March 2016: The Month Of Reading Slumps, Divide, The Death Note Musical, J-Dramas and… K-Pop? {Monthly Wrap Up}

March 2017

Hi and welcome to my March wrap up!

My March was… well, quite different from January and February readingwise. For the first two months of the year I was on a reading roll. I read an amazing amount of books in those months. But in March, it all came to a standstill and the reading slump hit hard! No particular reason, I just haven’t felt like reading at all. I also put myself on a book-buying ban for the whole month of March, so I could catch up on my TBR and the books already on my shelf. So… THAT WENT WELL.

If not reading, what have I been doing with my free time? Well, I’ve mostly been binge-watching Japanese drama series and anime. Yep. I am curious to see what April will bring. I do hope to get back to reading because I do miss it, but I just don’t want to force myself.

So anyway, here’s my complete March wrap up.

 

What I Read

a-conjuring-of-light-by-v-e-schwabWires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer & Doug Holgate

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Um, hello, this was AMAZING! This may have been one of the best series finales I’ve ever read. So satisfying. I love this world and I love these characters and my review is basically one big gush-fest. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it!

Rating: 5 stars | Check out my full review here.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

I did it! I read my very first graphic novel! Wires and Nerve is set in the world of the Lunar Chronicles and follows Iko, the lovable android who longs to be human. I loved this novel, especially because I loved reconnecting with all the characters I had already fallen in love with.

Rating: 4 stars | Check out my full review here.

The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan

Well, since I was in a bit of a reading slump, I thought maybe a new adult novel would help. It didn’t. I did not like The Room Mate. I could not connect to the characters or the romance, the plot was cliché and forgettable. I did finish it in a day, but then promptly forgot about anything that happened because I just did. not. care.

Rating: 2 stars

 

Blog features

Top Ten Tuesday

170328 Authors 170321 Feel-Good One-Sitting Reads

170314 TTT Spring TBR 170307 First sentences

Tag Thursday

Sunshine Blogger Award

  • The Sunshine Blogger Award (read)

Other

Nine Advantages of eBooks 170316 Simon Wishlist

  • Nine Advantages of eBooks (read)
  • My Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda Movie Wishlist (read)

 

What I listened to

Well, my playlist was actually really all over the place in March. Here’s my full playlist:

First of all, there was of course the new album by Ed Sheeran, Divide. This has been on repeat pretty much every day since its release and I can’t express my happiness with it enough. Other than Castle On The Hill and Shape Of You, my favorites include: Perfect, What Do I Know, Supermarket Flowers and Save Myself.

I also discovered a band called Marianas Trench (thanks again for the amazing rec, Lauren!) and I have fallen in love with their sound! I’m still listening to them daily and discovering new songs I like all the time, but my favorite so far is their Ever After album, especially Ever After, Fallout and Stutter.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may know I have recently become obsessed with Death Note. I watched the anime, am saving up for the mangas, watched the movies and watched the TV show. So what better next step than the DEATH NOTE MUSICAL? Yes, that’s right, there is actually a musical. There is a Japanese and a Korean version and the Japanese version can be found with English subs on Youtube. Though the Japanese musical is really good and visually really close to the original, I have a slight preference for the Korean version because the vocals are just THROUGH THE ROOF AMAZING. There’s no English musical yet, but there are a few English demo songs out already and OMG, guys! They are cheesy as hell and the lyrics are a little cringe-worthy, but for me it’s so bad that it’s good and I LOVE it! They are not on Spotify, but I’ll link you to a few of the songs on Youtube:

English demo songs:

Death Note Musical 2

And, because they sound amazing, some of the Korean versions:

And because I listened to these Korean songs, I also discovered Kim Jun-Su, who played L in the Korean Death Note Musical and is also known as Junsu or Xia. And I fell in love with him and his songs and mostly this song in particular:

Jageun biccirado eodumi samkijneun moshae. ||
Even if it’s a small light, the darkness can’t swallow it.

I can’t stop watching this music video. It’s been on repeat daily since I discovered it. It got to me at the perfect point in my life and I’m just super motivated by the message of bouncing back stronger than before after a difficult period in your life. I love the music, I love his voice, I love the visual of the video and I LOVE the dancing. I can’t help but love a guy who can dance like he does. I may also be tempted to learn the whole dance myself because the dance practice is online as well and I am IN AWE.

So Xia got me checking out some more K-pop and I’m quite liking what I found so far. It’s high-energy and danceable. I’ve put all of my discoveries so far in the playlist below, but be warned it’s like 50% Xia… Of course there is soo much and I’d still like to discover more, so if you happen to have any recs for me, feel free to let me know!

 

What I Watched

TV

Toradora Orange-Anime Mischievous-Kiss

Toradora

High school student Ryuji Takasu looks mean even though he is a nice guy. He meets Taiga Aisaka, a girl who overcompensates for her small stature. Both are romantically interested in a close friend of the other’s and so reluctantly agree to help one another.

This was such a fun, cute and unexpectedly heart-warming anime, dealing with family issues, friendship and featuring a romance that is super adorable and so enjoyable to see slowly develop.

Orange

One day, Naho Takamiya receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the transfer of a new student into her class named Kakeru Naruse. The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions, especially regarding Kakeru. What’s more shocking is that she discovers that ten years later, Kakeru will no longer be with them. Future Naho asks her to watch over him closely.

I was actually expecting a bit of a fluffy romance story, but Orange turned out to be so much more. The story really goes deep and discusses what it means to be there for someone, how to let other people in and dealing with regrets. The ending made me cry so hard.

Mischievous kiss

At a high school entrance ceremony, high school student Kotoko Aihara, who isn’t that smart, notices gorgeous genius Naoki Irie and falls in love with him immediately. However, when she finally works up the courage to confess her love, he coldly turns her down. After that, disaster strikes again and Kotoko and her dad’s house gets completely destroyed. In desperate need of a place to live, they are contacted by the former best friend of Kotoko’s dad and are offered to come live with his family. When Kotoko moves to her new temporary house, she is surprised to learn that Naoki Irie lives there as well.

After Orange, I wanted something funny and fluffy to watch while turning my thoughts off. Mischievous Kiss was exactly that. It felt a bit like a slapstick comedy at times, with exaggerated expressions and situations full of second-hand embarassment. I did have some issues getting to like the character of Naoki, who is really cold, but he grew on me throughout the series and I ended up loving it

Good Morning Call

Good Morning Call

Nao rents her dream apartment, but things are not what they seem when she finds out she has been the victim of a scam and will have to share the apartment with high school heart throb Uehara.

Though this has a kind of similar premise to Mischievous Kiss, I actually liked this one just a tad more. Good Morning Call felt just a bit more realistic, more heart-warming and more relatable. Though I love all characters, I felt like especially the secondary cast really shined. Issei and Daichi are adorable, Marina is the most amazing best friend and Abe is hilarious. Looking forward to the second season!

Other

I’ve also been keeping up with the last few episodes of The 100, The Flash and Arrow.

Movies

Finding Dory

I FINALLY got to watch this, and it was just as good as I expected it to be! Just as good as Finding Nemo, if not maybe even just a bit better?

Logan

Wow, this was dark and gritty. And amazing. So well done. I won’t spoil anything, but just know that Laura is amazing and I need her to team up with Eleven from Stranger things and rule the world.

Orange

This is the movie adaptation of the anime I also watched this month and it was incredibly well done. Everything I said for the anime holds for the movie as well. I may have cried just a bit harder at the movie’s end though.

  Beauty and the Beast

L.DK

Aoi lives in an apartment by herself. Shusei, a very popular student, moves in next to Aoi’s apartment. Due to a mistake, Aoi makes the sprinkler go off in his room and so, until his room is fixed, he stays with Aoi.

I know, the premise sounds familiar doesn’t it? I think I had a thing for the ‘boy-and-girl-living-together’ trope this month. I also chose this movie because it features Kento Yamazaki, who played L in the Death Note drama (I know, I know, I’m obsessed). He also played in Orange, by the way. But unfortunately this movie did not really live up to my expectations. I didn’t understand the characters’ motivations and didn’t feel the romance. Though I must say that the subs for this were really bad, which means I had to get the story based on a few words and context, so I did not understand everything which could be the reason for this.

Beauty and the Beast

Saw this one in the cinema and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I loved how it has all the magic from the original, but manages to go into a bit more depth and has a few little extras. I liked all performances, but especially that of Luke Evans as Gaston – he seemed like a perfect fit for the role and really brought Gaston to life.

Life update

  • I continued my job hunt with no luck so far. There was an interview I had big hopes for, but in the end I didn’t get it because I lack experience in online marketing. In my previous jobs I dealt with all types of marketing, from classic advertising to direct mail, from PR to events, and so on. Just not online marketing. And that is what is causing me the most trouble finding a new job in marketing, because they all require some experience in online marketing. I took classes and studied up on it so I’m not completely new to it, but how are you supposed to get the experience without someone taking a chance on you? It’s quite frustrating. I decided to try and get a few official certificates in April and hopefully that’ll help me get further. If not, maybe it’s time for me to look for a job outside of marketing.
  • Spring is here! We had the first few days of actual spring weather here in Belgium and it was quite refreshing. I hate winter time because it’s cold and dark and just overall depressing, so I always feel brand new when spring finally begins.
  • I got to go to a Bruno Mars concert with my friends and it was a lot of fun. We were seated pretty much on the left side of the stage, so we had a great view. And Bruno definitely turned it into a party. The man can sing AND move  <3 I also love his band, they really are the cherry on top of the show.
  • Because of my new-found love of anime and Japanese drama, I’ve been considering trying to study Japanese. I’ve heard it’s incredibly difficult though (especially the kanji), so it’s also really intimidating me. Anyone has any experience with learning this language? Any tips to share with me?
How was your March? What did you read? What did you listen to and what did you watch? And what are your plans for April?

19 thoughts on “March 2016: The Month Of Reading Slumps, Divide, The Death Note Musical, J-Dramas and… K-Pop? {Monthly Wrap Up}

  1. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    I always love your wrap up posts so much, Lindsey ♥

    Sorry March was a bit slump-y for you, but you read ACOL so I think that’s the most important thing ? I’ve read Vol 1 of the Death Note manga and really enjoyed it! You’ve definitely inspired me to continue with it. I’m so glad you enjoyed Marianas Trench 😀 Like always, your music is amazing ?

    • Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

      Also, sorry you haven’t had any luck with the job hunting D: It sucks that people aren’t willing to give you a chance. I’m facing the same kind of thing. I haven’t really worked much because of my mental illnesses and trying to find someone who’ll take a 20-something with zero experience is really frustrating. I’m 100% committed to learning new things too. It just feels like nobody can actually be bothered teaching/helping anyone D: Good luck with the certificates and I’m sending positive vibes your way ♥

      • Lindsey Habets says:

        Ah, thanks so much Lauren! I love writing these wrap up posts as well, because it gives me the opportunity to fangirl about more than just books 🙂 And I love reading other people’s wrap up posts as well.
        You’re so right, I think I actually don’t really mind this reading slump because I’m still on an ACOL-high 🙂 Oh, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the Death Note series! I’ve watched everything there is to watch, and now I’m saving up for the mangas which I have high hopes for 🙂 I’m absolutely loving Marianas Trench, they’re exactly my favorite sound, so thanks again for the rec <3
        And thanks for the positive vibes, definitely some your way as well! It does suck, and you're so right, it feels like employers are expecting the perfect resume and someone who they have to spend zero time on, but that just seems impossible to me. I mean, no one is perfect and experience is not the end-all-be-all, there are more important things, like qualifications and intelligence and readiness to learn new things. Someone could have so many years of experience in something and still be a crappy employee, while someone with no experience can be super motivated, a quick study and turn out to be one of the best employees. I'm sorry you're facing that kind of prejudice because of a mental illness, and I hope you'll find an employer who actually looks at your qualifications instead of just experience! <3

  2. Prabhleen says:

    Lindsey, so sorry about the interview! I hope everything goes well with the certificates and stuff?? also, you have watched so many adaptations of Death Note I am now realllly confused. Can you tell me all of the stuff you watched and what ones you recommend? I also have to finish my re watch of the anime? You should also watch Your Lie in April! It is a very emotional anime and well, remember to keep tissues by your side.
    Toradora is also quite popular, although I haven’t watched it yet. (And Orange too)
    I love BTS, have you heard their stuff? They are a really popular Kpop group.
    Your wrap up posts have also inspired me to write one of my own, so I will publish my March one in a few days, I promise?
    And as for learning Japanese, pronouncing it is quite easy because it is an Eastern language, and since I know Hindi, it kind of gets easy for me to pronounce something. The kanji is really tough though. My friends used to learn it in school and while it is a cool language, kanji just kicks your ass. How are you planning on learning it though? The Internet I feel is okay for European languages, but since the script is entirely different you should learn it by a teacher!!
    (Also divide is awesome)
    Prabhleen recently posted…BOOKISH TROPES THAT NEED TO #STAHPMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much Prabhleen! <3
      Well, so far I watched the anime (which is still the best in my opininion) and then there are the Japanese movies:
      - Death Note (2006): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758742/
      – Death Note 2 – The Last Name (2006): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810827/
      – L: Change The World (2008): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0912597/
      And then there is the Japanese TV drama: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4623604/
      And the Japanese musical: https://youtu.be/hCQUPKe0WjY
      I like them all, but they are all so different. And they all change small or big things about the original. For example, in the movie Light has a girlfriend. Overall, I do think the movies are closer to the original. The first one has the origins story all the way up until the Naomi Misora plot. Then the second one has the Misa and Yotsuba arc. The third is an L-centric spin-off, based on the movies. The TV show is great because it focuses a bit more on Light’s human side and his journey, more Misa, more Mikami and more L/Light friendship. I only didn’t like what they did with the characters of Near and Mello. The musical is nice if you like musicals 🙂 It’s definitely something different!
      Your Lie in April is definitely on my watchlist! I just need to mentally prepare myself for the sadness.
      Ah, I heard (and love) the song Not Today by BTS! Haven’t heard any other songs yet though, so I’ll have to check them out!
      Yay, that’s great, I can’t wait to read your wrap up post! They’re some of my favorite posts to write myself, though they take a lot of time 🙂
      That’s what I thought about learning Japanes! I’d prefer to learn online, but since it’s so tricky it should probably be taught by a teacher. I’ll have to do some research to see if there are any classes nearby 🙂

  3. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says:

    Lovely wrap-up! I just finished ACOL and I’m with you, what a crazy but lovely ride to end this series. I had so many feelings while reading this.
    I LOVED Finding Dory just as well, such a cute movie, I loved Finding Nemo so much and it made me kind of remember my childhood seeing this movie and getting back into this world again 🙂
    I’m sorry to hear the job hunting has been rough, I hope that the best will come for next month, Lindsey. It is so bothering seeing how people won’t take a chance on someone with some experience, even if it’s not ALL the right experience – seeing how eager you can be to learn and quick to adapt and eveyrthing. Overall the job market is very frustrating. Wishing you the best of luck and loads of positive vibes <3
    Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…Review: Zenn Diagram, Wendy BrantMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks, Marie! ACOL was indeed such a crazy but lovely ride and the perfect ending to the series. I miss the world so much, and still I’m completely satisfied with the ending, so I guess that’s a good thing 🙂
      Finding Nemo was one of my favorite movies! I rewatched it a few months ago to get ready for Finding Dory and I still loved it so much. So to love Finding Dory just as much was just perfect 🙂
      Thanks for the positive vibes, I really appreciate it <3 It is quite frustrating, because I know I can be a quick learner and I'm super motivated, so it sucks that they are only judging based on experience. But I'll get there, even if it takes some time 🙂

  4. Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    I can’t wait to read the Shade of Magic series and hopefully more of Schwab’s work as well. I’m so glad you loved them!

    I need to continue with the Lunar Chronicles and then I will definitely want to check out that graphic novel.

    I finally managed to see Beauty and the Beast as well and I LOVED IT!!!!!!! Amazing! We had the same sentiments!

    Ugh, I’m sorry the job hunt has been so damn tough. 🙁 Online marketing are you listing your blogging at all as experience? That’s experience SURELY!?

    Bruno Mars sounds awesome! I’m glad you loved it.

    I hope April is so much more successful for you!!!!!!!!!
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…Weekly Round Up #26 : Where I am catching up on the blogMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      I so hope you’ll enjoy the Shades of Magic series as much as I did! I haven’t read any of her other works myself yet either, but I’m hoping to get to them soon! And if you love The Lunar Chronicles, then I think you could enjoy the graphic novel as well 🙂
      Ah, so happy you loved Beauty and the Beast as well! It was indeed amazing <3
      Thanks, Di! I actually did try to list my blogging as an experience, but the interviewer kind of immediately dismissed it. They didn't even bother to even ask for the URL or quickly look it up, or even ask any further. Pretty frustrating...
      But yes, Bruno Mars definitely was amazing 😉
      Thanks so much, DI, hope you'll have an amazing April as well!

  5. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    Sooo glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed ACOL! I would’ve died if you didn’t (OK, no pressure, but you know what I mean). 😛

    I am 100% in love with Ed Sheeran’s new album too! I’ve been listening to that pretty much on repeat (my two favourite songs are Shape of You and Happier), along with James Blunt’s new album. These two just hit me right in the feels.

    Also ORANGE, omg. I don’t watch the anime but I finished the manga and daaaaamn, it was super heartbreaking. I feel like Good Morning Call is good to watch after Orange – it’s definitely more fun and funny rather than the sombre, deep tone that Orange has (I assume… again, I’ve really only read the manga for these two titles).

    Sorry to hear that the job hunt hasn’t been all that great, but I hope April is when that turns around for you! <3
    Reg @ She Latitude recently posted…Book Review: Pretty Face – Lucy ParkerMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Haha, I totally understand, I also think I would have died if I hadn’t enjoyed ACOL (also not really, but it would have been so shocking and disappointing if I didn’t. But of course we could trust the genius of V.E. Schwab 🙂 )
      Oh, I somehow missed that James Blunt had a new album out! Must go check it out immediately!
      That’s so cool that you have read the Orange and Good Morning Call managas! I have to admit I haven’t read ANY manga yet, but I’m curious to try them someday soon.
      Thanks so much Reg, hope you’ll have an amazing April as well! <3

  6. Melissa (Books and Things) says:

    Your March seemed very busy. I think the only anime I have really watched is Inuyasha. I know, not a drama, but I really loved it. I’m also thinking of watching the Death Note anime since the cinema one is about to come out (but I doubt I’ll see that one for reasons…). Still need to see Beauty and the Beast and Logan. Good luck on learning Japanese and the job hunt!!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth DurstMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      I haven’t watched Inuyasha yet, but I’ll have to check it out! Oh, but I think it’s definitely a good idea to watch the Death Note anime 😉 I’m highly skeptical about the new movie one coming out, but the anime is AMAZING 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy Beauty and the Beast and Logan! And thanks so much!

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