Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews

Kdrama Review: Vincenzo

Synopsis:
The story of an Italian mafia lawyer who came to Korea due to the betrayal of the organization, wiping out the villain in a villain’s way with another lawyer.
At the age of eight, Park Joo-hyung (Song Joong-ki) went to Italy after being adopted by an Italian family. He later joins the mafia where he is subsequently adopted by Don Fabio, head of the Cassano mafia family. Park Joo-hyung was renamed Vincenzo Cassano and became an Italian lawyer, a consigliere for the mafia, and Don Fabio’s right hand man. After Fabio dies, Paolo, Fabio’s biological son and the new leader of the Cassano Family, attempts to kill Vincenzo. Vincenzo flees to Seoul and sets out to recover 1.5 tons of gold that he helped a Chinese tycoon secretly stash within the basement of Geumga Plaza. However, a real estate company under Babel Group has illegally taken ownership of the building and Vincenzo must use his skills to reclaim the building and recover his fortunes. Vincenzo becomes involved with lawyer Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), the type of attorney who will do anything to win a case.

Rating: 2/5 🌟🌟

Genre: Comedy, Legal, Revenge

Review:

I first came across the actor, Song Joong-ki, in the Kdrama, Descendants of the Sun and I loved him in it. His acting was excellent and let’s not forget the main thing, he’s so cute! 😉 So I had high hopes for Vincenzo.

He’s so cute!

Alas, that was not the case. Vincenzo is supposed to be this cunning, badass, consigliere for the Italian mafia and at first he seems to be just that at the start of the first episode. But as I kept watching, there were so many scenes where he wasn’t the super-cool badass anti-hero which dimmed my enthusiasm about the drama. There were many moments where a real consigliere would have been more ruthless and clever but Vincenzo just didn’t rise up to the occasion.

Hong Cha-young now, she started as this unscrupulous lawyer but things happened that caused her to change and fight for justice. I loved her style and her attitude. She wasn’t just feisty, she was snarky when needed. She became one of my favorite characters in the drama.

The overall plot-line had so much potential but scenes which should have had a more serious impact lacked a certain depth that rendered them inert and flat. In addition, the humor was too much at times and instead of appearing humorous, felt ridiculous.

That said, there were some scenes that I really enjoyed and gotta love the ending scenes with the comeuppance delivered with absolute ruthlessness, though the climax felt kind of rushed. The one thing that kept me going was how some of the scenes were so emotionally-charged, you couldn’t help but feel them. They made watching the Kdrama worthwhile.

So peeps, this makes post #4 of May. 😉

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews

Kdrama Review: Start-Up

Synopsis:
Set in South Korea’s fictional Silicon Valley called Sandbox, Start-Up tells the story of people in the world of startup companies.
Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) is a bright and ambitious young woman who dreams of becoming Korea’s Steve Jobs. Dal-mi doesn’t have a fancy background but she’s passionate about her work. She has bright energy and is a person of great vitality, having experience in a wide range of part-time jobs.
Nam Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk), is the founder of Samsan Tech. A ‘math genius’ as a young boy, Do-san was once the pride of his family but became their shame now, as his business has been going down for the past two years. He finds out that Dal-mi mistakenly remembers him as her first love, so he decides to work his way up in hopes of turning that misunderstanding into reality.
Air date: 17 Oct 2020 to 06 Dec 2020

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Love triangles, Romance

Review:

If you guys have been following my blog for a while you know I’m not a fan of love triangles. In fact, I tend to avoid stories with love triangles. But I still remember when I checked out this Kdrama. I’d had a tiring and stressful day travelling to and from work and I was feeling pretty low. I only decided to try this Kdrama because of the actor, Nam Joo-hyuk, whom I loved from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo in which he was awesome.

I started watching episode 1 of Start-Up and I told myself if it sucked, I would just drop it. By the end of episode 1, I’d cried my eyes out, I was hooked and it wasn’t even because of Nam Joo-hyuk. No, it was the storyline that drew me in.

I continued watching and somehow I don’t know when it happened, I fell in love with the second lead, Han Ji-pyeong—played by the actor, Kim Seon-ho. I loved the young, prickly Han Ji-pyeong a lot but I have no idea when the actor, Kim Seon-ho snuck up on me and made me fall for him.

I was now stuck with classic second lead syndrome and I continued watching the Kdrama because of him and the delightful grandmother, Choi Won-deok. They were my favorite characters in this Kdrama and I believe the heart of Start-Up.

The storyline is a good one, about the reality of starting a company from the ground up—all the blood, sweat and tears, living with the pain of disillusionment, the crushing blow of failure. Just for that one tiny miracle of success.

The first lead, Nam Do-san, was a bit disappointing (played by Nam Joo-hyuk – the whole reason I wanted to watch Start-Up) but I found Kim Seon-ho, who’s now one of my favorite actors. Start-Up was a good Kdrama though it was the secondary characters who made it worth watching for me.

∼Lyn

Posted in ARC Reviews, AudioBook Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Graphic Novel Reviews, Kdrama Reviews, Manga Reviews, Movie Reviews

How To Review 101

Hola, Book Dragons. Today I’m playing Yoda to your Luke Skywalker. Okay, okay, I don’t claim to be a Jedi Master expert at reviewing but I do have a basic blueprint for review of different categories of media, which I use to plan a review. It’s come to my rescue even when I got stuck with reviewer writer’s block. I’m sharing my secrets with you guys today. 😉

Books
As a die-hard bibliophile, books are my favorite things in the world. So many times, they’ve helped me cope with depression, unhappiness and so many bad things that dragged me down. But I digress. This is my list of how I review books:
1 – Book Cover
2 – Main Characters and Side-Characters
3 – Plot-Line/Story
4 – World-building/Descriptions
5 – Author’s writing
Book covers are work of arts and I think they deserve recognition too, don’t you? So when doing a review, I do an analysis of Story development, Plotline/Storyline, Character growth, Writing Style and World-building, depending on their relevance to the story.

Graphic Novels/Comic Books/Mangas
Graphic Novels and Mangas are so much fun and they are fast reads. If you haven’t read them before, you really should give them a try.
1 – Book Cover
2 – Quality of drawings
3 – Storyline
4 – Dialogues
Graphic novels and mangas are more of a visual medium rather than imagining the scenes in your head like with the written word, so the quality of drawings is a deal breaker for me. Witty dialogues are the icing on the cake, but if the illustrations are poorly-done, they ruin a good story.

AudioBooks
Audiobooks are a recent venture for me. I prefer the written word but audiobooks have their own charm. Especially when you’re stuck with chores (which I hate).
1 – Narrators
2 – Main Characters
3 – Plot-Line/Story
4 – World-building/Descriptions
For audiobooks, narrators are the deal-breaker for me. Their voice and narrating style are what make the choice for me if I want to listen to the book or not. A good narrator can make me enjoy even the most boring story but if I don’t like the narrator, it can ruin the story for me. In cases like that, I usually give the story a second chance by reading it.

Movies/TV Shows/Kdramas
Like books, I’m pretty eclectic in my choice of movies, TV shows and Kdramas. I enjoy action where things blow up, superheroes, special effects, romance, comedies. 
1 – Storyline
2 – Characters
3 – Dialogues
4 – Action
5 – Special Effects
For Kdramas, I need my element of comedy in them and rom-coms are the best kinds.

Music
1 – Melody
2 – Lyrics
Do I need to elaborate this one? 😉 A good song can reach inside you with its melody, its lyrics and shake your heart.

Like your choice of books, your review is also subjective. Your emotions are your own, and your reviews reflect how something you read, watch and listen to will affect you. That said, the one rule of thumb I always try to stick to, is NO SPOILERS. There’s nothing like a spoiler to ruin an amazing experience for someone else.

Oh, I also try to take notes when I read or listen to audiobooks. It helps me get my thoughts in line for my review.

Well, guys, this my review process. It’s not a comprehensive list and not all the points in each list will be relevant for a review.

What about you, what’s your review process?

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Kdrama Reviews, New Releases

Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch

TKEM

Synopsis
Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho), a modern-day Emperor of the Kingdom of Corea, attempts to cross the barrier into an alternate reality where the Republic of Korea exists in the Kingdom’s stead. He comes across detective Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun “Goblin”), whom he recognizes from an identity card he obtained during the turning-point of his childhood, his father’s assassination. Lee Gon’s half uncle, Lee Lim (Lee Jung-jin), who assassinated the previous king, Lee Ho (Lee Gon’s father), is in hiding and assembling armies whilst traversing back and forth between the two parallel worlds.

Air Date: 17 April 2020 – 12 June 2020 Continue reading “Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch”