Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, X

Review: XOXO (Axie Oh)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2022

”A silky shirt clings to his shoulders, and his long legs are clad in smooth black pants. His left arm is in a cast, but a Rolex glints from his right wrist – and are those sleeve tattoos?”

If you’re BTS ARMY and didn’t immediately think of Jungkook when you read this description of Jaewoo then I really dunno. *lol* It was my first thought and from then on out I always pictured JK when I read about him. Don’t judge me, I needed to live vicariously through Jenny’s POV. ;-P I mean which k-pop fan doesn’t dream of meeting their idol and actually being together with them? XD Okay, so this out of the way we can finally talk about the actual book.

”If you need help, you only have to ask.”
There’s a short pause, then he says softly. “If I asked you to save me, would you?”
My heart breaks a little. “I can try.”


I absolutely loved how Jenny and Jaewoo met. I mean a karaoke bar is so fitting for a k-pop idol and those two spent quite a nice night together. Their meet-cute was extremely sweet and I can’t believe Jenny didn’t know who he was. She found out soon enough though and to say the revelation kinda threw her would be an understatement. Jenny was such a great character though and I really liked the way she thought about life and idols in general. Her stance on how fans should respect their idols and their wishes was amazing and I really wish the hard-core fans in the fandom would see it like that too.

”I mean… not exactly that. More like, you need to be strong for yourself first, be healthy and happy for yourself first, before you can be strong and give happiness to others. The healthier and happier you are, the more you can give to your fans, right? They should want that for you.”

I think the majority of k-pop stans (and when I say majority I mean about 90%) want their idols to be happy no matter what they do or who they end up with. I’m no exception to that rule because honestly if any member of BTS would find their significant other I’d be super happy for them. They deserve it! They did so much for ARMY and all I want for them is to be happy and healthy. ❤ Unfortunately not everyone in the fandom is like me though and there are the ugly sides of being an idol as well. Stalker fans (saesangs) and people in the fandom that criticize everything their idols do. People that think they can dictate what their idol wears, who they date or even what haircut they should get. (Let alone all those people that constantly give idols hell for getting tattoos or piercings. They are adults and grown women/men and it is their body! They can do whatever they want! You either love them as they are, because tattoos and piercings are an expression of themselves as well or you just don’t stan them. Period!)

I look up to see Jaewoo walk into the cafeteria … with Sori.
I’ve never seen a more striking pair. They look like they stepped out of a catalogue.
“Is it weird if I take a picture?” Angela asks. “Like as a souvenir for myself. I’ve never seen such great visuals.”


So yeah, sorry about that but everyone who is familiar with k-pop knows that there is a darker side to the fandoms as well. It’s not all bad though and there is an even bigger and lovely side to the fandoms as well. As I said before, about 90% of their fans will support their idols no matter what and will always have their back. 😉 I think the book portrayed the good and the bad sides of the fandoms so well and really captured the essence of being a k-pop fan. Alone the quote above with the visuals was so damn relatable.*lol* And don’t even get me started on the shipping. Haha!

”You’re my boyfriend. Don’t think for a second I haven’t seen all your videos, even the fan-made ones that point out all the evidence that you and Nathaniel are a couple.”
“That’s embarrassing,” Jaewoo says. “And here I thought we were being careful.”


I mean that quote!!! It’s every k-pop group that has a fandom! There will always be ships no matter if it’s among the members in the group or with members of other groups. XD And speaking of the k-pop bands themselves. The representation of XOXO as a k-pop group was more than just accurate too! The way the band members cared about and supported each other was so heart-warming and relatable. Everyone who’s a fan of a k-pop group will know that the members are basically family and that they spend a lot of time together. Most of the times even their youth because they become trainees when they are still very young and the other band members kind of compensate for their real family. So by the end of their trainee days and when they have their debut they are actually already a found family that gives each other strength. =)

”He means so much to a lot of people,” Sun continues, “not just to his family, of course, but to everyone here at Joah. He started training at the company when he was twelve years old. It’s been difficult for him, away from his family for all those years. But he kept on working hard. He’d spend hours in the studio training his body and voice.”

And here’s the moment when I have to admit that I loved XOXO and that I’d definitely become a fan if they’d be a real k-pop band! *lol* All the four members were amazing and no matter if it was Jaewoo, Nathaniel, Sun or Youngmin all of them totally gave me family vibes. =) The description of their roles in the group was typical k-pop too and I had a really soft spot for Youngmin (the maknae) and Sun (their leader and rapper). Of course Nathaniel and Jaewoo were amazing as well and they all complemented one another and made their group unique.

”I have to go make apologies on behalf of the group. Of course that’s my job as the leader, to protect our members. I’ll always protect them, even from themselves.”

This all out of the way, I guess it’s finally time to speak about the elephant in the room: The love story between Jenny and Jaewoo! Those two were super adorable and I really can’t blame Jenny for dating Jaewoo in secret. I suppose for k-pop idols that’s the only way because as I said not everyone in the fandom will be happy about their idol dating. Not that it’s a lot different in Western countries, but I think it’s become more normal for stars to date people and even though there is always a huge fuss about who is dating who they usually don’t get death threats or shit storms for it anymore. K-pop idols don’t have love interests though (at least not according to their label and in public) and therefore would have to hide their relationships from their fans.

I hook my arms around his neck. “What are we stealing?” I can feel Jaewoo’s grin against my lips.
“Time?” he suggests. He must mean it as a joke, but it’s actually the very thing we’re trying to steal. Moments like this are so few and far between.


I think that’s actually the only negative thing I can say about “XOXO”, it was too realistic! *lol* Jenny and Jaewoo sneaking around and kissing secretly in a broom closet always trying to make room to see each other and to make their relationship work. It was too damn realistic! I wanted to see more of their relationship and what I got was reality smack right in the face. XD They had different schedules and other responsibilities and their little moments were few and far between. So exactly the way it would have been if a real idol would have dated a cello prodigy. On the one hand I really appreciated this realistic approach but on the other hand it kinda dampened my enjoyment of the book a little because I was always left wanting for more. This ultimately resulted in the fact that I got the feeling their relationship developed way too fast for the couple of little moments they actually spent together. Maybe there happened a lot of things off-page but those moments on page were the things I actually wanted to read about and I think because of that imbalance I didn’t ship them as much as I ship other bookish couples.

”You have a schedule too. We need to practice or we won’t be ready for the showcase. I thought you said you needed something unique to stand out in your portfolio. Are you really going to blow your chances of a future, a long-term one, for a guy who can never, I mean never, put you first?”

Don’t get me wrong, they were super cute, but their relationship didn’t really sweep me off my feet and I didn’t get all those gushy sweet romantic feels I usually get when I ship a couple. *lol* You know all those “Awww” or “AKDFASDFLJASLDFAJSDFKS!” moments. XD Speaking of relationships: I really appreciated Jenny’s and Sori’s friendship as well but I didn’t really understand where Sori was coming from when it came to Nathaniel. 

spoilerI mean that boy was crazy for her and definitely wanted to date her and be her bf but she didn’t give in because she was an idol herself?! It was so obvious that Sori had feelings for Nathaniel too and I just couldn’t understand how those two couldn’t date. I mean I got where Sori was coming from but if Jenny and Jaewoo managed to date, they could have easily done the same thing. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I really didn’t get it. Still don’t.

4

“XOXO” was a really great book and a very realistic one at that. I loved all the Korean phrases, food and k-pop knowledge that went into the story and I lived and breathed for the glimpses of Seoul life! The fact that the book didn’t just address the positive but also the negative sides of the k-pop industry was amazing and I really liked all of the characters and their different personalities! If you’re a k-pop fan (or a music trope fan in general) this book is definitely for you and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well! Happy reading! =)

Allgemein, Sassy Antics

SASSY Saturday

SASSY Saturday

Hey there my lovelies!

Welcome back to another round of my montly blog meme „SASSY Saturday“!

How does it work? Well, that’s easy! 😉

All you have to do is to follow those three golden rules:

1. Credit the creator of this tag (The Sassy Library Fox) and link back. (so I can see all your amazing answers!)
2. Answer the 5 questions below!
3. AND enjoy doing the blog meme! 😛

„SASSY Saturday“ is planned to be a monthly meme but if you want to do it more often feel free to go for it! This meme was created to get to know other bloggers, their new obsessions and to reflect on your own last month! Above all it was created to have fun though! 😉 If you want you can also use the banner I created! This said let’s head to the good part:

S – Series you loved this month

First Kill: My Yoongi and I were actually watching another k-drama when we saw this drop on Netflix and we just couldn’t resist! *lol* I mean an f/f Romeo and Juliette retelling? We both wanted to watch this and decided to go for the first episode. Well, what can I say? Before we even knew it we were right smack in the middle of the series and had almost gone through the 8 episodes in no time. *lol* It was really good. Pretty gory at some parts but also super interesting. I loved the family dynamics so much and I hope for a second season!!!

A – Author you discovered

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Axie Oh – XOXO

I wanted to read „XOXO“ for ages and finally picked it up as a cozy comfort read and it was exactly that! I loved all the Korean expressions and the food that was mentioned in here and the love story was really cute and nice to read. I just wish there would have been even more of the love story? *lol* I dunno. I just wanted even more, I guess. XD

S – Song you couldn’t get enough of

Charlie Puth feat. Jung Kook – Left And Right

Okay, ever since BTS decided to take a break as a band I can’t keep up with their content anymore. *lol* Not that I’m complaining! I love that they all get a chance to express themselves now and that they don’t have to follow the typical boyband rules anymore. So yeah, I’ve been living my best life following all of my 7 boys and JK’s collabo with Charlie Puth was the first song that was released after their announcement. And wow, what a great song it is. I can’t get it out of my mind anymore because it’s such a catchy tune. Or to say it with the songs lyrics: „You take up every corner of my mind.“ *lol*

S – Surprise – Something that totally caught you off guard

That June was over so fast! Haha! Honestly, this was the biggest surprise ever! It was the first time in my adult life (and I’ve been working for years now!) I actually had 4 weeks vacation and they passed by so quickly I still don’t know where they went. *lol* But I guess in the end the only thing that matters is that really I enjoyed those four weeks and well, I enjoyed at least 3 of them (one out of those four was spent at home with my ill kid…) so I count that as a win! 😉

Y – Your fave blog post of another blogger

„F/F Recommendations“ by Elli @ AceReader

I always complain that there aren’t enough f/f romances to read and when I saw Elli’s post I was so happy because: YAY!!! Finally some great f/f recommendations I hadn’t known yet! So thank you Elli for sharing this post with us! It was amazing and my TBR grew once again. XD

Rankenzeile

What do you think about „SASSY Saturday“? Would you like to join the fun? Did you watch „First Kill“ too and if yes did you enjoy it? =) Which kind of song is stuck in your head and you can’t seem to be able to stop singing it? And which blog post of another blogger was your favourite last month? Care to share the link?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always, stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

June Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

I really thought June would be different. I mean I basically had an entire month of vacation and you’d think I would have gotten a lot of things done, but nope. I barely even managed to do the things I wanted to do and there were like a gazillion of reasons why things didn’t work out as planned. For one, my kid got ill the very first day I was on vacation. Like seriously. It was my last day at work, I picked her up from kindergarten and the moment we were at home she had a fever. *lol*

So the first week of my vacation was spent at home, tending to my ill kid and hoping she would get healthy soon. XD Basically right after that I had to start packing because we went on a holiday for the first time in 3 years. It was only four days at a golf and spa hotel but boy was it amazing! I totally forgot how nice it is when someone else does all the cooking and housework for you. *lol* I could finally relax and had a lot of fun with my family and even though it was only a short time I really enjoyed it so much. 😀 Still, right after that we went into the madness of organizing lots of birthdays because June is full of it. I swear about half of my family has birthday in June. >_<

And before I even knew it June was almost over. *lol* I used a couple of days to reorganize my bookshelves, to meet my bestie and to visit some libraries in Vienna. Plus I finally cleaned up my wardrobe and donated a huge sack of clothes to our local social market. I wish I could have checked even more things off my To-Do list but those were the ones I really wanted to do. XD So I partly succeded. Due to all of this I didn’t manage to read a lot though and it shows in my statistics of June. And here I thought June was going to be an awesome reading month for me. *lol* I should have known real life would kick my butt. Haha! Anyway! Let’s rip off the band-aid and get to it! 

Books read: 3 (3 books & 0 webcomic, and here I thought June would be a better reading month?! >_<)

Pages read: 1.160 (At least it were more than 1.000 pages. *lol*)

Average rating: 3,34 (I think this gotta be the lowest rating I ever gave…)

Books that were on my reading list: 0 ( 0 from 2020, 0 from 2021 and 1 from 2022. Considering I only read 3 books it’s kinda good one was from my TBR? I count that as a win. XD )

June Reads:

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Children of Virtue and Vengeance: 2 Pfoten,5

I really enjoyed the first book of this series „Children of Blood and Bone“! I had my issues with it but overall I enjoyed the beginning of this series and I had such high hopes for the second installment. And I’m so sorry to say this, but all my hopes where shattered! T_T I rarely give the books I read 2,5 paws but this one… puh it so didn’t work for me. Honestly so many things in this book rubbed me the wrong way and by the end of it I think I didn’t like a single one of the characters anymore. (except of Roen, Roen is a babe! ❤ *lol*) It’s one thing to make complex and morally grey characters but to make readers hate all of your characters… wow, that’s a feat! XD Anyway, I will definitely write a long and elaborate review about this and explain why it didn’t work for me. So stay tuned and watch out for it. 😉 

Whispers Underground: 3 Pfoten,5

This was already the third book in this urban fantasy series and it took me ages to get to it. Honestly, I think I must have borrowed it about 10 times from my library before I finally managed to actually read it. *lol* But it was worth the wait. I had a good time reading „Whispers Underground“. It wasn’t the best book I ever read but it also wasn’t the worst. It was an enjoyable read and pretty fast and easy to get through. So yeah. I’m very curious how this series is going to continue and I hope that the next couple of books will finally give me more info about Nightingale. XD

XOXO: 4 Pfoten

I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I heard that it’s about a k-pop idol falling in love with a Cello prodigy and I couldn’t wait to pick this story up. XD Jenny and Jaewoo were so cute and I really enjoyed their interactions. It was fun to read about all those typical Korean dishes and to see the phrases and expressions I know from k-dramas written out in the book. *lol* I think I learned some things about Korean culture as well and I really liked that. As for the love story between the two MCs: It was cute but I kinda wanted more? I dunno how to describe it but I just wanted more. Maybe that’s just a me thing, though? I’ll make sure to explain it better in my review. 😉

Rankenzeile

This said: How was your June? Did you read a lot of books and if yes can you recommend some? Did you already read any of the books I read last month? Did you enjoy them? Were you already on vacation or are you planning to go on one? =) What kind of tasks do you want to get to but never manage to do until you have vacation?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox