I am not a K-Pop person. I tried, a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. It was, essentially the same with a* Also posted on It's Time, Ana
I am not a K-Pop person. I tried, a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. It was, essentially the same with all things Korean for me. I watch K-dramas when I get into it, sometimes watch the movies, but I'm not into it as my other friends were. (I suppose that if/when I get to South Korea, this will all change, like how I sort of got into a lot of Japanese stuff after I visited Japan. But that's for another thing.) So even if I did join Tara's 소리질러 (Make Some Noise!) Week for Scandalized, I still wasn't sure if I would be able to immerse in it. Granted, there was a band, and I love bands in fiction, but the entire K-Pop thing intimidated me in a way.
But really, I shouldn't have worried because reading Scandalized was a breeze. I loved Tara's other books, so I sort of knew what to expect with her writing, and her newest one didn't disappoint in that area. I loved how real everything felt on the first few pages, and even if I wasn't into the culture, I could clearly imagine Fi and East Genesis Project, and the Amethyst office and Gabriel like they were fully formed characters who decided to settle in my head. There was a certain kind of sincerity in the pages of this book that would capture even a non-K-Pop fan like me.
I loved, loved, loved Fi. Her spirit, her loyalty, and how she handled everything in the novel. And I equally loved Gabriel, too, because he seemed more accessible than the other guy, and because of the peg (Hi, Daniel Henney *swoon*). It was a pleasure reading their scenes together in Manila, and Tara captured the usual touristy stuff that people do when they visit. It took me a while before I got to familiarize myself with the names of the two band members other than Yihwan, but after I got that, I fell in love with Song Minchan. *pinches cheeks* :P I think I must also note that the East Genesis Project website is gold - not just literally! Talk about providing a fuller experience for the readers. :)
Overall, I had a great time reading Scandalized, despite my non-relation to the K-Pop fandom. There were many nuggets of wisdom in the book that could apply in real life, and the book left me with a lot of good vibes when I was done reading. And since this is a series, I think we can look forward to reading more of Fi, Gabe, and the band - yay! I think this can count as my dose of K-Pop? :)
You carry a truth in you. Feel free to burden everyone with it.
I loved the idea of this from the very start. I have a soft spot for nerds, and I mean that in a good way. :) Kaya may seem a little hard to understanI loved the idea of this from the very start. I have a soft spot for nerds, and I mean that in a good way. :) Kaya may seem a little hard to understand at first, with her no-nonsense way of narrating the story, but everything about her sounded authentic. I loved the little moments of vulnerability, particularly when her family and her relationship status is involved and it just made me grow fonder of her as the story unfolded.
And of course, I love Nero. What's not to love about him? :) His chemistry with Kaya (heh) felt very real and I liked how it was at just the right pace. Of course, that right pace is subjective, but trust me on this. :P Kaya's doubts were understandable, especially for someone who hasn't been in a relationship (view spoiler)[(I would know, of course, haha) (hide spoiler)], which made the grand gestures sweeter and happier - something the characters really deserved.
It must be noted that the supporting characters were also hilarious. I loved, loved the Teddies, and Francis and Phylle, and Kaya's entire family. Other than nerds, I have a soft spot for well-written families in books. :)
This is definitely a book you'd want to read if you're in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field. I almost forgot that I was a product of this track (Computer Science majors ahoy) until I realized that I understood most of Kaya's nerdy talk. Maybe not all the science talk, but the method and the obsessiveness to detail? Yeah, CS majors have that, too.
Can't wait for the other books in this series. Talking nerdy has never been so romantic. ...more
I am a sucker for the friend zone. Mostly because I wrote about it, but also because they seem to be the most painful k* Also posted on It's Time, Ana
I am a sucker for the friend zone. Mostly because I wrote about it, but also because they seem to be the most painful kind of unrequited love. You kind of have them, but also, you kind of don't. You love them, and they love you, but also not kind of the way you love them. Painful, yes?
But I also really like guys who make the move, so I declared that I was #TeamShinta when I read the first book in Jay E. Tria's Playlist Series, Songs of Our Breakup. What's not to like about Shinta, anyway? He's a hot Japanese actor (with abs now!) who made the move when it mattered, so yeah, too bad, best friend. But like I said, I have a soft spot for best friends in fiction, so I guess I was also sort of #TeamMiki, but more in the way that I wanted a happy ending for him, too, because he deserved it.
So when I started reading Songs to Get Over You, I was at work. It was Valentine's weekend, and I was on lunch break, waiting for the work event to happen. Two chapters in, I shut my Kindle and told myself I can't read it there. I need to read it in private, maybe with alcohol because damn it, Miki.
It's harder to get over someone who was never really yours. You see that person smiling and it breaks your heart two-fold. Once because seeing her happy makes you happy. The second time because you know she's oblivious to how you feel. And it hits you that you are suffering alone, while basking in her warm light, and it makes it all the more difficult to ignore the pinpricks on your fissured heart..
Songs to Get Over You hits the right notes when it comes to romance and the friend zone. There's still the lovable Trainman band members, Kim the leader, the Nino and Son tandem, Jill-with-Shinta, and with Miki watching his best friend on the sidelines. But there was someone there with him now - Ana, the girl who wasn't really a fan of their music but stayed because of the guy she wanted to be with. She tries to get Miki's focus away from what continues to hurt him, but who knows if she will succeed?
When you commit, you make a decision," Ana declared. "You decide to say yes to one person, all the time."
The story is told in the same fashion as SOOB, interspersed with flashbacks and songs, and you just feel the melancholy all over it, and you just really, really want the best for these characters. But you know that one of them will mess up, and it will hurt you just as much as it hurt them. That's the magic of Jay's writing - her words will pull you in and make you root for the characters so hard that you will hurt with them when it matters and celebrate with them when you get to the end. The great thing is since it's told in a guy's POV, we get to see how it is when a guy gets friend zoned...and again, damn it, Miki.
Don't tell Shinta, but I may just like Songs to Get Over You a little bit more that the first one. Could be my bias, could be because I could sort of relate. But regardless of those could be's, all of it is because this is a really good book that you really, really shouldn't miss. :)