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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

TV Talk | Red Band Society






Hello everyone! Today I would like to discuss about a new show that I started watching recently called Red Band Society. It is a medical comedy-drama series that revolves around the lives of the group of teenagers living in the hospital's pediatric ward. 

One of the reasons I wanted to watch this series is because of Octavia Spencer. Some of you may know her as Minnie from The Help. That is one of my favorite movies and Octavia Spencer gave a remarkably memorable performance. If you have not heard or watch The Help, I suggest you do. Another reason is because of Ciara Bravo, whom you may know from Nickelodeon's hit TV series, Big Time Rush. Ciara Brovo plays Katie Knight, a fiesty, smart and mischievous younger sister to Kendall Knight. 

Anyways back to the show. The story centers around six teenagers — Leo, Dash, Jordi, Emma, Charlie and Kara. All of them suffer from various illnesses.

  • Leo - former osteosarcoma patient who is undergoing rehabilitation
  • Dash - a patient with cystic fibrosis 
  • Jordi - the newly admitted patient with Ewing Sacoma
  • Emma - a patient with Bullimia
  • Charlie - a young boy in coma who is also the narrator 
  • Kara - a patient with an enlarged heart due to drug abuse

Octavia Spencer portrays the role of the strict and sometimes sass-mouthing nurse with a good heart. There is also Dr. Adam McAndrew, who is this surgeon working at the hospital and is very good-looking indeed. 

I really like the characters in the show a lot even if I've only watched the pilot episode of the series. Leo and Jordi seems like pretty nice lads. Initially Leo was a little reluctant to have his room shared with Jordi, but they ended up getting along just fine. There's Emma who is Leo's ex-girlfriend. She & Leo are always trying to get back at each other which I'm assuming is an effort to make things less awkward between them? But Emma soon develops an interest in Jordi and vice versa. Kara is the bitchy cheerleader and somehow her character doesn't really annoy me that much. She may be a whiny, stuck-up girl but I think deep down she has a good heart. Or else, why would she go through the trouble of getting the pizzas Charlie wanted. While she passed out in a particular scene, Charlie came to her dreams or subconscious mind and tells her to get him pizza because he thinks that it might revive him back to life. As you know Charlie is in coma and while I'm aware that being in coma still means you can hear every conversation around you and all, I find it weird that he is the narrator of the series. It made me wonder why or how did the producers come up with that decision. Lastly, there is Dash. He is played by Astro from The X-Factor USA. I was quite surprised because he looks so grown up now and he's got that deep voice going on. He is also one of my favorite characters because he is a sass-mouthing flirt. I really liked the scene where he was trying to hit on a young nurse named Brittany by making her give him sponge baths. Nice try, Dash! 

In the first episode, it focuses on Jordi, him being the newly admitted patient who suffers from osteosarcoma and ran away from home to be treated and later found out that he has to get his leg removed. He bonded with Leo, a former cancer patient and Leo decided to throw a party for Jordi as a form of bidding farewell to his leg. The party went pretty well and Leo started giving out his red bands to the rest of the gang (he gave one to Charlie after the party) indicating the start of a friendship. After the party, Emma and Jordi were seen dancing in Emma's ward because this might be Jordi's only chance to dance, while Leo just looked over and smiled. Later that night, both Leo and Jordi couldn't sleep. Jordi had the surgery scheduled the next day and was feeling nervous. Leo told him that, “What hurts most is not that it's gone. What hurts is remembering it was ever there.” But what touched me the most was when Leo said, “Your body isn't you. Your soul is you and they can never cut into your soul.”  I've got to admit that scene teared me up a little. The episode ended with Jordi being wheeled on the bed to the surgical room and upon reaching the room he ran to Emma's room to give her his red band because she lost hers yesterday. Also he passed by the other members of the red band society, among them was Kara trying to get Charlie to wake up by putting a slice of pizza on top of his nose, and then he bummed into Leo and they both smiled as Jordi made his way to the emergency room with Coldplay's "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" throughout that entire sequence. It's amazing how the song fits that scene so beautifully. 

What I love about this series is its portrayal of the teenagers in the ward. They may be suffering from illnesses but they're still teenagers and they do what normal teenagers do. Like breaking out of the hospital, buying liquor, and etc. It doesn't depict those teenagers as sad and dispirited even if they can be at times. 

I find some of the things about the series rather implausible. For example, I think that the classroom in the hospital looks too cool and I feel like it should look slightly more like an average classroom instead. I'm not exactly sure if real hospitals have classrooms though so I'm not going to think too much. But apart from that, I feel that the series has potential. 

Also, I've heard there's been rumors going around that the series is going to be canceled. I sure hope not because judging from the first episode, I think I might like it a lot. It may not be the best show but I feel that it's one of those shows I would consider watching. 

That's all I've got for today. Goodbye!!!

“Your body isn't you. Your soul is you and they can never cut into your soul.”
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Accepted | Book Blitz + Giveaway


Accepted 
by Coleen Lahr 
Publication date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Ashley Smith spent her life being shipped from one family member to the next. When Ashley’s estranged father dies, she finally has the money to go to college and the chance to find a place where she belongs.
Within days, Ashley has found the one thing she’s always longed for – a family. She may have even found love. There’s only one problem. Ashley likes Colin…a lot, but so does Randi, and everyone likes Randi. Randi’s approval is the single easiest way to belong. Falling in love with Randi’s crush is the single easiest way to find oneself on the outside for the next three years. 
When Ashley arrived at college, she never dreamed she’d find this kind of happiness. Will she allow herself to hold on to this happiness, and Colin, or will her fear of losing her friends, the only friends she’s ever known, dictate her actions?
excerpt


After lunch, Colin finally decided he was tired and went to his room to take a nap. I tried to get some sleep too, but found I wasn’t able to. Instead, I laid around my room, reading, and enjoying the quiet.
Around seven that evening, Colin came to my room to see what I was doing and if I wanted dinner.
“I’m not really hungry. I’m actually still full from lunch.”
“Okay. I think I’m going to heat up some of our leftovers from yesterday and then watch a movie. You in?”
The events of the past two days were beginning to catch up with me, and I was starting to feel a little loopy from lack of sleep. Laying down in front of a television to watch a movie did not sound like a bad idea at all.
“I’m definitely in. I’m just going to get changed real quick. I’m freezing.”
Our dorm seemed to get progressively colder as the weekend wore on. I wasn’t sure if there was a problem, or the school was just trying to save money while most of the students were away, but it was starting to get really cold.
I put on my warmest, comfiest sweats, grabbed my comforter and headed to the lounge to meet Colin.
“What are we watching?” I asked when I got there. He was sitting at a table eating what looked like turkey and mashed potato sandwiches on the dinner rolls I made.
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet. Any suggestions?”
I walked over to the cabinet that housed the dorm’s meager collection of movies. “I probably haven’t seen any of them, so it’s really up to you.”
Colin put his sandwich down and walked to where I was standing.
“What are you in the mood for — funny or scary?”
I looked up at him. “Never scary.”
He laughed. “Funny it is.” He plucked a movie from the shelf and put it in the DVD player.
I sat on the sofa, waiting for Colin as he finished his meal and cleaned up. He turned off the lights in the room before coming over to sit beside me.
“Good call with the comforter. It’s freezing,” he said as he sat down.
“Here.” I offered him part of the blanket. “We can share.”
He moved closer on the sofa, covering his legs, and we settled in to watch the movie.
I’m not actually sure how or when it happened, but sometime during the movie, Colin and I shifted. No longer were we sitting next to each other with space between us. Instead, we were wrapped together in my comforter, my head on his chest and his arms around me, tucked into his side.
I didn’t want to move. I was afraid even to breathe, fearing if I moved at all, he’d move and somehow I wouldn’t be here anymore with his arms wrapped around me.
I had planned on going to bed early that night, but not quite like this. Before I knew it, I felt myself dozing off in Colin’s arms. I was so warm and comfortable, and as I was nodding off, it registered in my brain where I was, and I thought there really was nothing better than falling asleep in Colin’s arms.
And I realized, just a short time later, that I was wrong. There was one thing better than falling asleep in Colin’s arms and that was waking up in them.
“Ashley.”
I heard a voice gently say my name, and when I opened my eyes, they were looking directly into Colin’s.
I blinked up at him, still unwilling to move.
“It’s getting late, Ash. Let’s get you to bed.” He gently unwrapped his arms from around me and helped me up. I was still in a fog.
Colin took my hand and walked me to my room. When we got to the door, I turned to look at him. He had such a tender look in his eyes that it left me speechless. He reached up and brushed my hair, which had become unruly, away from my face. Then, he leaned down and kissed my forehead and said quietly, “Good night.”
His gentleness took me by surprise — so much so that I just stood there, watching his retreating body as he walked back toward the lounge.
That night, I slept fitfully. Even though I’d been dozing comfortably in Colin’s arms, out of them, I was restless. When I did sleep, he was in my thoughts. He invaded more than one of my dreams that night.

About the Author



Coleen writes young adult novels, loves running, rock music, the shore, daisies and bread.
When Coleen's not plotting or writing her next book, she can be found making sandwiches in her family's restaurant, running (but mostly walking) Disney marathons, reading any book she can get her hands on and playing with her adorable kid. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, two dogs and lizard.






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Friday, 21 November 2014

Krymzyn | Blog Tour + Giveaway!


Publication date: October 4th 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 288
Age group: New Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format: Review copy
Source: Author
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | iBooks | Kobo
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis:

Chase was twelve the first time he arrived in a strange land where dark, ominous clouds never move, ancient trees violently spring to life during Darkness, and people seem to live without emotion. Doctors tell him they’re hallucinations, but he knows his visits are real. She’s there—Sash—and she’s more real than anyone he’s ever known.

His visits stop but, as years pass, the memories haunt Chase. Without warning, the young man suddenly finds himself again in a world called Krymzyn. Arriving during Darkness, he’s rescued from death by the extraordinary, beautiful, but terrifying young woman he first met when he was twelve.

When Chase is thrust into the war of balance against vile creatures who threaten all who live there, Sash helps him understand his purpose in Krymzyn. A dark secret from the beginning of time reveals he might be able to stay there forever. To prove he belongs in Krymzyn and be with the only woman he can ever love, Chase will have to risk his own life in the ultimate battle.
 


review

Before I get into the review, I wanted to clarify that I think Krymzyn doesn't really fall under science fiction. I can understand why because it's an alternate world and feels a little dystopian but I would say the book is more straight up fantasy.

Krymzyn is an alternate world which our main character finds himself in whenever he suffers from migraines. His first visit began when he was twelve, before doctors concluded that he was hallucinating and decided to perform surgery and remove the tumour. Since then, he has not had any visits even though there were mild headaches. At least not until he had another migraine attack when he was seventeen.

I think the world building is amazing. BC Powell was able to describe everything to you in a way that makes it easy to grasp and visualise. He was able to explain to you the scenery and world in a very simple way yet it awes you. Another interesting thing I found were the roles and tasks that every character had in Krymzyn. The characters were all sorted into different categories and you could tell by the colour of their hair which I find really cool. Although I wished the time spent in Krymzyn was longer because we do go back and forth between reality and the other dimension. But I have a feeling the sequel will be based mostly in Krymzyn which I'm pretty excited about.

The story is told from dual perspectives, Chase and Sash. Chase is a very honest and determined character. The changes from when he was twelve to twenty-three were remarkable. I really liked reading from his perspective. I think the relationship he had with Sash was very sweet and loveable. They are both really strong characters.

All in all, this was an exciting and unique fantasy world that actually feels real. I'm not quite sure how to explain it but it feels possible that another world like Krymzyn could exist. It felt believable. I really enjoyed it although I wish the ending wasn't so abrupt. I would have loved another chapter or two.

about the author

BC Powell is a fantasy author from Los Angeles, CA. "Krymzyn" is his debut science fiction fantasy novel, the first book in a series titled "The Journals of Krymzyn."

Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including executive roles at ABC-TV and Technicolor. In recent years, he's authored several non-fiction works, primarily educational books and training programs for trading the financial markets. He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Writing fiction has been his lifelong passion and goal. "Krymzyn" is his first published novel and represents, in his words, "finally finding the story I want to tell with characters that are able to bring that story to life." He's an avid reader and lists Ernest Hemingway, Frank L. Herbert, Stephen King, Jane Austen, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as his favorite authors.

Brad, as he prefers to go by in personal communication, lives with his longtime girlfriend, three sons from a previous marriage, and their rescue dog and cat. He enjoys hiking, ocean kayaking, spending time at Southern California beaches, movies, and reading.


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