‘Tis the season for excuses right now. Unfortunately, right when I thought things were dying down at work things started going crazy at home. This past week I have been largely incapacitated thanks to a failure to properly read labels. Here’s my issue: I can read books with the finest tooth comb, but when it comes to packaging labels my eyes glaze over and I hope for the best.
Okay, I think this is like my fourth or fifth K-drama that I’ve watched and its definitely cemented as one of my favorites.
Suspicious Partner follows No Ji Wook, a hard-to-do prosecutor and Eun Bong Hee, a judicial trainee. The two meet incidentally on a subway, where Bong Hee falsely accuses Ji Wook of being a pervert who grabbed her butt. The pair meets again later that night after Bong Hee gets into a fight with her boyfriend for cheating on her and Ji Wook overhears and comes to her rescue, as he himself was once cheated upon. Ji Wook and Bong Hee end up sharing a drink (i.e. several drinks) and Bong Hee wakes up in Ji Wooks house the next morning, unable to remember anything. Thoroughly embarrassed, Bong Hee flees the scene and heads to work where she finds out Ji Wook is her mentor and new boss.
I’m a sucker for these kinds of mass paperbacks, but this one let me down a little bit. To be fair The Scandal of it All is the second book in The Rogue Files by Sophie Jordan, but I didn’t realize that until I had already purchased it and cracked it open at home. However, based on the reviews I’ve read from others, it would seem that reading the other novel before The Scandal of it All would have only let me down more.
Come for Lee Min-ho, stay for Kim Woo Bin.
The Heirs is the second K-Drama I have watched and my experience with this one was very different from watching my first, The Legend of the Blue Sea. The two shows share their male lead, Lee Min-ho, but that’s about it. The premise of The Heirs centers around Cha Eun-Sang and Kim Tan. Eun-Sang’s mother is the housekeeper to Kim Tans wealthy family; Eun Sang and Kim Tan meet in America when Eun Sang visits her sister in America to give her money under the belief she is getting married. Eun Sang hopes to stay in the States to find a better life, but finds her sister is not getting married and instead she takes the money and runs, leaving Eun Sang devastated.
Kim Tan watches the heart-wrenching exchange of Eun Sang fighting with her sister and after an unfortunate disaster feels compelled to help her. The two grow close over the next few days, but Eun Sang eventually returns to South Korea and treats her time in America as a dream. Kim Tan, who was exiled to America by his elder, half-brother, Won, decides to return to South Korea a few months after Eun Sang leaves. His return causes great disturbance amongst his family and for Eun Sang, once he realizes she lives in his home. He consistently pursues Eun Sang, causing much strife for her particularly from their classmates at Jeguk High, a high school filled with wealthy and cruel elites.
Overall, a fairly weak story, with unlikeable characters and a shoddy romance. On a positive side, presented an often unseen picture of devout Muslims, who break “from the norm.” 3 out of 5 stars.
To preface my review, I’d never heard of this book or any reviews prior to reading the story so I was going in very blind. I saw it on the new books shelf in the YA section, picked it up and brought it home. I don’t have a long winding prologue for this review, this is all I could muster today, so I’m going to jump into the book review.
That Thing We Call a Heart is by Sheba Karim and was published May of this year. The novel follows Shabnam Qureshi during her last summer at home before college. She is at odds with her best friend, Farah, after Farah decided to wear the Muslim headscarf without consulting Shabnam. With a bleak summer ahead of her because of this estrangement, Shabnam is not excited for the season, until she meets Jamie. After he gets Shabnam a job at his Aunt Marianne’s pie shack, Shabnam beings to fall in love with Jamie, likening their relationship to the rose and the nightingale from classic Urdu poetry. As the summer progresses, begins to reconnect with Farah, but she mistrusts Jamie, which increases tension.
Altogether, I loved Legend of the Blue Sea. The characters were well established and the chemistry between the leads both as their Dynasty and Modern characters was palpable; the pair were well-casted. There were some weak spots, but not enough to damage the story for me. I would rate it 4.8/5 stars.
“Everything is repeating.”
Legend of the Blue Sea has two parallel storylines, one set during the Joseon Era and the other in the modern world. A major theme of the show is history repeating itself and the desperate attempt to keep this from happening. In the Era timeline, the newly appointed townhead, Dam Ryeong, releases a mermaid who was captured by the local innkeeper back into the ocean. Before the mermaid, Se-hwa, swims away, she turns around and reaches her hand to Dam Ryeong, “which he briefly holds.” This connection sets off their intertwined destiny for both storylines.
In the present world, Joon-Jae is a conman, who works with Nam-Doo and Tae-oh. After completing a large con, the three separate on vacation, where Joon-Jae heads to a seaside resort. It is here, where mermaid, Shim-Cheong, is caught up in a tidal wave and washed ashore, and breaks into Joon-Jae’s hotel room. Despite Joon-Jae’s attempt to get rid of Cheong, she refuses to leave his side.
The Crystal Ribbon featured a strong, female lead who goes on a journey to find herself and return home. Some of the subject material may be too mature for a middle grade audience despite being rated to them. 4/5 stars.
This book is one where I fell prey to a beautiful spine and then the gorgeous cover immediately after plucking it from the shelves. I am glad I picked it up as it expanded several horizons I didn’t even know existed.
The Crystal Ribbon takes place in medieval China and follows the story of 11-year-old Jing. She has a difficult life, in her small village of Huanan, where she is picked on by the local children for the similarity her name shares with the towns deity, the Great Huli Jing. Because her family is incredibly poor, when a wealthy family offers to buy her to be the daughter-in-law/nursemaid to their young son, her family jumps at the opportunity. Jing is against this marriage, but her cruel aunt forces her to do it anyway and her father fails to stand against his sister. Jing is sent to live with the new family where she is treated even worse than before. Despite this, Jing promises to return home and the story follows her journey to finding herself and her way back to Huanan.