Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Elusion Review by Claudia Gabe and Cheryl Klam

Elusion describes a society in which life has become so unbearable for regular citizens that they only wish to escape from the harsh reality even if it is inside their minds.Using some Equips and Apps designed by  a company called Orexis,the people from Detroit  are able to get away for an hour to idyllic landscapes where feelings are always positive. Wonderful beaches, high mountains and the possibility of enjoying kisses like you have never felt them before, just like in a pleasant dream. So far, so good, who wouldn't like to go to a trouble free place everyday for a while?

However for Reagan Welch going back to Elusion means having to come back again and return to the realisation that her father, the creator of the program is no longer with her.Not until she feels compelled to protect the reputation of her father does she go back , only to find that both her fears and hopes can come true at the same time.

Reagan is trying to live with the fact that her father is gone and her mother isn't  doing well. No wonder she finds it all quite difficult ,keeps missing classes and getting demerits .Her only support is her childhood friend Patrick .

Patrick, a computer genius who worded with Regan's father, comes across, in my opinion , as a weak character. He may be incredibly talented in his area of expertise but he's a mess when it comes to relationships. His mother, the CEO of Orexis ,plays an important role in the way he behaves, I'm afraid.

Josh is almost  as cute as most YA novels' hot guys.Mind you, he's not so perfect but when push comes to shove he stands by Regan's side .However, their affair is not as romantic as some readers may expect .

David Welch was before his disappearance an absent father and husband, working round the clock and mentoring Patrick . His relationship with Regan wasn't as good as it should have been.

Avery Leavenworth is Regan's sworn enemy .Her  girlfriend Nora is gone and she is willing to do anything to bring Elusion down. She has quite a big mouth and a very peculiar style.

Both authors had something new to add to the vast collection of dystopian novels that abound nowadays.

If I could choose my own escapes I would like to :

Enjoy the beautiful view of a rice terrace in Bali

Do ice trekking in Argentina without breaking a leg.

Explore a rainforest in Costa Rica with friendly mosquitoes.

                                                                  Eat lots of cupcakes.

 Go on a cruise in Halong Bay and stay up at night to see the stars.  

                                       Sunbathe on a Thai  beach,swim a little and sunbathe again.


Aftershock : The symptoms people experience after having being inside Elusion. They include inability to move or speak and dizziness.

Acid rain:  Another result of extreme pollution.If our rain gives us bad hair days imagine what their acid rain could do .

CIT: The organisation that has to approve Elusion.

Digital Photocubes: A cool gadget in the shape of a cube that you shake to see photographs.

Donor cycles: Some  dangerous  roads in Detroit.

E-fiend: Young people who are addicted to Elusion.

Equips and apps: The technology that allows people to enter the world of Elusion. A microlaser visor,audio buds,  an acrylic wristband and an application.

Escapes: The different landscapes that you can visit inside Elusion.
ExSet: Exhilaration Settings which enable the user to control brain stimulation.

Florapetro:  A modern version of our petrol which can be used as fuel and to make all sorts of things such as glasses.

Hypersoar: The vehicle aboard which David Welch  allegedly had a fatal accident.

MealFreeze: A drink with the nutritional contents of a meal.It sounds quite disgusting to me!

Oxygen shield: A mask to protect people from the polluted air when they are outside.

Passcard: A card with credits to pay for everything.

Standard 7 cycle: Their timetable for work and school:seven a.m to seven p.m. seven days a week.
Tabs: Tablets, I guess much better than ours.

Traxx: Turbotrain . Like our train or underground system during rush-hour:crowded and with frequent delays.

Trypnosis:A combination of hypnosis techniques needed to go into Elusion.

Walden  by Hery Thoreau: David Welch's favourite book. Published in 1854 describes the period the author spent at Walden pond living a simple life .Here is a list of laws that Thoreau mentions in his book:

One must love that of the wild just as much as one loves that of the good.

What men already know instinctively is true humanity.

The hunter is the greatest friend of the animal which is hunted.

No human older than an adolescent would wantonly murder any creature which reveres its own life as much as the killer.

If the day and the night make one joyful, one is successful.

The highest form of self-restraint is when one can subsist not on other animals, but of plants and crops cultivated from the earth(These laws are from Wikipedia)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Redemption Song (Bob Marley) sang by Aly Michalka & Ben Coton

I know the TV show is a bit dated but this is one of my favourite songs and I love this version.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;

Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the 'and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
This songs of freedom
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fullfil the book.

Won't you help to sing
This songs of freedom-
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fullfil the book.
Won't you have to sing
This songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hawaii Five 0 : Classic vs. New Opening

This is indeed one of my favourite TV shows ever .

Classic opening:
New opening:
The old one has its charm but I prefer the new version.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
   “If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability. I wouldn't, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful of all I say. I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express. I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste sixty seconds of light.

 I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.
 If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.
 To all men I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.
 I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

 To old people I would say that death doesn't arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken and the form used to reach the top of the hill. I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father's finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground. Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul. If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say 'I love you'. There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you and that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn't wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them 'I am sorry';' forgive me',' please' 'thank you', and all those loving words you know. Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them. Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don't do it today...tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn't matter, either, the moment to do it is now.”
Gabriel Garcia Márquez

If you haven't read  García Márquez ,then you haven't read at all. His books are a precious gift to the world.

Gabriel García Márquez :Bibliografía

1955.- “La hojarasca
1961.- “El coronel no tiene quien le escriba
1962.- “La mala hora
1962.- “Los funerales de la Mamá Grande
1967.- “Cien años de soledad
1968.- “Isabel viendo llover en Macondo
1968.- “La novela en América Latina: Diálogo” (junto a M. Vargas Llosa)
1970.- “Relato de un náufrago
1972.- “La increíble y triste historia de la cándida Eréndira y de su abuela desalmada
1972.- “Ojos de perro azul
1972.- “El negro que hizo esperar a los ángeles
1973.- “Cuando era feliz e indocumentado
1974.- “Chile, el golpe y los gringos
1975.- “El otoño del patriarca
1975.- “Todos los cuentos de Gabriel García Márquez: 1947-1972
1976.- “Crónicas y reportajes
1977.- “Operación Carlota
1978.- “Periodismo militante
1978.- “De viaje por los países socialistas
1978.- “La tigra
1981.- “Crónica de una muerte anunciada
1981.- “Obra periodística
1981.- “El verano feliz de la señora Forbes
1981.- “El rastro de tu sangre en la nieve
1982.- “El secuestro: Guión cinematográfico
1982.- “Viva Sandino
1985.- “El amor en los tiempos del cólera
1986.- “La aventura de Miguel Littín, clandestino en Chile
1987.- “Diatriba de amor contra un hombre sentado: monólogo en un acto
1989.- “El general en su laberinto
1990.- “Notas de prensa, 1961-1984
1992.- “Doce cuentos peregrinos
1994.- “Del amor y otros demonios
1995.- “Cómo se cuenta un cuento
1995.- “Me alquilo para soñar
1996.- “Noticia de un secuestro
1996 – “Por un país al alcance de los niños
1998.- “La bendita manía de contar
1999.- “Por la libre: obra periodística (1974-1995)"
2002.- “Vivir para contarla”
2004.- “Memoria de mis putas tristes”
2010 – “Yo no vengo a decir un discurso”

  Instituto Cervantes

Gabriel García Márquez : interview

Discurso de García Márquez Premio Nobel

The Legacy of Gabriel García Márquez

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cham Ruins near Nha Trang in Vietnam

If you feel like leaving your comfortable beach hammock for a while and visiting some cultural sights , on the outskirts of Nha Trang you will find a nice complex of well preserved and reconstructed Cham towers. The so called Po Nagar towers offer the visitor a unique opportunity to see the remains of the ancient kingdom of Champa.

Several tourist visit the area but not in large groups so it is certainly a nice half day excursion which will be even more enjoyable with the explanations and company of a good tourist guide.

By P.B.

View from the ruins

View from the ruins

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno: Short Review

The Half Life of Molly Pierce

It is difficult not to give spoilers with this book , but I am going to try.

First of all I can say that life is not easy for Molly, in fact it is quite confusing and from the very beginning of the book things get worse, if possible. As I went on reading I feared a very unhappy ending after having discarded the possibility that aliens or paranormal phenomena were a part of the plot.

Gradually I started figuring out what was really going on with Molly and I must say that the author does a wonderful job explaining the situation and according to the Acknowledgements Katrina Leno  has some experience on the field.As a matter of fact, that last part of the book was really moving in my opinion .

This is a novel that people who are in Molly's situation or know someone who is , will really like because it shows how important the support of one's family and friends is and what an enormous difference it makes .It also shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and hope for many people who suffer .

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout on TV

 According to the author's website we'll be able to enjoy an exciting TV show based on the novels.

 "THE COVENANT, USA today bestselling book series, from USA Today and NY Times bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout, with industry veteran Harry Werksman hired to pen the TV adaptation.”
This is another huge step in many steps. I have spoken with Harry, and I’m absolutely thrilled that he’s signed on for the adaptation. When they said he’s a veteran of TV, they are not kidding. Not only has he worked on shows such as Castle, Moonlight, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, and many, many more, he sincerely loves the series as much as I do and I know the series is in his epic, talented hands."

Friday, 11 April 2014

Herbal Garden in Asia : Mussaenda

                                                                         Fact sheet

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown: My First Cozy Mystery

Killer in Crinolines

Can murder be cozy? Apparently yes. The so called Cozy Mysteries or Cozies downplay hard situations and make them almost sweet.

My first approach to this genre has been with Killer in Crinolines by  Duffy Brown . In the novel a shady groom is stabbed to death and Reagan Summerside , the owner of a consignment shop is determined to save a friend who has been wrongly accused of the murder.

It is indeed a very relaxing and enjoyable novel, full of dangerous and at the same time funny moments and lots of doughnuts, cakes ,drinks and a hot guy. You can almost hear the southern accent of the characters ( I would love to have the audiobook since I find it delightful) and feel the summer heat in Savannah .

This is a fun-read when you just want to get away from it all , ideal for anytime, really.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Handsome Family :Far From Any Road

From the dusty mesa,
Her looming shadow grows,
Hidden in the branches of the poison creosote.
She twines her spines up slowly,
Towards the boiling sun,
And when I touched her skin,
My fingers ran with blood.

In the hushing dusk, under a swollen silver moon,
I came walking with the wind to watch the cactus bloom.
A strange hunger haunted me, the looming shadows danced.
I fell down to the thorny brush and felt a trembling hand.

When the last light warms the rocks,
And the rattlesnakes unfold,
Mountain cats will come to drag away your bones.

And rise with me forever,
Across the silent sand,
And the stars will be your eyes,
And the wind will be my hands.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L.Armentrout: Review

Don't Look Back

A page turner with one of the hottest YA male characters ever!. As a fan of the Lux series I couldn't miss it .I have chosen this cover over the one with the music box because that is a HUGE spoiler.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan : Review

Flame (Sky Chasers, #3) 272!!!  pages only ! That was my first though when I began this book,which by the way I didn't want to start because I didn't want to finish the best YA sci-fi trilogy EVER.

How disappointing (or human) are the crew members depicted by Amy Kathleen Ryan and the truth about how everything started is definitely heart-breaking .But given the way Spark ended I supposed  that things were going to get worse before improving.

On page 24 I am aghast at how fast I am reading ,I am going to finish it in no time.It is definitely a page turner.

After reading page 91 I had a cup of  Darjeeling tea.

It goes without saying that Seth goes through hell and Weaverly takes her sweet time to finally make up her mind.

 On page  262 my heart skipped a beat !

What an amazing story of survival ,true love and friendship. Cheesy?, well, isn't happiness a relief after such an ordeal?.I am a huge fan of books that make you feel good when you turn the last page.

A continuation , if possible, would be certainly welcome and  I wish they made a film based on these books , just to see the ships, specially the rainforest which reminds me of the rainforest in KLIA.

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