This sci fi/romantic comedy drama tells a story about a man who has a severe allergy to human touch and how a robot (or a woman who pretends to be a robot, to be precise) has changed his life thereafter.

Kim Min Kyoo (starring Yoo Seung Ho) lost his parents since young. He was then adopted by his late father's business partner and good friend but the latter had an agenda for adopting him. Since then, Min Kyoo started developing an allergy towards human and any contact with them will result him in rashes and in some circumstances his allergic reaction may even lead to death if it is severe. No one knows about his condition and he always make sure to carry some syringes along so that should the allergy happens, he could always inject the prescribed solution into his body. For fifteen years he has suffered and endured this strange condition and lives an isolated life. As a director of KM Financial, he could easily command the staff and goes to the company only when necessarily. When he is out, he also make sure to wear gloves and carry a baton. This is how his life is like until KM Financial invests and brings in the Santa Maria Team; a group of four young scientists who are in charge of building and engineering a human-like robot they called Aji 3.

Jo Ji Ah (starring Chae Soo Bin) is a hardworking young woman who has the passion of inventing products which are both useful and sentimental to the users. Her ex-boyfriend, who is the leader of the Santa Maria Team, approaches her one day for her help in pretending as Aji 3 since the robot isn't ready to be delivered to Min Kyoo and Aji 3 has the facial appearance of Ji Ah. Ji Ah took up the offer eventually due to her needing the money and also as part of a favor to her ex-boyfriend and this begins a complex relationship between two human beings and a robot.

I enjoyed this drama for a few reasons. For starters, the romance between Min Kyoo and Ji Ah is so sweet; one could definitely feel the chemistry between them. I also liked it that this story is focused more on the connections among people than the sci-fi part; because after all most of the interactions is Ji Ah posing as Aji 3 rather than the robot itself, although there are still some scenes on the real Aji 3 showing its intelligence side. But, there are also parts which left me skeptical of course, such as the skin elasticity and the mechanical movements of the robot (because no matter how they look human-like or move like us, there are still ways to tell the difference between a human and a robot, yes?) Of course this is a (fantasy) drama so I'd cast my doubts and disbelief aside, after all what is most beautiful than finding love and conquering your fears?

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

William Morrow | February 2018 | 384 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Laura Lippman's latest release, Sunburn, is a modern noir inspired by James M. Cain's works and though I'm not familiar with his books, I've to say I was captivated by Laura's writing style and the overall setting in this story, which takes place in a small town in Belleville, Delaware in 1995. 

Pauline (or Polly as she is later known), together with her husband Gregg and their three-year-old daughter, left for a beach vacation one day thinking this short little trip would help spice up their marriage. This is Pauline's second marriage and truth be told, her first marriage had her ended up in jail after she was convicted of murdering her then-husband, Ditmars. It was a self-defense, or so she claimed, after all Ditmars was abusive. 

As for her second marriage, she decided she needs a time out and has planned for an exit once Gregg is out at the beach bonding with their daughter. At the local tavern, she caught the attention of a man called Adam and they hit it off quickly. Adam is mysterious himself, and he has an agenda. Their fling became serious, but each holds on to their own secrets until someone dies. An accident or a planned murder by one party? And this is where the story becomes intriguing because Adam and Pauline kept messing up my mind and I wasn't sure what is up on their sleeves. 

Well, this is not your typical psychological suspense; Sunburn is a slow-burn as the author took her time in creating these two tantalizing characters and their interactions. As the story progresses, you couldn't help but to feel invested in them because though they aren't reliable, they do made you feel that they aren't who you think they are and you began to wonder about their feelings for each other as there seems to be a shift towards the end. 

Though the plot wasn't as complex as what I'd think initially, what made this story stand out is the characterisations and that the plot was quite well executed. Overall it was an engaging read and this novel makes a fine modern noir in my opinion.  

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

Vintage | May 2017 | 432 pgs
Source: Library

Julie's perfect life is shattered after she is abducted while waiting for the last train one night. The kidnapper brought her back to his house, which he lives with his wife, Cora. Bound and locked in a room, Julie hopes to find some bit of sanity through some exchanges with Cora but the latter is cold and isn't willing to hear her. Still, Julie didn't give up in trying and her persistence has finally paid off seeing Cora starting to open up just a bit. 

Cora, on the other hand, isn't who we think she is initially. She may be the wife of a kidnapper and a psychopath, but she had a terrible past with an abusive father and a pretty unhappy adolescence years. Her husband, James, has his own distorted mind of religion and she is forced to adapt to his thinking and behaviours. Just when Cora gets on her life like a robot, thinking there is no way out of her grim and unhappiness past or present, Julie enters into her life. As their worlds collide, they soon realise that they need each other for the freedom they crave but can they trust each other to set them free? 

I thought The Follower has a dark, intriguing premise. What made the story interesting is having two characters with opposite personality and background (in this case, the captor's wife and the captive) and seeing how their relationship has changed as the story progresses. Unfortunately, the story fell short due to the underdevelopment of the characters and the direction of the story. Julie may seem like she was the main character, but surprisingly Cora was the one who I felt took the centre stage because of her sad past as well as her present life but unfortunately what made her an intriguing character become a series of melodrama and anger and aside from the empathy I felt for her (especially her teenaged years), there was nothing much else I could think and feel for her. Also, James's motivation for the abduction remains a mystery and there isn't much background about him, which I felt is a pity. Then, there is the story of an ex-cop, Adam, who feels he has to take charge of a few missing girls cases due to what happened to his sister many years ago. While Adam's story adds intrigue and intensity alongside the two women's harrowing journey, I felt his story was underrated at times. 

Overall The Follower was an average read to me. I read Koethi Zan's previous book, The Never List, and thought it was a better read. 

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

HarperCollins | January 2018 | 448 pgs
Source: Purchased

The Woman in the Window has been all over the blogosphere lately and it was hard to ignore giving all the hype surrounding it. I dived into this book blind and with high expectations, after all a few of my favourite authors have praised this book fervently. And most of all, it has an unreliable narrator who is an alcoholic and has a few issues (which sounds right up my alley.)

Dr Anna Fox's profession is a child psychologist. She is also an agoraphobiac who is depressed and traumatised by a past event. She is separated from her husband but she does communicate with him and their young daughter from time to time. Living alone and housebound (though she has a tenant who lives in the basement), she finds solace and entertainment through the Internet, giving online advice to a few people like her, binge watching her favourite black and white Hitchcockian films, and watching her neighbours through her camera. All seems to be well until the Russells move in.

The Russells consist of three members: Alistair, Jane and their seventeen-year-old son, Ethan. Anna is fascinated by her new neighbour; they remind her a bit of her happier days with her family and the life she used to have. One day, Ethan drops by Anna's house to pass her a gift, saying it is from his mother. Subsequently, Anna gets to meet Jane and they hit it off well, sharing drinks and playing chess at Anna's house until one evening she witnessed something horrifying to Jane through her camera.

However, when the police comes and the interrogation begins, no one seems to believe Anna given her history of depression and her bout of drinks and medications. And when Alistair brings Jane along for the police interview, Anna is shocked to find a stranger instead. Is she delusional all along? Has she imagine someone to find that she doesn't exist at all and that it's all in her head?

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers and unreliable narrators, Anna wouldn't be a stranger to you. Like the other unreliable characters of the same genre, they are most often annoying and some even seem unlikeable, yet they intrigue you in a way and you couldn't help but to be invested in their story, no matter what kind of a person they are and/or the issues they are dealing with. This is the beauty of unreliable narrators and the essence of psychological suspense because they just suck you in. Anna was an interesting character but I have to say I have mixed feelings about her though. On one hand I felt sorry for her and the bad things she'd gone through yet on the other hand, I was perplexed over her bad decisions and wondered why she did this and that, without much explanations given. 

While The Woman in the Window was suspenseful, there were also some slow moments, too. Anna's behaviours might also put off to some; for she drank too much and occasionally mixing her drinks with her medications. This plus what she did in her house as well as her wandering thoughts took up much of the first part of the story but I suppose it was for the buildup of intensity and to give readers some doubts about Anna's credibility. Despite the bits of dragging, the progress of the story was smooth and it allows a fast and easy reading with the short chapters.

As for the twists and turns, there was the first one which I felt has been used before but even though I was surprised by the ending, it wasn't shocking to an extent that left me speechless (I blame it on my high expectations and the anticipation of something different which would knock my socks off.) That said, it was still a good read though, and I'd be interested to watch the film adaption once it is released.

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

Simon & Schuster UK | July 2017 | 496 pgs
Source: Library

The Caller is the eighth book of Chris Carter's Robert Hunter series and I've to say it works well as a stand-alone since I've not read any of the previous installments yet this book provides enough background of our lead character, Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD Homicide Special Section, which deals solely with serial and high-profile homicide cases. 

The story opens with a horrific crime whereby the murderer has his victim tied to a chair as he makes a video call to the victim's best friend. The rules of his game is simple: answer two of his questions correctly and the victim's life would be spared. The questions aren't that hard as it involves the victim, but the murderer has done his homework beforehand and knew that his questions would stump his target. Not only that, he is vicious to an extent that any wrong answer or refusal to answer or watch the video would result a punishment to the victim. Karen Ward died because Tanya Kaitlin didn't know her best friend's cellphone number. With the convenience of speed dial function and our reliance on it, people would seldom commit to remember the numbers unless necessarily and the murderer knew Tanya's weakness through the social media platform, which is another way to find people's profile and status easily if one is careless with his security setting. 

Before Hunter and his assistant, Carlos Garcia, have found anything surrounding Karen's murder, the murderer has moved on to his second target, then the third in a span of five days. Each victim died terribly and like Tanya, the victims' friend or family members are forced to witness the death of their loved ones after failing to answer the murderer's questions. The murders were brutal and were described explicitly so it is not for the faint of heart. 

While it wasn't easy to read through these parts, I've to say this story was fast-paced and very suspenseful as I raced through the book and wondered how Hunter and Garcia would hunt down this monster without any clues since he was clever and was always careful when evidence traces are concerned. The author has done a great job in fleshing out the characters (in particularly the murderer and Robert Hunter) as well as exploring the psychopath's state of mind and Hunter's profession through his expertise in criminal psychology. While it was satisfying to see there was justice towards the end of story, it was also sad to learn about the murderer's past and what drove him to insanity (not a spoiler since the murderer's identity and motives remain vague until towards the end of the book.) 

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

Sourcebooks | October 2016 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

A senior field trip is supposed to be fun, right? Well, maybe not in this story. 

Sera isn't keen to go for a field trip initially but rules are rules and they've to stick to it no matter they like it or not. What turns out to be a typical hiking trail becomes a nightmare when a flash flood cuts off the small group of eight into an even smaller group as the remaining three couldn't make it on time across the river as the heavy current hit on them. Divided by the river and with no signal on their cellphones, they decided that they could move on once the weather is cleared. But, they are wrong. Instead of moving on, they find themselves stuck in the remote, isolated woodland with a few incidents which struck them as scary. 

For starters, the four seniors who made it across the river woke up feeling groggy and suspected they are being drugged. Their teacher-in-charge, Mr Walker, hasn't come out of his drugged state and it terrifies them, not to mention if he would wake up at all. Then, they found their wrists are marked with a wording in dark ink. Lucas is marked as Dangerous, Jude as Deceptive, Emily as Damaged, and finally Sera as Darling. 

And when they make their way to find out the situation of the other three campers who are stuck opposite the river, they are horrified to see something disturbing hanging from a branch. It appeared to be a severed finger belonging to one of the campers but they could find no one there. What happened to them? Apparently they aren't alone as they thought and that whoever marked them must have known them well enough to brand them according to their issue. But Sera doesn't understand hers - Darling doesn't seem bad, does it? Or does she mean something special to whoever who had marked them? 

While the book blurb and the opening of the story straightaway captivates the reader's attention with an intense situation, it fell short on the developments - both plot-wise and characters-wise. I felt myself fidgeting like the characters; nervous yet unsure where the direction would go as the story progresses with nothing much happened except that the characters were going in circles with their fear and doubts towards one another. I suppose this was a buildup of the tension and suspense because the second half read fairly quickly and my assumptions started to accumulate. While the ending caught me by surprise, it didn't really satisfy my curiosity as I thought some parts seemed a bit unbelievable. Nevertheless it was an entertaining read albeit the few things I mentioned. 

Last but not least, I want to thank Lark for this buddy read. As with our previous buddy reads, we would ask each other questions pertaining to the book and the following questions are from Lark to me:

1. Which of the four main characters did you like most? And which did you like the least, and why?
Truth be told, I didn't really like any of the characters though I sympathised them given their issues. If I've to choose one to like, it would be Lucas. There was a side of him which surprised me. As for the one I liked the least, it would be Jude because of his cynicism.  

2. Would you read this author again? (Or if you have read her before, how did her other book compare to this one?)
Yes, I'll definitely read this author again. I've not read her books before so I'm glad to have discovered a new-to-me author via this buddy read.  

Now go visit Lark's blog to read her review and her answers to my questions. 

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.
Here is a list of books I read in 2018 (sorted in alphabetical order by the author's last name.)

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
School for Psychics by K.C. Archer
Down to the Woods by M.J. Arlidge

Snap by Belinda Bauer
A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard
The Wife by Alafair Burke

Our House by Louise Candlish
The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish
The Caller by Chris Carter
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen
Hangman by Daniel Cole

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz
Don't Believe It by Charlie Donlea
The Storm King by Brendan Duffy
Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

The Retreat by Mark Edwards
A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis
Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet

If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
The Other Woman by Carol Goodman

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
The House by Simon Lelic
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd
29 Seconds by T.M. Logan
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie
Circe by Madeline Miller
Waiting for You Yesterday (我在昨天等你) by Misa
My Black Swan (湖岸边的黑天鹅) by Misa
The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
In Her Bones by Kate Moretti
Still Me by Jojo Moyes

With You Always by Rena Olsen

Bring Me Back by B A Paris
Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce
The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen

Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day
One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
The Ripper's Shadow by Laura Joh Rowland

You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Salt Lane by William Shaw
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker
All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin
The Fear by C.L. Taylor
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver

The Follower by Koethi Zan

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

Atria Books | October 2017 | 384 pgs
Source: Library

Where should I even begin this? This novel has struck a deep chord in me in so many ways. Filled with various complicated issues yet thought-provoking in every ways, this novel allowed me to think of things which I've not thought of in another perspective and I'm glad the story has shed some new light in those areas.

To many others, the Voss family is eccentric, flawed and full of secrets. At its core of this story is seventeen-year-old Merit Voss who feels she is the odd one out in her family. She feels ignored, not appreciated and most of all, indifference to her family members. Her father is an atheist who rarely pay any attention to them except himself, her illness-stricken mother lives in their basement and her stepmother is her mother's former nurse. She isn't close with her elder brother, Utah and her little half-brother is too cute to judge. The relationship with her twin sister Honor is anything but close as their personality clashes. Honor is the beautiful and outspoken one, while Merit keeps to herself and is a plain Jane; which is strange given they look identical.

Merit also collects trophies which she didn't earn; she would buy them from the local antique shop whenever she feels miserable. While browsing the shop for her next trophy one day, she encounters a boy named Sagan. She is attracted by him instantly due to his spontaneity and the way he looks at her differently from other people but she quickly discovers that it is because Sagan has mistaken her as Honor. Though Merit tries to keep a distance from him, Sagan continues to attract her with his wit, his artistic skills and the way he portrays life in general.

At this period, Merit goes through a rough patch watching her family's indifference and feeling fed up of knowing (keeping) their secrets while they go through life as if nothing happens until she decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she's never been a part of before leaving them for good. But her plan fails, leaving behind several consequences which leads her thinking if what she'd done is right. And then, there is Sagan and his family because every time Merit asks about them he either clam up or change the subject.

This is my third Colleen Hoover book and I've to say this is poignant and the most powerful among the three I read. Long story short, this is a book about family, friendship, love and it also deals with a few heavy subject matters which I think is important and worth pondering about. For the third consecutive year, Colleen Hoover is a Goodreads Choice Award winner for Best Romance but in my opinion this is so much more than a romance. I loved how this book made me laugh, cry and be hopeful at the same time. Recommended.

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful holidays. I still can't believe that 2017 had gone by just like that. Nevertheless, a new year means a new beginning and I wish you all the best and that 2018 would be a fruitful year for you no matter what you do. And of course, a great reading year for us book lovers! 

So, I took a short break off of blogging the last week of December and had a short vacation at Malacca, Malaysia. Have you been to Malacca? It is dubbed "The Historic State" and is a state in Malaysia (more info here.) Though a short trip, it was a refreshing one for me - lots of shopping and eating. I attached a few pictures of the places I visited for the inquiring minds. :-)

Christ Church Melaka

Colourful wall art, isn't it? It had certainly brightened up my walk along this street.

Jonker Walk is a place filled with ethnic and cultural flavour. The street here is filled with historical houses dating back to the 17th century and it has shops selling various items, such as textiles, antiques, handicrafts, local food, etc. I bypassed the above store which sells traditional wooden clogs as well as a few other miscellaneous stuff. Wooden clogs are such a rare sight nowadays and seeing it has definitely reminded me of the olden days as I remember seeing my late mother wore it when I was a girl (why, I even wore it myself for fun!)  

The Airbnb we were staying had a wonderful view. Our unit was on the 35th floor and this was taken from the balcony. 

I think one of the best thing about our stay is this pool, in which one could swim while enjoying the picturesque view of Malacca.  

Now back to normalcy (ha!) and reading-wise, I finished reading Without Merit by Colleen Hoover (review forthcoming) the last week of December and am currently reading One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards (buddy read with Lark) and The Caller by Chris Carter. Both are intense and I can't wait to find out what happened next. 

So, what are you reading? 

© 2018 Melody's Reading Corner (, 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.