Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Selection by Kiera Cass: short review.

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
This is not the type of book I usually read , I guess I stopped reading classic fairy tales a long time ago.
However, I found this dystopian fairy tale quite entertaining although some of the situations that appear in the book are really sexist and they made me mad .
I believe the characters did their best given the circumstances they were involved in and I guess that made me continue reading .

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Lovestruck by Siobhan Davies

Lovestruck (True Calling, #1.5)

After reading True Calling I felt really curious about this book. I wanted to know how Cal had fallen in love with Ariana, although it is common in YA novels to find a gorgeous boy fall in love with a regular girl . Well, in my opinion this boy is not in love but unhealthily obsessed . It even made me wonder if the government had implanted something in his brain to make him act this way. I don't know, perhaps it was too sugary for me.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

True Calling by Siobhan Davies

True Calling (True Calling #1)
This is a very entertaining sci-fi/romantic book, perhaps with much more romance than science fiction but it is not too overwhelming . It contains many of the clich├ęs dystopian novels have, so it is not really surprising for avid readers of this genre , but all in all worth reading.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2)

Is it as good as the first one? almost. Is the love story as romantic? nearly. Unlike many second parts Ten Thousand Skies Above You won't disappoint you if what you liked about the first book was the combination of romance and action. The parallel universes Claudia Gray depicts are not boring and predictable and each one would be worth a novel.
As to the characters, we see their evolution in the world they live: Marguerite becoming stronger, Paul getting to know himself better and Leo getting used to the idea that there won't be a love story in his own dimension for him.We also get to know alternative versions of them: a lucky Theo , a cruel Paul and a wicked Marguerite .

They way the story unfolds and the cliffhanger ending will leave you waiting eagerly for the next novel.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Friday, 27 November 2015

Yangban Seasoned Seaweed : Yummy snack

This is one of the favourite snacks of people in South Korea. I bought some during my trip there and became addicted. Delicious!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Istanbul Flow Motion

The only place I visited in Istanbul was the incredible airport but I wish I had had the chance to see the city.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Most Peculiar Murder by Shamini Flint: review

A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder (Inspector Singh Investigates #1) The story takes place in Kuala Lumpur, one of my favourite cities in the world, mainly because it is a modern melting pot of several cultures and traditions. The novel depicts this mixture of races and ways of living perfectly.

Inspector Singh , the policeman from Singapore in charge of investigating the murder, is a very likeable and peculiar character that will appeal to fans of detective stories.

The book is an easy read to enjoy before, during or after visiting beautiful Malaysia.

Click here to see some of my pictures of this wonderful country.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Gilded by Chistina Farley : pictures of South Korea and review.

I read this book before,during and after a trip to South Korea and I highly recommend it to people who are visiting that country. In the novel you will find references to the amazing underground system in Seoul, the palaces,the KTX train,the coffee shops,the food and the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

 Besides you will also find a romantic love story and a kickass heroine who doesn't give up. Korean mythology is  also skilfully depicted throughout the novel.

 This is Haechi, The Guardian of Seoul, which helps the main character in the book.

This is a picture from one of the parts of  Gyeongbokgung palace which she visited with her father and I visited during my trip.

This is a platform in a Seoul subway station.

 The most impressive part of the subway system is line 9,the newest part. These are sculptures in  Bongeunsa station.

 This is Hotteok , a sweet and delicious pancake she eats and I must say I liked.

This is Busan KTX station , where she travels and I travelled as well.

This is inside the KTX, a super fast train.

Christina Farley, a former school teacher in Seoul, has written a compelling beginning to a saga that will appeal to many YA readers.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

While reading this novel I felt like in an emotional roller coaster:

 and thinking I should've figured it out . 

This book will make you want to go out and simply breathe fresh air, live every second like it was the last one, swim in the sea and be in the sun.

Nicola Yoon makes readers think about all the things we sometimes take for granted and about the power of love for the better and for the worse.

Tip: if possible read outdoors.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Turkish Delights and Simit

On a flight with Turkish Airlines I had the chance to taste Turkish Delights (lokum) for the first time. It was without a shadow of a doubt the best thing I have ever eaten on a plane.The flight attendant kindly wrote the name for me on a piece of paper when I commented on the extraordinary flavour of the sweet. Luckily I had a layover at Istambul Airport and bought some to take home.

Ataturk airport is incredibly big and in the centre of the international arrivals and departures floor there is an amazing bazaar type market where you can find many Turkish products. It is worth looking around if you haven't visited the country .
In one of the coffee shops at the airport I also tasted Simit, which is a Turkish kind of pretzel covered in sesame seeds. If you love pretzels, you will also love Simit!.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Cao Dai Temple in Vietnam

This is one of the most peculiar temples I have ever visited .Caodaism, the syncretist Vietnamese religious movement, is a mixture of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and  Roman Catholicism.

The temple is extravagantly decorated in a bright a colourful style.Don't miss it on your way to Ho Chi Minh city!. 

By P.B.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

South Korean Hanbok

The hanbok is the traditional South Korean dress belonging to the Joseon period which lasted five centuries, from 1392 to 1897. Out of respect I didn't want to show the faces of the people wearing the dress, except for the ones of our guides in the beautiful palaces in Seoul.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfel: review

Stupid Perfect World
Why is this a novella? I could've read a whole book, a long one, even a series. Scott Westerfeld has a vivid imagination, especially when it comes to creating alternative futures, in fact , his series Uglies is among my favourite novels ever.

I loved the idea of the perfect future in this book : no health issues, no poverty nor wars. A reality which is questioned by teenagers, who would rather dream and fall in love than enjoy a life without all the "inconveniences" of our century.

Stupid Perfect World is definitely a novella worth reading and recommending to all YA dystopian fans.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
I read this book in one day I had a lot of time in my hands , the PSU in my computer had burnt because of a power surge during a storm. So I was grateful for the book ,which made me forget about the smell of burnt plastic and wires that lingered at home and think of all the delicious meals you can have in Milwaukee, where the story takes place.

DON'T read this book if you are on a diet , or if you are hungry or if you live very far from Milwaukee and there is no way on earth you can get cheese curds.

DO read this book if you feel like having a good time while reading a nice novel with a happy ending.

DON'T read this book if you expect a shallow romance with weak brainless characters.

DO read this book if you can cook, it will inspire you and at the end of the book there is a recipe for an incredible coconut cake.

Amy E. Reichert has written a delightful combination of a love ,cooking and sightseeing novel .

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Myeongdong Street Food in Seoul , South Korea

Myeongdong is one of the most popular streets in Seoul.While you shop until you drop for cosmetics and clothes you may as well have a bite and try the local food available in the evenings . If you want to avoid the crowds go early in the morning , the food stalls won't be there but you'll enjoy a more relaxed shopping spree.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner :review

The Good Neighbor

I am reluctant to write negative reviews but unfortunately IMHO this book doesn't deserve a very positive one. It wasn't really bad; it was just OK, a quick read but not a memorable one.
 I didn't like any of the characters and the way the plot unfolded didn't appeal to me either. I finished the book to know who the bad guy was and guess what? It disappointed me as well.

It goes without saying that other people may find the book interesting and the characters riveting.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015

The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim : review.

The Calligrapher's Daughter

I hadn't read historical fiction in a long time and I only started this novel because it was about Korea , which I was planning on visiting.

I didn't know anything about the Japanese invasion of Korea and I really liked the way it was explained through the eyes of the main character , a girl and then a woman without a name. Their traditional way of living before the Japanese , the influence of religion and their fight for freedom are vividly described by Eugenia Kim. Women's rights and education also play an important role in the novel .

I would recommend this book to fans of historical novels and strong female characters. It is not an easy read, since it describes a very hard period of time for Korea ; the worst but also the best of humankind appear in the story.

The Calligrapher's Daughter is inspired by the life of the author's parents and I think this is what gives greater value to the book.On the beautiful website  created for the novel you can see amazing black and white photographs of the author and her family .

Monday, 31 August 2015

TV Series Cancellations : Fall 2015 and 2016

These are some of the cancellations of the TV shows I watched, for a full list click on http://renewcanceltv.com/renewal-scorecard-2015-16/.

 Forever: cancelled after one season by ABC.  What a pity!.I really liked the show and the unusual  relationship between father and son the main characters had.

Revenge: cancelled after four seasons by ABC. I am sorry for the actors but I'm afraid the last season was getting quite boring .

Resurrection: cancelled after two seasons by ABC. I didn't like the plot very much, too creepy for me, but I liked the characters.

The Following: cancelled after three seasons by FOX. I am glad, I just could not take anymore violence and stabbing. I like Kevin Bacon and the rest of the good guys but the bad ones were getting on my nerves.

Gracepoint: cancelled after one season by FOX. I didn't watch more than two chapters, I won't miss it.

Wayward Pines: cancelled after one season by FOX. It started really well but then things got out of control,I just can't see it working as a TV series after the main character's death. I haven't read the novels it is based on.

Allegiance: cancelled by NBC after five episodes (although the rest are available online). I didn't see this one coming, and I really liked the show, both the plot and the characters. I will miss it.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Silla Flower Garden in Gyeongju , South Korea

Near the Observatory and the Anapji pond in Gyeongju ,there is an amazing flower garden which you can see from the road. Someone had the brilliant idea of planting  beautiful flowers for people to enjoy a walk around them .

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud: review.

Pretending to Be Erica
This book trapped me, I liked it from the very beginning even if I knew it wasn't going to be a happy book.In fact it is a novel about loss , the inability to cope with it and the will not to give up hope no matter what. The loss of a daughter because of a kidnapping and the loss of a husband due to mental illness.

It is also a book about wanting to have a normal life with loving parents, a family and friends. Things that other people take for granted but Violet , the main character, needs more than she knows.

Halfway through the book I thought that perhaps there could be a twist in the plot and everything would turn out nicely for everyone. That is , I guess,  the definition of wishful thinking.

I admire Violet's strength , resilience and good heart . Michelle Painchaud has created a wonderful teenage heroine who stands up for herself.

Friday, 14 August 2015

The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Dead List

First of all I need to thank the author for giving away this book on Wattpad, it is incredibly generous to do such a thing nowadays. I was a fan of her Lux series and I was eager to read this novel.

Secondly , I have a question for Jennifer L. Armentrout: where did you find the inspiration to create such a perfect character as Jensen? He is  romantic but not cheesy,strong and attractive . I think he is one of the most, if not the most , appealing YA male character I have ever read about.

For those who are reluctant to believe it , just read the way he declares his love for Ella , the main character:

" I want to be that guy- the one that when your phone rings you hope it's me. The one who holds your hand in the hallway and at lunch, and the guy who gets to hold you. I  want to be the one who gets to touch you,"he whispered against my neck. "I want to be yours".

I don't think he could have been more romantic. I am copying from the book and my fingers are so distracted that I am typing exclamation marks instead of quotation marks.

The romantic part of the plot is incredibly good but the mystery in which the characters are involved is also intriguing.

As to the ending.... well, I bet you won't guess what happens, at least not all of it. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong

 Although it may seem too touristy for many people, the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong will certainly appeal to fans of Chinese actors and specially those who like Bruce Lee . For those who are not so much into Chinese films ,it is just  a nice promenade along the harbour packed  with tourist and with wonderful views of Hong Kong Island.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Art in Hong Kong

In Tsim Sha Tsui, on Salisbury Road just by the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong you can find the Museum of Art . While visiting the area , outside the building  there were some nice sculptures on display.

Kum Chi-keung- Big Apple

Danni Lee- Waterdrop

Rosanna Li- Happy Folks 1

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