Blog Tour: Forever People by Alison Lyke [Review/Giveaway]

Forever People

FOREVER PEOPLE
BY: ALISON LYKE

FOREVER PEOPLE

Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Genre: Sci-fi/Cyberpunk
Publisher: Black Rose Writing

SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Zeta City, where the whole world goes to die. Here, the Node System uploads the minds of the dying so they can spend eternity in a digital Promised Land. But, this cyber heaven is causing hell on earth for the living because the System forces them to earn Points to buy data in the afterlife.

Camille is a salty mercenary out to hoard as many Points as possible by exploiting the dying with illegal technology. She’s on the hunt for Toy, a rebel leader who uploaded lethal technology to her own brain in an attempt to wipe out everyone’s Node Points.

Camille goes to increasingly dangerous lengths in pursuit of Toy. She soon finds that the Node is full of warm reunions with loved ones and otherworldly creations. It’s also full of lies.

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REVIEW

Forever People is a futuristic sci-fi cyberpunk adventure where the world lives to accumulate Node Points which helps them get better treatment when they enter the Node after they die. As per the stories from the Founders which created this system. However, when Camille, a bounty hunter with a special gadget  called the Confiner gets hired to catch a rebel before she commits suicide ends up losing out on that mission, things go sideways and a lot of secrets get discovered as a result. There’s a lot of good here. The world building and the futuristic elements from the gadgets to the universe here has a lot of thought put in and a lot of imaginative elements as well. The structure of the story gives Forever People a nice angle as it focuses on various characters and their encounters. Its a bit like how Game of Thrones books is structured (at least the first one since I only read that one) and I might have similar criticisms in the sense that some characters come by very late in the game and then there is an imbalance especially when a lot of these timelines do crossover, which shows a nice storyboard and planning elements in the writing overall but there are some characters that are used very minimal and might not exactly deserve their own narrative chapter. Although, there is a purpose in the whole scheme of things so that isn’t a huge criticism at all.

Since we’re talking about characters, that is a standout element here (aside from the world building). The main character that starts here is Camille and she is tough cracker and in the description, its apparent that she is not your typical femme fatale that Hollywood creates however has her exceptional competence and qualities. At the same time, the other characters here whether its her tech friend Remington or the rebel leader Toy or her liaison Cody and other characters, they manage to tie them together very well and give them proper crossover when necessary, especially with some characters that seem small at the beginning and end up having some part in the whole spectrum of things. The story here is quite standalone but if there was some way to have Camille be in some other story setting, it would be nice to see this character having further adventures.

Overall, Forever People started off a little slow in the setup but turns itself around and remains well-paced throughout. The world building and character, especially its main character Camille being its standout as well as using a good structure to form its point of views and narratives. While there’s this feeling that the world here feels very familiar, I can’t quite pinpoint where its from. However, there is a lot of twists and turns here plus a lot of adventure. Its always nice to see how different people envision a different version of the future and the afterlife.

Goodreads score: 4 out of 5

Purchase Here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison Lyke

I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Website
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Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Details: A Copy of Digital Copy

Rafflecopter Link

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

April 22nd

Reads & Reels (Excerpt) https://readsandreels.com/
Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Yearwood La Novella (Excerpt) http://yearwooddailybookreview.wordpress.com
Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0
The Caffeinated Reader (Review) https://www.thecaffeinatedreader.com

April 23rd

Audio Killed the Bookmark (Excerpt) http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com
Susy’s Cozy World (Review) https://susyscozyworld.wordpress.com/
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

April 24th

Ity Reads Books (Excerpt) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog
J Bronder Reviews (Excerpt) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Excerpt) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com

April 25th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com
B is For Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

April 26th

Llissa’s Book Reviews (Excerpt) http://llissasbookviews.wordpress.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Sawdust & Spoons (Review) http://sawdustandspoons.com/

Blog Tour organized by:

 

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What’s Up Week 16: When TV is the Best Multitasking Companion…

Tranquil Dreams (28)

Overlapping long weekends are usually a great time to catch up on some work and for myself, it was time to finalize a lot of stuff thats been sitting around so suffice to say that I did get some TV and movies going but a lot of other things as well. Easter weekend is always that tricky time where its busy at work and never certain on what happens in general. However, there is a decent balance here. Although, there is a great tilt towards TV as that is one of the most effortless parts of my life and its always fun to put on in the background.

READING

FOREVER PEOPLE

Currently reading: Forever People

I’m still working on reading Forever People and very close to the ending now. The review will be going up later this week as part of blog tour.

PLAYING

rime

  • Rime

Currently playing: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

We are working on shorter indie games in our backlog these past few weeks. I’m hoping to get a lot of the reviews done afterwards. Rime was a one that I started last year when we got it via Playstation Plus free games. I can’t remember which month but I was really excited about it. Overall, the game is visually beautiful and runs about 3 to 4 hours with a fantastic soundtrack but just a few little technical things that I’ll talk about in the review (at some point when I get it done). The playthrough however should be on the channel next week. Game Warp channel has The Unfinished Swan’s playthrough going up this week, in case you are interested.

WATCHING

holidays

  • Holidays
  • Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

A drop in movies this weekend and it had to do completely with me because I had a bunch of stuff to do and I didn’t want to start a new movie and not be able to focus on it or fall asleep. However, we did finally get around to some more titles on Netflix. I really don’t know which I prefer out of the two though, maybe holidays because the horror anthology had some really fun segments even if some of them were downright weird. But then, it was Easter weekend so Holidays sounded like a suitable choice.

BINGING

  • Go Fridge! (Season 4, 2018)
  • Black Summer (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: The Brightest Star in the Sky, Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Great Escape, Master in the House, Produce Camp 2019, Z Nation (Season 1)

As with our main title up top, TV is yet again my most focused topic. However, this week I wrapped up two pretty good ones so I’ll talk a little about both of them. Go Fridge is Season 4 which is last year’s season. Its a fun little show where back to back episodes focus on two celebrities and their fridges and the content inside which goes between a talk show in the first part and then a team battle between the two teams of chefs as they make a custom menu based on what they’ve learned during the talk show part and the contents in the guest’s fridge and see which one wins. The second one which we binged in two days is the new Netflix series Black Summer, which essentially is set in the Z Nation universe and set before that show. I know that now because we started watching Z Nation after we wrapped up Black Summer. When I was doing research, it seems there’s a lot of criticism about Black Summer but with exception of some overacting, its a pretty decent show and I’d like to see a Season 2 for it. I’ll go into more details in the upcoming TV binge.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
We’re progressing slowly but work is a constant in my life with extended work hours and overtime so things are going to slow down especially in the next What’s Up.

What’s are you watching/reading/binging/playing? Share it in the comments below.

Blog Tour: The Collection of the Negatives (Blood Rising Book #1) by Violet St. Karl [Review/Giveaway]

THE COLLECTION OF THE NEGATIVES
(BLOOD RISING BOOK #1)

BY: VIOLET ST. KARL

Publication Date: January 11, 2019

Genre: Sci-fi/New Adult

SYNOPSIS

In a world with skyrocketing inflation and unemployment, blood has become the new commodity, and the rarer your blood type, the more it’s worth.

After losing her job and watching her savings dwindle, Liri is persuaded by a resourceful friend to sell her blood to ABO Blood Group, where she learns she is O Negative, the most valuable and sought after blood.

Unable to afford living in New York City, Liri reluctantly decides to move back home and live with her parents, but her plan is interrupted when a virus is maliciously unleashed onto the island of Manhattan, resulting in a citywide quarantine. Before being able to devise an alternative plan, she is secretly informed of a covert mission by ABO to evacuate Negatives out of NYC. Although reluctant to trust them, it’s her only viable choice to stay alive, but unbeknown to Liri, she and the Negatives are vital to activating opposing agendas on Earth and beyond.

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REVIEW

The Collection of the Negatives is the first book in the Blood Rising series by Violet St. Karl. As a first book in a series, one of the main concepts to build up the foundation of the characters and the scenario at hand. On that level, it does a great job. The world here is reminiscent of futuristic worlds where the world has been technologically advanced and yet when the apocalypse arrives, only selected people are chosen to escape to hopefully find a way to survive and keep the humankind going on and in this premise, it is specially selected for those with negative blood types. It is a creative angle for the foundation of the story and where the key sci-fi elements are and where the story is the most strong. The new adult elements particularly the romance bits here were a bit over despite the fact that they used that angle to give the story its turning point and unravel some of the mystery as well. However, it felt like it could have been executed better.

One of the strengths of the novel is the characters. While there are some flaws further down in the novel specifically with the main character, the basis of the characters have a good balance and distinct characteristics that help give them their own edge and place in the story as a whole. Plus, there is a good basis of building up different relationships especially friendships and alliances. As I mentioned before, the romantic part is the bit that I think wasn’t done quite as well but it also has to do with the fact that its part of the “new adult” genre style which I’m not a big fan of but that is a more personal preference. Its just by the last act, there is something about it that binds together a lot of weird shift in events but then it is a good way to set up for the next book.

Overall, The Collection of the Negatives is a decent way to start up a series. It sets up its characters well enough. There are some flaws and some little execution issues but it delivers on the suspense and the sci-fi elements are very strong and also has a lot of good ideas even if its a little weird.

Goodreads: 3 out of 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Violet St. Karl

Violet St. Karl’s love affair with science fiction and fantasy began at the tender age of four when she first saw Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but nearly three decades passed before she started transferring the stories in her head onto the computer screen. Unbeknownst to Violet at the time of signing her lease, her Upper West Side apartment was the former site of Edgar Allen Poe’s old farmhouse, where he completed writing the Raven. However, she didn’t begin writing until receiving another sign from the universe a year later. While spending extensive time in Barcelona, she learned her flat once belonged to Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí, a famous Catalan writer, an indication that living in the former residences of famous dead authors was no coincidence, but a sign to start writing.

After over a decade in New York, Violet recently returned to her roots in the Detroit area where is an advocate and proud Ambassador of the Authors Guild. When not writing or focused on strengthening the local literary community, she is planning which country to explore next.

Website
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GIVEAWAY

For your chance to win a paperback copy if this book, AND a home blood typing kit (Maybe you’re a Negative?), click the link below!

Click Here

BLOG SCHEDULE

April 22nd

Reads & Reels (Review) https://readsandreels.com/
B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

April 23rd

The Caffeinated Reader (Review) https://www.thecaffeinatedreader.com
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Scarlett Readz and Runz (Excerpt) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

April 24th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com
A Full Time Nerd (Review) http://afulltimenerd.com
Daily Waffle (Excerpt) http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

April 25th

Pages and Paw Prints (Review) http://pagesandpawprints.com/
Afire Pages (Review) http://www.afirepages.wordpress.com
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

April 26th

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

BLOG TOUR ORGANIZED BY:

Double Feature: Eloise (2017) & The 5th Wave (2016)

Time for the next double feature.

Continuing with the alphabets, we’re at E & F. I picked two movies that has been on my list for a little while but I kept passing over it for other things. The first is horror thriller Eloise set in an abandoned psychiatric hospital and well, the only reason that this movie is on my list is because Eliza Dushku is in it and I like her from Dollhouse. For the F selection, I picked The 5th Wave. We’re finally expanding alphabets to their numerical counterparts. Either way, I like Chloe Grace Moretz and I enjoyed the novel (review) well enough that I wanted to see how they’d execute it.

Eloise (2017)

Eloise

Director: Robert Legato

Cast: Eliza Dushku, Chace Crawford, Brandon T. Jackson, P.J. Byrne, Robert Patrick, Nicole Forester

Four friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. However, finding it soon becomes the least of their worries in a place haunted by dark memories. – IMDB

The best way to talk about Eloise might be to say that its a little more water down version of Session 9 (review) because there are a lot of similarities in how its executed but then the back story of what happened is different. While I don’t think that Eloise was as bad as I’d thought it would be, it actually has some pretty well-executed moments here and there and the characters are done well enough, of course with a relative dose of stupid decisions in the process. There’s one line that resounds as the central theme of the film throughout that when its said, it highlights the presence of the location itself and also, foreshadows the ending as well. Of course, if its a first viewing like myself, then I wouldn’t have really thought about it too much and thought only the ending as a possibility which makes the final act of the film have a nice twist to it.

Talking about the characters, they make sense pretty much although some parts are fairly obvious where its leading to. At the same time, it tries very hard to go on the psychological thriller path because it is set in a psychiatric hospital. The story actually isn’t too bad. There are a few things that are questionable. The final bit is a bit of a head scratcher even if the basis of it makes sense…kind of. The part that did actually make this not good was the pacing. The beginning to get to the psychiatric hospital takes too long and then there’s a lot of parts in the dark so a lot of scenes are pretty unclear and its probably to avoid too many torturous scenes or whatnot. Other than that, the setting and the context that is pretty overused. I’m half and half on this one.

The 5th Wave (2016)

The 5th Wave

Director: J. Blakeson

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe

Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. – IMDB

Based on the novel of the same name by Rick Yancy (I linked the book review above), The 5th Wave is another one of the YA novels adapted into a movie. The 5th Wave is a mesh of alien invasion story wrapped up in survival and romance. With YA adaptations, its always about the execution as long as the source material is decent, in this case, other than bad writing which shouldn’t affect the movie part, this one was all about how it was executed. The 5th Wave does a decent job and keeps the first person narrative of Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) who narrates the film and the beginning is done really well as she sets up the foundation of how it started and what happened to date and the things that they knew. Of course, as the story diverges apart from its characters, the story shifts between more locations. What works here is that the story follows one character in their location and keeps the characters fairly limited. The pacing here works and the alien invasion story works also. I think what really  helps here is that exceeding my expectation, the romance parts are actually lesser than the survival and alien invasion part which I like a lot because that just makes more sense (although there is a part where its a bit ridiculous). However, its hard to not notice some of the really badly executed effects as well as some of the movement choreography doesn’t flow really well.

Moving along, Chloe Grace Moretz is pretty good here. She’s always been a pretty solid actress even if she sometimes ends up in some lackluster movies. She plays opposite Alex Roe and Nick Robinson, two guys in her life that fulfill different parts of the story especially as Cassie and Alex Roe’s Evan looks at what has become of the world on the outside and then Nick Robinson’s Ben Parish and a rebellious girl Ringer, played by Maika Monroe looked at the military base setting from the other angle. Its a pretty nice set-up to be honest. On top of the that, the military base itself has Liev Schreiber as the lieutenant and Maria Bello as also one of the key figures at the base. Everyone does a decent job with what they have on hand.

Its no doubt that they expected The 5th Wave to be more of a hit so that they kept the ending open-ended so a second film could happen since the book is part of a series. In some ways, with the set up of how it was done and the premise, it would be nice to see where the story would go especially with the sci-fi alien invasion elements.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen either of these films? Thoughts?

Sunday Lists: Dwayne Johnson Roles, Ranked

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been one of the actors that have been very high on my radar. For one, he’s always made very entertaining movies regardless of what the movie feedback is or the depth of the story itself. There is always an impressive quality and character and that is because he always manages to make his character shine and in turn, the movie becomes a fun ride. Sometimes, that is what we all just need – to sit back and relax. With that said, there was no doubt that his roles were going to be ranked.

This list will be updated regularly as I see the films that I haven’t yet seen.

Hobbs – Fast Five (2011)/Furious 6 (2013)/Furious 7 (2015)/The Fate of the Furious (2017)

hobbs

David Okoye – Rampage (2018)

Rampage

Bob Stone – Central Intelligence (2016)

Central Intelligence

Maui (voice) – Moana (2016)

Maui

Spencer – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

Raymond Gaines – San Andreas (2015)

San Andreas

Hank – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Sarge – Doom (2005)

doom

Mitch Buchannan – Baywatch (2017)

baywatch

Captain Charles T. Baker (voice) – Planet 51 (2009)

Planet 51

Paul Doyle – Pain & Gain (2013)
Agent 23 – Get Smart (2008)
Chris Vaughn – Walking Tall (2004)
Jack Bruno – Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
Elliott Wilhelm – Be Cool (2005)

Movies Haven’t Seen/Can’t Remember

The Scorpion King – The Mummy Returns (2001)
Mugger – Longshot (2001)
The Scorpion King -The Scorpion King (2002)
Beck – Welcome to the Jungle (2003)
Boxer Santaros/Jericho Cane – Southland Tales (2006)
Sean Porter – Gridiron Gang (2006)
Joe Kingman – The Game Plan (2007)
Derek – The Tooth Fairy (2010)
Christopher Danson – The Other Guys (2010)
Driver – Faster (2010)
John Matthews – Snitch (2013)
Roadblock – G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Det. James Ransome – Empire State (2013)
Hercules – Hercules (2014)
Dwayne Johnson – Jem and the Holograms (2015)
Will Sawyer – Skyscraper (2018)
Dwayne Johnson – Fighting With My Family (2019)

Are you fan of Dwayne Johnson? Which role(s) do you like the most?

TV Binge: A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好, 2017)

The first to show up is one accessible to most because on Netflix. International stuff, yay! I probably should have written the Meteor Garden one up first since that was how I landed on watching this one. Oh well, that one is coming up just it is a whole lot more work for that one so here we are at A Love So Beautiful. Its also perfectly timed because another story from the same author was also adapted called Put Your Head On My Shoulder (致我们暖暖的小时光) is currently playing on WeTV channel on Youtube.

While I’ve been reviewing a lot of Chinese variety shows, this is the first drama that I’ll be talking about and after some thought, I’m going to work on a few points that I think should be discussed as a general outline for future TV binge posts to make it easier to write up, especially for the Chinese series.

A Love So Beautiful (2017)

A Love So Beautiful

Creator: Yang Long

Cast: Shen Yue, Hu Yi Tian, Gao Zhi Ting, Sun Ning, Wang Zi Wei, Monica Lv

It starts off with high school classmates Chen Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen who are also neighbors. Xiao Xi, a cheerful girl who doesn’t study much, is expressive about her admiration towards Jiang Chen, the popular guy known for his looks and high grades. Together with their fellow classmates the funny Lu Yang, athletic but loyal Jingjing, and cool swimming team member Wu Bo Song, they embark on high school life to university until their adult life. – MyDramaList

STORY

A Love So Beautiful is adapted from To Our Pure Little Beauty by Qianqian Zhao. The story revolves around the very outwardly Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) who professes her love directly to Jiang Chen (Hu Yitian) at the beginning of her senior high year, which kicks off the ton of the film. She tries to impress him and in turn be a better version of herself to match up to him. The story itself is cute and hilarious because she does a lot of little things that most of the time backfire or becomes very awkward. However, there is this heartwarming element of coming to age and finding herself especially as she grows up. Its this lightheartedness of the story and how its delivered that makes the few years in high school and their step into university and then adulthood become such a fun experience (most of the time, because this is still a drama). The tone of the series sets itself up right at the beginning and it maintains it. At the same time, what helps it in the storytelling is filling in those little moments at the end of every episode to give a hidden moment or just the inner thoughts of a character (mostly used by Jiang Chen since he talks less). At the same time, the story focuses on the friendship of five friends that also gets sparked from the first episode onwards.

LENGTH/PACING

A Love So Beautiful clocks in at 23 episodes with shorter 20 minutes special to make total 24 episodes. Each episode is about 40 minutes long. Those are one of the most fun to watch as the episode lengths are very reasonable and episode count is also very restricted giving it the space to be paced fairly quickly with enough development to give all the characters space to grow but never linger on anything too long.

CHARACTERS/CHEMISTRY

A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL

The main focus of A Love So Beautiful is on five characters. Billed as the main leads is Shen Yue playing Chen Xiao Xi and Hu Yi Tian playing Jiang Chen who both star in their first main roles here. Fighting for Shen Yue’s love and attention is Wu Bosong, played by Gao Zhi Ting. On the other hand is Chen Xiao Xi’s good friends, Lu Yang played by Wang Zi Wei and Lin Jingxiao played by Sun Ning who also have a love tangent as Lu admires Lin and sets out to chase her also. Looking at the characters, each of these five have their differences in their personality and make them mesh together really well. Chen Xiao Xi works with her cute and silly personality but not as invested in school and the more serious things at school, while her best friend Lin, is more of a strong and smart character. Their friendship starts at the beginning of the series and sees it become very strong to almost being sisters. While at the same time, the boys in the series are held together by Lu, who is not so much invested in school who plays almost a male version of Chen Xiao Xi and explains how they always share the same general interests but also argue with each other a lot and its these friendly bickering moments that make for a lot of comedic moments. However, the love triangle is presented as a very skewed one because we know that Chen Xiao Xi likes Jiang Chen and Wu Bosong likes her while we eventually know that Jiang Chen, while always acts cold and indifferent actually can see in his small movements that he does care about Chen Xiao Xi also.

One of the strengths of A Love So Beautiful is in its characters. The way that they focus on the friendships here and the strength of it no matter what happens between them. At the same time, the love triangle is also not frustrating but rather one that its easy to get wrapped up in who is better for Xiao Xi, despite the fact that there is no doubt that she does like Jiang the most from the beginning and her perseverance is one that is admirable to say the least. However, as she gets over and gives more than she gets back (from what she knows), its hard to not feel bad for her when Jiang’s resistance to sharing his feelings eventually becomes to get in his way. Its the moments that we see them together that we also learn a little more about a lot of actions is stronger than talk and their chemistry works because of that. However, a lot of praise has to go to Wu because he really is a great person here as he is the role of ultimate unrequited love but is so great because despite everything he is not only loyal to everyone in the friends group, he also is one of the more simple characters as he has big dreams. What works here is that whether who it is, the differences in each of the characters here give each of their interactions something different and depth and it works in the show’s favor so much.

OVERALL

a love so beautiful

A Love So Beautiful is a fun little TV series in the landscape of Chinese TV dramas. In its high school crushes to romances and friendship, it highlights the emphasizes a lot of positive themes other than its cute romance but it embodies a coming of age for all these characters in each of their own ways, having the courage to step forward to follow their own dreams as well as the importance of family and friends. It takes a more lighthearted, well-paced and cute/fun and heartwarming angle and it works so very well. Its one of my favorite TV dramas so far. One that I willingly rewatch. While I do like all the characters, this series really fortified my love for Shen Yue and her acting and looking at the different role she takes in Meteor Garden (will be discussed soon) and her upcoming roles which also go in different characters, it’ll be interesting to see where she takes her career especially since she keeps a down to earth attitude when in variety shows which gives her a uniqueness to her as an actress. My only real criticism for A Love So Beautiful is how it ends because it feels so random to end that way. In its way, it seems to go full circle but then it felt a little awkward to cut it off where it did.

That’s it for this TV binge!
The first Chinese TV drama binge finally crossed off the list!

A Love So Beautiful is available on Netflix with all kinds of subtitles so its one to check out if this type of series if up your alley.

Goodfood Recap #36

Goodfood (19)

Its been a month and time for another Goodfood box! This time had one repeat recipe and a few that I’ve seen but never found enough in the previous times to want to order the box. This time, we wanted to give it a go.

Let’s check it out!

Braised Cod
with Roasted Garlic Chickpeas & Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

braised cod

Kicking us off for any box is the fish recipe! This time we have braised cod. This meal was absolutely delicious. It would be paired perfectly with a baguette to just eat all the remaining sauce. I actually ending up making the closest thing I had: toast. The flavor is fantastic and the lentils give it such a nice bite. My husband cooked the fish perfectly. He actually took care of this one as he had a spontaneous day off. This is one that I’m definitely getting again if the opportunity presents itself.

Chipotle-Honey Chicken
with Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomato Salsa

Chipotle-Honey Chicken

This menu was pretty spicy. The chipotle completely covers any honey that was in there. To be honest, I think the meal works well because it has the whole rice and salsa so balance it out. Its still fairly intense (but that could be because I don’t eat spicy food a lot in the first place). My biggest issue of why I wouldn’t do this again was that I spent a good part of my time, extending the prep time a lot just taking out the seeds from the chipotle pepper and then chopping it up. That took a ton of time since it was my first time doing it.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bao Buns
with Charred Miso Broccoli & Chili Mayonnaise

Tofu Bao Buns

Bring on the next fire-breathing dish. The chili mayonnaise was extremely spicy because of the sambal oelek which I only used half of the portion in the first part and then my husband also used half of the portion in the second part of when we had to use it. Props to the instructions for the broccoli being pretty accurate and it turned out to be pretty good. Plus they gave us much more than the recipe asked for. Bao buns are something that I don’t have frequently and a Taiwanese street food style and in this recipe, it is pretty decent. Its spicy but the different elements and the sauce and everything really pulls it together.

Fresh Udon Noodles
with Ground Pork & Napa Cabbage

Udon Ground Pork Napa

The last meal is the repeat meal that we’ve had before. I love udon noodle meals and this one is really easy to put together. Its almost like a one pan dish aside from the having to cook the noodles in advance and then it just basically turns into a stir fry. Plus, it tastes really great.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Some new stuff and one repeat meal!
My favorite meal in box had to go to braised cod but then everything else worked well.