite the secret! And maybe even a clue to her past!

This book gave me "we bought a zoo" vibes and that's one of my all time favorite movies so... cool! We also get lots of parallels to the book "Island of the Blue Dolphins" which our character has just had to read for school. And that is also cool. 

So yeah, I really enjoyed and became totally immersed in the mystery that our girl needed to solve. What a sweet, lovely story!



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

January 2021 Reading Recap

 Here are the books I read this month! Off to a... great?... okay?.... start!

From our trip to the Oregon coast last week.


Texas Cowboy, Be Mine by Trish Milburn: A fun and simple cowboy romance.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal: A Pride and Prejudice-like story with magic.

The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Krauss: What happens when a boy in a 1800's conservative community decides he wants something different.

American Royals by Katharine McGee: What if America had royalty?


Favorites: American Royals... except for the ending. Shades of Milk and Honey was mostly fun too. 

Plans for February:

  • read The Flatshare for book club
  • start reading the pile of MG books that have been sent to me for the MLA award
  • catch up on some books I started but have yet to finish
How did your 2021 get started? Are we all hanging in there?


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Book Review: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Book: American Royals by Katharine McGee

Genre: YA romance and speculative-ish

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

In enjoyed the reading of this book, but I must say I was quite disappointed by the ending.. or lack thereof. Sigh.

It follows the points of view of four girls who are living in the high society of the American royalty... yes... in this world George Washington decided he would like to be a king and not a president... and so we have kings and queens here, just like in England and other places. And this the story of his descendants who are now part of that.

The four girls are :

Beatrice: She is the oldest of three kids and is up next for the crown. Normally the crown goes to the oldest son, so she is the first time the new law is in effect, and she will become Queen when her father dies. And he would like her to find a husband before that happens, which might be sooner than we think. So there is a ball held with eligible guys for her to choose from... but that's all a bummer for her because she is actually in love with her bodyguard.

Samantha: She is Beatrice's younger sister... and twin to the prince... Jefferson. She is the "spare" princess and she resents that and acts out in all  manner of rebellious ways. Too bad she falls for... at first sight... the dude that Beatrice chooses from the above mentioned ball. Beatrice gets EVERYTHING! Sigh...

Nina: Her mom works for the palace, and so she has grown up being best friends with the royal kids...Samantha's best friend particularly. And over the years, she has realized she has fallen for Jefferson. The prince. But he's been paired with some other girl... and in fact he has been dating her... but just as the story opens.. .they break up leaving him available for Nina.

Daphne: She is the "some other girl" who is out to get Jefferson... even though they have just broken up, she will do anything to win him over. She is perfect for him! Even though she is most annoyingly attracted to his best friend Ethan. The struggle!

So basically we get four different romances going on, and bunch of complications. And I really got invested in all of them... except Daphne who is a really unlikable character, but that's expected. I just wanted her to go away! 

Anyway, yeah. Invested. But:

SPOILER

.

.

.

.

.

.

sadly there is no resolution in this book. No happy ever after at all for anyone. It made me a little crazy. And I'm not sure these get resolved in the second book either. But I guess I might have to find out. Anyway, I really expect at least someone's story to be okay after all that! 

Still, despite all that, I enjoyed this one! It was fun to see America in the same way England is, all crazy about their royalty. Fun premise for sure!

 



Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Review: The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Kraus

 Book: The Blue Jeans Rebellion by Joanna H. Kraus

Genre: Early reader chapter book, historical fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Really cute story based on a true incident that happened in early Utah days. We meet a cute 11 year old boy who is sick of the pants he is made to wear every day. Homemade woolen pants. When he sees blue jeans for the first time, he wants a pair and he does something not quite okay to get money to buy some. 

Then all the boys want some, so when this kid gets in trouble, they all come together to figure out a way to make it possible that they can all get jeans!

Cute and fun with lessons learned without being too in your face. It was a fast little read, took me 20 minutes or so to get through it. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

December 2020 Reading Recap

 

A fun Christmas present I received. Now I'm on the lookout for quotes to stick on it!


Books Read in December:

Thorn by Intisar Khanani: An interesting spin on the goose girl fairy tale.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: An account of the live and times of the band Daisy Jones and The Six, which is NOT a real band!

Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb: Paul learns to deal with some of the craziness of life thanks to his friends Big and Small.

Half Life by Lillian Clark: What happens if you end up with a clone of yourself?


Favorites of the month: I guess I would say Daisy Jones.

Goals for January (lol now that January is nearly done!)

  • read the book club book, Shades of Milk and Honey... DONE
  • read a for fun book from Christmas... DONE
  • start in reading middle grade books for AML award... STARTED
  • try to read a couple more books for the Beehive long list... FAILED (still working on some, but the deadline is over.) 
Goals for 2021:
  • I set my Goodreads goal to be the same as last year... 45. I failed... barely... in 2020 with 42 books. So I know I can do it. LOL. (Remember the days of 90 and 100 book goals!)
  • As is the new norm for me.... JUST KEEP READING! (Kdramas are a FIERCE competition for reading time. It's an ongoing real struggle around here!)
  • I have a ton of middle grade books to read, some ARCs from Shadow Mountain to catch up on, some kpop books by Trish to catch up on, a ton of books I've bought that need reading... and etc. I'm still at the point of saying... I will never run out of something to read!
I hope you all had a fabulous reading month and year!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Top Ten Favorite Kdramas from 2020

 



As is usual, I watched a mix of dramas that aired this year, and dramas from past years, because there is ALWAYS something to try and catch up on...even though "catching up" with kdramas is basically an impossible endeavor. Unless of course you are one of those people can manage to watch 100s of dramas per year, which I am not one. 

Anyway, here's my shake down on the dramas this past year.

Total dramas watched:  20

Aired in 2020: 10
Aired previous to 2020: 10 (1 of them a re-watch)

Five hearts: 9
Four hearts: 6
Three hearts: 5

New-to-me favorite actors that I discovered:
Kim Jung Hyung

Kim Jung Hyun
Seo Kang Joon
Lee Jae Wook
Ha Seok Jin
Kim Myungsoo
Kim Bum
Lee Tae Ri
Ryu Jun Yeol

Favorite dramas from 2020
(with blurbs and links to my reviews)

Crash Landing On You  

It's premise is one I've not seen before an any kdrama... which is basically a romance between a South Korean famous/rich lady, and a North Korean soldier. Because, one day, she goes out paragliding, and a storm comes along and blows her off course and she crashes into a tree and gets all tangled up there. Our guy, going on his patrols, happens upon her and gets her down.

Well. Now he has a dilemma. Does he turn her in? or let her go? He decides to let her go of course, and tries to direct her the way to go, on foot, to get back across the line, but she doesn't trust him and goes the opposite way. Wrong choice. She ends up wandering all night, gets lost and then ends up in a nearby village where just when she is about to get caught... he shows up and hides her in his house.

I'll Go to You When the Weather is Fine 

It's quite the serious and slow paced drama. A beautiful slow burn romance. And so many funny parts too thanks to the awkwardness of our main dude and also many of the side characters.  They are all so cute. His friend has a love story blossom in this drama too that I just loved. And his sister, is an absolute joy, so feisty and spunky!

The title is very symbolic as this drama is bottom line about finding warmth in a cold world. There is a line at one point toward the end that goes something like... your hand is cold, and mind is cold, but when they touch, we both become warm. And one time when our girl is so sad and hugging our guy, she says "It must be nice to be you...to be so warm all the time." Gah!! But yes, the underlying theme...warmth.

It's Okay to Not Be Okay 


Wow, but it's a good one. It's filled with many teary moments, and many out loud laughing moments. The relationship of the brothers is crazy good. The acting of these two actors playing the brothers is crazy good. The music is crazy good. The weaving of dark and twisted fairy tale stories in and among the "real life" stories is crazy good


The King: Eternal Monarch 


The story gets very complicated and mind bendy from there, with our characters traveling back and forth, and also having counterparts in both worlds. In other words, all the actors had to play two different roles.... one in each world. How cool is that? But also confusing, yes?





Tale of the NineTailed  


WAH, things get complicated! It's a crazy detailed plot with magic, and horror elements. Lots of comedy and romance too. So much. It has it all.



Twenty Twenty 

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) 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. 

Favorite dramas from before 2020:


Angel's Last Mission: Love 

And I'm sure you can guess what happens. Are angel's allowed to love humans? OF COURSE NOT! But will that stop our cute and adorable angel... OF COURSE NOT!

Guys, this is probably one of the MOST romantic dramas I've seen yet. Or at least in the top of my favorite romantic ones! But EVERYTHING is against these guys. And it's very heart wrenching!


1% of Something 

So, we have our rich obnoxious leading dude who is set to inherit his grandfather's wealth...but the grandfather makes a clause in the will that he has to marry this girl, this nice sweet school teacher girl. Now, the reason the grandfather chooses this girl, is that she ended up being the one to save him when he nearly died one day near her school. She has no idea who he is and doesn't know the connection. So she is baffled when she is summoned to be part of this contract.

It's a really cute one! So much fun! So funny and adorably and swoony all over the place! AHH! It's great to counter balance some of the heavy subject ones with these sorts of fluffy ones. I love it.

Clean With Passion for Now 

It's a really cute fun drama and another perfect one for this crazy time. It's silly at times and over-the-top acted, but still, I really had fun watching it. I've never seen this actor dude before, but he was hilarious and really got into the over the topness!


Reply 1988   

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!

(with honorable mention to Reply 1994 and Reply 1997)

Did I convince anyone to jump into the world of kdramas this year? If so, let me know what you watched and loved!

Here's to a new year of amazing shows! 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Top Ten Books from 2020


 I've been doing these top ten of the year lists now for nearly 20 years. What the heck!? I wonder if I can keep it up for at least that much longer!

Anyway, I wasn't blown away by anything much this past year, but I did have a few five starred books...so here they are with a few others that made the cut for top ten....posted here along with a blurb from my review.


TOP TEN BOOKS I READ IN 2020


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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!

The Body by Bill Bryson

Anyway, I feel just a touch smarter for having read this one, and a lot more appreciative of  my body, this thing I have that is quite a miracle even when I hate it and curse it all the time! We need to take better care of ourselves and our body will give back if we do.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

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.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Another awesome book by a favorite author! This one is about resistance fighters during WWII. We follow the story of one girl who gets kicked out of her Jewish ghetto in Poland and ends up joining a resistance gang. They spent a lot of time sneaking food and news in the ghettos, and, in one instance anyway, sneaking out babies. And also sabotaging the supplies of the Nazis who were occupying their cities.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Great story. Great life lessons. Great thoughts on what it means to be a family. I really enjoyed it.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

It's all actually quite fascinating and crazy and confusing and messes with your brain in a crazy time travelling sort of way. And makes you think what you would do if you had endless lives. And could actually remember everything from all the previously lives.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

It sounds so simple doesn't it. But it's really quite a complicated story. And so very engaging. I loved the writing style and would love to read more by this author.


Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This one is CRAZY! It takes place in a not so distant future, where everything bad about the world has been eliminated. Even death. All people are immortal. However, even this ends up causing a  problem, which is... over population. It is realized that people still need to die. And so certain people who are called Scythes, are appointed (after a rigorous testing period) to be the ones who decide who dies and who lives.

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

So as you might guess, it's a great lesson on what makes a person beautiful, and also what we base our relationships on. But it does so in a really great non-preachy way, lots of humor mixed in with lots of deep moments.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I'm really glad to have decided to read it! It feels like part of the story that we need to know now. Do it if you are still on the fence about it. Do it!


What were your favorite books this year? Do we share any?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

My Top 30 Songs from 2020

 I made this video featuring my favorite songs of the year... it's really short... I used teeny tiny segments of the song which believe me is VERY painful to do. So... watch it and let me know what you think? If you aren't familiar with these songs, I'm wondering, does something jump out at you, even if I'm giving you just a tiny glimpse at them?


I did longer segments of many different categories of songs this year. Because it was really hard to narrow things down. 


What were your favorite songs this year?


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Number Crunch for 2020 Endeavors

The numbers from this past year:



READING STATS

TOTAL BOOKS: 42
Total pages: 15,052
Total Re-reads: 0

Authors
Men: 11
Women: 31

For:
ARCS for Review: 4
Supporting Utah Authors: 6
Book Club: 10
Read Alongs (Kpop Book Club): 2
Beehive Award Long List: 9

From:
Library: 2
On my Kindle: 17
Bought/Owned: 23
Borrowed: 0
Audio: 0

Genres:
YA: 23
Adult: 18
Middle Grade: 1


From the YA Category:
Contemporary Realistic Fiction: 10
SF/Fantasy: 7
Dystopian: 4
Historical Fiction: 1
Graphic Novel: 1
  

From the MG Category:
Fantasy: 1



From the Adult Category:
Historical Fiction: 1
Fantasy: 5
Romance: 7
Literary Fiction: 4
Non Fiction: 1


Star Ratings:
5 stars: 4
4 stars: 28
3 stars: 10
2 stars: 0
1 star: 0

Observations:

  • Not a whole lot has changed except I'm not using the library much anymore (except for ebooks) and I'm not reading with people as much (except for book club.) Interesting.
  • My romance consumption increased thanks to befriending some people on Twitter this year that write that genre.
  • I have less 5 stars. Nothing really blew me away this year. That's sad. I'll still post a top ten, look for it.



KPOP/KDRAMA YOUTUBE STATS

Total Kdramas consumed: 20
5 hearts: 8
4 hearts: 6
3 hearts: 5
1 rewatch rated at 5 stars

I'll post a top ten favorites list. Look for it!

Total Videos Uploaded on The Kpop Konverters: 1,137 (up from 933 last year)
Total Uploaded in 2020:  204 (up from 105)
3 million views: 1 
Over 100,000 views:  20 (up from 15)
50,000 to 100,000 views: 22 (same as last year)
10,000 to 50,000 views:102 (up from 91)


Subscribers at year end: 32,298 (up from 27.486 last year) 
View count at year end: 13,575,314 (up from 11,350,409 last year)

Observations:

  • Well, we are still growing a bit I guess! 
  • We have changed our focus from reactions to other types of videos that promotes our favorite groups. Still trying to find a perfect niche.
  • We added a website to go with our Youtubing.
  • We have grown quite a bit on the Twitter end of things.
  • We are making a tiny bit of money. Woot.
  • We ended our contract with the company over in Korea after a three year partnership.
  • We have an upcoming project happening with a fellow YouTuber that should be interesting!
  • Should I post a top ten favorite videos we've uploaded list? I will post my favorite songs as usual. Look for it!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

 Book: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Genre: adult fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This is a book I've had in my TBR for years and finally read thanks to book club. I enjoyed it. The style and the regency-ness of it, but I felt disappointed in the end because dang it... I wanted some juicy romance!

This book is billed as Jan Austen with magic, which is basically spot on. It feels very Jane Austen and has a lot of nods to Jane Austen books, all with the added element of "glamour" which is where people who are talented in this area can weave colors and pictures and scenes out of the air. They use this to decorate their houses, or to display art, kind of like a painting... or to change their looks, and etc. 

Our main character is talented in this regard, and her sister is not. Thus there is a bit of a rivalry going on. But the sister is beautiful and our main character is not. So... yeah. Tension. There are several leading guys in this story and at first we don't really know who our girl is setting her sights on, but we are misled with that and in the end, she goes for someone not quite expected. (Though I knew it would go that way.)

But... BUT... it would have been so much better if we would have had their story develop... and see a romance blossom and have SOME interaction and banter between them. Maybe a kiss? AH! Yes, we as readers are really left wanting! I totally expected this to be part of this story, but no. It wasn't to be. Sadness all around.

It was a bit slow moving too until the end, and then BAM what a crazy climatic ending! So much was happening all at once! I tried to picture it as a movie, and yeah. It would have been a crazy chaotic scene for sure.

Anyway. Fun idea and premise that just needed a little more sweet romance to it. 


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Kdrama Review: Love Revolution

 Drama: Love Revolution

Genre: high school romantic comedy

Starring:  Park Ji-hoon, Lee Ruby, Kim Young-hoon, Jung Da-eun, Im Da-young, Ko Chan-bin and Ahn Do-gyu

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤


I watched this for Younghoon of course. (Yeah because of his group The Boyz who I love.) And in the process fell in love with Park Jihoon. Although his character is a bit over the top even to the point of cringy. I love him anyway.

This is a simple basic high school drama romance, following a set of friends through the ups and downs of life. But like I said, it's a bit much in parts and ended up making me a little crazy in the end... and I just wanted it over. And then the actual end disappointed me so.. do I recommend it?

Basically, I only recommend it if you want to see those two boys mentioned above! Younghoon was really good, but his character is very emo and angry and wow... he uses some colorful language! Thank you Younghoon for teaching me the f word in Korean! GAH! What's up with that dude??? Sigh.

But still, he was very good with acting... and I wouldn't mind seeing him do a better role, something a little less angsty and a little more lighthearted. And where he can be all the cute we know he can be!

The summary is just that our  main guy (Park Jihoon) loves the girl, and confesses early on, but most of the drama is him trying to convince her to like him back. She is quite the cold hearted kid and despite is over the top cuteness, she denies him constantly. Her character made me crazy too. 

And her friend loves our angsty guy, but he doesn't give her second look. I thought they would come around in the end... but... sigh....

Each of the kids (there are like four guys and three girls I think?) get episodes that feature their back stories a bit. And we end up rooting for them all. It's quite fun to have a look into the culture that is  Korean high school. Pretty crazy actually.

Younghoon and Jihoon


Anyway. It had it's sweet moments, but in the end, I just wanted it to be done! AH! But yeah. Younghoon and Jihoon. All for them!


Here's a trailer that highlights Jihoon's story:



Here's one of the songs song by favorite group ONF:


And just so you know what Park Jihoon does in his real life:


And here's Younghoon, from the group The Boyz singing solo for Masked Singer:



These guys are good no matter what they do! Seriously.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

TV Review: The Queen's Gambit

Show: The Queen's Gambit (on Netflix)

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Marielle Heller

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ 


This has been quite popular on Netflix these days and surprise... I actually watched it! 

It's quite the fascinating character look at someone's crazy life... from being an orphan and having a very strange upbringing, to becoming a famous chess player.

The big question that I haven't quite got answered is... is this based on someone's real life? It sure seems like it is, but I'm not sure it really is. 

It takes place in the 60s... when our girl ends up learning chess from the janitor at her orphanage. And it turns out she is quite the prodigy. She gets noticed by the locals and beats all the high school boys even when she is only like 11 years old or something. 

She ends up getting adopted by a kind of crazy couple, and then she manages to find her way into tournaments... where she wins one after the other after the other... and thus she starts slowly making money.

But still, it's a quite a sad thing...because she is so very lonely. And she is looking for friends and yet, she is so strange herself that it's very hard for people to connect to her. 

Like I said, it's all quite fascinating.

I really loved learning that the dude who made this has been trying for years (like 30 or something?) to get this made and people rejected him over and over.... until finally someone said okay. And now it's gone so crazy with everyone! I love that!

Another thing I loved about this one is the music... of course I found a playlist that includes all the songs. So good!

Anyway, if you haven't checked it out yet... go watch and let me know what you think!


Here's the trailer:


Friday, January 22, 2021

Book Review: Texas Cowboy, Be Mine by Trish Milburn

 

Book: Texas Cowboy, Be Mine by Trish Milburn

Genre: Romance

Rating:  ★ ★ 


I've read a bunch of Trish's kpop romance books, which I totally enjoy. So the other day when she was giving away some of her cowboy romances, I jumped in and actually won one! 

So over the holidays I added it to my fluffy read pile and also totally enjoyed it! Not as much as the kpop, but you know... close. LOL! I'm good with cowboys too. Awesome sweet cowboys anyway... (lately some cowboys are getting a bad reputation... I won't elaborate.)

Anyway, I think this book is one in huge series highlighting a family and friends too? (not sure) of a group of ranchers in Texas. Something like that. So this story features the youngest sibling in a family (who I'm assuming all their stories have been told in other books) and now it's finally her turn to find love. 

The book opens when suddenly one day she is finally paying attention to a dude who has been in her town and in her school growing up, who she has always kind of liked, but things just never worked out. And of course, he has pretty much loved her all these years, and now she is finally available. 

But of course, there are tons of obstacles to work out! But of course they do it!

My only complaint is that these fun little romances aren't long enough to truly develop a romance. They just happen so fast! You all know I love more of a slow burn! Anyway, despite that, it's fun way to escape for a bit. Now I might have to find the stories of the other siblings of this family!



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Kdrama Review: Start Up


 Drama: Start Up (on Netflix)

Genre: Romantic comedy

Starring: Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Seon Ho

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 


Here's a drama that was getting a lot of buzz, so I had to watch it. Besides, it has Nam Joo Hyuk, so you know. That's a given. 

So anyway, it's about a dude who wants to get his own software company started, and he ends up joining a program that helps people get going on that. It takes them through a bunch of missions to complete and then the final few get help getting going. 

But before that he meets this girl who changes his life. This girl... who man, it's kinda complicated! So when this girl was young, she was struggling with all sorts of things, and her grandma gets this kid to anonymously write to her, only they made up a name... taken from a newspaper article. So she thinks that's who is writing her.  Turns out... the name they took from the article is the kid who is wanting to start his business mentioned earlier. 

When the girl grows up, she wants to find this boy who wrote to her... when the REAL boy who wrote to her all those years learns this (from the grandma) he finds the kid who's name he stole and asks him to pretend to be the the one who wrote the letters. Are you following?

And so when he pretends to be that... he ends up liking this girl of course. But now she thinks he's the letter writer. But really the other guy is. Yeah?

Meanwhile, she ends up being part of his start up company. And yeah... so it goes from there with all this crazy misunderstanding, and who is who, and what is what and WAH!

I really enjoyed the romantic cuteness of this one, and the heart wrenching love triangle. The business aspects of this one... of which there are a lot... bogged me down sometimes, but mostly that was interesting too. 




But, mostly, Nam Joo Hyuk is just a joy to watch. He played the awkward nerdy computer dude SO WELL! Wow...the best. And he's is just so adorable and fun.. and then when he gets confidence as the story goes along, he does that just as well too. So good. 

Here's a great trailer that will give you an awesome look at the feel of this drama:




And here's one of the great songs from this drama... this one by one of my favorite dudes Gaho:

Book Review: Half Life by Lillian Clark

 

Book: Half Life by Lillian Clark

Genre: YA SF

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ 


This answers the question: What if you could have a clone of yourself? Then what?

Would you make her do all the stuff you don't want to do so you can go and party?

Would she not have feelings and desires of her own?

Would she know and think the exact same way you do?

What is truly the ethicality of such an idea?

In this crazy story, our girl is stressed about all the things she has to do, and also, she's just plain sick of her life, so when a company approaches her with a crazy idea, she decides to go for it.

And thus she finds herself going through all the processes of getting cloned. At first she thinks it's going to be awesome, but slowly she realizes that it's not really as great as it sounded to begin with.

The book is written in that once we have a clone of our character, we start seeing things from both points of view. We have Lucille, or original... and Lucy... our clone. And what an interesting way to solve a love triangle, eh? Just have the character clones, and BOTH boys get the girl! LOL!

So very crazy this story is!

And lots to think about. 

I really enjoyed it, though sometimes I still felt a bit distanced from this character, I don't know why. Anyway, for the most part it was really interesting.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Book Review: Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb

 Book: Paul, Big, and Small by David Glen Robb

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This is a cute story, that deals with all the hot button topics in a sensitive not in-your-face way, something you know I always appreciate. 

We have Paul, who is like a junior (I think, now I forget how old he is) in high school, but he's so short he looks like a little kid to everyone. His method of survival is to blend in and not make a big scene and hope everyone ignores him. He's suffered a lot from bullying and his goal is to avoid that as much as he can.

And he kinda sorta likes this girl who he's known since he was 7... but she doesn't know he exists until things get going in this story. She is very big... very tall, and very black. But her last name is Small... which of course, everyone finds extremely funny. But, turns out this unlikely pair end up being quite likely to become friends.

And then we have Big, a nickname given to our third character because he is.... big. A big Polynesian dude with an extremely sunny disposition who everyone likes. He can dispel any tension in a room by just walking in. He's great!

And so these three become friends and deal with the craziness of high school life... including the bullies that cross their paths. We learn some backstories regarding the bullies that deals with depression and mental health. And we also deal with some cancer sickness with our own trio.

All of this is set to the backdrop of not only high school, but a climbing school that Paul loves and where he excels and feels himself.

It's all very heartwarming despite some of the heavy topics it deals with. I kinda loved that. And these characters are especially great. 


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