The Random Chat Show: What’s With all these Dystopian Worlds?

Check out the next Random Chat Show! This week, in honor of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 release, we’re talking about dystopian worlds. What works for us, what doesn’t and why are they so popular?
Hope you enjoy!! 🙂

That Moment In.com

Runtime 32 Minutes. This week, The Random Chat Show talks about dystopian worlds in film and why they are so popular. We’ve got a new Random Moment . . . Plus ZOMBIES!

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TMI Podcast: David and Kim’s Random Chat about The Maze Runner

With the recent release of The Scorch Trials, David and I decided (rather last minute) to have a chat about The Maze Runner.  We haven’t yet discussed any YA stories.  While I have an immense appreciation for The Maze Runner, David didn’t. Check it out to see what we didn’t (and did) agree on.  And how it reflects on my thoughts from having read the book and from his thoughts going in with no knowledge of what will happen next.

We haven’t had a movie that we disagreed on so this was different but tons of fun.  Hope you enjoy!

 

My Weekly Adventures (plus a final callout for votes)

Welcome back to my weekly adventures! Its been refreshing to not have to waste my brain cells on writing some smart title because I really never have any stuff. Not that talented in that area 😉

This week’s adventures are really not quite adventurous and I really had to strive to find what to do for this.

We’ll do this day by day and step by step.

1) Girls Movie Night

maze runner poster

On Tuesday  night, I went with my girl friends to go see The Maze Runner.  I miraculously managed to get the review up the next day.  If you happened to have missed it, please head over HERE to check it out if it interests you 😉

2) Montreal Comic-Con Tee Turtle Shirt came in!

TeeTurtle

Ghibli characters crossing the street? Enough said, no?

3) Vampire Diaries Season 5

vampire diaries

On Friday night, I came home to wrap up the last two episodes of Season 5.  Although the first few episodes of the fifth season was a bit slow, it does pick up relatively fast.   The season finale has me looking forward to Season 6.  Plus, it gave me a pretty weepy evening when I couldn’t help but shed a few emotional tears with that somewhat dramatic ending. Cliffhanger season finales are just so great but just so frustrating also.

Next season is starting Oct. 2nd (I think) and you bet that I’m going to be catching that episode whether its on TV or the day after streaming on CTV (Canadian channel when I only have bunny ears).

4) Afternoon Date with my Boyfriend

Musee Grevin

Our Tuango coupon deal was going to expire at the end of September so we used Saturday afternoon to go on a little trip to downtown and visited one of the newer museums.  What the museum is? Can you guess with the picture on top?

I’ll be posting up on that tomorrow once I have time to sit down and sort through the pictures tonight 🙂

5) Getting started on watching the Halloween Movie Marathon

With the extensive series of Friday the 13th being the main feature, my boyfriend and I have started watching the Halloween movies this year.  Only the main feature ones for now.  How far I am? Well, I’m not going to dive into those details but once October starts, I’ll have my reviews up. I have a general run down set from the current results.  I’m taking the top 3-5 movies in each category in the voting polls that I had up 2 weeks or so ago.

With that said, as relentless as this sounds, FINAL CALL OUT for the voting on Halloween movie marathon! Tomorrow is the last day! 🙂

If you didn’t vote and would love to participate or just help a girl out or voice your opinion, head on over HERE!

If you already did, thank you so very much! You’ve just chosen the movies I’m going to watch for Halloween and I really hope that your choices get picked.  If there is any particular ones you’d like me to look at, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll make sure to add it to the marathon or the next recommendations month 😉

ALSO, as a bonus,  I’m planning on going to see some horror movies in the theatres. There’s a few I’m interested in but I’m going to need my boyfriend to go with me so he has the final decision in these situations.  Lets hope it happens 😉

6) Water and Transportation support for Oasis Half-Marathoners!

It was the real deal yesterday for my friends.  I woke up bright and early to take 3 of them to their 10K/half marathon.  I spent another hour and a half navigating through all the closed roads.  Thank you to my phone GPS, I managed to figure and regroup and finally found a parking spot. Then proceeded to wait for them to get back.

Oasis Marathon

Oasis Marathon

Everyone did great times and some had their personal high.  Plus, they all got a bonus with the run with a free beer.  They were all tired but extremely proud, I’d have to say 🙂

I’m not much of a runner but there are times, I do consider training to attempt a 10K.  Who knows? Maybe one day I will.

7) Painting almost done!

20140928_204247

Our basement is completely done painting. Its looking pretty joyful and colorful, which is good because its also extremely dark already. The lighting is bad here but the walls are mint green 🙂 I think it turned out lovely. While I was busy with helping friends out, my boyfriend was hard at work. That leads us to my next point…

8) Gardening progress!

Sunday was indeed a busy day and it took a lot to keep going. I came back and had lunch and eventually got back to my place to continue the gardening.  I actually drafted out the yard setup in my notebook to know how to proceed. A few things were accomplished after that.

Raspberry plant in the ground

Raspberry plant in the ground

Crimson Star moved and Spring bulbs planted

Crimson Star moved and Spring bulbs planted

My side plot is getting most of my attention.  You can see the green leafy plant next to chrysanthemums and thats the crimson star.  It flowers in summer.  Also, right next to it, with all the black top soil is spring bulbs.  I’m not sure if I planted them too deep, so we’ll see in Spring 2015, right? Thats just the first phase.

I’m clearing out some plants and making them smaller in the front yard so I can keep planting more bulbs.  My yard is mega depressing in spring on the flowers front so I’m seeing to it that next year, it’ll be different 😉

9) Planning for some Changes

Its a bit early to talk about it and life’s been really kind of taking a front seat over the blog(s).  Between the house and getting anything on Tranquil Dreams, its taking me forever to get some write-ups to other bloggers that I said I would.  That makes me feel pretty bad so I’m going to be working on those ASAP. If I owe you anything for any blogathon/series, I promise you, they will get there soon. I’m a bit fuzzy on deadlines right now but I’m trying to get them in.

Surprising fact is that my brain loves to overwhelm itself even more as I try to organize myself.  I think it just likes to be in constant chaos.  What do I mean? Somehow, I’m inspired for a few tweaks for the blog, which I’m sorting out the little bits and pieces to launch for next year.  Perhaps, I’m playing around with a rating system, a long term project and I’m deciding when that new segment, Crush of the Week/Month should launch. I’m just debating if it should be weekly or monthly. 

10) Ending these adventures off with some music…

You thought it’d never end, right? Well, I like to end in style and here we are. The first is a little piece from The Piano Guys called Batman Evolution.  The score arrangement is pretty genius!

Second, its a song I recently heard on the radio: Wanderlust by The Weeknd.  It has a nice beat 🙂

Thats it for this week’s adventures! 🙂

How was your weekend? What series are you watching? Anyone also closing up their gardens before the frost arrives? Any music addictions lately? 

HAPPY MONDAY, MY LOVELIES! 🙂

The Maze Runner (2014)

Last night, I finally made my way to the theatres again.  This time its with my girl friends.  We gathered to go see The Maze Runner.  3 of us (myself included) are avid readers so we’ve heard or read the book.  I actually reviewed it right HERE if you’d like to check it out. I actually liked it so much that I went to look for the trailer and was pretty intrigued by it so I went off and did a post in my other blog, Days Nights and Daydreams for my Out of This World Travels (which unfortunately hasn’t had a new location yet) but that post is right HERE!

Now that I’m shamelessly linked up all that I could, its time to head over to one of the book to big screen adaptation that I’ve been desperately anticipating (and hoping that gets it right) since I finished reading that book, while holding back from reading the next one because I don’t know how the movie will end.  Keep in mind that despite the anticipation, I really didn’t know what to expect.

Lets check it out!

maze runner posterDirector: Wes Ball

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Blake Cooper, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up going up a dark elevator and at the top is welcomed by a bunch of boys called The Gladers and a enclosed area surrounded by a maze.  Every boy went through the same thing: they have no idea what this place is, how they got there or anything else except their names.  For the last 3 years, the only ones allowed are the Runners and they explore the maze outside between sunrise and sunset when the doors are open to find a way out, except they haven’t had any luck.  Thomas’s arrival changes a lot when things start happening out of order and a few days after, a girl, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) sent up saying that she is the last one ever and wakes up calling Thomas’s name.   Together with Alby (Aml Ameen), the leader of the pack; Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) the second in command; Minho (Ki Hong Lee), the keeper of the Runners; the maze and the Glades dynamics start changing and Thomas convinces the boys that the only hope for them now is to find a way out and maybe get some answers along the way.

Maze Runner

The Maze Runner, as mentioned before, is based on the book with the same name written by James Dashner.  It is part of a trilogy and from my research of the director and actors, they seem to be in pre-production for the sequel.  Movie adaptations of books are pretty tricky especially since you are trying to appeal to the reader’s imagination of what they have interpreted.  The Maze Runner does shift a few details around to help the story flow better as a movie and also the ending has a few changes.  I’m really bad with remembering details so if you remember something differently that was changed, you can always share that with me. I never expect a movie to be a carbon copy of the book so to be honest, I really enjoyed The Maze Runner.  The changes they made, the cast and the whole set-up of The Glades and even the Griever may not have been reflected exactly as I had expected but it all worked well together. I read the book only 2 months before and still I was still feeling the danger in the situation even if I knew where all this was headed. That is a very good thing.

Maze Runner

One of the best points of the movie is The Glades.  If anything, that should fulfill the imagination of the readers because its fairly close to the book (at least how I interpreted it).  The Glades is simple and the mechanics of it all.  It really gives a good idea of how things are.  As Thomas goes into the maze (because you know he will or The Maze Runner wouldn’t exist), the maze also matches a lot of how the book describes it.  Pat on the back to the production team for having this set because for me, when you adapt any source material, the one thing that should stay the same is where it was set.  You can swap anything around but at the very least, keep that. The Glades were gloomy but simple and self-sustaining while the maze was dark and mysterious.  Those are the feelings you should have when you see it.

Maze Runner

The cast are fairly unknown to me, with the exception of Will Poulter. Everyone does fairly well and falls into believable characters.  The main guy is Thomas played by Dylan O’Brien and he does a great job.  For some guy that I’ve never seen before, he picks up this role, doesn’t exaggerate and delivers a pretty good character.  Thomas is the key to the puzzle and we watch as he mans up to the unknown that he’s tossed in but he also knows that somehow he is connected to the whole situation along with Teresa, the leading girl played by Kaya Scodelario, who is also unknown to me.  Funny enough, I think that Kaya Scodelario’s Teresa still needs a little work because her character didn’t do much for me, just like something was missing.  It could also be that she was introduced fairly later in the movie.  However, thanks to the rest of the boys especially Minho (played by Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Chuck (Blake Cooper), who are fantastic characters both on screen and in the book, they all bring a touch of something different to balance out the whole story.  And then we have Will Poulter who is something of the opposition/resistance of change (some would say the antagonist) of the story and he does a fine job as well. In this whole crowd, I think the best performance goes to Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Dylan O’Brien followed closely by Ki Hong Lee.

Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is another dystopian story set in the future when the world has literally collapsed.  However, it also holds a dangerous and thrilling premise that has been adapted quite well onto the big screen.  With a good adaptation, strong performances and a dark and mysterious setting and a handful of unanswered questions plus an ending ripe for a sequel, it proves to be one of the better adaptations I’ve seen in the recent years.  It shows a lot of promise (despite some minor flaws) and it was a pretty thrilling movie experience to be absorbed into this story.  I definitely hope that the sequel does happen because I look forward to it.  Meanwhile, I’m going to be getting that sequel in the trilogy to read 😉

As a closing thought, one we discussed with the girls, if our world were to be completely in dystopia in the future, doesn’t the future of teens look so grim? They always get thrown into this life-threatening ordeals from The Hunger Games, Divergent and now the Maze Runner.  They never catch a break, eh? But then, I guess it is the target market, right? Its helps young adults bond with the characters more. Maybe?

Have you seen or read The Maze Runner? What did you think about it? If you haven’t seen it, does it sound appealing to you?

July Reading Recap!

I’m a bit more back on track now! At least book recaps are on time, right? Well, relatively! Confession time: I almost forgot to do this one…

As I’m working hard to finish up the Fantasia Festival reviews, I’m working hard on getting things back in a certain system on the blog. Enough of my rambling, lets move on…

Its been a good run for reading in July up until the last one right now thats taking me FOREVER to read, I’ll tell you which book it is at the end 😉

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

If I Stay

Mia is a teenage girl who goes through a day of her life following an accident which takes the life of her family.  She relives the scattered moments of the past while seeing how her family, boyfriend and close friends deal with her endangered situation.

I really wanted to fall in love with this book.  It has a great premise and the setup of the whole book was pretty special.  Its a countdown of the hours as she goes through her life in the back seat.  She’s in between life and death and she gains clarity of what’s happened in the past and how everyone reacts to her. Its a lesson about appreciating the little things in life before its too late and at the same time, facing life courageously.  The only problem was that, as well as the story starts, I started losing a connection with  Mia as the story went along in the middle but what does redeem itself is the ending few hours before she makes a decision and through her eyes, we get witness the important people in her life.

If I Stay is set to be released in theatres a little bit.  I can’t remember if its in August or September.  I’m still debating whether I will go see this.

The Red Pole of Macau (Ava Lee #4) by Ian Hamilton

The Red Pole of Macau

In this 4th book of the Ava Lee series, we follow Ava as she heads over to Hong Kong to help her half brother and his partner deal with a business transaction gone bad over in Macau.  Much to their surprise, the Macau side is lead by a powerful and ruthless triad society leader.  Going solo this time for the first time since the start of this series, Ava is not only about business but personal stakes are involved when she is also acting to protect her family.

Up till now, this one has to be my favorite Ava Lee novel.  The fact that she’s not flying around or even engaging in her normal forensic accounting analysis is beside the point because for once, I felt like I was getting closer to understanding Ava a little more and this case itself was exciting and adrenaline pumping action all the way through.  An awesome page-turner!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The maze Runner

Thomas wakes up in a lift with strange boys surrounding him.  Everyone arrived the same way and only remember their names.  They are in what they call The Glades.  Locked in at night but surrounded by a maze that constantly change.  The maze runners go out everyday hoping to find a way out while they are all assigned jobs to keep the Glades functioning.  Except Thomas’s arrival triggered the arrival of a girl, in turn causing major changes that challenge their survival.

The Maze Runner was a pleasant surprise.  The whole story is fast-paced and intense.  As Thomas searches for a way to escape from the maze with the others, they also are challenged with avoiding being hunted.  There are secrets he has to keep and memories that he tries to find.  As things flip around, the only thing we will worry about is how they will not die in the process. Plus, the ending was totally kick-ass.

The Maze Runner is due to be in theatres in September and as much as I worry that it might be not a good adaptation, I have high hopes that if done right, they might have a great franchise on their hands.  Its has the right material to be a hit, the question now is whether it delivers.

OVERALL…

I didn’t read too much in July and that has to do with this book below:

A Game of Thrones

Thats right, my lovelies! A Game of Thrones is killing me.  Its not boring just crazy long at 835 pages.  I’m only at 65% and I’m starting to wonder when I’ll lose track of the events going on.  Still, I’m soldiering on because its not a bad novel.

After this, I have a little special something planned for the blog related to reading.  Every section has had their time to shine and now its time for a Reading month.  Not just any reading month but one where I’m going to flip through all those independent authors here on the blogosphere that I’ve backlogged and stored on my tablet and I’m going to work on reading as much as I can in a month. A few have reached out to me over the last few months and with everything going on, I never got around to reading it.  Here’s my way to repay everyone 🙂 Better late than never, right?

What have you been reading? Have you read any of these novels?

A-Z Book Survey :)

Its been pretty much Hong Kong dominant over here so for a little intermission, I landed on a cool book survey over at Lizzy’s My Little Book Blog.  I thought it’d be fun to give it a shot.  I should really get around to doing a movie one though ;). Go and check out Lizzy’s blog because its full of cute quotes and awesome book reviews.

This survey was originated from Perpetual Page Turner right HERE! Its my first time visiting and it looks pretty awesome also 🙂

Lets start this survey, shall we?

AtoZsurvey-1017x1024

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Charlaine Harris.
I originally thought it had to be Lucy Maud Montgomery but Goodreads proved me wrong.

Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Currently Reading:

The maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually its Hot Water or Tea 🙂

E-reader or Physical Book:

Physical Book is my first choice
(but I’m slowly getting into e-books to be more space efficient)

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

Granted I’ve graduated from high school a LONG time ago,
I thought this when I read it in high school and thinking back I’d still do it:
Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I read this in high school for a project.
I had been the last to pick the book so I was left with slim pickings and my teacher suggested to read this one and it was a definite winner.

Hidden Gem Book:

the night circus cover

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

Restarting to read fiction after not having time for it during my college and university years.
I realized how essential it was to my life and how much balance it was as a form of escape and imagination.

Just Finished:

The Red Pole of Macau

The Red Pole of Macau by Ian Hamilton

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

HORROR

I read one once and it took me a really long time to get it out of my head.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

hp5 cover

I don’t track page numbers but I’m guess one of those Harry Potter books. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Major Book Hangover Because of:

sharp objects

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn made me have to take a break from reading because of the intensity the book built up.
Her characters and stories are haunting and it makes you ponder the values and meaning of alive and just how scary human nature and the likes really can be.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

2 (although one of overstacked)

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl

Preferred Place to Read:

Either in my room on my comfy office chair or sitting outside with a nice light breeze

Quote that Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From a Book You’ve Read:

The invention of hugo cabret

Reading Regret:

I haven’t read a full-length Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in series):

Agatha Christie is the only one I can think of, specifically Hercules Poirot

Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Very Excited for this Release more than the Others:

Unfortunately I’m more current on movie releases than books so I don’t know.
But if there was a new Gillian Flynn novel, I’d be pretty excited 😉

Worst Bookish Habits:

Not using proper bookmarks!

X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

PS I Love You

P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

Your Latest Book Purchase:

Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Zzz-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling takes this one ONLY because I wanted to finish this book before my vacation earlier in June

Here you have it! A little book survey fun for this lovely Friday 🙂

Any of you would like to join in remember to link back to me and of course to Perpetual Page Turner because they deserve the credit for putting this together!

You can even drop me a comment about your favorite quotes, books, major book hangovers, Zzz-snatchers and fictional characters you would probably date in high school, etc? Love you to hear your answers and maybe inspire some new book recommendations 🙂

Happy Friday, my lovelies!