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Friday, 28 November 2014

Mockingjay Part One | Movie Review



Hello everyone! Today I'll be doing a movie review on the movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One. I watched this movie over the weekends and loved it! I didn't want to do a movie talk post instead is because I don't want to spoil the movie to anyone. It wouldn't be fair to those who have yet to watch. 

When I first decide on watching this movie, I was worried that it had set my hopes up high and that it wouldn't turn out the way I expect it to be. Especially with the critics reviews saying how boring it was. But I decided to go ahead and watch it since I've read and love the book and guess what, I'm glad I did watch it! 

Mockingjay Part One deals a lot of the emotional issues that Katniss is facing. She is very broken ever since Peeta was left in the arena. She kept blaming herself for not protecting him then and blamed the others for not rescuing him. She also has to deal with being the Mockingjay, which is not something she had in mind. Her main objective has always been to keep Peeta safe and alive. When she's on screen as the Mockingjay, she is seen as fearless rebellion leader but in truth she is just Katniss — a teenager from District 12. You can tell how hard this whole thing is for her. I find Jennifer Lawrence's  performance in this movie fantastic! It felt so emotional and raw. It was as though you can feel her sadness, her rage for the Capitol and her yearning for Peeta's presence which she always took for granted then. 

She seeks solace from Gale and Finnick. Gale being because it reminded her of home, of a time before the games, and Finnick because she felt that she could relate to him since they're both going through something quite similar. I really enjoy watching Katniss bonding with Finnick because that was one of the most crucial scenes in the book. Seeing Finnick looking so disoriented breaks my heart because I felt just how much Annie meant to him and how he's so lost without her. I think Finnick has it harder than Katniss because Katniss has her mom and her sister to think about, which gives her the will to live. Moreover, she has the whole being the Mockingjay thing going on that prevents her from moping Peeta all the time. Being the Mockingjay allows Katniss to make herself useful and not be too worried about Peeta because in a way she is rescuing him and Annie. The other  characters played an equally important role in the movie. I really love Nathalie Dormer as Cressida. She is so badass with the shaved hair and green vine tattoos. There's no other perfect actress playing that role. And boy does Cressida knows how to make good propos. I just love how professional she is doing her job and how she sacrifed her job at the Capitol for this cause. I like Boggs too because he looks like a nice guy even with the stern face. He cares about Katniss. I hope he will appear more in Mockingjay Part Two. Seeing Effie makes me feel so happy because she's one of my favorite. I just love the way she's being so overdramatic. She & Haymitch adds humor in this otherwise dark and intense movie. In this movie, Haymitch seems to be like a father figure to Katniss — reminding her who she is and consoling her even if he's not good at it. I don't know if it's just me but I feel that Presidebt Coin seems so much nicer in the movie as compared to the books. Also, I'm slightly terrified of President Snow because he looks so sinister. He's got that menacing eyes staring back at you which gives me the creeps because you can see just how big of a threat he is and what he is capable of doing. 

This might be of a spoiler but please don't mind me. I absolutely love 'The Hanging Tree' scene because it is utterly brilliant. That was one of the most anticipated scene for me. Watching it coming to life felt so incredible because that scene was really empowering and powerful. Also, listening to the song gives me chills and goosebumps. I'm so madly in love with Jennifer Lawrence's voice!! 

This movie to me is the best of the 3. Yes, it doesn't have that much action and it's got a lot of talking but I think for those who read, perhaps you'd be able to see and understand the significance of some of the moments in the movie. To those who don't read the books, make sure you watch the previous 2 films so that you'd get an understanding on what's happening. I hereby urge all of you to watch this movie. Go and book your tickets now!!! 

"If we burn, you burn with us!"
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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.






Giveaway

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