Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash, tags

The Disney Song Book Tag

Hello, book tag, my old friend.

Part of Your World

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What fictional bookish world would you want to be a part of?

The world of Strange the Dreamer sounds so breathtakingly magical, I would really love to spend some time there. Zosma and Weep and the Almuthaleth!

Strange the Dreamer Polish Edition from Strange the Dreamer Cover Roundup | bookriot.com

Let It Go

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What book did you not want to finish because you loved it so much?

Brace thy selves: The Lies of Locke Lamora.

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Beauty and the Beast

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Which book do you think is or will become timeless?

The Bear and the Nightingale! It’s a lovely, lovely book.

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So This is Love

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What book were you hesitant to read at first but ended up loving?

I’ll go with A Darker Shade of Magic. I remember picking it up after giving up reading it. That mostly had to do with the headache I had gotten at the time and I just couldn’t get into it but still, that made me hesitate the second time.

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Friend Like Me

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Which character would you like to be your best friend?

I’m leaning towards Wayne from the second era Mistborn series right now. Just for the giggles. That guy is adorable. And hilarious. And super trust-worthy.

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Reflection

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What book really made you think/changed the way you viewed things?

Jannat Kay Pattay by Nemrah Ahmed. I connected to this story and the protagonist on a personal level and it’s the only become that actually convinced me to change and improve and be courageous.

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A whole new world

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Pick a book that made you see the world differently

Every Umera Ahmed book I’ve ever read.

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Cruella De Vil

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Pick your favorite villain

Alistair Teague from The Wish Granter. He’s the most recent one I can remember actually liking. I don’t pay attention to villains otherwise or at least I don’t keep a tally. His villainy was complete and he was interesting because of it. There was no anti-anything arc in the book which made it all the more delicious.

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I won’t say I’m in love

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Pick a book you don’t want to admit you loved

Radiance (Wraith Kings # 1). I don’t like erotica and I never intentionally pick it up. Someone recommended this and they called it ‘cute’. I took them on their word. It was cute but after a certain point it stopped being that. Still, it was pretty easy to read and I think I enjoyed it while it was being ‘cute’.

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Gaston

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Pick a character that you couldn’t stand

Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, princess of Genovia. She is Insufferable™.

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A dream is a wish your heart makes

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Describe what the book of your dreams would be like

One that has mythical places and beings and new worlds with magic and heartbreak and danger. A.K.A Strange the Dreamer duology.

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Someday my prince will come

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What book character would you marry if you could?

Someone equal parts funny, loyal and good-looking. Nikolai Lantsov from King of Scars.

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When you wish upon a star

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Pick a book you wish you could reread for the first time

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora
  • Strange the Dreamer
  • Six of Crows
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Yaaram
  • The Bear and the Nightingale
  • Cinder
  • Dil Ka Nagar
  • Amar Bail

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I just can’t wait to be king

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Pick a book with some kind of monarchy in it

Howl’s Moving Castle. I wait in shadows for an excuse to name this book. Silent. Like a wraith…

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Colors of the wind

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Pick a book with a beautiful cover

I like the covers for the Septimus Heap series a lot.

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Illuminae Files – Audiobook Review

I listened to this entire trilogy in April and may I just say…

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These books are really special. Whether you read them or listen to them, they’re amazing either way. When I read the first book some two years ago, the format weirded me out a little bit, but all you have to do is keep going and not give up. Your persistence is rewarded, chums, oh so much.

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The books were insane, creative and they made you care, they made you invest in the story. I wasn’t that impressed by Obsidio because I thought the series had lost its originality and the sense of wonder it evoked by then. Basically, I thought it lacked the charm the previous books had. How very wrong I was.

Listening to the three books made me appreciate how well-planned and thought-out this series actually is. When you read books with months-long gaps, you tend to forget little details that matter. I realized how much I had forgotten about the Illuminae and Gemina when I back-to-back listened to them all. Everything connects and clicks into place. Places, people, things referred to in the earlier books make an appearance in the last one. This series was planned and plotted to the beat and the meticulousness was staring me in the face when I finished the audiobooks.

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The direction is delightful. The sound effects, the music (that lollipop song tho), the weird AIDAN techno music, the narration itself, I had THE BEST TIME because of how wonderfully it was all put together. The narrators’ voices were so cool!

I particularly enjoyed the Gemina audiobook the most, it had all the best parts and the humor in it was great.

Some bits and pieces that I loved above all and some voices as well:

  • Drunk Ezra rolling his face on the keyboard.
  • Ezra and McNulty dirty talking each other.
  • AIDAN. Before I listened to his voice I kinda hoped the guy doing the ‘surveillance footage summary prepared by Analyst ID…‘ guy would do AIDAN. He had the perfect voice but no matter. The AIDAN narrator was cool too.
  • Syra Bol and David Torrence. Syra’s accent especially was soooo soothing to listen too!
  • All Nic and Ella parts! These two were the FUNNIEST and the best part about Gemina! Their narration both together and alone was awesome.
  • Travis Faulk. Now, wait a second. I know this piece of crap was the bad guy and I know he deserved what he got but daaaaaaamn that voice with its dangerous tones.
  • I did not much care for the British guy doing the incepts. I mean, I wouldn’t change his role, it was suited to the overall production but.. eh.
  • I like Hannah as a character and I loved the way she spoke instead of her actual voice if that makes sense? Like someone on Gossip Girl.
  • Duke Wozniak. His actual character voice part was tragically small (the incept guy got to do most of his dialogue) but I loved the part we got where Reese wakes him up and vents a little to him.

This was a solid 10/10 experience. Audiobooks for the win!

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Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

Books Read in April 2019

As I mentioned in my previous post (but no body knows because no body reads this shizz so why am I even writing this fsdghfjtr), April was disappointing in terms of reading. I gave it my all but I only managed five books. If, and I say it again, IF, you’ve been following me since last year and actually reading my posts, you would know how truly sad this is. I used to read NINE books a month without fail. It seems like an impossibility now.

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Books I Managed in April

1

The Crystal of Time (School For Good and Evil: Camelot Years # 2)

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I’m fairly certain I like this new series, however, there is some measure of trepidation involved. The plot keeps getting cleverer and complex and yet more convoluted and a bit insane. 3/5

2

Saudai

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Ismat Chughtai likes to shock. Her previous novelette that I read last year was equally twisted and intense. Saudai kept me anxious and on my toes which was impressive given its short length. 3.5/5

3

Bloodwitch

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Naheen, yaar. I give up on this series. I GIVE UP. I loved the previous books and grudgingly admitted that they weren’t perfect. I straight up loathed this book and now grudgingly admit that I liked this series to begin with. The world-building of this series is all over the place and it fails to coalesce and make sense. 1.5/5

4

To Best The Boys

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Inspiring? More like give-me-a-wall-so-I-can-bash-my-brains-and-die. Point to note: Having a female heroine who challenges norm and spouts feminism to anyone that passes by isn’t enough alone to make a book work. The characters in it are plain, the YA trope of tournaments and arenas is absolutely pointless in it and when the book ends you’re like seriously, is that it? It was overwhelmingly lame. 2/5

5

A Curse so Dark and Lonely

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The beginning and ending are exciting, the middle is boring and this book is 200 pages longer than it should have been. Moreover, that Beauty and the Beast vibe essential to its retellings is missing. I found some things hard to believe and wished they had been explained more succinctly but overall it was an engaging read. 3.5/5

Soooo, not a great reading month is what I’m saying.

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Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry XVIII – April 2019

April has been a whirlwind of activity and change. I visited my khalas and mamus a LOT this month and surprisingly, it was fun, even though I raged at the hours I lost during those visits afterwards (yes, I’m that horrible).

I’m going to stay with my husband in Saudia for a couple of months and April was full of preparations, visa office visits and goodbyes ahead of time. It was a little stressful but Allah made everything easier. I only have till Saturday this week, I leave on Sunday and today is the first of Ramazan!

Let’s see, what else did I do?

I wanted to read like a maniac but only managed 5 books. GAH. The audiobooks of the month were the Illuminae Files 1-3 and they were insanely good! To prepare for Ramazan I completed all my qaza rozas, like phew.

One of my best friends got married and it was so weird seeing her and another friend again after so long! The latter has a baby girl now. TIME FLIES. It seems only yesterday the three of us were laughing at fart jokes but it’s been 8 YEARS.

I’m pretty sure there are a couple of things I’m missing but I will leave it at that right now because I have a shizz-ton  to do.

Cheers!

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

The Blossom Books Book Tag

The questions in this tag are based on books. Obviously.

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1. How adventurous are you? Would you dare to explore another world? (The 100, Kass Morgan)

I am not an adventurous person. I like the ‘idea’ of exploring, going out, visiting new places and I tend to enjoy myself whenever I do go out once every six months but as a wise man once said, ‘it is a dangerous business, walking out one’s front door’. Being a hobbit, I like the comforts of home to a disgustingly depressing degree. It’s why I read so much. All the adventuring I can do, I do when I read.

So, to answer the question, I would love to but I probably would not.

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Question 2: If you could kill a fictional character, who would it be? (Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo)

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Mare Barrow from Red Queen. I’d do it pretty early on too to save everyone the misery of going through the absolute dramatic garbage she puts the readers in four books. And then I’d do her the courtesy of giving her a gravestone. Mare Barrow, The Girl Who Whined is what it would say.

Question 3: Who is your OTP? (I’ll Give You the Sun, Jandy Nelson)

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Platonic and romantic:

  • Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen from The Lies of Locke Lamora
  • Wax and Wayne from Mistborn: Era II
  • Vasya and Morozko from The Bear and the Nightingale

Question 4: Who do you want in your writing squad? (Kids of Appetite, David Arnold)

Sylvain Neuvel and Scott Lynch. They would do all the writing. I would just make noises in the background while I read everything.

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Question 5: What is your favourite fairytale? (The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer)

It’s Beauty and the Beast but I like reading retellings of every kind of fairytale.

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Cheers!

Posted in K-drama, TV Shows

The Bride of Habaek – Kdrama Review

Is this officially the first most *bakwaas kdrama I’ve ever watched? Yes, yes it is.

Another kdrama about an immortal deity with glorious hair, thrust into the perilous world of humankind, where said deity falls madly in love with a woman and said woman does not become immortal. So naturally, drama ensures.

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God, I want that kind of hair.

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WANT IT.

It’s tragic how utterly craptastic the show’s plot was. The drama had no direction whatsoever, the budget limits were glaringly obvious and even the specimen that is Nam Joo-hyuk couldn’t save it, despite his adorable presence.

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I’ve barely read the first five volumes of the manhwa (comic) and unfortunately, I don’t even remember what happened in those. There was a lot to draw from and this was the best they could do?

First of all, if you’re making a show about gods and immortal beings, do make sure you have the money to actually pull it off. Plots like these require some extra cheddar cheese and if you don’t have that, well, sucks to be you. I think the producers spent all they had on that magnificent water-dragon scene which is the reason I started watching this show, by the way, and they just didn’t have enough left for the remaining episodes. A poof here and a smoke there and that was all I saw in 15 episodes.

Behold, how to disappoint audiences:

Step 1: Do something like this:

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Step 2: Don’t do it again.

Second, apart from special effects, you need a large cast to cement the show’s ‘grandness of scale’. In the kingdom of the gods and in the human world, there were like 5 people total, lounging in luxurious baths/beaches/couches/apartments just not using their powers at all. To an innocent observer, it could be Korean version of Gossip Girl with prettier, cuter men with super powers.

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The last few episodes were the worst. What little direction the show had in the beginning, finding the god stones, left near the end and all anyone did was flounder. Half-baked and hasty explanations, utterly befuddling and idiotic things, this is what the last few episodes were made of. In short, it was nonsense and the last episode especially was such gobbledygook it almost made my brain into chutney.

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The show never had a concrete mythology to begin with, it felt like it was made up along the way with nothing to back it up. The half-god sub-plot was so useless it drove me nuts. What was the point? He wasn’t the second lead, he wasn’t the villain (*tharki whisper* though he was real cute) his presence accomplished nothing. THEN WHY?

Okay these two words are the perfect summary of this show:

THEN.WHY?

So don’t even touch it is what I’m saying. If you’re looking for a quality kdrama, that is. If you’ve fallen madly in love with Nam Joo-hyuk and want to see more of him then by all means go ahead.

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P.S: I find it really cool that Habaek is Baek-ah backwards and Nam Joo-hyuk has played Baek-ah in Scarlet Heart: Ryeo.

Rating: 2/5

 

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

Things I Sewed in March

I finally go back to sewing! It’s been a relief and a release and a joy. I missed this so much. I bought new fabric and I always get a lot of orders when I get new prints. I run a small shop on Instagram and I post everything there regularly. So here is what I made:

Reversible Laptop Case:

This was fun! I was a little intimidated starting this but it turned out okay. I personally loved adding the pockets and the buttons.

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/b00fdff1a170eb8ef756897abb01ebf3/5D3EA4C9/t51.2885-15/e35/56408666_417132865730832_5605071937259602598_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

Pin Cushions:

I LOVED MAKING THESE! THEY LOOK CUUUUTE. The quilting was fun. The second one is a wrist pin cushion with an elastic. I also added a small piece of leather at the back so the pins wouldn’t pierce the skin underneath.

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/438a1c7d5378937f1934eaf9b92f7569/5D36FE9E/t51.2885-15/e35/53646753_1468876366576312_2125023739027675271_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

Tote Bag:

I hate adding zippers to totes. I simply haven’t learned a better technique yet. I don’t make them like zipper pouches.

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/949bf0586f242d56542fd57c0e73327c/5D4483AD/t51.2885-15/e35/54428478_2186950934887587_2665760802119598276_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

Booksleeves:

What everyone loves!

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/db9f65677031e5661d8136d557b6bbc6/5D3486CF/t51.2885-15/e35/52328454_794616747584416_8808378738837844994_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/9757d7b502b356e4febc1525bdd800a3/5D378D0B/t51.2885-15/e35/52926565_125158085262765_8263676285419653579_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

Double-pocket Zipper Pouch:

The outside pocket is lined with vinyl so it’s water-proof. Handling vinyl is always tricky and I’m glad I only put fusible interfacing on the pieces. But it still ended up being bulky.

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/2f7dca5128fadb6713ab40016b895813/5D29FAEE/t51.2885-15/e35/53333588_402630447233655_7008807701829101376_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

iPad Stand/Case:

I’ve made two of these before but this has been the neatest.

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/3d756bb131c517e40c183d2978fa4895/5D48D923/t51.2885-15/e35/54510819_654561264963497_6283095963673067314_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

Zippered Laptop Bag:

https://instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net/vp/2a33e074b676ebe18f9f577582e15ef6/5D32B24A/t51.2885-15/e35/54217573_411428469674456_4421951139750373423_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fkhi11-1.fna.fbcdn.net

And that’s it! I wish I could post those half-baked tutorials I used to do again. But I forget and when I remember I’ve already made the thing. Till next time then.

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

March 2019 in Books

I read 6 books in March, listened to 4 audiobooks and posted nine times on bookstagram.

BOOKS READ:

The Wish Granter

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The first book in the series was less than perfect but this was more than perfect.

Talon

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Pointlessly long and therefore, boring.

The Wicked King

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I don’t understand the hype but I understand the hype. My not understanding > my understanding.

The Winter of the Witch

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ASDFGHJKLQWERTYUIOPZXCVBNM.,./;;09649;P bvmjblkj242836[pF;kf.<V,ngv

King of Scars

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NIKOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAI

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Honestly, every time I look at this book I fall in love with it a little more.

The Test

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Sylvain Neuvel is a genius.

AUDIOBOOKS:

  1. Seige and Storm (Leigh Bardugo, Grisha #2)
  2. Ruin and Rising (Leigh Bardugo, Grisha #3)
  3. Waking Gods (Sylvain Neuvel, Themis Files #2)
  4. Only Human (Sylvain Neuvel, Themis Files #3)

I enjoyed the last two immensely because they had a full cast and because I also love the books. The Grisha trilogy, on the other hand, is okay at best and there was only one narrator, so…

BOOKSTAGRAM:

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I had to show off this bag, this book and those earrings. I LOVE those earrings.

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I had to show off this bag, these buttons and those earrings. I LOVE those earrings.

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Two words: TWU WUV.

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Double trouble. Left: duckling, right: monkey.

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Me, in all my new shadi-shuda glory.

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The sleeves and the doughnut, basically.

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Set the mood, don’t they just?

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Ft. the Heels of Glory I wore on my second wedding day.

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HOGWARTS HOGWARTS HORTY WARTY HOGWARTS.

 

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff, Uncategorized

Gypsy Diaries Entry XVII – March 2019

March 2019 saw me get back on track. On the track to my sanity, that is. Married life is, well, not like unmarried life but I’m extremely grateful to Allah for letting me pursue the same things I loved before, with leisure.

  • I went to stay at my parents’ for the first time after getting married. I stayed there for about 10 days. After the whirlwind that was my shadi, it was a relief.
  • I brought most of my stuff back (books, sewing machine, sewing supplies, etc) and I managed to organize all of this, which I was dreading big time.
  • I started sewing and resumed my work=YAY.
  • I read 6 books, listened to 4 audiobooks, cooked 3 times (big deal), wrote a couple of posts and bookstagrammed regularly. Minus the cooking, this is what I truly love doing.
  • I also want to decorate one wall in my room and this was nagging me for a long time. I manage to put together a rough plan for how I want to go about it and my mind can rest easy now.
  • I also bought bookish candles for the first time ever. I love them SO MUCH.
  • I watched Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. It was a little traumatic, the experience.
  • Ah, and I also got my passport. This is the second one, I had one made when I was little and I had totally forgotten about that.

I realize that is all very matter-of-fact-ish. I don’t feel like talking about my ‘feelings’. I feel content because I can do the things I love. There are times when I feel out of my depth and times when I laugh at myself for romanticizing a lot of things, cynical as I am, and then getting disappointed over it. YA is bad for mental health, I tell ya. I’m realizing that living with another person, in such a personal capacity, is not as easy as they show in books and movies. It has its perks, sure but I think, for a long time, they tend to be overshadowed.

Till the next entry, then.

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Posted in K-drama, TV Shows, Uncategorized

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo – Kdrama Review

I was apprehensive at the idea of watching this, the reason being that the show didn’t do so great despite having a fan following. Once you read something like that it imprints a certain image in your mind. I thought the show would be bad. That wasn’t the case, for the most part.

The show had an ensemble cast, there were eight princes, that’s eight good-looking Korean dudes in one show, a lot of times together in the same scene. Overwhelming? Yeah, you could say that. There were several characters besides and as far as the acting is concerned, the show was excellent.

I began enjoying it immediately and continued enjoying it till the end. It was sweet and cute and light-hearted at the beginning but  steadily grew darker and full of despair. Actually, this is where things went a bit haywire. The first half was incredible, so was the second last quarter, though less so. The final quarter was insane and there were so many things that either didn’t make any sense or made everything seem rushed and ill-conceived.

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There were four love interests and despite being ridiculous, it didn’t surprise me. As we all know: more guys in the show = increase in the number of romantic partners. Two were obvious and made sense, the other two I could have done without. Especially Ji-soo’s 14th prince. I, somehow, haven’t warmed up to his acting, though he is good, and I never much cared for his character. One of the most surprising parts of the show was Hae Soo’s marriage to him. I can think of one other who deserved to have her by his side but never him.

The show’s soundtrack was impressive. All of the tracks bar one or two were wonderful.

There’s a lot of bloodshed and killing and dying and it was absolutely heart-wrenching.

One day I will stop scoffing at the concept of ‘multiple lives’ Korean dramas are so fond of, but this is not that day. They’re plucked out of their ordinary lives and into their past selves and just as unceremoniously dumped back or either the guy or the girl is shown to love all lives of the same person through time. So, GAH is what I’m saying. The former scenario happened in this show and it was lame beyond reason and imagining. It was particularly disappointing because of the seemingly open-ending. Are we supposed to accept that?

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And what of that homeless guy? Who turned from being homeless to a museum tour-guide within the same lifetime. (I was super-stoked to see the Reply 1988 dads together, though.)

Okay, so the love triangle. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was THE most worth-investing love-triangle in the history of weird romantic shapes. The second lead is normally a great guy but he’s out-shined by the main lead even by a hair’s breadth and the heroine (and the viewer alike) aren’t that interested though they agree that he is likable.

This wasn’t the case here.

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Not only did I love Wook as much, if not more, than So, he and Soo were a serious thing and the fact that it lasted for 10 episodes had me screaming with joy. Then the inevitable happened. He was ‘out-shined’ and out maneuvered and literally everything went bad for the poor guy. That made me pissed because that was a giant waste and all because he wasn’t the main lead. The least that could’ve happened was Soo marrying Wook and not Jung because DAMMIT WHY?

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So and Wook’s love story was tragic and sweet and beautiful and while I knew what would happen, I still hoped it wouldn’t. Ah.

Wang So was probably my favorite character in terms of how real he seemed. His struggle to be accepted by his mother, his pain at being considered cursed and a monster, his desire to be loved, all made him extremely root-worthy and lovable. If only the creators of the show hadn’t completely ruined the ending, I mightn’t have mourned how they misused Wook in favor of So. (I don’t remember the name of the actor who plays So but the guy’s face has some resemblance to a lion’s and it’s GORGEOUS)

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Then there was the incest. YUCK but I guess that’s what people did back then.

And wtf was that even with Baek Ah and Woo Hee? Okay, not him but her alone. Her suicide made NO sense to me, like AT ALL. The show became so muddled and confusing at the end.

Still, it was mostly impressive and entertaining and it did give me a ton of feels so…

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My Rating: 7/10