kill me heal me header image

Kill Me, Heal Me // Kdrama review

It’s official. I have found my new #1 Kdrama. Kill Me, Heal Me has replaced W: Two Worlds as my top Kdrama.

I watched this Korean drama on the recommendation of my friend’s sister, who raved about it. And I’m SO GLAD. I had college going on when I watched this and I binged it every free moment I got. Two episodes in and I loved it already.

I actually watched this several months back and made notes as well, but just never got around to reviewing. Even though it’s been months, I’m STILL hyped about it. In fact, my friends (who also watched it after I raved) and I recommend it to EVERYONE. It’s THE Kdrama to watch if you’re looking for mystery and thriller.

What is the drama about?

This drama has a lot going on and in the centre of it all is Cha Do-hyun, heir to the Seoju group companies and diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. He has five alternate personalities—Perry Park, Ahn Yo-na, Ahn Yo-sub, Shin Se-gi, and Nana. After some coercion from his family, he returns to Korea to start working for the family business. The drama follows Cha Do-hyun as he deals with family, responsibilities, his past and his alters.

The drama also focuses on two other characters—Oh Ri-jin and Oh Ri-on. Oh Ri-jin is a psychiatrist resident who ends up being assigned to Cha Do-Hyun after he returns to Korea. Oh Ri-on, twin brother of Oh Ri-jin and writer under an alias called “Omega”, also becomes interested in Cha Do-hyun’s diagnosis and family.

Cha Do-hyun, Oh Ri-jin and Oh Ri-on’s lives become intertwined in the present, and it brings up the past as well.

Kill Me, Heal Me is thrilling, mysterious and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

My thoughts on the drama

  • Okay so IT WAS BRILLIANT. I got so wrapped into the show that I ignored pretty much everything else those few days. Even now when I think about the story, I get caught up in it in my head.
  • There was never a dull moment. The 20 1-hour episodes were jam-packed with events that kept making me increasingly invested.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: Lee Jin’s drama croner
  • Ji Sung, the actor who played Cha Do-hyun & the alters DESERVES A BIG AWARD. I was completely BLOWN AWAY by his performance and acting skills. I could not stop praising him and being wowed throughout the drama. It was more than the alters’ clothes that made the difference. It was the look in the eye, the gaze, the posture and so much more that makes a person unique. Ji Sung acted as multiple personalities down to the core. It was good that I could recognize which alter is currently on screen without knowing the name, even if they’re wearing different clothes.
  • Oh Ri-jin, the female lead, was easily likeable. She’s strong-willed, smart and puts all her might into her work. She genuinely cares for her patients and is pretty good at what she does.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: Dramabeans
  • Oh Ri-on, the other male lead, was very captivating on screen as well. He is a famous author under the pen name Omega, and is a dutiful brother to Oh Ri-jin.
  • The three main leads commanded the screen with their presence and I didn’t stand a chance of not liking them. Not only did the acting seem seamless, the chemistry between the actors was perfect for the drama. I got immersed into the story and did not think about how this is not real.
  • The plot itself was BLOODY BRILLIANT. I cannot imagine any other show or drama topping this one in mystery. It was just. too. good. I applaud the writers for coming up with this intriguing and captivating story line.
  • There was a twist in almost every episode. First of all, that is HARD to write and orchestrate. And two, they caught me off guard every single time. My friends who watched the drama were the same. We couldn’t stop talking about the twists and the amazing plot.
Kill Me Heal Me scene
Source: UniqueStream
  • The drama also includes SO MANY THINGS. It’s not just multiple personalities or just mystery. It’s way more and we get a lot of focus on each of those things. Let me list out the most prominent topics which we follow:
    1. The multiple personalities, which are highly interesting and intriguing on their own. I had never seen a show on multiple personality disorder before so this was new and amazing.
    2. Cha Do-hyun’s life as an heir/chaebol. The struggles of keeping an image, family politics and business politics being the same thing, fighting for power and inheritance etc.
    3. Romance. I actually REALLY liked this! And it really fit in with the plot.
    4. Mysterious pasts that come together in a way which will leave you speechless.
    5. And comedy! Every Kdrama has a comedic element, and I loved how Kill Me, Heal Me had humorous scenes without ruining the vibe of the show. It felt smooth and natural.
  • I LOVED THE SOUNDTRACK. I will talk more on this later.
  • Initially I felt like 20 episodes were too long for me to make time to binge. I even told my friend that I’ll take a couple weeks. But I finished it in FOUR DAYS. With college and everything. It’s THAT good.
  • I was dreading the ending because I didn’t want the drama to end. And, to be honest, I thought the ending was lackluster. For all the amazingness the drama was, the ending did not live up that. I can name ways in which it could have been better. That is the ONLY complaint I have. A brilliant Kdrama should have an equally brilliant ending.

The Characters

Oh my goodness, I’ve been waiting to talk ALL about the characters. Here we go.

Cha Do-hyun.

kill me heal me cha do hyun
Source: Amino Apps

Cha Do-hyun is the heir to a big and powerful company/business but due to a past unknown to him, he has multiple personality disorder. For the longest, it did not surface, but one day when he was in college, an alter took over him. And it happened again, and again, until he realised something is up.

His plan was to get treated and, at least, be in a compromising/acceptable state with his alters before returning home but gets called back early. He looks for a therapist to see in secret and ends up seeing Oh Ri-jin.

I loved Do-hyun’s journey throughout the drama. The highs, the lows, the struggles, the happiness, the resolve, his acceptance of his condition—all were portrayed damn well. He keeps going around correcting his alters’ actions/wrong doings. He is kind, really nice and somewhat lacking in confidence. He’s also always serious and somber.

Shin Se-gi

kill me heal me shin se gi.png
Source: fanpop.com

Shin Se-gi is one of Cha Do-hyun’s alter personalities, and he is the most prominent one whom we see. He’s the exact opposite of Cha Do-hyun. Se-gi is rude, unapologetic, and bold. He does not hold back from violence and doesn’t care about what people think of him.

Se-gi was really interesting, especially in contrast to Do-hyun. His ultimate goal is to take over Do-hyun completely and not be repressed inside. So, he’s basically against Do-hyun. That was so cool to watch.

(Did I mention what a brilliant actor Ji Sung is? Even if I did, it’s worth repeating. He is SO TALENTED.)

Ahn Yoo-na & Ahn Yoo-sub

These two alters are siblings. I have no clue how this works but after researching a few real stories, it happens in reality as well.

kill me heal me ahn yoo na
Source: dramabeans

Ahn Yoo-na is a teenage girl obsessed with boys. Her top priority is to go after cute boys and fawn over them. It’s so funny, oh my gosh.

kill me heal me ahn yoo sub
Source: dramabeans

Ahn Yoo-sub is the suicidal alter. He’s a depressed teenager and keeps trying to kill himself. He also always keeps to himself. Not introverted but just sad and alone.

Perry Park

kill me heal me perry park
Source: Enjoy Korea with Hui

Perry Park is the most fun alter. He is carefree, would rather drink away his days, is very into fishing and is really fun to hangout with. He is also a genius with bombs which is so funny. Like, if you put all the alters into one body and they take turns controlling the body, it’s a recipe for a funny disaster.

Perry Park has his own issues which is very under-the-surface. I did not consider him as interesting but he grew on me.

Nana

kill me heal me nana
Source: weheartit

Nana is the last alter and she is a young girl. Probably around the age 5. She is always with her teddy bear and draws the bear on paper a lot and writes Nana. She is the young and innocent alter who is stuck at that age.

Oh Ri-jin

kill me heal me oh ri jin
Source: Asian Wiki

Oh Ri-jin is a first year psychiatry resident. My first impression of her was that she is a strong character. She is stubborn, bold and determined. I really liked that she is tenacious and determined to see through any commitment of hers. She’s also really cute.

Hwang Jung-eum acted and portrayed the character very well. She was perfect for the role.

Oh Ri-on

kill me heal me oh ri on
Source: Amino Apps

Oh Ri-on is Oh Ri-jin’s twin brother and super famous author under the pen name Omega. He writes mystery books so when he has a puzzle, he becomes very intent on solving it.

Oh Ri-on is kind, is a protective and good brother, and a good person in general. He is attentive yet jolly so he is the perfect company. I really liked his character. Park Seo-joon, the actor, was the perfect person for this role. No one else could have executed it better.

What actually captivated me the most about his was his emotion. I really liked how his inner struggles and emotions were shown. He tries to be a happy go-lucky guy but underneath all that, he is so much more. They way he continues on while struggling internally in secret grabbed me.

The Soundtrack

The entire vibe of the drama was matched so well with the music. The music really ENHANCED the scenes and the vibe.

While all of the songs were good for the drama, one particular song stood out.

Auditory Hallucination by Jang Jae-in MADE the drama’s vibe. And I’m not saying this lightly. It was used very often throughout the 20 episodes but IT FIT the drama like no other. I fell absolutely in love with the song. Now, whenever I listen to it, I remember scenes from Kill Me, Heal Me.

Also, apparently, the meaning of the song is taken to be like the title. The rap parts of the song are supposed to convey or mean Kill Me, while the melodious vocal part is to mean Heal Me. And I FELT THAT. Even before I knew the lyrics, I could relate those emotions with the music, and I could relate the emotions and music to the drama.

So yeah, Auditory Hallucinations is hands down my favourite song from the OST.

Overall

GO WATCH IT.

This is one Kdrama which you WILL remember. Not only was it captivating and intriguing, it also portrays multiple personality disorder SO WELL. I actually did some research and watched some videos after I finished Kill Me, Heal Me.

The drama still has a strong impression on me, several months later, and I’m someone who easily forgets stories. So yes, this is a must-watch. I definitely recommend it.

Have you seen Kill Me, Heal Me? Or is it something that you might like? Have you seen multiple/split personality disorder in any other show/drama/movie? Tell me in the comments!

The Perfect Husband || with the perfect villain

Book: The Perfect Husband
Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Category: Adult
Series info: Book 1 of Quincy & Raine but can be read as a standalone
Goodreads

Synopsis:

Tess was only eighteen when she married Jim Beckett, a decorated police officer. Having grown up in an abusive household, she thought she’d found her savior in Jim. But he quickly showed a dark, controlling side and an explosive rage that, unbeknownst to Tess, resulted in his committing multiple murders. When Tess finally put the pieces together, she helped the police capture Jim. But now two y ears later, he’s escaped from prison, and Tess knows he’s going after her.Tess isn’t about to sit still and be turned into a victim once more. Leaving her daughter in the protective custody of the police, she travels to Arizona where she intends to hire the infamous mercenary J.T. Dillon to teach her how to protect herself. J.T. has had enough of life, having lost too many of his personal battles, and is content is drink himself into oblivion. But Tess refuses to go away, and J.T. realizes that she’s his one chance to redeem himself.

Meanwhile, the police are on a manhunt for Jim, who has started killing again. Finally, everyone realizes that the only way to capture the elusive Jim is to set Tess up as a bait, leading to a breath-stealing climax.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

First of all, WOW.

I’m slowly going through all Lisa Gardner books I can find, and this is the best I’ve read so far. Why is it that every book I read is better than the previous ones I’ve read.

THE PLOT

The book starts about mid-way of the plot, with backstory being given to us at appropriate times. Tess, running from her psychopath husband Jim, decides to learn how to fight from a retired Marine. She knows that being in prison is not going to stop her husband from coming after her.

It’s a thrilling ride, seeing the story from multiple points of views.

Jim is the best villain I’ve read about. He’s a bloody genius with an IQ of 145. The rest of the characters, even though they tried their hardest, are always two steps behind him. The only person who’s ready for it is Tess.

As the book progresses, we see just how smart and brilliant he is. I kept getting impressed by him. Honestly brilliant.

We also went into the psychology of a psychopath. I found out so much about the human psyche, and how psychopaths think, through this book.

There also this brief moment where Tess wondered about Jim, and this quote was so good I had to mark it.

No one knew what caused a psychopath. Were they born? Were they made? Could they pass on that cruelty to their children?

-The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

Tess was a pretty good main character, but I somehow didn’t really like her. Her characteristics were contradicting sometimes and that threw me off.

Tess is a determined person. She’s determined to learn how to fight and not rely on police guard. She knows that Jim will come for her, and the next time she will be prepared. It’s either kill, or be killed. And she cannot leave her daughter in his hands, even though he seems to genuinely love their daughter.

Another main character is JT Dillon, the ex-marine Tess approaches to learn how to fight. J.T. Dillon was interesting. I liked the way he kept going in circles about the feelings for his family because it made sense. I totally expect that from people who have gone through those things. I also felt that he was the kind of character we see in real life more, compared to the others.

I also liked the focus on J.T.’s sister Marion and her mindset about the abuse she received as a child. She’s the woman who is a brilliant cop, and is better at the job than most men. We also see sexism through her experiences.

Overall

It’s a great book that blew me off on the thriller and mystery part. I didn’t like the romance part that was added in but it’s kind of negligible so it’s okay.

I definitely recommend it to readers who love the genre, and even those who don’t.

doctor stranger poster

Doctor Stranger // Kdrama review

It’s time for another Korean drama review! Let’s hope I didn’t forget everything about this show because I actually watched it months back lol. Thank goodness I had the foresight to make notes so this review might actually have some details.

I watched this Kdrama only because of Lee Jong-suk. After watching three shows of his and loving all of them, I decided I’m bingeing the shows in which he’s a lead. I tried watching I Can Hear Your Voice because I saw a blog post that said he’s amazing in it. I liked him well enough but I HATED the other main character. She was very annoying and Lee Jong-suk’s character still pined over her. Yeah, no.

So then I decided to try Doctor Stranger and I went in with low expectations because I hadn’t heard much praise for this one. I did take a while to get into it.

The Plot

We start off with Park Hoon’s dad Park Cheol, a brilliant heart surgeon, being called to North Korea. He took Park Hoon along because Hoon’s mother refused to care for him. But they were tricked and the father-son duo weren’t allowed to return to South Korea.

Years later, with Hoon as a budding genius surgeon, Hoon and his girlfriend Song Jae-hee try to escape to South Korea. The plan goes awry and Hoon crosses alone. Ever since, he’s been looking for Jae-hee.

Through chance circumstances he gets hired as a surgeon in Myungwoo University Hospital and meets an anesthesiologist by the name Han Seung-hee who looks exactly like Hoon’s Song Jae-hee. She adamantly refuses that she’s Jae-hee but Hoon refuses to accept that, believing that she is Jae-hee.

Two people cannot have the same heartbeat. And I know yours, Jae-hee.

The rest of the plot is centered around two other leads— Han Jae-joon and Oh Soo-hyun, also doctors at the hospital. Other than the romance, there’s plot about political corruption, revenge, secret assassinations and medical drama. In fact there’s more of all that than romance.

My thoughts on the show:

I’m going to be doing this point-wise so that you know exactly what I liked and how much I liked it.

+2

Lee Jong-suk as Park Hoon was the highlight of the show. Park Hoon is eccentric (and his hairstyle matches), playful and a genius. He’s been trained well by his father and is a great heart surgeon. While this show isn’t as compelling as other shows of Lee Jong-suk’s (that I’ve seen), it’s still good enough in terms of characters. If Lee Jong-suk wasn’t the lead and someone else played Park Hoon, I don’t think I would have liked the show as much.

doctor stranger park hoon.jpg

I also liked that Hoon used to picture and practice his upcoming surgeries before-hand. Whenever things went wrong in his head, he started over again until he’s sure that he can perform the surgery successfully.

-1

I found one recurring thing unbelievable. Hoon, just by touching the patient’s chest, was able to picture the heart and immediately determine what’s wrong. It’s not realistic, especially since it happened ALL THE TIME.

I don’t know much about the heart from a medical point of view but I don’t think that you can find out exactly what is wrong just by placing your hand over the patient’s chest, no matter how skilled you are.

+1

The mystery and thrilling underlying plot line related to politics and disagreement between South Korea and North Korea was pretty good to watch. We got some action and mystery, which I’m all for.

While not a focus point, it influences Hoon’s life and it’s addition made the show more interesting.

-1

But at some points, the plot I spoke of above, did seem unnecessary and stupid. I have mixed feelings about it because of those random pointless things.

The whole thing revolves around Hoon and requiring him to do the heart surgery of the vice president, which was weird for a long time. I was so confused as to why he was chosen and why they need him. Honestly, by the time the backstory and reasons were revealed, I still didn’t care. There were so many elaborate plots and set-ups for a seemingly small thing.

+1

I liked the “is she Jae-hee or is she Seung-hee?” debate I had throughout the show. Once I decided on something, another clue or fact would pop up and I was thrown into a loop again. It kept me interested, wanting to know her identity and reasons no matter what her is identity is. If she’s Jae-hee, why did she hide herself from Hoon? If she’s Seung-hee, how come she looks exactly like Jae-hee unless they’re twins? I kept cooking up theories.

(below is a picture of Song Jae-hee)

doctor stranger song jae hee 2.jpg

Source: HanCinema

-2

Unfortunately, what I mentioned above was the ONLY thing I liked about the character. I pretty much hated Han Seung-hee and did not care about her at all.

Okay, but truly.

I kept trying to like her, or at least be meh about her because she was Hoon’s love (assuming she’s Jae-hee) and I liked Hoon. But I just could not like her how much ever I tried.

Song Jae-hee, in the small amount of time we saw her, was shown as a vibrant girl and I thought I liked her instantaneously.

doctor stranger song jae hee.jpg

Source: Korean Daydreamer

Han Seung-hee (shown in the picture above), on the other hand, was just BLANK. I did not see any emotion in her. I did not see joy when she was supposedly happy and didn’t see her upset when she was supposedly sad. It was the same expression throughout her screen time in the show.

Only a few times did I see her smile and look sad but that also didn’t look genuine, somehow. I don’t know. I found her weird.

It’s obviously not bad acting because the same actress played Jae-hee, whom I liked in one minute. I just do not like the way Seung-hee’s character was written and directed.

+2

Oh Soo-hyun, on the other hand, was a really good lead. I really liked her.

Doctor Stranger oh soo hyun.jpg

Source: DramaFever

She tries very hard to be a good doctor even though she “doesn’t have the talent” so that she can prove herself to her father, who’s the chairman of the hospital.

She was also really entertaining to watch while simultaneously being someone I related to. She’s vulnerable and under confident but tries to do well and handle herself in situations. Not only was she clumsy in feelings and had funny expressions, she was a determined doctor.

She’s the only doctor I’ve seen studying hard in dramas (and shows and movies). She legit sat with medical books and tried to understand the problem and all of the theory. She worked hard.

Soo-hyun ends up liking Hoon and her journey on that plot line was pretty interesting to watch as well. I was actually rooting for her and Hoon even though I kinda wanted Hoon to get his one true love back? I was very confused on the shipping side of things.

doctor stranger.png

Source: Korean Daydreamer

+1

Coming from a completely different story line, Han Jae-joon held his own on screen against Hoon and Soo-hyun.

He’s a gifted surgeon who graduated as a top medical student from Harvard. Why’s he in Myungwoo, you ask? Well, it turns out that when he was a teenager, his father passed away during surgery due to medical malpractice. The head surgeon (currently the chairman) did not apologize at all. Jae-joon also lost his mother to grief.

He’s back in Myungwoo to destroy the hospital, and the chairman with it, to get revenge. That’s his aim. But while pursuing that and using Soo-hyun for his goals since she’s the chairman’s daughter, he ends up falling in love with her and tries to suppress it.

I really liked watching his character development and all the obstacles he had to go through in terms of his heart. On one hand, he’s very angry about his parents but on the other, he’s now in love with Soo-hyun. If he pursues one side, the other isn’t possible.

doctor stranger han jae joon.jpg

Source: seoulbeats.com

-1

The plot holes were annoying as heck. Since most of the show was medical-related, I knew nothing. But the plot holes that I did pick up annoyed me so much because explanation was NOT given. The story seemed very incomplete.

I will mention the details of the plot holes in a spoiler section below.

+0.5

The supporting characters were okay but not that impressive. Some were funny, some helped the main cast but overall I’m not impressed by them.

I only liked Lee Chang-yi (who’s like a younger sister to Hoon in present day) because she was cute and level-headed, and Moon Hyung-wook (Hoon’s direct boss in the hospital) who was there mostly for humour purposes.

doctor stranger lee chang yi

Lee Chang-yi. Source: DramaPopuler

-1.5

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to give this -1 or -2 so I just went with -1.5.

There were a series of surgical competitions set up by the hospital’s authorities for Hoon and Jae-joon. It was to decide who would be performing surgery on the vice president.

I didn’t like that they made a competition out of important surgeries. I didn’t like that they chose patients based on the level of difficulty of the surgery and not from a doctor’s concern.

I know that it’s supposed to show Hoon as the only good doctor who cared about the patients and Jae-joon as someone willing to do anything to climb ranks and destroy the hospital, but still. I do not approve of it. There were multiple (four, if I remember right) such competitions held over several episodes.


Since I did not really notice the songs in this show and don’t care to listen to them specifically, I don’t have a favourite songs section.


Discussion (INCLUDES SPOILERS)

If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.

Okay so let’s see the plot holes that annoyed me so much, it almost ruined the whole story because these don’t make sense.

One, how did Hoon finally reach South Korea from Budapest? There was just a time-jump resulting in him being South Korea with no elaboration whatsoever.

Two, how did Jae-hee survive the fall the first time in Budapest? How was she saved in time because she was shot and she was in water. I’m sure Hoon would have stayed there for a long time staring or would have tried to save her as well.

Three, how did that North Korea military captain whatever guy survive? He also got shot and fell into the lake. Searches were done to search his body pretty soon.

Four, how did Hoon and Jae-hee survive the fall the second time in the last episode? Soo-hyun and Chang-yi ran over and saw them fall. They were standing right there. I’m sure even the police would have been called and searches would have been done. How did they escape and why didn’t they tell anyone??? Surely the people close to them would have been happy to know they’re alive and would have kept it as a secret.

There seems to be a lot of surviving in this show with no explanation.

Five, Jae-joon knew that they survived. Of all the people, why him? And how? One side would have had to reach out or Jae-joon would have saved them and I don’t see how? IT was not explained as well??

Oof what stupid plot holes. They’re so obvious! How did the writers or anyone else in the making of the show not notice??


Overall points =  1

Do I recommend it?

Go for the show if you really like Lee Jong-suk and want to see more of him. Otherwise, just skip it.

Do you like dramas/shows featuring medical fields? Have you seen doctors studying in any?

Top Ten Books Of 2018 (So Far)

This has been a year of rereads for me. I think I’ve spent more time rereading books than reading new ones, and honestly I’m fine with that! I’ve gotten to revisit many of my favourite books and gave feels or notice something I missed before.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far). Although I haven’t read as many new books to have 10 books I really loved, I have read enough books.

So I’m just going to list the best 10, which aren’t really all that I totally loved. It’ll be ordered best to good.

[1] The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the hate u giveLet’s start off with one of the BEST I’ve EVER read. The Hate U Give centers around #BlackLivesMatter and it’s so powerful.

It is the story about a girl named Starr who is the witness of her best friend’s unfair shooting. We follow along the consequences and how lives are changed after that event, and how the law sides with white Americans. Starr was a brilliant character and I absolutely loved the supporting characters as well.

The book has also been adapted into a movie! Here’s the amazing trailer which makes me want to watch the movie NOW.

Click here to read my review.

[2] The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James

the loneliest girl in the universeI don’t usually go for Young Adult Sci-Fi books but I heard a LOT about this book so I picked it up. And it BLEW me away.

We follow Romy Silvers as she’s in a spaceship headed to a new planet. She’s the only person and she’s been very lonely. Suddenly there’s a new, better, spaceship also headed the same place. She’ll get to see another person after years!

I think the loneliness was told very well and I loved the concept. In the beginning the book might have been a liitle boring but by the end, I was a fan.

Click here to read my review.

[3] Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner

crash and burnI read her book The Other Daughter years back and always wanted to read more of her work but I didn’t get to it. Recently I saw this book in the bookstore and bought it immediately.

The book is about Nicky, who one day starts looking for “Vero” and her car overturns while drunk driving. From then starts the search for Vero but it’s also a problem that Nicky doesn’t really know. Above that, both her and her husband look very suspicous because chunks from their history is missing.

The book gripped me right from the start and took me on a ride.

Click here to read my review.

[4] From Lukov, With Love by Mariana Zapata

from lukov with loveI found this book on the New Adult list on Goodreads and it immediately got my attention. I was totally into the idea of the main character being an ice skater.

But the book was so much more than that. I absolutely adore the hate-to-love relationship and the relationship growth. I’m all for those two things. This book got 5 stars from me and I’m not a fan of Mariana Zapata.

Since then, I’ve read two more books by her but From Lukov, With Love is my favourite.

Click here to read my review.

[5] American Panda by Gloria Chao

american pandaThis book made it to this list because of the diversity. The main character is Taiwanese-American and I learnt so much about Taiwanese and Chinese cultures from this book! And I was surprised to find similarities as well.

Mei tries to be the perfect daughter because her brother disappointed her parents, but it’s hard because of the numerous things she has to follow. Her parents are very strict and she doesn’t feel free to do what she wants and date who she wants. We follow her as she tries to stay within line but also walk the line because she wants cross it.

Click here to read my review.

[6] The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

the bellesImagine a world where a few women control beauty. Everyone is born ugly and then, The Belles transform them into something beautiful. If you can pay, you can go to them when you wish to change something about yourself or change completely!

The world in this book is revolving around beauty and your definition of it. It’s centered on Camellia Beauregard, who is a curious Belle with a tendency to rebel.

Belles are cherished by the world and wanted everywhere, but they’re also held to a number of restrictions and their life is not as perfect as you would think it would be. Dhonielle Clayton has formed a very interesting world and I can’t wait to read more.

Click here to read my review.

[7] Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

restore meI liked Shatter Me’s first two books and LOVED book three. So you can imagine how excited I was when more books in the series were announced.

Restore Me has one thing that was missing from the previous book and that is the rest of the world. Previously we only saw the surroundings around Juliette and knew barely anything about the rest of the world. And despite thinking we did, we didn’t know all that much about Warner’s past as well.

All of the plot holes and missing facts are explored in this book along with the continuation of Juliette vs. The Reestablishment.

Click here to read my review.

[8] Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

let's talk about loveThe reason I picked up this book and what I liked best is the asexuality representation. I only knew the basic definition of asexuality but I never read a book about it before.

This book has an asexual main character who tries to navigate relationships—platonic and romantic. I mostly liked that she’s just an average person with a small fact that she’s asexual. It does bring in problems while dating but she tries.

While it’s not an absolute favourite because of the almost-insta-love, I did quite like it.

Click here to read my review.

[9] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

the cruel princeThis book is HYPED. And the hype has led to huge expectations, even if we’ve tried to avoid it. And in some cases it has led to disappointment. I wasn’t very disappointed but I have to admit, I was a little let down.

The book is about fae and the faerie. I’m always into faerie but I somehow was not that into this book. Mainly because I couldn’t grasp how someone as inconsequential as Jude, who is a human, who only wants to climb ranks causes so much change. I don’t get it.

While the story is pretty good, the faerie world was cool and Jude was okay, I still do not get the hype.

Click here to read my review.

[10] Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

wintersongThe last book of the list is Wintersong, which only made to the list because I don’t have another better book. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Leisl, our main character, is talented in writing music but since her musician father likes more good musicians than songwriters, she’s not as valued. She’s overshadowed by her siblings. One day her sister disappears and she finds out that the Goblin King took her.

She goes into the world she thought was a myth to get back her sister and her story changes beyond what she thought.

The book was really nice for the first half but after that I was just bored. I might pick up the next book but I’m not sure, so let’s see.

Click here to read my review.


I just realized as I was writing this blog post that I’ve included every genre I read most into the list! Contemporary, Science Fiction, Mystery, Dystopian and Fantasy!

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So that was my top ten books of the year! What were yours? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments! Also do comment the link of your TTT if you’ve posted one.

While You Were Sleeping // Kdrama review

I am obsessed. Completely obsessed. I wasn’t really interested in watching Korean dramas before but after a LOT of insistence from my friend (thanks Sabs!) I finally agreed to watch it, and I fell in love with it.

I binged this show in two days and did NOTHING else. I don’t think I could have even if I tried because it completely drew me in and I could not stop watching it.

First of all, I am NOT talking about the movie While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock, neither is this a Korean adaptation of it. While talking about it to my friends, a few thought I was talking about the movie. So I’m putting this out there.

What is the drama all about?

The drama mainly stars Nam Hong-joo, Jung Jae-chan and Han Woo-tak who have dreams of the future. It all started with Hong-Joo but later the other two it as well. Throughout the show we see them trying to change the future to a better one.

I got into the show right from the beginning because it starts with Hong-joo dreaming about hugging this guy she’s never seen before, and then he shows up in real life. The first two episodes properly get you into the concept of predicting dreams, changing paths and get you attached to the characters.

What I loved about the story

  • Since Jae-chan is a prosecutor, we follow all of the cases he works on. I absolutely LOVED the mystery and thriller aspect it gave to the show. My favourites of it all were the court scenes. They were so intense that it kept me to the edge of my seat, especially in the last few episodes. I didn’t even move when watching the 31st episode* and I felt like I had to work out to get my limbs loosened up.
  • The relationships in this show were BRILLIANT. I adored Hong-joo’s relationship with her mom right from the start. I also really liked the familial, friendship and work-place dynamics that was shown. Not only did I get invested in the characters individually but I also adored their relationships.

while you were sleeping.png

Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi

  • The small details paid to the characters’ personalities and habits was really interesting to watch. Especially in Lee Yoo-bum, a lawyer who covers up the crimes of his clients.
  • The PERFECT soundtrack. Just listening to the songs after the show ended gets me into that mood. In fact, I’m listening to the soundtrack right now. I’m completely and utterly obsessed with the songs. They were perfect for the scenes and accompanied the emotions really well.
  • There were also MANY funny scenes which made me laugh out loud. The day-to-day weirdness of characters and embarrassing moments made the characters more realistic.
  • It made me cry multiple times. The show gave me so many darn feels that I just could NOT hold out against the feels. Stories that make you cry are THE BEST.
  • Okay so THE ROMANCE WAS HELLA ADORABLE. I loved that it was slow paced. There was relationship growth and cute moments and aww moments and just… the romance was everything. I rooted for the couple right from the start. You can’t not love them.

DramaKimch-While-You-Were-Sleeping-8-2.png

Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi

I also want to mention one scene done towards the end of the show. It showed parallel scenes of two different times and it was done SO BLOODY WELL.

*there are 32 episodes totally

The Characters

Nam Hong-joo was a very entertaining character to watch. The character played by Suzy is pretty weird, especially in the beginning, which made her endearing. But as the show goes on we see how she tries to change the bad future which she reads, how she tries to keep her morale up when she’s down and how she pushes through the bad dreams.

while you were sleeping hong joo.jpg

Source: Soompi

While I really like Hong-joo, watching Jung Jae-Chan was the highlight of the show. Lee Jong-suk plays this character SO DAMN WELL that I was blown off by it. Jae-chan is silly, foolish at times and also quite slow in doing his work but he’s determined to bring justice, dig until he finds the truth and is VERY supportive of everyone. I especially loved watching him as a prosecutor at court. He’s really adorable and I might have a slight crush. Just slightly.

while you were sleeping jung jae-chan.jpg

Source: Pinterest

Now, ALLOW ME TO TALK ABOUT MY BAE. Han Woo-tak was the cutest. We don’t immediately recognize him as a main character but he becomes important pretty soon and I just LOVED watching him. There are many layers to his character which we see as the show goes on, and all of it just made me love him more. During the last few episodes every time he came on screen I made a heart and said “bae”. That’s how much I like him. Jung Hae-in played him superbly.

while you were sleeping woo tak

Source: Dramabeans

Now let’s move on to the other really important character who is played by Lee Sang-yeob. Lee Yoo-bum is “the bad guy”. I didn’t like him as a person but I loved his character and the depth to it. Throughout the show we watch him playing on the other side of the law against our main three, being cocky and confident.

As I said before, I loved the tiny details to his character like him rolling bits of paper when he’s thinking, putting aside his watch when consulting with a paying client and scrubbing his hands with soap vigorously when he’s afraid.

while you were sleeping lee yoo bum

Source: Dramabeans

As for the recurring characters, they were played really well as well. I could go on and on talking about the characters of the show but then you’d here all day reading this post.

My favourite songs from the soundtrack

After that talk above about this show having the PERFECT soundtrack, obviously I have to mention some of the songs which I loved the most. After I finished bingeing the show, for about three weeks I was listening to the soundtrack with my #1 favourite changing every few days. All the songs are amazing but the following are the ones I listened to on repeat sometimes.

The above song is sung by Lee Jong-suk who plays Jung Jae-chan in the show! I actually did not make the connection because I kept calling the actor by the show name and not his real name. But since I watched another show with him in it, I figured I should call him by his real name and only then made the connection. Y’all, this song is SO GOOD.

In fact, Suzy who plays Nam Hong-joo is also a singer and she’s contributed a couple tracks to the show as well.


Discussion (INCLUDES SPOILERS)

If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.

Okay so now that I’m done with the spoiler-free part of the review, I really want to talk about a few things.

Especially..

Plot Holes

Here are a few things I wish was spoken about or was elaborated:

  1. Jae-chan’s dad’s death was spoken about a lot but what about his mom? How did she die? We never really saw her except in one flashback scene and they never told how she died.
  2. In episode 10 Hong-joo saved a girl at the university from being badly burned. Just like Woo-tak still felt as if he’d been hit when he didn’t after Jae-chan saved him, she also felt as if she was burned even though she wasn’t. Why didn’t she get any dreams about Hong-joo?
  3. Did Mr. Choi never get any dreams about Jae-chan and Hong-joo in those several years? We all know those two were in a lot of trouble but why didn’t he go to save them any of those times before the fire?
  4. On the same note, why did Jae-chan not get any dreams during those 13 years before he met Hong-joo again? How come they started only when they met again?
  5. How did the dreams start for Hong-joo in the first place?
  6. And now for a very important question: why did Jae-chan have blond hair when he was younger??????????? That looked SO BAD. He could have just had black hair!

I’ve been thinking about these ever since I finished the show about three weeks back. Let me know in comments if you have any theories about these!

Also, what about those parallel scenes in episode 31??? The one at the funerals from 13 years back and presently. When Hong-joo and Jae-chan cried. It was done so perfectly just to make us bawl like babies?!

Did anyone else also bawl when Hong-joo cried while Jae-chan was in the hospital room being recovered because I DID. Even though I love Woo-tak and wished that she chose him just so he’ll be happy, Hong-joo and Jae-chan were meant to be. That scene almost killed me. If he had died I wouldn’t have recovered for a long time.

Overall

I definitely recommend this show! In fact I’ve already told quite a few of my friends to watch it (let’s hope they do). Because I loved WYWS so much I got into into Kdramas now. Instead of reading books all my free time I’m now binge-watching Kdramas.

Have you watched While You Were Sleeping? If yes, do tell me your theories related to the wonderings I mentioned in the discussion section. If not, have you watched any other Korean dramas? Which did you love the most? Have you seen any other movie/TV show where the characters dream of the future? Let me know everything in the comments!

Crash and Burn || the plot twists are A+

crash and burn.jpgTitle: Crash and Burn

Author: Lisa Gardner

Genre: Mystery

Category: Young Adult (isn’t really categorized so I’m saying according to what I think)

Status: Book 3 of Tessa Leoni but can be read as a standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Sophie Hannah says it’s ‘the perfect thriller’, now read Sunday Times bestseller Lisa’s Gardner’s compulsive and unputdownable thriller CRASH & BURN. A WOMAN, UNABLE TO REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF A CAR ACCIDENT, JUST WANTS TO KNOW WHERE HER DAUGHTER IS…. If you love Karin Slaughterand Tess Gerritsen, you’ll love Lisa Gardner.

My name is Nicky Frank.

I’m in hospital, afraid. All I can think about is Vero. I have to save her but I can’t find her. She’s just a little girl. The man by my bed tells me we’re married and there is no Vero. He says that six months ago I suffered a brain injury, that I have dramatic mood swings and large gaps in my memory. I get angry and I drink. All of which explains the car crash that put me here.

Now a Sergeant Wyatt Foster has questions about the accident. He has concerns about my husband. And he’s worried about a missing girl. He would like to know what happened to me. So would I.

This is my life. Watch me crash and burn.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

The first time I read a Lisa Gardner book was in 7th grade (I think?). I was in the library and I was checking out the mystery/thriller section. I randomly picked The Other Daughter because it drew me. And I LOVED IT. I even wrote a review about it last year or so because it deserves every good review it can get.

So I was in the bookstore and I took this book the second I saw it, no hesitations. I want to read all of her books in time.

Note: I read this book as a standalone without knowing that it’s part of a series and had no problem, so reading in order isn’t required.

The Plot

Right from the beginning, I was drawn into the book.

The book starts with Nicky driving drunk, thinking about saving Vero, and her car overturns. In a situation where any other person would have died, she managed to get herself out of the car and climbed a ravine to get to the road in her very injured state. All for Vero.

Immediately the police start searching for a child named Vero but they find absolsutely no traces of her.

During the investigation, secrets and mysteries pile up and then are removed layer by layer. And let me tell you, there are a LOT of layers.

Is knowing who you aren’t the same as knowing who you are? Is knowing you’re sick of running the same as knowing how to fight?

Is knowing that you’re tired of forgetting the same as knowing how to remember?

The Characters

The book is written in multiple POVs but it’s mostly through Nicky Frank. And we’re taken on a roller coaster ride. I loved how all the characters were written. Each had depth and they all affected the investigation.

The main highlight was, obviously, Nicky. The author wrote her BRILLIANTLY. She was perfect and it couldn’t have been done better.

I can’t say much without spoilers, sadly.

Overall

I finished the book pretty fast considering college the amount of work I had. Once I was done, I couldn’t stop raving about it!

A friend asked me to tell her the story and I spent a whole day in college narrating it to her. SHE GOT SO INTO IT Y’ALL. I told her exactly how the book went and at this one point we were having lunch and I had just stopped at a twist to have a bite and she yelled at me to finish. She was too into it and she said I HAD to finish before class started because she didn’t think she’d be able to survive class peacefully without knowing.

Even my other friends who heard the story in bits got into it. It’s REALLY good. I totally recommend it to everyone.

five-stars

Genuine Fraud || if only the ending was different..

genuine fraud.jpgTitle: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockheart

Genre: Mystery

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel–the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

I absolutely LOVED We Were Liars by the author and I jumped at the chance to read this. I grabbed it from the shelf in the bookstore without hesitation. I KNEW I would love it, especially since I also heard good things about it online.

The Plot

The story is narrated backwards, which is the best part of the book. We start at chapter 18 and go backwards till 1 before reading 19, the last chapter.

We follow the story of Jule, starting from her living the vacation dream at a hotel and then running from a detective. Slowly, as chapters go backward, facts are unraveled. I was kept at the edge of my seat because so much was a mystery and I wanted to get to the bottom of it FAST.

By the time I reached chapter 1, the build-up was SO MUCH and I was just waiting for the drop or huge reveal. Well, guess what? We didn’t get one. Suddenly I was at chapter 19 and the build-up disappeared without a climax. I was confused. I reread that part, but I missed nothing. There wasn’t anything. I was very disappointed by the ending. Vague, normal and nothing great. It was a very open ending and I did not like it.

The Characters

I finished the whole book and STILL don’t have a proper understanding of any character’s personality. I couldn’t figure out Jule or Imogen, and they were the main characers! That’s another disappointment. I don’t have much to say here because of it.

The Writing Style

LOVED IT. Kept me engaged, on edge and did not let go until the end. I got so sucked into the story, I ignored all else. It’s a little haunting.

Overall

I gave the book a good rating only because of:

  • the writing style and
  • the backwards narration

If the story was written normally, on the normal timeline, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have liked the book. That’s also disappointing.

four-stars

Have you read Genuine Fraud? Have you read We Were Liars? If so, what did you think of them? If you haven’t, are they on your TBR? Have you read any other book written in a backwards timeline?

The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau || more psychological, less mystery

the disappearance of adele bedeau.jpgTitle: The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau

Author: Graeme Macrae Burnet

Genre: Mystery

Status: Standalone

Goodreads


Synopsis:

Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adele Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past. ‘The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau’ is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

my-review-lightuptheshiningnightstars

Note: I received a copy from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you BEE publishers!

I’ve been wanting to get out of my romance-reading streak so when I got the chance to review this, I jumped on it. The story proceeds slowly, is creepy and dark.

The Plot

In a small town where almost nothing exciting happens, a young and beautiful waitress goes missing. This sets off a sequence of events, mainly focused on bank manager Manfred Baumann and Detective Georges Gorski. Manfred, although not the person guilty of anything related to Adele, goes under the microscope because of something else from his past.

Throughout the book we find out a lot about Manfred and Gorski, and disappointingly almost nothing about Adele.

On the plot as a whole, especially the ending, I didn’t like it. I went in expecting a lot about the disappearance and mystery content but instead found myself digging into Manfred and Gorski’s heads. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I knew the nature of the story. i definitely would have been less disappointed with the ending.

The Characters

Manfred Baumann is a creature of habit. He has a routine set, including what little white lies he tells people every week. He’s also pretty unsocial, with no real friends. His routine is so set that he often wonders about what others would think if he deviated one day.

Adele Bedeau is a beautiful young waitress who catches the eye of Manfred. Despite being mentioned in the title, the book contains very little content on her. The main focus is Manfred and the series of events caused by Adele’s disappearance.

Georges Gorski is a good detective in a town with almost no mysterious crimes. He lives a mediocre life with his wife and daughter. He’s the only character I kind of liked.

This isn’t the kind of book which you read to like or relate to the characters, though. You read it to get into the mind of a character who is dark and quite creepy.

The Mystery

Personally, I found the story to be way more psychological thriller than crime mystery. Even though Adele disappears and that’s what sets off a sequence of events, the story is mostly about Manfred, a little about Gorski. Since the book is written in dual POV of them both, we totally get into their heads and read about their pasts.

The pacing of the story was a little too slow for me, especially with the info dumps on the characters’ pasts, which I wasn’t interested in at all. I just wanted to know about Adele’s disappearance.

Overall

As I said, I might have enjoyed it more if I went in expecting a psychological thriller. Alas, I didn’t enjoy it much. However if you like books that dig into characters, which are dark and give the creeps, I totally recommend this. 

two-stars