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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Living Miracle: A Love Story by Donna D. Vaal

Pearls Before Swine

Title: The Living Miracle: A Love Story

Author: Donna D. Vaal

Publisher: RoseDog Books (April 2, 2016)

Published: April 2, 2016

ISBN-10: 1480966772

ISBN-13: 978-1480966772

Language: English.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Step into the 31st Century where synthetic babies are born and man is God. On June 4, 3044, Hiroto, the grandson of Master Izanagi Okamura, is born. The Self-Professed Japanese God of the Creation of Life, Izanagi has revolutionized life with his synthetic baby creation. No longer capable of giving birth, women are barren in this new world. Instead, babies are conceived in a petrie dish and there are more than one kind of living being.

There are humans, developed by a male sperm piercing a female egg, and then there are the Mosouka’s, imitation cells with the same DNA structure as humans. Each human is born with…

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Foreign Drama -Joseon Gunman

Gunman in Joseon-p2.jpg

The Joseon Gunman/The Joseon Shooter

22 episodes 2014

Lee Joon Gi is wonderful in this drama.  He is convincing in each side of his characters roles from a son, to a Japanese merchant to a gunman.  I felt his connection to his opponents and the woman he loves.  The storyline is multi faceted and compelling.

I wonder if this drama affected Nam Sang Mi’s career.  It didn’t get the best ratings, nor was it a popular drama.  According to Asian Wiki, Sang Mi hasn’t had a drama or a movie since 2014.

I thought she was a wonderful actress who gave her all to this character.  Her convictions remained true throughout, and her compassion for those who betrayed her was  honorable and courageous.

Joen Hye Bin is not only a beautiful woman -she is wicked in this drama.  Anything to further the lives of her father and herself, is game on.  She goes so far as to hold a gun to her childhood friends head -with the intention of shooting her.  I have little doubt that gun would have been fired. You may recognize this actress from the recent successful drama, Another Miss Oh.  She is also performing in the current drama, Woman With A Suitcase.

Yu Oh Seong portrays a killer.  There are no other words to describe him in this drama.  Maybe in the beginning he only kills to keep his position as a merchant, but the day comes where he kills to kill.  Anyone who gets in his way will face his gun.  Funny, that Oh Seong also played a ruthless father in Uncontrollably Fond.  This role suits him, he can be frightening to face with his ruthless, killers face.

Choi Jung Won brings to life a man who allows his greed and hunger for power to manipulate and control those around him, while maintaining a low profile.  A perfect performance.  He latterly made my skin crawl.  Again, this actor portrays a man full of greed in the current drama, Man Living In My House.

So many contributors in this performance that deserve recognition.

  1. Han Joo Wan
  2. Kim Hyun Soo
  3. Ahn Suk Hwan
  4. Lee Min Woo
  5. Kim Ye Ryeong

If you love a good western, this drama is filled with gunpowder.  I’m not sure why it didn’t rate better as I found this drama to be filled with multiple twists and turns that kept it interesting.  I wouldn’t say it was a favorite, and I did take my time watching The Joseon Gunman, but I truly enjoyed it.

Dee
Cinematography  8
Script  9
Music 7
Acting 10
Story 8.5
Total Score  8.5

 

 

Foreign Drama -Something About 1%

Something About 1 Percent (2016)-p1.jpg

1% of Something or Something About 1%

16 episodes 2016

Each episode is around 30 minutes in length, so I consider it a shorty.  Anytime you have a shorter drama it can’t carry the depth of a full length drama but this one is balanced well.  They keep most of the focus on the couple and bring in surrounding characters just enough to make it real.

I can’t say I fell in love with either the lead male, Ha Soek Jin or the lead female,  Jeon So Min.  Soek Jin has made several dramas but I’ve yet to see one.  So, this is my first time to be moved by him.  Was I?  At moments he really did draw me in.  For instance, we was a decent kisser -and boy are there a load of kiss scenes in this drama.

So Min is also new to my drama world.  There were also moments I thought she was beautiful, but she just didn’t capture my interest  for future dramas.  What I did find interesting is these two shared a date in another drama airing, Drinking Solo.  Did I see this as Let’s Drink on Drama Fever?  Maybe I’ve lost my mind.

Apparently, So Min is a blind date for Soek Jin’s character in Drinking Solo.  They must have hit it off and produced lots of chemistry for them to turn around and place these two as the lead couple.

I would say the two actors were cute together and did seem to have the chemistry -they just couldn’t draw me in as much as I wanted.  Is it possible the length of the drama had something to do with this lacking?  Probably.

Kim Hyeong Min is a cutie.  He has a very small part that isn’t even played well, but I give him points for adding more cuteness to the drama.  You should check out is Asian Wiki page -he has long hair and wow, what a cutie he is!  He has performed in several well known dramas, like: I Need Romance 2, Iron Empress, and East of Eden.  Yet, I don’t recall seeing him so I believe his parts must not have drawn me in.

Im Do Yoon also carries a small part.  It wasn’t enough to be noticeable.

Joo Jin Mo -I never really got the reasons behind his plans.

Lee Kan Hie was a wishy-washy character that I found irritating but sweet.

Jo Jae Ryeong was one of my favorite character actors in this drama.  He is always stressed and you can feel it even in short scenes.

Park Jin Joo is in this drama.  They really should have used her more as I believe she is a funny woman.  She could have made a few of the scenes way better.

So, what is this drama about?  Marriage, inheritance and status.  These are three issues Koreans struggle with.  Why is it so hard for Koreans to relax on these issues?  Status is everything!  While marriage plays a very unimportant role when it comes to love.  You have to marry who your parents chose for you, keep within your status and they must have an equal or better financial position.

What happened to love?  Well, this is where Something About 1% comes into play.  The wealthy grandpa wants his grandson to marry a woman who is kind and genuine, while the boys mother wants him to marry for status.  Love is useless in the minds of these two adults.  Marry because they want you too.  Why?  Well, a married man is a stable man.  Love can come later!

These couple signs a contract to date in order to keep the grandpa happy.  Six months later, they break up to make the mother happy.  Can they make the adults happy while satisfying their own desires?  Not an easy task.

Even though these two did not pull me in until I was as much in love with them as they pretend to be with each other, I enjoyed this drama -at least, 1%.

Dee
Cinematography 8
Script  8
Music  8
Acting  8
Story  8
Total Score  8

 

 

Foreign Drama -Jealousy Incarnate

Jealousy Incarnate-p1.jpgJealousy Incarnate/Jiltooui Hwashin

24 episodes 2016

Funny, entertaining, sweet and competitive are words to explain this drama.

Cho Jung Seok (Oh My Ghost) is so funny in this drama he keeps you laughing but he is also good at making you cry.  A man with breast cancer is no laughing manner but watching him struggle with his manliness while walking the halls in a pink gown and getting a mammogram will get you on the floor rolling with laughter.

I love this guy!  He is so good at sexy and humor.

Pare him up with the amazing Gong Kyo Jin.  She has performed in countless movies and some big names

  • It’s Ok, This is Love
  • Master’s Sun
  • Flower Boy Ramen Shop
  • The Greatest Love
  • Pasta
  • and the unpopular drama, but well known –The Producers
  • Pasta

Ko Gyung Pyo really was the perfect guy in this drama but he was just too perfect.  Girls want sexy and Gyung Pyo, though a sexy man, was not sexy in this drama past his first couple of scenes.  It just written in for him to show that side.   Sad!😦

Seol Woo Hyung was adorable!  Why are these Asian children so totally cute?

Everyone was great in this drama.  The love triangle between the mothers and the teenager was cute but I mostly skipped their scenes.  Come on, the man being A sexual and suddenly he changes… maybe I didn’t watch enough to understand this but to me it was boring.

The whole dynamic among the reporters and the reporting was so well written and believable.  They are a family but still very competitive and potentially backstabbing.  This is real life.

It is funny how this drama brings to light a woman’s weakness over a man.  This guy treated her like crap for three years, and then she meets his best friend who is GREAT, but as soon as the jerk confesses a change in heart -she melts.  That would be us, ladies.  Why?  Why would we want a guy, just because he makes our heart pound -would we accept him back after being a total jerk?

Because he makes our heart pound!  That simple men.  If you want to be the great guy and still win us over -make our heart pound out of our chest and we will grovel in defeat.

Dee
Cinematography  9
Script 9
Music  8
Acting  9
Story  10
Total Score  9♥

 

 

Foreign Drama -K2

The K2-p1.jpgThe K2/ Deo Keitu

16 episodes 2016

Can Ji Chang Wook be more powerful then he was in Healer?

Yes. Yes. Yes!  Chang Wook is a monster in this movie.  The fight scenes were amazing and his character was, what can I say?  Sexy, macho, intimidating, manly, powerful, (do you want me to keep going or stop?) gorgeous, endearing… Okay, aleso -I will stop.

Yoona is always entertaining, whether singing, dancing or acting.  I loved her in Love Rain (one of my all time favs) and she showed her talents here also.  My only problem is the writing.  Oh my gosh, did they make her a weak and pathetic creature. At the same time Yoona brought out a strength that was admirable and gutsy.  If I were a child in her same circumstances and as withdrawn and mentally disrupted would I have the strength to escape into an unknown world over and over, without a support system, or face death to be next to the men I loved?  I don’t know.  Yoona is a singer with the girl group Girl’s Generation -the first Asian girl group to perform in America.

You can’t watch this drama with out giving Song Yoon A a standing ovation.  She was villainous, with a touch of love spilling into the cracks.  The men she loved, she loved fiercely, but would destroy them at the same time.  Even with Chang Wook in this drama he could not have carried it without Yoona.

Cho Seong Ha’s character did little for me  until his final moments in the drama.  Then he became the man you want him to be throughout the show.  His last scene was truly beautiful and self-sacrificing for the women who suffered for his wrong doing, selfish greed.

Kim Kap Soo -would there be a point to this drama without this character?  No!  His role was played perfectly.  He found a way to bring humor and joy to greed, power and death.  Great job!

Shin Dong Mi -Yoo Jin would have been frail and pathetic without the character played by Dong Mi.  This woman was scary!

So many people brought this drama to life and make it great.  The writing was superb, and the directing was nearly flawless.  There are a few fight scenes that you see mistakes but overall this is a great drama.

However, I’m just not a fan of all this backstabbing pain between people and within a nation, so for that reason I would not have watched it if Chang Wook wasn’t in the drama.  It isn’t that I don’t like action flicks -I love them, but when the cruelty is played out among family members it draws a line for me.

Chang Wook’s bared chest and buttocks certainly added its own flair for fun.

The last two episodes are worth waiting for!

Dee
Cinematography  9
Script 10
Music 9
Acting 10
Story 10
Total Score  9.6♥

 

 

Foreign Drama -Shopping King Louis

Shopping King Louis/Shopingwang Looi

Shopping King Louie-p1.jpg

16 episodes 2016

If you are looking for a different side to Seo In Guk this is the most hilarious side of him.  Trust me when I tell you, this actor has managed to put adorable, while maintaining a sexy into pathetic.

King Louie is a mere child in a man’s body -and his existence is torture to watch -at least until he escapes and meets Go Bok Sil.  The two of them are fabulous.  How she holds onto this child man without throwing in the towel and grows as a woman, a worker, a thinker is endearing.

Nam Ji Hyun is a new actress to me but she won Best New Actress in What Happens to My Family as well as Best New Couple, in 2014.  She also won Best Child Actress in Little Girl Detective Park Hae Sol, in 2012.

Yoon Sang Hyun is goofy in this drama.  Well, he is seriously serious while being utterly goofy.  What was with his clothes and hairdo’s?  Well, anyway, he does a wonderful job.

Im Se Mi  plays one of those characters you can’t decide if you hate or like (sort of).

Others who helped make this drama delightful are:

  1. Eom Hyo Seop
  2. Ryoo Ui Hyun
  3. Kim Kyu Cheol
  4. Oh Dae Hwan
  5. Hwang Young Hee
  6. Kim Sung Young
  7. Kim Young Ok

So many wonderful actors and actresses that helped make this drama well rounded, but it was still In Guk and Ji Hyun that brought it to life.  I find it hard to believe most people who are raised in the country, or wealthy child brats are this gullible and pathetic and then prosper to maturity and responsibility ‘together’ and individually.  For me, these two were simply over the top, but it did help to bring to light the struggles found on the streets of the city, and in business.

My music score isn’t great because some of the music was just plain bad and didn’t fit the moment for me.  Although, it has a better score then I would have given it because there were a couple of songs that were great.  The Way, sang by UMJI, can already be found at iTunes.  I hope you download it and enjoy her sweet music as much as me.

Dee
Cinematography  8
Script  8
Music  8
Acting 10
Story  10
Total Score  8.8

 

 

Foreign Drama -Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Scarlet Heart Ryeo or Moon Lovers.p1.jpg

Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo

20 episodes 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow!  What a love story!  What a tragedy!  Lee Joon Ki and IU are perfect together.

Yet, I feel such agony over the ending.  Yes, it was perfect for this drama -because how else could it have ended?  I don’t know!  I really thought he would follow her to the future or he would be a man in her future, also reborn.  Maybe she wasn’t reborn, just transformed into a different life.  Then the king was real, with a real life and a real story -so to disappear would have been noticeable.  Aish!

We must also deal with their daughter.  How could he leave his child behind -even when her mother did.  He may not raise her, but she is still his.

If their love story wasn’t enough to break you down and rip out your heart, what about the love Prince Wang Jong gave her (Ji Soo).  Not only did he care for her each final moment of her life, he raised her child as his own.  This love was as endearing as the love Hae Soo shared with Wang So.

Ji Soo just had surgery in October for Osteomyelitis which is inflammation of the bones or something like that.  He is currently working on Fantastic.

Lee Joon Ki (The Last Joseon Gunman)has never been on my radar before but this drama has changed that.  He showed his power and stirred my heart.  There were times I could barely stand his character and simply didn’t understand his actions that drove them apart.  Did he catch the ‘king’ fever?  Or, did he believe everything he did was to protect Hae Soo?

Joon Ki will make his Hollywood debut in the movie Resident Evil The Final Chapter expected to come out January 27, 2017.  He will also star in the web drama titled Six First Kisses alongside Lee Jung Suk, Ji Chang Wook, Park Hae Jin, Ok Taekyeon, and Kai.

Then when Wang So married Yeon Hwa (Kang Ha Na) I nearly fell out of my chair.  Was it not bad enough that he married another woman but then added pain over distraught by having sex with this woman and giving her a child?  I could barely get through this!  To me, it was the ultimate betrayal to Hae Soo.  I don’t blame her for wanting to leave the kingdom -even when she knew the kings hands were tied and multiple sex partners were expected of the king.

IU (The Producers) was perfect for this role.  She naturally has a softness to her that carried over into Hae Soo.  If you don’t already listen to her music you should check it out.  Her voice is melodious.  When we talk about Hae Soo, we must also discuss her first love with Wang Wook.  I knew from the beginning she would be won over by Wang So, but I was still bothered how she just jumped ship when Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) was trying to save and protect her just as Wang So did.  I don’t know, it felt dirty in my heart.  Yet, Wang Wook turned out to be an even uglier man then Wang So.

Why did Woo Hee (Seohyun) kill herself?  Did you get the reasoning behind it?  I understand she believed it would save the kingdom -but why?  I’m lost.  And, to leave behind that beautiful Prince Baek A (Nam Joo Hyuk) behind to suffer a lifetime without her.  Cruel!

Wang Eun (Baekhyun) and Park Soon Duk (Z.Hera) was another tragedy I didn’t understand.  Why did Wang Yo (Hong Jung Hyun) want them dead?  Did you understand this?  Did he simply go crazy?  If that is so, why did he let some brothers live?

This drama left me hungry for more and wanting to turn it off at the same time.  Then how  could I miss the next moment, the next tragedy, the next love scene?  Beauty in every scene, even when I hated it.  Did any of you feel the same way?

Who was my favorite characters?  I am torn between Lee Joon Ki and Ji Soo.  They both carried a deep love for Hae Soo that brought them through a lifetime.  They both suffered her loss and loved her daughter.  Yet, Ji Soo’s character did not abandon her even when she loved another man.  Not to mention both men are gorgeous!

Other actors that brought this drama to life

  1. Park Ji Young
  2. Jung Kyung Soon
  3. Woo Hee Jin
  4. Kim Sung Kyun

One thing I must bring to light.  I just can’t remember if this happened in this drama or Moonlight Drawn By Clouds.  There was a crazy man who barked at the dog.  That poor dog was clearly in distress.  It’s eyes were wide and the panting showed it had spent to long in the sun being tormented by this scene probably repeated over and over without any thoughts to the dogs needs on that short little chain without any shade or water.  Deeply disturbing!  In so many Korean dramas the dogs are placed on short chains but this was the first time I saw one in distress.  When will Asian countries learn the value of all life?  I hope soon!  This problem is very real for me and other animal activist.  I hate to end on this down note but he needs to be discussed.

Dee
Cinematography  10
Script 10
Music 9
Acting  10
Story  10
Total Score  9.8♥