Scarlet & Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly – Review

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If you like nail-biting mystery novels, then this is the novel for you.

The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly is the first book of the amazing Scarlet & Ivy trilogy. I haven’t read the second and third book, Whispers In The Walls and Dancing In The Dark, but it is on my ‘To Read’ list.

Scarlet & Ivy are identical twins…

Ivy lives with her slightly crazy aunt while her twin, Scarlet, is at Rookwood School. On her thirteenth birthday, Ivy receives a letter from the school inviting her to join. Ivy dreads going, as this is where Scarlet died. Ivy soon realises Miss Fox, the deputy head, is very sinister, and soon she forces Ivy to take Scarlet’s place, becoming her twin.

So Ivy now has to take on a great challenge. Scarlet and Ivy are like day and night, like chalk and cheese. But she has to remember all of her memories of Scarlet, otherwise she’ll be in trouble. One day, she discovers a diary, Scarlet’s, which tells her, bit by bit, the mysteries Ivy desperately wants to solve. Why did Scarlet die? Why did she obey Miss Fox?

After telling her new friend Ariadne and her kind ballet teacher Miss Finch the truth, Ariadne and Ivy set off to crack the riddles left by Scarlet, which should lead them to all the answers. But time is running out. Penny, the school bully, starts to get a little suspicious…

Sophie Cleverly has made this book so that it grabs the reader’s attention immediately and leaves you on the edge of your seat. I loved this book as it is a true page-turning, nail-biting mystery. Cleverly has very sensibly hidden clues in the story and lets us solve the mystery as well. I read it in less than a day, and I would recommend it for 11+.

The Time I Got Diabetes – Recount

Hello!

So you probably don’t already know this, but I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on August 29th, 2013. (Yes, I remember the exact date.)

I was in Year 5, and I was a healthy little 10 year old. Or was I? I don’t even remember, it was so long ago. I was going about my own life, not giving a care in the world. Until…

A few weeks before the 29th of August, I started to feel funny and not myself. My mum was always cautious of me and thought so too.

karen-mean-girls-cough-im-sick

I had three symptoms; I drank a lot of water, went to the bathroom about 5 times a day, and experienced severe fatigue. In other words, I wasn’t my normal self. Because my older cousin had diabetes, my mum had thought that I had it too, and being the silly girl that I was, I looked up my symptoms on the internet (Yes I know that I should not have done that, even though it was true). One Sunday afternoon,  we visited our grandparent’s house and my aunty decided that she’d check my blood glucose level. As crazy as it was, my level was 31.9, and that was way above the average of 5.0. We checked it again, and the machine couldn’t even read it as it was too high. My aunty and dad immediately took me to the nearest hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick.

We went into the emergency room and the nurse put numbing cream on my hand so they could do a blood test to confirm whether or not I had diabetes. Once they had confirmed it, I was shocked and scared as I had no idea what was happening.

I was told to stay in the hospital for a few days to educate me on everything, and my favourite  part of staying was the Starlight Room and the food. I loved being at the Starlight Room; there were many fun activities we could do, like painting a mural, playing on the Wii and everyday at 4;30pm, they would hold a quiz on anything. And the great part about it was that every patient could have access to participating in the quiz even though they couldn’t physically go to the Starlight Room.

I stayed at the hospital for 3 days, and each day, my family would visit me and bring me presents (yay). Everyday I’d practise on giving myself insulin through 3 needles a day. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all.

I made so many friends and my educator, Lucy, who I still keep in touch with today. As much as I had fun at the hospital, it was time to go home, and I had to do everything at home with the help of my parents. I missed out on school for a few days to get used to being a full-time diabetic.

Let me tell you, having diabetes isn’t easy. Set changes, buying insulin + consumables every few days and weeks. It is a really hard job, but  I got used to it eventually. And before you say it, yes, I can have lollies, chocolate and all that junk, but to a certain extent. In fact, I’m eating a donut right now 🙂

If you need to know anything more about diabetes, I’m here with open ears.

Here are some diabetes memes. Enjoy:)

 

Internet Friends VS. Real Life Friends – Discussion

Myth: Only creepy middle-aged men with beards and uncontrollable sweat glands use social media, and all they use it for is to kidnap children.

Fact: There are other people — normal, nice people — on the Internet just like you.

Isn’t it funny how our parents always told us to never ever talk to strangers on the internet, while the internet nowadays is full of websites where you can meet new people and talk to them? I am not ashamed when I tell you I have met many people on the internet. I talk to them, even consider some of them as my best friends.

I had made a fan account on Instagram, and I met so many amazing girls in one week. We all have the same interests and that’s something we’d bond over all the time, not to mention we have zero boundaries. I’d even stay up late just to catch them in their state’s timezone. For Example, some of them live in England, so they’d only be awake at about 5:00pm up to 7:00am AEST

I think there is nothing wrong with meeting people on the internet, becoming friends with them or talking to them, but I also think there has to be balance between your ‘internet life’ and the real life. The people you meet on the internet may not live nearby you and I think it’s not okay to forget about your friends who live close by and replace them for your internet friends. Having friends on the internet might also sound kind of pathetic in some way and so I think it’s important to have a sort of limit for how many people you’re meeting on the internet. Not only because of the pathetic sense, but also for your own good. Your internet friends can’t come over to spend the evening with you and watch a movie or something, you can’t go to their house if one day you feel like you have nowhere else to go. They can’t be there for you like a friend in real life can.

 

Ramadan – Information Report

What Makes Ramadan Very Special?

Ramadan is the ninth and most precious month in the Islamic calendar (Hijri) and it is obligatory for the Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan.

Each day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world observe the sacred month by fasting   during day light hours (from dawn to sunset), performing nightly prayers in addition to the daily obligatory prayers, and concluding each day’s fast over   food with family and friends.  At the end of the month is a three-day   holiday that celebrates the conclusion of the month with Eid al-Fitr and prepares individuals to return to their regular daily routine.

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. “The month of Ramadan, during which the Qur’an   was revealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance and the   criterion; and whoever of you is resident, let him fast the month” (al-Qur’an, 2:185).

Fasting is compulsory upon every sane, adult, healthy Muslim male who is not traveling   at that time. As for a Muslim female, she must not be menstruating if she is to fast. People who are sick, women and girls on their menstruating period and if she is pregnant, she should not need to fast. As for me, I can’t fast because I have diabetes, but it’s worth a try.

The main objective of fasting is to achieve piety and righteousness. This implies   becoming conscious of our Creator, increasing our awareness of Him, exalting and glorifying His names and attributes, appreciating His greatness, recalling His blessings upon us, and being grateful and thankful for His   guidance. “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was   prescribed to those before you, so you may remain conscious of God” (al-Qur’an, 2:183). The   month of Ramadan is not only the month of fasting. It is also the month of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the Muslim Scripture.

It is currently the 5th (or 4th if you started a day later) day of Ramadan in 2016. I have managed to fast 2 whole days, despite my illness. I am so grateful, Alhamdulilah.

Ramadan Kareem to you all!

 

[Album & MV Review] AOA – ‘Good Luck’

The 7 girls of AOA want to wish you ‘Good Luck’ with their 4th mini album. Recently busy with solo activities and a subunit, they’re together again, bringing you five new songs.

  1. Good Luck
  2. 10 Seconds
  3. Cherry Pop
  4. Crazy Boy
  5. Still Falls The Rain

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Album Review

“Good Luck” is the title track, full of high-tempo awesomeness and great dance track. The energy of the song is palpable and really gets your heart pumping. It’s full of hooks too, so there’s no short of fun here.

Cherry Pop” and “Crazy Boy” are pretty standard AOA tracks, not bad, but not surprising either. The ones that I took a liking to to are “10 Seconds” and “Still Falls The Rain.” “10 Seconds” slips inside your mind quietly, and their voices are subtle and beautiful. There’s a lot to like, from time-changes to echo effects, parallel structure, and more. “Still Falls The Rain” is a pretty ballad, and I love ChoA‘s voice in this one – I feel she doesn’t get enough opportunities to showcase her beautiful voice nowadays.

AOA doesn’t disappoint. Not only are their songs awesome, there’s also some real talent there that eclipses other idol groups. This EP is just as good as their other releases, if not even better. I’m looking forward to being graced by these angels for a long time.

MV REVIEW

AOA appeared as cat burglars in “Like A Cat”, lacrosse players in “Heart Attack”  and now they’re back as ‘Baywatch’-inspired lifeguards in “Good Luck”.

The plot is non-existent. As the music video starts, we see the AOA girls being lifeguards in their natural state. It consists of a lot of shots of the girls running along the beach, dancing on the beach, and partying. Not that there’s anything wrong with all that, of course.

Overall it was a brief moment of fun. The girls danced quite well, and had me enjoying it throughout. Regardless of whether or not that was the point, it still gets my vote.

Score

MV Relevance…….8
MV Production……8
MV Concept……….8
Album Production…9
Album Concept……..9
Tracklisting…………..9

OVERALL…………8.5

 

Chicken Bibimpap – Recipe

This traditional chicken stir-fry has a hot and spicy dressing to tantalise the taste-buds.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white calrose rice
  • 500g chicken stir-fry strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 100g green beans, trimmed, halved
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, cut into matchsticks
  • 100g shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 4 eggs

Chilli dressing

  • 1/4 cup Korean red chilli paste (kochujang)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar

Method

          Step 1

  1. Place rice and 3 cups cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 14 minutes or until liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes.2.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, place chicken, soy sauce and garlic in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Toss to coat. Set aside.

  1. Step 3

    Make Chilli dressing: Combine chilli paste, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl.

  2. Step 4

    Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil. Swirl to coat. Add half the chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken. Add 2 teaspoons oil to wok. Add carrot, beans, cucumber and mushroom. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until beans are tender. Add to chicken. Cover to keep warm.

  3. Step 5

    Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until eggwhites are set and yolks soft. Divide rice between plates. Top with chicken mixture. Top with egg. Serve with chilli dressing.

    Chicken bibimbap

BTS Save ME – Response

Yes, BTS have finally released the MV for Save ME.

Once again, I was caught off guard by BigHit when they released the MV for Save ME came out on May 15th at 11pm. It was at that moment where the fangirl in me took over.

Check it out below:

 

Song Review

BTS has dropped the final part of their newest MV trilogy. The song is titled “Save ME“, and together with the other two it tells a story.

Getting to the song first, I’m particularly a fan of the instrumentation in the song. I like all of the little touches I hear in there, and that’s a good thing. It’s a pretty good mid-tempo tune, and the vocals are sweeping and soothing. A bit repetitive during the chorus, but great overall.

MV Review

In the MV “Save Me,” the boys dance on the beach. If this sounds like a simplistic analysis, it’s not. Yes, I could describe what Rap Monster and J-hope and the rest are doing scene by scene, but I won’t.

The MV was shot  on a rainy or cloudy day on the beach. They could have picked a sunnier day to do this, but they didn’t. Everything appears grey and bleak and washed out, casting a pall over the mood. Suffice it to say that they dance really really well, and that’s what saves it, hence the name, Save Me. The killer choreo that they usually display is out in full force and in your face. The dancing made it not only palatable, but enjoyable as well.

MV Trilogy : Theory

Now as you might know, BTS is infamous for confusing people with their MVs; they are always full of questions that eventually no one would answer. BigHit need to step up their game.

The MV trio fits together like this: it’s another coming of age tale – “Young Forever” is when they are young, “Fire” is the independence of youth, and “Save Me” is the realisation that you can’t do it alone. I’m taking my cues from the lyrics to come up with this. At least, that’s my take on it.

Of course, it can be taken another way (as with all interpretations). “Young Forever” sees them footloose until they manage to accidentally set themselves on “Fire,” which is why they’re at the beach in “Save Me,” having doused themselves in the ocean. Why do they need to be ‘saved’ then? We will never know.

Score

MV Relevance…….9
MV Production……9
MV Concept……….9
Songwriting……….10
Composition………10
Impression…………9

Overall: 9.5