Why Fall in Love if You Can Attend Tsinghua University

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Once she woke up, Gu Xuejiao became the arrogant and willful stepsister of the book’s male lead. Her specialty resided in breaking the relationship between the male and female lead… she is the nth female character.

Gu Xuejiao thought about this character´s ending. A desolate, abhorrent annihilation… and decided it’s better to continue to practice the Wu San workbooks she just finished in her last life.

The Cheng family watched in alarm:

The girl who was rebellious, and only served to let others worry; asked with a simple expression:

“Do you think it’s better for me to apply to Tsinghua University or Beijing University?”

Cheng family: ….

Note: Wu San workbooks is the Chinese version of Barron’s and Princeton’s for the SAT

Associated Names
One entry per line
Tan Lian Ai Bu Ru Shang Qing Hua
WFILTU
谈恋爱不如上清华
Related Series
Downstairs 249, Upstairs 251 (Web Novel)
I Married the Male Lead of a CP-free Novel (Web Novel)
Recommendations
After Transmigrating Into the Cultivation World, the School Topper Was Reborn (6)
Fake Villain Turned Into Cannon Fodder (3)
The Legitimate Daughter Doesn’t Care! (3)
I Am Not Fit to Be the Male Lead’s First Love (3)
I Married the Male Lead of a CP-free Novel (1)
Guide to Stabilizing the Blackening of the Villainous Husband (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Sweet, Fluffy, Mature, HE Romance Novels | Complet...
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  3. BG novels
  4. 2021 Novels Mini Review Part. 2
  5. straight cn novels that makes me go uwu

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hyyhfvr
New hyyhfvr rated it
September 19, 2021
Status: c120
I'm at chapter 120 and if you're asking why I'm still even here, trust me I'm asking myself the same question.
Lets start with how the author never actually states how old the ML (until later im guessing but till chap 120, they haven't) and yet gave us these weird and creepy interactions with FL in the name of "romance" like hello????where is the police?? A 16 yr old being so dependent on a 25+ yr old man is very weird especially when he has ulterior feelings towards her. He... more>> encourages and actively tries to alienate her from her family and friends saying it's for her sake??? like hello dude just cuz u never learnt to process ur emotions towards ur family/friends or acquaintances does not mean others also dont have to. Worst of all is how plot dependant is it on ML needing to have a child albeit the ML says he doesn't need a kid to stabilise his position as an heir he never denies it either. He says he'll have a kid only with someone he loves.... okay good but he says that at a time when hes said to have romantic feelings for a 16 year old?!!!!!

THIS ENTIRE STORY SCREAMS RED FLAGS!!!! <<less
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Pomelo
New Pomelo
September 18, 2021
Status: c250
Rating: I'm not sure how to rate this story. Storywise, it has great execution, but it's very formulaic in terms of the themes/tropes used. So, 2/5 in originality and interesting ideas, 4/5 in execution, and a little less than 3/5 average. I added a bit on top of that for the supporting characters, so it's 3.3/5 from me. Be aware that I don't care whether a story is romance-dominated or not, hence why I can enjoy this. If you're looking for romance, this story barely has any for the first... more>> half (and more), so that can certainly earn it a demerit for you romance lovers; I won't be surprised by 2/5 and 3/5 ratings.

Supporting Characters: To add a bit more comment about the characters here, there are the usual cannon fodders trying to aim their firepower at the MC, but apart from that, there are also other supporting characters that feel normal, just like normal people, you know? Xue Jiao's stepfather, for example, is a great dad—compared to most stepfathers, heck, even bio dads in c-novels? He's a god among men. And he's not even superhuman! He just does his best to be a good person. It's similar with one of her classmate's father.

MC: Girl transmigrated into a minor villainess character in a story she'd read. She doesn't care about romance and just wants to do what she couldn't do in her real life—seriously study to get into a good university and beyond! Of course, some jealouse cousins who never liked her tried to step in her way, as did her half sister, but that's the pretty standard c-novel face-slapping subplots.

Character Design Issues: I don't have many issues with the ML, mostly because I see the problem from a Doylist than Watsonian choice. Consider this, the writer wants to make the ML a genius and super student so he can help the MC study. Alright, so he has to be older, right? Yeah. MC's body is chronologically 15/16 at the beginning (mentally university age). It would've worked just fine if he was, say, 18 or 20. But, the writer and/or editor also wants ot make him a CEO/captain of industry type! Then, there's two options available. They can make a 22 yo CEO of a family company (wouldn't be the first irrationality of this type that we see in a webnovel), or try for realism and make him older, like 27.

The writer took the second choice.

This is what I mean by Doylist/meta-narrative choice. Whether the ML is a CEO or say, just a rich second-generation currently raising his startup company through VC/PE funds while in university, it doesn't make a lick of difference to the MC's life. Heck, they even wrote the ML to have psychological issues with touching women in general, and he has negligible s*x drive that he'd never considered it an issue even as his parents panic about it. The MC manages to be an exception because she saved him from a near-death situation once, and thus his aversion was somehow reset under the life-or-death situation he barely escaped. In the real world, how many 27 yo CEOs have never even had a girlfriend??

So, yeah, he's a unicorn. Almost impossible to exist in real life.

This age gap also creates issues in interaction. He likes being able to see her from time-to-time, even if not meet up. If he was just a high school or university student, he can see her when she arrives at school or passing in the corridors between classes. Or he can see her if he passes by her school gate when she gets out of school, and then just leave. The way the writer channels this in-story is having him occasionally stop in front of her house and just watch it for glimpses of her.

We, the readers, know that he's mostly harmless, and even his behaviour had always been highly supportive of Xue Jiao, no matter what she wanted to do, regardless of whether he liked it or not. This is why I don't see him as grooming her; he gives her all the options she wants, expands them, even, instead of restricting her world to mainly himself. Yet on paper, his behaviour is textbook (occasional) stalker. I just.... *facepalms*

Character design fail, basically.

TL;DR: Reborn girl Xue Jiao wants to be the overachiever she couldn't be in her previous life as a poor orphan. She finds a high-level mentor in the form of the ML, who's interested in her once she saved his life. More than half of the story mostly covers her studying and competition—shounen tournament arc, Math Olympiad/Gold Medal style! Some rich people family drama is also involved, and the MC is annoyed with them for taking time off her studying. Such a hassle.

Come for the face-slapping/tournament arc of the genius of hard work, stay for the heartwarming family dynamics. ML is the obligatory CEO love interest, though his character is at least more interesting than the rando domineering CEO often found.

Not recommended for: People who are still traumatised by their math class (I got flashbacks to Math Olympiad training camps... *shudders*). Anyone looking for stories with deeper substance. <<less
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Sauramon
Sauramon rated it
July 13, 2020
Status: c40
For the people saying this is a slow romance because he never forces her but instead helps and guides her... That's grooming y'all.

I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't like this story because of their age difference, but just... Don't romanticize it? Be aware of what you're reading?

The moment this dude went to her school and tried to get her in his car with a flimsy excuse was SO creepy. I'm honestly amazed by the reviews so far.

But romance aside (and I think this story would really benefit from not having any... more>> – like the title) everything is pretty good. Her loneliness is heartbreaking and I'm sure the face slapping and climbing up will be awesome. <<less
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BobaTeaTrans
BobaTeaTrans rated it
May 11, 2020
Status: c35
Hello, translator here. Honestly I'm on the same track as you all as I'm reading along while I translate. For spoilers, please place them under tag as spoilers unmotivate me hehe. This novel is very refreshing as the focus is not mainly about face-slapping. Although there is face-slapping which I appreciate. There's elements of romance and a full story that the novel targets. It's quite a read, although I may be biased as the translator :)
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Woodapplelover
Woodapplelover rated it
May 7, 2020
Status: c62
I spent the last few hours MTL this novel and honestly its a gem. The novel has the typical elements of the most chinese webnovel (transmigration, rich family, half-sister) but with a more refreshing twist. As the summary suggested, the MC transmigrated into a side character in a novel she read but unlike other novels where she either follows the plot or remembers every single plot point (How??? I barely remember the plot points of the novels I'm currently reading) the MC decides that she will spend her time trying... more>> to get into a good university. Honestly, this is so realistic imo. The MC is 17/18 and just finished her exams, at that age how can she messily fight in a rich family setting? Another reason to read this novel is the second male lead, I'm not gonna spoil but man dude hilarious and his parents are a blast. They try so hard to help him it's great. This story also talks about parents not always being right and the original MC mom grows up a lot in the process of the story. This was another plot point that I really enjoyed because usually in Asian culture (pacific and south) the parent are always right even when they treat their children like they are their possession. Overall super refreshing novel that seems light-hearted but touches on aspects such as familial love, acceptance of children growing up and conflicts between generations <<less
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Eclat123
Eclat123 rated it
August 17, 2020
Status: Completed
There's a popular novel, published before this in 2018, that has similar plotlines with this one called After Transmigrating Into the Cultivation World, the School Topper Was Reborn. It only got picked up for translation in 2020, so I can see how this one has more popularity than the original work. (Edit: that novel is now ranked higher, yay!)

I know plagiarism is the norm in online novels, but a lot of the plotlines here are basically just copied from that one, and with lower quality at that.

The original novel... more>> I mentioned was brilliant. Each of the characters have enough depth and the development is spot on. In this novel, well, the characters are basically one-dimensional and shallow. It's like an extremely cheap imitation. <<less
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LumenMint
LumenMint rated it
February 16, 2021
Status: c1
CONTRARY TO OTHER OPINION the ML is NOT GROOMING the fl. Grooming is the act of preparing a child with sexual intention. PLEASE learn what WORDS your using BEFORE you use it so you wont cause MISUNDERSTANDING. He never fooled her and never do anything ambiguous/flirting.

ML even said that she was to young for him to pursue. He only helped her when she is in trouble when it comes to family problems by giving ADVICES and he never approached her nor touched her in pretense to comfort her. Tbh... more>> he is one of the ML I really like because despite also having his own 'mental psychological" problem he is still a RATIONAL person.

He CONFESSED his feeling to HER FAMILY before he confessed to her, he ASKED permission FIRST and he only confessed when she was 20+. Despite people around him telling him to confess to fl, he didn't because he knows that the FL wants to focus on studying and is young.

ALSO THE FAMILY PROBLEM WAS TACKLED PROPERLY and not just inserted just to have a 'plot' the step father is really kind AND understanding, very ML material actually hehe, he explained to the mother what wrong she did and what will happen if she act in different ways and the consequences of it.

The step brother (OG ML) is the cliche OG ML BUT when he noticed how the OG FL treated FL he avoided her (he never sided with the ogFL) and he did not have any feeling for our FL which is refreshing since almost all novel had their step brother falling for fl. He acted as what a TRUE BROTHER would act.

THOUGH THE STORY IS CLICHE (family confilict, cold ML but loving to fl, green tea sister) there is still a very huge difference to other novel like what I mentioned above, they tackled the problem properly (mostly) and the people who need to realized they're wrong will have character developement well maybe except for the cannon fodder

(Im still 60% before the end so I will update once I finished, remember to put yourself in the shoes of the character and consider the place where in the plot is happening because every country have 'different' beliefs and standard) <<less
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wintryday
wintryday rated it
March 12, 2021
Status: --
Story Summary: Girl transmigrate into a bad girl character and decides to follow her dreams and study hard, in the process her beauty blinding cute guys around her. She randomly saves the ML from dying, leading to ML following (read: stalking) her around and trying to get close to her.

This is a a wish-fulfillment, self-indulgent-esque plotline. It is satisfying to see our mary-sue character face-slaps fake beeches around her. The pacing and the writing is also acceptable. But I had to stop reading because of the ML.

Like in all CN... more>> novels, ML is a rich, successful businessman who is cold but more importantly, the most good-looking guy in the novel. He is an emotionless robot to everyone in his life but only cares for FL. Soooo dreamy, right? Oh I forget to add, this dude is 27 and FL is 16/17 years old!!

If this doesn't set alarm bells off in your head yet, let us continue.. He mysteriously appears whenever she is feeling down or when she needs help, texts her late into the night. Stalks her when she is in school and out of school. Tells her she shouldn't care about her mom since her mom doesn't care about her etc. Okay hold up, how is this romantic again? If we exchange this hot dude for an ordinary looking guy, FL would have already called up the police!

Just to emphasize: It is not the age-difference that is the problem. It is the fact that ML is a grown-ass adult and FL is an underaged girl that makes the whole dynamics deeply disturbing. Minors are vulnerable to manipulation and this is made worse because FL has deep issues with her family and feels alienated from them. This isolates her and makes her more susceptible to dependency on whoever helps her aka ML who she sees as her only way out.

Why is the author justifying child grooming as something romantic and heart-throbbing?? The imagery used is extremely disturbing. In one chapter, ML describes FL as a young flower bud yet to bloom and he is eagerly awaiting her beauty when she blooms. CALL THE POLICE ON THIS CREEP!!! In another chapter, ML's parents urges ML to find a woman to marry and have kids, ML rejects them coldly, thinks of the under-aged FL and thinks she is too young while sighing. YES SHE IS TOO DAMN YOUNG YOU SICKO. In an earlier chapter, ML goes to his psychiatrist and tells him that he feels attraction for an underage girl. The psychiatrist gasps and exclaims that yes she is a god-send and that ML should marry her, and that his family wouldn't care that she is underaged. WTF AUTHOR I CAN'T-

If you think this is not child-grooming just because it is not sexual then you are deluded. I see reviews here trying to justify that ML did not approach FL with sexual intent and only confesses to her when she is 20 and therefore this is not grooming but a sweet romance. I wonder if we are reading the same novel... ML is already aware that he is attracted towards her and feels jealousy when he sees her beings friends with a male student. Although there is no sexual intent shown, his romantic attraction to her is extremely clear and he admits it as well. If not, why would he think of her when his family tries to matchmake him to other women? The intention is clear, stop deluding yourself fellow readers.

If you want to read romance, there are tons of it on this site, this is not it. Child-grooming is not romantic and it is sick to justify manipulating of underaged girls under the guise of romance. <<less
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nnshii
nnshii rated it
May 21, 2020
Status: Completed
Edit : typo & sentences
Forgive me for my english.

First, for those who came for the romance, just know that this is a very slow romance. It focuses more on the Fl's growth and academic journey. But I really recommend for you guys to read this. It also easy to mtl.

What I could learn from this novel is parents not always right. Forcing, deciding their children life in the name of love is not actually love. This is so true especially for asian parents. The FL's mother is not perfect... more>> and make many mistakes, she doesn't understand her child at first but thank god she wake up and gradually learn how to be a good mother.

My heart was hurt and really mad at the ML's parents. I couldn't believe such parents really exist (unfortunately this kind of parents really exist). They force ML to do this and that in the name of love. I'm so mad because I know sometimes my own mom also used to say something like this.
Spoiler

the ML's parents never try to understand their son. They force him to go to blind date and secretly arrange blind date for him even though he said no. His own grandfather colluded with his uncle to kill him. Yet the parents only angry for a while then ask him to forgive his grandfather using "oh that your own grandfather, how could you do this to him blablabla. "


Every time they appeared in the novel, I feel so angry, so mad. They angry at their son for forcing them to leave abroad and not being fillial. But does they even try to understand the feeling of their own son ?! He was raised as a heir, not as son. They don't even give him love that parents should give to their child.
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This novel is beautifully written. It's great. It shows the realistic take of friendship, family relationship and the hardship of students.

ML ? Oh boy, the FL and ML's ages gap is 9 years old. If ML is a real person some people now might not accept or say that the ML's is a sexual predator. The ML never force the FL to be in relationship with him. Instead he waits for her. He acts as her mentor and friend. He teach her how to handle things. He lets her decide her own path. The ML is someone who FL can trust and the only one who she can tell everything.

My thought on FL's friend, Shu Lan and Yu Cheng
Spoiler

How I wish Shu Lan and Yu Cheng has a happy ending ! They love each other so much ! But Yu Cheng's parents disagree and keep yu cheng feeling guilty while using parents love, like ' look your behaviour is making your dad sick, mom is sad because you". I cried when Shu Lan died. She died because she want to save Yu Cheng's life. I cried when Yu Cheng goes crazy after that. Every moments, he keeps uttering Shu Lan name. But I never feel sad or sympathy for Yu Cheng's parents. They force Yu Cheng to break up with Shu Lan. Force him to marry a girl 'who is on par with yu cheng'.

I remember what the ML said,
if Yu Cheng died, the pain and regret will go away in the passage of time. But witnessing their own son went crazy because of them will make them forever remember the mistakes they make. And I agree with this. I just wish perhaps in the next life, Shu Lan and Yu Cheng will be together happily.

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This novels is a great novel. I recommend you guys read this. <<less
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calledout
calledout rated it
June 8, 2020
Status: Completed
this is what I want from a campus romance!!! focus on studying!! have a little drama on the side solved by your own ability!! bonus points for ceo love interest and slow burn AND love interest falls in love first! oh my god everythings good about this novel. wish I wasnt blasting through the chapters because I realize now that I should savor her high school memories... wow

i finished the novel and I can only say that this made me pull an allnighter the week of my finals. if only... more>> all romances on novelupdates were as sweet as this. I think I will reread this novel many times in the future, but cherish this memory of the first discovery. I really dont know what to say... this made me remember my high school romance and think about what could have been, and made me want to take advantage of the time I have now to live life to my fullest. I really love the main couple. I dont think theres a sweeter male lead than lin zhihua. I probably wont find a better BG novel than this. <<less
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Ame79
Ame79 rated it
August 29, 2020
Status: c122
I finished reading the MTL of this novel and it was so good, I just had to leave a review so that more people would read it.

First good point : FL is great. Her personnality is so cute but strong. She has talents but she knows that she is not the best. So she cover her flaws with hard work. She works her ass off and it's thanks to this tenacity that she can make a name for herself. Unlike in other novels, she does not lose herself into love... more>> and forget all her past dreams and hopes because she has a strong male lead to support her.

She has a passion and never forget what she promised herself. She loves maths and work like nobody else to be a respected mathematicien, hoping to not waste her second chance. She has 2% of talent and 8% of tenacity. She is mature and make the best choices for her life. I really like her, she is one of the reasons why I like this novel.

Second good point : This novel is real and sad. It talks about regrets, the pursue of our dreams, the family and love. It made me cry so much my eyes are still red. The characters are not all black or all white. The vilains can have redemption, they can understand and apologize or... they can grit their teeths and never admit but they all feel more human than those in webnovels with countless worthless face slaps. Some characters really moved me, this story told us about the struggle of kids and parents. It told us about suicide, relationships and hope. It told us about unrequitted love and it's pain. It told us about so many things but it was all about the lives of some people. Rich or poor, until their last breath. I cried at the end because it was too beautiful.

Third good point : The male leads are a little better too. First male lead is 9 years older than FL but he is not too overbearing. He remind me of a sentence " there is a great woman in the shadow of a great man " but he is the great man in the shadow of the great woman. He helped her without making decisions for her. He guided her but it was her choice at the end. He never forced her to do anything. He loved her for so many years but he still waited for her to grow up and to accept his feelings for her. Even when she couldn't see him because she was busy, he never forced her to abandon her work for him, instead he even helped her as a mentor to achieve her dreams (when she was still young). He still waited and loved her without indering her career. ML was perfect man. He was lonely and tr*shed by his own family but he still lived with a smile to give warmth and support to FL.

The second ML was also so good. He was one of the best characters. He was funny and had a sunny and naive personnality he didn't think too much but just knew that he loved FL and he was ready to do anything for her but he didn't consider her feelings and didn't know how to coax her. FL had high iq but low eq moreover she was never really loved in her life. Her past life was so sad and the only thing she could do was to study to have a better life and realize the wish of her grandpa. In her head, love was not necessary and she was a little afraid when someone gave her too much care. She ignored her own feelings and told him to go in a better university and live a good life without sacrificing himself for her. He loved her and she loved him too but her love was not strong enough to make her abandon her reason. It was only something a little more than friendship... but she was more mature than him and knew that they weren't suited for each other. He was young and didn't know how to reassure her and cultivate her love for him. He had a chance to go out with her but didn't seize it. Even if he seized it, it wasn't sure that they would have ended up together like she did with first ML.

Anyways, his love life didn't end well. He was only left with pain and a little obsession but he still reluctancly wished her a happy life at the end even if he still didn't let go of her. I was so sad for him that I cried with him. It was their fist love but she forgot it while he squeezed it. It was really sad. It's even more painful when you already had an unrequited love. Seeing him like this broke me.

But like the novel said, love is not life. You can live with a broken heart. It will heal one day. Maybe there will be a scar but you'll stand up again.

The main subject of this story is not love. FL fulfilled her dreams and went higher. She made up with her family, she grew up with, some people left and some remained, she loved a man. She had her own family then died with a smile. <<less
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adurian
adurian rated it
August 25, 2020
Status: c54
One of those isekaied into villainess stories, this time supposedly not bent on revenge but instead aiming to avoid problems and succeed at school instead. But boy, is the MC really bent on stirring up sh*t by herself. Not only that, behaviour of main love interest is exceedingly creepy, but especially so with cases of the rich and powerful being paedophiles and groomers in real life.

MC is supposed to be a young adult transported to a teenager's body, but seems strangely naïve and willing to listen to instructions/guidance of near... more>> completely definitely fishy stranger (as long as he's handsome amirite). The usual trope of the whole world conspiring against MC who's a rival love interest is there, but for someone who self implies she wants to stay low and live out her life peacefully, she's certainly not trying too hard and is very willing to be dragged into very avoidable kerfuffle.

Main love interest is as usual a powerful, cold, very handsome adult with questionable morals chasing a teenage girl. Every facet of his behaviour is questionable, from stalking, trying to shoehorn himself into her life, and trying to create discord between MC and her family. Love interest is apparently a psychic, able to predict behaviour of MC's family member without having ever met or talked to them, and is seemingly actively steering the MC to conflict with them so that she would fall back to him as her saviour.

Just another one of those isekai romance with a bad boy only heroine could tame. <<less
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JessFS
JessFS rated it
February 28, 2021
Status: c161
I would absolutely love this novel if it weren't for the ML. If the ML was Yi Tianyu (I think he's annoying af, but he's still better than that creepo ML), Cheng Mingzhe, or even any other character to be introduced yet (I would prefer this last option), this novel would be 1000x better.

... more>>
Spoiler

That Lin guy is a creep who became obsessed with a kid, started following the kid around (he follows her to parks, to random streets, to her school, to her home, it's absurd), manipulated her to think of himself as a "safe person" (I don't care if he's never hurt her before, his obsessive behavior screams unsafe to me), he monitors her schedule and her life (he always appears at weird times, like that time she was crying at the park and he popped up out of nowhere there, or the most recent time, when he's supposed to be f*cking living his life in Beijing and he appears uninvited at an important event at another city, just because he couldn't stand the idea of this high school girl being happy and for once acting like a kid by posting a photo with the probably only person she can call a friend. Honestly, maybe if he didn't exist, she could've actually have tried to establish a healthy relationship with her new family (which would be hard and angst-y, yeah, but that's life), could have been closer to Yi Tianyu and that other X-something classmate, and maybe even have made some girlfriends. I don't know, I just feel it would be completely different. I really feel that the ML is an obstacle in her life. Instead of support her to empower herself, he makes her dependant on himself.

I really want to get her a restriction order against this mf. Especially after reading the most recent chapters where he literally f*cked up his hand, just because he couldn't stand seeing her interacting with a boy her age.

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hejikkk
hejikkk rated it
July 30, 2020
Status: c41
i really like the MC. very hard working and she has the guts to voice out things that she doesn't like. also the first time ive seen someone who's drive is n't wanting to get a boyfriend like literally every other novel out there coughs studying lol. the style of the transmigration is also very natural. I like how the new body isn't super different in age, so her actions are more realistic and less cringy. its also interesting to see the MC struggle and get hurt due to the... more>> body's complications for once, instead of one-sidely destroying all her enemies. her problems are also very applicable to real life too (family struggles which don't completely revolve around murder yk) so that's a nice touch.

my one complaint is with the ml: okay he isnt bad he's just too much of a..... ML (if you get what I mean???). super rich, super handsome, cold exterior, fell in love wayyyy too quickly etc etc. so far his personality seems very bland, but he keeps showing up out of no where 24/7 in situations for them to cultivate feelings. he's not exactly closely related to any other characters either, so for now his appearances just feel like random boring and awkward filler episodes lol. not exactly supporting their relationship atm... i lowkey really want her to end up with the second ML but we all know that will never happen rip <<less
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drollawake
drollawake rated it
July 11, 2020
Status: c30
I don't want to rag on this too much because that feels like picking on an entire subgenre... but the novel reads like a guilty pleasure that masquerades itself as "not like the other girls."

Take away the trappings of the protagonist's nerdy behavior and the novel shows itself to be as mature as an idol drama. I find it heavy-handed in its treatment of the themes and it continues with the generic trope of a plucky young hardworker who happens to be the only one to catch the eye of... more>> a seemingly unattainable man.

What rattles me the most is the mixed messaging. Apparently, the protagonist is so pretty that the author has to tell you about it many times, from the thoughts of her adversaries to the thoughts of her potential suitors. Like, don't forget she's beautiful too, as if she can't stand on the merits of only her hard work. These parts of the novel really detract from the central message the synopsis wants to convey, instead taking it deep into the territory of wish fulfillment. Her beauty exists solely to be praised by the author and to make the readers feel good by extension.

The more genre-specific parts of my review I enclose in the spoilers below. Subtract a star or more from my rating if you agree.

Spoiler

The love interest is a man who does not hesitate to approach a 16 year old when she's alone while concealing his true intentions. For all the insistence that she is too young, he makes no effort to ensure their interactions take place in settings that are safer for her (e.g. alone time in his car?!), much less distance himself from her. Saving his life or not, wouldn't it be appropriate to let her parents know that she is exchanging texts frequently with an older male stranger? That's dangerous internet chatroom area.

Don't give me that crap about her mental age being older. That's what all the pervs say to everyone, including their victims, to make it sound okay. She'd only just completed the high school examinations before transmigrating, with no prior experience with a dating relationship. She in all her naivety thinks he's this grateful guy that just wants to be friends but that's not true! And it's not like he knows about the transmigration anyway.

Given the dodgy circumstances under which they are interacting, the onus is on the adult to be responsible and say no to the the gonads' desire to get closer to her. Maybe stay away from her until she's an adult AND perhaps after the power dynamics are no longer unbalanced? Reminder: he knows he's the adult here and his whining about her age sounds so empty when juxtaposed with his grooming.

Seriously, these romance novels need to stop romanticizing grooming behavior. The setting isn't even in ancient China, where being creepy has a different standard.

And what is with his sl*t shaming? Apparently, some other matchmade girl is not worthy of him because he dug up dirt on her having had six ex-boyfriends and an abortion in the past. Dude, you creeping on her history aside, accidents happen and I don't see you walking children in nature or offering to adopt unwanted children. Get off your high horse. The only person you'll ever date is someone you started grooming from the age of 16. I'm sure you know what makes for a good relationship.

It's so eye-rolling for the genre to place sexual purity on this pedestal and put down random cannon fodder women just to make the protagonist look good. That's what happens when you rely on something as shallow as falling in love at first sight but you don't want the protagonist to look undeserving and have readers hate her.

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mustachemerlin
mustachemerlin rated it
July 25, 2021
Status: c82
Can you just live up to the title and NOT have romance? Or, if you do, make it the nice deskmate that's actually her age and acts like a human being? This would be a great story about a little delinquent girl navigating her family issues and grinding out textbooks to change her life and dominate the class rankings, but they add this inane plotline about some generic overbearing CEO that preys on little girls and acts like an emotionless robot that does literally everything with perfect precision.

The CEO is... more>> totally worthless. His character is a cardboard cutout, he has no feelings, the only conflict he ever has is a token effort "as a rich and powerful adult, is it really okay to fall in love with a minor" which the answer is, NO, but the story doesn't care about that... His plotline is completely generic and uninspired, and he contributes nothing of value to the story, worse, he even drags down the valuable and interesting plotline about the protagonist's rocky relationship with her mother, which would otherwise be very good. The emotional impact of scenes in which she confronts her family is totally ruined by her reading off a script on her phone from the CEO instructing her every move... when absolutely nobody would have bat an eye if the protagonist just... said those things on her own??? The CEO didn't need to be in that scene at all, he personally ruined it!

And the secondary male lead! He's so good! He's too good! He can perfectly replace the CEO in all roles he plays and be infinitely better in every way! He has chemistry and banter with the protagonist, he's not some perfect robot, he has family issues and flaws and he tries really hard. He's a total slacker that just wants to play basketball, but for the protagonist he goes out of his way to study and try hard to the point his parents think he's been replaced! He works hard and goes from ranked dead last to second to last place, and it's lovely. He's really dumb but has a good heart, he repeatedly stands up for the protagonist straight to her parents, teachers, malicious stepsisters, bravely and in person. Not to mention, he is also handsome and rich, he doesn't lose to the CEO at all. And then the protagonist goes on to say "wu wu wu the CEO is my only friend, nobody else in the world cares about me" after said CEO... buys her an expensive watch and tells her she should just cut off her family and not care about them to avoid getting hurt. LIKE...? Are you s*upid? He's terrible, that's horrible advice, and he's also stalking you... and you have a much better friend RIGHT. THERE. what the heck. Author if you can write a male lead this good why on earth is the real male lead so tr*sh??

Everything the CEO contributes is either totally redundant and unneeded, or could be better done by another, better character. If you just ripped him and everything involving him out of the story entirely, you would be left with a much better and more coherent story full of meaningful and well written characters. He's so worthless that ripping him out entirely wouldn't even change the plot, why is he even here? This male lead singlehandedly drags down an otherwise great and insightful story to the realm of generic and forgettable, yet another in a loooong line of exactly identical cookie cutter romance novels. The CEO makes this one of those stories you'd see in a "Quick Transmigration" novel where the protagonist jumps into a bunch of half-baked trope worlds to wreck the generic plot. This is the half-baked trope world. It's like the kind of fake TV show you'd see as set dressing in a videogame except real. It's a disgusting waste of potential and it makes me sad, this could have been so good. <<less
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Pristine Xia
Pristine Xia rated it
November 29, 2020
Status: Completed
Omg the feels. Despite the seemingly light-hearted title, the story is pretty deep with plenty of meaningful conflicts. Thumbs up for character developments, especially to some who can be considered as 'cannon fodders'.

Not all 'life lessons' told in this story ended happily, but I can easily get immersed in what the author is trying to tell/share to the readers. I want to praise the author for having very excellent insights.

I really learnt a lot from this story. Somehow, I also found closure regarding several of my past behavior/experience especially when... more>> I was in the female lead's position of facing the exams in senior high school and when dealing with university's activities.

Spoiler

This novel has HEA and the novel's mood is quite enjoyable for most of the chapters. In addition, there are several extra chapters after the ending. Fair warning, the last extra chapter has the potential to make anyone feel touched, reflect, and/or even cry. Personally, I feel super bittersweet about it and has the urge to sob upon male lead's first departure. Maybe, because I have read the story from start to finish and grew along with the characters so the last extra chapter truly hits deep

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Also,

Spoiler

Prepare your heart for potential second male lead syndrome :')

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Overall, this novel is such a precious gem. I have a fun and meaningful time reading this. I mtl-ed it halfway and it's still easy to understand. Thank you author and translation team who worked hard to share this story.

P.S: dear author, if you understand English and happen to read this, I'd love to have a chat and talk about life with you😀

P.P.S: so glad to finish reading this and write a review of it on my birthday date x) <<less
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Janushree
Janushree rated it
October 30, 2020
Status: --
Why this novel is worth your time?

1. People make mistakes and they learn to overcome it.

2. MC is just 16 and she behaves and has priorities just like any other student.

... more>> 3. A decent ML who has high EQ.

4. A plot without any cutthroat drama that makes it to be happy.

Personally I like the fact that MC knows that the 'cheat' is not valid forever. She firmly believes that she is ordinary and has to put more effort.

<spoiler> A very healthy competition to remain first with a very talented peer called Chu Sheng. She knows that he is so talented that without the cheat she would have not caught up to him.</spoiler>

Another aspect of this novel is that ML knows that a 15 year old would not have much interest in romance and he would not be a predator. He wants to be part of her success and failure so much that he chose to be a reliable mentor during her young age.

Few get creeped out saying it is grooming a future wife but I have to say the ML have not much choice due to his condition and deals with like a mature responsible adult.

MC's mother comes of very wrong at the start but she puts quite an effort and infact learns to be a mother. She realises that she is not right just because she gave birth. The is wonderful portrayal of her struggles to accept that her daughter is not her extended limb and she can choose to leave her any time.

There is no convoluted relationships with her step father and brother despite misleading hints throughout the first half of the story. Father and brother come to cherish MC quite a lot that they forget she is a step daughter tot he family.

This is one of the rare novels where the MC does what and doesn't loose her mind for love. She is a strong character who believes love is only one part of a human's life.

This is a must read for addicts like me who a resigned to date of crappy novels with dramas and a good surprise for people of conservative tastes. <<less
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Grerutin
Grerutin rated it
September 28, 2020
Status: c75
It's face slapping, with the added bonus of our ML teach Xuejiao important ideas, like stop fighting for the love of people who are prejudiced against you, moments of affection from someone do not make up for serious shortcoming and violence, people's attitudes towards you can and will change when it personally benefits them so don't be fooled by them, etc.

Just a whole lot of fantastic things that ive been dying to scream at all of these reborn FLs who are running back to their murderers.
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Blubber_faults
Blubber_faults rated it
August 23, 2020
Status: c54
So far, I like where things are going. I have no complaints against the FL but yes, I do find her family annoying.

I am uncomfortable with who I think the ML is because... Well, like someone has mentioned. "Grooming." He definitely does seem like he's grooming her... sitting outside her school. Texting her etc. So this part, I find it hard to get over.
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Aurinne
Aurinne
June 22, 2021
Status: c185
Provisional rating: An underwhelming 3/5.

The main issue I have with this story is that it's boring.

Perhaps if you haven't read many of these soul transmigration face-slapping stories, or you just really enjoy chilling with an extremely shallow and mindless read, then you might not find it boring. However, at the 186th chapter, I'm finding myself completely uninterested in the MC or the ML. I know they will get together in the end, so, although I like relationships that are developed rather than rushed, it's just rather tedious getting there with... more>> this one.

This second male lead is also annoying because the author is spending so much time on him, but it just feels like a pointless waste of time since she's not going to end up with him. It feels like you're wanting to read about Harry Potter and Voldemort but the story keeps getting sidetracked with some other character.

It actually has a number of things going for it - a female lead who does her own thing without getting distracted by everyone's drama; an MC who transmigrates and has a somewhat realistic relationship development with her family - rather than either caring for them immediately or never being affected by them; a slightly nuanced portrayal of her mother and step-father, romance not her main goal...

The problem is that I'm just bored by the process. It's very repetitive.

Then there's the ML. You can tell the author has tried to make him someone who she can depend on because he's more mature, someone who can support her, understand her and help her with what is really important to her. It's clearly supposed to be a slowly-developing relationship based on personality/character. The problem is that he's not actually in her life. He's outside of it, peripheral, and there's no reason for them to intersect. The result is, first of all, that we don't see him much and instead get chapters full of the second male lead, which feels frustrating when we know he's not the end game. The second result is that the author has to turn him into a creepy stalker or else he never has any way of being in the story. He monitors her - so that he can be there if she (the story) needs him - is constantly checking up with her - so he can understand how she's feeling (have thoughtful conversations so the reader sees how caring he is) - and shows up unexpectedly when he thinks she needs him ot he wants to get her attention - which of course shows how he'll prioritise her over his work (how else will the author ever get the two of them to meet??).

There are many things that might have been romantic if they shared the same environment, but instead it all comes off as awkward and contrived at best (and could be downright creepy, if you're not already numb to the way possessiveness and control are considered romantic in many CN novels and realise that he's pretty mild compared to many stories).

I also get pretty tired of the way beauty is a character virtue in many CN novels. Of course, the MC must be beautiful, but it's also a sign of her character being more highly judged when she changes from the original body owner's rebellious appearance and suddenly the stunning beauty that nobody had ever noticed becomes apparent. She's worthy because she's beautiful, because she's beautiful people are more likely to believe in her virtue. When a rival character loses their beauty, suddenly people start to think that they misjudged her and she wasn't that good after all. The reader is supposed to find this satisfying - the rival character deserved it - but I find the attitude of everyone around her appalling. This isn't exclusive to this novel - in fact, it's moderate compared to many I've read (especially the entertainment industry ones), but the story needs to be better for it not to annoy me as much.

I persisted for 185 chapters because the lightweight writing is easy to read and I liked the premise and aspects of the MC's character and familial relationships. Others may enjoy these things and not mind the things that were negatives for me. But I can't really recommend it for anyone who's looking for a quality story.

P.S. One final note about the "grooming" issue that others have argued over. I think that all of the ML's behaviour is clearly intended to be romantic. I think it's fine to read it and enjoy it as romance. However, we should always endeavour to identify when problematic real-world attitudes are being reflected in stories. Always take a bit of time to think about the messages, concepts, stereotypes and attitudes a story reinforces (often unintentionally) and how they shape our general ideas of how it is normal to behave. In real life, being rich, handsome and lonely would NOT be an excuse for the ML's behaviour (regardless of whether you consider it grooming) and it's important that we catch things like this that might influence our real life concepts subconsciously. As long as we have that critical part of our brain on alert, we can continue to enjoy stories while consciously separating them from real life. It's when we can't be critical that it's reading these stories becomes a problem. <<less
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wonyoung
wonyoung rated it
April 3, 2021
Status: c170
I don't know what's with these authors' obsession with having an old ass powerful ML and a minor FL If you want them to be together so bad at least make them meet later jeez, I get meeting early was necessary and some parts were fairly cute but let him take a low-key stance rather than popping up everywhere and grooming her in the name of pampering her. Besides that, this wasn't anything remarkable, it was really really generic, for a second I thought I had already read it, nope,... more>> that had been another LN or manhua because the chapter I was reading had just been translated last year and I hadn't read any LN in 2020 plus this doesn't have a manhua. It is not original at all, it just recycles a bunch of ideas from other works (and not even good ones, after all this is just yet another face slapping LN with braindead villains, the characters don't behave like normal people), you won't be missing out on anything if you don't read this. I guess maybe what I had read had copied this, idk but so many scenes are generic, I doubt this is the blueprint.

Maybe 1 star was too mean, but this has such a high rating I don't think it deserves. I was expecting better, I guess it's entertaining though, and if you turn a blind eye to the age gap they can be kind of cute (but the main characters aren't even remarkable, the ML is the typical cold powerful handsome man that only has a soft spot for the FL to highlight how special she is), and who can turn a blind eye to pedophilia? Don't romanticize it. <<less
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