Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Review: The Start Up

Posted March 16, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Start UpStart Up
Starring: Nam Joo-Hyuk, Bae Suzy, Kim Sun-Ho
Year Released: 2020
Number of Episodes: 16
Recommended By: Nam Joo-Hyuk
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Online Stream
Source: Netflix
three-half-stars

Needing to make $90k to open her own business, Seo Dal-Mi drops out of a university and takes up part-time work. She dreams of becoming someone like Steve Jobs.

Nam Do-San is the founder of Samsan Tech. He is excellent with mathematics. He started Samsan Tech two years ago, but the company is not doing well. Somehow, Nam Do-San becomes Seo Dal-Mi’s first love. They cheer each others start and growth.

Summary Credit

I used to binge watch all of the k-dramas that I watched so they had to have all of the episodes released before I’d dig into them but that’s completely changed these days. I watched this show as they released the episodes every week and I enjoyed the ride for the most part. There were parts in the show that I thought dragged a bit and though I liked the main male lead (I actually watched this show BECAUSE I liked him), I thought he was less interesting than the second lead. Did I want the second lead to get the girl? No, not at all…but just like the male lead, I thought the second lead was more interesting than the main girl too.

I’m going to break down my thoughts about this show by categories and then I’ll sum everything up in the end. Let’s get started, shall we?
Main Male Lead: Nam Do San
Actor: Nam Joo Hyuk

I really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk in Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo so I was excited to see him in something new. Unfortunately, his character, Nam Joo Hyuk, didn’t completely win me over the way that his last character did. I liked him fine, I liked his story, I liked how hard he worked for his company and for his friends but after all was said and done, his character just isn’t one that will stick with me.

I wish I could say that I was invested in his character journey throughout the entire show but while I was interested in him as a character, I was rooting for him to win the girl, and I liked the guy that played his Dad, his character journey didn’t grab me the way that others did. That’s not a knock on him, as I felt that way about the entire show.

I did like the relationship between him and his friends. The loyalty that they shared between the three of them was nice. I’m always a fan of great support groups and Nam Do San had a great support system. I did like how he stepped up for a complete stranger and then fell in love with her but all of that wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the rest of his journey.

Main Female Lead: So Dal Mi
Actress: Bae Suzy

I haven’t watched very many shows with Bae Suzy at the lead but I do enjoy her as an actress. She was one of the very few things that I liked about the k-drama, Big and her character in this show showed a lot of promise. I thought So Dal Mi was a pretty solid female lead. Her story made me cry from time to time. I loved the relationship she had with her father and it made me sad that she never got that fried chicken he went out to get. But I love the woman that she grew up to be and I hella loved her relationship with her halmeoni. The whole sibling rivalry thing was probably the weakest part of Dal Mi’s journey but I did like the character growth that we saw in her sister.

Suzy played her role in this one really well. I thought she did a great job of bringing So Dal Mi’s character to life and there were so many times that I connected with what she was feeling throughout the show. I became a fan of hers during this show and I look forward to seeing her in more things.
Second Lead: Han Ji Pyeong
Actor: Kim Seon Ho

This is the first thing that I’ve ever seen this actor in and I was hooked on his story the most. I never once thought that he should end up with the female lead though. He was a jerk to all of them and though I understood why, I still didn’t care for that. I loved the guy that Dal Mi’s halmeoni saw in him but more often than not, I wanted to smack him upside his head. However, his story was what I was most interested in from beginning to end. I think his story made me cry the most and I was rooting for him to get the peace he deserved and so desperately needed.

I never really rooted for him to get with Dal Mi though. My guy had three years to shoot his shot and he waited until Do San came back from the US to do it? Too little, too late buddy but I’m glad to see that he found a new cause that gave his life some purpose.

I did like this guy and am looking forward to following his career from here on out. Kim Seon Ho blew up my IG feed while The Start Up was releasing new episodes so I hope he gets a first lead role soon.
The Supporting Cast
I’ve only seen one of these guys in anything else and I was delighted to see Yoo Su Bin in this one. This team was a highlight for me. I loved the secondary romance between the two teammates and I loved the bond that Nam Do San had with his two besties. The way that Do San tried to fix everything and be there for everyone made the way that they all had his back and had faith in him made me love them all the more. They were the perfect mix of smart, strong, funny, and loyal that hits all of my happy spots so I really liked all of these guys.
The Story
This story started off strong. I was really invested in everything and everyone right off the bat. The pacing started out strong and then sizzled through the middle, only to drag in the end. There were a lot of things that I didn’t care for (the actual start up stuff was my least favorite thing in the whole show) but overall, I kept watching every single episode so I couldn’t have hated it that much. It was a great way to spend a few hours and I did enjoy it overall, it just wasn’t my favorite but I discovered some new to me actors and actresses so I’m happy with that.
Final Rating

3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: Descendants of the Sun

Posted September 10, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Song Joong Ki
Female Lead: Song Hye Kyo
Also Starring: Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won, Onew, Kim Min Seok, Lee Seung Joon, Hyun Kyu Ni, Lee Yi Kyung, David McInnis, Kang Shin Il, Jo Jae Yoon, Jun Soo Jin, Kim Byung Chul, Seo Jeong Yeon, Jasper Cho, Ji Seung Hyun, Park Hwan Hee, Ahn Bo Hyun, Park Hoon
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Hulu
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched it For: Song Joong Ki

Some relationships are fated, despite the challenges of time and place.

Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki), the leader of a Special Forces unit, meets trauma surgeon Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) in a hospital emergency room after Shi Jin and his second-in-command, Seo Dae Young (Jin Goo), chase down a thief on their day off.

Shi Jin is immediately smitten with Mo Yeon, and he asks her out on a date. But Shi Jin keeps getting called to duty when he is with Mo Yeon, and the two also realize that they have conflicting views about human life (he will kill to protect his country and she has to save lives at all costs). They decide to break off their budding relationship as a result.

Dae Young also tries to break off his relationship with Army doctor Yoon Myeong Ju (Kim Ji Won) because her father, Lt. General Yoon (Kang Shin Il), thinks Shi Jin is a better match for his daughter.

Shi Jin and Dae Young are then deployed to the fictional war-torn country of Urk on a long-term assignment of helping the United Nations keep peace in the area. After repeatedly being passed over for a promotion because of her lack of connections, Mo Yeon gives up performing surgeries, loosening her principles somewhat to become a celebrity TV doctor and caring for VIP patients at the hospital. But when she refuses the sexual advances of the hospital chairman, Mo Yeon is picked to lead a medical team to staff a clinic in Urk! There, Mo Yeon unexpectedly reconnects with Shi Jin.

“Descendants of the Sun” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. The entire series was pre-produced prior to airing, which is a departure from how Korean dramas are typically produced. The stars and production team spent one month in Greece to film much of the series’ storyline. The drama also is the first project for Song Joong Ki after finishing his mandatory two-year military service.
I watched this show at the recommendation of my friend, B Nice and then I found out that she didn’t even watch it but heard it was good, haha. I still watched it though and though the overall romance was a good one, I struggled with connecting with what was going on and the female lead. I also thought that the male lead was a bit over the top at times but he didn’t annoy me the way that the doctor heroine did.


This show is about two people, who meet and before their romance can take off, the hero does. She’s a doctor and he’s in the military so it’s hard for them to get together because either she’s getting called into surgery or he’s getting called onto missions in faraway places that he can’t even tell her about. So there are some struggles, obviously. They also find out that they have different views on things and then there are more struggles so they call off their budding romance before it grows into anything deeper. They go their separate ways but are brought back together when Mo Yeon is assigned to lead a medical team to run a clinic in Urk, where Shin Jin is stationed. When the two reconnect, sparks fly and the story really picks up.


There’s also a secondary romance between Shin Jin’s buddy Dae Young and an army doctor, Yoon Myeong Ju that is filled with a whole lot of drama. Dae Young’s not the partner that Meyong Ju’s father would have chosen for her and he is very vocal about it. So vocal, in fact, that he consistently abuses his powers at work (he’s one of the higher-ups in the military) to move Dae Young around to make sure that he can’t be with his daughter. Dae Young, of course, doesn’t say any of this to Yoon Myeong Ju, he just goes wherever he’s sent and puts up with the abuse from her father. He kept getting pulled in different directions and his life was thrown upside down at every turn because of his girlfriend so that was some special kind of drama in itself and it drove me just as crazy as the main romance.

I will say that both sets of couples have chemistry in spades. I completely bought everything they were trying to sell and this was my introduction to all of these actors so I was impressed that they can make me feel every single emotion under the sun. I went from happy, to pissed off, to sad, back to happy, back to pissed off, back to sad for all 16 episodes but there was a whole lot of humor from the other characters sprinkled in that my overall experience with this show wasn’t all pissed off.

I’m glad that I watched this show even though it wasn’t my favorite. It introduced me to a bunch of actors I’d like to see in other shows and movies so I’m glad about that. However, this show is made up of a whole lot of stuff that pissed me off that I can’t rate it higher than 3.25 out of 5 stars. I had high hopes that things would turn around but in episode 15, the heroine and the hero were still pissing me off that by then, it was too late for me to absolutely love them. Still, this was a solid drama.

Listen to the OST
Final Rating

3.25 out of 5

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Review: My Country: The New Age

Posted August 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

My Country: The New Age

Male Lead: Yang Se Jong
Female Lead: Kim Seolhyun
Secondary Lead: Woo Do Hwan
Also Starring: Jang Hyuk, Hong Ji Yoon, In Gyo Jin, Ji Seung Hyun, Young Nam Jang, Ahn Nae Sang, Kim Yeong Cheol, Yu Oh Seong, Park Ye Jin, Kim Seo Kyung, Lee Hyo Je, Lee Yoo Joon, Shim Wan Joon, Kim Dong Won, Kim Dae Gon
Year Released: 2019
Genre: Historical, Political TV Shows
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Chance

At the end of the Goryeo period there are those who lead the charge to proclaim a new age, among them two friends who become enemies when they disagree on the direction of their country.
I watched this show at the recommendation of my nephew, Chance. He’s different from Chase. He’s more into political thrillers, historical movies, and what not so because I had such a great reaction to Chase’s recommendation, I thought I’d give Chance’s a go too. While I enjoyed this one, Chase wins in the recommendation department.


This show is a period piece that follows our main lead, Seo Hwi, and his best friend, Nam Sun Ho, as they struggle with the cards that life has dealt them. The show centers on them, their friendship and the different directions their lives take them. The power of friendship is seriously tested in this show and I was here for it.

My boy Hwi really went through it. After his father dies in disgrace, Hwi is left to care for his younger sister and it’s just the two of them. They struggle through life because they’re poor and they’re banking on Hwi getting into the military so that he can really start making money to care for his sister. She’s sick too so that’s another obstacle that he has to figure out every time she runs out of medicine. Through everything that Hwi goes through, you can see him struggle with his dignity and at times, his integrity. It would be so easy to let his guard down and really do whatever it takes to, shady or not, to get what him and his sister need but that’s not what he’s about. It’s not the son that his father raised so with his head held high, he deals with whatever hardship comes his way as best as he can.

My other boy, Sun Ho wasn’t poor, he actually grew up rich but his life wasn’t a walk in the park. For one, he’s the bastard son of a high ranking member of the military and Sun Ho spends a whole lot of time trying to win his father’s approval but he always comes up short. His friendship with Hwi and Hwi’s younger sister are the highlights in his life and he thought that they would always be by each other’s back but fate wouldn’t have that and the older they get, the further the distance between them becomes but you can see that though Sun Ho means well, his actions don’t always come across that way so the connection between him and Hwi is tested hard. It wasn’t enough for their lives to divide, they had to fall in love with the same girl to further complicate their already complicated friendship.

This was my introduction to Woo Do Hwan and Yang Se Jong and I was super happy about that. They acted their tails off in this show and I really connected with both of their characters. I really loved Hwi in this show so he was the one that I rooting for to get the girl but Woo Do Hwan won me over completely that I made a list of shows/movies he was in and I’m making my way through them.

This show is filled to the brim with political thrills and a whole lot of suspense that had me at the edge of my seat but it also left me frustrated through a good portion of the episodes because damn, they really kicked Hwi down and held him there with their foot on his neck. I got so mad at the bad guys and super frustrated with Sun Ho’s actions throughout the entire show. I did enjoy the romance and thought the female lead was a boss who was a perfect fit for Hwi. These Koreans are loyal as hell to their loved ones and I really dug that in this show. No matter what was going on between Hwi and Sun Ho, their shared love for Hwi’s sister was never questioned and Sun Ho did his best to care for her while Hwi was away and I really dug that. This show really engaged my emotions because I happy sighed just as much as I ugly cried and while it wasn’t my favorite show, it was still an enjoyable one and one that I would recommend to those looking for a historical political thriller. Lots of eye candy, too. 🙂
Listen to the OST
Final Rating


3.5 out of 5

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Buddy Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Posted January 29, 2019 by Rowena in Books, Reviews | 0 Comments

Buddy Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. WardBlood Kiss
by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Published by Random House, Signet on December 1, 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 397
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-stars
Reading Challenges:2019 A-Z Challenge, 2019 GoodReads Challenge

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

Rowena: Our first book club book of the year is Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward, which is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy. In this series, we’ll be meeting new characters who are training to become soldiers in the Black Dagger army to help the brothers fight the war against the Lessers who threaten their very existence. First up, Paradise and Craeg. So let’s get this show on the road, ladies. What did you guys think? Tasha: I really enjoyed the story of Craeg and Paradise and the whole Training Program. Marissa’s story with Butch and her relationship with her brother Havers wasn’t one I was all that interested in. But I know it all came together in the end. Shy: I thought it was ok. A lot of missing pieces for me (I guess it’s probably because it’s a spin-off from another series?) I dig Craeg and his back story and thought it made sense with why he’s so cutthroat and why he goes off half-cocked. I don’t know how I feel about Paradise. I feel like her character was just way too sheltered and then to have her go through training… I don’t know it just didn’t work for me. I liked Butch and Marissa, they made more sense to me lol. Tasha: So Butch and Marissa are from the original Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I’ve read the first 9 books (out of 17) of the series. I can see where you’d feel like something was missing. I saw the aristocrats and the glymera as “the ton” from our historical reads. The women are basically raised to needlepoint, play musical instruments and host parties. And they couldn’t be in the company of other men without a proper escort or chaperone. That’s how I pictured Paradise’s upbringing. But what about her dad, Abalone? I so adored him!! As the Kings first advisor and of royal bloodline, he was such an understanding father. He didn’t come off as snobby and I really liked that he supported Paradise in whatever she decided to do. He wasn’t in the least worried about what their peers had to say. Shy: Thanks Tasha, I figured it had to be tied to another series because of the way some parts were written. I love Paradises dad, especially his response to Paradise and Craeg. Rowena: I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. I could have done without a lot of the Butch and Marissa stuff because having them sharing the spotlight with Craeg and Paradise took away from Craeg and Paradise. I get that this is a spin-off but why not let the new characters shine? How in the world are they supposed to shine when the older characters are everywhere? Aside from that, I did really enjoy this one. I thought the training sessions and seeing the trainees bond together was interesting and even though I know that I’ll probably not read anything else from this author, I rather enjoyed getting to know each trainee. I liked all of them….except Anslam. LOL. Tasha: I’m with Wena…more Craeg & Paradise, less Butch & Marissa. I mean, they had a whole book to themselves already. The re-read for me was okay and I found myself more annoyed with the side story (Butch & Marissa) this time around. I don’t know if I want to continue on with this series and see what happens with Xan, but who knows. At least this time, I can expect a side story of someone from the original BDB series. My rating for this 3.5 outta 5 stars. Rowena: I enjoyed the romance between Craeg and Paradise, I just wish we’d gotten more of them. There’s a lot going on with this book but it was really easy for me to pick up on who the bad guys were and that almost never happens with me. I need the bad guys to knock on my door and introduce themselves normally but not this time around. Haha. There is a lot to like about this story and even more to look forward to with this series but there were also things that I could have done without so for me? This one gets 3.5 out of 5 too. Shy: I think Paradise and Craeg’s story was ok, not really my favorite. It just felt both predictable and things didn’t add up (but I think that’s more because I’m new to this entire series). I just felt like a lot of it was cliché between Paradise and Craeg. I wish they were a lot more interesting or just… I don’t know, more lol. I still stand by Butch and Marissa, they helped make this story more enjoyable for someone like me who has no idea about the back story of this series. I know you both are annoyed with them mixing into this story but I’m glad they did reappear in this book. I give it 2.5 stars
Final Grades
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5 Shy: 2.5 out of 5 Tasha: 3.5 out of 5
Black Dagger Legacy Series
three-stars

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Buddy Review: Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.

Posted August 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Buddy Review: Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.Two Weeks Notice
by Whitney G.
Published by Self-Published, Whitney G on July 19, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to formally announce my resignation from Parker International (& the arrogant, condescending CEO) effective two weeks from today.

This was a VERY EASY decision to make, as the past two years have been utterly miserable. I wish his next executive assistant all the luck in the world (she'll need it) and if my boss should need me to do anything over the next two weeks, kindly tell him that he can do it [his] goddamn self...

Sincerely (Not Really),Tara Lauren

That’s the version of my two weeks’ notice I should’ve sent to my boss, because the more professional version—the one where I said I was "grateful for all the opportunities," and "honored by all the rewarding experiences" over the years?

That letter was rejected with his sexy, trademark smirk and an “I highly suggest you read the fine print of your contract...”

So, I did.

And now I've realized that unless I fake my death, poison him, or find a way to renegotiate my impossible contract, I’m stuck working under one of the cockiest and most ruthless bosses in New York.

Then again, I thought that was the case until he called me late last night with an emergency proposition...

Rowena: Alright, Ames. What did you think? Ames: Ok, I liked this more than Forget You, Ethan. I liked the dynamic between an employee who hates her boss, but is also attracted to him. However, the beginning did come off a bit familiar to me – familiar to another Whitney G title (Thirty Day Boss). But luckily it became its own story and I enjoyed it. What about you? Rowena: I did end up enjoying this book but it was the opposite for me. I enjoyed Forget You, Ethan more. I could not stand the way that Preston treated Tara as an employee but also as a person. He had no respect for her, her time and even her personal life. Sure he paid her handsomely but that didn’t make up for the way that he treated her and everyone else at his company. It was hard for me to take a lot of the time and when she tries to quit and he shows how shady his dealings were with the contract, I was pissed all over again. Seriously??? White ink?? What a douchebag! I will like how strong Tara becomes over the course of the book and I really liked when she started standing up for herself but I don’t know that it made up for Preston. Hmm. Ames: Too funny that we have the opposite reaction to this book. I must have a backward sense of humor because I found their interactions funny. I thought that if she was really serious about quitting, she would have stopped showing up to work – like that white ink wouldn’t stand up if he sued her for breach of contract (and he wouldn’t have). But they were just playing a really long game with each other – that was how I read it all. I liked that Tara had a very interesting job interview (he catches her stealing!) and from there I knew it was going to be a fun story. I liked how Tara came into her own as the story progressed but what really made this book fun for me was the introduction of a new character that showed the more human side to Preston. I liked their interactions and even how Tara dealt with the addition. I read this book in almost one sitting and I had a big smile on my face when it was all over. This is the type of humor I come to expect from Whitney G. Rowena: I think I need to take a break from Whitney G books after this read because I was super annoyed with Rachel in Forget You, Ethan but I got over it and ended up liking her and whileI didn’t absolutely hate Preston, I came close. The way that Preston treated Tara was not funny to me and I wanted to slap his dumb ass rich boy face multiple times. Preston held too much power over Tara and the way that he wielded that power rubbed me the wrong way. He was oh so lucky when that new character that was introduced came onto the scene because who knows how it would have ended for him in my eyes. *shrugs* What would you grade this book? I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 because there were things that I liked about the book but the stuff that I hated colored my enjoyment for much of the book for me to overlook it. Ames: I think this is the first book we’ve really disagreed about it! LOL I can see where you’re coming from with Preston but again, my interpretation of it was different. And side note, I agree that Rachel was super annoying in Forget You, Ethan. Ok, I’m giving this one a 3.5 out of 5. I was amused, I liked the dynamic between the characters and I liked the little switch up that was introduced mid-way through the story.
Final Grade
Ames: 3.5 out of 5 Rowena: 2.5 out of 5
three-half-stars

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