Red Queen

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

After sitting in my TBR pile since June, I finally finished reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and can I just say I can’t believe I waited so long to read it because it is five stars amazing.

To briefly summarize the book, the story takes place in a world separated by blood color, silver (elite class with powers) or red (low class with no powers), and the main character is 17-year-old Mare Barrow with red blood.  However she soon discovers that she has her own power just like members of the silver elite.  Due to circumstances she begins living at the palace with the silver elite.  Fed up with the mistreatment the Reds receive, Mare joins the Scarlet Guard, a Red rebellion group trying to bring equality.  Choosing between the two princes, Cal and Maven, Mare is forced to make choices and learns first hand that any one can betray.

Once I started reading Red Queen I literally could not stop reading. I found myself reading faster just to find out what was going to happen and I am glad I did. The story is well written and the only part that I felt was rough was the romance/relationship between Mare and the two princes. I felt like they were awkward and not very smooth in terms of development, however it did not ruin the story. I am not sure about others, but maybe because I watch a lot of Korean dramas, I could sense the betrayal and had “what if” situations running through my mind as I was reading.  Even though there was romance and Mare was falling for the prince (not naming), her character was never weak. From the beginning of the story, before she even realized she had powers, you could see that she was independent and aware of the mistreatment between the classes.  When she joined the rebellion, despite her feelings towards the two princes she never lets that cloud her goal to fight for the cause. Even with the greatest betrayal and what she thought would be the end, she continues to fight and comes out stronger. And now readers need to wait until next year to find out how much more Mare has grown, how the relationship with the prince will change and if the Scarlet Guard will get closer to their goal. 

I give the book five stars and if you were a fan of the Hunger Games, or books of the fantasy/dystopian/romance genre, then definitely give Red Queen a read.  

Beautiful Oblivion

Monday, August 31, 2015

Part of Jamie McGuire's Maddox Brothers series, Beautiful Oblivion occurs in the same time frame as the events in Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster.  In Beautiful Oblivion, the story is told through Cami’s point of view as she falls in love with the second oldest Maddox brother, Trenton. I honestly liked Cami and Trenton’s story way more than Abby and Travis’s story from Beautiful Disaster and Walking DisasterI enjoyed how Cami and Trenton's relationship progressed, it never felt forced or strange. As a reader you could see that they were good for each other and brought out the best in each other. Jamie McGuire also did an excellent job building the curiosity and foreshadowing the ex-boyfriend’s identity and why Cami felt wrong for accepting her feelings for Trenton. After reading this book you will definitely feel the urge to reread just so you can catch all the hints with the newfound knowledge. I wish the author would write Trenton’s point of view because he claimed to always have loved Cami but as the reader we never get to really know why he suddenly approached Cami, how he felt during the time they were strictly friends, and when he learns the truth behind Cami’s reluctance to be in a relationship with him.  Although the back cover description (at the end) is exaggerated in my opinion, Cami and Trenton’s story will definitely grab your attention and leave you wanting to know more. I give the book 5 Stars and recommend it to those looking for a good new adult contemporary romance.


The Producers

Friday, August 28, 2015

As my premium subscription to DramaFever comes to an end, I binged watched the popular drama, The Producers. The story follows Tak Yejin (Gong Hyojin) the PD of Music Bank who likes her best friend and fellow KBS PD, Ra Joonmo (Cha Taehyun), and Rookie PD Baek Seungchan (Kim Soohyun) is placed into Ra Joonmo’s production team, 2Days1Night, where popular idol Cindy (IU) is casted as a member.  

Filmed like a mockumentary (think Parks & Recreation) the drama is unique in its own way where it not only follows the relationship between the characters but also shows a glimpse into the life of a PD. A romantic comedy that is only 12 episodes long, it definitely makes you laugh while being heart warming at the same time.  The actors prove to have amazing chemistry with one another and took on their characters flawlessly. There were also many cameos made by other famous actors/singers/entertainers. The story is not dragged out and moved along at a good pace. I definitely recommend this drama and give it 5 stars!

Below are the drama/movies I recommend that feature or star the actors from The Producers.

Gong Hyojin- Sangdoo! Let’s Go to School, Thank You, The Greatest Love, and It’s Okay That’s Love

Cha Taehyun- My Sassy Girl

Kim Soohyun- Dream High and Moon Embracing the Sun

IU- Dream High and You’re the Best Lee Soonshin


The Time That I Loved You & Oh My Ghostess

Monday, August 24, 2015

Two dramas that I have been enjoying recently aired their final episode and I am here to recommended them. The first drama, “The Time That I Loved You, 7000 Days”, is a 16 episode romantic comedy about two friends Oh Hana (Ha Ji Won) and Choi Won (Lee Jin Wook) who don’t realize that they are the right person for each other.  The drama was slow paced (in a positive way); light hearted and an overall good romantic comedy.  The lead actors took on their characters and had great chemistry with each other.  Some people may find the drama boring due to the slow pace but I personally thought that it was calm and moved at the right speed.  The plot did not feel dragged out and maintained the fun lighthearted feeling while allowing the viewers to get to know the back-story of the characters. I even found the ending to be perfect! If you are looking for a slow paced drama that is lighthearted and will give you a good laugh I recommend “The Time That I Loved You, 7000 Days.”

The second drama I enjoyed, “Oh My Ghostess”, is also a romantic comedy.  The story is about Na Bong Sun (Park Bo Young), an aspiring chef who can see ghosts, working for her crush, Chef Kang Sun Woo (Jo Jung Suk). Things become more interesting when the ghost Shin Soon Ae (Kim Seul Gi) possesses Bong Sun and the story unravels. This drama had me laughing from episode 2 and kept my interest until the very end. I loved the interaction between the characters and their individual growth as well. A perfect mix of romance, comedy, and some drama. This was a great drama from episode 1 to 16 and I highly recommend that you watch (but keep in mind the fun begins in episode 2&3).   

Below is a list of other favorite drama or movie the leads have also starred or featured in.

Ha Ji Won: The King 2 Hearts, Secret Garden
Lee Jin Wook: Spy Myung-wol
Park Bo Young: A Werewolf Boy
Jo Jung Suk: The King 2 Hearts
Kim Seul Gi: Flower Boys Next Door


*I watched both dramas on DramaFever and the images above are the screenshots I took.

This Girl

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quote is from Will's poem "My Final Piece" (page 284)
I finished reading all the books in the Slammed series back to back and here is my quick review of the final book, This Girl. Right away I can tell you I rate This Girl five stars and declare it my personal favorite out of all three (I just “butterflying” love this book).

This Girl follows immediately after the wedding when Will and Layken are on their honeymoon. While on their honeymoon Layken asks Will to tell her about his past and he agrees. Will begins to tell his version of the events that occur in the first book, Slammed. I love how we get to see Will’s vulnerable side, especially since Will appeared to have it all together in Slammed.

I will say that even though the main events are the same in Slammed, Colleen Hoover flawlessly makes it different. Will’s retelling of the main events we saw in Slammed as well as his additional personal events make This Girl a new story. This Girl is more vulnerable in a sense that we get to see a side of Will that was never really shown. In the second book, Point of Retreat, we see a side of Will that is openly in love with Layken. The side of him that doesn’t mind showing his affection in public and proving his love on stage. However, in This Girl we see the side that tries to deny his feelings and the side that struggles to “keep it together”. It also helps that the ending is perfect with the time jump and poem (oh my god the feels).

If I could only recommend one book from the series, This Girl would be it.


Point of Retreat

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

quote is from page 296
Point of Retreat is the second book in the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover and unlike the first book the story is told through Will Cooper’s point of view. The story begins a few weeks after Christmas (where Slammed left off) and start of the spring semester for university. A misunderstanding occurs, which causes Layken to question their relationship and Will trying to prove it’s strong. 

I would give Point of Retreat four stars because as much as I “butterflying” love this book I also found it to be a bit boring. *SPOILER* The beginning of the story is good and I like how we get to see how their relationship has deepened and how they help each other grow. However after the misunderstanding occurs I felt like it was taking too long (in terms of the plot) for Will and Layken to overcome it, especially when a more dramatic event occurs in the story. I get where Layken is coming from but at the same time it is obvious that their relationship is strong, but she can’t see that. The overall story plot was good but Layken’s character was so annoying that I also felt irritated while reading. On a more positive note, I felt like we really got to know Will on a deeper level and the ending was perfect. Getting over the misunderstanding and the accident made their relationship that much stronger. I did not feel disappointed at all with the overall story and appreciated the deeper character development, which I felt lacked a bit in the first novel. Point of Retreat is a fast read (finished in one sitting) and like Slammed I could feel the emotions of the characters.

On a side note, I forgot to mention this in my post about Slammed, but I love the side characters in the series. I would personally love to read a spin off about Eddie and Gavin’s relationship.

I have to say that Colleen Hoover is quickly becoming a favorite author. Although I find her writing to be simple she manages to bring out the emotions, which brings readers to laugh, cry, and smile along with the characters. 



Monday, July 27, 2015

When reading Slammed, I laughed, cried and smiled – all in one sitting. It was that good.
This novel is the first of the Slammed series written by Colleen Hoover.

Slammed is told from the point of view of 18 year old Layken Cohen who just moved from Texas with her mother Julia and younger brother Kel. She meets her 21-year-old neighbor Will and his younger brother Caulder. Immediately they feel a connection but due to their situation they can't be together because Will is actually Mr. Cooper, the student teacher at her high school. 

Although I devoured the book in one night and I am looking forward to reading the last two, I personally give it a 4 star rating. The back cover summary is a bit misleading (kind of dramatic as well), as if you will get to know the characters on a deep personal level - but that never happens. Despite the misleading summary the novel is entertaining and you can feel the emotions of the characters.  It is also interesting how Colleen Hoover incorporated slam poetry into the story (the quote used in the above picture is Layken's slam poetry/love confession to Will). I don't personally read or analyze poetry so I can't judge whether the slam poetry in the novel is spectacular but I thought they went well with the plot. This was definitely an easy read and nothing too deep but enough to allow the emotions of the characters to be felt. If you are looking for something extremely deep and want to analyze the poetry that was incorporated into the story then this is not for you. However, if you are looking for a good contemporary romance that is a light read this is the book.  

Slammed has a lot of good quotes and my personal favorites from the story are from Layken’s mother, Julia, to Layken herself.  The quotes below are actually sound advice, in my opinion, which is why I am choosing to share them. The first quote occurs at the very beginning when Layken’s mother was giving her relationship advice – how you know if someone is a good guy and worth being with (forgot to get the page number). 

And the last quote is from a letter Layken’s mother wrote, basically the whole thing is worth quoting but I just chose the last bit (page 316).


Favorite K-Pop Summer Song

Monday, July 20, 2015

My favorite song this summer is SNSD's song "Party", which was released on July 7th.  I personally think that the song and music video has the perfect summer feel. Below is the official music video from SMTown's official youtube page.

Overnight Makeup Essentials

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This past Sunday I was able to stay at the Pagoda Hotel overnight thanks to my good friend’s mom.  There were three of us who stayed at the hotel overnight and because I figured we would go out I wanted to pack some makeup. Since we were only staying for one night I wanted to bring only the makeup I knew I would use that night as well as the following morning.

For this overnight stay I used my Etude House makeup bag that I got as a free gift (after spending a lot of money) during a family vacation to Korea in 2013.
The makeup bag is divided into two sections and is perfect for carrying only your essential makeup. The only downside to the bag is the size, which makes it difficult to bring any large palettes.  The top portion has bands that are perfect to hold any stick products such as eyeliner, mascara and shadow sticks.  The bottom portion of the bag has a space for your makeup brushes with a protective covering and room for other products.

I used the bottom portion to hold my face makeup, eye shadow and primer, and brushes for both powder and eye shadow. 

In the top portion I stored my eyeliner, mascara and eyebrow pencil. 

I didn’t want to bring a bunch of face brushes (except for powder) so I brought things that came with a good applicator or that I could use with my hands.
-Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
-Makeup Forever HD foundation inside an empty and cleaned Etude House Cushion Pact
-Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
-The Face Shop Face It Designing Dual Shading Pact

For eye makeup, because the weather in Hawaii has been really hot and humid, I wanted to bring my favorites that I also knew were long lasting.
-Anastasia Brow Wiz
-Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
-The Face Shop Lovely Me:ex Eye shadow (old packaging)
-MAC quad with the eye shadows: Naked Lunch, All That Glitters, Soft Brown and Embark. These were my first MAC eye shadow purchase and my good friend (who is amazing with makeup) helped me pick out all the colors. Since this palette I have become a MAC addict lol.
-The Face Shop Face It Extreme Brush Pen Eyeliner in Black Force
-Em Cosmetics Waterliner in the shade Ro’s Gold
-Etude House Play 101 Pencil #5 and #49

I have just a few more uses for both the Face Shop eyeliner and mascara so just in case, I also brought the Dolly Wink Eyeliner and Lancôme Definicils Mascara (sample size).

Finally I brought exactly five additional tools, mostly for my eyes, to apply my makeup.
-Mini/travel size Too Faced kabuki brush (I used this to apply my Tony Moly Cats Wink Powder)
-Wet N’ Wild portable eye lash curler (Super old…)
-Sephora Professional shadow brush #12
-Sephora Professional small shadow brush #15
-Sephora Professional crease brush #10
-Sephora Professional smokey eye brush #24

I didn't include any lip products because I kept them in my purse, but I brought my Etude House lip balm and YSL lip stain.

The list seems long, but besides the extra eyeliner and mascara, I did use everything when we went out on Sunday and Monday morning. 


The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara is my second favorite mascara (4 Stars).
When I first purchased the mascara it had a very wet formula, which tended to smudge, however after the formula dried a bit (around 3 weeks later with continued use) I found the results to look much better.

I have only one complaint: it tends to clump easily, which is not a problem if you only apply two coats. The mascara is long lasting and because the color is very black it really defines your lashes while holding the curl. Although this is a volumizing formula, I noticed that whenever I happen to wear this particular mascara I get complimented on how long my eyelashes look (bold but natural).

If you are looking to try a mascara that gives volume and lengthening I recommend you check out the Freshian Volumizing Mascara by The Face Shop.