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Kieukieu rated it
The Heartbeat at the Tip of the Tongue
July 19, 2017
Status: c43
Review may contain spoilers

Heartbeat at the tip of the tongue is a delightful modern romance novel. The story in a nutshell is about two people who are polar opposites of one another who are brought together by chance to compete in a culinary contest. The female lead Lin Ke Song is an endearing character. I found her pragmatism, and witticism refreshing and charming. Ke Song recently graduated with a degree in hotel management. When we are first introduced to her she unemployed with a string of unsuccessful employment in her... more>> wake. With little to no prospect or plans for her future ku song spend her days keeping her childhood friend and long time crush Song Yi Ran company, but her days of leisure is short lived when her uncle offers to bring her over to new york to help manage his flourishing restaurant. Initially Ke Song was taken aback by the offer but the prospect of gaining experience in management, and the possibility of procuring sufficient income to further her education in the states appealed to her tremendously. Nonetheless the conspicuously deciding factor for her to accept the offer was the excuse to follow her childhood friend Song Yi Ran to New York.

Not soon after settling into her new life in New york City, Ke Song was offered the opportunity to participate in a culinary show. Weeks prior Ke Song and Song Ki were out sightseeing when they stumbled upon a cooking contest. Impelled by Song Ki to participate, she grudgingly accepts but purposefully sabotaged her tomato omelette dish to make it astoundingly inedible to tease and torment the judges. Unbeknownst to Ke Song this particular cooking contest will determine the competitors for Masterchef, an upcoming cunlinary show. The participants is chosen not for their notable cooking skills but rather they select the participants who produced the worst dishes, and her's left a deep impression on the judges. Ke Song has no particular interest or affinity for cooking, her only talent as far as food is concerned is her ability to accurately guess the ingredients used in any particular dish. Ke song enjoys food but views it as nothing more than a way to satiate and appease the appetite. She was rather disinclined to accept the offer, however she was won over by her uncle's enthusiasm and enticed by the prize money. Cautiously, she accepts the offer although with a lingering sense of foreboding. Ke song apprehension turned out to be spot on when her mentor was revealed to be none other than Jiang Qian Fan. Professionally Jiang is known for being a renowned three star michelin chef, who is both respected and admired in the western and eastern culinary world, but to Ke Song, Jiang is the arrogant, critical, and socially inept man she played food tour guide to, for a day back in china. Needless to say her experience with Jiang left her with a singular impression of him and one she is wary of experiencing again. Discourage not only by her past experience with him, she also silently questions his capability as a chef since his vision impairment must be a disabling hindrance to cooking. Jiang for his part was preparing to voice his objection to this absurdity when he sensed her doubts and skepticism. Greatly offended by her dismissals of his skills because of his lack of sight, he decides to accept her as his pupil and train her to represent him in MasteChef. With much reluctance and wariness on both their ends is the partnership formed, but this atmosphere of dread does not last long. On the surface Ke Song and Jiang may appear to be polar opposites but food as they say is a way to any mans or woman's heart.

I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, even though there is 40 plus more chapters to go I couldn't help but rave about what I've read so far, and it's good guys. I found the translation easy to follow and the description of the food quite soothing and entertaining to read, but do be aware you will salivate and suffer from cravings regularly throughout this novel lol. There are a couple things that I want to talk about in detail, one is the character development. I think the author did an amazing job of developing Ke Song character slowly throughout the story. In the beginning she was kind of adrift and unsure of her future. She seem quite dispassionate with her choice in career and it shows in her employment failures within that field. But as she slowly mentors under Jiang her understanding and appreciation of food broadens to encompass more than just the enjoyment of food but its selection, preparation, harmony and display as well. Witnessing Ke Song growing passion for food was as fulfilling for me as the romance. Speaking of romance, prepare yourself for a love triangle. Although it is pretty clear who Ke Song will end up with later on. I will admit I did ship her with the wrong guy for the first 5 chapters. I originally thought Song ki was the ML but I swear I had valid reasons. first off, Song ki is your stereotypical ML in romance novels. He is rich, handsome, arrogant, and charming. Plus whenever Ke song and Song ki interacted they had the most entertaining rapport and banter. I loved their relationship dynamics. They made sense to me. So when the actual ML entered the picture, I was taken by surprised. Personality wise Jiang was the complete opposite of Song ki. Song ki has a witty sense of humour, entitled but also charming, playful and carefree, whereas Jiang is rigid, severe, indifferent and austere. They couldn't be more different. It took me quite some time before I started to ship the FL with the ML. Their first several interactions with one another was quite tense, strained, and lacking, and for valid reasons on Ke Song's part. Jiang is a difficult person to befriend, he has no desire for or interest in interpersonal relationships, and he makes this fact known. Their relationship was tumultuous from the start but that's half the fun of this novel. So if you like a slow burn romance this is it!

I'll end this overly long review by saying that there were several glaring factors about this novel that I did not like. For one I absolutely abhorred the fact that the supporting and side female characters in this story are all portrayed as rivals and competitors for the ML attention. This is an overly done and abused trope, it is incredibly annoying and just didn't sit well with me. Female friendship is a thing look it up. There are also other little things here and there that did not make sense, like Ke Song's age. Her age wasn't revealed until 30 or more so chapters in. I had originally thought she was 21 or 22, since she was a recent college graduate and because of her maturity level. It was later revealed however that she was 18... what the holy hell? how ?? more than that how is it that her age was never questioned once....?? Especially given the fact that the ML is 28, I'm not being prudish about the age difference, it's fine, they are both consenting adults, but isn't it jarring the lack of attention and scrutiny her age poses? It would've just made more sense for her to be 22 honestly. But I digress, this novel while it may not be the most original or outstanding book out there I do think it is well worth the read. <<less
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Kieukieu rated it
Running Snail
August 2, 2017
Status: Completed
Running Snail is a story about the nativity of a young girl's first love, and the heartache and pain that inevitably arises, when the breakup occurs. With the passage of time, support of good friends and family, and with the persistent devotion of a patient man, does her heart start to mend and eventually learn to love again. This authors ability to write realistic characters and plot lines, is one of her many strengths, especially her ability to portray and fleshed out characters, in particular, rivals/antagonist. Often times authors... more>> would direct most of their focus and concentration on creating and fleshing out a couple characters, leaving the rest to fall short, but with Running Snail the author created an entire ensemble of memorable and realistic characters, who I may not all like, but still am able to empathize with. As far as how Running Snail reads, I would say that it is not too intense or angsty of a novel (its definitely not a light and fluffy one). There are moments of intensity here and there but its balanced out well by the comedic undertone and witty dialogue. The characters are what really shines through in this novel, the plot however, is quite ordinary and generic. If your looking for originality then you wont find it here, you are here for the execution, and it is done quite well. The story in the simplest terms is boy meets brokenhearted girl, boy falls in love with girl. Obviously, there is much more to it then that but that is the gist of it. Not to sound like a broken record but, I really enjoyed this story. I found the FM admirable, the ML devotion and patience incredibly heartwarming, the supportive circle of friends (in particular female friends) a breath of fresh air, and the sincere but meddlesome family adorable. I want to take some time to explain my rating for this novel (weak 4 stars), the reason for this is because while I do think its a good romance novel, I believe it could've been excellent if the story didn't drag out at certain parts, and most importantly if the ending wasn't so anti-climatic. The ending was of course a happy one, but it lacked the intensity and emotional explosion (for a lack of a better term) I was anticipating. It was at best alright, nonetheless still lackluster and just "meh" for me, but of course this may not be the case for everyone. I won't comment on the translation, since I am the translator and all, and that would just be weird but I can only promise to do my best. To wrap up this review, I would suggest anyone who is looking for a well thought out and written novel, that is realistic in terms of character behaviors and plot lines then I would strongly recommend this novel. <<less
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