As we get closer and closer to the present, I can remember a bit more of what I was doing with my time. That isn’t to say I saw doing a lot – who is doing a lot with everything going on in the world? – but at least now I can sort of remember what I did throughout the month.
And September was the month that my sister and brother in law got me into bouldering. If you don’t know what bouldering is, I didn’t either until relatively recently. I tried it once a couple of years back when I visited by sister in England, but before then I’d never heard of it.
Bouldering is climbing, but without ropes. No harness, no ropes or tethers to hold you onto the wall. Just your own strength to keep yourself on the wall. And oh boy do you need incredible finger strength. I’ve always prided myself on my upper body strength, but it’s been years since I could easily hold my entire body up for an extended period of time. I might have been able to do pullups at one point in my life, but my years of climbing everything in sight have long passed. Bouldering is much more challenging than I’d expected going into it and I’m constantly amazed at what some people are able to do.
In regards to reading, this month was slightly better than August. Certainly different from the reading I normally talk about, but better nonetheless. It would hard to be worse, after all…
I’ve rambled enough about non-book related things, so here’s this month’s review.
But first, obligatory pictures of Yzma:
My reading this month was a little different than usual, so please pardon my deviation from my usual concise wrap ups.
Instead of reading full stories, I found myself reading webtoons and manhwa online. Because of this, I can tell you which stories I picked up but won’t be going into how many books I read or even a breakdown of the stories themselves. These webtoons and manhwa are currently ongoing, and I have continued to read them as they’ve progressed. This means I’m not positive where I left off back in September.
Here are the stories I read and a brief description of them.
Two Ways for Lovers by Sihai:
She thought she was pursued by two men. One was bossy and cold, the other was always doting to her. Perhaps the hardest choice in the world was to let her choose between them. However, she wasn’t going to make the choice, because she wanted both.
With the protection of her “two” lovers, will she get her revenge?
I know I said I wasn’t going to give a breakdown of the stories I read, but this one’s a little different. Being a completed story, I was able to read it all in one go. Because of that, I’m able to put my thoughts on the story into words.
This was a cute and quick story about a woman sold off in marriage to someone her adopted family deemed as “unworthy” because he was wheelchair bound due to an accident when he was a child. Being broken hearted that her boyfriend chose her sister instead of her, and being unwilling to be forced into the marriage her sister didn’t want, Fei instead finds a stranger to take her hand in marriage. Yet as time goes on Fei starts to notice similarities between Dantes, the stranger she’s officially married to, and Mu Yusen, the man she doesn’t expect to be falling for.
The plot lines in this story are complex and intertwined in many ways. When you think one person is out of the picture, they somehow managed to find their way back into the spotlight. It’s a fast paced story and I enjoyed it. I’m glad I took the time to read this story.
Wendy the Florist by Bize & Sizh:
Wendy is a reclusive florist who doesn’t believe in love. That is until he came in, ready to destroy the walls caging her heart.
Wendy’s childhood was challenging, to say the least. her stepmother and stepsister never let her forget that she was an unwanted member of the family. When Wendy’s heart gets broken and her family tries to marry her off to get rid of her, she forges paperwork and escapes. In a country where it’s illegal to forge your identity – even if that means taking yourself from a life of privilege and putting yourself in the working class – Wendy has to do everything in her power to stay unnoticed by those who actually have power. Like the family she’s escaped from.
I Am a Child of This House by Shiya:
11-year-old Estelle never imagined she’d be sold off by her own mother. But the buyer is the one and only duke in the empire, Ein Castielo… and he’s Estelle’s father?! Feared across kingdoms for his blood-red eyes and the immense powers of his magical lineage, Ein is the cold master of House Castielo. His sworn enemies and dashing knights could become Estelle’s, but does being his rare daughter really mean she is a child of this house?
I’ve adored everything I’ve read of this story so far. Estelle had an incredibly traumatic childhood and yet she’s able to overcome that and realize she has worth as a person. Not only that, but she’s able to become a strong, powerful, highly capable young woman. I’m enjoying my time in this world and look forward to seeing when else Estelle has in store for her life. Because life doesn’t happen to Estelle, she happens to life.
A Mismatched Complicated Love by Rima:
Saiga Kyousuke, the hottest boy in high school, has been rejecting confessions from every girl for one year straight. What he wants is someone who is interesting and different from others. One day, he meets a mysterious junior who is more than a little different…
When the boy you’re crushing on is apparently into guys, the most normal thing in the world to do is to cross-dress and confess… right? Well, that’s certainly what Nao Nashioka believes to be the case.
Dressing like a boy and “helping” her senpai Kyousuke Saiga is the best way to go about making him fall in love with her. Never mind pretending to be another gender, which would be a disaster if he were to ever start dating you thinking you were a male. Never mind the fact that he never said he was interested in guys. Just because he’d rejected every girl that’s gone after him for his looks and hasn’t tried to get to know him as a person doesn’t mean that he’s not interested in girls.
Honestly, I find this story hilarious. Nashioka is incredibly kind and caring, but also the most naïve person on the planet. She doesn’t understand that her help is more of a hindrance than anything. But she’s persistent. I’ll give her that.
Of course, you can only keep pretending to be two people for so long before it catches up with you…
The Epic Revenge by iCiyuan:
Gu Qiang Zhou returns to the town where her father lives only to avenge her mother. On the course of the story she meets a marshal with whom she has a complicated relationship.
Gu Qiang Zhou is a strong female lead. She knows what she’s worth and she’s not going to settle for less. Her childhood has been a very unorthodox one, but that’s just made her more capable to survive in the world she’s found herself in.
Not many people in the modern day in this story know much about Chinese medicine, but Qiang Zhou had a very unique upbringing. She not only knows traditional Chinese medicine, but she’s a master at the craft. Add in her tactically inclined way of thinking, and she’s more deadly than the world gives her credit for.
Sure she might not have the best taste in men, but everything she does is in the interest of getting back at those who wronged her, to become the woman that she deserves to be, that world seems to need. It doesn’t need another delicate flower sitting by and watching the men protect her. No, it needs her and her mind, her ability to be underestimated by her opponents and take advantage of their weaknesses to get ahead.
The Beau and the Beast by Yooeun:
“Am I really… a beast?” Lee Hanbyul, a university student born with only a dirt spoon in her mouth, opens her eyes to a hardcore transmigration life! After meeting her tragic end in a car accident, she wakes up in the body of “Alexa,” the second princess of the kingdom of Felipe. However, she doesn’t look like a normal person, but like a furry beast… Not only does she have to juggle getting rid of her beastly appearance with getting close to Verkyllon, the Grand Duke of the Veiled Kingdom, but she also has to keep the families and nobility that are after her for revenge in check.
In her last life, “Alexa” was beaten down and trodden on. Now, awakening in the body of a second princess with more strength than she knows what to do with, Alexa has been given a second chance at life. The only problem is the real Alexa – the soul of the body she’s now inhabiting – was a pushover who did what she was told and let the world abuse her. The new Alexa has to overcome all of that, the show the world that she won’t be pushed to the side any longer. That she will push back against her oppressors and try to make the world a better place. Not only for herself, but for the others that the royal family has trampled on.
Kyou, Curry! by Shimano Yae:
Haruse Urara is a little girl who helps her papa with his curry shop. Traveling in the car that makes up his shop, they sell curry all around a small, supernaturally quirky island. Two teenage girls–the rambunctious and cheerful Subaru, and the shyer, less adventurous Yoriko– also work with Urara and her papa. Each day, they come up with new curry flavors and get to know the strange, friendly, and occasionally magical inhabitants of their tiny island!
This is a cute little story – just six chapters – of a little girl on a supernatural island. It gives you exactly what it says it will, and I adored every moment of it. This story is completed (I think), so what you see is what you get. I loved getting to see Urara brighten the world around her. To see the way curry can bring people together and the different ways it can be made.
While curry has never been a huge part of my life, I know it’s a big part of many cultures. I truly enjoyed this little slice of life story, to see how different families look at curry and what it means to them.
While I definitely read other stories this month, I can’t say for certain which of the others I didn’t start later in the year. So, that’s it for this post. Here are the stories that I enjoyed enough to remember, the ones I enjoyed enough to keep up with as they continue to be released.