10 Contemporay Books I Want to Read This Summer.

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“P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han β€’ Yes, totally aware how late I am for the fandom train of this series. But I’m currently reading and LOVING “To All The Boys I Loved Before,” so I know I’m gonna want to get to this one, too. (And I can finally watch the movies! 😁)

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“Recommended For You” by Laura Silverman β€’ This one is about two bookstore workers competing to be the best book seller for a competition. Sounds cute!

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“The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas β€’ I’m educating myself about the problem of police brutality our black brothers and sisters face in the U.S., and so I think it’s time to give this book a read.

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“What I Like About You” by Marisa Kanter β€’ It’s a “love triangle” where a girl is competing with her online self over a guy. Sounds hilarious!

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“By the Book” by Amanda Sellet β€’ This one is about a girl who helps friends with guy issues by using books.

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“There’s Something About Sweetie” by Sandhya Menon β€’ Romantic comedy with a plus sized heroine? *give me hands*

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“By Your Side” by Kasie West β€’ A girl and guy get locked overnight in a library? Mix that with Kasie West’s signature cuteness and I’m pretty sure this gonna be good. 😍

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“The Oppisite of Always” by Justin A. Reynolds β€’ This one is a contemporary but it mixes in some scifi cause there’s time travel where the hero goes back in time to save his love (awwww!). Me thinks I will need tissues. 🀧

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“The Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton β€’ A girl trying to become a knight at her job where girls are serving wenches? Heck yeah. πŸ™Œ

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“Once Upon a Prince” by Rachel Hauk β€’ Georgia woman meets prince, and I’m assuming they fall in love. Had this on my TBR for YEARS and summer time seems like the perfect time to finally get to it. πŸ™ˆ

“Listen to Your Heart” by Kasie West β—‹β—‹β—‹ Book Review

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Kate is a lake girl that would rather be on the lake than in the spotlight. So when she ends up being picked as a host for her class’s podcast, she’s not so happy about it. Then there’s her best friend’s crush, Diego, the guy Kate is trying to convince to date her best friend. But what happens when her podcast and bestie’s love life meet?

What I Liked:

Simply Adorable. It was like fluffy cotton candy compared to other YA rom coms. So many sweet moments melting into a mouthful of awwwwwwwe.  😊

I loved seeing Kate crack out of her shell. She is a different person by the end of the book, and character growth is something I think we can all agree makes for a good story. Can I get a show of hands??? πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ

THE. BANTER. I’m a sop when it comes to characters flirting with whit. Makes me read with speed when I’m soaking in good dialogue. And the conversations were so natural. *happy sigh*

Loved that this story revolved around a podcast. Really enjoyed the glimpses of the episodes even if there were some incredibly awkward moments where I felt that dreadful secondhand embarrassment.

(Okay. lie. I secretly enjoy when an author can make me feel embarrassed for something that is fake.)

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Β Kate’s family is close knit, and I loved seeing their love and boisterous life. I’m not sure how I would enjoy being next door neighbors with family? But this story made it looks tons of fun.

Dislikes

I feel like it wrapped up a bit too quick, but that may be because I loved the characters and didn’t want to say goodbye.

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This was definitely a great introduction to the author’s books. It taught me that when someone says a Kasie West book is cute, it’s totally cute. I had reservations (contemporary is hit and miss for me,and hype isn’t something I tend to trust…), but this book shut down those doubts. *waves goodbye to negative assumptions*

Giving “Listen to Your Heart” by Kasie West a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

Books and Anxiety.

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I’m donating a bunch of books to the thriftstore, and it’s all because of anxiety.

I’m one of those people with anxiety so bad I take medicine to help. Even then I sometimes still feel like my brain and heart are gonna collide from panic tearing through my body. O_O

Since we’re human (unless by some chance you’re a vampire…), in rough situations we like to find things that help us forget our issues. Food is my first, with icecream and honey hot puff cheetos being my thing these days.

The second?

Books.

I used to have a very anxiety inducing customer service job. By the end of the day I would be worn out and ready to get the heck home. On the extra stressy messy days, there just so happened to be a gigantic bookstore across the street. It glowed like a fairy in the night, showing me the way to my happily ever after.

Ha, in truth it was more like the store bank account’s happily ever after. Because to reduce the pain inside, I’d buy books that were popular and pretty.

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It made me happy; killed that need to ball up in a corner and sob for eternity because I want to jump out of my skin

Yet what I didn’t realize was that by buying more books than I could possibly read, I was making my anxiety worse.

Books need cases, so I sacrificed space for books. I reasoned it was worth it. My books made me happy, right? They wereΒ  soothing my soul as they piled up, gathering the dust of a thousand years of neglect. No problems here. Ha ha…

I’d already had a nice collection of books before that job, and they kept coming even when that bookstore was no longer a huge temptation. I’d get that high of “New Book!” “SOOOOO PRETTY!” Then it would fade until I went to the store, or I found deals on books I was mildly curious to read at the local library booksale. Of course I couldn’t get to them all before the next haul…

I was surrounded by so many books. So many that the vast selection made it hard for me to decide what to read. Or I had a popular book I felt I should read. Oh, then there were those mail order bride books from my teen years. They’d stare holes into me, making me feel guilty for not putting my old love as priority.

Y’all, my books were choking me, but I felt too stubborn—plus prideful— to admit it because I had put so much of my money and identity into being a book girl who needs all the books. And I still am, just with a wiser mindset and realization that sometimes it’s okay to purge shelves of books that are doing nothing but making me feel bad for not getting to them.

So I’ve been letting books go. Books I keep telling myself “someday I will read you ” and would probably still be saying the same thing 50 years from now. Books that no longer fit my taste. Books I did not finish reading and kept to give another chance because “everyone else likes it.” #sillyme

They were too much. Books should not be burdens, and many of mine have been weighing me for far too long. I was also running out of space, and clutter is something else that makes my anxiety as high as the sky.

So I just want to encourage you. If you feel anything other than joy about books, then maybe it is time to make a change. It’s OKAY to uhaul books. You’re all right if you are no longer interested in a series. Gosh, you might also feel less anxious if you downsize the amount of unread books surrounding you.

Yeah, I know. Good money was probably spent on them at some point. Totally get it. But I urge you to ask yourself, ” Is abook worth my mental health?”

Will I buy books in the future? If the chance provides itself, then yes. But I’m going to be MUCH more selective/picky. It will be because I truly want to read it, and no other reason.

Because anxiety is hard enough. I won’t let consumerism of books heighten it anymore.

Summer Time Readingβ˜€οΈβ›±πŸ•Ά ● Top Ten Tuesday

Joining in with Top Ten Tuesday (click to see other posts).Β  It’s supposed to be ten books that give off summer vibes, but I don’t have a lot of those. Maybe because I mostly like historical and fantasy? πŸ’β€β™€οΈ So I tweaked it to ten books that make nice summer time reads:

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“Storm Siren” by Mary Weber β—‹β—‹β—‹ This lovely looking tale is about a slave girl who’s powers have her becoming a weapon. It’s been likened to an 80’s fantasy, and that totally fits this book. An underrated series that you needs more love.

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“The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh β—‹β—‹β—‹ This lush enemies to lovers novel was the kind of adventure I love to get swept away by (actually, any enemies to lovers, but this one was especially fire πŸ”₯). It’s a stunning retelling of 1001 Nights, so go read it.

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“My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows β—‹β—‹β—‹ Summer has a lot of sunshine, and what better way to help you feel that glow than with this hysterical version on Lady Jane Grey’s life? You are missing out on an epic comedy if you’ve not picked it up yet.

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“The School For Good and Evil” by Soman Chainani β—‹β—‹β—‹ This take on fairy tales shows two girls going to the schools where all fairy tales heroine, heroes, and villains attended. Only they are put in the wrong schools… or so they think.

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“P.S. I Like You” by Kasie West β—‹β—‹β—‹ This enemies to lovers tale (see, told you I’m trash for it) is a quick, light read that will make you go awwwww…. if you have a heart, that is. πŸ˜‰

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“Warcross” by Marie Lu β—‹β—‹β—‹ Street smart girl gets the chance to participate in a championship VR game, plus gets close to the game’s creator??? If that sounds awesome (you know it does!) Read. It. Now.

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“Unblemished” by Sara EllaΒ β—‹β—‹β—‹ This urban fantasy has a girl with a huge birthmark on her face that’s made her feel ugly. But what if that birthmark means something wonderous? I like books with girls who have image insecurity (maybe cause I have it…) and this one is a perfect escape.

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“Spark” by J.M. Hackman β—‹β—‹β—‹ Imagine going to school and fire starts shooting out of your hands? To top it off, your forced to flee to a magical world you had no idea existed… It’s a snappy fantasy adventure you don’t want to miss. Need to get around to reading the rest of the series, for sure.

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“The Lunar Chronicles” by Marissa Meyer β—‹β—‹β—‹ I first read these books during the summer, so I think it’s safe to say that if you haven’t read them yet, THIS SUMMER IS AN EXCELLENT TIME.

*cough* *cough*

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“Invictus” by Ryan Graudin β—‹β—‹β—‹ This book is about a group of teens who use a time machine to pull off thievery of historic artifacts of great value. It’s like Doctor Who and has a red panda. Cool , right? Exactly.

Manga Mondayz (β™‘1β™‘) ~Dawn of the Arcana Volume 1

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In a world where only black haired people are royalty, a uniquely red haired princess with a complicated past is forced to marry a prince to form an alliance between their kingdoms.

Β What I Liked:

I read this manga in one sitting, and wanted more. (Sadly I don’t have any of the other volumes. Why do I do this to myself? 😭)

Loved the heroine’s view that she must be strong if for no one other than for herself. I think something many people need to remember is that it’s okay to stand up for yourself. And dang, this girl was good at it.

Oh, my poor feelings. The backstory ofΒ  Princess Nakaba and Loki (her guard) pulled out my heart, broke it, glued it together, and then put it back as a big gloppy mess.

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While the prince is not perfect, he seems to have his own complicated past that made me cheer for him by the end. I see great potential for his character growth.

Dislikes…

Hm. Honesty, I don’t have much to jab at (because it was pretty awesome for the most part). The prince is a total jerk at the beginning, but like I said, he has potential to be better.

Final Thoughts:

“Dawn of the Arcana” gets a four from me. Super curious on how the rest of this series plays out, for sure. Just need to get a hold of them first, hahaha… *tears*

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

“Storing Up Trouble” by Jen Turano— Book Review

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When an adventurous heiress being sent to live with her aunt meets a straightforward scientist during a train robbery, a tale of humorous troubles follow…

What I EnjoyedΒ 

It’s a hilarious tale of opposites attract. Norman and Beatrix were quite different people, so seeing their personalities clash as their lives are thrown together by bizarre circumstances was fun.

The romance was just so awwww. I mean, when Norman read etiquette books just to impress her? So cute. And gosh, so adorable how dedicated he became to winning her heart.

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The social justice issues that were conveyed really hit me. I usually read Turano’s books because they are simply light and funny. Yet this one had some great insight on how women suffered before they could vote. Also, customer service apparently stunk as bad in the 1800’s as they do now.

All the zany characters. Turano knows how to bring to life some intriguing characters that you just wish you could truly spend a day with because they are so funny.Β  They definitely add life to the story. I’d love to give examples, but won’t spoil it for you. πŸ˜‰

Didn’t Like…

A couple of spots were slow reading. Felt like some conversations/scenes were unnecessarily long. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

“Storing Up Trouble” is an awesome conclusion to The American Heiresses series. I was thinking this series might be hard to like being about super spoiled rich women, but it was actually a delightful fiction escape.

I give “Storing Up Trouble” by Jen Turani a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

My June 2020 TBR πŸŒ»

I’m being ambitious with my June TBR. Coming out of MONTHS in the reading slump desert, just reading two books would be an accomplishment.

Yet I’m hoping with my widdle bookloving heart to read all on my list. Maybe even more? Hopefully more.

 

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“A Torch Against the Night” by Sabaa TahirΒ β€’ I’m finally reading The Ember in The Ashes books, and am planning on reading the sequel this month. 😊

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“The Silence of Bones” by June Hur β€’ This one is a historic Korean mystery. Ahhhhhh, so excited!!!

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“Roseblood” by A.G. Howard β€’ I do enjoy singing along to the Phantom of the Opera. (“Inside my mind…” 🎢)

So I picked up this retelling at a discount store in hopes I’d enjoy it. The only thing is that the print for the whole entire book is RED. Not sure how my eyes will handle it. πŸ‘€

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“Alex, Approximately” by Jenn Bennett β€’ This looks like a cute summer read. I decided to throw this in the tbr cause it looks fluffy, and I realized most of the books I decided for June are pretty emo. 😜

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“Wicked Saints” by Emily A. Duncan β€’ Okay, this book is a wee bit darker looking than I normally read. But I saw that Stephanie Garber blurbed it, so it somehow ended up on my tbr shelf? Weird, I know. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ Might as well give it a go this month.

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“Quests for Glory” by Soman Chainani β€’ I’m getting around to this book after abandoning it during a reading slump. But I’m glad I waited cause its sequels have released. Excited to see what hilarious issues Agatha, Tedros, Sophie, Hort, and the others will find themselves in.

What are you hoping to read in June?

My June 2020 K-Drama & C-Drama Watch List

How are my fellow K-Drama and C-Drama fans? What have you been watching lately? I haven’t fully watched a single 2020 release drama this year. I think that out of all the new Korean dramas, maybe three have caught my eye? They’ve all been pushed aside since I’ve yet to sit down and watch one all the way through…

For some reason I’m more into trying older shows that I’ve yet to get around to watching than the new releases in K-Drama world. So my watchlist is a bit dated. Which is fine. I mean, all the episodes are available, so no waiting. Mwhahahaha.

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“Manhole” is a 2017 comedy about a guy who finds a manhole that helps him travel back in time to change his situation, but it doesn’t make things better. So he keeps going back and forth. This looks like it’s my kind of drama, with lots of cray cray moments resulting in humorous situation after situation. It does have a lower rating on Viki, BUT some of my favorite shows have been the lower rated ones.

(Don’t trust ratings, y’all.)

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I started this already, so my goal is to finish it in June. “Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms” a.k.a. “Eternal Love” is a 2017 fantasy drama about enduring love between immortals. (There’s also peeps attempting to take over the world…) I tried it once before, but lost interest before getting far into it. 😬

I’m liking it much better this time, and not only do I see myself finishing it, but I also see me going on to watch its companion series that released earlier this year. “The Pillow Book,”Β  I believe is its name.

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“My I.D. is Gangnam Beauty” is another one I’ve already started and hope to finish in June. It’s fascinating watching the story of a young woman whose interactions with others change because of plastic surgery. But it isn’t very fast paced thus far. From my understanding, it’s eventually supposed to be a “what really matters is the heart” type show (which is one of my favorite story themes). My hope’s are high that it picks up.

Seen any of these dramas? Or do you have any fun summertime K-drama/C-Drama recommendations? Because summertime is almost here, and I’m ready for shows that are just as bright and warm as the season.

“Romanov” by Nadine Brandes— Book Review

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About: What if Anastasia Romanov had magic? How would her story have ended then…?

What I Enjoyed:

It was an intriguing mix of simplicity and complication that entranced me. The story has its fair share of magical jaunts that I’m sure have engrossed more readers than just my self. BUT there were also plenty of normal times where the characters are doing average things as they fight to keep morale in such harsh circumstances. Made for a balanced, well paced tale.

Sure it was sad at times, but so much made me happy. Because while there was so much of a mucky mess surrounding her life, Nastya and most of her family managed to keep a sense of humor. I really appreciated Nastya’s impish ways. And then there’s Alexei, her brother. Honestly, I liked him more than all of the other characters. Even when *inserts really horrible situation that’s a spoiler* he could still crack a joke and he is really just an awesome kid who you all need to meet.

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You know what trope I ADORE? Enemies to lovers. And this one in particular was filled with a lot of emotion, pain, and strong forgiveness. Y’all, I gobbled it up.

Zash. He’s not your average YA hero. His layers of character made him seem seem less like a book character and more of an authentic real live person. He made me feel a myriad of emotions. I loved him. He baffled me. I kind of wanted to throw a bottle of spell ink at his head at times. But his part in this tale was another star that put me in awe of the author’s writing.

Made me want to adopt the Romanov family. Oh wow, I just… Nadine breathed life into these characters, and their familial bond was just so heartwarming. Seeing all the bad things they suffered made me want to give them all a hug and refuge. *tears*

Also, can I just sing sonnets about how awesome the audio book is?! I switched back and forth between the book and audio (preformed by Jessica Ball), and when I was listening I was struck with chills at how great the narration was. (THE ACCENTS. *claps*)

Negatives?

IT GETS SO STINKING SAD SO PLEASE HAVE A BOX OF TISSUES WITH YOU. Okay, I’m done.

You know a book is good when you close it and your heart is all wonky. Plus you simply miss it. I truly enjoyed this tale, and will certainly be trying more of Brandes’ works asap. “Romanov” by Nadine Brandes is getting a five star rating, and I recommend it to all my fellow fantasy loving book nerds. ❀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I Liked It!

3. Okay.

2. Did Not Like It Very Much

1. Did Not Finish.

 

My Top Spooky K-Dramas

There’s so much to ADORE about romantic comedy Korean dramas, but one of my guilty pleasures in K-Drama’s are the ones that are borderline (if not fully) horror… Today’s post is a mish-mash of ramblings on some of the creepy dramas I have watched. Mwhahaha… πŸ‘»

 

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1.) The Master’s Sun— Probably my favorite in the “Horror Romantic” genre, this one’s about a woman who can see ghosts and does not sleep well because they are always asking her to help them settle matters they left behind before they passed.Β  But then she meets a guy who, just by touching his arm, makes the bothersome ghosts disappear. It is kind of freaky (cause, you know, GHOSTS), but it’s mostly just funny and heart warming. Well, just as long as you get over the fact that every now and again you’ll feel chills going up your spine. πŸ˜‰

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2.) Blood— This is a vampire drama, of which there are very few (*wishes there were more vampire K-dramas*). This show steals the vampire legend and gives it a twist by making being a vampire a type of disease.Β  The main vampire in this story is a doctor who struggles with blood-thirst if he doesn’t take the medicine his mother invented to help contain the disease’s effects. So its basically a medical drama meets romance meets thriller? It’s not a perfect drama—the ending isn’t all sparkles and such— but I found it pretty entertaining.

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3.) Let’s Fight Ghost— Another one where a human can see ghosts, this time it’s a college boy who earns money by fighting ghosts because he has the ability to physically touch spirits. My brother bought the DVD set for my birthday, and I loved it! I did have some content issues, but otherwise it was just a lot of fun. Again, this one takes something that could be scary and makes it more comedic.

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4.)Β  Arang and the Magistrate— If your guess is that this one stars a guy who can see ghosts, you are correct! (I love this trend, okay?) This time it’s during the Joseon era, and the guy finds himself bothered with a ghost who can’t remember how she died, or even who she is (that’s got to be super confusing).Β  When he realizes the ghost girl has in her possession his missing mother’s hair pin, he agrees to help the ghost find out who she was so he can find his mother. While humorous, it has some particularly eerie scenes. So it’s ambiance screams “Autumn watch-list!”

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5.) The Scholar Who Walks The Night— Starring Lee Jun Ki (yes, the same guy in “Arang and the Magistrate a.k.a. one of my FAVORITE ACTORS! *cough*) Another vampire one, it’s about a bookseller who meets a vampire trying to defeat a scary vampire—I mean S-C-A-R-Y— who rules the country using puppet kings. This one is probably one of the moodier ones, and it does get dark. But no more than most historical fantasies usually get. O_o Just don’t go in expecting everyone gets a happily ever after and your emotions should be fine. Like mine.

I’m totally fine.(<— LIES)

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6. Lovely Horribly— The romance story of a screenwriter who’s had an extreme amount of bad luck, and the actor who has everything going for him. It’s a melting pot of ghosts, writing, and murder mystery. One that I found to be one of my favorite—if not FAVORITE— 2018 dramas. Also, it has shorter episodes which I think makes it great for some people with busy schedules.

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7. Chicago Typewriter— CT is about a popular author who ends up in possession of a typewriter that contains something more than keys and ink. Fyi, it isn’t what one could call a horror drama. It does have a ghost, but the vibe is more cozy than any of the others. But not all cozy, because there is mystery and action. Plus some historical 1930’s bits that were pretty cool. It’s one of my top K-Dramas of all time, and sure to be a perfect watch for those who just want to curl up withΒ  soft blanket, a cup of tea (cocoa/coffee) and watch a chilling good tale. (Also, they added it to Netflix recently!!!)

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8.) Hotel Del Luna— The tale of a woman cursed to be the manager of a hotel for ghosts. (An EPIC looking hotel). It’s a tad scary/dark in parts, but it also has some seriously whimsical visuals. And can we all just say how GORGEOUS the female lead’s wardrobe is??? *needs*

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9.) Train to Busan— Techincally not a K-Drama, but it is a Korean movie, so close enough. 😁 It’s about a man who gets stuck on a train during a zombie outbreak with his young daughter, and how he does everything to keep her safe. Not for the faint of heart because it has some fairly FRIGHTENING moments. 😬

And… that’s all I have. There are others I’ve tried but didn’t care for because they were just TOO DARK. πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Have you seen any of these? Have any spooky K-Drama recommendations?