Heart in a Million Knots (Xiang Liu, Lost You Forever)

Heart in a Million Knots (Xiang Liu, Lost You Forever)

Book 3 Chapter 15 of Lost You Forever is one of the most heartbreaking chapters for me to read. Its title is 心有千千结, which means “heart in a million knots.” Whose heart?
One of the most amazing male characters I have read about in recent years, Xiang Liu‘s.

Here is an Chinese classic instrumental with the same title.

This song pretty much conveys the melancholic and wistful mood of Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao’s relationship. I felt bittersweet whenever Xiang Liu appeared throughout the book; I was in tears when I got to the last chapter. By the middle of the epilogue, I was numbed to the pain already and could only take whatever solace I could get. Such is the emotional depth of Tong Hua‘s writing.

The experience of reading Lost You Forever mirrors that of Yun Zhong Ge in many ways for me. Not only because of Tong Hua’s adept use of poetry as titles but also the roller coaster emotional ride. Lost You Forever is even more intense for me for two main reasons. 1. Tong Hua’s writing has gotten even more mesmerizing. 2. I read Yun Zhong Ge only once in a marathon whereas I read this book almost twice (up till book 3 chapter 11 last spring break, then started over this spring break); now that I am older and have experienced more of life, phrases and verses have more meaning.

Favorite Xiang Liu chapters in Book 3:

Chapter 13: Without reminiscing the past, no heartache.

Chapter 15: Heart in a Million Knots

Chapter 18 (Final): 委心任去留 (rough translation: My heart is at rest no matter I leave or stay.)

Epilogue: Wish you a lifetime of peaceful happiness and no sorrows.

The final chapter’s title could refer to other people, but to me it refers to Xiang Liu. [SPOILERS] The chapter’s title sounds just like his type of farewell. Xiang Liu never said goodbye to Xiao Yao aloud, so it is so apt that the title of the last chapter, when we and Xiao Yao hear about his news, is a reassurance. It’s like he’s saying he knew about this end and still chose it; do not need to be sad for him because he left at rest, without regrets.

I really like decembi‘s analysis of Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao’s relationship:

“Made up of the same mixture of loneliness and longing, light and dark, love and loyalty”

This reminds me of the scene in book 1 when Xiao Yao used her body to shield Zhuan Xu from Bei’s arrow. After a long tension, Bei chose to not shoot. I can’t help but think that this is one of the moments Xiang Liu was swayed by Xiao Yao. Xiang Liu would shield Gong Gong’s body just the same, and he did. Seeing Xiao Yao doing that, he must have felt a sense of oneness with Xiao Yao then also hopelessness: they are enemies.

“The boat has passed, forever she sees his past selves and wistfully wishes she had met him earlier. But, his ship has sailed, he will die for General Gong Gong.”

The importance of timing. Xiang Liu met Xiao Yao too late; his end was already decided and unchangeable by his choice when he met her. He is like a terminal ill patient knowing he will die soon; knowing and choosing this end, Xiang Liu does not ask for promises from Xiao Yao; instead, he only wished to enjoy short happy times with her and prepare for her happiness without him after he’s no longer by her side.

“Some people are sad because Xiao Yao never heard Xiang Liu tell her all he did and his feelings. But, all I see when I see Xiang Liu is that he has always been saying I love you. And, Xiao Yao, as his soulmate, how can she not know? She knows. But, she doesn’t pursue. Because some things only spiral into darkness, so she will stay in the light. In the darkness of nights, in the deepest of oceans, dwelling in an all extinguishing blackness, perhaps then you will see the eternal part of her that shall always burn for him.”

So beautifully put.

By Heaven! (上邪, Shang Ye) Yuefu Poem

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By Heaven! (上邪), also known as Shang Ye!, Oh Heaven!, and Oh God!, is a Yuefu poem, a kind of folk poetry, from the Han Dynasty. Yuefu poems are written to accompany music. Even though this poem was collected in the Han Dynasty, it was probably created in an older period. Its author is unknown.

By Heaven! is a poem praying for eternal love. It is one of the most most famous Chinese love poems. Continue reading

My Favorite Poetry Titles and Poems in Tong Hua’s Lost You Forever Book 1

My Favorite Poetry Titles and Poems in Tong Hua’s Lost You Forever Book 1

original_VF1S_5d5e0000ed32118fAs you may or may not know, I am researching the origins of the poetry titles in Lost You Forever and writing about them on the Lost You Forever Wikia. I think I got everything for Book 1.

I love how Tong Hua mostly uses poems from Classic of Poetry and the Song Dynasty. Also, ALL the Song Dynasty poems deal with separation and longing. Chapter 12 and 17’s titles are verses of each other. Tong Hua foreshadowed the subtitle of Book 2 in Chapter 15‘s chapter title. OMG, how cool and awesome are all of that? I love the deliberateness of it. Tong Hua maps out even the little details of her novel, so follow the crumbs she left and the hints she gives is super fun.

Here are the poetry titles I love:

  • Life is Short Like a Temporary Stay (Chapter 1): there’s just something so resigned about it.
  • People become far away, and the road be comes long (Chapter 7): so applicable to real life it’s sad.
  • It weighs on my mind and brows, yet there is nothing I can do to fend it (Chapter 9): The futility conveyed is beautiful. I also the love poem it belonged to, see below.
  • This Sorrow Has No Means to be Eased (Chapter 14):  Love the absoluteness of it.

Here are the poems I love. They’re all Song poems, haha. Continue reading

Xiang Liu (Lost You Forever)

Xiang Liu (Lost You Forever)

(Note: I only read  untill Book 3 Chapter 11 at this point.)

I don’t have the energy to do anything because I’m super dejected. I can’t stop thinking about Xiang Liu and his story in Lost You Forever. Well, more like Miss You Forever for him. The way he affects me is similar yet different from how Meng Jue from Yun Zhong Ge did.

Both of them leave me in misery, emotional exhaustion, and disheartened. The way I mourned for Meng Jue is more like an appreciation for a complex and tragic character, and I’m sad for Xiang Liu because I love his character so much. I can’t bear to see my favorite character like that. In Yun Zhong Ge, more than half of the reason why I rooted for Meng Jue was because of Koala. It’s like someone’s enthusiasm and love for a character can project that onto me. My love for Xiang Liu is completely my own. For the first few chapters, I cared about Jing too, but Xiang Liu soon changed that, kicked Jing out of my heart and stayed there like glue.

I know, I know. Xiang Liu chose to hide his feelings because he knew Xiao Yao and him were a lost cause. lol, Xiao Yao explicitly said to him he was not suited to be in a girl’s dream. I’m just like ughhhh, it could have been so much more! I know his selfless love is his own way of loving and, even in his demise, Xiang Liu was probably happy because he was staying true to his principles: going down with his fellow soldiers instead of abandoning them like time has abandoned them, being able to protect and care for the one he loves.

From the moment he was introduced as the general of the resistance soldiers, I already had this foreboding. Choosing to be a general of the resistance soldiers is like choosing an eventual death. I think everybody knew there was no way the resistance soldiers can overpower the united Xuan Yuan, Shen Nong, and Gao Xing. Even Xiang Liu said that they were idiots doing pathetic things. Yet, Xiang Liu, you remained loyal to them till the end!

I get upset whenever someone said that Xiang Liu is a second lead. Ummmm no. Out of the three male leads, he probably has the least screen time, but you know what, like Liu Fu Ling in Yun Zhong Ge, it’s his short, but so impactful and meaningful , appearance that makes his character. The beauty in his two forms is that Fang Feng Bei is Xiang Liu and Xiang Liu is Fang Feng Bei. They are one and the same!

Unforgettable

I just looked back at the book description of Lost You Forever, and, omg, this totally describes Xiang Liu!

“Life is the encounter and separation, is the starting time and oblivion, but there are always things that once happened, will leave traces, and always have a person, once appeared, will not be forgettable.”

Yes, unforgettable indeed.

Miss You Forever

I just realized something.

Eternally Yearning For You’s English titles are these:

Volume 1: Lost You Forever

Volume 2: Love You Forever

Volume 3: Miss You Forever

Each volume’s title corresponds to a male lead!

Lost You Forever – Zhuan Xu. Love You Forever – Tu Shan Jing. And of course my dear Xiang Liu – Miss You Forever.

omgggggggg!!!!! So perfect.

My favorite Xiang Liu moments (until Book 3 Chapter 11):

-His hand closed around her hand and smiled, “Yes, it sure seems like it’s really beating together.”

-The Epilogue!!

-Chapter 5 of Volume 2: the whole part of him saving her by feeding her blood

-He saved her in Chapter 9 or 10 of Volume 3 from the under-sea hurricane and had to changed into his beast form. Got upset that she peeked.

-I love how he named his winged ride Furball. omg, how can anyone say he is cold-hearted?

-The way he shared the little joys in his life with her as Fang Feng Bei: basically chapter 16 of volume 1.

-The way he looks for her when he is injured: as Fang Fei Bei in chapter 17 and the first time after which she drew nine things on his face. lol, still laugh even now. Even though he was acting like he was mad at her for that, I think he appreciated it.

-The moon walk on the sea scene!! This scene is worthy of being on the only poster of the whole 3-volumes story!

-Their whole dysfunctional dynamic: she made him mad a bunch of times, the way he was mad at her, the way she tried to coax him to not be mad at her anymore. Sometimes I do feel like they’re children playing with each other.

-The love bugs. The way his heart called out to her heart by making it beat faster.

-The way he smiled and tried to make her kiss him under the water in chapter 13 of volume 1.

-The way he always hide his feelings with cold words and cared for her and did things for without even letting her know.

-Even Xiang Liu’s way of caring is exactly like Xiao Yao’s! Underneath that I-do-not-care exterior and pretending to not care, they really do care. Xiang Liu visited the slave guy 6 or 7 times and even in his cold exterior, gave the slave guy hope.

-The way he said said “Fang Feng Bei is dead.” I think if I weren’t so biased for him, I would have recognized that this is the foreshadowing of his impending demise. :hic:

-His gift for her wedding, the smiling doll. But it’s really the snow globe hidden super well in the doll that’s his gift. See, classic Xiang Liu. He put a man in the globe with the mermaid and put down congratulatory words yet he hid it in the doll so well even himself cannot get it out. The snow globe sums up Xiao Yao and Xiang Liu so well. Xiang Liu did not put a merman but a human man next to the mermaid. Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao are the same kind “the mermaids,” but because the merman was looking out of the snow globe and could not be with the mermaid, a human man did instead.

-I love how he kept in mind her words from their first meeting: I cannot protect myself, have no one to depend on and no where to go. He made it his goal to give her all those things: self-protection by teaching her archery, a person to depend on by saving Jing (without letting her know again!!), and a place to go by giving her the ability to breathe under water and remember that map he gave her after he saved her from the under-sea hurricane? It’s so that she can go there!

-When Xiao Yao wished she were borned hundreds of years earlier so she could save Xiang Liu instead so he could live a normal life. He got angry after that, but I think it wasn’t because of his respect to Gong Gong but because once again Xiao Yao reminded him of what could have been. I think deep inside, he does secretly wish a normal life that too, but of course he’s too loyal. It’s so ironic that everyone calls him a “demon” but he is probably the most principled male in Lost You Forever, even more than Jing, and let’s not even mention Zhuan Xu.

-The way he takes her blood at the neck and left “love bites” afterwards.

-The way his body disintegrated into a pool of toxic blood and left the whole island null of living things. His demise even screamed “Xiang Liu.” And I don’t know, there’s just something so tragic and sad but so him in that.

-The way he is so selfless and pure. 😥

Shoujo-alike

Recently I have been reading shoujo from the same niche, so it’s interesting to see how similar concepts get executed.

Shoujo with similar concepts

Amnesia

Amnesiac with love line with (spoiler step-brother)

– Six Half

– Lover Discovery

Fauxest

Step-brother

– Kirai

– Liar x Liar

– Six Half (+ amnesia)

– Lover Discovery (+ amnesia)

Fauxest that creates underlying conflict

– Liar x Liar (sexual promiscuity to male, OCD to female)

– Six Half (girl’s loose ways were probably a manifestation of the pink elephant in the room)

Comfort Shoujo

Throwback Shoujo that makes me reminisce high school days

Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu (I Give My First Love to You)

Kare wa Tomodachi (He is My Friend)

Strobe Edge

Shoujo Reversal or Unconventional

Himegoto – Juukyuusai no Seifuku

Houkago Hokenshitsu

Fauxest

Kirai (Dislike)

Liar x Liar

Anthology and Oneshots

9 Faces of Love

A Cat that Loved a Fish

Dark

Flowers of Evil

Melancholic

Yeonmo (Love)

Adventurous and Drama

1/2 Prince

7 Seeds

Nana

I rated these as good years ago

100% Perfect Girl

Cat Street

Moe Kare!!

Paradise Kiss

Honorable Mentions Not as good as all of the above but can be addicting upon first read or inconsistent good/bad parts

H2O

Hot Blooded Woman

Neck and Neck

Death Note

A Mind Blowing Intelligent Manga

The premise was very unique and original to me. Never would have I imagined such a plot. As opposed to some other mangas that claim to be intelligent but weren’t really, this manga is actually intelligent and amazingly so. I was completely taken away by the suspense and the mind games. Stayed up till 6 am to read it lol. In the last chapter where the manga raises the point that though Light’s actions were evil crimes, he was somewhat likable. It was so interesting to me that this manga picked an anti-hero as its protagonist. In any other manga, the hero(s) would be L or N; you know, the good guys. So when some readers, including me, didn’t want Light to lose even though his actions were so evil, it’s a fascinating thing. Yeah, Light was definitely an unfeeling jerk and villainous, but since he was the protagonist, I couldn’t help but rooted for him, or at least didn’t want him to lose. If I were put off by Light, I would have quit by the time L died if not before that. No way would I read a story where the guy I hate wins in the end. But when Light looked at the dying L with an evil face, even though I was creeped out and a little big disgusted too, I actually let out a sigh of relief because that meant Light didn’t lose. Yeah, I was a little bit to frightened to realize I was on Light’s side in the story. I applaud the author to be able to so successfully create an oxymoronic anti-hero with ideas that repulse me but I wanted him to succeed, had a nasty personality with a likable charm, which made me guilty for rooting for him secretly. Given that, I was a bit sad at the ending because I honestly wanted Light to win, even though his ideal world was crazy. I think Light, L, N, and Mello were all intelligent, especially Light and L. L lost to Light didn’t mean he was inferior in brain power. He started the case with nothing but rumors, fighting against the supernatural and blocked by a major lack of information. By the time N and Mello were on stage, Light’s wits were already a little bit wore down by over-confidence and his victory over L; his actions were restricted by his lies and double life. So I wouldn’t say N and Mello took down Light alone. The web that would eventually kill Light had to be begun with L and took 3 guys, and 2 deaths of them, to complete. Not to mention he scared the whole world and almost had everyone on earth under his palm. I would say that Light did pretty well, not that I’m advocating his ideas.

Overall, a heart-jumping and mind-gripping ride. I almost had a heart attack myself 2/3 of the way because of the intense suspense.