Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire OST Tracklist

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire OST Tracklist

I think no one would disagree with me on this, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is one of the most anticipated movies this year. I have excitedly fangirled every still from the movie, and now that we’re just six weeks away from seeing the film in its entirety, the hype just keeps on going.

I love soundtracks. Really. I even buy OSTs of movies I haven’t even seen. So, needless to say, aside the movie, I am also eagerly waiting for Catching Fire soundtrack. The complete tracklist was recently released and it includes some of my favorite artists and bands – Ellie Goulding, The Lumineers, The Nationals – they’re joining Coldplay, the first band to be confirmed for the said OST.

Here’s the complete tracklist:

  1. “Atlas” – Coldplay
  2. “Silhouettes” – Of Monsters and Men
  3. “Elastic Heart” – Sia (ft. The Weeknd and Diplo)
  4. “Lean” – The National
  5. “We Remain” – Christina Aguilera
  6. “Devil May Cry” – The Weeknd
  7. “Who We Are” – Imagine Dragons
  8. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Lorde
  9. “Gale Song” – The Lumineers
  10. “Mirror” – Ellie Goulding
  11. “Capital Letter” – Patti Smith
  12. “Shooting Arrows at the Sky” – Santigold
  13. “Place for Us” – Mikky Ekko
  14. “Lights” – Phantogram
  15. “Angel on Fire” – Antony and the Johnsons

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack is due to be released on November 19, two days before the movie. But you can already pre-order it on My Play Direct.

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Book Banning, Shackling Ideas and Mugshots

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I’ve always believed in exercising our freedom of expression. It is one of the most basic of rights and while not absolute, it’s one of the things that make us all human. Our ideas are meant to be expressed; our ideas could inspire one person, create a domino effect towards a better world. Imagine a world full of shackled thoughts and repressed speech? It’s a bleak one, I’ll give you that and this leads me to the whole point of me writing this post – banning books.

Censorship is the enemy of our right to free expression and banning books is one of its forms. When a book is banned, access to it becomes limited. What otherwise is a great vehicle for information dissemination becomes impeded. While most appeals against books are rooted on good intentions, personally, I don’t believe it does anyone a favor. Let people read whatever they want to read, let them form their own opinions about the books they open.

Tumblr user Jubilant Antics a.k.a. Kate couldn’t have illustrated the whole thought better. Her series of banned books mugshots says it all – when you ban a book, you’re shackling them.

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I am all for standing up against censorship, if you feel the same get yourself informed and check out the American Library Association’s website.

Review: Lissa Price’s “Starters”

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Lissa Price - Starters

Callie Woodland‘s futuristic Los Angeles is filled with terrible chaos. The Spore Wars killed everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty leaving  the very young, the Starters and the very old, the Enders. Orphaned, Callie must fend and provide for herself and her sickly brother Tyler, and she does just that with some help from former neighbor and fellow orphan Michael. But times become more dire as Tyler’s illness progress for worse. Callie must make hard decisions which eventually led her to Prime Destinations also known as the body bank.

If you’re a moneyed Ender, you go to Prime Destinations to relive being young but if you’re an unclaimed Starter, you go there to temporarily sign off your body for someone else to use and claim in exchange for money.

Desperate, Callie goes to Prime Destinations and becomes one of their body donors. She’s scrubbed and remade, and fitted with a neurochip in her head to enable the renter to control her body. Her first two rentals went well but just when she thought things are going to go smoothly her third and final one goes awry. A week into her supposedly month-long rental, Callie wakes up inside a bar which she knows is entirely wrong. Then she starts hearing a voice inside her head, the voice of the Ender renting her body, warning her not to go back to the body bank. Fearing that Prime may not pay her if they learn about the glitch in her chip, she abides but soon she realizes that her renter has plans of her own and that everything and everyone else around her isn’t what they seem to be. Callie knows she must do something.

Starters is the first book in Lissa Price‘s two-part installment, and for a debut novel it is a good one. It is a fast-paced thriller of a book. Things just keep on happening one after the other. Callie, the protagonist, is likeable and the world she lives is something you wouldn’t want to live in.

Although labeled as a dystopian novel, Starters lean more towards science fiction. I found the whole body renting process interesting. Imagine being fitted with a neurochip in your brain. Imagine your body being controlled by some other person. It’s a fascinating and scary feat both at the same time. Something that can totally happen especially given our advancement in science. (I’ve recently read something about an experiment where one person was able to control another just by thinking what he wants the other person to do.)

The world of Starters is also another thing I like. It’s genuinely scary and very possible. It’s loop-sided in a very sick way. Teens, the Starters become second class citizens stripped off of their rights while the Enders enjoy limitless resources. It’s a vivid illustration of the powerful preying on the helpless with the Starters as the bullied, weaker side and the Enders playing bully. Because of their unfair circumstances, you just can’t help but to root for the Starters.

The novel is at its best when Callie’s stumbling through the truth behind her renter, her motives, Prime Destinations and the government. She’s a smart girl who can piece together the facts she gathers and ultimately does the right thing at the end of the story, which is to shoot down the establishment.

Another thing I like about this novel is its antihero. The Old Man is a formidable opponent – mysterious, powerful, omnipresent. He’s creepy with a capital C. You can keep on guessing what he’ll do next all you want but really he’s unpredictable which makes him dangerous and exciting.

However, Starters it is not without flaws. The love triangle being drawn between Callie, Michael and Blake feels half-hearted and half-baked. Every time the narrative focuses on their relationship, it slows down which ruins the pace of the story.  I just can’t seem to connect with it. Also, there were plot holes that are really noticeable like Callie’s renter, Helena’s will. There’s also that sub-plot which involves Helena’s missing granddaughter but I guess that’s for us to find out in the next book.

Overall, Starters is an enjoyable fast read. It’s a book you’ll keep on reading not minding the time you spend on it. I will definitely get the next book Enders come January 2014.

Rating: 3/5

If you want to know more about the last book in the series, Enders, watch the clip below. Author Lissa Price (@lissa_price) talks about it.

Book News: Debra Driza’s “Renegade” (Mila 2.0)

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I’ve loved the cover of Debra Driza‘s Mila 2.0. It’s actually the reason why I picked it up in the first place. It also turned out to be a good action-y read so I’ve been looking forward to getting the second installment. And though there’s no release date yet, we at least now have a cover. HarperTeen revealed the cover via Addicted 2 Novels.

Mila Renegade

Must I say this is even more beautiful than the first one. Oh! goodness! I’m excited all over again.

“Allegiant” first look

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The October release date for Allegiant, the final installment of Veronica Roth‘s international best-selling series Divergent, is looming closer and the anticipation amongst fans are running high with all the movie news and other stuff. Almost two weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly released the first Allegiant quote from. It’s from the book’s seventh chapter which is written in Tris‘ perspective. Now, we get the first quote from Tobias‘ perspective. I’m thinking this is from a different chapter though it wasn’t stated.

Tris Allegiant

Tobias Allegiant

I am totally fangirling over these. Just a few more days initiates. Hold on. Just 40 more days!

Review: Jennifer E. Smith’s “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight”

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Here’s the thing, I don’t believe in love at first sight. I’m more from the get-to-know-each-other-first-before-anything-else school. I mean, how do you know – how can you say – you love a person when you barely even know him, or her? It all sounds juvenile.

I don’t believe in love at first sight, yes, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy a story about it, and Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is that book.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith

The story follows Hadley, who’s on her way to London for her father’s wedding. She meets a cute British boy, Oliver, in the airport and after finding out that they were on the same flight, the two stuck it out together.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a quick read. The events in the story happened in a 24-hour period. It is sweet, it is simple, and it is something you’ll see in most rom-coms. Even if the novel’s title has the phrase “love at first sight” it was really about that, well, not so much. The connection Hadley and Oliver had wasn’t even labeled as “love” per se. It was more like two young people who enjoyed talking to each other and discovering about the other person. It’s something akin to how most relationships start, which was, for me, realistic enough.

There was also some family drama involved, after all, Hadley’s reason for flying across the Atlantic was his father’s wedding. Feeling abandoned, she is still bitter and angry with his dad. But at the end of the book, all turns out well. This is the part that I didn’t like. I felt like it was too instant the way Hadley forgave her dad and accepted her stepmother. After spending 85% reading about how much she hates her dad getting married to another woman, I think that feeling was warranted. It just wasn’t how things like that go. Forgiveness is almost never given that fast.

Overall, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is an enjoyable read. It will make you swoon and smile. It’s cute and sweet. If you’re craving for a light read, I recommend this.

Rated: 3.5/5