I like Kdramas, and you?

I’ve had this blog for over two months now (yay!) and I wanted to talk about something new, something else that I love and the subject is: Korean Dramas. I started watching those in high school with my best friend, and after now 3 or four years, I’m still watching them and loving them. Recently, I find it harder to find the time, but I still try, and wanted to introduce them to you all, if you don’t know what I’m talking about!

I also watch other Asian Dramas (like Japanese and Chinese) but I don’t want to be too confusing so I decided to concentrated on Korean ones since they’re my favourite.

My all time top 3:

I hear your voice (2013)

The story in a nutshell: Jang Hye Sung is a materialistic public defender (which means her cases have 1% of succeeding), and that’s when her life starts changing. She meets her new colleague, Cha Kwan Woo, an ex cop who is an innocent idealist, and Park Soo Ha, a 19 year old high school senior who can hear people thoughts, and whose father was killed 10 years ago – and that’s when it gets interesting, because Hye Sung testified against the murderer.

Why I loved it so much: The actors are absolutely amazing, and I found the story rather original. It has a lot of cute and interesting moments (and I have to admit, a lot of eye candy). I just couldn’t get enough.

King 2 Hearts (2012)

This is actually one of my first dramas, and oh dear, it was amazing.

The story in a nutshell: Set in a parallel universe where South Korea is a realm and is trying to reunite with North Korea, Kim Hang Ah is the top female instructor in the North Korea’s special unit. (She’s very strong and also happens to never have fallen in love, I know this is not the most original part of it.)  Lee Jae Hae is the brother of the king, and is, to be honest, a rich brat (but as the story changes, this is obviously going to change, as it does in every story ever, am I right?) They are both selected, along with four other soldiers, to be part of a competition program to dertermine which country has the best army – and if Korea wants to participate, North and South have to work together.

Why I loved it so much: It has another set of amazing actors (and eye candy, I won’t deny it). Culturally, I know that relationships between North and South Korea are about impossible, but it was a very beautiful story. Absolutely breathtaking. If you’re into awful villains and star-crossed lovers, this is the thing for you. Really, I loved it.

A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

The plot in a nutshell: The story concentrates of a group of four friends in their fourties, who have been friends since high school. Every episode starts with a flashback helping the viewer understand how they became who they are. As the story unfolds, we see them falling in love, and dealing with their complicated relationships as well as the the appearance of a teenage boy claiming that he is the son of their first love, and one of them is their father.

Why I loved it so much: Once again, the actors are truly amazing (if you check the dramas out, you’ll notice that I chose different actors each time). It was also truly hilarious and refreshing. The story is a bit different from what I usually watch, with the characters being a bit older, but not a single minute did I regret it. It was funny, but also knew when to be serious, and that’s what made it even better.

If you want something more recent, here is my top 3 for 2015!

Oh my Ghost

The story of a introverted girl who can see ghost, works at a restaurant and is in love with her boss. Everything changes when she is possessed by a virgin ghost who decides she must “do it” with the chef…

This drama was cute and hilarious, but it also had its more serious moments. Not a minute was wasted, and the cast is absolutely amazing!

I remember you

Also called Hello Monster, it’s the story of a crime profiler with a mysterious past, and a female cop who used to stalk him. Together, they solve mysteries, but little by little, the past which involves both their fathers is coming back to the surface… The mystery might be solved, but is this really for the best?

Sorry about the shitty summary, but really, this drama was amazing. It had funny parts, and dark parts in a perfect blend. The story is fast-paced, and even if some things are predictable, it doesn’t hurt. (And need I mention I love the cast here too?)

20 again

The story of Ha No Ra, a 38 year old housewife. When her husband asks for a divorce, she decides to go to college, and ends up in the same college as her 20 year old son… And finds out one of her teachers is an ex classmate (who just so happened to have a crush on her).

This was so cute and beautiful. It just finished airing a few weeks ago, and I’m not getting over how much I loved it. It’s an interesting way of dealing with divorce and grown ups going to university. As a university student myself, I always find it odd to see “adult students” in my classes, but this shows that life can get in the way, and there is no reason to look down on them. If you want something light, this is the thing for you!

I know that kdramas may seem surprising if you’ve never watched one, but they are really refreshing in my opinion. It really changes from American TV shows. As a book lover, I always love a good story, and these are greatly satisfying. And I gotta admit, if I’m too tired to read, this is just perfect.

A few useful links:

http://mydramalist.com/ (this is basically the Goodreads of Asian drama fans)

http://dramafire.com/

http://www.dramafever.com/

http://www.viki.com/ (these are the three websites I used to watch dramas with English subtitles, Viki also has subtitles in several languages)

What about you? Do you watch dramas? What are your favourites?

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The Emoji Booktag

I was tagged by One Little Bookshelf to do the Emoji booktag, sorry it took me so long! In this tag, you pair your five most used or recently used emojis with books.

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A book that made me smile

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It’s such a beautiful story, if you haven’t read it, you should! I recommend it for anyone, really. It’s abook that genuinely made me happy, and I wanted to hug the characters all the time.

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A book I loved

One Day, by David Nicholls is my absolute favourite book. It’s just so amazing and beautiful, and yes, heart-wrecking but oh dear, it’s worth all the pain. It’s actually one of the first books I read in English, and it has its place in my heart forever.

A book that made me happyAfficher l'image d'origine

I use a lot of different smiley emojis, so yeah, that was not easy xD For this one, I chose Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by JK Rowling. It’s another beautiful book, but in a different way. It made me dream, it made me want to have magic too. And seeing how Harry gets to be happy, gets to be himself in this whole new world makes me happy.

A book that made me laughAfficher l'image d'origine

That one was tough, because I tend to express my feelings a lot when I read (aka I laugh out loud a lot and cry my heart out), also there are book that make me both cry and laugh, which would not suit this choice. I eventually went for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, because Cath is a bit of a cliché, so she made me laugh, but oh dear, she’s also so relatable. I loved that book so much. Other candidates for this emoji were Us by David Nicholls (but I had already chosen One Day  so I decided to go for another author) and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green which is another amazing book, but I talk about John Green too much!

A book that made me cryAfficher l'image d'origine

Of course I had to go for The Fault in Our Stars here. I read it twice and cried even more the second time. This book was so good and sad and beautiful… But I needn’t explain, you’ve probably read it already, and if you didn’t cry… Do you have a heart?? Other candidates for this mention were Allegiant by Veronica Roth (because that ending, really?) and All the bright places by Jennifer Niven (another book that destroyed me. I totally didn’t expect that ending. That was unfair. And heartbreaking.)

That’s about it, hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it!

I tag:

Red Headed Book Lover

and Elle Biblio

(And whoever wants to do it of course!)

Life update: I’m finally on holidays!

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Yes, I am back on the blog after a two weeks unplanned break, if you hadn’t noticed. So I wanted to give you some updates on my fascinating life!

Note: I wanted to share this picture because this is the last mug I bought (I may or may not be obsessed with mugs…) and I love it ♥

First of all, college is keeping me busy, but I’m also enjoying a lot. I have transferred to the course I wanted and I am SO glad I did. I love what I’m doing. And that’s something I am forever grateful for. If you’re curious, I’m studying both English and Literature, which means I have the following classes: American Civilisation, American Literature (we will switch to British for the second semester), History of the English language, Comparative Literature, Morphology and Lexicology (for 18th and 19th Century French), Latin culture, and two translation classes, from English to French and from French to English.

It’s amazing and absolutely interesting, but I am SO exhausted. I spend more than 3 hours a day to go and come back from college, and I hope I will manage it throughout the year. The good thing is, I have a week of break, and I’m going to sleep a lot, believe me! I’ll also try to prepare a lot of articles, but one week is hella short, and I have like 2 or 3 papers to write, and I’m probably going to sleep the entire time, because if I don’t I’m going to regret it!

I also started taking Korean lessons on Wednesday nights, and I love it. It’s really interesting, and our teacher is amazing, so I’m learning a lot!

Insta update: If you’re not following me on Instagram, you should because I’m hosting a giveway! If you want to check it out, my username is Clemireads ♥

Bookish updates: I’m currently reading a lot of poetry for college, and I’m going to try and write an article about it very soon!

I also read The Elite by Kiera Cass. It arrived in the mail on Monday, and I came back from college at like 8pm. I jumped around the house for 5 minutes and then I started reading it, and I couldn’t drop it (except for having dinner, and I had an exercise I needed to finish). I went to bed at like 3am, terribly exhausted, and extremely satisfied because I had finished it.

I also got my first pay check and have bought a lot of books this months, which you may have noticed if you’re following me on instagram… I think I never got this many books in a single month… But you’ll see all this in my monthly wrap-up!

Fahrenheit 451: My Review

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I haven’t posted in ages, why is time flying so fast… College is keeping me so busy, but thankfully, I have a week of holidays. (And yes, I actually wanted to post this like two weeks ago, so finally, here it is).

I had been wanting to read this book for ages, so of course, when I saw it at a second hand market, I had to get it. (I got 6 books for 5€, how could I resist?) So now I have read it, and I don’t know what I was expecting actually, but certainly not this. I’m not saying it was disappointing (okay, maybe a little, but that’s only my humble opinion). It’s just that, you know, I’m kinda surprised by what I read. I didn’t expect it to be that violent. I didn’t expect it to end that way. (But maybe I should have known better!)

If you are not familiar with it, that’s the story:

Set in a futuristic world where books are banned, the story depicts the life of Montag, a fireman. But firemen are not who you think they are: houses are fireproof and now, firemen burn books. After meeting his teenage neighbour Clarisse, Montag starts questioning his job. Especially the day he has to burn a woman alive along with her house and all the books she owns.

So he decides to change, and read books. It transforms him. As expected from this kind of story, he decides to go against the authorities (but not in the way I actually expected, somehow.)

I’m sorry if you find my review spoilery by the way, but the story is also a bit predictable, so I hope you don’t mind!

At first, I really liked it, but then it turned out somehow weird, and yes, I am biaised because I expected something else, but I was a bit disappointed.

Good point: BOOKS ARE IMPORTANT. Hell yes. But maybe that wasn’t the best way to point it out. With all the violence and everything. Yes, books make us feel things. But personally they don’t make me want to destroy the world, unlike it seems to be the case for Montag. I admit that we don’t live under the same conditions, but still. His reactions were sometimes a bit extreme and not very smart.

Bad point: too much violence, when in my opinion it would have called for reflection. There is not much long discussions, except maybe with Clarisse at the beginning (things got real worse after she disappeared) and that’s something I regretted. Yet again, I admit that we don’t live under the same circumstances.

Faber was a very interesting character, though. With all the things he knew, he could have been an exceptional revolutionary, and instead he chose to live in hiding. That’s a pity, and at the same, time, that makes him an interesting character for the book.

I was not a very big fan of Montag, even if he was the “hero” of the story. Not to mention his wife, Mildred. She was unpleasant, but nevertheless really good at being a cliché.

The plot in general was a bit unclear in my opinion. I kept feeling that something was missing. Maybe that is because there is obviously something missing in a society without books. But that’s not a satisfying reason for me. I shouldn’t have put my hopes that up!

Nevertheless, I don’t regret reading this, and I still gave it 3 stars. It was an interesting book, even if I believe it could have been much more. I would love to see your opinion on this!

Once Upon A Time: Season 5 Premiere

Well well well. I know I’m a bit late but I finally watched the Season 5 Premiere of Once Upon a Time and I wanted to share my thoughts on it!

Just so you know, it involved a lot of screaming, and “OHMYGOD” and also some laughing and swooning, and I am quite satisfied by this episode. Right. Now before you go any further, yes this is gonna contain a lot of spoilers. So if you haven’t seen it yet (which you should do right now) don’t hate me and stop reading. Right. Now.

Too late.

Soooooo. This is gonna be a bit of a mess, but you have to know my opinion is probably really biaised because 1. I love this show 2. I ship Swanfire which is obviously sort of a problem at this point but yeah I thought you needed to know that 3. I also ship Robin and Regina a lot, and am ever rooting for the Charmings so yeah, I swooned a lot. Also 4. I absolutely hate Gold/Rumple and will not have any mercy in my comments. Done. Really, I can’t stand the sight of him. (Maybe it’s gonna evolve through the series. But I’m still mad because he is alive and Neal is not. I’m not okay.)

Moving on to the interesting part: the actual series premiere. Yes, finally. My random opinions on several subjets:

– King Arthur: hell yes. I am interested. I am a huge find of Arthurian stories, so of course, I’m in. I loved the “we were expecting you” thing and the “finding the other part of the sword” part. And okay, I gotta admit it, he’s good looking. I know a lot of twists and new characters in OUAT sometimes make the story messy, but I have to admit I really like this choice. And my screaming and fangirling obviously proved that I enjoyed this episode. (And seriously I want to see Merlin please!!)

– Merida: except the trying to kill Emma part, she was pretty cool. And I have to admit Emma didn’t really seem that trustworthy… I liked how it turned out!

– The Ending: Hell what’s going on?? (Fyi I say bloody hell way too much, and that’s because of Will Scarlet… Anyway). Of course, things wouldn’t go smoothly. I mean, it’s the first episode, and Dark Emma is the whole plot of the season or something like that. So of course, things weren’t going to be solved easily. But that was still quite a schock. The end of the last season started to show Emma turning bad (with killing Cruella for example…) but honestly I’m not sure what to make of it. Come on, she’s the savior! I wanted to see her prove the world it was possible for her not to turn bad! Yes, that’s an interesting twist to the story, but I’m comfortable with hating Rumple and I don’t want to see Emma turning bad, it just feels too sad. Can’t she just get her proper share of happiness and be done with it? Why?

– Outlaw Queen: yess *swoons*. I hope we get lots of scenes with them, that would be so nice. (Also am I the only one why wonders if Zelena actually is pregnant for real? I only see her as completely nuts, but maybe she made it up… Okay that’s not important).

What else. Yay the dwarves coming to Camelot made me extremely happy!! Grumpy is an amazing character, we don’t see enough of him, so that’s pretty cool. They’re so funny. (Though why did they take the baby??)

The flower thing for Belle was a nice reference to the original story though as I said, I don’t like Rumple.

Also I saw that Mulan and Ruby would be back this season and I’m pretty enthusiastic about it…

That’s about all for today! I’ll probably make another pointless article with crazy comments at the end of the season, or at the mid season finale.

If you’re watching the show, I would love to talk about it!

The Color Purple: My Review

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The Color Purple is a novel written by Alice Walker in 1982 and it won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction as well as the National Award for Fiction in 1983. It’s not the reason I read it, though. I’m just interested in books taking place in this kind of context since I read The Help and To Kill a Mockinbird. Yes I know they are very different books, but as a French student, I know I am lacking knowledge about the US and segregation and African-American culture, so that’s one of the reasons I read it. (Another reason simply being the fact that this book had been recommended and given to me by I can’t remember who, but I had it on my shelves and therefore wanted to read it).

I don’t really know how to present it. I mean, I loved it. This book was something different, it was fascinating. It was also an easy read, and hard to put down. But how should I describe it? I just can’t. It’s full of hard truths and funny passages, it’s cleverly written, it’s full of hope and despair at the same time. It is beautiful.

The Color Purple is an epistolary novel which retraces the story of two sisters, Celie and Nettie in rural America in the 1930s. It evolves around the condition of women of color at the time, but also much more. And it is brilliant.

Celie was raped by the man who raised her and gave her two children before giving them away and practically selling the girl to a brutal man who seemed to have fallen in love with her sister Nettie. Nettie ran away from home after Celie left, and the two girls lost contact while Nettie became a missionary in Africa, and Celie fell in love with her husband’s mistress.

Celie writes letters to God, not knowing what happened to her sister. Nettie writes letters to her sister, whithout hope for a reply since her husband stops every single letter.

What can I add? It’s beautiful and brilliant. Cleverly written. It manages to be funny and horrible at the same time. It’s a bit of a schock too. But this book is so important and necessary.

My rating: ★★★★☆

I Read Banned Books

So you have probably heard of it from the bookish community, this week was banned books week. I was a lot busy and didn’t quite get what it was about, but I finally checked it out and discovered I owned and have read a lot of banned books. I never thought there could be so many banned books. I know it includes books that were banned ONCE and IN A CERTAIN PLACE but still. Sometimes the reason just doesn’t make sense… But that was definitely interesting!

I based myself on this list:

http://bannedbooks-a-z.blogspot.fr/

(The list is not exhaustive but nevertheless quite big and full of surprises!)

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Pictured are the banned books I both read and own.

  • Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carrol
  • The Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbovsky (honsetly why, this book is so important!)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, which is one of my absolute favourite books ♥
  • Candide, by Voltaire (read for school)
  • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  • Méditations Métaphysiques, by René Descartes (read for school, one of the only philosophical book I ever understood… I had no idea it had ever been banned)
  • Confessions, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (another one I read for school)
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  • Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell (it was forbidden in some African country because it had the word BLACK in it)
  • Anne Frank’s Diary of a young girl (how dare anyone make this a banned book?)
  • Madame Bovary, by Flaubert (haven’t finished this one yet)
  • The Arabian Nights (I haven’t finished this one either but I love it so much)

I’m not saying I thoroughly enjoyed all these books, but somehow almost all of them had an impact on me when I read them. Some definitely have a philosophical or sociological or anything of the sort meaning and that’s why they are important. We need to live in a world where books are not banned! Books are important!

From my never ending TBR pile, I also noticed that this list contained both Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell (which is not exactly surprising), Fahrenight 451 by Ray Bradbury, I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou and lots of others… I also noticed that a lot of Shakespeare’s books had been banned at some point, which I didn’t expect.

From the books I read I was also schocked to see Flowers for Algernon, because this book is so important in my opinion…

Anyway, this was a very interesting and fun research! Have you read banned books? I’d love to see your opinion and share recommendations! You should definitely check the post I linked above if you haven’t yet, you might be surprised!