This week started out well but it’s been a bit of a downhill since, nothing bad which affects me personally, just feeling a bit emotionally down. So, let’s not dwell on those and talk only about the nice things.
I have spent my last two weekly posts gushing about the drama Love O2O, so I couldn’t resist reading the translated webnovel as well. It is equally romantic and fun, but I thought the book was a bit limited due to it’s single first person POV, and we could never understand what the hero Xiao Nai was feeling in any situation. Most of the side characters were also pretty unmemorable in the book, while they were quite cool and interesting in the show. So, overall it was an easy to read and entertaining book but I would totally rewatch the drama many times more because I adored it.
I definitely picked it up while I was already in the middle of two more books because I wanted a quick read – and it delivered. I was fascinated by how much the author was able to incorporate in such a short novella – a world full of portals which lead to many more magical and dangerous worlds, special kids who are able to find these portals but are forever changed by their experiences, the joy of finding the one place where we belong and the trauma we suffer when we are ripped apart from that place, and the lengths to which some might go to find that home again. The author also tries to be inclusive and accepting, and it was nice to not only see asexual and trans protagonists but also understand their inner thoughts about themselves. Ofcourse due to its length, it feels a bit simplistic and the resolutions are fairly quicker. But it has definitely piqued my interest. And who knows, I might pick up the rest of the series sooner rather than later.
This book has been one of my most anticipated releases of this year and I was so excited to finally get to it. However, this turned out to be a surprisingly bumpy ride but ultimately, I think it was worth the wait. But what stays through after finishing or even while reading the book is this utter feeling of rage, especially as a woman. The author has mentioned multiple times that the patriarchal society in this book is inspired by the social classes and customs of ancient China, and while knowing that history might make us feel better for having made progress, reading about the fictional life of a poor young woman of the time from her own POV is devastating. The three main characters and their polyamorous romance is brilliantly written though, and I really felt for them. In the end, this was a violent but entertaining read, maybe even a bit visceral and cathartic in how it left me feeling after I finished it. While taking down the patriarchy seems to be a common theme across many fantasy novels these days, I thought the abundance of historical and mythical figures, as well as the East Asian folklore inspired mechas were a unique and fun touch.
I don’t even know if I’m the right audience, because other than writing reviews, I have no other writing background or aspirations. I’m also not much of a creative or imaginative person – so I feel no way eligible to judge this book for it’s content, specifically all the wonderful craft related ideas and messages the author gives. But I loved the theme of how writing a story that one really wants to tell, channeling our fears and concerns and rage into characters and stories, can really help us deal with our issues or maybe just feel a bit better for a while. And I thought even though the book is for writers and other creative people, it was quite helpful for me as a reader and reviewer as well, and I feel it will definitely have a positive impact in the way I consume and analyze stories from now on.
I didn’t get much into looking for new dramas this week, except continuing to watch You Are my Glory and The Flaming Heart. TFH will finish airing today, and while it’s been a bit of a boring journey, I am glad to have gotten to watch Gong Jun in a new drama. This feels especially bittersweet after everything that has happened last week in C-ent and who knows, maybe I will spend the next week rewatching Word of Honor to my heart’s content before it probably gets taken down.
You Are my Glory has slowly found a place in my heart and I can say that it will be a favorite. It really shows the ups and downs of life and relationships in a realistic manner and I’m more impressed with Dilraba and Yang Yang as I keep watching every new episode.
And finally, the entertainment of the season is here… Street Dance of China season 4. Wang YiBo is back doing what he enjoys most – dancing – and the watching the first episode was so much fun. And definitely his childlike enthusiasm watching his idols dance in front of him, soothed my heart after an emotionally fraught couple of days.
After 4 more this week, I am upto 9 books complete for the Trope-ical Readathon and I am so happy to participate. You can checkout more of my reading updates on twitter here.
Watching this cover reveal yesterday was a nice surprise. I always think of reading Indian translated books but I never know what to choose, but I am very very excited for this Bengali classic.
And that’s all for my weekly update. How have you all doing? Any lovely books that have captured your mind? Please feel free to share your thoughts and anything interesting about your week in the comments below.