A Slight Smile is Very Charming
August 12, 2017
I've read a lot. A LOT. Of Chinese novels over the years. This story is still, hands down, my most favourite modern-day novel. And the reasons I enjoy it so much is because the main leads are really intelligent. They are very very mature about relationships, and not being petty. They know when to fight and when to let things go. And I just love that although both leads were written as smart and gorgeous and well-versed, they're still humans. The guy has some black belly moments and the girl
also has her cute boy-crazy moments hahaha.
The only complain I have is that the story is quite short, I finish it in one day. Then went on to watch the movies and the series and LOVE both adaptations. I'd recommend this novel for those who just start tapping into C-novel world. It's a good starter. It's light, well-written, heart-warming, but has some cultural references you can get yourself accustomed.
Oh, beware of the side stories though if you're not into boys' love hehehehe.
Eight Treasures Trousseau
October 9, 2017
This is, by far, my favorite ancient-era Chinese novel.
What I love the most about this is the female lead or the main character. Her character is so unique that I don't think I can find another similar. It can be summed up in two words - lazy and gluttonous. Her favorite things to do are eating and sleeping. Unconventional, yeah, particularly for the era the book is set in where talents and virtues are everything for girls, but the MC always gets away with it due to her beauty and
Her character makes the whole situation so damn funny. And I might add that her family, and later her husband, also spoils her a lot which makes her laziness incurable.
Besides the MC, other characters are all very well-developed. Each has their own back-story and logic for what they do. None is just out to be the bad guy. They all have reasons for horrible things they do, no matter how terrible their reasons are. One could even say this is a feminist story with all different types of female characters it featured.
And the author didn't judge. - This is very important. The author let the readers make their own decision without being in our face that we should like or dislike a particular character.
I also love the male lead. He's shady af but that's what makes the story so enjoyable. He also makes for a good partner with the MC. The imperial family is also interesting as you will learn as the story progresses.
I highly recommend this story to everyone. Also if you enjoy To Be A Virtuous Wife by the same author, you will like this one even more.
To Be A Virtuous Wife
October 9, 2017
The synopsis doesn't do justice to the story itself. One can even say it's a bit misleading.
I also hesitated to read this even though I love other works from this translator since there was a mention of a harem. But there is actually very little component of that. The male and female leads are pretty monogamous for that era. This is also not a revenge story. It's more of a slice-of-life drama.
Best thing about this novel:
The Main Character
- a girl who time-traveled and ended up in the body
of this wangfei. Her character is really unique. A modern woman who understands how things work in the world. Her character is what makes this novel really stands out among its kind.
Worst thing about this novel:
The Male Lead
- He's not bad. He's smart, good-looking, sensible, and loves the MC a lot. But his character is quite under-developed. I was waiting for him to break or react or just do something that shows his color, at least to the MC, but he never did. He gets boring after a while. I personally enjoy reading about the other prince whose life was turned upside down. His life was a lot more interesting than the male lead lol.
This is a slice-of-life story about life of a woman in an imperial family. Yeah, she has to deal with her mother-in-law and her husband's concubines and her own horrible family. But there's really no angst in it, no jealousy, no heartbreak. She dealt with everything like how she manages a company (she used to be a successful manager in previous life) which is quite funny but amazingly effective.
This novel is not a roller-coaster, it's more like floating in a calm river. Captivating but not exciting.
Because of its unique taste, I would have given it 5 stars, but then I cam across Eight Treasure Trousseau by the same author (I believe) which is essentially TBVW 2.0 but a whole lot better, I couldn't help feeling this one is lacking, especially for the male lead.
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