Thursday, 29 May 2014

After the End the new book by Amy Plum

For those fans of dystopian novels, Amy Plum introduces her new book After the End which I am reading for sure.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Disruption by Jessica Shirvington: Review



Disruption (Disruption, #1)
When I read the blurb I thought that it was going to be similar to Matched by Allie Condie but as a matter of fact Disruption is quite different . The main character, for example , is far from being a sweet girl in love. Maggie has a goal and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and she tries hard not to fall in love because that's not included in her plans.

I like Maggie , she's a really strong female character and she isn't stopped by the bewildering reality she has to face, she moves on and continues fighting.

The society described in the novel isn't so far from our own society as we may think.We can also be tracked really easily and we are even eager to use tracking apps on our mobiles and Sat Navs in our cars. We may as well end up using M-bands or similar gadgets in a not so distant future.

The lover boy turned to be much better than I expected and although he comes from a wealthy and powerful family , he isn't a spoilt and stupid rich guy. The fact that the two characters fall for each other is more than predictable but this doesn't make their love affair boring or less believable. Incidentally, the author met the love of her life at a very young age , so she knows what she's writing about.

This book is a duology and Corruption, the second book , is coming out in November , so we don't have to wait that much.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Archetype by M.D. Waters : Short Review



Archetype

I think this book is like a YA dystopian novel but for older adults , perhaps with less fooling around and more cutting to the chase.

The main character, despite her lack of memory is no innocent teenager , I am not sure whether I like her or not, she has some changes of heart (almost literally) that I find difficult to understand .

However the novel ends with a cliffhanger which may make me read the second part.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Herbal Garden in Asia: Nopalea

                                                                  Video

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Menara Kuala Lumpur : An alternative to shopping all day long.

If you are tired of shopping in Kuala Lumpur , visiting the KL Tower or Menara is an attractive option for a sunny  morning or afternoon (otherwise you won't be able to see anything). KL Tower is located in front of Jalan Raja Chulan and not far from the Raja Chulan Monorail station or the Bukit Nanas Monorail Station. You can't miss it !






The tower is on top of the the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve  , so after walking around the reserve you can take the lift all the way to the observation deck.



The construction of this tower in the centre of Kuala Lumpur began in 1991 and finished in 1994. The observation deck of the  tower is 276 metres high and from there all visitors can enjoy wonderful view of  Kuala Lumpur Skyline, the antenna reaches 421 metres. By the way, Menara is the Arabic term for minaret, which means tower.














After visiting the tower you can see some traditional houses on your way out of the building. 









The operational hours are from 9:00am until 10:00pm - 365 days a year.


The prices are :
http://www.menarakl.com.my/index.html
For more information click on http://www.menarakl.com.my/index.html

By TA


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Raven Boys III: Blue Lily,LIly Blue Cover


This is the beautiful cover of the third book of the Raven Boys saga which comes out on October 28th. I just can't wait. Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Samahan Herbal Tea: Review




I got this tea as a present from a friend who had visited Sri Lanka and I must say I was eager to taste it.As a matter of fact, I am a huge fan of herbal teas and any kind of teas for that matter.




The tea comes in a packet with 25  sachets of powder that you can have either with hot water, just like a regular tea or you can also mix it with another hot drink. However, I think that the unique flavour can only be appreciated when drank with hot water. It tastes mainly of ginger and if you are coming down with a cold or you already have a sore throat you can feel the ginger working wonders inside your throat.




This herbal tea contains the extract of 14 herbs and its preparation is based on Ayurveda principles.It is said to relieve cold symptoms and I think it really helps, besides it can be taken with Western medicine and it has no side effects.



By Foodie

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Originals by Cat Patrick: Short Review

The Originals

A very dysfunctional family , some easy to read scientific explanations, a wonderful boyfriend and definitely a good read for any day.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Falls the Shadow Review


 Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither


  The idea of suffering the loss of  a relative and two hours later having a substitute  is a bit frightening to say the least. The fact that your cloned sister could also be a murderer makes things even worse. But as soon as I started reading it I couldn't put the book down , Stefanie Gaither's novel is a page turner.The writer used to manage a coffee shop while studying for her B.A. in English, if her coffee  was as good as the novel I bet the shop was full everyday.


The plot is deceptively simple and really complicated at the same time. The Mayor's  family looses a daughter , Violet, they had their clone ready since the moment the daughter had been born so they immediately bring the clone back home and continue living just like nothing had changed. The clone has Violet's memories and apparently behaves like her, but for her sister Cate,things are not so simple and she has a difficult time accepting the new Violet.

Is this new Violet the old Violet in a new body? New Violet's behaviour as a teenager is a bit erratic but would old Violet's behaviour been peculiar as well if she had been alive? Cate , in my opinion ,tries as hard as she can to accept this new Violet because that is all she has left . Even when things get really bad Calel still refuses to give up hope completely ,she wants to see old Violet in the new one.She is in denial and utterly confused but the thought of losing Violet forever is more unbearable for her than anything else.

What makes things even more difficult is the fact that not everybody agrees with the idea of cloning people . If you have a clone you are called an Origin and you have a chip at the back of your neck which is connected to the clone.Both Origins and clones are targets for bullies and the  anti-cloning groups.

The society in which Cate and her family lives is a dystopian North America. There was a war called the Silent War in which other countries attacked the U.S. blaming it for the overpopulation, the climate change and the crisis of resources. It was silent because no weapons were fired but American people started getting sick because of infected water or food and the population decreased quickly. It as a biological war.Cate's mother,Natalie, developed strange marks on her body , another side effect of this war. A corporation called Huxley started giving people the possibility of cloning their loved ones.

 They claim that:

" You never know what the future holds , or how quickly things can change. but with cloning you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that at least something you love is not as irreplaceable as it used to be"

These  children clones created by Huxley are stronger than human beings and more intelligent.I don't think that a clone can ever replace a loved one, people are unique and irreplaceable.Besides , having a clone and knowing that the moment you die somebody will take your place in the world is sad and depressing but if you think of the way your parents' pain for your loss  maybe somehow relieved, you may come to grips with it.

 It is like a second chance for the living ones , another opportunity to try to lead a more or less normal life although I cannot imagine how  they can stop themselves from comparing the lost relative to the new one. And I don't understand how they are unable to see the pain they may inflict on their own  real children who know they are replaceable.This is really food for thought.

One of the parts of the book that I liked most is when Cate is given a lift by Jaxon , a classmate she has had a crush on for a very long time.

" His shoulder brushes mine , and he lingers just long enough for me to breathe in a hint of some sort of spicy-scented cologne. While he walks to the driver's side, I close my eyes and hold my breath. Absorbing the scent, that moment. Part of me wishes I could bottle this all up somehow, keep it for later -a little piece of real that I could unleash whenever I get tired of hiding behind my mask, or whenever this stone casing I'm in starts to suffocate. That's stupid ,though . You can't bottle moments..."

No, you can't bottle moments, but you can try....

White sand from a beautiful white beach

If the fact that Violet was a clone didn't attract enough paparazzi , the cloned girl is missing and accused of having murdered her only friend, the one who didn't reject her after the switch.Samantha Voss, the murdered girl, happens to be...

Are we the sum of our memories and experiences ? If those memories and experiences were transferred into a computer, would the computer react the way we do?  I guess it would to a certain point but there is something more ,which may be sometimes good and other times evil .Something that makes us human beings, capable of the best and the worst.

The title of the book is taken from part of The Hollow Man , a poem by T.S. Elliot:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow




Monday, 5 May 2014

Lila Downs: La Cumbia Del Mole



Cuentan que en Oaxaca se toma el mezcal con café.
Cuentan que en Oaxaca se toma el mezcal con café.

Dicen que la hierba le cura la mala fé.

Dicen que la hierba le cura la mala fé.



A mi me gusta el mole que Soledad me va a moler.

A mi me gusta el mole que Soledad me va a moler.



Mi querida Soledad,

Me va a guisar un molito.

Por el cielo de Montealban,

De noche sueño contigo.

Mi querida Soledad,

Me va a guisar un molito.

Por el cielo de Montealban,

De noche sueño contigo.



Se muele con cacahuate

Se muele también el pan

Se muele la almendra seca

Se muele el chile y

También la sal

Se muele ese chocolate

Se muele la canela

Se muele pimienta y clavo

Se muele la molendera



Cuentan que en Oaxaca con agua es el cohoclate

Cuentan que en Oaxaca con agua es el chocolate

Dicen que en la fiesta toritos de ha de quemar

Dicen que en la fiesta toritos de ha de quemar

Para el que haga su manda por la pasión de Soledad

Para el que haga su manda por la pasión de Soledad.


Mi querida Soledad,

Me va a guisar un molito.

Por el cielo de Montealban,

De noche sueño contigo.

Mi querida Soledad,

Me va a guisar un molito.

Por el cielo de Montealban,

De noche sueño contigo.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan: Extra Chapter.

Flame (Sky Chasers, #3)
If you are a fan of the saga, you will love to read a chapter that was cut from the book. The author has just posted it on her website, it is about Jacob.

Enjoy!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Taman Ayun Temple in Bali

Taman Ayun is a royal temple located in the village of Mengwi, around 18 km from Denpasar. It is on the main road to Singaraja so it's impossible to miss.There is a  beautiful garden at the front and several typical Balinese constructions.





If the weather is hot and sunny you will need a hat or maybe an umbrella to protect you and you will also need an umbrella if it is raining, just like when these pictures were taken.



















The weather got better by the end of our visit but the truth is that the rain didn't ruin the tour since we found it beautiful anyway.



by BB

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