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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
The General’s Little Peasant Wife
April 24, 2019
Status: c70
Even though I dislike stories with endless illogical cannon fodder characters, I thought I could last at least until the plot of the story progressed a bit more...

I was wrong.

This is awful. Completely unbearable. Pretty much every person in town other than the MC, MC's friend and ML are 5-year old cannon fodder with no ability for higher cognition. The story is just one endless "X cannon fodder pops out of woodwork to accuse the MC of random sh*t with completely irrational thinking" => "everyone in town suddenly believes in... more>> X cannon fodder for no reason" => "MC shows up and face slaps cannon fodder" => "townspeople all blame cannon fodder" => "cannon fodder hates MC more and tries a new scheme."

Repeat x 1000 and you get this story. <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Assassin Farmer
April 18, 2019
Status: c50
Ay... I thought this story would have more realism or farming/building aspects than it actually does.
(╯≧Д≦)╯︵ ┻━┻ #disappoint#

But if you like fairy tales...

Basically, this is a very very very sugar-filled slice-of-life. It is not really about farming, there isn't much plot either. It is simply about a beautiful girl with the best embroidery skills who gets together with a handsome man with the best martial arts skills. Oh, the girl is transmigrated. But anyway, they move into a village and live a very very very fluffy and romantic... more>> life in harmony with pretty much everyone.

Don't get me wrong, fluff is great. But this novel is such an unending river of syrup with nothing to mix it up, readers might need a break now and then to rescue their rotted teeth.

Also I think the romance resonates better with younger readers, because you have moments like this:

Spoiler

MC feels insecure because she's been told that her personality is too low-key and unattractive to men. So MC wants to ask what the ML likes about her.

ML: "You don't know how beautiful you are."

.... wow not SHALLOW at all. Physical beauty is everything!!!!! (Yes, in Chinese, "beautiful" refers exclusively to physical appearance. It is not a metaphor for something deeper.)

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Since there are no obstacles, the main couple pretty much get the best furniture, fix up the best house/scenery next to the best part of the river, basically achieve the best possible outcomes with very little effort. The guy's martial arts are so outstanding, just like a fairy. He can leap 15 meters in one jump, "cut" down an evergreen tree with one strike of his bare hands, and carry back a wagon-load of tree trunks from miles away (without the wagon) in a few hours.

I wish there was some comedy to cut this up... <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
You Boys Play Games Very Well
March 29, 2019
Status: Completed
GET YOUR HAPPY FRUIT PUNS HERE~~ ᕕ (ᐛ) ᕗ

A fantastic, lighthearted, BL entertainment read about gamer livestreamers! (Yes they are ALL named after various fruits and veges...) The balance between the gaming parts and the RL parts are fantastic. Absolutely hilarious MC is known for his arrogant/sarcastic one-liners that he sends off after every match with other players. One such match ends up with him exploding in popularity because it was streamed live by the ML, an official channel streamer.

Absolutely EVERYONE is precious in this story; you don't get... more>> any angst or negative drama, just tons of supportive fluff (including the coming-out to the family!).

Spoiler

I literally could not stop laughing when the MC started rapping about mining and his roommate crashed his stream with accompanying dance...

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Highly recommend, great translation as well! (There's a lot of footnotes, but there's a lot of gaming/online jargon to parse, so kudos for that.) <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Cultivating to Become a Great Celestial
March 10, 2019
Status: c35
[review may be updated/changed as story progresses]

I'm such a big fan of this story. It reminded me a little of 'Howl's Moving Castle' where the MC gets changed into an old woman's appearance. The transmigrated MC is a young woman forced into the body of an old woman. Her internal dialogue is both sassy and hilarious. In the beginning, all the MC wants is to live longer and enjoy the good life (cultivation is suppose to help her with that). However, she ends up confronting the very cruel/strong-oppress-weak cultivation world.... more>> In this situation, the MC is neither beautiful or gifted (her body is pretty much a mess) but she works hard and does her best to keep a low profile and treat people with humanity (I love her relationship with the kids).

Spoiler

I've heard she switches bodies a few times, so the old lady body is just the first arc.

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Traditional xianxia tends to be 'power fantasy' as another reviewer put it. This is more slice-of-life, but with sect politics. It's not one of those OP face-slapping/revenge novels or a heavily romance 'Oh save me ML' novels (thank god). So far, I've happily got no clue who the eventual pairing will be. I'm glad the translator has picked this up again (I almost started reading the raws). <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
My Former Significant Others Were All Alphas
February 23, 2019
Status: Completed
So cute and funny, I wish there was an epilogue!

This is a romcom short story about a poor beta office worker who keeps dating alphas who all end up accidentally finding their one-true-love/omegas while in a relationship with him. His friend group acts as a hilarious background for the relationship.

Translation is great, I would re-read just for the finished translation.
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
I Ship My Adversary X Me
February 21, 2019
Status: c38
I'm speechless; I had to type this 3 times because I kept typoing--

HOW IS THIS SO FUNNY? (ノಠ益ಠ) ノ彡┻━┻

This story deserves *WARNING do not read in public* plastered all over it because if you do, you'll end up dying or throwing your keyboard and become branded as a lunatic like m--

It's just so good and hilarious!! So far, the MC, despite being frickin' adorable when talking about his rivalry, is already shown to also be frickin' badass when defending his friends. He has the best internal monologues. I love it.... more>> ML is so cute too! They're portrayed like real people and with understanding of their profession and their fans. Ugh, just too sweet.

I was super tempted to read the raws BUT the translation is so damn precious I am willing to wait. Big thumbs up and thank the translators for their hard work!

Spoiler

For me there was zero sadness... even the hilarious misunderstanding that blew up after that *cough* phone call, cough. Ahhh I died so much...

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Edit: ok ok I gave in and read the raws BUT BUT BUT I will still faithfully follow the translation and re-read and crack up all over again-- <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Lucia
November 17, 2018
Status: c67 part2
While this is in the genre of 'trashy Harlequin romance, ' the plot and characters are surprisingly gripping. There are plenty of twists and turns with the characters and motivations. I was definitely surprised by the ML's family/bloodline background and some of the worldbuilding.

I did not have any hopes for either the MC or ML in the beginning because they started out cookie-cutter. However, both surprisingly break out of their molds. Their interactions actually feel pretty real and the ML doesn't have the stereotypical "cool 5ever" mask over his dialogue.... more>> The MC also doesn't go out of her way to bend to the ML's preferences, so it's quite entertaining to see their relationship progression.
Spoiler

The ML goes very quickly from an arrogant/cold/alpha male stereotype into a helpless regular guy trying to figure out his wife.

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I do agree with other comments that the MC could have been way more active towards her own future in the beginning. However, if you're able to make it past the slow start, the MC unexpectedly starts to shine. She's very relate-able because of how low-key she is and how simple things like walks in the garden please her a lot more than expensive gifts of jewelry etc.

The smut/s*x is very very plentiful. (To the point where I started skimming/skipping because I was too eager to find out what happened next in the plot.) Good/bad? <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Our Second Master
March 30, 2019
Status: Completed
One of the few historical romances I'd recommend without reservation.

This one has more emotional depth and character development than similar novels 10x-100x its length. The writing is compact but meaningful, with the interactions described richly. I could feel in vivid detail that night she ran out in the storm looking for help. Likewise, the emotional conflicts in that understated moment when she made the decision to retreat.

The MC is wonderful, a kind, humble character who has so much inner strength despite her insecurities. She is down-to-earth and isn't afraid to... more>> face her own perceived shortcomings (such as her 'ugliness') with jokes and acceptance.

Spoiler

Even though she's called "dense, " one of my favorite parts of her character is her self-awareness. I believe that she saw how the other maids would constantly fight for favor in the beginning, and didn't want to become one of them so she became "dense" as a form of self-protection. Back then when one man had many wives/concubines, the MC had enough self-respect to not want to become one of many. In my opinion, she left him because she wanted to preserve her feelings for him at a high point and unspoiled by multiple 3rd parties (and possibly even test how deep his feelings for her went). And in the end, after realizing that he truly meant it, she was able to refuse being just a concubine and get what she deserved: to be the only wife.

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Wonderful translation, this is one of those stories I'd go back and reread again and again.

Spoiler

Also that moment when the ML kneeled down to allies/rivals/enemies to apologize for his shitty behavior in the past? BEST.

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--
If you've read this story already, I'd like to share this hilarious theory posted in the original jjwxc forums; heavy spoilers!!:

Spoiler

She is not dumb; she may have only stayed with him in the beginning because she was looking for openings to get revenge for the times she was slapped/kicked before in the courtyard. Those hints from the mother/housekeeper asking her to stay were so obvious even a monkey would have gotten it, but she still left anyway. So it's far more likely that she was just pretending to be dumb so he would suffer. In the end, because she was truly in love with him, she forgave him after making him work for it.

I think this theory explains why she would have fun telling him about all those times he treated her badly in the past! And why she would never tell him how long she had liked him (to maintain the upper hand). Haha

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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
My Wife Always Thought I Did Not Love Him
March 28, 2019
Status: Completed
This is an angst/tragedy filled BL story that follows the rebirth of the MC through his high school years to adulthood. I liked that the struggles that the MC and ML go through are very realistic. The MC especially, as a gay person, has to confront coming out to his family, economic struggles living with his single mother, and his deep feelings of guilt and inadequacy from his previous life. His relationship with his boyfriend also goes through the stages of a pure/naive first love to the complicated issues of... more>> early adulthood.

However, I'm not a big fan of "extremely guilty/self-sacrificial/suffering-alone" type MCs. There is a huge lack of communication with the MC keeping everything inside and hidden, which contributes to waves upon waves of unending angst and self-flagellation. In his previous life, he did the chasing to the ML and gave up everything for love. Reborn with regrets in the second life, the MC instead plays the part of the person who is constantly running away and trying to make everyone else happy, instead of himself or the ML.

Spoiler

This makes a lot of the drama/angst feel unnecessary or dragged out. The story becomes unbalanced, weighted too heavily on the angst with hardly any fluff or humor to offset it because the MC is so completely self-defeating. He gives up very quickly on any new relationship troubles because of crippling fear that he is not good enough; the kind that thinks "I'm not good enough so I should just give up now" the moment anything happens, leaving the ML to pull all the weight towards reconciliation or clearing up misunderstandings. Furthermore, the author spends too much time describing all the problems and heavy feelings and too little time describing the resolutions or fluff, so the reader hardly gets a break from the constant arrows to the gut.

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The translation group is really good, so everything read very clearly. If you like angst/endless misunderstandings and don't mind characters with zero self-worth, then you will enjoy this! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Everyone Thinks that I Like Him
February 28, 2019
Status: Completed
Ahh, this is like balm for the soul~

Tired of revenge/face-slapping novels?

Tired of yandere/possessive/controlling/self-centered MLs?

This is a humorous and fluffy slice-of-life college romance that starts from a misunderstanding between the MC and ML who are both outstanding, handsome and intelligent students. The story takes us through the university life of the two students, to moving-out and coming-out, and attending grad school. The side characters (dorm mates) are absolutely precious and hilarious. ... more>>
Spoiler

It's so cute that despite the MC being forever 'second place' in terms of studies/competitions, he's actually extremely friendly/outgoing/valued by his community, so his interpersonal skills can be said to definitely outshine the ML.

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The relationship progression is a sweet slow-burn. The author builds up a true friendship and trust between the main characters, so it avoids over-used tropes like "the vinegar-bucket ML can't stand other people appreciating the MC." This is one of the few really positive relationships I've seen in CNovels where the two people in a relationship not only bring out the best in each other and wholeheartedly support each other, but also give each other space and mutual trust.

Spoiler

It's unfortunate but most CN books completely romanticize rape/obsession/stalking/stockholm syndrome/dependent personality disorder/possessiveness etc. So the romantic relationships portrayed tend to be extremely unrealistic as well as unhealthy.

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Fantastic translation, the humor comes across on point. I would re-read! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
The Earth is Online
January 30, 2019
Status: Completed
Good translation, excellent story/writing. It's a rare apocalypse/survival story that involves mysterious towers appearing around the world, forcing the entire humanity to participate in its games. Humans also start 'leveling up' and essentially gain a very varied superpowers (think X-men). The games are a mix of different logic puzzles, psychology, and wordplay elements, inspired from fairytales and classic games like Monopoly. They're very cleverly written and the clues to figure them out are scattered in the text to enable the reader a try before the reveal!

While it's a BL story,... more>> the story mostly focuses on the puzzles and plot, with the romance being very subtle in the background. It's definitely slow burn as the MC and ML go from strangers to friends to partners through the story. The MC is extremely intelligent and competent (as is the ML), so it's a pleasure for the reader to follow his progress. There are plenty of three-dimensional side characters and lots of interesting personalities with hidden motivations. It was a difficult novel to put down once I started reading. I highly recommend this for a very refreshingly different survival book!

P.S. I really admire the translator for making steady & super fast releases for over a year. One of the best translators we have here on NU. <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Chongfei Manual
September 24, 2018
Status: c160
Translation is 5 stars. One of the best translators I've seen who makes really good choices regarding the historical terms and actually aims to make the story readable instead of leaving in tons of jargon for 'cultural accuracy' BS. I've read novels that were practically 25% pinyin in historical settings (which is just awful to process, and this is coming from someone who's watched historical Chinese dramas, is familiar with historical terms, and understands pinyin. So I can imagine how much worse it can get for less fluent people!). Love... more>> the translator notes and image links as well.

This book is a fluffy, slice-of-life ish light entertainment in a fictional historical era, which can be quite fun to read if you ignore the problematic parts. The pacing is not bad, and with such excellent translator, it was definitely a smooth read. Be warned though, the MC and ML are both truly awful people. They both have bad morals. The MC is also a very spoiled and vain white lotus type.

I didn't like that the punishments for the villains, minor and major, don't reflect their deeds. It can be argued that this is a reflection of 'reality' where not-so-bad people can have horrible endings while truly-bad people can have happy endings, but it didn't feel like the author wrote that intentionally. Considering the other inconsistencies in the writing, it's more than likely the author was trying to spice up the romance and tried to throw in some revenge spots. Unfortunately, that means truly disturbing paragraphs would appear abruptly in the middle of fluffiness with no transitions.

Spoiler

Things that got pretty old:

    • over-the-top bad cruelty towards women (some people can 'rationalize' this to say that historical eras are commonly misogynistic and women have no power etc. but also keep in mind the author clearly chose to put those things into the novel and chose to write the outcomes of some characters much much worse than other characters. If we look at the male character (Li Song) who helped ruin the MC's family in the past life and also offended the MC a ton of times after her rebirth, he ending is pretty good compared to the ending of MC's half-sister who pretty much only avoided her or sniffed at her after her rebirth; that's the definition of misogyny.)
    • prejudice against children (I get the idea about getting vengeance against bad people that insulted you, but they've literally done nothing to the MC in her past life except exist or were spoiled by the MC's stepmother/enemy, yet the MC still wants to get revenge on 5 year olds?? Is it too radical to want see a MC that is not narrow minded or more generous/forgiving? Even if you disregard basic human decency, from a practical perspective, if you remove the bad influence, you can easily influence your enemies to be good to you since they're so young??)
    • inconsistent characterizations (the MC is reborn, so she's actually close to the age of the ML, but she literally treats all the kids around her like they're the same age as her, so it's clear that the author forgot that the MC is not actually 10-12 and has her flipping between 10-12 or 20/her true age whenever it's convenient. This is especially disturbing when the MC was just reborn and acting like 5-6 yr old... dude you're like 16...)
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Looking Over at the Guy Across the Way
March 29, 2019
Status: Completed
A lovely modern BL relationship story where neither characters are forced into the role of a medieval virginal girl. Yay! *Cough* It's lovely and breaks many het/BL stereotypes; the romance progresses very naturally, with some pockets of angst from the MC's sad feelings about a failed previous relationship. The smut (spiffed up by the translator) is pretty explicit and hotter than what you'll read in many other novels.

This is a purely drama free, no evil villains, mostly fluff, with very supportive family members to the coming-out. It does fall a... more>> bit into the category of GFY (gay for you) where the ML previously thought himself straight.

Spoiler

Even the old ex finds his happy ending in the extras.

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earlgreyt
earlgreyt
Loving You Is Too Difficult
March 12, 2019
Status: c7
This story is quite simple, though not my cup of tea. Maybe it's because I've read a lot of other CN poking holes into white lotus characters, but the MC's actions didn't struck me as pitiable so much as manipulative.

... more>>
Spoiler

Maybe it's because the author frequently describes how pitiful yet ultra-attractive she looked to the ML, from her eyes/her exposed body/her skin/etc., but it really struck as more "pretending in order to win pity" than something genuine from her upbringing.

Also the MC is a legal adult (18), yet acts like an 8 year old. I could understand her desperation/loneliness and ultra spoiled naivete up to the point when she touched the ML when he was sleeping and tried to keep him with her after confessing to him--when she knew that he had a girlfriend already. That was a turning point for when she went from pitiable to manipulative.

Of course stuff like this can happen in real life. I'm not blaming the MC for trying it because she was desperate, and I'm not blaming the ML for falling for it and remembering it (since he fell for it, he definitely felt something for her and feelings can't be forced). But like I said, that's why this story is not my cup of tea and why I don't feel much pity for the MC.

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In the end, this is a story about two people who I don't care much about, who will inevitably get together. So DNR at 70%. However, I do have to give the author kudos for telling a pretty realistic story with realistic outcomes for exes. Great translation! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Chu Wang Fei
March 7, 2019
Status: c146
This was one of the first novels (and transmigration novels) I've read on NU. I had a super big soft spot for this one for a long time. I really enjoyed the romance and the domestic (post-marriage) relationship between the MC and ML. Actually, the ML is still pretty unique, considering that he's not the commonly found stoic iceberg/yandere ML. He's more of a mischievous charming rogue type (always smiling and pretending to be harmless). I also think the scheming/drama is pretty well done. It's not just related to women... more>> fighting for a man's approval or concubines trying to one-up each other; there's international politics, assassins, peace talks, plague, cheating on the imperial exams, etc.

One of the big things that stood out to me was the complex dialogue. The author describes in meticulous detail the secondary meanings behind every phrase and subtlety used against the MC as well as how the MC responded in return to defend herself.

Spoiler

Some readers have complained about how unbelievable it is... but I had the opposite reaction. To me, the author's detailed descriptions of every subtle nuance was like an eye-opening, awe-inspiring "please teach me more" because of my personal experience when visiting relatives in China, since I tend to accept things at face value (the so-called Western 'naivete/straightforwardness'). Seriously, Chinese culture/courtesies are damn complicated; nobody ever says exactly what they mean, so I admire the author for writing & explaining it.

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As for the other issues in this novel, lots of readers have mentioned already; we have a very ruthless protagonist. Her enemies get defeated in stages (instead of a OHKO destroyed in one move) which is way more realistic and meaningful when they're finally down (and you don't end up with tons of new cannon fodder characters every chapter).

Spoiler

Despite being a modern person, MC's morals are pretty in line with the ancients; she fits right into all the 'using people, ' 'disposable servants' and scheming. Her transmigration is merely a plot point the author uses to give her previous 'weak' character a big contrast so she can become the most eloquent/OP one. Overall, MC resolves issues with her clever words and understanding of what's important to the people she's dealing with. Which means there are still lots of biases/calculating/lack of forgiveness, even towards children.

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Translation is spotty; different groups have picked this up and there's lots of pinyin and grammar errors.

Spoiler

Babel Realm has a very average MTL because the pronouns are frequently wrong and the titles change every paragraph, and some phrases are completely wrong. Novelsreborn has the best translation, though some of it is way too literally/directly translated. Willful casual has a pretty good translation, while rosefantasy's translation has too much grammatical errors and suffers from the same issue of being too literal.

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I still have a soft spot for this one though and hope it gets picked up by a good translation group soon! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Pulling Together a Villain Reformation Strategy
February 21, 2019
Status: c24
Translation is top notch, story so far is fantastic as well.

The MC is super competent and powerful, on par with the ML, which is quite rare. They were also childhood friends/sworn brothers before the misunderstanding (s) that screwed things over, so their banter, familiarity with each other, make for very strong dialogue and interactions. I especially appreciate a complex and well-written romance. The silent understanding and regard these two best friends have with each other is just so warming and enjoyable to read.

Their dynamics remind me a little of Founder... more>> of Diabolism (which is a big complement) so give it a try! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Our Glamorous Time
February 17, 2019
Status: Completed
A pretty deep and interesting romance with a fairly strong female lead (I explain why I say 'fairly' in the spoiler) and a focus on corporate politics/media/advertisement and fighting for market share. The schemes and details in the business world were pretty believable, with only a bit of hand-wavy magic, so the author definitely did some research.

This author is very good at writing a mature toned story where the face-slapping is more subtle and there are more three-dimensional villains and the story and romance overall progresses in a logical manner.... more>> It's a very good read with very few contrived situations. I definitely enjoy the 'teaming up to go against the world' feeling between the MC and ML. Overall, it was a difficult book to put down!

Spoiler

One very subtle issue is still the matter of CN culture/subtext in the story. While the author tries very hard to present a strong female MC, all of her actions are still written as being under the purview of the ML. It's stated several times that her choice to break away to stand on her own was 'allowed' or humored by the ML due to his love for her. The MC's brother is the same. In the end, the author writes that the MC feels more comfortable supporting the efforts of the ML instead of being at her own company. Of course, there's nothing 'weak' about supporting the person you love. However, this is a consistent theme in most C-novels and this author's stories. The female MC once again is only allowed to be strong enough or independent enough to suit the male characters protecting her. She will never be written to outshine them or take up a bigger share of any life burden because of her gender.

Despite this, it's still one of the better novels out there with a female MC that has more character and is written better than many others. (Kind of a sad state, tbh.)

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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Flowers Reflecting The Sky
February 7, 2019
Status: Completed
Very engrossing and unique storyline compared to the many wuxia/martial arts sect stories out there. The character development and over mystery is top notch; all the characters are rather intelligent and multi-faceted. The story jumps straight into the action, and I found this a nice break from the overabundance of 'meandering'/'wordy' and extremely long novels out there.

There were a lot of characters introduced in the beginning (and I was worried about mixing names up), but I only had to reference once or twice before getting swept up with the pace... more>> of the story. The writing is from a truly talented author who has created complex relationships and backgrounds between the characters that gets revealed slowly. Despite the low amount of chapters (25+sequel), they're quite full of content, and I feel very satisfied after reading it as though a longer book (100+).

I highly recommend NOT reading some of the reviews or spoilers for the best experience! <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
Fox has no Heart
February 6, 2019
Status: Completed
I won't lie, I cried into my pillow for quite some time. A fluffy yet sad and bittersweet tale. T__T I wish there was a sequel!

Spoiler

I'm frequently astonished at the single-minded devotion (which doesn't waver even when the target seems to despise it?) frequently portrayed in these kinds of novels. So unrealistic yet strangely touching at the same time.

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earlgreyt rated it
Spring Trees and Sunset Clouds
February 2, 2019
Status: Completed
This isn't a novel to be taken literally; it's more of a spiritual journey told through the magical realism genre. Things don't make too much sense, even when explained (in the later third of the story), but the crux of the story is not about finding answers to the mysteries surrounding the island.

It's about a person's journey towards healing after hardship, enduring, surviving through deep emotional hurts, and understanding what it means to be human. Told in a very surreal, yet humorous fashion, the overarching theme is subtly expressed through... more>> the still moments between the characters. The author is able to skillfully take such a heavy topic and turn it into something very natural and paced in-between moments of daily life.

Don't expect any strong action or complex plot; it's sweet and funny and very very fluffy. Overall, this is a very different breath of fresh air and something I would recommend to people who've also struggled with certain things in their life. <<less
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