ISBN-13: 9780142181126
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: April 2014
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs

Source: Personal Library

Can men and women be friends? Is it possible to love more than one person at the same time? 

Covet is a story which questions you on the above issues and at its core a story about marriage and friendship.

Claire Canton, a woman in her thirties, is a stay-at-home mom with two kids. She works as a freelance graphic designer and she should be a very happy woman as she seems to have the best of both worlds. 

However, she isn't as her husband Chris was troubled by unemployment. The previous job he worked in a software company laid off some staff and he was one of them. Finding a job becomes a challenge due to the economy and not to mention that many companies are trying to cut down on costs, even if it means asking a staff to do two persons' jobs. Chris becomes depressed as the days go by without him with a job; he becomes a loving father and husband to a lone ranger who locks himself in his room and getting bitter not only to himself and to the world. 

Claire is no doubt worried and concerned over Chris and their financial state they are in, but she couldn't seem to get her words through Chris, as he has shut everything out of him. Finally, he found a job but it requires lots of travelling. Both Chris and Claire know this would take away many of their family time but they also know they have to adjust to it no matter they like it or not. 

Chris works hard in his new job, taking little notice of his family. The travelling has made it worse and it takes not much time before Claire feels their marriage is on red alert. She feels alone and with no one to turn to, until one day she is pulled over by police officer, Daniel Rush, over her faulty taillight. One thing leads to another and before she knows it she finds herself seeing more of Daniel. 

Daniel knew she is married but yet he couldn't let his mind off of Claire. One reason being that she reminds him of his ex-wife; but the most of all is he feels happy with her and he knows she feels the same way too. Claire, on the other hand, knows they shouldn't be spending too much time together despite they don't have any physical connection. It doesn't feel right, to be emotionally close to a man who isn't your husband but yet she is hoping she could remain in that state if possible. 

Alongside Claire's issues is her friendship with her neighbours and how they have their own family woes too. All in all, I find Covet to be a satisfying read; one which covers a common issue what a couple might face under circumstances when one party neglects the other. And, is it even possible for a man and woman to be platonic friends? I think this book has covered these subjects well and offer some insights about keeping a relationship. Narrated by three different perspectives (Claire, Chris and Daniel), this also allows readers to get to know their thoughts on a more personal level. 

For those readers who'd watched this drama, please pardon me for posting this at this time. This most watched K-drama was aired last December and had many viewers addicted to it that fans around the world would sweep every products off the shelves that are endorsed by the two leading characters. I watched this drama two months back but didn't get around to reviewing it until now. I know it'd be an outdated review, but I thought I'd offer some of my perspective especially to readers who have yet to watch it.
Basically, this is a romantic comedy between an alien and a human being. I have to admit I'm not a sci-fi fan, not as a reader or a viewer, but I'd heard and read so many reviews about this drama that it had me curious. 
Anyway, this fantasy romance revolves around an alien, Do Min-joon (starring Kim Soo Hyun), who has landed on Earth 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty. During his days on Earth, he helped a young girl from plunging to her death. As he continued to help the girl escape from her in-laws, he missed his chance of returning to his planet. Thus, he is stranded on Earth for the next four centuries and he has to wait for the time to arrive before he could return back to his planet. 
During this period, he has had many identities, after all his appearance never change and neither does he age like an ordinary human. Fortunately, he has a friend in an elderly lawyer, whom he had saved many years ago. He is the only human who had known about his true identity. As of present, Min-joon is a college professor and lives in a luxurious apartment, thanks to his savings all the years when he is on Earth. 
Life is peaceful, and Do Min-joo is waiting for the day to return to his planet when he meets the nation superstar, Cheon Song-yi (starring Jun Ji Hyun). She is his new neighbour but Min-joon didn't know of her identity. Song-yi, on the other end, thinks he is her biggest fan after they had stepped off from the lift together and thinks he is stalking her. They had several comical exchanges initially, and slowly that path leads to a hot romance thereafter. 
My thoughts? I find it highly entertaining and amusing. I've to confess I was quite irritated by Song-yi initially, who seems to be whining most of the times. However, her characteristic changes as the show progresses and her role has became more sympathetic. 
Min-joon, on the other hand, is a quiet and charismatic man (ahem, alien). I've to say most of my attention was focused on him; after all he is young and good-looking, and he has special powers to boot (though not my type in reality). 
Anyways, it is not all about romance (which would be boring). It has a tinge of a thriller though it is not the kind that would make you bite your nails or hold your breath (maybe a little), but at least it brings a little depth to the story and convince the viewers why it is crucial for Min-joon to act as protector to Song-yi. 
I didn't let myself think too much while watching this drama, simply because the characters are eye candies to boot, and it is a fantasy after all. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Most importantly, what did I find about the ending? Not perfect but it works. And to me, that fits me well. 

  • ISBN-13: 9780062319142
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: July 2014
  • Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pgs
  • Source: Publisher

Thirty years ago in Newport, young Alden Corrigan took his father’s dinghy out to fish. In a sudden storm, he saw a girl stranded on the breakwater. He managed to save her and had her placed under the care of his neighbor, the Hollis family, under the urgent circumstances and also knowing that his father would throw a fit should he know he had the dinghy out under the bad weather. 

It turned out that the girl was pregnant and she seemed to be running away from her family. The Hollis family helped delivered her baby with the help of the local midwife, but the girl disappeared the following day, leaving behind her newborn baby.

Thirty years after, preservationist Meri Hollis learned about the abandoned baby and was determined to find out the truth, even if it means it'd change the life of everyone around her. 

Breakwater Bay is an engaging story about secrets, unconditional love and belief. Set in Newport with glorious old mansions and the Rhode Island shore, this is a family story about secrets and how one's decision would ruin the others. 

I've to admit I was intrigued by the premise upon reading the blurb; I had high expectations of this book that it'd filled me in with lots of drama or surprise. As much as this was an emotional read, I was disappointed to note that the plot isn't what I had expected. I knew there might be some readers who'd enjoy it and find it satisfactory, but to me it just lacks a little punch. I think another reason is I want to learn more about Alden and Meri, who seemed to have an interest in each other, but I didn't see much development between them, until a hint towards the end. That said, it was an emotional read and I was glad the story left me with much love and optimism. After all I felt this is the true message behind this story and this is what most matters. 


It's been a while since I'd watched a romantic comedy. What I like about rom com is they are sweet, entertaining and they allow my mind to wander away from realism, even if it is only for a short while.

Emergency Couple is a story about a young couple who fell in love and married early, despite the opposition of the groom's family, in particularly the groom's mother. 

Oh Chang-min (starring Choi Jin-hyuk) is a medical school student, and he comes from a family of wealthy, successful doctors. Oh Jin-hee (starring Song Ji-hyo), on the other end, is a dietitian. After they married, Chang-min's family cut him off without a cent. Without financial support, he has to quit medical school and becomes a pharmaceutical salesman. Jin-hee gets depressed as life began to be a toil for her, and Chang-min doesn't seem to be understanding as he too is miserable in his job. They realised they've been fighting too frequently and thought it'd be better if they get a divorce. 

Six years later, Chang-min completed his studies at the medical school. Jin-hee has also put herself through med school. Coincidentally their path cross again when they end up as interns at the same hospital; and both of them are to work together with three other interns in the emergency ward. 

Just when they thought they'd be miserable and argue with each other all over again, the challenges in working as a team in the emergency ward make them realise that a perfect life doesn't exist, and that unexpected accidents happen and irreversible mistakes are made. It is through life's experiences they see each day that make them discover the confidence to change; allow them to grow and challenge themselves whenever a situation calls for it. 

Secondary characters Chun-soo (starring Lee Pil-mo), the attending physician of Emergency Medicine and Ji-hye, assistant professor of surgery (starring Choi Yeo-jin) also play an important role in the drama and not to mention they are mentors to the couple. Chun-soo and Ji-hye had had a past but the latter still harbours feelings for the other all these years. Chun-soo thought his feelings for love was dead, until working with Jin-hee made him open up his heart again. 

What can I say? Emergency Couple is another sweet rom com about rekindle love and hope. Do I find it cliché or cheesy? A little of both. Expected ending? No surprise there. But, what I liked about this drama is not only the leading characters (they looked cute together) but the journey they've been through together, no matter it is happiness or sadness, and how the things they'd gone through have made them mature and look at things in a different angle. 

Divorce has become a common issue in today's society, and though it is rare that a divorced couple to fall in love and be together again, this drama has shown us that this is not impossible, and that a couple should respect and accept each other. After all, the person you married must have some good points that makes you fall in love with him/her, isn't it? Overall, I enjoyed this drama and I'd love to see the leading characters together in another drama again. If possible, I hope there is a sequel to Emergency Couple

  • ISBN-13: 9780062257406
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date: April 2014
  • Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pgs
  • Source: Publisher

Part thriller and part love story, After Her touched me in so many ways. Written in first person from Rachel Torricelli's POV, this story is basically about her relationship with her younger sister, Patty, and their detective father who is put in charge of finding the "Sunset Strangler", who had murdered so many young women on the mountain behind their home. Detective Anthony Torricelli, their handsome, charismatic father is known to have a way with dealing with criminals and getting them to confess, but this case leaves him wondering if he is way behind his prime. 

Rachel and Patty adore their father, despite he had left home when Rachel is eight, leaving their mother depressed and in a state of financial deprivation. Their father still stay in touch with them occasionally, but with the Sunset Strangler case still remains unsolved, the chance of seeing their father is getting lesser and lesser. 

Rachel and Patty are both smart children, but they don't have many friends in school. Thus, this makes them even closer and they will confide in each other, even if it is a small thing. One would think that they have a lot in common, but in fact Rachel is a girl who has lots of creative imaginations while Patty is the more active and daring one. She is not afraid of speaking her mind and she also has a soft spot for dogs. Now with their father leading the murder case and has appeared on television for countless times, Rachel suddenly finds herself popular in school. Slowly, she finds herself drifting away from Patty and while Patty feels the difference in her older sister, she didn't blame her though she misses her company. It is at this time that Patty focuses her attention on basketball and she has became so good with it that she began to play for their school. 

While Rachel enjoys the popularity in school, she is troubled to find her father getting skinnier and skinnier as the case drags on and more young women are murdered. With her imagination and her "vision" which enables her to foresee stuff (though most of them are not always clear and straightforward), she decides on a plan which involving setting herself up as a bait for the killer. In the end, her act has labelled her as being untrustworthiness in other people's eyes and worst of all, it jeopardised her father's career. 

Thirty years later, Rachel reflects on that past which still gnaws at her conscience, as that case remains unsolved. With a wrong man behind bars and the killer still at large, Rachel begins to construct a plan to lure the Sunset Strangler and vindicate her father. But this time around, her status is different considering she is now a famous author and she believes her new book would bring the killer to her, since what she has written is so close to what happened so many years ago.  

After Her is what I'd say a wonderful family reminiscence and a detective story. Split into two parts - the first part in the eyes of thirteen-year-old Rachel and the second of an adult Rachel, After Her is more of an emotional driven and coming-of-age story than a mystery. That said, I didn't mean that the mystery part isn't covered. It does (which I was glad), though the author focus more on the sisters' bonding and their relationship with their father. I was extremely touched reading about the relationship between the two sisters, in particular with Patty because of her fierce loyalty towards Rachel, despite anything. I also find it sweet reading the relationship between father and daughters; what they did together always brought a smile to my face (for one, he likes making spiders out of their hairs), well except the part about what Rachel did to lure the killer which I think was foolish and not to mention dangerous. 

I think the ending was quite nicely done, though it left me with a bittersweet feeling, but a good ending nonetheless.