Drama Wednesday (13): Watching/Hope to Watch in July

Guys, it’s July. Which is awesome because, one, that means less than six months until Christmas time (my favorite time of the year), and, two, my birthday comes at the end of the month.

Anyways, enough ramble ramble. Today I want to share the dramas I’m currently watching and hoping to watch this July:

Currently Watching:

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“Chicago Typewriter” (2017): I first saw this advertised when it was airing and knew I’d like to try it because it looked different. A mix of writing and the 1930’s? *happy melts* My friend recently watched and enjoyed, and so I’ve decided to give it a try.

So far it has been pretty interesting. As a book reader and an author, I appreciate all of the bookish elements. There seems to be more creepiness than I thought it would have, but that just makes it all the more exciting. Interested to see what happens next. I’m currently on episode 3.

 

“The Best Hit” (2017), “My Sassy Girl (2017),” and “Sweet Stranger and Me” (2016). Yes, I’m still watching these. Two are still airing, and the other… Well, let’s just say I’ve been in a watching slump after finishing “Circle: Two Worlds Connected.” I’m pathetic.

 

To Watch:

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“Bride of the Water God” (2017): This drama just started airing, so I might wait to start this one at the end of the month. Unless I cave because the promotional images lead me on a path of destruction to watching another drama that I have to wait awhile before I can watch all of its episodes. (Note: K-Dramas love to end in cliff-hangers.)

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“The Starry Night, The Starry Sea” (2017): This is a Chinese drama that I’ve been wanting to watch for awhile. I enjoyed the first episode awhile back, and would like to continue with the series (plus some other Chinese dramas I want to finish.) This one just looks like the perfect kind of summer drama. Contemporary fantasy with a merman? Yesss. ❤

How about you? What are some dramas you are watching/hope to watch? Feel free to share, even if they’re not Asian. 😉

June 2017 Book Haul

Do you ever feel guilty about buying so many books? Yeah, me neither… for the most part, anyways. 😉

June’s ridiculous amount of physical books I bought/got for review show this truth.

 

“The Chronicles of Faerie” by O.R. Melling: I’ve been wanting to read this series for years. Went to the library awhile ago to finally start, but they did not have the first one available. (How rude!) Now I own three of them.

 

“Dorothy Must Die” series by Danielle Paige: Decided I wanted to try these books. Bookoutlet had a sale, so why not buy them all even though I don’t know if I’ll like the first book?

 

“Of Triton” and “Of Neptune” by Anna Banks: I bought the first book in this series over three years ago and still. have. not. read. it. Saw these for sale, and thought I’d get them. Maybe having them all will encourage me to, you know, actually read them? #bookwormlogic

 

Books 3,4, and 5 of the “Glamourists Histories” by Mary Robinette Kowal: My dearest friend has praised this series, and, seeing the hardcovers on sale, I thought I’d get them even though I have not read books one and two. They’re pretty, don’t you think?

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“Silver Phoenix” and “Fury of the Phoenix” by Cindy Pon: Always looking for Asian-based fantasies, and so I’m happy to have these added to my library.

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“Jane of Austin” by Hilary Manton Lodge: A contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” that I received for free for review. On my July TBR.

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“These Broke Stars” by Aimee Kaufman and Megan Spooner: I hope this book is as good as it’s gorgeous cover.

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“True to You” by Beck Wade: It was on sale at Lifeway…

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“Defy The Stars” by Claudia Gray: Been eyeing this one for a little while, and, a trip to Barnes and Noble one day saw me leaving with it.

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“King’s Folly” by Jill Williamson: I LOVE the “Blood of Kings” trilogy by Williamson, and this one is supposed to be a prequel series! Found it at a good price and now it is mine. Mwhahahaha! 😀

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“Stealing Snow” by Danielle Page: Because, when buying the author’s other series that is on sale, why not pick up another book by her?

 

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“The Conspiracy of Us” by Maggie Hall: I was at Dollar Tree late one evening, and I found this book. Say what? One of my best deals of the month, for sure.

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“Flamecaster” by Cindy Williams Chima: I had not seen this book before one day browsing at Barnes and Noble. I’m interested in seeing if it is as cool as its cover.

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“Love, Lies, and Spies” by Cindy Antsey: A fun looking regency that I found on sale.

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout: K-Pop. A heroine named Grace. Yesss.

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“Counted With the Stars” by Connilyn Cossette: That cover. ❤

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“Sirens” by Janet Fox: Another good deal. The price was marked $0.99.

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“My Lady Jane” by Cythia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: This funny re-imagining of Lady Jane Grey’s story is one of my current reads. Picked it up at Barnes and Noble.

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“Ghost Talkers” by Mary Robinette Kowal: I looove the cover of this book. Normally priced way out of my comfortable-book-buying-price, I found it at a nicer price at Bookoutlet.

Did you get any books is June? Feel free to share. 😀

“Rules of Murder” by Julianna Deering — Book Review

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About The Book (From Publisher’s Website):

  “From The Tip of his black Homburg to the crease in his stylish cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered. 

  Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. 

  With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be–not the butler nor blackmailer, the chauffeur nor embezzler. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.”

My Review:

  This mystery book had been on my TBR list for a long while before I read it. I’m not as big of a mystery reader as I was when I was younger (the Nancy Drew and Mandie Mystery days…), but something about the vintage-looking cover caught my eye (seriously, isn’t it awesome?!). Then there was the praise I read about Drew Farthering (hero of this series) that made me a tad more curious… It took me awhile, but now I can say yes, I’ve met Mr. Drew Farthering. And my opinion of  him is…

He’s one of my favorite kind of characters, He has a sarcastic sense of humor that may have amused me too much. Also, he likes reading, so that’s a bonus brownie added to his score board. I’ve read quite a few books with ladies who enjoy a good fictional tale, but it hasn’t as often happened that a story’s male lead is a reader. Thanks to the author for making the hero all the more awesome by his love of books!

But he’s not the only character that added to my enjoyment of this book. The heroine, Madeline, is a perfect blend of spunk and femininity.  She’s a pretty tough character, but not so tough that she comes across as not having feelings I think the average lady has when under stressful situations.

And then there’s Drew’s best friend, Nick, a character that I liked just as much as Drew. I like the friendship between the two, and how the author made me feel the strength of their relationship from years of said friendship.

Obviously, as this book is a mystery, you’re probably curious on how this book did in the actual mystery department? I’ll say it certainly kept me guessing up until the near end. I felt pretty sleuth-like myself when some of my guesses were correct, but I was not sure until they unfolded, so that was pretty cool. I often love to be surprised and shocked in reading, and this book definitely held some unexpected moments.

Now, while overall  this book was an enjoyable read, there were a couple of parts that I personally did not like. One, the romance was too instantaneous for me. It felt almost forced to me for a while. Yet I suppose that, while I certainly would have preferred a little less speed in the attraction, I was able to feel all right about it when the book was over. Even began to think some of the romance was kind of sweet… The other thing is that this book got somewhat gruesome in spaces. This is a murder mystery, so it is no surprise, but it still gave me a squeamish feeling.

This cozy mystery transported me to another time and place. The 1930’s are not a time I often visit in fiction, and this tale was an interesting trip into the period. Plus, the setting was England, and that just made it all the more better.

Overall, I did like this book, and therefore I’m giving “Rules of Murder” by Julianna Deering a rating of four. I recommend it to mature teens and adults.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Drama Wednesday (11) — What I’m Watching

Today for Drama Wednesday, I’m sharing some stuff about dramas I’m watching.

 

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“Circle: Two Worlds Connected” (2017)— Oh. my. Oh. my. OH MY! This drama. You guys, THIS DRAMA IS AWESOME!!! (+a gazillion more exclamation points)

I have not seen a drama quite like it. It’s a sci-fi tale that has an alien, a futuristic world with a “perfect” city, cool technology…. Yet the thing that just makes it so stinking amazing is the plot. Sooo good, ya’ll. I’m on episode 7, and I think they have up through episode 10 available on Dramafever . It’s supposed to only have 12 episodes, so I think the last two air next week. Which is bad, because if I finish what is available before then, I might suffer some show withdrawals. #thesearenotgood

 

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“Sweet Stranger and Me” (2016)— This drama is one I’m taking my time getting through, though not because it is a bad drama. I like it thus far, but it sadly pales in comparison to some of the other dramas I’m watching at this time. However, it is enjoyable, and does make me smile. Also, can I just mention the theme song? I LOVE it. On episode 8.

 

 

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“My Sassy Girl” (2017)— I was not too sure about this drama when I was first started watching it. It was funny, yes, but (for me) it was also sometimes confusing ,and maybe a little slow in parts of it.  However, I decided to push through the first episode and a half that had me questioning it, and I’m glad I did because it is turning out to be an entertaining show. A nice amount of funny mixed with some mystery and palace politics? Um, YES. I’ve made it to episode 7, but only eight episodes are currently available since this is a currently airing show.

 

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“The Best Hit” (2017)— Last, but not least, I am watching “The Best Hit.” This show about a 90’s pop star who travels to the future is hilarious. It is probably even funnier than “My Sassy Girl.” The episodes are shorter than most K-Dramas, less than 45 minutes long. This is the only one of all the dramas I’m watching that I have watched all of the currently available episodes. I kind of need more now, but the next episodes aren’t available until Friday. #whyyy? #needthemnowdramfever

If you like comedy, you should try this series. I think episode one was probably the slowest of the available episodes, so be sure not to judge the show by just watching one episode, okay? Okay. 😀

 

What Dramas Are You Watching? Please share.

“Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie— Book Review

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About:

Emi and the gang are on the final parts of their journey to save the world from the earth Kami. Time is running out, and for them to succeed, a too-soon-death is a possibility for one of them.

This is the third and final book in Annette Marie’s Japanese Urban Fantasy, “The Red Winter Trilogy.”

My Review:

I loved the first two books in this series. They were different than my usual reads, and I appreciated the unique quality they had for me. The characters were also awesome, and the endings each contained a cliff-hanger (*sings* Hanging from a cliff…. and that’s while he’s called CLIFF HANGERRR! *stops singing* *hopes someone understands this* ).

How did book number three compare? Well, there is not a whole lot I can say without spoiling the book/series, so I will simply say that…

A lot of it was still pretty. darn. cool. Just about all of the things that happened were a perfect blend for a series’ finale. All the questions I wanted answered were answered. There was action, sweet romantic moments, heart tearing tragedy… (What? I like a bit of drama, all right? All right.) Oh, and unexpectedness. When I read a book and things happen that I do not see coming, it always makes the book a hundred times better. (Yes, sometimes even if it is sad.)

Yet there was a big downer in this book for me. *sniffles*

I won’t  go into vivid detail, but there was a long, intimate romantic scene between two characters. I liked that the previous two books were cleaner in the romance department, yet this book crossed my border of comfort-ability with the scene. So yeah, I did a bit of skim reading and skipping over this part. 😛

Aside from that one scene though, I really did enjoy reading this final book in the series, and am a touch sad that it is over. It was a lovely time, and I terribly wish there would be future books with these characters in the works for the future. Alas, I know of no such thing.

I give “Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie a rating of four. If you plan to read this book, I recommend you read the previous two because you would seriously be missing a lot of important stuff.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

*Thanks to Xpresso Blog Tours for a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill— Book Review

Fun fact that I have not discussed much on this blog: I’m a writer, and today I have a review for a book that I think other writers might enjoy (or even non-writer bookworms that like contemporary set books). It kind of reminded me of that old Disney Channel movie, “Read it and Weep,” yet was still its own story.

 

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About (From Publisher’s Website):

“When ousted by her lifelong friends, teen writer Ellie Sweet takes to story writing as self-therapy. She casts herself as Lady Gabrielle, a favorite in the medieval Italian court, her ex-friends as her catty rivals, and makes a pesky rake of the boy who thinks he’s too good for her in real life. But when Ellie achieves the impossible and her “coping mechanism” becomes a published novel, she faces the consequences of using her pen as her sword.”


My Review:

I like how this book shows the ordinary aspects of a writer’s life. We writers can make some interesting worlds, but I can guess that most of our lives contain the ordinary circumstances of normal, everyday living. I’ve not read many books where the heroine is a writer, and with the first-person point of view giving me an in-depth look into her thoughts and feelings, I couldn’t help but end up liking her story. Though Ellie’s life does have some aspects that do seem less likely to often happen in the real world (sixteen year old gets published = wow), it was still realistic enough where it could have happened. Add in that Ellie has hard things to deal with in her life that remind me of circumstances I’ve been through, and she became someone easy for me to cheer on.

I also like the diverse characterization in the supporting characters. When I read a story that has characters that are so different than the usual, it makes a good impression on me. From the boy on the other side of the tracks, to the grandmother who isn’t exactly the “cookie-baking, hugging” type, I commend the author for giving an interesting cast to be a part of Ellie’s tale.

Now, though I over all liked this book, I do have a few negative thoughts. For one, I would have liked it if I could have gotten more glimpses into Ellie’s story world (just something I was curious about). And even though Ellie is someone I can relate to and whose wit and sass I found amusing, I probably would have liked her story a lot more if I had read it when I was younger. Don’t get me wrong— I still like the book— but I found that Ellie’s immature decisions in her teenage drama, especially when it came to romance, were somewhat more irritating for me than they may have once been. (That’s probably part of me getting older…)

But to summarize, I think that this is a fun, thought-provoking story. Entertaining, but certainly containing some depth, “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” is a winner in the contemporary YA. For sure, Ellie Sweet is one of the few contemporary fiction heroines who I’ve been able to relate to more than just a little.
I give “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill a rating of four.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Drama Wednesday (10)— Korean…Books

I love books. I love Korean things. (Dramas. Music. ETC.) No big shock that I get rather excited when I find them combined. It’s like when you mix all of your favorite ice creams together and come up with a wondrous creation that exceeds the individual flavors. (Okay, so this is a rare thing, but imagine if it did work out?)

Today I thought I would share some  books that are either K-Drama/K-Pop themed, or  have Korean elements, that I hope to read soon. These books are ones I have found while wasting time browsing the internet. (No, I’ve not read/finished reading any of them, so I cannot recommend them. They just look like stuff I’d read and like.):

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“K-Love” by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall— K-Love is one of my favorite radio stations, but this book is a YA about love that starts with a mother’s love of Korean Dramas. How? The mother sets her daughter up on a blind date with a Korean guy all because of her love for Korean dramas. *plans to buy soon*

 

“Kidnapped Idol,” “Undercover Fan,” and “Snowflake Kisses” by Jennie Bennet— This series of novellas looks so cute. They follow K-Pop stars, and I need them on my shelf right now.

 

“Eun and the Phantom,” “Foxtails,” and “Evangeline” by Erica Laurie— “Eun and the Phantom” is about a woodcutter’s daughter who falls in love with a man cursed to be a phantom. “Foxtails” takes place in regency England, but has Gumihos, which are Korean mythical creatures also known as nine-tailed-foxes. “Evangeline” is about a modern day American girl who is transported to a fantasy world that resembles a historical Korea.

 

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout—Another K-Pop book, this is about a girl who falls in love with a K-Pop star. I’m sure there’s more to it, but that’s all I feel like sharing.

 

“To All The Boys I Loved Before,” “P.S. I Still Love You,” and “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han— This series just looks like a fun contemporary. It’s about a half-Korean girl who writes letters to boys she has crushes on. These letters are not meant to be seen by the crushes, but someone sends them out. Not. good.

 

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“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— This book is another that takes place in a fantasy land that resembles Korea. The heroine is “Half Korean” and can spy on people through dreaming.

 

Do you have any suggestions for books that include Korean elements? Please share. 😀