别那么骄傲 by 随侯珠
Published September 2015 by 花山文艺出版社
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★☆

Chatting in the dormitory at night, roommates wonder how much pain Aunt Flow brings. Mr. Perfect He Zhi Zhou has never bothered joining in on these petty talks for amusement. That is, until he became a woman and laid in bed with a white-cast complexion……

Chatting in the female dormitory at night, roommates sighed over the current pairings in the school of engineering, Shen Xi was a little curious that the problem with these topics is that there was no way to test them. Until she became an engineering male and a bar of soap dropped in front of her……

Introduction in one sentence: About how a top-scoring perfect male with no desire in the opposite gender and an amusing female lead were set up like lightning setting the ground on fire spreading out of control—leading to a sweet and rippling life……

Life is so long, don’t be so arrogant. Some things are bound to deviate.

The first half was fluffy and silly and fun. HZZ really did end up drawing the short end of the stick in all this chaos, both his and SY’s reactions to everything were hilarious, and the way the author just… shamelessly and boldly charged headfirst into everything that differed between the male and female experience… I’m screaming. I did feel a lot of sympathy for LYT, but, maybe in part because we’re seeing this through SY’s eyes, I do feel like he had it coming, and that SY deserved a lot better than him. It did really feel like he only started trying to put in the effort once HZZ came into the picture, and once he realized that SY had other options, ones arguably better than him – only when he felt threatened. And while the latter half of the book took on a slightly repetitive pattern, and with a few questionable elements, it made for a nice, lighthearted read, and I really appreciated how steadfast the main couple was, even through their small squabbles and silliness. TL;DR I’m weak for fluffy, happy, silly stories and 别那么骄傲 was just that.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Published November 4th 2014 by Createspace
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

I liked some of the poems, others felt rather incomplete – it was a pretty underwhelming read, despite the emotion and conviction behind every single word being pretty darn powerful. I don’t know how to feeeeeel.

Spider’s Revenge
(Elemental Assassin #5) by Jennifer Estep
Published September 27th 2011 by Pocket Books
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me…no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

There’s a plot there, somewhere, under all that repetition. In hindsight, the “army of lethal bounty hunters” feels way over-exaggerated, as does Gin’s skills – she keeps messing up perfectly good shots! I know she beats herself up for it and knew she screwed up, but it ends up feeling like cheap twists to stretch this one hit into a full-length book, and it doesn’t quite work for me. The fight sequences are still cool, though, and the last quarter or so of the book really picked up the slack.

十二点的辛德瑞拉 by 板栗子
Published 2017 by jjwxc
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Newly crowned Film Emperor Feng Jing; good looks, good stature, good acting, good character. Except he has one unshakeable rule—any night show he stars in cannot go past 12 o’clock. The media, with ulterior motives, chases after this little crazy secret of his. Yet remaining unconcerned about how the outside world falls into turbulent times, Film Emperor Feng still stands tall and unmoved.

Jiang Ran recently felt that her dog has become somewhat strange. Ordinarily when she kisses, hugs, and raises her dog up high, her dog would always be especially happy and lovable. Now whenever she kisses, hugs, and raises her dog up high, however, her dog was horny…

Reading Guide:

Every midnight, the male lead’s soul switches with that of the female lead’s dog, switching back at six o’clock in the morning.

Self-healing little sweet novel! Sweetness is the only goal!

The female lead is intelligent, beautiful, tender, generous, hardworking, and brave (according to the male lead) Male lead is a loyal dog, loyal dog, loyal dog, loyal dog, loyal dog, loyal dog (according to the author)

板栗子 is one of my favorite authors for fluffy, lighthearted romcom-style chinese reads (with the added bonus of hilarious online forum/chat mediums incorporated into them as well) – I really enjoyed 只怪当初瞎了眼, 结婚协奏曲, and 我的世界坠入爱河. 糖心蜜意, though sliiiightly missing something that the other three had, in terms of cuteness and fluff and immersive enjoyability, was another all-around great read! But 早安,幽灵小姐 was. Weird? For the most part, I didn’t like MZ – that was my biggest qualm. He came off as imperious at times, creepy at worst, and though he did have some moments, 早安,幽灵小姐 was the first 板栗子 book that left me feeling disappointed. Enter, 十二点的辛德瑞拉.

To be fair, the biggest point has more to do with my personal tastes than anything else. The way FJ’s body-swap was portrayed… weirded me out? for the lack of a better term, and that definitely colored my opinion, especially of the beginning 1/3. I also think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, up until now, the 板栗子 novels I’ve enjoyed were all from the female perspective. I really enjoyed reading about these girls pursuing their careers, doing their best and chasing success (DM with singing, TZ with fashion and manhua, PY with acting, and TM with sweets). Along the way, they encounter romance, but it’s more a? a happening that’s encountered on their respective career paths? Yes, cute and fluffy romance has always been the centerpiece of 板栗子 novels, but usually, it’s colored by daily life and career notes. Here, there’s very little color, and that, coupled with FJ’s not-awful, but also cardboard-dry character, and there’s very little that can prop it up to the same fun and immersive standards that 板栗子’s other novels had set. The first half is one large, slightly manipulative and arguably creepy and stalkerish pursuit of a girl, all pretenses abandoned.

The second half, despite all this, does get a lot better! JR, as well as the appearance of YY, as well as poor MXE, does wonders for the dryness of the story. And, FJ’s family? Amazing. His sister deserves the biiiiigest hug; I love their close-knit dynamics. FJ and JR’s cute, flirty dynamics are everything you’d want and expect from 板栗子. The chaos of the media, the melon-eater comments, the zero-fucks attitude FJ has toward these happenings… The second half returns to 板栗子’s usual fluffy, cute, slightly outrageous and over-the-top style. But.

1). Their relationship happened super, super fast? Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like, especially after his sister’s ordeal, floating marriage 4-5 months after your very first meeting is pretty rash? 2). The second half was wild – in a good way – but the first half, with all it’s aforementioned weirdness and creepiness, is a pretty high hurdle to have to clear to get to all the fluffy cute chaos later on and, frankly, if I wasn’t a huge fan of 板栗子’s other works, I definitely would’ve tapped out within the first twenty chapters.

So, 2.5 stars, all for the second-ish half. Three on Goodreads, because they don’t allow half-stars, and I definitely liked 十二点的辛德瑞拉 more than 早安,幽灵小姐, and even though I didn’t quite like it as much as 糖心蜜意. Fingers crossed for the next!

Poison Study (Poison Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Published March 1st 2007 by Mira
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Poison Study has been on my wishlist for so, so long, and so many recommended lists have had at least one book by Maria V. Snyder on it, so really, what took me this long (at least seven years!!)?

In hindsight, part of my reaction might be on me. I’m not a avid a fan of romance as I used to be, and I’ve definitely become a lot pickier. But Poison Study was supposed to be a lot of different and interesting things – primarily, a poison tester! court intrigue! – and, while the resulting book wasn’t bad – I enjoyed it, and the characters were definitely the highlight – I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more a few years ago.

The transitions felt a little weird. It’s not that they were nonexistent, but they were set up in ways that disrupted the flow of the preceding and succeeding story. The breaks between scenes and switches between trains of thought felt jumpy at times, and all too brief at others. It makes chunks of the writing feel – what’s the word? something like fleeting? but with bad connotations? – and takes away a lot of the building tension and emotion, too, and overall just detracts from the story. In the same vein, the foreshadowing. It… wasn’t great? I won’t say what happened, but we aren’t fed breadcrumbs so much as we’re fed entire loaves.

And, okay, confession time: I don’t like Valek. I thought he was okay at the beginning, but as the story progressed, he just got more standoffish and demanding. He’s very obviously set up across from Yelena as the love interest, but most scenes with him just make me wish he was anything but. He irrationally gives her the cold shoulder out of the blue – nothing happens! he just gives her the cold shoulder! – and then a couple pages he just. Returns to normal? And nothing more is said on the topic? Like, okay. Most everyone else treats her awfully, particularly at the beginning, and I get it! It would be weird and unrealistic if they didn’t, seeing as she is a criminal and a murderer. And, Maren’s cold to her throughout, but I found myself really liking Maren, because to Yelena, she’s a trainer. And she’s cold but not an asshole, you feel? But Valek runs hot and cold, nice and asshole-y, on a hair-trigger, and he’s clearly set up to be her love interest, so here we have some problems. His holier-than-thou attitude air, especially in that one scene in which Yelena asks what she’s learned from him, and he replies with his attention – his attention?? after eeeeverything she’s accomplished at that point in the story???? – rubbed me the wrong way, to say the least. He does have his brief oh-no-he-s-cute moments – what can I say, I’m weak for the dark and brooding ML trope – but, for the vast majority of the time? Eeeeeh. I also really didn’t see how their relationship developed? One minute they seemed like employer and employee and then the next she and Rand are yelling and she realizes her ~feelings~. Gradual development, there is not.

I really liked Ari and Janco! And, as aforementioned, Maren! I liked the dynamic the author had set up, both between the two as well as between them and the rest of the characters. I love the little tight-knit family they developed between themselves. Their training sessions were one of the highlights of Poison Study for me, and I really wished we could’ve seen more of them!

OH. The one thing I was super on-the-edge about? The Commander. No spoilers, so I’m not going to dive deep into it, but. I have. Many thoughts.

The rest of the story’s pretty standard magical YA fantasy, in my opinion. The cast of supporting characters prop it all up, and the poison-eater element gives it a spark. It’s cool to see how everything slots together; I can really appreciate how the author managed to combine so many elements – spies, acrobatics, magic, political intrigue, food, psychological demons, and more – into one cohesive novel. It keeps you reading, despite the cons. I definitely appreciate how solid and thought-out a lot of Yelena’s turning-point choices felt, as if they were truly given their proper weight, as well as the non-cliffhanger-y, hopeful ending. As for the way it all developed, on paper, overall, from the set up to the conflict to the resolution, it’s very on par with most YA fantasy.

And while Poison Study isn’t groundbreaking by any stretch, it’s a pretty solid read, especially for fans of the genre.

(Me @ 恋人失格boy: she did cry!! She cried a ton!!!) Sorry for the delay! Here’s the original song that prompted 恋人失格. As per usual, my grammar? Awful. I took soooome artistic liberties with the dialogue-y bit in the chorus because the direct translation sounded really clunky and dry? In any case, please feel free to comment below with any questions, comments, or errors that you might’ve noticed (it is I, hammering this out between tasks at work, so there’s probably most likely definitely going to be some)! Enjoy 🙂

昨日の夜から君がいなくなって24時間がたった
you’ve been gone since last night – it’s been 24 hours
僕はまだ一歩も外には出ていない
I still haven’t taken a step outside

マイペースでよく寝坊する君のことを想って
I think about the you who goes at his own pace and often oversleeps
5分早めた家の時計
the house clock, five minutes two fast
もう意味ないな
seems to have lost its meaning

たばこの嫌いな僕を気遣って
aware that I didn’t like cigarettes
ベランダで吸ってたっけな
you smoked on the balcony
カーテンが揺れて目があつくなった
the curtains fluttered, my eyes grew warm
もうそこに君はいない
you’re not there anymore

「もっとちゃんと僕をみててよ もっとちゃんと」って
“Look at me more, look at me properly”
その言葉が君には重かったの?
was that too heavy for you?
「もっとちゃんと僕をみててよ もっとちゃんと」って
“Look at me more, look at me properly”
言わなければ 君はここにいたかな
if I hadn’t said that, would you still be here?

僕のことはたぶん君がよく知ってる
you probably know me very well
眠たいときに体温があがる
when I’m tired, my body temperature rises
キスはみじかめが好きってことも
also, that I like my kisses short

そのとき想った 僕は君のこと
that’s when I realized, about you –
どれくらい分かってたんだろ
how much do I know?
一番最初に浮かんできたのは
the first thing that came to mind
君の好きなたばこの名前
was the name of your favorite cigarette brand

「もっとちゃんと君をみてれば もっとちゃんと」って
if I looked at you more, if I looked at you properly
いまさら気づいてもおそいよな
even if I realized it now, it’s far too late
「もっとちゃんと君をみてれば もっとちゃんと」って
If I looked at you more, if I looked at you properly
今気づいたってなんの意味があんだ
there’s no meaning to realizing this now

君が置いていったたばこ
the cigarettes you left
僕の大嫌いなものなのにどうして火をつけてしまった
I hate them, but – why did I end up lighting one

君の匂いがしたのさ 君の匂い
it smelled like you – your smell
ひとくち吸ってしまった
I took a puff
でも やっぱりむせた
but, as I thought, I choked

「もっとちゃんと僕をみててよ もっとちゃんと」って
“Look at me more, look at me properly”
言わなければ 君はまだここにいたかな
if I hadn’t said that, would you still be here?
「もっとちゃんと君をみてれば もっとちゃんと」って
“Look at me more, look at me properly”
少し苦い君の匂いに泣けた
I cried into the slightly bitter smell of you

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
Published November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: received from publisher
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked – surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed, and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

Pawn had me going “????????” from the opening pages.

So Kitty fails an aptitude test right before the book starts, and ends up with a III tattooed on the back of her neck. Her boyfriend Benjy tells her he doesn’t care and that he’s willing to run away with her! But somehow she’s convinced that it’ll ruin his test results and she’s not willing to be his downfall which. If it’s an aptitude test I’m struggling to see exactly how her score and her marrying him will affect his personal aptitude? And halfway through, we were kiiind of floated this idea that maybe the aptitude test isn’t all it seems and that it doesn’t really test your aptitude, which 1) has the potential to be a really good critique of the current standardize testing system (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, etc etc etc) in the US and 2) can start to potentially make an argument for why certain choices, like marrying a III, might ruin your chances of becoming a VI. BUT then immediately after we’re treated with a slew of tidbits here and there about how bright and wonderful and talented and smart Kitty is, and how there’s proof in how she managed to pull a III on the test although she had to leave a huge chunk of it blank, and then it all swirled away.

Benjy? I liked his steadfast resolution to stand beside Kitty. I wasn’t really sure about much else, though. Pawn was really good at putting everything into really neat little boxes, and Benjy? He sat in a nice little cardboard box labeled “KITTY’S MOTIVATION” and set a toe past those boundaries.

So Kitty goes to a club instead of becoming a sewage worker, and from there everything really starts to unravel, because instead of actually selling her virginity to the highest bidder, the highest bidder actually just wants Kitty for her. blue. eyes. And for that reason alone, he’s set to make her into a VII and his niece’s doppelganger? They can lengthen legs in this futuristic world. They can change entire body shapes and sIZES in this world. But they can’t change someone’s eye color to blue? ??? ????? There are processes now, in 2019, that can do that for a person. Hell, there are less-invasive colored contacts that can give you any eye color you want. But this is their one hang-up in this dystopian world?

But, okay. Kitty becomes Lila, agrees without thinking there might be some sort of catch, or maybe fifty (who will track you down, shoot down club members and intimidate your family members to get to you, only to hand you a golden ticket with no strings??).

And from there? I’m. Not quite sure? I read Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test and Goddess Interrupted when they came out, and honestly, Pawn kind of gives off the same vibes I remember (albeit from. seven years. ago). It floats here and there, dabbles in a lot of things that could be potentially interesting, but never delves into them, and then sprinkles that atop some romance and calls it a day. There’s something about a rebellion, though we don’t actually ever get to see it. There’s set up for political intrigue, but, as Kitty – and every other character she interacts with – hammers home for us every other page or so, Kitty’s motivation is BENJY, so we’re treated to a lot of fretting and worrying and doing-things-at-other-people-s-command-so-benjy-will-live-to-see-another-day but no actual self autonomy, and so much of the intrigue-discovering happens once Kitty’s become a victim, or an unhappy bystander caught in the crossfire. There’s romance, but Benjy’s never really treated to any character development, and feels like nothing more than the possibly proverbial carrot to Kitty’s every move, so the romance comes off as dry and maybe even posturing instead.

Aside from all this, the world building is also confusing, not to mention pretty unbelievable – unrest settled by the reorganization of all the resources to the elite few? It’s simplistic and glossed-over, fluffed up with a few comments here and there about how unjust the system is. And the characters? They have just enough presence to fulfill their roles in the story, but are hardly memorable, and after a while, start blending together.

Pawn wasn’t an awful read, but it was shaky and lackluster. You might be able to chalk up chalk up some of it to Pawn being the first in a trilogy, but even then, I don’t feel any motivation to continue.

Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin #9) by Jennifer Estep
Published August 27th 2013 by Pocket Books
Source: Library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

When a terror from the past threatens Gin’s friend and body-disposer, Sophia, Gin will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means walking straight into a killer’s trap. Meanwhile, the rocky romance between Gin and Owen reaches a turning point—can they reunite and rekindle their love? Or will the things Gin has been forced to do in her line of work as the deadly assassin the Spider keep them apart forever? Assuming, that is, she survives long enough to find out…

I’m pretty sure you could read any book in the series at random and still know everything that came before courtesy of all the recaps. They’re not bad reads! But Estep has a formula, and she follows it to a T every single time; the same quips, the same story structure, even the same recaps. And especially after nine books, it gets old. Also, idc what he attempts to pull now – Owen’s never going to be able to bounce back from the mess he made for himself. It’s nice to get some closure on what’s been haunting Sophia and Jo-Jo for decades, and with that, I think this is as good a place as any in the series to stop.

Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen
Published September 6th 2016 by Berkley
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

The romance was gumdrop-sweet and fluffy, and I loved the assembly of supporting characters. But I really wasn’t on board with the way the rape element was handled. Also, oof, the treatment of Leo’s exes was just. not. not great.

Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows #4) by Nalini Singh
Published November 22nd 2011 by Harlequin
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

It’s a bit of a departure from the Nalini Singh books I’m used to, the pacing was uneven in places, and I wasn’t super on board with some parts of the ending, but the characters were varying and interesting and I liked the directness of their relationships – it felt refreshing, in a sense.

I love コレサワ’s たばこ so I was really excited to finally hear the answer song, 恋人失格! The misunderstandings between the two – the girlfriend who thought her boyfriend knew all about her, knew that she loved her kisses short, and lamented about how she feels regretful for not putting in the same kind of attention and affection, and the boyfriend who always felt that their kisses were too short – and therefore their respective songs are especially heartbreaking side-by-side. Communication! Is! Important!!! (I’ll probably end up putting up a quick translation for たばこ too after this – maybe right after this one?) As always, grammar mistakes galore, and please feel free to let me know of any questions or errors you have or find! Enjoy <3

確かに出て行った
you’re right – I left
君は泣きそうな顔してた
you looked like you were about to cry
だけれどやっぱ泣かないんだね
but, as I thought, you didn’t
そういうとこが嫌いだった
that’s what I hated about you

確かに恋人で
you’re right – we were lovers
君の部屋は優しかった
your room was kind
痩せたいと言いながらいつも
whilst saying you wanted to lose weight
おかしを食べて笑ってた
you always ate snacks with a smile
そういうとこが好きだった
that’s what I loved about you

だけどもう君のわがままを
however, now, your selfishness –
笑顔で聞けそうになくてさ
I find myself unable to listen with a smile
恋人失格だって 僕は弱かったんだ
I’m a failure of a lover – I was weak
だけどあの頃の僕にとっての
but to the me back then
一番好きなものは 大事なのは
my favorite thing, the most important thing to me
ちゃんと君だったよ
properly, was you
信じてくれないよな
you probably don’t believe me

『ねぇ 一口吸ってみたい』
“Hey, I want to try a puff”
と僕のたばこ欲しがったけど
you wanted my cigarette, but
あげないよ 君はまたスネて
I didn’t give it to you – you asked again
だけどすぐに甘えてきた
but I quickly spoiled you
そうゆうとこが好きだった
that’s what I loved about you

だけどもう君のヤキモチを
however, now, your jealousy –
笑顔で聞けそうになくてさ
I find myself unable to listen with a smile
恋人失格だって 僕は若かったんだ
I’m a failure of a lover – I was young
だけどあの頃の僕にとっての
but to the me back then
一番好きなものは 大事なのは
my favorite thing, the most important thing to me
ちゃんと君だったよ
properly, was you
信じてくれなくても
even if you don’t believe me

君のキスはいつも短くて
your kisses were always short and
足りない 足りない もういない
not enough, not enough, now no more

だけどもう君の大好きに
however, now, your “I love you”s
笑顔で返せなくてさ
I find myself unable to return them with a smile
恋人失格だって 僕は弱かったんだ
I’m a failure of a lover – I was weak
だけどあの頃の僕にとっての
but to the me back then
一番好きなものは 大事なのは
my favorite thing, the most important thing to me
ちゃんと君だったよ
properly, was you
信じてくれないよな
you probably don’t believe me

確かに出て行った
you’re right – I left
君は泣きそうな顔してた
you looked like you were about to cry
だけれどやっぱ泣かないんだね
but, as I thought, you didn’t
そういうとこが嫌いだった
that’s what I hated about you
そうさせてた僕が嫌いだった
I hated the me that made you do that

Happy Wednesday! I’ve managed to push out another translation – this marks two in a row! This one’s a song from 『ヲタクに恋は難しい』. It came out over a year ago, but I just finished watching it a few days ago ^^;;; I’d highly recommend it to slice-of-life lovers! It’s super fluffy and cute, and the entire cast of characters are all quirky and lovable in their own individual ways. And this song is just as cute <3 As always, this post is drenched in atrocious grammar, and if you spot any mistakes, please feel free to let me know. Enjoy!

さあ 今日も始めましょうか
so, shall we start today as well?
昨日挟んだ栞の続きから
from the bookmark we left in yesterday
楽あれば苦あり
there’s no pleasure without pain
ストーリーは波の隨に
our stories are at the mercy of the waves

深い海を抜け
fall out of the deep sea
空飛ぶ街に繰り出し
fly through the sky until we reach a town
そこから降りれなくなり
but we’re unable to get down
脈絡のないような展開も
surely, even these disjointed developments
きっとオンリーなストーリー
are unique stories

高鳴る所には忘れず付箋を
don’t forget to label all the exciting moments
時々くるマイナスな面に備えて
to protect you against the moments that get you down
重宝して
they’ll come in handy

ひらりひらり
softly, gently
めくりめくる
turning, turning
ストーリーストーリー
our stories, our stories
忙しない ネバーエンディング
are engaging and neverending

いつになれば終わるんだ
I wonder when it’ll end?
皆目見当もつかない
I have no clue
お生憎、見当もつかない
unfortunately, there’s no way to know

さあ 今日も始めましょうか
so, shall we start today as well?
栞挟んだページ涙の跡
at the page we bookmarked, stained with tears
苦しくて思わず閉じた
hurting, we had closed it without thinking
理由は忘れずに
but we haven’t forgotten the reason

読み進める程
the more we read
白紙のページが
the blank white pages
お気に召すままに
become delightful
起承転結をこしらえて
beginnings, developments, and conclusions

ひらりひらり
softly, gently
めくりめくる
turning, turning
ストーリーストーリー
our stories, our stories
喜怒哀楽忙しい
are busy and full of emotion

のらりくらり
lazily, idly
巡り巡る
turning, turning
ストーリーストーリー
our stories, our stories
自己責任険しい
are difficult to take self-responsibility for

破り捨てたい時は
when you want to tear it up
もう一回
just go back again
付箋の場所を読み返し
and read the labeled places
そこに在ったストーリー
in those stories
彩るキャラは居ましたか
was there a character vibrantly depicted there?
さあ 思い出して
now, remember!

ひらりひらり
softly, gently
めくりめくる
turning, turning
ストーリーストーリー
our stories, our stories
喜怒哀楽忙しい
are busy and full of emotion

ひらりひらり
softly, gently
めくりめくる
turning, turning
ストーリーストーリー
our stories, our stories
高鳴れば ネバーエンディング
are exciting and neverending

いつになれば終わるんだ
I wonder when it’ll end?
皆目見当もつかない
I have no clue
お生憎、見当もつかない
unfortunately, there’s no way to know

さあ 今日も始めましょうか
so, shall we start today as well?

Hihi it’s me! Years after starting this blog, and I’m finally making use of that translation tag^^;;; At first glance Flamingo might seem like a ominous song to do for my first translation on Aerou, but it’s a really fun song to sing at karaoke! These past few weeks have been pretty hectic, but I was finally able to grab some free time last week to hang out with a couple of close friends – food, shopping, karaoke – so when I sat down to start this, Flamingo was the first song that came to mind. As always, my grammar is atrocious, so please brace yourself. If you spot any mistakes, please feel free to let me know!

宵闇に 爪弾き 悲しみに雨曝し 花曇り
banished in the twilight, sorrowful and weather-beaten, a hazy spring
枯れた街 にべもなし 侘しげに鼻垂らし へらへらり
a brusque and withered street, my nose running at this wretched feeling, laughing foolishly

笑えない このチンケな泥仕合 唐紅 の髪飾り あらましき恋敵
I can’t laugh at this lame, drawn-out game – a crimson hair ornament roughly outlines a rival in love
触りたい ベルベットのまなじりに 薄ら寒い笑みに
I want to touch the velvet corners of your eyes, your slight, cold smile

あなたフラミンゴ 鮮やかな フラミンゴ 踊るまま
you’re a flamingo, a bright flamingo, while you dance
ふらふら笑ってもう帰らない
dizzily laughing, not coming back
寂しさと嫉妬ばっか残して
leaving only loneliness and jealousy behind
毎度あり 次はもっと大事にして
thank you, please come again, treat me better next time

御目通り ありがたし 闇雲に舞い上がり 上滑り
so grateful for an audience with you – I’m soaring recklessly, superficially
虚仮威し 口遊み 狼狽に軽はずみ 阿呆晒し
bluffing, humming, acting rashly in my confusion, exposing myself a fool

愛おしいその声だけ聞いていたい 半端に稼いだ泡銭 タカリ出す昼鳶
I only want to hear that voice I love – halfheartedly earning easy-money by extorting thieves
下らないこのステージで光るのは あなただけでもいい
it’s alright if you’re the only one who shines on this useless stage

それはフラミンゴ 恐ろしや フラミンゴ はにかんだ
it was a flamingo, dreadful flamingo, bashful and shy
ふわふわ浮かんでもう さいなら
flighty, drifting, it’s already goodbye
そりゃないね もっとちゃんと話そうぜ
that’s not right, let’s talk it out some more
畜生め 吐いた唾も飲まないで
damn you, don’t take back your own words

氷雨に打たれて鼻垂らし あたしは右手にねこじゃらし
nose running as I’m hit by an ice storm, catnip in my right hand
今日日この程度じゃ騙せない 間で彷徨う常しえに
nowadays, I can’t be fooled by something like this, I’ll wander in the in-between for eternity
地獄の閻魔に申し入り あの子を見受けておくんなまし
Enma-do of Hell, I beg you, please take a look at that person
酔いどれ張り子の物語 やったれ死ぬまで猿芝居
the story of drunk papier‐mâché dolls, this clumsy subterfuge will continue to the day I die

あなたフラミンゴ 鮮やかな フラミンゴ 踊るまま
you’re a flamingo, a bright flamingo, while you dance
ふらふら笑ってもう帰らない
dizzily laughing, not coming back
寂しさと嫉妬ばっか残して
leaving only loneliness and jealousy behind
毎度あり 次はもっと大事にして
thank you, please come again, treat me better next time

I go through periods when I read no books, and then periods when I’m just reading aaaaaall the books I can get my hands on. It’s a very all-or-nothing fluctuation that I’m sure must be awful for all my Goodreads friends, whose timelines are, every other month or so, full-on spammed with all the books from whichever genre-related obsession I’ve fallen into this time. Shoutout to all my Goodreads friends for putting up with my bullshit.

These past few weeks, in the true spirit of my always falling into genres years after the hype has died, I’ve been really into Adult Urban Fantasy – vampires, werewolves, romance, you know it, you know it. And man, those series that started around 2010 are long. Couple that with my series-related commitment issues when it comes to picking up book two and subsequent stubbornness when it comes to finishing series I’m at least two-books-deep in, and the result is, well, this.

The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh was my first UF love. I was kind of? disappointed? in the stories featuring Dimitri – the ending development felt like such a cop-out to a love-story that had so much potential – and Venom – Singh is one of my favorite favorite writers but the whole story felt like a sad deflated balloon of recycled elements – but even then they were a solid two stars. And while Raphael and Elena are my favorite couple, Naasir and Andromeda are a close second. I was all caught up on the series a few years ago, but with my recent UF kick, I discovered that a lot of authors had side-stories and extra scenes! So, apologies to my GR friends, but I spent an entire afternoon binge-reading all the extras in shorts. Afternoon well spent 😉

Naturally, then, Psy-Changeling was my second love. I didn’t speed through the whole series like I did Guild Hunter – I feel like Guild Hunter has more of a strong linear story, whereas Psy-Changeling, though it the storyline is very much present, features a different couple in each book, and so it’s easier to start and stop and hop around books within the series. I’d covered the OG couples years ago, but had skipped around a bit then, so a few weeks ago, I took to binge-reading the entire series in order, extras and shorts included. And. Guys! The shorts? You all know I’m cynical as hell, but even cynics can be romantics, and, well. Heart of Obsidian will always be my favorite entry in this series, but everything else? Thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up!! I think at this point, I’ll read just about anything Nalini Singh puts out.

So after my Nalini Singh binge-read-fest, I was craving some more series with kick-ass UF heroines. My cousin recommended me the Night Huntress series – I remember seeing Jeaniene Frost’s name everywhere at one point, and so many people had so many good things to say about the series on Goodreads but it ended up being pretty lackluster? A lot of the books were slow and draggy and most of the characters’ personalities were based on one specific point, which didn’t make for the most dynamic read. I also ended up reading the Night Huntress World series, unaware until halfway through book two (I know… how?) but I ended up liking those two books even less than the main series. Vlad had been my favorite character in Night Huntress, so I tried – and finished – the Night Prince series, but Vlad went from charming and funny to a pretentious asshole and I wasn’t at all on board with that.

The Kate Daniels series though!! And the Hidden Legacy series! They were exactly what I was looking for after bingeing Nalini Singh, and Ilona Andrews is quickly becoming another author I’d read anything from.

After that, I tried D. B. Reynolds’s Vampires in America series, but it was super formulaic, and the formula was pretty lacking in substance, and honestly, every book wrapped up neatly enough, so I felt no real compulsion to finish.

I remember really liking Jennifer Estep’s YA series Mythos Academy, and my cousin was really into her Adult Elemental Assassin series for a while, so I decided to give that one a try, and… It wasn’t that the series was a terribly bad read – a lot of the action cuts are fun! But Estep’s really fond of her recaps, and the deeper into the series you go, the more recaps she pads her books with, until it feels like 90% of them are recaps, and then it just feels daunting to have to wade through all that to get to the main story – especially when the recaps feel copy-and-pasted from previous books’ recaps. It’s a lot. And on top of that, the male love interests go from bad to worse, and then to The Worst. There are seventeen books currently published, and I made it up to the ninth book – Heart of Venom? – which neatly wrapped up many of the initial plot threads and, in light of everything else, seemed like a nice place as any to end.

Goodreads told me I’d read Some Girls Bite and Friday Night Bites, the first two books in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series, but honestly I couldn’t really remember anything, but the rest of the series kept popping up on my recommended list, and it seemed like the kind of series I was looking for, so I gave it another try. Everything up to book four Hard Bitten was really nice! The secondary characters were numerous but unique and interesting, and Merit’s character was interesting to follow. I really like the episodic, scooby-doo reads, tied together by some overarching story – this way, each read has a satisfying end, and then the series has a satisfying end, and then that’s double the satisfaction! But then everything started going downhill with book five, Drink Deep: Merit’s character gets thinner and thinner with the growing focus on romance, Catcher and Mallory’s relationship with Merit soured drastically, and Ethan became a bumbling megalomaniac.

I also read the first book in the Mercy Thompson series – Moon Called? a while back and wasn’t a super big fan, but I’ve heard such great things about Mercy Thompson, and even more about Alpha & Omega, it’s spinoff series, so I decided to give it another shot! The series was definitely more of an acquired taste for me – the way the author writes and organizes her elements is… different? Not sure how to explain it. It’s interesting, though, because Alpha & Omega was definitely the series I enjoyed better upon the first read – and therefore the series I rated most highly – but Mercy Thompson is the one I go back to reread scenes from. I’d definitely recommend both for fans of the genre, though!

(That is if you’ve been living under a rock like me.)

(Welcome to my rock.)