Your Memes Are Better Looking Than You


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Gu Wei, the popular yet controversial lead dancer of boy band T.ATW.

Jiang Xun, a god-tier professional esports player.

One day, after a certain variety show aired, these complete strangers became a trending topic together.

Gu Wei’s Anti-Fans: Do these two have anything to do with each other? Gu Wei is absolutely shameless. He’ll try to leech fame off anything that moves, even esports legends. Ignore him, ignore him!

Fans of Jiang Xun’s Technique: If our God Xun wanted to, he could buy this whole country. If he’s playing around with some nameless celeb, he’ll just play until he gets bored and moves on.

But before long, an unexpectedly heated controversy sparked around the two:

Jiang Xun slacks off during a livestream to promote a celebrity!

Jiang Xun’s little brother Jiang Ying says he’s being forced to defend his nemesis Gu Wei against anti-fans!

Gu Wei, Jiang Xun… a shocking affair?!

Netizens: ???

The two do have talks of an engagement brewing between them, but it wasn’t Jiang Xun who Gu Wei fell for first… it was Jiang Xun’s reaction memes.

When Jiang Xun first met Gu Wei, he came away with the impression that Gu Wei was his diehard fan. He never would have imagined Gu Wei was only a fan of his memes.

Gu Wei: Ge… I think your reaction memes are better looking than you.

Jiang Xun: Little Gu, you’re a little rebel, aren’t you?

Then, affection gradually began to grow between the two. Gu Wei finally mustered up the courage to confess his feelings to Jiang Xun.

Gu Wei: Jiang Xun, I think I’ve started to ship us.

Jiang Xun, fiercely: You’re late. I’ve already become your stan.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Meme của anh đẹp hơn người thật
Related Series
Your Scandals Are Way Cuter Than You (Shared Universe)
You Boys Play Games Very Well (7)
PUBG Online Romance of the Century (4)
FOG (3)
Guide on How to Fail at Online Dating (3)
I Can Do It (3)
The E-Sports Circle’s Toxic Assembly Camp (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. fav reread danmei
  2. finished reading
  3. Read (Completed + Favorites)
  4. e-sports | gaming
  5. all novels i've read

Latest Release

Date Group Release
02/04/23 KnoxT c30
02/04/23 KnoxT c23
02/04/23 KnoxT c21
02/04/23 KnoxT c22
02/04/23 KnoxT c25
02/04/23 KnoxT c29
02/04/23 KnoxT c28
02/04/23 KnoxT c27
02/04/23 KnoxT c26
02/04/23 KnoxT c24
02/04/23 KnoxT c23
02/04/23 KnoxT c21
02/04/23 KnoxT c22
02/03/23 KnoxT c20
04/08/21 78zaoTL c96
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August 22, 2021
Status: c32
So many of the reviews here claim that ML is a bad guy who sexually harasses MC who doesn't want the attention, and I think perhaps a lot of those reviews come from people who don't understand how flirting works when someone is a bit shy or naive like MC. Take this bit as an example:


[If Your Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Ge, have you thought about what you actually need?
[Filthy Adult]: Then, my family needs a daughter-in-law who can call me 'husband' in bed, want to try calling it out?

Gu Wei stared at his phone.


From this response, one could assume our MC Gu Wei was taken aback; this is often how he responds to ML's flirting - but check out the next lines:


"What are you staring at the railing giggling about?"

The familiar voice came from behind him.

Gu Wei jumped, scared half to death, and instinctively used his fingers to cover his WeChat messages.


If a third party hadn't been present to call him out, we wouldn't have known he was GIGGLING about ML's flirty messages. Suffice it to say, MC is enjoying himself being the target of ML's affection; he's not some helpless victim, he could easily block this guy and leave him be, but instead, he chases after him wanting to buy him presents and being utterly adorable. Stop slandering ML just for being h**ny; they're consenting adults and not every interaction has to be rated PG-13.
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yuukiouji rated it
February 24, 2021
Status: c96
One word: LOL!!

Do you experience second-hand embarrassment when watching your "cute-but-drastically-misunderstood-mc" trying to (barely) live his best life out there, only to deliver his hamster-behind on a platter to a mischievous, teasing wolf?

Yep... I laughed. I covered my face. I said, "Oh my precious baby oh no."

Gu Wei gets misunderstood. It seems there's more to it, and we'll get to see why he has so many anti-fans. He's a little bit awkward socially while being his authentic self, while he's explosive on stage. There's barely-there hints within the first 20... more>> chapters indicating that his "terrible public image" isn't all that it seems. We know he's a pretty good boy, so how do his actions get so misconstrued? I'm curious to find out.

We also have our champion e-sports gamer, Jiang Xun (ML), who also absolutely misunderstands the hamster initially which results in a hilarious confusion between the two, but that's resolved quickly


(and resolved in a pleasing way, as we see that MC is the honest type that knows when to admit his wrongs and explain the misunderstanding, and the ML who gives leeway but can't help but tease - and I mean TEASE - his "young bride.") Yes, MC and ML's parents try to introduce them to each other via WeChat, which helps lend to the hilarious first meeting-misunderstanding. The arranged marriage part isn't a huge point (so far). Both MC and ML like guys and ML is admittedly a little more interested in MC than MC is in ML so far. You could say that ML is even a tad bit "protective" in his own, minor way. It seems like he wants to figure out this misunderstanding and help clear it... maybe one day. He is curious about MC, but also concerned as to how MC has such a bad rep on social media/in entertainment despite how he knows Gu Wei isn't a bad kid. About midway, we find out more about this!


All in all, the main premise seems to follow the two and their relationship. It's a fun, silly, and sweet read. I like their interactions a lot. I recommend this! And props to the translator for doing such a great job so far!! 👏 Looking for a silly/cute read? Check this novel out. :)

Edit: I came back to add, again, that the translator is awesome. mojibake/78taoTL uploads at such a satisfying rate and their translations are quality. Thank you translator!!

Edit 2: Jiangxun is so good for Gu Wei. They are so good together. Also, GU WEI PROTECTION SQUAD, UNITE!!! I love Gu Wei so much. We must protect our hamster hedgehog baby, together with Jiang Xun!

Edit 3: While this story is funny and all love, please be aware there are triggering topics. Our baby does suffer from depression, amongst others difficulties. Just be aware and take care of yourselves when reading. <<less
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P2wo rated it
April 16, 2021
Status: Completed
I found the novel's name quite hilarious and decided to give it a try. The story is average, a good read but not the best.

Here is a list of merits and demerits:


1. The supporting characters are very good, especially ML's brother Jiang Ying and a MC's fan named Yi Qing. They sincerely rock. This story actually has a sequel with Jiang Ying as the MC and I can't wait to read it. Although all of the supporting characters are not quite fleshed out, they are still lively. Some of them... more>> are actually more interesting than the main characters.

2. There are mainly three goals of this story—resolve MC's controversies, deal with MC's mental health issues and MC and ML's engagement. All of them are solved properly. Especially with serious issues like phobia and depression, things could easily get bad but author did a good job on it.

3. ML's family is cool. They are very supportive of MC and ML relationship (well, the family arranged for the engagement) as well as encouraging and supportive of their career.

4. Both MC and ML were confirmed gay on the first few chapters. We don't really see this is many BL stories so it was quite refreshing.

5. There isn't any dissing of the fact that they are gay. Everyone accepts it well. Although this totally isn't realistic, it still feel nice to read positive things like this.

6. Pacing of the story is nice. Things don't get dragged out too much.

7. Netizens were also handled properly by the author. They certainly had presence in the story but they didn't overwhelm the plot.

8. I must shout out to the translation team as well because the translation was truly wonderful. Hats off!

9. I had never read a story that actually focused on how fan groups work and how they support their idols. This story shows few aspects related to fan base and it was very touching to see that not only the idols but their true fans are also working hard. It was really satisfying.


1. Boring dynamic of MC and ML. MC is the evergreen type 'shou'—meek, naive, cute, submissive and the like. And ML is also the typical 'gong'—overbearing, a big pe*vert, always teasing MC in a s*xual way, black-bellied and so forth. Well even without reading the story, you can imagine what their romance is gonna be like. So the story didn't bring anything new to the romance aspect. Since I have already read countless of novels with such relationship dynamic, it just fell flat, boring and dull. Side characters were actually more impressive than the main characters. As I have already mentioned, ML's brother as well as a girl named Yi Qing easily became highlight of the story.


MC's agency actually had the proof to clear the controversies surrounding MC but didn't do it. He suffered from anti-fans dissing him everywhere for two whole years. And only when ML entered the scene that the agency made a deal with ML to clear the whole story. Like wtf!!! The agency just ignored everything. That got me pretty pissed off.


3. All these other reviews are pretty much raving about how fluffy the story is but I clearly didn't feel any fluff. The first time MC and ML talked was on WeChat account and it was all misunderstanding so it was extremely hilarious. That was good. BUT the first time ML and MC meet face-to-face,

MC accidentally hits ML on the c*otch with umbrella handle and hastily apologizes, guess what ML says? He whispers to MC's ear that apologizing isn't enough and asks whether MC will blow 'it' for him.

God that was truly horrifying. At that time they didn't know each other personally. ML knew MC was his fiance chosen by their parents but they weren't clearly engaged yet. Anyways, even after that, ML is just sexually teasing, 'punishing' and harassing MC any chance he gets. To me personally, this is pretty toxic. I would have blocked such a filthy and pe*verted old virg*n as*hole right from the start both in real life and social media. Well, this is my personal opinion. <<less
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BanniNotBunny rated it
June 2, 2021
Status: c90
Don't get fooled by the name of the novel and expect some hilarious comedy.

Comedy isn't that great.

Plot is good but not that impressive.

... more>> Almost 60% of the novel is filled with bulletins/comments of MC's fans/antifans.

Side characters are good and very supportive. Fluff is good but not excessive.

Romance : It's light. Natural development of relationship. But the couple is not worth remembering. Relationship is healthy.

ML is typical stereotype, the one who likes to bully the MC. But he is very respectful and supportive of MC.

One of the good point is that the misunderstandings are resolved soon and they are not so much that they become irritating.

I really really don't like such novels which are based upon misunderstandings and lack of communication between the couple. But this novel is not in that category.

Translation is good.

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redfeathersgirl rated it
May 18, 2021
Status: c27
With the high ratings, I had a high expectations for this novel. But I was greatly disappointed.

Others said that the ML was creepy, but no one said about how annoying the MC was. The clumsiness and misunderstandings made me cringe, if I was the ML.. I would probably punched MC for all the humiliations he made towards me. But ML only laughed and spanked MC instead.

I quit reading this. The MC was unlikeable. Overall, this novel was meh
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QCY rated it
April 10, 2021
Status: Completed
Tbh, I was surprised at how high quality the writing was. For a translator group that I don't remember ever seeing before, they did a superb job. Props to them!
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xuexxi rated it
March 26, 2021
Status: c90
tldr; if you're looking for a lighthearted, cute read, would definitely recommend

first off, the story is pretty light and funny, the romance progression is fast but natural, just great for binge-reading. Both of the leads are likeable- Gu Wei is a very shy and an earnest person, Jiang Xun is super flirty but always considerate towards the other and never forces him.

what I really appreciate is the healthy relationship between the two; both leads are straightforward and honest with each other so misunderstandings and conflict are minimal. If you wanna... more>> avoid angst (like me :p), this is a perfect read :> <<less
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tricksyness rated it
May 27, 2021
Status: c34
I'm trying my best to muddle through this novel since it has a lot of good reviews, but tbh I too am one of the few who isn't too fond of the MC. He sticks his foot in it every time and even tried to push off the blame towards the ML at times. Honestly, I admire ML for being so patient with him lol.

A lot of secondhand embarrassment reading this, and if you think MC making clumsy mistakes (like misliking, mistagging, misretweeting, and all the other embarrassing mistakes you... more>> can make online) to move the plot along is cute, I guess this novel would be right up your alley. Personally, I just find it frustrating. Why is he even allowed to handle his own social media, I don't even know... <<less
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rnoshi rated it
August 4, 2021
Status: Completed
Honestly... quite cringy.. I sped through it. Cute but cringe, the writing style feels a bit 15 year old on wattpad writing fan fiction.

Definitely has been rated too highly by others.
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enaillig rated it
June 24, 2021
Status: c11
I personally think this is nice for a light read, you might even find their little interactions cute and adorable... but eh, the writing style isn't probably my cup of tea because I find it cringe instead. The misunderstandings are meh. ... more>>

for example, when MC sent out a vent post about ML on his moments, he made sure to block ML so he couldn't see it, but as a result he made it visible to ML only. Who would make such a noob mistake? Unless you're new to internet, probably. Another thing, MC accidentally hit ML's c*otch area with an umbrella while filming a TV show, ML knows there are cameras, so what? You kabedon him right then and there and whispers, "Blow it for me" because you won't accept his apology?????

Lastly, MC expects a client to add him. But it wasn't the client who add him, instead it was the ML. so MC mistook him for his client and immediately chat him up, he said ambiguous words such as 'treating him as sponsor if he'll subscribe' and that his job is 'hard for the body' and ML misunderstood that MC is looking for a sugar daddy. I mean I would've the same reaction as ML. What kind of seller does not make clear what kind of products/service they're selling to their new customers, and not even confirming the identity of their customers first? For the sake of the just adding flavor to the story, I'll put a blind eye to that. But I think the MC is just downright s*upid, not naive. I don't get how he could still survive in the entertainment circle for being like that.


Couldn't quite get a feel of both the entertainment and E-sports circle overlapping as well. Well perhaps it's my fault for having too much expectations, maybe you can try it and see if you can get a feel. It's just not for me.

I'll rate it 2 but made it 3 for the reason I didn't even get to the middle of the story, I don't want to destroy the ratings. <<less
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Shortk rated it
May 27, 2021
Status: c27
I have no idea why this is rated so high. At best I think it could be a 3. I'm just so tired of this relationship based on naive misunderstandings which are both cliche and aggravating when it continues to continue with different ones to contribute to some sort of "romance"? What. Ok basically their relationship is being slowly built by the misunderstanding of unintentional s*xual innuendos galore. Like when one ends, another begins. At this point is the MC so innocent and dumb. I guess so wow. People like... more>> this and aren't forehead slapping like me every time I suppose. I've read much better comedy borne from s*xual innuendos... ones that are not aggravating. Why is this annoying? It's probably bc the MC acts like this dumb pure white bunny smh. Dropped. <<less
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Chiaroscuro rated it
March 21, 2021
Status: --
Ok if you don't like or uncomfortable with ML that's handsy and likes to eat tofu then you might skip this.

Also somehow I got a feeling for shoujo ecchi novel when reading this idk why lololol. This is sooo good, pure comedy gold. The premise is actually not new but author write it in an entertaining way. The way author weave the story may sound ridiculous but such is life lol.


Gu wei is such a cinnabun. Must protect. Hard working, cute, passionate and frankly dumb in some ways. He have... more>> some issues with his mental health and I love how author tackled it. He might be shy but oh boy when he went crazy he went harddd

Jiang Xun is a rogue but the good kind. He know when to stop and doesn't push Gu wei too much. He's kind of the light for Gu Wei. A genius in FPS Esport but also acting God when he's a child. He's really good to Gu wei.

Antagonists are good but some are 2D. And JX's family is goolddddd lololol.

The plot is pure comedy gold and dog food galore. There's not much Esport content but more like entertainment circle content.

Recommended for people searching for blushing shou/rogue gong sweetness. <<less
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earlgreyt rated it
April 18, 2021
Status: Completed
A fluffy sweet entertainment style story between e-sports captain and boy band group dancer.

The translation was very good, so I was tempted to rate this a lot higher.

I think other people have mentioned, the relationship is very stereotypical and the first half of the story was very much more interesting compared to the second half.

ML does come in to solve all of MC's problems

... more>>

And we're never told why the upper-management decided to protect this one dude (the villain) for so long when they could have cleared up the names of their band with the video footage they kept under wraps this whole time.


What I did like, however, is that although the majority of the story was fluffy, sweet or funny, it didn't shy away from lightly touching on more taboo topics in eastern culture, which is, mental health, depression, and anxiety/phobias.

Our MC suffered from all of the above and dealt with them his own way.

The story is heartwarming and didn't get in too deep about those psychological issues, but did stand apart from other entertainment novels of similar caliber by acknowledging them in the first place.

Overall enjoyable read. The side characters really shined a lot in this story. <<less
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PeachesUntamed rated it
May 20, 2021
It's weird how someone would read 1/4 of the novel and run here to write a review. If you want to write a review then read the whole fkn novel, or write that you've dropped it but assuming that the novel is bad jus because you didn't like the first few chapters is a disrespect to the author especially since it seems that they really did a research while writing this novel.

This is a good novel, you can't expect every character in every novel to be your favourite mary sue,... more>> read the tags before deciding to read a novel, the novel is literally tagged black bellied and you come here complaining about how creepy the ML is, are you fr???? Learn to read tags before reading a novel

I've learned a lot about mental health while reading this novel, am glad I read it <<less
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MynameisFork rated it
April 17, 2021
Status: Completed
4, 7/5 a fcking must read.

I'm telling yall if you want a good super enjoyable can get easily hooked on kind of stories then I highly recommend you to read this.

It has Fluff that's super sweet, the story is pre straightforward and easy to understand but also super enjoyable. This the type of story where the MC has past trauma (chef kiss), a very Yellow but also doting ML.

I love how the relationship grew, no really big drama between em but also they're first Interaction is hilarious asf 😂 like

... more>>

the fact the way MC introduced his side gig as if he's a prostitute and try to find one for the ML to please Him 🤣🤣🤣🤣


The side characters group are especially lovable too I just kinda wanted a slight more for Jiang something but eh he kinda deserved that tbh. I had so much to write but forgot everything 😂

Anyway I overall recommend u to read it since you can finish it all in one go ☺️ <<less
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Jinx_1 rated it
March 31, 2021
Status: --
This is an easy, enjoyable read-what I think of as a "beach read." Minimal drama, angst, annoying characters/events etc. Where this book shines is the cast of supporting characters. They provide the right amount of comedy and heart. The friendships between MC and his band mates, ML and his teammates, ML and his family, and his family with MC are highlights. There's too little of it and they don't appear all that often but when they do, they are all scene stealers.

MC's depression is treated relatively respectfully.

And lastly, the translator... more>> deserves a couple of stars for their speed and quality. Impressive! <<less
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tharrinne rated it
August 5, 2022
Status: Completed
  1. For those saying that MC is dull and dense but not even completely read the novel is an idiot... You just started the novel and judge it wasn't a good novel before finishing it... First of all come to know first the characters before judging you all the same with those netizens in the novel easy to judge the MC...
  2. He has a depression and was abused when young he didn't feel the warmth of a family. So how can he be not dense plus the MC is still young and naive so his character was understandable. The MC was trying so hard to live a better life for his dreams but he was always judge and misunderstood he was also bullied so his personality is just right for someone who was experiencing emotional damage. He was actually quite strong compared to other MC that was written so pitiful.
  3. The ML is so understanding and loves the MC. MC also has a great character development which was slowly trying to be social and try to communicate to his lover.. their misunderstanding was actually cute and wasn't dragging like any other tr*sh stories.
  4. I like how they tackle the cyber bullying, trauma, phobia, toxic netizens and how can a broken family have an effect to a child. It's actually a roller coaster ride.. MC was a cinnamon that you wanted to protect.. he wasn't weak but because he is so kind natured and doesn't really give sh*t to people you really wanted to protect him..
  5. MC is not weak, but strong willed, he is unapologetic for who he is and also well written, don't listen to those bad reviews and give this novel a shot.
  6. This might be not the best but it is one of the best... It might feel cliche but it's also unique at the same time.
  7. All in all it's a great read the journey of uncovering the truths behind the reason of why the MC acting that way, his struggle to stardom, dealing with his anti's, how he opened up with ML and blossom their love and recover his name is such a roller coaster ride... I would actually love to read it again
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aeyai rated it
January 17, 2022
Status: Completed
I'll have to say, this was probably one of the best novels I've read that's on NU! First time writing a review, and it's been a while since I finished reading, but here's a review with mild spoilers~


    1. The pacing. The pacing of this novel was very well constructed, and, in my opinion, was perfect. It flowed pretty smoothly, but it wasn't boring at all.
    2. The characters. MC and ML are both extremely loveable. Side characters like ML's sibling, MC's diehard fan from ML's e-sports team, ML's supportive family, and the MC's fellow T. ATW band mates are all loveable! Even the antagonist-type characters are pretty well created, instead of just being an extremely obvious and plain "Here for Plot and stereotypical tr*shy villain" character.
    3. The interactions. The characters interacting with each other were all interesting to read. MC and ML's fluffy and funny moments; ML's family and his background of once being an actor (which is how he has so much reaction memes of him) ; MC's background with his own family; and MC, ML, and ML's younger brother just. Existing. MC's support from his true fans and his band mates were hilarious and heartwarming, especially at the end
    4. The story itself. There's a healthy amount of angst and fluff. I would say that the author wrote the backstory quite well: the unravelling of 'Why Gu Wei is so controversial' and Gu Wei's background was surprisingly (to me) well-written. The ending is satisfyingly sweet.

Personally, I don't have a lot of complaints. However, I have seen other reviews, and I understand that some people might not like some parts of the story, so I did my best to compile the criticisms that I noticed myself while reading.
    1. The personalities/dynamic. As I said above, I don't have a lot of complaints, however: if you're looking for something out-of-the ordinary when it comes to the shou/gong, you might not like the novel. The MC is the shou, and he's clumsy, slightly shy, and to be frank: pretty dense. The ML is the gong, and he's like the stereotypical gong: Strong, aloof, and pe*verted.
    2. The cliches and misunderstandings. Going to be honest here, I did feel second-hand embarrassment at some of their interactions. Cliches, misunderstandings, accidents, and so on, but on the other hand, was pretty funny.

      For example, MC expects a client to add him, and when ML adds him, it's a cliche misunderstanding which doesn't get cleared up until later. But, wait. It doesn't stop there: MC texts some ambiguous words which naturally leads ML into thinking MC's selling his body, which also leads to more misunderstandings.

      Overall, if you can't stand cliches and/or misunderstandings, you may not enjoy this story as much.
    3. Netizens. Although some are decent and supportive, I felt like the comments were a bit much in the novel. Took up at least 40% of the novel, I'd say. I would say it was a bit much, reading all of the contradictory commenters.
Overall, I'd say it's a must-read! I quite enjoyed it. I completed reading it, and I may read it again in the future. Although the beginning is pretty cliche, the later parts are well-written with explanations on MC's backstory and interactions.
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Ritsuka rated it
July 24, 2021
Status: Completed
This story has nothing extraordinary so why the 5 stars?

Its obviously because instead of focusing on how OP the MC or ML were or face slapping. This story focused on how freakin bad cyber-bullying is! Even tho I would have liked more emphasis on this subject but I'm already satisfied that the author brought this subject up to this degree in her novel. Normally, its just like the entertainment industry is super vicious this and that and then here you go face slapping epic moments. They never highlight an imp... more>> problem like this. The comment you just left casually while scrolling can affect someone's life you know. Words cut way deep than you can even think.A person might be going through a rough patch in their life and you don't even know what effect your words will have on them.I was so freakin tired of this stuff and I'm glad someone called it out about being bad. That alone earns these 5 stars from me!


The story simply focused on the MC and ML and their love life. It was cute and simple and didn't drag on. Plus I really like this orthodox step by step dating method a lot. Whether its fast hook up or slow burn, it all goes to kissing and the bed scenes.I really like how they started dating first and then casually flirted while going further step by step. ML may be a bully but he really did respect the MC's boundaries a damn lot! So if you are interested in that.I recommend this to you. Except that, the MC was pretty typical (but I think it can't be helped due to his past) tho he caused me a lot of 2nd hand embarrassment lol. The plot was simple. Both entertainment and e-sports elements were there but not heavily focused on. Anyway, it was a light and casual story.

Awesome and loving side characters are a total catch in it tho!Jiang Ying (i love this gossip loving fierce cutie, gonna read his story next), Sunny (the fierce cool hedgehog jiejie) and all of his bandmates (I literally love them soooo much that I actually want a story of each one of them!)

There are actually a lot of points in the bad reviews that can be proven wrong but I can't be bothered. All I will say is Read it Yourself and Judge for Yourself! <<less
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Aurinne rated it
August 31, 2023
Status: c96
A pretty positive 3.5 stars!

This is primarily a lively, easy-to-read and lightweight novel. Not one where you need to (or should) think too deeply or ask too much. I enjoyed that it kept the pace up and didn't get too bogged down in things like describing the entertainment industry jobs the MC had at great length, predictable scheming/face-slapping routines and endless internet comments (though I still had to skim/skip them occasionally). There were antagonists, but they were integrated a bit more naturally into the story rather than the type who... more>> pop up when it's time to have someone scheme and then get face slapped. Obviously, everything turns out wonderfully for the MC in the end!

The MC is one of those sweet cute MCs and I generally enjoy those characters if they're not inane - this one had personality and tended to be naive in relationships but mostly level-headed when it came to work difficulties.

The ML.... ah... well, this is where most of the stars were lost. 65% of the time I really enjoyed him, but there's that 35% where he's the Teasing ML and I always just reeeeeeeeeeally find those interactions unpleasant in a male lead. The MC is only 18, inexperienced when it comes to relationships, and not as quick-witted as the ML. The ML, on the other hand, not only loves to tease him, he constantly twists things that the MC does to be something the MC has done "wrong" to the ML and needs to make it up to him. It's supposed to be read as flirty, I assume, but the MC ends up really panicking and feeling like he's wronged the ML and wondering how to put the ML in a better mood, which the ML continually takes advantage of to draw him into a relationship. It's supposed to be romantic and I never doubt that the ML is SUPPOSED to be a good person who will never really harm the MC, but... it reads as slightly cruel when he watches the MC worry and manipulative when he twists things to make the MC feel guilty and therefore give way to the ML to make him happy. And, of course, the consistent implication that there will be "punishment, " (y'know what that refers to) and that it is the ML's right to administer that punishment. That's always really uncomfortable and distasteful for me in any novel.

I know these are a really common traits in MLs and for many this will all just be amusing and even sweet. I understand that none of these things are SUPPOSED to be red flags or anything like that, they're supposed to be cute, romantic, sexy, doting, suave etc. and for many readers this is how they will interpret it. I just never like this stuff, it doesn't feel loving, and it sours what was otherwise a really enjoyable relationship whenever it pops up.

Because the other 65% of the time I really liked this ML, he had actual personality and was pretty sincere and thoughtful, and I was happy to read about his romance. <<less
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