28 February 2013

REVIEW: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
Published: 15th November 2012
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Format: Kindle
Series: The Edge of Never, book one.
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone-including herself-when she decides to leave the only life she's ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.
Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together-or destroy them forever?

My thoughts:
I have been obsessed with New Adult, and lately (and probably for quite some time) that's all I want to read. This is one of the books I have loved in this genre probably my second favourite, next to The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden.

This is one of those books that captivate you from the beginning and keep you on your toes as to what happens next. You know they'll be together in the end, but you don't know how, or what exactly their journey will entail. And you never expect it to be so beautiful!

This book is mainly set from Camryn's POV, but it does go back and forth between the two. You get into the minds...the very complicated minds of these characters, their emotions, their demons, their love, their fights, and their resolutions.
It's a journey that makes me want to live. It makes me want to get up and go after something. I'm not exactly sure what that thing would be, but reading someone else's story, though fictional, makes me want to just live. And I believe that is what this story was supposed to leave with you.

I was a little scared for Camryn when she decided to just go with Andrew wherever he wanted to go when their road trip began, but at the same time I was so gald she did. The people and places they ended up, especially New Orleans (my home in my heart), I loved every second.

Though the content is a bit mature, it isn't sex, sex, sex right away. They build up to romance, trying to figure out what they're doing in this journey and with their lives.

Andrew was never pushy, just very very protective. I'm not the biggest fan of bad boys, but I like guys who look like bad boys, and luckily that is Andrew.

One of my favourite scenes was when they laid on the hood of the car and let the rain fall on them. It's actually on my bucket-list to lay on the ground, in the bed of a truck or on the hood of a car while it's raining, with someone I love.

This book is a gorgeous journey that is sweet, a tiny bit of fluff, serious, heart-wrenching (especially the ending), funny, cute, just....beautiful.

I highly recommend this read. I cannot wait for the sequel. Even though this book ended in a way that was satisfying enough, the next book will be mostly from Andrew's POV, but still alternate back and forth.
I wish that I had a memorable quote. But I was so into the book I forgot to pick one!

08 February 2013

Drama of the Week - School 2013

»SCHOOL 2013 | 학교 2013«
I'm currently watching two dramas that are weekly dramas, meaning I get a new episode and then have to wait a week for the next ones...So to fill that time [because I totally needed to], I picked a drama that had every episode released, but was still new.
I had watched the first couple of episodes of the Korean drama, 학교 (or School) 2013 when it was airing, and liked it well enough, but not enough to want  to wait every single week, so I stopped. After seeing a ton of gifs on tumblr I knew I had to continue with the show. And I am so glad I did.

The show is not a romance drama, at all. [Of course that may change.] It's just a teen drama with a bit of comedy. Luckily it's not a melodrama, it seemed to be a melodrama season in Korea. I love the characters, especially Teacher Jung (and her amazing variety of boots), Go Nam Soon, Song Ha Kyung & Lee Kang Ju. Their other teacher, Teacher Kang was fun at first, but now he just seems like a pretentious douche.

There is action, comedy and lots of friendship and drama. I'm only about 10 episodes in, [of 17 episodes] but I am hooked!

Here's a quick summary of the drama:
Story about Seungri high, a troublesome school that houses students from the most eligible to the most problematic. 'School 2013' shows different life stories of teachers and students as they grow up through conflicts and compromises.

If you'd like to watch too, and get totally hooked, check out these websites with English subtitles: Dramafever | Viki | Hulu

If you watch (or have already watched), make sure to tell me what you think!

07 February 2013

REVIEW: The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
Published: 13th December 2012
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Format: Kindle
Series:  The Coincidence, book one.
goodreads | amazon | author
There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.
Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.

My thoughts:
The love I have for this rather new genre, New Adult is growing stronger with every new book I read. I have not wanted to read anything else. And this book is by far my favorite in the genre that I've read thus far.

There was this balance of heart wrenching scenes, young adults trying to start over their lives but not yet able to let go of their pasts. Wanting to be happy and experience love. And all of that resonated with me so deeply that it actually brought me to tears. Especially the wanting love and friendship and to just feel okay.

Callie is the kind of girl who hides behind her look, the dark eye makeup, short hair and baggy clothes until she goes to college, where she thinks it's a way to reinvent herself without having to worry about her past holding her back. She meets and becomes best friends with Seth who is always there to push her just enough to help her let go of her past. But at times, I felt like he may have been pushing her a little too much. Nothing to the point of breaking, but enough where I wanted to push him back and say "stop."

Kayden appeared to be a bad guy, which worried me. I'm over bad guys. But in reality, he was just as troubled and actually cared deeply about Callie for saving his life and soon realizes it's more than that. His best friend was a little weird in my opinion. He seemed a bit troubled himself, but because most of Kayden's parts were thinking about Callie, talking to/about Callie or with Callie...we didn't learn much about him.

There were times where I thought that they each were too troubled, but when you learn what they do to cope, what their past was, etc, etc... It makes a bit more sense.
This really isn't a lovey dovey book, but there is romance and those scenes definitely are sexy. (Sorensen knows how to write 'em!)

The ending was so abrupt that I started reading the next page...which is the "About the Author" page. It was by far the worst cliffhanger I've ever read--not that it was bad, it was just so abrupt I didn't know what to do. Which just makes me more and more excited for the next book in the series, The Redemption of Callie & Kayden. I read a preview on Jessica Sorensen's website and it was enough to satiate me until the release, but I won't stop thinking about that ending until I read the next book.

If you're into contemporary and into New Adult, this one is perfect! I definitely recommend this book. And it's my first 5 star rated book of the year, as well as being featured in my "January Favorites" post.

Memorable quote:
"It's amazing how the things you remember forever are the things you'd rather forget and things you desperately want to grasp onto seem to slip away like sand in the wind."
- Callie

05 February 2013

K-DRAMA REVIEW: King of Dramas

The King of Dramas
Korean Title: 드라마의재왕
Genre: Romance, comedy, drama.
Number of Episodes: 18
Watch on: Dramafever | Viki
Starring: Kim Myung-min, Jung Ryeo-won, Choi Siwon, Oh Ji-eun, Jung Man-shik.
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of the Korean entertainment business, The King of Dramas revolves around Anthony Kim (Kim Myung-min), the brilliant CEO of a drama production company who will do anything and everything for the sake of money, fame and success. He is known to possess the Midas touch as he has created blockbuster dramas and Hallyu stars. When a death on the set precipitates his fall from grace, Anthony attempts to regain his former status by putting the drama Kyungsung Morning on air. And to accomplish that, he needs the help of idealistic Lee Go-eun (Jung Ryeo-won), who dreams of becoming a top writer someday, and the handsome but egoistic actor Kang Hyun-min (Choi Siwon).

Thoughts: *WARNING: Some of the pics towards the end may be a spoiler*

When I first started this drama, I expected it to be a romantic comedy, but the first five minutes are nothing but action and excitement. Meeting Anthony, I wasn't sure if I'd like him, he seemed to be quite an ass. He lied to Lee Go-eun to get her to help him with a drama then makes a man drive way over the speed limit to get the tape to the studio in time, which resuted in his death.
He is fired, obviously, and I thought it rather funny. I did not care for his selfishness.
Lee Go-eun was immediately a favorite, if not for her character, than her fantastic hair! Seriously, I was jealous the entire 18 episodes.
I digress.

Lee Go-Eun is an aspiring writer and wants nothing more than to get her drama on the air. After a promise from Anthony that he'll get it on the air if she helps him, she believes her dreams are coming true. But of course, being the selfish one he is, he lied to her. And I lost a little more faith in him.

Things started picking up when Anthony decides he will use her drama and does everything he possibly can, despite his nemesis every attempt to bring him down, to get this drama on air. They go on a hunt to find the biggest stars in Korea. Enter Choi Siwon and his character Kang Hyun-min, and now we finally have the comedic relief. His laugh. His faces. His body. [Whoa there.] And his excessive use of the phrase "Oh my God, Jesus Christ."
Almost every other drama Choi Siwon has played in, he's been the lead actor, so it was nice to see him in a completely new role while not being the lead. He's probably my favorite singer-to-actor in Kpop, so of course I was excited to see him in this.

When they finally get their leading lady, the gorgeous Sung Min-ah--who happens to be with a rival company as well as Anthony's ex (hello drama)--they have all they need to make the drama.
And finally I start to get a feel for Anthony being a human with feelings after we meet his blind mother and learn about how much he struggled in the past without a father.

The romance in this drama seems obvious but at the same time isn't quite canon, and for a lot of the drama I really didn't know who would end up with whom or if there would ever actually be a full on romance.  With that being said, I loved when Lee Go-eun spent any time with Anthony and the very....very rare times she was with Kang Hyun-min were as entertaining. He always managed to make a joke, even if she didn't find it funny, and he always made me laugh.

Towards the end when I heard there would be an extension from 16 to 18 episodes, I wasn't very happy. It's very rarely a good thing. They end up stretching things out and adding a plot that is so left field it makes you wonder if they changed writers, directors, locations, actors or if it's all a joke.
But to my relief, though there was a plot change, it was actually nice. I was expecting one thing to happen and they completely surprised me. Anthony learns devastating news and I was just sure everything would work out how he thought it would. But surprisingly, it didn't...but that didn't stop a beautiful ending. I got a little emotional, but no tears were shed.

The bickering between Sung Min-ah and Kang Hyun-min is perfect. The relationship between Lee Go-eun and Anthony was perfect.

At the end of the drama, I was satisfied. I felt like I got a full drama and I couldn't really think of anything that was left unsaid or open ended. I plan on watching more dramas starring all of these actors, especially the lead actors!


04 February 2013

Monthly Favorites - JANUARY!

  1. BOOK:  The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
    Okay...... This book tugged at the heart, was sexy, and real, and beautiful. There was just the right amount of push and pull. The romance and sexiness was not overshadowed by how dark the book was as well.
    The ending though.... That cliffhanger was horrible!!! I cannot wait until the sequel comes out! [Full review to come.]
  2. TV SHOW:  Chicago Fire, Pretty Little Liars, Beauty & The Beast, The Mindy Project, & Go On.
  3. DRAMA: 이웃집 꽃미남 (Flower Boy Next Door) and Substitute Princess.
  4. SONG: "I GOT A BOY" by Girls' Generation
    I'm not even that big of a Girls' Generation fan... at all. In fact I find most of their music borderline stupid and annoying. But because I like a lot of the members [9 in total]. I'm always tempted to just listen in hopes that I'll like something. And this is finally that song. There are 3 other songs on the album I like as well!
    "I Like That" by GLAM
    I loved their debut song, "Party (XXO)" for the lyrics and how fun it is, and though I liked it, I was glad to see they had a more upbeat, less bubble gum vibe with this song!
  5. APP: Dramafever& Viggle.
I recommend you check any and all of these things out asap!! I'll try to think of all new things for February.What are your favorites from January?!

© Iridescent Lotus
Maira Gall