Melody

I've to admit it was Park Hae-jin who is what made me drawn to this drama initially. A cool charismatic secret agent with the NIS, he portrays many roles as undercover for each mission he's assigned to. You can say he's unattached to feelings and nothing deters him until he is assigned as a bodyguard to popular action star, Yeo Woon-gwang (starring Park Sung-woong). Filling up the role as a bodyguard is easy-peasy to Kim Sul-woo; after all he has another more challenging mission to fulfill under the disguise of Woon-gwang's bodyguard. As in each assignment, there is bound to be some obstacles and in this case it is Woon-gwang's manager, Cha Do-ha (starring Kim Min-jung) who gets under Sul-woo's skin. 


Sassy and smart, Do-ha is also a diligent and devoted manager and although they are working partners they are more like close friends who keep a look out for each other. When the management decided to engage a bodyguard for Woon-gwang, Do-ha isn't pleased but she tolerates Sul-woo. As the days go, the trio's attitude changes. Woon-gwang began to see Sul-woo like a brother, while Do-ha keeps getting mixed signals from Sul-woo. Despite his hot and cold treatment, Do-ha thinks Sul-woo is attracted to her and this makes her heart flutters. 

In the middle of the trio's connection is the secret mission Sul-woo is engaging and this is where conspiracies and deceptions are child's play in Sul-woo's world but his mission has somehow involved Woon-gwang and Do-ha and it is up to him (or with the other two) to straighten things out before all hells break loose.


Man to Man is a combination of action drama and romance and it was such a pleasure seeing Park Hae-jin portrayed as a charismatic secret agent/bodyguard. Despite his cool demeanour he was actually a tender and considerate gentleman behind his mask, and it was refreshing to see this new side of him when he was with Do-ha after they see each other differently thereafter. I was thinking about that ending after the credits rolled and decided it was appropriate though it wasn't really clear cut. I convinced myself it was a suitable ending considering Sul-woo's profession after all. Yes that must be it.

(Pictures credit: Google Image)


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

HarperCollins Publishers | June 2016 | 384 pgs
Source: Library



Jill Shalvis' books are well known to be witty, fun and filled with hearts and I'm glad Sweet Little Lies is no exceptional. 

Pru Harris is one extraordinary heroine. As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, she has met all kinds of people and has handled the boat swiftly under dire weather, but yet it sets her heart flutter whenever she set her eyes on pub owner, Finn O'Riley. Not a person to believe in love and destiny, Pru simply brushes her 'heart pounding syndrome' away to plain silliness and continues her plans to help a few people in which a drunk-driving accident years ago had altered their lives. Pru's parents were social drinkers and although what they'd caused to other people's lives isn't Pru's fault, she couldn't help feeling guilty after what it has caused those affected families. Finn and his younger brother, Sean, are one of the affected families and since the death of their father, Finn has to abandon his baseball scholarship and take up the role and responsibility to support Sean. Their mother had left them since they were young and due to all these, Finn doesn't do anything fun anymore but to focus on his pub business and his younger brother. 

Although Pru feels bad for the O'Rileys siblings, it isn't the reason why she is attracted to Finn. She likes the way how he handles things smoothly, and not to mention his seriousness and responsibility in running his business and taking good care of Sean. And things are definitely looking bright for Pru and Finn the more they spend more time with each other, although Pru initially hasn't have any thoughts about them being romantically linked eventually. She knew she has to tell Finn about what happened and who caused his father's death at some point before their relationship goes deeper, but she isn't ready for that little happiness to end. 

Filled with witty dialogues and interesting supporting characters, this is a wonderful first book of the Heartbreaker Bay series which warmed and touched me in many ways. During my reading journey, I'd been thinking about Pru's dilemma and thinking what a girl should do under this circumstances. Of course the truth is always the best policy, but for Pru it is always the lack of good timing and most of all, the fear of losing a good man and a friend.  

I can see why Jill Shalvis is a popular author when it comes to contemporary romance as her characters come to life under her skilful hands and her stories are always heartwarming and yes, filled with sizzling romances, too. Now I've to add her other books of this series to my wishlist and also to catch up on her Lucky Harbor series, too. Oh, so many books so little time! 


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

Flatiron Books | January 2017 | 336 pgs
Source: Library



Luke lied. You lied. 

Four words. Yet they are powerful enough to send Federal agent Aaron Falk back to his hometown in Kiewarra where he grew up in twenty years. Luke Hadler, now dead and survived only by baby Charlotte, is believed to have murdered his wife and young son before ending his own life. Now stationed in Melbourne, Falk didn't want to return to Kiewarra despite what happened to his late childhood friend. Kiewarra has brought him too much bad memories; memories that remind him of Ellie Deacon's death and how he and his father were caught in the middle of it twenty years ago. With no concrete proof, the Falks were forced to leave Kiewarra with much contempt from its residents. Till this day, no one really knew what happened to Ellie on that fateful day she ended up drowned in the river. 

However, Aaron knew he owed it to Luke's parents; after all they treated him kindly like their own back then and he knew they all wouldn't rest until the truth surrounding Luke and his family's death came to light. Together with Sergeant Greg Raco who is looking into the case, they go through what's left of Luke's traces and found out that Kiewarra is filled with buried secrets and deceptions and that one could do anything to protect his back, even if it means murder. 

The Dry was one of the best books I read thus far. Part suspense and part police procedural, this story takes readers to the quiet suburb Kiewarra where its residents are threatened by the drought and how they are trying to make the best for their farming business. We have several suspects and at times they are linked with Ellie's death, considering her death remains a mystery and some residents aren't happy to see Aaron's return. 

This book is brilliant and well written in a sense that the story was well developed from the beginning with both the characterisation and the setting. Then suspense seeped in and the intensity rose like the searing heat; and by then the book was hard to put down because you just want to find out the truth. The Dry is Jane Harper's debut novel but it certainly didn't feel like one. I fell in love with Jane's writing and the way she plotted her story beautifully. I also liked it that how the two mysteries are woven together smoothly yet they are on its own and each has a story to tell. In the end, I was left with a hollow feeling not because the book was bad (I loved it, remember?) but how it affected me to see what the victims' had gone through with their wrongful death. The ending was beautifully done too; and I was satisfied to see not only one but both cases (Luke's and Ellie's) closed as well. Highly recommended.



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Atria | March 2017 | 320 pgs
Source: Library



A case of a missing woman. For Virginia Knightly, this is simply one of those many sad stories she has seen or heard given that she is the producer of DC's top-rated evening news program but for some reason she feels empathy and a connection with Evelyn Carney, who has gone missing after she was last seen leaving a busy restaurant after an unpleasant conversation with her husband. Even Evelyn's best friend has no idea what happened and she is equally stumped as everyone else.

As Virginia goes on her way to dig more information about Evelyn and retrace her every last movements, she soon finds out that her personal quest has became a risk to her career as well as her life as someone who has more power and authority intends to keep that news a secret.

The Cutaway may seem like a typical thriller which has our narrator running about and solving her case ultimately, but what makes this book stands out amongst the rest is aside from the suspense, the author also offers readers an insider's look of the TV news industry and what it takes for the journalists to deliver those evening news to us. The story then move on to a more complexity turn when it mixes politics with the media and we all know how big and bad this would play out when something happens.

The beginning of the story focus more on Virginia's role as a news producer, her exchanges with her crew and what they do behind the scenes and I found these all to be very interesting and made me in awe of what it takes to be a successful TV journalist. However, there is a sharp edge to Virginia's voice and while it took me some time to warm up to her, yet from another angle this made her to be a dedicated person and combined with her fierce determination this has become an asset to her job. All in all it was a great first novel and I'll be looking forward to more of this author's work in the near future.


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Melody
St. Martin's Press | March 2017 (Reprint) | 368 pgs
Source: Library



Princess Mayavati of Bharata is believed to be cursed since young. She is known to causes a marriage of death and destruction with her horoscope and due to this she is always feared and scorned at her father's kingdom. Scholarly pursuits and her sister Gauri are the only thing that keep her going but they are short-lived after she knew her father is arranging a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. She is prepared to poison herself when a stranger arrived on time to save her. That stranger is Amar, Raja of Akaran and he is one of the other fifteen suitors for the political wedding, although she didn't see him during the introductions until she decided to end her life. 

With nothing left and Bharata in chaos, Maya is left with no choice but to follow Amar but Akaran is a place like no other for it is divided between the human realm and the Otherworld. Now as Akaran's queen, Maya starts to find some magical power which allows her to explore many impossible and unbelievable tasks; in which some are led to choices she has no way of choosing since each outcome bears a consequences. And most of all, Maya feels Amar is keeping some secrets about Akaran. Can he be trusted? And what are the secrets hanging around Akaran that makes Maya decides to take all the risk in unravelling the truth? 

Roshani Chokshi has spun a magical story in The Star-Touched Queen set in the mysterious and atmospheric Akaran (or Naraka) filled with Indian folklore and mythology and some elements of fate, reincarnation and romance. I had a wonderful time reading this because it surprised me on many levels, especially since I had no idea what to expect of this story initially and it was great fun watching it unfold. There is another book about Maya's sister, Gauri, in A Crown of Wishes. However, the stories are not really connected thus each could read as a standalone.



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Melody

Tom Doherty Associates | March 2017 | 352 pgs
Source: Library


Mia Haas left her hometown in Wayoata to begin a new life in Chicago. The idea of going back home has never crossed her mind until she received a phone call from Wayoata Police Chief, John Pruden. For a moment, Mia thought something has happened to her mother. She used to be an alcoholic and an accident had caused some trauma to her head. She is now living at a care home. But no, the call isn't about her but Lucas, who is Mia's twin brother. 

Lucas, who is a popular high school teacher, becomes a person of interest in a murder investigation of a sixteen-year-old girl named Joanna Wilkes. Joanna was one of Lucas's students, and there are rumours that they were romantically linked. Pruden's purpose of calling is to ask Mia to return to Wayoata to help them with their investigation, considering that Lucas couldn't be found and hopefully Lucas would turn himself in after "hearing" Mia's appeal. But of course Mia wouldn't do that; for she believes Lucas is the last person to have harmed an animal, let alone a person who is his student. Mia returns to Wayoata to unravel the truth herself, and soon finds out that things aren't as easy as she has thought; and on top of it she doesn't know who to trust given some bad blood with one or two residents and that she has lost the rapport with the Wayoata residents given she has been away for such a long while. Nevertheless, she is eager to find another suspect to prove Lucas's innocence but at times she wonders if Lucas is indeed guilty; after all why did he disappear if he is innocent? 

Follow Me Down was quite an addictive read surrounding Mia's quest in searching the truth and while it has an intriguing beginning, the middle tends to drag a bit and I found myself struggling to get through it as Mia "reunites" with the residents, get herself involved with her old guidance counsellor and a few other stuff alongside with her own investigation. I skimmed through bits of the book and continued with my reading earnestly when the momentum picked up once again. Despite the little hiccups I'd had with the book, I was curious to know what happened and I was glad I enjoyed it ultimately.


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Melody
Hello! So I'd had a wonderful vacation with my family last week. In case you're wondering, we went to South Korea for the vacation (my Instagram followers should've seen some of my pictures there). It was our third trip to Korea and I can tell you we never got tired of it because each trip is special and there are so many places to explore and so many things to eat. I've to say our tour guide played an important role too since he is witty and had shared many medical knowledge with us since he used to be a doctor (it's a long story why he changed his profession) and anyway it was a fun, fun trip. I might share those fun experiences if I've the time to write them and sort out the pictures (well it might be a challenge considering this month is school holidays so we shall see). And of course, I want to thank you again for helping me in selecting two books to read during my trip. I'd only managed to read the top choice (The Breakdown by B A Paris) and what a thrilling read! And I promise to read Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (second choice) once I'm done with my two library books which I just realised are due soon. Meanwhile I also have three book reviews scheduled for posting so they will be up in the following days. 




HQ | February 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Purchased


It was the storm that started everything. Cass Anderson knew she shouldn't have taken the deserted road in the woods back home but there was a jam at the dual carriageway and she wanted to get home fast under that dreadful weather. But she had and she saw a car was parked awkwardly in a small lay-by. As she drove past she saw a woman in it but her features were blurred by the teeming rain. With the bad weather and the thoughts that the woman might have an accomplice nearby waiting to rob or attack her, she decided it was wise to just drive off quickly instead of checking her out. The next morning, there was news that a woman was found dead at Blackwater Lane; it was the short cut which Cass had taken the previous night. 

Consumed by guilt for not checking out the woman, Cass's emotional state took a plunge further after she realised she has been forgetting little things. And then there were the frequent silent calls she had been receiving after that woman's passing. Did the killer see her on that fateful night and was threatened by her existence? Or was her mind playing tricks on her? After all, her late mother had dementia in her forties; did that mean she had early onset dementia as well? 

The Breakdown had an intriguing opening and the suspense never let go until the end. The author has done a great job in developing her characters and building the suspense and right from the start I could already sense the heavy foreboding and whether or not if I should trust Cass, given her forgetfulness condition and her unreliable narrator account as well. Here, we also understand how dementia is a devastating brain disease and Cass's fear and doubts are palpable as the story progresses and the suspense began to intensify. While the motives might seem a bit overboard to me, overall it was a well crafted story and a compelling read. 


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Thank you, everyone, for helping me decide what book I should read for my vacation. The list I'd put up consists of six books which I want to read badly but couldn't decide on one so I thought I'll leave it to you to help me with the decision. And here's the result:


(Top Choice)
Blurb from back cover: 
It all started that night in the woods. Cass Anderson didn't stop to help the woman in the car, and now she's dead. Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she's sure someone is watching her. Consumed by guilt, she's also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is, and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.


(2nd Choice)
Blurb from back cover:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I'm in a coma
2. My husband doesn't love me anymore
3. Sometimes I lie


So I'll be reading these two books during my trip and I can't wait to devour them and share my thoughts with you when I'm done reading them. Once again, thank you for voting! 

Happy reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead! 
Melody
Mira | March 2017 | 400 pgs
Source: Library




Do you love stories about lighthouse? Tiffany Reisz's The Night Mark not only has a lighthouse setting during the 1920s at a quaint beach town in South Carolina and also it was an intriguing story about a woman's destiny after she discovered the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and the legend surrounding it. 

In present time 2015, thirty-year-old Faye Barlow has been living her life filled with regrets and remorse after she's lost her husband, Will, to a car-jacking accident. Her remarriage was a failure since she couldn't love the man who is Will's best friend. Even four years after Will's passing, Faye still thinks of him everyday and she knew no man will ever replace him in her heart. When a job offer comes along to photograph South Carolina's storied coast, she accepts it since that is the only thing that keeps her going. 

In the quaint beach town, she has her eyes set on the crumbling Bride Island lighthouse. Left deserted, she hears that there is a sad story surrounding the lighthouse; that the lighthouse keeper's daughter was drowned in 1921. Faye is drawn to this young lady named Faith Morgan, and one night of visiting the lighthouse has dragged her into the past after she is struck by a rogue wave. There, Faye encounters the lighthouse keeper who looks very much like Will. His name is Carrick Morgan and Faye feels a connection with him. Is this a sign about Will's promise to her that he'd take care of her for as long as she lives? Or is it even possible to love two men separated by time? 

The Night Mark is a wonderful time travel love story that tugged at my heartstrings. While I was very much invested in Faye's story, the Bride Island lighthouse setting and the 1921 timeline are another elements which had me drawn to this story. The author has done a great job in capturing the feel of the 1920s as we see Faye trying to adjust her life as she come to live like Faith Morgan's. Like Faye, I was easily attracted to Carrick due to his gentlemanly and his upright demeanours. Most of all, I was intrigued as in how this story would end; after all what is Faye supposed to do under such complicated circumstances? This is a novel not to be missed if you love a good time travel love story.



Well have you voted for the book I've to read during my vacation next week? If you haven't already, I'd appreciate it if you could take some time and help me with the selection (click here). It's so hard to pick which book to read among the list and this is where you come in and decide for me. :-)


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
June is coming soon and that means school holidays and a short vacation is in order. I'll be taking a short break off of blogging next week for a short trip and I need your help in selecting a book for this purpose. I'll read the top TWO choices (just in case I finished one, well you never know, right?) based on the most votes. And as for the rest, I'll still get to them at some point. :-)

Here is the list of books to choose from (click onto each link for more info of the book):

I Found You by Lisa Jewell


Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney


The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle


The Breakdown by B.A Paris


Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances


Thank you and happy reading! (You may also wish to cast your vote under the comments section if you like.)  

Melody
Penguin Publishing Group | April 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Purchased



What I love about Julie James' books is her characters, their sharp and witty dialogues and how they always make me smile at the end of the story. 

Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd are both FBI agents. Once a lawyer and an Army Ranger respectively, they are both good in their works and their outstanding performance continues to shine when they are trainees at the FBI training squad at Quantico. Jessica and John have their own strength and weaknesses during those tough training sessions and whether if it is a personality clash or a streak of rivalry between them, most of the times they don't see eye to eye and their dislikes for each other finally ended after they go their separate ways after their graduation, thinking that there is little chance they would see each other again considering the different location they are working.  

As fate would have it, they meet again six years later. As if that is not enough, they are to be partners for a high-profile undercover sting. It is a challenging assignment and that involves a charismatic and a well-liked Florida politician who takes bribes to solve entrepreneurs' "problems" through his connections in various aspects. It is both bad news and bad timing for Jessica and John. For Jessica, she has just divorced with her Hollywood producer husband and for John, this would be his last undercover job if he is selected for FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team. He has recently split from his cheating girlfriend and that feeling was made worse especially since the other guy is one of his good friends. With so much at stake and with Jessica's and John's complicated relationship, it is easy to think that their camaraderie would be nil but the plus side of this assignment is they get to stay at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation for their role as a pair of interesting business partners who want to invest an eatery place but are met with several difficulties which obstruct their plans. And this is where they would approach the corrupt politician for his help. 

While it was fun reading this enemies-turn-couple kind of story, it wasn't really the "how?" but more of the "why?" that made this story such an interesting read. I loved reading the dynamic between Jessica and John; from the beginning of their (heated/competitive) exchanges to the camaraderie they shared working with each other until something has changed alongside their assignment. And, there was another obstacle towards the end which I felt would delight all romantics after reading those last moments. 



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

Set in the capital city of Seorabeol during the Silla Dynasty, this drama depicts the coming-of-age story of a group of youths and how they later became elite knights called "Hwarang" (also known as the Flower Knights for their pretty face). 

The beginning of the story was an important setup of the plot, as we see the friendship between two peasant youths named Moo Myung (starring Park Seo Joon) and Sun Woo (starring Lee Kwang Soo). Moo Myung has no family except Sun Woo; and Sun Woo is hoping for a day that he could find his father and younger sister, Ah Ro (starring Go Ara). At that time, the young faceless King Jinheung (starring Park Hyung Sik) is a mysterious figure and the Queen fiercely protects his identity to avoid political plays and assassinations for his throne. Sun Woo is killed as a result of catching a glimpse of the King's face unknowingly after he heard his title being called out by his General. Moo Myung vows for vengeance and take up Sun Woo's identity after he has found Sun Woo's family. Ah Ro, on the other hand, is elated that her elder brother is back but she has that queasy feeling about him as there are times she feels her heart flutters. 


What follows after is the Queen commands a knights group be formed for the future Silla. A few youths from the noble families joined the group due to their 'True Bone' bloodline while some are 'half breed'. Sun Woo became one of the Hwarangs due to some complicated connections while the hidden young King joined under a fake name, Kim Ji Dwi, for other reasons - a means to be a stronger person in terms of everything as well as getting closer to Ah Ro after he has fallen for her at first sight. 


The rest of the story follows the trainings of the Hwarangs, the conspiracies within the Royal Court as well as the love triangle involving "Sun Woo", Ah Ro and King Jinheung. And of course, the bonds within the Hwarangs is another highlight as we see their relationship changes from enemies to being camaraderie (the 'True Bone' and 'half breed' don't get along due to their status differences). I had an enjoyable time watching Hwarang for many reasons: a well-crafted plot with a cast of wonderful characters, the portrayal of courageousness, humanity and wisdom in "Sun Woo" (especially for his love for Ah Ro), the bromance between "Sun Woo" and King Jinheung and finally, how each Hwarang has become a changed person after all the consequential events happened in Silla. Being a fangirl I couldn't help buying a copy of the drama photobook as keepsake (never mind if it is in Korean as long as there are pictorials, right? And it also includes the main characters' picture cards, yay!)



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Bloomsbury Childrens | May 2017 | 720 pgs
Source: Purchased



Where shall I even begin? This third installment of A Court of Thorns and Roses series evoked so much emotions in me and as much as this book wrapped up Feyre's story, I wasn't ready for it to end (However, Sarah J. Maas stated that there would be more tales of Prythian in 2018. Yes, that makes me a very happy fangirl.)

Now this book is a hard one to review; not only to avoid spoilers but also there are so many things happening and most of all, it was about war and vengeance and we all know how dark and nasty they are. So many lives are at stake and at times sacrifices are to be made under such circumstances. And of course, we also see Feyre, High Lady of the Night Court, what she would do to save Prythian and all from the King of Hybern's invasions. This is an epic finale about deceits and conspiracies, about power and courage and finally, about love, hope and giving. And my dear reader, this is as far as I could say. I thank the author for giving us such a cast of wonderful (unforgettable) characters and that intense, emotional roller coaster ride throughout the reading journey.

Related links:
A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
A Court of Mist and Fury (#2)

(This series are not suitable for younger readers as they contain mature content.)


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

Based on the Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru by Kotomi Aoki, this drama tells a love story between a genius music composer and a high school songbird and their music/love journey filled with obstacles and how they overcome everything ultimately. 

Kang Han-gyeol (starring Lee Hyun-woo) is originally a bass player of "Crude Play" but he left the boy band group before they made their debut and instead works behind the scene as their music producer under an anonymous identity "K". Han-gyeol is actually a private, sorrowful person who has not much interest in anything else except music. His devotion in music causes his neglect and a breakup from his girlfriend, who is a popular singer from the same company. 

High school student, Yoon So-rim, (starring Joy) has a beautiful voice and her passion for singing has earned her some reputation in school. Together with two male classmates, they would sometimes sing and perform for the class, much to the dismay of their teacher. So-rim then met Han-gyeol during a chance encounter, and the former was mesmerised by his music when he asked for her phone on a whim to record the song he'd just composed. So-rim fell in love with him at first sight and decided to find him. She finally found him during a singing competition but she was too nervous to sing although she did hum a few lyrics of his song to capture his attention. Initially Han-gyeol isn't really interested in her due to her age and the fact that they were somewhat "strangers". However, So-rim's optimism, determination and her passion for music won him over in the end. 


So-rim finally got into the music industry thanks to her beautiful voice, and together with her two friends they formed a group called "Mush & Co.". However, the entertainment industry is not only a place for talents but popularity and earnings count too so all the artistes' personal life, flaws, gossips and weaknesses have to be covered up. Here we get to see the inside-out of the entertainment industry and how the artistes have to hold onto that pristine image and finally, what some would do to stand on their own and fight for their rights if that means abandoning their reputation and all. 

The Liar and His Lover doesn't really have a dramatic plot which would get you antsy and there are even times which I felt the pace was somewhat slow, but it was an inspiring story about following one's heart without fear and pressures. And as for the romance between Han-gyeol and So-rim, I could only have one word to describe it - sweet. So did I enjoy the drama? Yes and though it didn't have that intensity of a melodrama, the beauty of this drama lies with that simplicity feel and the purity of love. 


(Check out this OST MV by Joy of "Red Velvet")




© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Scribner | March 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Library


"... Man becomes wiser and more mature through life experience. The same can be said of tea." ~ Pg 173


I knew I wouldn't pass up a book with that title; and all the more knowing that it is a work by acclaimed author Lisa See. In this story, Lisa takes readers on a journey to a remote village at Nannuo mountain in Yunnan and the introduction of the Akha people (Akha is one of the few ethnic minorities in China). Filled with rich culture and traditions of the Akha, this story also includes some snippets about tea farming/picking and this little information delights the tea lover in me.

The book opens with our young Li-yan sharing her dreams with her family. Being the only girl and the youngest in the family, she often receives the least attention but that doesn't mean she couldn't dream of the world outside Spring Well village, where her home is. Teacher Zhang, one of the Han majority people who is exiled from the city capital to live in their remote village after a revolution sees the potential in Li-yan and offers to teach her more of what they are learning and although Li-yan's parents forbid it in the beginning, they give in with the thoughts that she would represent the village and be the leader amongst the women in the near future. And then comes a day when a stranger steps into their village in seek of a special tea that would change not only Li-yan's views in general but her life, too.

As the story progresses, we also see a grown up version of Li-yan; this is the part where she has lost her loved one and her baby daughter through many heartbreaks and sufferings. This is another scene which made me ache for her loss, apart from another concerning the babies and the Akha tradition but I'm not going to go into that; it was all too heartbreaking. What Li-yan had gone through also played a part in her to venture a journey out of her home into the big modern world, hoping to find her birth daughter due to an unforeseeable situation and to earn some money of her own. It is also at this point when she finds love again when she least expected it.

Filled with Akha culture and with a setting from Yunnan to Kunming and Guangzhou, Lisa See has spun a bittersweet and an unforgettable story about the relationship between mothers and daughters, the agriculture of tea (in particularly pu'er tea) and the art of tea drinking as well as loss and finding hope, and last but not least, finding one's roots. I found myself invested in the characters Lisa created through her beautiful writing style and the sensitiveness of some issues which either made me think or feel. There are so much more I wanted to say about this book and I guess my 5-star rating is suffice to say how much I loved this book. 


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody
Trapeze | February 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Library



Daniel Cole started off his debut thriller with a bang featuring one of the most horrific/gruesome murder crimes I'd read to-date - a body with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, thus earning the nickname "Ragdoll" by the media. Assigned to this case are DS William "Wolf" Fawkes and DS Emily Baxter; both of them with the Metropolitan Police with Wolf leading the investigation.

Wolf had a history about abusing a defendant on trial after the sentence. Naguib Khalid, dubbed "The Cremation Killer" had set twenty seven young female prostitutes ablaze after they were heavily sedated in twenty-seven days and though Wolf made his arrest, contradicting surveillance reports and conflicting forensic evidence rendered Khalid a not-guilty sentence which made Wolf lost his cool. Wolf doesn't really care about protocols and as long as he knows he is right about the suspect, he would do anything to bring him down.

Four years later after losing his marriage and that he was vindicated from that infamous trial incident, he's back into his position with a bigger and sensational "Ragdoll" case waiting for him. But this is not all, Wolf's ex-wife, who is a TV journalist, received a list of six names (with Wolf being the last on the list) and the dates which the killer may strike next and this sent the whole media and nation into an uproar. With the clock ticking away and the pressure from all directions, the Metropolitan Police has to race against time with the killer to ensure that no more lives are being lost to the sadistic killer who seems to be a few steps ahead of them.

Ragdoll was a fast-paced thriller filled with intensity and actions with a dose of dark satire. Wolf made an intriguing, flawed character right from the start. His partnering with DS Emily Baxter filled the pages with their love/hate opinions of each other as well as their investigations. They are not romantically linked, yet Wolf's ex-wife assumed they are, which was one reason that shattered their marriage aside from their different life and perspectives. While I enjoyed the developed characters in Wolf and Emily, surprisingly it was Emily's trainee, Edmunds, whom I found the most interesting among all. He is smart and meticulous in his own way, and his devotion to the investigation definitely worth an appreciation from all but I felt his role was a bit underrated.

While this was more of a police procedural and I liked it that readers are offered more than a glimpse of how the media has much influence when controversial matters are concerned, I felt it'd have been better if it includes the killer's perspective and how his mind works. Then again, it may be the author's intention of portraying him as a dire and mysterious figure. Wolf and Emily are set to return in a sequel in 2018 and I've high expectations considering it's clichéd bigger, darker, more shocking but at the same time it's funnier, more poignant and more personal (these are from the author's words.)



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody


Orenda Books | July 2016 | 320 pgs
Source: Library



When Bella returned to The Old Vicarage (an English countryside where her childhood home is) to attend her mother's funeral, she didn't expect she would receive a more shocking news than her mother's passing. She learned from her father that she was in fact a stolen child; her life with the Campbells was all a lie although her "parents" treated her well. Henry Campbell took his own life the following day after Elaine's funeral and this left Bella with more questions although he eventually left her a letter to tell her who her real parents are and the old address they are residing. Bella has always thought Elaine's behaviours to be a bit strange given her temperamental moods but she hasn't expected they were linked to her, while Henry was the one who's always appear distant which Bella later came to realise it was partly because he was guilt-ridden.

Bella knew she has to find out more about her real self and her true family, so she set on her journey to Cornwall to find the Tremaynes family; part of this info which Henry had left her with. It wasn't easy in the beginning, after all Bella's husband could be quite controlling when her welfare was concerned. His controlling behaviour irked Bella and left her suffocated at times, and all along she's been getting used to David's fussiness but this time around she was adamant that she would leave without David to go searching for the truth.

What follows thereafter is Bella (or Morveren, her real name) has finally found her old home but things aren't as what she has expected. For starters, her mother is ill and couldn't get anywhere without a carer. She doesn't speak and it seems like her mind has shut down after losing her daughter. Dawn, who is Bella's elder sister, took over all the responsibilities since their alcoholic father left them after their mother's deteriorating state. But there's something more to Bella's abduction, and it was a shocking revelation although it didn't gravitate towards the conventional thriller scenes as I'd expected but it led to another direction which had me stumped in a good way.

Although In Her Wake wasn't a fast-paced and an intense read like a thriller, what I liked is this story was haunting and it was beautifully written. It was also an emotionally charged story about two broken families as well as the bonding between sisters and despite all the loss and grief, there is still hope towards the end. 


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

This 2014 South Korean film on con artists and deceptions was a fun, entertaining watch.

When it comes to cracking open safe and counterfeiting, no one beats Ji-Hyeok (starring Kim Woo-Bin). With Koo-In (starring Ko Chang-Seok) as his sidekick (he is more into the mechanical works), they have worked on countless "projects" without fail. Koo-In then introduces elite hacker, Jong-Bae (starring Lee Hyun-Woo) to Ji-Hyeok so as the trio could work with each of their expertise to steal some very valuable jewellery at a high-end jewellery store. That store's owner is none other than Director Jo (starring Kim Young-Chul), and he has plans for the trio.

Director Jo has been eyeing the stacks of million dollars which are stored in the highly secured Korean customs in Incheon. He believes that all would be benefited from the fraud once they have their hands on the money; after all the trio wouldn't know of this information without him, isn't it? The trio then work on a plan on how to get past the security and how to get the money out safely without alarming the custom staff with their fully equipped high technology gadgets.

But of course there is always a fault when it comes to high risk jobs; and all the more when trust and greed become an issue and this is where the plot starts to thicken and intensify.

As I mentioned before, this film was an entertaining watch. Kim Woo-Bin played a charismatic thief with brains and Lee Hyun-Woo was a cute hacker to boot. I didn't want to say more about the story to avoid spoilers but suffice it to say I enjoyed it. 


© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody

Penguin | December 2016 | 368 pgs
Source: Library



14th November, 1980. Annie Doyle is murdered while she is out discussing a deal with Andew Fitzsimons, a High Court judge who would do anything to please his wife, Lydia. Annie's body is quickly buried in their garden, after all nowhere else is safer than your own property, isn't it? Avalon is their luxurious house and no one has access without their permission, especially when the Fitzsimons' reputation is concerned. Avalon is an old estate which has passed on by Lydia's father and her grandfather, and Lydia would hang onto it fiercely no matter whatever the circumstances is. Little does they know that their only teenage son, Laurence, got home early on that fateful night and has questions about their lies.

Karen Doyle isn't convinced that her sister, Annie is dead and is adamant of finding her on her own. The investigations have long been ceased after there wasn't any lead on the case and with Annie's notorious behaviour of a wild loose girl, everyone believes she might have flee her Dublin home and move in some other places with a new identity. Karen thinks otherwise; she knew her sister plus there isn't anything missing from her rented place. The years go by and some circumstances led Laurence and Karen befriended each other. And what happened in the past would begin to unravel slowly and by then the wheels of motion has been set and it is not stopping until another tragedy strikes.

Told from three persons' POV, Lying in Wait was an absorbing read about an unplanned murder go haywire. While this story doesn't have a cast of unreliable narrators, many of them are not particularly likeable. This whydunit kind of suspense has a strong sense of foreboding and intrigue that made this an unputdownable book. As the story progresses, readers will get to know more about these three narrators and their history, and what they would do to protect the person they loved. The ending would absolutely chill you and set you thinking at the same time.



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Melody


Quercus | February 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Library



The Chalk Pit is the ninth installment of Elly Griffiths' Dr Ruth Galloway mystery and though I jumped into this book without any idea of the characterisations or the writing style, I found myself enjoying this book featuring the main protagonist and DCI Harry Nelson working together during their investigations.

When some human bones are found buried beneath the grounds of an old chalk-mining tunnel in Norwich during an excavation for a new development project, Ruth thinks they are probably medieval although she is skeptical about their translucence appearance; a sign that they were boiled soon after death.

On the other end, DCI Nelson and his team are following up on a case of a missing homeless woman named Barbara after a few fellow homeless people reported not seeing her for weeks. There are some rumours about underground societies, ritual activities and even cannibalism but Ruth remains objective. Then two homeless people were found murdered and two more women were reported missing that make Ruth and the police think that there are something more than meet the eye surrounding the underground tunnels and they may have to dig deeper to unravel the mystery.

Despite my limited knowledge of the cast of characters, I found myself absorbed in this book quickly and it didn't take me too much time to get to know more about the characters and I loved it that way considering I was new to this series and on top of it I read it out of order. Ruth and Nelson are two very engaging characters with their past history and their complicated relationship (Nelson has two grown up children with his wife and another younger daughter with Ruth. Nelson stay married to his wife and his relationship with Ruth is considered more like friends. However, something happened along the way which I think might alter these characters' perspective and I'm very curious to see where this would take them in the future books.)

Another thing worth mentioning is the insight of the homeless people while reading this book. The author has covered several aspects about their circumstances and experiences which I couldn't help but to feel for them and while some were poor and not highly educated, a few had actually led a normal life until some situations pushed them off the edge.

All in all this was an intriguing read. Most of all, the dynamic between Ruth and Nelson kept me engaged throughout the book. I'll be sure to check out the other books of this series.



© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.