My thoughts on Boys over Flowers | Thoughts on TV

boys over flowersBoys over Flowers (2009)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Episodes: 25
Rating: 6/10 – I liked it

Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun-pyo Koo.

Geum Jan-Di (Hye-seon Ku) is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.

There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Koo Jun-Pyo (Min-ho Lee), who is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji-Hu (Hyeon-jung Kim), So Lee-Jeong (Kim Beom), and Song Woo-Bin (Kim Jun). Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau.

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Please don’t kill me for this review. I know this is one of the most loved K-dramas out there! I know that so many people adore it. I’m already scared to write this review since I gave it 6/10. However, as you’ll see in my review the reasons I didn’t end up loving it are mostly circumstantial. If I had watched this drama under different circumstances or in a different situation, I might have loved it.

Here’s what I liked about the show!

⭐️ the story itself. I know it may seem like a dumb bullet point, but I don’t care. In itself, I love the story. It’s filled with tropes and cliches I happen to adore. Girl from a poorer family gets in to a private school and ends up pissing off the most popular and rich guy in school – the leader of the so-called F4. Obviously, they end up falling in love. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love stories.

⭐️ backstory of the side characters. If you’re unaware, this is not the only adaptation of the shojo manga that exists. In fact, there are many. I liked that this one had a more elaborate backstory for Yun Ji-Hu.

⭐️ enemies-to-lovers. Like I mentioned before, this is one of my absolute favorite tropes in romance stories. I’m such a sucker for it, and this show is no exception.

Now, on to what prevented me from loving this show.

💥 it wasn’t the first adaptation I watched which means I already knew what would happen. One could argue that you can always tell what’ll happen in these dramas, which is true. Most of them have a HEA-type ending. However, I knew most details of the story already so nothing ever surprised me.

💥 an ‘older’ version of the story. No, I’m not saying that you can’t love older shows. After all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are some of my favorite TV shows still. However, the remake of Boys Over Flowers I had seen prior to this one was released in 2018 which means that it’s an extremely modern and relatable take on the story. That’s not this show’s fault at all but it did leave me less connected to it. Like I mentioned at the start, the reasons I didn’t end up loving this are mostly situational. If I had watched this when it first came out, or even before watching Meteor Garden, I would have loved it more.

💥 the acting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the acting in this show. It felt a little bit over-the-top, especially Hye-seon Ku’s portrayal of Jan-Di. I’ll definitely try more of her shows in the future, just wasn’t a big fan of her in this one.

There you have it, my slightly controversial opinion on Boys over Flowers. As I mentioned a few times, I didn’t end up loving it due to the circumstances I watched it in. I’m sure I would have loved it more if I had seen it in 2009 – or simply before watching the most recent remake. Have you watched this show? Is it a nostalgic one for you? Let me know (and please don’t kill me)!

2018 Ranked | movies I watched

I thought I’d create a series called ‘Ranked’ for the end of this year, as a mini wrap up of the movies and TV shows I watched this year. This post will feature all the movies I watched in 2018 (not just new releases), ranked from worst to best – in my opinion. I’ll start with my least favorite movie of the year, and work up to my favorite one. Don’t expect a huge post, I didn’t actually manage to watch that many movies this year…

DISCLAIMER: before I start getting any comments… I am not a movie critic. I rate the movies I watch based on how much I enjoyed them. Simply my opinion!

F.C. De Kampioenen: Kampioenen Forever – 1.5/5 stars
This was the only bad movie I watched in 2018… To be honest, the only reason I watched this is because my cousin and her kids had another free ticket and asked me to come along. F.C. De Kampioenen is a Flemish comedy TV show that has been on air for years (decades, probably). It’s not particularly great, although it is nostalgic at times. This was by far the worst I’ve ever seen of it which is why it got the last spot.

Deadpool 2 – 2.5/5 stars
I watched this one on the plane which was the perfect time for it. I adored the first Deadpool movie as it was exactly my type of humor and such a refreshing thing to watch in the world of superheroes. While I still loved those aspects of Deadpool, it wasn’t as refreshing the second time around. That’s why I gave it around a 2.5 stars. I still enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as the first movie.

Annihilation – 3.5/5 stars
To be honest, I really enjoyed watching this movie! The only reason it’s quite low on this list is because I watched a lot of great movies in 2018, and I kind of forgot I watched this last year. I had read the first book in the trilogy this is based on before the movie, and I think this is a great adaptation. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do! Be prepared to feel like you’re hallucinating for the last 15 minutes though.

The Greatest Showman – 3.5/5 stars
Another one I watched on the plane. I really enjoyed this movie, far more than I expected to. When I saw how much my friends loved this movie, I was kind of flabbergasted. It just didn’t seem like the type of movie I’d enjoy. I decided to give it a go while stuck on the plane, and was pleasantly surprised. I still listen to the music today.

A Star is Born – 4/5 stars
Finally, a movie I watched in theaters! What has become most apparent from making this list, is that I really need to watch a lot more movies and go to the theater more. I even have one 200m away from my apartment! I went to see this one with two friends, and really liked it. I didn’t love it as much as everyone else seemed to because I found the first 20 to 30 minutes really awkward, but overall it was a fantastic movie. Lady Gaga absolutely killed it.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – 4/5 stars
One of the long-awaited YA adaptations. It’s safe to say it did not disappoint. This is one of the most adorable and wholesome teenage romcoms I have watched in a long time, and one I will definitely watch again.

Raw – 4/5 stars
If any of my Twitter Lovelies are reading this they might be confused as to why this is so high on my list, as they witnessed my experiences watching this first-hand. Listen, do NOT watch this movie while eating. Take it from me. You’ll have to throw your food away. This is a horror movie focused on a vet student who starts craving raw meat. It’s absolutely horrifying to watch, yet the movie is completely brilliant. Genius, but disgusting.

Crazy Rich Asians – 4/5 stars
Yes, this is really high on my list because I absolutely ADORED that movie. Another one of the very few I watched in theaters. It was everything I wanted from an adaptation, and I can’t wait to watch the sequels. Someone give me some news on the movie sequel.

Love, Simon – 4.5/5 stars
Some people might wonder why on Earth this is one of my favorite movies of the year. Well, because I loved it. I walked out of that theater feeling so much lighter and happier. I was smiling for hours. I was a happy bunny for ages, thanks to this movie.

Train to Busan – 5/5 stars
I probably shouldn’t have watched Train to Busan a month before actually getting on a train to Busan… This is a South Korean zombie movie, and it is by far my favorite zombie-related media I have ever seen. If you’re a fan of horror or zombie stories, please watch this. You probably already have, but just in case you haven’t. It’s so good – this coming from someone who isn’t very fond of zombie stories.

Bird Box – 5/5 stars
I watched this movie quite recently as it was released on December 21st. I didn’t read the book this was based on, Bird Box, but I saw it appear on quite a few horror recommendations list during Halloween time. All I can speak for is the movie, and it was fantastic. It managed to make me feel tense and uncomfortable the entire time. Sandra Bullock provided us with an incredibly performance. This might be my favorite one of hers I’ve seen in a long time.

After making this list, I added a new goal for 2019 to my list: go to the theaters/cinema at least 10 times. I really need to watch more movies. There are so many on my to-watch list, and I never actually watch them. Embarrassing… I also seem to really like horror movies, which I never would’ve guessed, to be honest. Have you watched any of these? What were your favorite movies of the year?

Most anticipated releases for January – June 2019 | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, we’re talking about anticipated releases! Books you can’t wait to read, but will only come out in the first half of 2019. I have to admit that I’m a little bit less up-to-date with new releases lately, because I’ve been focusing more on secondhand books, backlist ones, and translated works from foreign authors. Anyway, here are the books I’m excited to read.

The Girl King by Mimi Yu – January 8th, 2019
This is a YA fantasy about two sisters, one destined to become the first female ruler of the Empire, the other destined to live in her shadow. Until their father declares their male cousin as the heir instead. Lu is determined to take back her birthright, while Min has to deal with the powers that awaken inside her. Who’s going to take the throne? I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS! I love everything about that synopsis, and I need to read it soon.

King of Scars (Nikolai #1) by Leigh Bardugo – January 29th, 2019
Who’s surprised this is on my list? Absolutely no one. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the Grisha trilogy in which Nikolai first appears, so maybe I’ll re-read that next year before picking this one up. Anyway, he was one of my favorite characters, so I’m happy he gets his own books now.

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness #1) by Robin Lafevers – February 5th, 2019
I can’t tell you how excited I am to return to the women trained at the Convent of Saint Mortain. I read the His Fair Assassin series when I first got back into reading a few years ago, and absolutely loved it. Medieval times + nuns + assassins + court intrigue = happy readers. Now we’re returning with Sybella, and I’m so excited! This is another one in which I’ll probably have to re-read the first three books because it’s been so long.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie – February 14th, 2019
I have absolutely no idea what this is about. All I know is that this is what the Goodreads synopsis says,

Listen. A god is speaking.
My voice echoes through the stone of your master’s castle.
This castle where he finds his uncle on his father’s throne.
You want to help him. You cannot.
You are the only one who can hear me.
You will change the world.

The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco – March 1st, 2019
I reread the first book in the series in 2018 so I could go into the second one with a fresh mind. Now, I can’t wait to read the third one! This series is so good. If you enjoy YA fantasy, especially ones with a slower pace that are character-driven, you’ll probably love this one.

A Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson – April 2nd, 2019
I don’t know much about this book other than it being an LGBTQ+ historical fiction novel. That’s really all I need to know to add this to my list. I guess I’ll find out more in April (or a few months later, because I never have my shit together like that).

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – April 2nd, 2019
Descendant of the Crane is a Chinese-inspired fantasy about a princess who’s always shirked her responsibilities, until her father is murdered and she has to rule the kingdom. I also believe she does some illegal things to find out who killed her father!

Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence – April 4th, 2019
This might be my most anticipated release of the year. I adore this series, and I’ve been dying to read the third book. If you don’t know, this series follows Nona who starts training at the Convent of Sweet Mercy. She wants to become a Red Sister (Sister of combat), but even as an 8-year-old she has managed to make some powerful enemies. The cast of characters consists of like 98% women, and it’s glorious.

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – April 23rd, 2019
This story follows Esha, who moonlights as the rebels’ assassin called Viper. All she wants is revenge for what was taken from her during the royal coup. Her latest assignment? Taking down general Hotha. You all know I’m present when there’s a fantasy novel about revenge, assassins, and rebels.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – May 14th, 2019
‘Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king.’ Remember what I just said about assassins and fantasy? I’m excited!

I can’t wait to read these 10 books. Someone hold me accountable and make sure I actually read these in 2019! I’m hoping to, because they all sound epic. What are your most anticipated reads for the first half of 2019?

TV shows I need to watch in 2019

I saw Destiny at Howling Libraries make a list of 10 TV shows she wanted to watch in 2019 last December, and thought it was a great idea. There are so many TV shows on my to-watch list, whether that’s on Netflix or the tracker I use. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, and I can’t decide on a show to watch when I finally have some time. In order to get rid of that overwhelming feeling, I thought it a good idea to create a list of 10 shows I want to prioritize this year. Let’s take a look at my to-watch list for 2019!

iZombie season 3 & 4
I have recently rediscovered my love for iZombie through a rewatch of season 1 and the majority of season 2. I was obsessed with this TV show sometime in the past few years, but never actually made it far into season 3. Since this is the only zombie-related show I’ve ever truly loved, I want to actually catch up with it. So this year, I’m planning on watching the third and fourth season.

Stranger Things season 3
They just announced that Stranger Things will be returning for its third season on July 4th, and you best believe I will be there to watch it as soon as possible. Probably binge-watch it, to be honest.

La Casa de Papel season 1
I have heard nothing but amazing things about this TV show, and it’s one I want to watch in the upcoming months. It’s a Spanish show about a group of robbers who carry out the most perfect robbery in the history of Spain and steal 2.4 billion euros. I adore heist stories, and I’ve been wanting to watch some more foreign shows so this one is right up my alley.

Dark season 1
I started watching Dark a while ago, but never actually made it past the first episode. It’s a German show about a boy who goes missing, and whose disappearance may be linked to one of another boy decades ago. Something about it all happening again? I have no idea what that means, but I’m eager to find out.

The Good Place season 1, 2 & 3
I did watch the first season of The Good Place when it first came out, but I think I should rewatch it before continuing on. I do remember the big reveal at the end as well as some minor details, but I feel like that’s not enough to truly enjoy the second season. So many people are obsessed with this show, and I need to be added to that list. Besides, I love Kristen Bell.

You season 1
I guess I have a head start here because I’ve already completed 5 out of the 10 episodes so far. I watched them at the end of December, when the show released on Netflix. This is one I do want to finish soon, especially because I’m already halfway through the season.

This is one of the most well-loved and famous K-dramas yet, and I haven’t watched it. I think I’ve been intimidated by it, simply because so many people adore the show. I want to get over that irrational fear in 2019, and finally watch this.

(Hotel) Beau Séjour
I find it embarrassing how many Belgian shows I haven’t watched yet, considering I am Belgian. This seems to be one of the more famous ones, which Stephen King really seemed to like. From what I can tell, it’s about a girl who wakes up to discover she’s been murdered, and her struggle to find her killer.

De Ridder season 1 (maybe 2 & 3)
Another Belgian TV show I have never watched. All I know about this one is that it follows Helena De Ridder who is a pubic prosecutor in Gent. I know, so many details, right? I’ll give it a go and watch season 1! If I like it, I want to watch the second and third seasons too.

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? 
Another K-drama on the list! If you’re curious why I don’t include seasons here, it’s because Asian dramas rarely have more than 1 season. This one doesn’t appear to be an exception. It’s the story of Kim Mi-so who decides to resign as the secretary to Vice Chairman Lee Young-Joon after working for him for 9 years.

100 Days My Prince
The last show (and last K-drama) on this list. I don’t tend to watch Korean period dramas, and I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve mostly stuck to ones that play out in a modern setting. The reason this is on my list? EXO’s Kyungsoo.

I want to prioritize these 11 shows and watch them throughout 2019. If I happen to have more time and watch others as well, great! If not, these are the ones I need to focus on. Have you watched any of these? Do you have some shows you really need and want to watch?

December in the life | Life wrap up

Every month, I make two wrap up posts. One focused on the books I read, and one focused on the other important things in my life: things I did, music I listened to, and movies and TV shows I watched. So let’s talk about December one more time

what i watched black

I watched Bird Box pretty much as soon as it was released on Netflix. I had never read the book, but seen it mentioned so many times in the online bookish community. The trailer was fantastic, so I decided to watch it without reading the book first. Cue the horrified gasp from every other book-lover out there. This movie is phenomenal. I was on edge the entire time while watching. I think this may be my favorite performance by Sandra Bullock, ever. If you haven’t watched it, please do so!

I also started watching You, the TV show adaptation of Caroline Kepnes’ novel. I tried reading You ages ago but DNFed because I just wasn’t interested enough. I’m about 6 episodes in right now, and loving the TV show! One I’ll definitely finish watching soon.

Lastly, I also continued watching Suspicious PartnerI haven’t finished it yet (think I have about 6 more episodes to go on Netflix) but I’m really enjoying this K-drama so far!

what i did black

I feel like December was such a long month for me. The majority of the time I spent looking through job ads and applying, going to interviews, and so on. Looking for a job in marketing and communication is an exhausting thing, but I’m not willing to give up.

However, I did do some fun things as well! I went to Baiersbronn with my parents for a few days, as a short holiday before the Christmas craze began. If you’re unaware, Baiersbronn is a small village in the Black Forest in Germany. It’s absolutely beautiful. We hiked a bit, spent an afternoon in the sauna and swimming pool, trudged through the snow, and went to a Christmas market. It was great.

I then celebrated Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family and New Year’s Eve with my dad’s side. It was a lot of fun! I got to relax, spend some time with my family, eat good food, and have some drinks. And get some presents. All in all, not bad right?

what i listened to black

Yes, I’m back with more K-pop. I’m sorry, okay? I just love it so much. Actually, I don’t know why I’m apologizing for this. I guess it comes from people always dismissing it or laughing at me? Who cares. I like what I like.

DAY6 – Days Gone By
I haven’t met a DAY6 comeback I haven’t liked. Seriously, I love all of their music. This one is very different than their other songs so far, but it’s been stuck in my head all the same. I’m actually going to their concert in Amsterdam in January, and I CAN’T WAIT.

EXO – Love Shot
Two EXO comebacks in one month? YES PLEASE. I think I might like this even better than Tempo. The “na na na” gets stuck in your head for days, I’m warning you.

ATEEZ – Treasure
In October, I became obsessed with ATEEZ’s song Pirate King. This month, I fell in love with Treasure instead. I find their songs, choreography, and music videos quite impressive considering it’s their debut.

Now we’ve taken a look at my life throughout the month of December! Tell me, what did you do? Did you watch a great movie or show? Did you listen to any fantastic music?

2019 reading predictions

Every year so far, I’ve made a post on my reading goals for the coming year. Today, I’ve changed that post from goals into reading predictions. I feel like the word ‘goals’ only makes me feel pressured, and leaves me disappointed when I don’t reach them by the end of the year. The predictions, on the other hand, are just fun. Let’s talk about 2019!

I’ll read around 70 books

I started tracking the amount of books I read per year in 2013 through the Goodreads Reading Challenge. It’s the easiest way for me to keep track of what I read, as I tend to update my Goodreads often. For the first few years of doing this challenge I read about 140 books a year, which I only achieved because I was a university student and read when I’m stressed.

Ever since graduating, I’ve read somewhere around 70 books a year. I think 2019 will see the same trend as well. There are months in which I read 15 books, and months in which I don’t read anything. That’s what works for me at the moment, and doesn’t stress me out.

I’ll read more translated books

This ties in to the challenge I’ve set myself of reading a book from every country in the world. This means written by an author with that nationality. I didn’t set a timeline for the challenge, but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind the coming years. Since I only speak Dutch and English well enough to read a full novel/book, I’m going to read a lot more translated books than I have in the past.

reading a variety of genres

I’ve actually already noticed a difference when it comes to genres in my reading in 2017 vs my reading in 2018. In 2018, the vast majority of books I read were fantasy. In 2018, I read a wider variety of genres and decreased the amount of fantasy books. Don’t get me wrong, fantasy will always be my favorite genre. But there are so many other interesting books to discover, and I don’t want to limit myself so much.

I’ll get my physical TBR to around 75

I guess you could see this as a goal? Right now, my physical TBR is around 99 (as I’m typing this). I did read a lot more of my own books in 2018, but I also bought a few thanks to YALC and used bookstores. The good news is that most of the books I bought were heavily discounted. The bad news is that I feel like I’m never going to get around to reading some.

I think getting my TBR to 75 or 80 might be what I’ll achieve in 2019. I’ve become really good at unhauling books, going to the library more, and only buying books I am genuinely interested in.

the majority of my book buying will be secondhand 

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to new releases. But I’ve truly fallen in love with used bookstores in the second half of 2018, and I don’t see that trend ending soon. I ordered from Better World Books and got so many great books for such a low price level! Then I rediscovered Pêle-Mêle, a used bookstore in Brussels, too.

I’ve never been someone who needs her books to be in pristine condition, so I don’t really care about having books that look used. I actually break the spines of my paperbacks too (GASP) and like that it makes them look read and loved. Besides, I have found some really interesting books for such a low price!

If this does come true, it’ll save me so much money and help me towards reading a wider variety of genres and books I haven’t heard of before.

Those are my reading predictions for 2019! What do you think of goals vs predictions? What do you think your reading year will look like?

Review: Girls of Paper and Fire

girls of paper and fireTitle: Girls of Paper and Fire
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire #1
Author: Natasha Ngan
Published on November 2018 by Jimmy Patterson Books
Genre: fantasy (YA)
Rating: 9/10 – loved it!

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

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I mentioned Girls of Paper and Fire on my most anticipated releases of 2018 list a few months ago, because it seemed like an incredible read. Fantasy is my favorite genre, so knowing this is a fantasy novel set in a world inspired by Asia bumped it high up my to-read list. Then I found out it was an LGBTQ+ book with an f/f romance! Sadly, there aren’t enough of those when it comes to SFF. I knew I had to read it close to the release date. Apparently, past Jolien was intrigued enough to preorder a Kindle copy, and present me completely forgot and got a pleasant surprise on release date.

I had seen some mixed reviews surface already, and it dimmed my enthusiasm for this novel. I decided to give it a try anyway during The One Readathon, and I’m so glad I did. I ended up loving this book, and I’ll definitely be recommending it to others.

Before I talk about the story, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the world. First, there are three castes: Paper, Steel, and Moon. The Paper caste are human, the Steel caste are part demon yet not entirely, and the Moon caste are fully demon. Generations ago, the King conquered the different states and elevated the Moon caste above all others, while trampling the paper one under his hooves. Ever since, he chooses 8 Paper Girls a year to who become his concubines. He does whatever he wants with them for that set amount of time.

TW for sexual assault and rape. Can I just say how happy it makes me that they included a trigger warning in the synopsis and book?

The story starts when Lei is taken from her home by General Yu to become one of the King’s Paper Girls. She doesn’t have a choice in the matter, and would rather do anything than be close to the King. After all, he raided her village years ago and took her mother. We follow Lei as she gets to know the other Paper Girls and tries to survive in the palace, dreading the moment the King will call upon her.

It feels weird to say I enjoyed the story line because it deals with some very serious and difficult topics, like rape and assault. How else do I explain it though? I flew through this book because I did absolutely love it. Though to some it may seem like not that much happened in the novel, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I wanted to get to know the Paper Girls better, and help them get out of the situation they were in. I wasn’t bored once while reading.

I’m glad this book received the buzz it did, because I hope it encouraged a lot of people to pick it up. It’s an intense fantasy novel set in an intriguing yet cruel world that chronicles the lives of these girls as they try to survive one of the worst situations anyone could be put in. Seeing the different ways they react to it is definitely thought-provoking.

I really loved the characters. Lei was such an interesting girl, and one you really start to root for. She’s brave but not stupid, skeptical yet trusting. She’s gone through so much, both before the story starts and during the book, and that has left scars. Traumatic experiences aren’t just shrugged off, and she doesn’t simply ‘pick herself back up’ after them. She actually deals with them, and has to learn to fight through the terror the experiences have left her with.

Wren is another interesting character. Dare I say that in most YA fantasy novels she would be the MC. If you’ve read the book, let me know so we can discuss this! I absolutely adored Wren.


The side character that stood out to me most was Aoki. She’s also one of the Paper Girls, alongside Wren and Lei. The way Aoki reacts to being a concubine for a year is very different than the others girls though. Through her, we really start to see how manipulative and smart the King is because he knows exactly how to play her. slight spoiler > maybe she even suffers from Stockholm syndrome? He’s technically her abuser, but she grows to love him anyway. < end spoiler

And can we talk about that ending? Wow! I have to admit I saw it coming,  but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it at all. I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what the girls get up to next.

It’s probably clear by now that I would recommend this book to everyone. Do take a look at the trigger warnings first though, to decide whether you’ll be able to read this. It’s quite brutal at times. I loved every single second of this reading experience, and I’ll definitely continue the series as soon as it comes out. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?