Back with more cnovel recommendations. During this long “break”, I discovered quite a few titles which have now ended up as my favourites (I chose two of them for this post). 😀
As mentioned, I make it a point to finish once I start reading so if the English translations aren’t complete, I read the original Mandarin Chinese version.
幻想农场 (Fantasy Farm)
Written by: 西子绪 (Xi Zixu)
Length: 117 Chapters + 3 Extras
Translations: Chrysanthemum Garden
After being fired, Lu Qingjiu finally decided to return to his hometown to farm.
At first, he started raising a pig, and then he found that the pig could solve more high-level math questions than he could.
After that, he started raising a flock of chickens, and then he found that his own fighting ability was one-tenth of that of a single chicken.
Finally, Lu Qingjiu finally realised that this old home wasn’t quite right… Especially a certain person by his side who constantly stared at him day in and day out.
Lu Qingjiu: “Are you drooling because of the spicy stir-fry I’m holding or because of me?”
Bai Yuehu pointed at the stir-fry.
Lu Qingjiu: “Then can you let go??”
Bai Yuehu reluctantly glanced at Lu Qingjiu’s arm, before loosening his teeth. (Novel Updates)
Here’s how my friend got me to try this out: it’s like Natsume Yuujinchou. That was it. So I jumped straight to reading this supernatural, light-hearted novel with hints of vore (what, I’m serious). And I gotta admit that it was a good bait line. MC does encounter various supernatural creatures, and he accepts most of them, and they live together as family! It really warmed my heart, and I laughed at how some of the supernatural beings assimilated themselves into the modern world.
As for ML, he really does want to eat MC. It was interesting to read and see how his feelings transitioned, till he ends up not wanting to eat MC more so. Also, it was pretty hilarious to see how he kept putting up a front. It’s a bit of a spoiler, so I won’t go into detail.
I’m also going to be upfront and share: there are secrets with regards to the MC, his past and ML’s connection to all of this. Which is fine. Except I felt that the author left us hanging for too long, and it got messy when attempting to resolve everything at the end. So my advice is to ignore the logic in the end. Just don’t think too deeply. Because other than that, everything was really enjoyable, and I appreciated the character interactions a lot.
我不喜欢這世界，我只喜欢你 (I Don’t Like The WOrld, I Only Like YOu)
Written by: 乔一 (Joey / Qiao Yi)
Length: ~19 Chapters
Translations: Dramas, Books & Tea
The night before we obtained our marriage certificate, I asked him, “When did you start to develop feelings for me?”
He answered, “I don’t remember.”
“But, why me?”
“Why not you?”
“I’m very petty, and I get jealous very easily.”
“So am I.”
“I’m afraid I’m not worthy of you.”
“So am I.”
“I haven’t really dated, so I don’t know what love is.”
“I don’t know either.”
He held my hand gently, “But I know this. When I think about spending the rest of my life with you, I feel that my future is filled with hope.”
At 16, we used the same class desk, with less than 10cm between our arms. My peripheral vision was full of him.
At 26, I woke up in the morning, and saw the sunlight softly shining on his face. I thought, this is how I want to grow old – gradually, together, with him.
I guess this must be love. (Novel Updates)
This is the author’s autobiography, written with a light-hearted and gentle tone. Short, sweet and heart-warming. It shows how the relationship isn’t perfect, but two people made it work. And yes, it’s an autobiography so it’s based on real life events. I don’t think I need to go on, just give it a try! And may everyone find their counterpart like how the author did with Mr. F~
结婚协奏曲 (恋爱这件小事) (Marriage Concerto (Small Thing Called Love))
When they were studying, Ding Meng was a student who excelled in studies, whilst Qiao Yi Chen was a problematic student who constantly helped to raise the class average score. Every single time they took an examination, Ding Meng would scold Qiao Yi Chen like a dog.
When they got married, Ding Meng was a rookie singer who had just entered the entertainment industry, whilst Qiao Yi Chen was a golden producer who produced innumerable hits. Every single time they recorded a song, Qiao Yi Chen would scold Ding Meng like a dog.
…… The Heavens have never spared a single person from its wrath.
This is a story that details the male lead’s journey in empowering the female lead to lord over the entertainment industry, whilst conveniently capturing her heart simultaneously. (Novel Updates)
If you are familiar with Ban Li Zi’s works, you will know that they tend to be light, sweet, and easy to read. Oh, and they share the same universe so you will usually see mentions of couples from the other novels. For this particular one, I liked the dynamics between the couple. Such as how they bickered a lot, come to appreciate the other person, and eventually fall in love. All while being in a fake marriage, yes.
If you happen to enjoy this, you can slowly check out Ban Li Zi’s long list of other works. They usually deal with different settings each time eg. music, sweets, acting etc.
反派他过分美丽 (The Villains Is Outrageously Beautiful)
Written by: 骑鲸南去 (Qi Jing Nan Qu / Riding A Whale South)
Length: 121 Chapters
Xu Xing Zhi wrote in his story: At the mountain, near the ocean was a group of villains, they are cute and clever. They are fantastic oddities of every description, they are industrious and conscientious, they want to escape from the prison.
Afterward, he transmigrated into the story. The world said: Your presence disrupted the balance of the world.
You will have to kill those villain bosses that escaped from the prison.
Xu Xing Zhi said: “Sorry, I am a salted fish.”
The world said: “It’s alright, the villain is your junior brother that you pampered from young, he listens to you the most.”
Xu Xing Zhi: …… I did not write this.
Boss with a gentle face: “ Senior brother, you love this gold necklace or this silver necklace? You slowly choose, I will listen to you.”
Xu Xing Zhi: “….. I really did not write this.
-this, was all you wished.
Meng Zhong Guang softly said: “… but if I lost Senior Brother, I really will have nothing left.”
This heart, ridding with gaping wounds, filled with pus and sore, had truly loved you before. (Novel Updates)
By the same author as Don’t Pick Up Boyfriends From the Trash Bin, because after I finished that I wanted to try reading another title by them. And this…also broke stereotypes (in a good way) and changed my expectations. Again, do not take everything at face value! This is incredibly important, because I know that certain beginning events may turn people away. This looks like a typical transmigration story, but believe me it isn’t! I don’t want to spoil anything. So all I can say is that if you keep reading on, you will understand why certain characters act the way they do. Once there were reveals, I was so taken aback I kept going back to previous chapters to double-check, and proceeded to be mind-blown.
I grew really attached to the characters, and heck I cried so much throughout the course of this novel. There’s a lot of depth to the characters, so much so that favourite relationships are the one between MC and his 3 friends, as well as between MC and his teacher. That being said, I do appreciate the ML and my heart hurt for him as well (also “golden finger” gets an entirely new meaning). It’s just that the MC and side characters (even the antagonist) are so colourful, so much so that I feel that ML got the short end of the stick. Nonetheless, every one is full of depth.
As mentioned, I cried a lot. So…be warned. It is a happy end for the main couple. I think that’s a big hint. Still, the author wrote a happy AU chapter at the end. And if you need more healing, the author uploaded a modern AU take on their blog where everyone is happy. Hooray! ;w;
欢迎来到噩梦游戏(Welcome To The Nightmare Game)
QiLeren had just cleared the bad ending of «The Nightmare Games» when his laptop died well before its time. His luck seemed to follow him as he was transported, along with the other passengers, to a hospital following an accident between his bus and a truck. Upon waking in a transfusion hall rather than a ward, QiLeren felt a familiar sense of dread as he took in the hospital that held no trace of other people… (Novel Updates)
So if you notice, I wrote the length for Vol 1 and 2 only. That’s because Vol 3 is still not out yet. :’D But hear me out first! Author has started uploading chapters for Vol 3!! I’M UPDATING THIS REVIEW ONCE AGAIN BECAUSE VOL3 IS COMPLETE BUT AUTHOR REALISED THEY WROTE SO MUCH IT SO IT IS NOW 4 VOLS. Vol4 is currently ongoing.
There’s a reason why I’m recommending this despite that. I have read a few of the author’s other works too. So based on that as well as these 2 volumes, I really feel that the author knows what they’re doing and will continue to give us the same quality in Vol 3.
Okay, so onto my thoughts on this specific title. This is horror, and the plot appears quite typical from the synopsis. But I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of attention the author pays to the world-building and cast of characters. In fact, there are elements (church, demons, angels etc.) which I don’t usually enjoy in cnovels because they feel overly cliche to me. But I felt invested in this? That’s how much I enjoyed this. I was also hooked by the hints being dropped, such as the purpose of the game «The Nightmare Games» in MC’s world. However, do take note that there’s quite a bit of blood and gore.
MC and ML are both wonderful characters. The romance between them felt awkward at first. I think it isn’t the author’s forte. But by the end of Vol 1, I was convinced. By the end of Vol 2, it was 1000% certain that they’re perfect for each other. Also slowburn mmmm. I must also mention that this MC has the worst luck ever and he started out as just a normal person. And it was great to watch him grow and mature over the course of 2 volumes. Though the end of Vol 2 felt like a bad end, I’m sure the author will give us the happy end we need in Vol 3.
Lastly, do NOT spoil yourself by reading comments because there are plot twists, the biggest one being at the end of Vol 1. Go in without knowing anything, and you will earn the biggest “surprise”.
Oh I can’t wait for you all to suffer and be traumatised Once you are done reading, you can consider reading the author’s other novel 彩蛋游戏 (no English translations) to learn more about the world and the connections with certain characters! That’s a great horror mindf*** journey too. Yum!