Your favorite movies, songs, books and videos of 2014 (closed)

Let us know what movies, books and songs you would recommend to teens. They don’t need to be new publications or releases, but do restrict your recommendations to the things you’ve watched, read or listened to this year.



  1. My favorite song of 2014 is blank space of Taylor Swift. The song is so attractive and I always listen to this song when I’m getting bored when I am studying. Actually, I love all the songs of Taylor Swift, like, Love story, red, enchanted, shake it off…..every time I will sing with the songs. I hope Taylor Swift will produce more songs in the future.:)

  2. In my opinion, I think 2014 was a fascinating year. I saw the previous posts were all talking about the European and American music but actually, it also had some good Korean songs in 2014 such as “My destiny” by Lyn, “LUV” by Apink, “Mr.Mr” by Girls Generation but my favourite probably is “12.30” by Beast.
    This song is really fantastic. The thing that attracts me is not their dance(although their dance is still brilliant), is their singing. Their talented main vocal, Yoseob has done extremely well. He tried to sing in a quite large range of scale. I really admire this because it is really difficult to sing in large range of scale, especially for a male singer but he can really done it well. Also, the song is also great. It is talking about the feeling when a couple break up. They did a great job to express the emotions. When I first heard the song, I liked it very much. Afterwards,I repeated for several times and I fell in love with it(just kidding). Ii is really a good song.
    I also want to recommend all of you a new male group debut in 2014. This is also my favorite group in 2014.They are Got7. This group has seven people. They are Mark, JB. Jr., Bambam, Jackson, Yugyeom and Youngjae. The special thing about this group is all of them can do martial arts tricking. Martial arts tricking is a mixture of martial arts and dance. They will do some martial arts in their performance. The members have practiced a lot, the longest one has practiced for three years. They became famous in a short period of time.Therefore, I think this group can have further development in their future so I recommend them to all of you.

  3. One Direction is my favorite pop star. And I ‘ve been Directioner for 3 years. I am so glad that they won 3 awards in American Music Awards ( Favorite band, Favorite album:[Midnight Memories] and Artist of the Year). Really congratulations to them ! It is amazing that a UK band can be so famous in US and all over the world. Hope they can keep it up and perform even better in the future.
    ~~Looking forward to seeing them in the coming March as they are coming to Hong Kong soon!!! XD

  4. 2014 is a great year.This year has been a huge blast for not only artists and movies, but also books. Many amazing songs such as Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it off’, ‘Blank Space'(which was just released days ago), Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’, Ariana Grande’s ‘Break free’, ‘Love me harder’, Maroon 5’s ‘Animals’, ‘Maps’, one direction’s ‘Steal my girl’, and also ‘All about that bass’ by a new lift artist, Meghan Trainor. There are so much more fabulous songs but for my favorite song of the year, I would definitely say ‘break free’ by Ariana Grande. Ariana is a young artist who first appeared on Broadway, then made her way to main roles on Nickelodeon and now a top artist in the music industry. I think she is very talented and I believe this is just the start of her career and there will be so much more coming from her.

    Next up is the the movie of the year. I love watching movies and it is so hard for me to just chose one favorite one! This year, there are loads of great movies such as ‘the hunger games:catching fire’, ‘frozen’, ‘the fault in our stars’, ‘if I stay’… but for my very favorite one, I would say ‘the hunger games:catching fire’. I am a huge fan of ‘the hunger games’ and I just love ‘catching fire’ so much. It’s exciting, meaningful and suitable for all ages. The next movie from the hunger games series is coming out–‘the hunger games: mockingjay part 1’, I can’t wait to go see it.

    This is my conclusion of my favourites in 2014 and I only have one word to describe this year’s music and movie–‘spectacular’.

  5. 2014 is an amazing year.Lots of fabulous songs were released.”Animals” by Maroon 5,”All about that base” by Meghan Trainor,”Shake it off” by Taylor Swift are some of the examples.Among all of these amazing songs,i like “Maps” most.I think mostly everyone have heard about this song.It is a very famous song.It is released on 29 August.It is a single in the album”V”
    This song’s style is just like Maroon 5,with a bit pop and rock.It is catchy with brooding lyrics and Adam Levine’s incredible falsetto.The pitch is extremely high,same as some previous songs like”payphone”.There is not too much instrumental accompany, so the song sounds more natural.The music video begins with Adam Levine entering a hospital and nervously looking for a young woman.He finally finds her in the emergency room, where he sees the doctors trying to resuscitate her.The start is quite related to the lyric of the song,with a sad atmosphere.The falsetto of Adam Levine is still brilliant and unforgettable.There is also an explicit version after the first music video was released.
    Let me introduce how popular the song is.The song has now reached a number of 65 million views on Youtube. It is a huge number.It is also the sixth song on the Billboard Hot 100.Besides, it is also the second song on US Singles chart.
    Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. The teammates are Mickey Madden, Adam Levine, James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, PJ Morton and Matt Flynn.Adam Levine is the vocal and song writer of the band.

  6. 2014 is a great year that many amazing songs were released. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Maps by Maroon 5, Counting Stars by OneRepublic are some of my favourites. And among all of them, I love One Direction’s ‘Steal My Girl, best. It is a really famous one and I’m pretty sure that everyone of you have heard about the song. It was released worldwide on 29 September.

    I’m a huge fan of One Direction (call me directioner). If you are familiar to their music styles, you will probably notice that this song is quite unique. It has used various musical instruments and used piano as the lead melody. There are less electronic riffs so the song gives a relaxing and joyful mood. Their MV (music video) is quite special as well. They’ve been to the desert to record and each of them are in unconventional yet cool customs. The clip also featured Danny DeVito, a juvenile chimpanzee, sumo wrestlers, acrobats and a marching band. But despite all of this, their personalised vocal styles are still unchanged and remarkable. Lately, they have also an acoustic version for this song on their Youtube channel, which gives you a totally feeling, soft and rather peace.

    And how popular is this song? ‘Steal My Girl’ topped the singles chart on the United States iTunes on the day of release. It also reached number 1 on the Billboard Twitter Top Charts. It is also the eighth song from the group to have peaked top 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

    Apart from this song, their full album ‘FOUR’ is as well marvellous. It is going to released on 17 November and I’m really looking forward to it!

    1. Through 2014, many good and fabulous songs have been released. Like ‘Problem’ by Ariana Grande, ‘Shower’ by Becky G,’Animals’ by Maroon and ‘All about That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor. They are really good and could become the Best Songs of 2014. But for me, One Direction’s hits are always No.1 and the Best in the whole wide world. I am a super fan of them and my favorite song in 2014 is of course by One Direction. XD

      As I am deeply in love with One Direction. I am very happy that they have many new songs this year.To be a ‘directioner’, I am really familiar with their songs. And this year, my favorite song is ‘Steal my Girl ‘. It’s a really popular song recently. I think most of you have already heard this song already. The song’s melody is very catching and I just can’t stop myself to humming this song everyday. The vocals of the boys in the song are really fabulous too. Although the lyrics are similar to their previous hits but I just LOVE it! Also this song’s music video has an interesting new style for One Direction. They have five different themes and they work together.

      The song ‘Steal my Girl’ is a brand new song in One Direction’s new album called ‘FOUR’ and its their latest. It is called FOUR because this is their fourth album and this is their fourth year together. In this album there are many new songs that we haven’t heard yet and I am super excited today (i.e. 17 November 2014) because it is the day that the new album will be released. Now, I can listen to all the songs and I hope you all will like the fourth album as much as I will. ~~~

  7. My favorite book of this year is probably “One Day”, written by David Nicolls, a story about how two people get along with each other.

    Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their university graduation. They become best friends and plan to meet each other at 7 July every year. Emma is smart but success doesn’t come quickly for her, however, for Dexter, success and women come very easily. Through the years they grow apart as their lives take different directions and they meet other people. Dexter experiences the failures of career and betrayal of marriage. Emma spends most of her life time with a man she doesn’t love. As last, as they grow apart from all those people and their lives start taking opposite directions again, they find that they belong to each other.

    After reading “One Day”, a sentence popped up in my mind. With some people, we are destined to be lifelong friends.

    After reading this book, I did really cry, not a wailing one, but sobbing. “One Day” is obviously not a dramatic movie, there is not much surprising plot. It tells you if something or opportunities come, and we don’t grab it at that right moment,we will lose them and regret. Not every woman can be like Emma, who uses 20 years to wait for a man to become mature. I can’t even imagine how can Emma, who is deeply in love with Dexter go travelling, sunbathing with her so-called friend, Dexter. And how can she stop herself from thinking about him at every moment.

    Among friendship and love, Emma chooses to be a friend. She can leave when Dexter doesn’t need her, and come when he needs her reliable shoulder, encouragement or even a warm hug. For Emma, there was no expectation, no disappointment but companion.

    “One Day” is a romantic and touching film. It has its own style, freshness and witty bantering dialogues in this season of dumb and dumber. I also enjoyed the film of this book. I would definitely recommand this book to my friends.

    “Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ve had today.”
    Treasure every moment in our lives. Don’t wait, don’t dare to take risk.

  8. ‘You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hopes she likes hers.’
    ‘I do Augustus,I do’ – Hazel Grace, The fault in our stars

    Romantic stories aren’t really my type of books – most of them are so fake and falsely romantic.I was always disgusted by my friends who like to read such stories. Yet, this book has changed my mind about such stories, It’s simply amazing how, with a few page of words, the author could manipulate with your mind and make you laugh and cry at the same time. That is what John Green has done.

    I’ve heard that the movie version would be coming soon, so no spoilers for anyone who want to watch the movie. Yet, i would like to share my feeling with you of my review after reading this book.

    One of the interesting ideas I found in this book is Hazel and Augustus’s value on living. They don’t mind oblivion, nor do they intend to leave any mark behind on the earth, as so to be remembered. All they do is to live their own life, quietly. As Augustus says, ‘The marks humans leave are too often scars,’ ; and as Hazel says, ‘I’m like a grenade. I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties’.

    However, eventually, as they got along with each other, they knew that falling in love with each other was an inevitable matter. And indeed, they have. They have left their scar on each other, fully knowing that Augustus will die. That may seem paradoxical, but it is, I suppose, the faults in our stars that nothing can be perfect – there has to be some flaws in everything for one to treasure it. After all, ‘the world is not a wish-granting machine’. When life gives you lemon, don’t fall down. Keep your head up high and deal with it. ‘Pain demands to be felt’, but you have all the right not to care. That’s how Hazel and Augusts faced the fact that Augustus is dying. That’s how they lived their happiest in their numbered days together.

    As for the narration of the book, I could only say that it was seamless. This book is written in first person from Hazel’s point of view. We can feel her emotion from the change of the wordings and phrasing. In the book, Hazel is a sixteen-years-old, and we readers can definitely see it from the wordings (and occasional use of foul language).

    The ending of the book came to a surprise to me, as I expected more of the story. Maybe it’s because I was so charmed by the book and didn’t have enough of it. However, as I come to think about it, ending it with ‘I do Augustus, I do’ can let the story continue, in us readers mind. The answer ‘I do’ also indicates that Hazel, after days of obsession in finding the hand-written notes Augustus wrote, could finally get over Augustus. Ending the story in this way could let the reader’s imagination to take over and think of a eulogy of the story themselves.

    Reading this book really is a wonderful experience for me. It has been long since I’ve been so touched by a novel. I would definitely suggest my friends to read this book.

    ps. really looking forward to the movie:))

    3D 38

  9. My favourite book is Before I Go To Sleep. Although I have not finished it, I hope to recommend it to all of you.
    First of all, let me introduce the plot of this psychological thriller book. Christina is a 47-year-old woman who is suffering from amnesia. She wakes up with no memory everyday. Her husband Ben would then introduces himself and tells her about the sickness. One day, Christina receives a call from her doctor, Nash, calling her out for a talk and tell her about the matter of the secret diary she hides in her closet, which is written by Christina herself everyday so as to tell her about her encounters in order to rebuild her life. I stopped reading here. Actually, I read some reviews before I bought this book, I know the ending is quite creepy and I am really looking forward to it. I think that I would finish reading the book so soon.
    I love this book because it has a very innovative idea. After I read I few pages of this book, I imagine that I were Christina. It is so painful to suffer from all these, such as staying at a completely strange place everyday, spending every moments with a stranger, like a new-born baby. Moreover, I knew that somebody makes up a history for her and to cover up something. I can hardly imagine how could Christina bears this kinds of stress. She totally lost herself. In my own view, it is meaningless to be a ‘person’ without memory in our life.
    Undoubtedly, this book is very impressive to most of the people. It is a very successful novel with high reputations from public. I think you really should read it once in your life.

  10. My favorite book of this year is probably ‘The Time Keeper’ written by Mitch Albom, the author of ‘For One More Day’ and ‘Tuesday With Morrie’. This is a story about the meaning of time, which begins with three characters.

    Dor, is also names as Father Time. He is the first person on Earth counts the time. Before him, time keeping is ignored in the world. He has a lovely family with his wife Alli and three adorable children. Yet, this family is broken as King Nim, who is once Dor’s and Alli’s playmate, forces Dor to leave his city. Misfortunes never come singly. Alli is infected by a diseased couple and is dying. Dor is grieved, anxious and so he keeps running, until he sees Nim’s tower, the Babel. He climbs it, in order to stop the time and save his wife. However, he is punished by God for measuring time and is prisoned in a cave. Because of him, man starts to suffer from a paralyzing fear-a fear of time running out. To expiate his guilt, he is given an hourglass which can slower the time and thus he has to teach two people on Earth the meaning of time.

    One of the is Sarah Lemon, a teenage girl who wants too little time. She has a broken family, so she yearns for love. She is not so beautiful or slim, but she finds her love one day-Ethan. However, he rejects her and even tells everyone on Facebook. Finally, Sarah wants to end her life.
    Another one is Victor Delamonte, a wealthy old businessman who is dying because of the tumors in his kidney. His wife, Grace, is trying every method to comfort him. Yet, Victor thinks differently. He seeks for another lifetime, and finally he chooses cryonics. He cannot give up anything he gains. He wants too much time.

    Dor is watching both of them. He tries to tell Sarah that Ethan isn’t as important as she thinks. He attempts to tell Victor that family worth much more than his ambitious plan, but neither of them can understand. Sarah is going to commit suicide in the garage, while Victor is being put in the cryogenic cylinder. Dor finally finds out how to stop the time. He brings Sarah and Victor to see different scenes about their future. They are extremely regretful of their decision.

    At the end of the story, each of them learns a lesson and lives a different life.

    There are totally two main themes that the writer wants to bring out. The first one is that we have to cherish the time. Everyone has a limit of time, whatever it lasts longer or shorter. Each of us should use it wisely and treasure it. We should never give up on time or even the life so easily. Use Sarah Lemon as an example, she was rejected by Ethan and ridiculed by her classmates. She was so after she confronted and overcame those obstacles optimistically. From the story, we can learn that suicide is irrational Who knows what will happen next? If we can think in a positive way, everything will become simpler and also our life will be better. Nevertheless, we should not be so greedy and ambitious about time. There is a quote from the book that I like it very much-‘There is a reason why God limits out days. To make everyone precious.’ With endless time, nothing is special. In the story, the people living hundred years later would fill every walking minute with action. Everything they did to be efficient, to fill the hours. They wanted to own their existence, but they do not own time. The people in the future lived for a long time that we can never imagine. To them, time is nearly endless. Yet, they used most of the time for work, for efficiency. The time elapsed did not belong to them. Their life was blank, because they could not appreciate what they have anymore.

    The second theme is that we have to cherish our family and the one we love. Like the voices from the well of the Dor’s cave, people always quest for more minutes, more hours to accomplish more every day. The simple joy of life-like getting along with your family-is getting less. However, family is the one who always support you and welcome you. In the story, Alli was supporting Dor; Lorraine (Sarah’s mother) was concerning about Sarah; Grace was encouraging Victor. We should care more about our family and never lose sight of those people who always love us.

    Overall, I think this book is suitable for all of you, especially the one who isn’t good at time-management. You will probably learn a precious lesson from it.

  11. Pearl Harbor has always been an epic movie for me. Undeniably, it has a special status in my heart no matter how long it has been for me to finish watching it. 2014 is an unforgettable year – a year of growing up, a year of letting go and a year of facing my own obstacles which I am always reluctant to accept. Watching Pearl Harbor reminds me of the ‘stress-free’ moment I use to have and I will be awaken again.
    Firstly, the special effects of the movies are unprecedentedly great! As it is a war movie, you can see many dogfight scenes, explosions. A good movie with excellent special effects can make you feel excited. Pearl Harbor makes me feel so real. It feels like I am one of the soldiers in the airfield, fighting with my friends, fighting for gory. Personally, I love the dogfights the most. They are really stunning. I was attracted by them. I really wanted to fire the guns at that moment! Ready! Aim! Fire!
    Although Pearl Harbor is quite an old movie, it has always been my all-time favorite. Not only because it is a massive Hollywood blockbuster, but also because of the beautiful, tragic, enormous yet meaningful plot! I am inspired by many things in the movies.
    The brotherhood between Rafe and Danny impresses me a lot. This is the purest friendship ever, as both of them trust each other so much. They support each other whenever they encounter any problem. They speak truly to each other whenever they have conflicts. They try to save each other when either of them is facing danger. They are bold and fearless when facing danger. They are respectable as they are willing to sacrifice for their country with no doubt. I cried uncontrollably when Danny died in the battlefield. Although Danny has a big quarrel with Rafe before the Doolittle Raid, they still put down the anger as they still treat each other as best friend. It is such a great pain for Rafe, to lose such a good friend.
    Luckily, he still wins the heart of Evelyn and he is not alone.
    Sometimes, fate and destiny are cruel. They bring people together, and then tear them apart unexpectedly. People are haunted by those memories and the memories stay in their hearts forever. I am sure everyone can imagine how complicated the feelings are when you suddenly think of the ‘person’ – pleased, painful, bittersweet. The more you think, the more regrets you feel not to grab every little thing the person did before. Therefore, treasure every moment you have with the people you care. You never know when they are going to leave you as future is unpredictable. Just like the three protagonists, they don’t know life would bring them together. They don’t know when they would leave each other. For Rafe, he doesn’t know he would fall in love with Evelyn. He doesn’t know if he would still be alive after falling into the sea. However, loving Evelyn keeps him alive.
    Evelyn doesn’t know Rafe is still alive after missing for 3 months. Besides, she doesn’t know Rafe and Danny would be so important for her until both of them come cross her path. She doesn’t know Danny would die after the mission. However, Danny would still be alive in her memories and she wouldn’t feel regretful about meeting or losing him.
    Danny doesn’t know he would be such great brothers with Rafe. He doesn’t know he would meet Evelyn. However, his extraordinary story makes him a unique person so that he passes away with no regrets.
    All of them don’t know Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor. They don’t know when they are going to sacrifice. However, they know life is taking risks. You won’t know if you can gain victory without taking risks. They are all heroes. They are all important for the victory of the USA. There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.
    In fact, the history fact itself is attractive. One of the main themes of the movie is to memorize those heroes who fought in the WWII, especially those who sacrificed for the Attack of Pearl Harbor. The unity of the American at that time really inspires me a lot. A country can’t win without the support of people. It’s just the same case in lifetime. We can’t succeed without the support of our family or our teammates. Unity is powerful. When the Americans were feeling so frustrated and furious about Japan, they all work together and they eventually become the strongest.
    Everything becomes possible under unity. Unity makes miracles.
    Because of this movie, I become more interested in World War History, especially WWII. Who thinks victory is possible without facing danger? In Pearl Harbor, all the Americans worked together to fight for glory, fight for their country. The accident awakened the sleeping giants. December 7, 1941, is a date to be remembered. December 7, 1941, a date which marks the end of innocence and the dawn of a nation’s greatest glory. December 7, 1941, a date which reminds who we truly are. And Pearl Harbor, is a movie which reminds me to do the right things, for myself and for the people I care. Every time I think about this movie, it just feel like someone has made a stirring speech. Every time I think of this stirring speech, my heart vibrates and there is a kind of spirit that keeps encouraging me to move on.
    The ending is sad but touching, which form a moving and heartfelt plot – (spoiler alert!) Rafe and Evelyn take their child, which is also called Danny, to Tennessee, where Rafe and Danny used to grow up together. Rafe then asks Danny if he wants to fly in the sky, and the two of them fly the plane and see the sunset together. Can you imagine how bittersweet it is?
    I have a dream. I wish one day I can visit Pearl Harbor, to follow the footsteps of the brave soldiers in WWII, and to recall my memories, bit by bit.

  12. My favorite book is “Hit and run”.

    ” Hit and run” means running away after hitting some people down by a car. Looking at this topic I guessed we’ve already known that this is about a traffic accident.
    One day, while main characters——–Cassie, Eddie and Winks were practising driving because they wanted to get a driving license, they hit down a man and he was dead then…After that, some incredible and scary things happened after they had hit and run. Guess what? The dead body of the person came back and tried to find them, he even wanted to kill those characters…At last, Cassie found that one of the main characters was the person who was the one tried to scare them. That guy was using a dead body brought from a store to pretend there was a ghost. He did this to his friends because he wanted to take revenge on them who always bullied him.

    I have to say this book is only a piece of cake for me ———– the words and sentence structures are not new for me and the vocabulary are always repeated. The most disappointing part about the book is the plot of the story. The idea of the story is not creative nor unexpected, I can always guess the resolutions of the climax. Well, this is a haunted story but I couldn’t feel any mysterious nor creepy feeling while I was reading the book. The story is not realistic neither, the writer really thinks I am a primary kid.

    Although the book is simple and naive, there are still messages behind the book. In the story, Eddie was a boy who was always bullied by the others even his “friends”——Cassie, Scott and Winks. He always felt so revengeful and glum. His “friends” have even tricked on Eddie by using a real disgusting eyeball once because his friends knew that Eddie was a small “mouse” who was always afraid of everything. Well, that was a bit overdone even though it was just a trick. We shouldn’t treat friends in that way, we should treasure and respect them. In the end of the story, Eddie was the one who pretended to be a ghost and scared his friends. He was also the one who did everything, he even tried to kill all his friends because he wanted to let his friends to know the feeling of being teased. A message is still brought out although the plot is a bit illogical—-How come a boy who is afraid of everything would do such kind of things? The author is trying to tell us not to joke on or tease at anyone including our friends. Sometimes, we may feel our jokes are funny but our friends may have been hurt by those powerful jokes. They may even feel angry with you forever or for a very long period of time. This sounds a very simple and easy message but there are still many people who are always bullied by others. There are even many serious cases which causing commit suicide. How come we can’t respect the others? It’s only a very easy thing. I think the only thing which explains this question is because we are all selfish and overbearing and we’ve never cared the other’s feelings nor thoughts.

    Although this book is simple and easy, things inside are so natural. There’re some funny jokes inside too. Therefore, this book has become my favourite book this year.

  13. I’ve watched quite a lot of books and films this year and my favourite book is The Life Of Pi.

    Several months ago, I watched the movie of Life of Pi which is directed by the famous Taiwanese director, Li An, who has recently won the award of Best Director in the Oscar ceremony. Honestly, I do not quite enjoy watching the movie because I think the plot is too simple. It’s just about a boy and a tiger on a lifeboat. The characters are not attractive too – an Indian boy and some animals.

    Actually, I like reading the book more than watching the movie. The reason is the content of the story book is more detailed than the movie. Some content, like the blind Frenchman, is deleted in the movie. Reading the story book of Life of Pi leave me more rooms to think freely. It is another reason I like reading it. I think the author has hidden up some messages behind the story. He wants the readers to find them out through reading the book.

    My first feeling about the story is I feel sorry for Pi’s bad experience. He loses his family and has to come across all sorts of adventures on the lifeboat. So, the book is a story about struggling to survive through extreme difficulties. Pi and the animals on the lifeboat don’t simply compromise with their fate, but they actively fight against it. For examples, Pi abandons his vegetarian habit and eats fish to sustain. The peaceful orang-utan fights ferociously against the hyena. Even the severely wounded zebra battles to stay alive. Through these, the author seems telling us the fact that living creatures often do extraordinary, unexpected, and sometimes heroic things to survive. However, they will also do shameful things under extreme situations. The hyena’s attack and the blind Frenchman’s attempt to kill and eat Pi are examples. They show how far creatures will go when face with the possibility of death. As at the middle of the story, it says, ‘There’s nothing left in your right brain and nothing left in your left brain. Go with your soul.’

    Pi’s strange religious practice has also aroused my curiosity. I wonder why a boy like him in the age of sixteen will adopt three kinds of religion at the same time. Will there any conflicts among the three different religions? Why a teenager will choose to believe in God(s) instead of scientific technology? Why he chooses to worship the three mentioned religions instead of other religions?

    However, there are conflicts between Pi’s believing in God(s) and his adventures on the lifeboat. As cited in the previous paragraph, Pi is a Hindu when he was born and he is a lifelong vegetarian. In order to sustain, he has to kill fish and eat fish. Moreover, when Richard Parker kills the blind Frenchman and saves Pi’s life, I think Pi is suffering moral guilty. It is because his life is saved at the cost of other’s life. Will all these happenings frustrate Pi’s belief in God(s)? Or will they add more faith to Pi towards his God(s)?

    The ending of the story makes it much more meaningful. There’s something hidden up. The investigators prefer to believe in the story with animals may be because they do not want to accept the fact that humans tear each other to shreds like the wild animals. Another misery is about Pi himself. Has he chosen the ‘better story’ with animals on the lifeboat to cover up the horrific events on the boat? There’s the possibility that the fierce tiger, Richard Parker, is actually an aspect of his own personality. It is the question that the author wants the readers to find out the answer.

    I like the story book because of the complex philosophy behind the simple story. It is definitely an unusual novel which let the readers to think freely and widely. I will recommend it to my schoolmates and friends. 🙂

    By 3D 05

  14. I truly love for one more day. Charley Benetto is a broken man. His life is ruined by alcohol and regret. He loses his jobs. He leaves his family and lost everything which meant something to him. He hits rock bottom after discovering he won’t be invited to his only daughter’s wedding. Charley takes a midnight ride to his small hometown: his final journey, to take his own life. However, as he staggers into his old house, he astonishingly discovers that his mother who died eight years earlier is there. She welcomes Charley home as if nothing had ever happened. The day which seems to be ordinary brings a great yet positive change to his life.
    The book is livid yet full of writers’ imagination. You can easily construct a scene in your mind. Especially, during the day, when Charley is somehow waking, the world with his mother starts to fall and vanish. It is quite creative that Charley can hear someone calling his names. It is a clue telling us Charley is still alive at that moment.
    For one more day is a book to make you smile. It was quite interesting to have one’s life journey to be shown as a series of flashbacks in a book. It was surely a moving and page-turning one. It decently expressed the guilt and struggles of Charley in great details and with many personal touches.
    By Joyce 🙂

  15. One Republic is one of my favourite teams; its music is wild and meaningful at the same time. But besides famous songs and bestsellers, there are still some undiscovered gems in non-mainstream industry that are worth listening to/reading.

    I would like to introduce Marit Larsen, a Norwegian songwriter and singer. I first stumbled upon her album ‘If A Song Could Get Me You’ in the public library; since then I’ve been in love with her music. Her genre is country pop. She used instruments like piano, guitar, harmonica and violin to create a rich accompaniment; almost none of her tracks have strong computer-edited electronic beats. Nevertheless, bass drum is applied to give the songs a dancing rhythm, so her music always exudes a positive and energetic feeling. The melody is easy to sing along. Most importantly, her lyrics are impressive and meaningful. They express different themes like falling in love, growing up and even social hierarchy. ‘Solid Ground’ is a typical example: ‘they will always pull you down/before you know it they will take your smile and push you around/they will fight and struggle to blur and trouble/your sense of solid ground’, where ‘they’ refers to some people who love spreading gossips and isolating/bullying others. And her love songs are no cliches, too, because she used many poetic expressions to describe different stages of love. Overall, Larsen’s music is fresh and joyful, despite her occasional thin vocals.

    I’m a fan of fantasy literature, so Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Mistborn Trilogy’ is at the top of my must-read list. The chronicle sets in the universe of Scadriel, where the world is in disruption and the government is dictatorship. A gang of intelligent thieves, mostly ‘Allomancers’ (Allomancy: a special magic which a ‘Misting’ or a ‘Mistborn’ burns one or all kinds of allomantic metals to obtain energy, control one’s emotions, see the past/future, etc.), are planning a massive rebel to overthrow the tyrant. Yet evil magic is loosen and threatens to destroy the world, and the protagonists must follow the old paths of prophecies to restore order to the world. Sanderson adopted an extremely complicated magic and religious system to his work, so sometimes his intentions and the concepts and logic behind the ‘Metallic Art’ are quite difficult to grasp. Yet this is exactly why the trilogy is so intriguing to read: the complexity of the story is unprecedented; characters have distinctive personalities. Basically the books are consisted of numerous plans, schemes, riddles, mysteries, secrets and the secrets behind the secrets, so readers simply can’t resist the suspense and exciting atmosphere of Mistborn. Sanderson also gave a new explanation for ‘hero’: heroes may come from the ones you least expect them to be. The ending is full of twists and turns that is sure to steal readers’ hearts away. Each installment in the trilogy is a 700-page-thick (no joke!), so readers may need to spend a larger portion of time to read, interpret and digest the books bit by bit. In conclusion, ‘Mistborn Trilogy’ has Middle Earth’s sophisticated structure, ‘Hunger Games”s excitement, ‘His Dark Materials”s suspense and of course, Sanderson’s unique magical ideas.

    If anyone is interested in reading Sanderson’s works, I suggest reading his debut novel ‘Elantris’ first because it is a standalone novel so readers won’t feel so stressful, while it also contains brilliant magic woven by the author.

  16. My favorite book this year is one of the books from the dark materials by Philip Pullman, ‘The Amber Spyglass’. I have addicted to this series for 5 years and finally completed these 3 books this year. I have read ‘The Golden Compass’ for 5 times and found it really easy to understand. However, compared to the first one, the third one is really complicated. I believe that I would have to read it for ten times so as to understand it thoroughly. Actually, I do not have time to write a book report for it so let me talk about it here.

    There are many new terms such as witches, armored bears, the subtle knife, angels or the dust. It sounds not ‘new’ because I can tell the meanings but they have different features and different lives and if you do not understand one of the systems, you can hardly continue reading.

    The witch clans are systematic. They have queens among them and all of them are tough and elegant. Witches are like that. They fly with cloud pine. They are not afraid of cold. Also, they have a long life for more than 300 years. When their death approaches, the witches’ goddess of dead, Yambe-Akka will come to take them away. Witches live so long that they do not even feel sad when they die. Witches are similar to human besides their long life expectancy. People hope for a longer life to pursue their dreams but they would never know that 300 years are too many. At the same time almost all the witches are familiar with the world. They know how to face their destiny in an optimistic way. They cooperate well even with such large amount of population. I believe that it is because they understand lives.
    There are love between witches and human. Their love is romantic but cannot last so long. Witches understand fully that their lovers would die before them and she will suffer from misery in her whole life. Therefore, they will usually be the one who leave. This is sad but the reality forces them to do so.

    I love the armored bears a lot. The king of the bears, Iorek Byrnison, is brave, strong and capable. He is the one who helps Lyra a lot and their relationship is really close. He is good at using metal and helps mend the subtle knife. He has told Will that once the knife is repaired, he has to bear the consequences. That sounds mysterious but wise. In fact, the bear likes this girl, Lyra because she is special and shows her respect to the bears. The bears cannot be cheated and the armors are like the daemons, like the souls. They must fight and battle and defeat enemies. This is the dignity of Byrnison and as a king, he has to fight for his bears. I should not be falling in love with a bear, right?

    There are many and many interesting things in the book such as a new civilization called mulefa which is not people but is wise like people, and some small people called Gallivespians. They are the best spies ever. There is a trip to the Suburbs of Death where you have to abandon your souls (daemons) and see your death. Death is near you. This book is really great and if I have time, I may probe into every parts of the story just like studying for literature.

    By Mabel Tsui Po Ching 3D (27)

  17. Back here announcing some of the unheard songs of this year. Before that, I find this year’s mainstream music much better than the previous two years, at least no “unworthy annexations of Billboard no. 1”. There are a lot of representatives, including “Let it Go”, “Dark Horse”, “Happy”, “All of Me”, “Say Something”, “Unconditionally” etc. They sound musical with structure and melody. The form is clear. I’m actually impressed about “Say Something”. This song is made by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera. I’m touched by the mood of the song and the lyrics. It is so well made. However, it does not top Billboard 100, which I’m surprised. A shallow interpretation would be “could not arrive the hospital on time, so I could not see him/her alive for the last time”. I think I will also interpret it as a commemoration with regrets, as words like “sorry”, “feeling so small” appeared in the lyrics.

    But I’m also quite disappointed with some songs of this year. First, most probably very popular in HK culture nowadays, is MK-Pop. I would like to savage this new genre with a lot of negative reviews. Not only does this genre receive a lot of attention from the public, but also devalues other unheard and phenomenal on Earth. I feel completely agitated about the truth and feel sympathetic to some emerging artists like Mako, Pim Stones, WeAreCastor, BROODS and other artists which put MUCH MORE effort to those artists who just overuse the spoilt auto-tune and boring melody. For example, Ice Man’s song “要在一起” is no different than Rebecca Black’s Friday. The vocalists almost sang on the same note, and the auto-tune is so easily heard and used when a singer sings. Also, the song is so boring with the same melody which prompts me to chart it as one of the worst songs of 2014. I hope the artists could put more effort in music production and show their skills of music. Never does auto-tune show any skills of music, but only skills in the computer. These artists should really, I mean LITERALLY, sing without alterations. I accept backup voices, but clearly auto-tune is bad.

    Another genre which I dislike is the so-called “Big Room”. Some representing songs are “Koen Groeneveld & Bruce Alba – MMXIV”. Koen Groeneveld also produces this kind of music often. The problem is that these songs have too long introduction and coda. The beat and melody is also so boring that you literally just don’t want to listen to it anymore. It also receives much negatives reviews, but not as serious as MK-Pop. For me, I think they should create much shorter introduction and coda, and also have some variation in instruments and melody.

    I’m going to go off topic if I keep rebuking about the worst music of this year. Let’s talk about the best of this year:

    A lot to say in non-mainstream criteria. I will focus much on WeAreCastor.

    WeAreCastor is a band which is emerging from the music industry. I was very impressed when I first heard of their song called “Blue Moon”. I could find no lyrics but I will try to transcribe the words in the music. I would derive the genre of “Blue Moon” as Blues, because this song starts with some Blues chords. I think the girl vocal is the main vocalist in the band. She has her own singing style which I appreciate. “Blue Moon” is not even boring. The percussion creates the atmosphere of the song. There are some funny parts in the song. One of them is the out-of-tune note in male’s voice, another one is the echoing (I think) which makes me think someone is calling me (a female). Sometimes I ask who is calling when this kind of echo is played.

    So, what is this song about? I noticed the store marked this song as explicit. I don’t know why. I could not hear any vulgarities in this song. Perhaps this song is describing a scenery and the process of going back home, possibly the transportation is a horse. “On my way home” is one of the keywords which describes the setting of the song, while “blue moon” describes the time of the song. As I could not transcribe all the lyrics from the song, I have no idea what the incident is. Not counting the literal criteria, the music of this song is well done and delicate. The structure is also quite different from other songs. This song starts with a rather long 1-minute introduction, then followed by a verse. After that, a few seconds of chorus appeared, then onto the next verse, which is also quite short. Next, the chorus appeared again and followed by a male verse. To be short, the song is in (A)BCBCBCDC form. Normally a song has ABABCB form. It is not easy to have this structure (I mean “Blue Moon”), and WeAreCastor mastered it well.

    At first, WeAreCastor’s performance fluctuates. Sometimes they produce mediocre songs, but sometimes they produce very good songs. “Colossi” and “Kodo” (Mind you, this song contains a lot of foul language) are another two good songs. WeAreCastor is going to release their second EP soon, if I remembered it correctly.

    Next, I will talk about KALEIDA. KALEIDA is a girl duo. They only produced three songs. They are “Think”, “Tropea” and “Picture You”. All three songs are my favorites recently. The best of the three is “Tropea”. This song is featured in MrSuicideSheep. The genre is alternative and high-class. The mood is quite comfortable with some loops of electronic melody in the left-ear audio. The genre is so unique which doesn’t bore me. There is a special feeling. Unfortunately, not everyone will like this song because this song is unique from others. However, if you are into some special taste of music, this song is one of best in my opinion.

    Also, I couldn’t find any lyrics directly transcribed online, so I might have to transcribe it again. The lyrics are quite hard to understand too at the moment, but there is an emphasis on “I need your light” in the bridge. Probably this song is about begging for direction. Until will I find a day to understand the whole song, at this moment I love this song’s genre.

    I also hope KALEIDA can release more music with unique taste. It is also hard to find similar songs like this nowadays.

    Then, London Grammar is the next I would like to talk about. Similar to KALEIDA, London Grammar also produces unique type of music. This time the genre is identified as trip hop. One of the most famous example is Emancipator. This band produces trip hop music like “Minor Cause” (which is one of my favorites last year). Back to London Grammar, this band has a female lead singer. It sounds like amid tenor and countertenor, but later I found that it is a woman. This band recently released “Sights” which caught my attention. London Grammar’s songs are often inspiring but in minor scale. I would like to talk about “Sights”.

    Finally, I could find the lyrics of this song. Interestingly, most of the lines either consists of four or six syllables, which gives a feeling of unity. There’s an emphasis on “keep”. It appears for about 13 times in the song. In my interpretation, this song encourages people to live on and don’t give up. Especially at the end of this song,

    “What you’re feeling
    It’s what I’m feeling too
    What you’re made of
    It’s what I’m made of too
    What are you afraid of
    I know that you are”

    There is a repetition, which shows every human is made to be unique, but with a lot of similarities. Also, “Keeping your strength” also tells us the message of this song.

    “Sights” also has created a peaceful atmosphere with the use of piano at the beginning. No pun intended, but also it is quiet at the beginning. Dynamic contrast is heard in this song, which doesn’t bore you.

    The last artist I would like to share is BROODS. BROODS is a duo from New Zealand. There is a close relationship between BROODS and Lorde. BROODS helps write songs for Lorde, and both of them share the same genre. BROODS also has singles too. This band recently signed with a recording company called Capitol and Polydor Records. BROODS released an EP titled “BROODS”. “Bridges”, “Never Gonna Change” and “Coattails” are my favorites in this EP. I would like to talk about “Bridges”. This song is included in Song Dedication of this year if you still remember. (Actually I was responsible for this activity) “Bridges” features electronic music in the chorus, which resembles the style of chill and wander. The verses are mainly accompanied by a piano. This creates layers amid the verse and the chorus, which also changes the dynamics.

    The message of this song is debatable, but one thing is clear that this song is describing a scene of (most probably) two people. While “wrecking all the bridges” is underscored, I think this song wants us to forget about unhappy things and relax.

    OK, am I writing too much? I hope not, so I will continue writing.

    For the favorite songs of this year, I will recommend the following. I will list it and do some brief introduction of some songs.

    1. Adventure Club & David Solano ft. Zak Waters – Unleash
    2. Alex Weit & Syndec – We Are
    3. Aquilo – You There
    4. ATB ft. Stanfour – Face to Face
    5. Birdy – Light Me Up
    6. Boy Epic – Paralyzed
    7. Boy Epic – Wicked
    8. Christina Grimmie – Think of You
    9. Christina Perri – I Don’t Wanna Break
    10. Foxes – Let Go for Tonight
    11. Frankmusik – Dear Nicole
    12. James Arthur – Get Down
    13. Jasmine Thompson – Willow
    14. John Martin – Anywhere for You
    15. KALEIDA – Picture You
    16. Keane – Russian Farmer’s Song
    17. LALEH – Colors
    18. Lidija Bacic – Viski
    19. London Grammar – Sights
    20. Mako ft. Angel Taylor & Connie Sewell – Our Story
    21. Moda – La sua bellezza
    22. Ryan Ellingson – This is Our Time
    23. Sanna Nielsen – Undo
    24. Sean & Bobo – Festival
    25. Sia – Chandelier
    26. Sick Individuals & Axwell ft. Taylr Renee – I AM
    27. Skyler Stonestreet – Here We Go Again
    28. Taylor Henderson – When You’re Mine
    29. The Handsome Family – Far From Any Road
    30. Tich – Breathe in Breathe out
    31. Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High)
    32. WeAreCastor – Blue Moon
    33. WeAreCastor – Colossi
    34. WeAreCastor – Kodo
    And many more!!

    “Aquilo – You There”

    This song is very relaxing. Not much percussion is used. Mainly piano is used. The mood is relaxing. When I am stressful, I listen to this song. However, this song is subject to boredom because the melody is almost the same for the entire song.

    “Boy Epic – Paralyzed”

    This song is expressive. Boy Epic always produces love song. Most of the time he produces songs of falling deeply in love. The melody is great and don’t forget about the vocals. Boy Epic is surely one of the best male voices which could reach high-pitched notes. However, in my opinion, this artist does not rival with Pim Stones because Pim Stones has a better voice. (“We Have it All” by Pim Stones is my favorite song of 2012)

    “Christina Grimmie – Think of You”

    This is a love song but that’s not the reason I love this song. It is the melody and Christina Grimmie. The vocals blended into the music perfectly, and made this song sound great.

    “Frankmusik – Dear Nicole”

    I like this song because it sounds expressive. The melody conveys the lyrics well. Interpreting from the lyrics, I think this song is like a letter to Nicole. I think it’s a love song. Perhaps Frankmusik is sending the “letter” to Nicolemusik? I’m not sure.

    “Jasmine Thompson – Willow”

    After “Run”, this song is another song which I love. Jasmine Thompson is only 13 but sings very well in her covers and originals.

    “Sanna Nielsen – Undo”

    I’m running out of words, ain’t I? This song is representing Sweden in the Eurovision 2014 contest. First, Sweden needs to advance to the finals in the semi-finals. Wish Sanna Nielsen good luck because this song is the best song in this year’s Eurovision 2014. I hope Sweden could host this event next year in their own country!

    “Sia – Chandelier”

    OK, really the last song I would like to share. Hope I didn’t dominate the whole forum. “Chandelier” is a new song from Sia. Sia claimed that this song is suitable to be sung by her after writing a lot of songs to different singers. (The most popular is “Diamonds” by Rihanna) I love this song a lot because of the awesome melody and a large vocal range is demonstrated by Sia, from A#4 to F#5, almost two octaves.

  18. I agree with Pinky’s view that “Let It Go” is the most popular song from the end of 2013 to the present. After watching Disney’s animation film “Frozen”, I was awed by the colour of the characters and the details of snowflakes in the film and I love this song too. The voice of Demi Lovato is really beautiful.

    Basically, the song is about the queen character ‘Elsa’ who was locked away from her beloved sister because her magical power turned everything into ice. Eventually, Elsa ran away and isolated herself from the outside world; suddenly she was freed. In the song, Elsa sang “ I’ll never going back, the past is in the past…”. This song really showed her feeling from the bottom of her heart.

  19. Talking about the greatest hit in 2014, “Let It Go” from Disney animated film “Frozen” is definitely one of the hit in 2014. I would also like to enjoy the popular film, but I am always a out-dated person which cannot be considered as a teenager in my opinion. As there are half year to go with 2014, I cannot decide what is my favourite song at once. However, I would like to share a song that I am addicted to recently — “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic.

    I am quite surprised of the publication of the song. I thought it was released in 2014 and it is in fact in 2013.(proving that I am not keeping pace with the world XDD) OneRepublic is well-known for their “Apologize”, receives great success and also one of the most classic song of the group. For the song “Counting Stars”, I not only appreciate the meaningful lyrics, but also the special yet creative music video of the song.
    In the music video, there is a crocodile crawling in the broken pieces of light bulbs, seems strange but after watching a few more times, I finally figured out something from the video.

    Some people interpretate the song as a man singing to his loved one, thinking of escaping form the reality,struggling desperately to survive and just simply counting stars without thinking practical things. I will interpretate the song,nevertheless, in another way that a man is sinking himself in a river with failed hopes and dreams but cannot get out of it.

    There are a few lines that are quite obvious, such as “Make that money, watch it burn” which means they want to get rid of things that are practical. From the line “I feel the love and I feel it burn/Down this river, every turn” , we can see this man is definitely addicted to something. Here is also the point of diverse of different interpretations. Some people may think it is a song of love, but I would like to put the concern on the following lines, “I feel something so wrong/Doing the right thing/I could lie, could lie, could lie” , which the man is not struggling in love but in dreams. “Everything that kills me makes me feel alive” which shows that he tries to soak himself into the addiction towards presuing dreams but the reality gives him a great slap and wakes hime to face the reality.

    Similarly, the crocodile and the broken ligght bulbs represents the man(crocodile) chasing his dreams but soaking in the addiction(light bulb) that fall to pieces. We can say such action is self-satisfied but addiction or fantasy can really lessen the pain we experience in the winding road. Sometimes the paths toward dreams seems like an impossible journey and takes forever to travel. There seems no destination and millions of obstacles are standing in our way. All of us will experience this “unreachable” in our lives no matter in what aspects. Perhaps self- anesthesia is the only solution that makes us feel better in the pool of failed hopes and dreams. It is a heartbroken song which use addiction and self-anesthesia to lie to ourselves and make us feel better. It is nothing to say wrong, as we may fall into it without conscious. It may want to express the helplessness of life, but at the same time also portrays how we rebelt to the reality.

    Besides this wonderful song, I would also like to enjoy the full album of “Native” by OneRepublic which definitely brings me a new world of music and I am looking forward to hearing from their works soon.

    Counting Stars by OneRepublic:

  20. I’ve just seen the film ‘Looper’. It is a sci-fi action movie released in 2012. The story is about professional killers (loopers) whose bosses sent their targets back by time travel (invented in 2074) and let loopers kill them, with silver bars as payment. When the boss want to end the contract, they send the future looper and let the present one kills himself, with gold bars as payment, called ‘closing the loop’.
    Joe’s friend Seth’s contract was ended, but he failed to kill his future self. Seth fled to Joe’s house and told him about the future boss Rainmaker, who will close all of the loops, because he was angry about his mother’s death. Joe betrayed Seth and let him get caught by Kid Blue (a looper) and Abe( all loopers’ boss in Kansas City).
    Later, Joe’s loop was closed, but he failed to kill himself. His future self again told him about Rainmaker, which future Joe intended to track him down and kill him, because he wanted to save his wife. (Future Joe got hold of Rainmaker’s medical code and knew he is living in 1 of the 3 houses on the map now.)
    Meanwhile, Joe knew future Joe is going to kill Cid (a kid, who will become Rainmaker) at the farm. Joe waited there to catch his future self. Abe’s men came to catch both Joes, while Cid was confirmed to be the Rainmaker (he used his unique telekinetic power to kill Abe’s men).
    When Sara (Cid’s mother) and Cid tried to leave and never come back, future Joe ambushed them. Future Joe thought that if he killed the Rainmaker, then his wife won’t die. However, Sara shielded herself in front of Cid to protect him. Joe realised if his future self shot Sara, then Cid will still become Rainmaker. At last, Joe shot himself (so that his future self will disappear) to save Sara and Cid, then there will be no Rainmaker.

    I think the delicate connection of how the timeline and time travel works was impressive. Although it may be hard to understand at first, but it will gradually become clearer. This film has a high degree of coherence, so you have see the whole movie to get the picture of how it works. The idea of this film is very innovative, and I think it is the best film about time travel ever.
    At the end of this film it talks about two kinds of sentiments — a mother loves his son so much that is willing to sacrifice for him, and a man willing to do anything to get his wife back. It is quite interesting to see them clash against each other. I think the main theme of the movie is to tell people to get something you want you have to pay the price.
    My favourite character is definitely Joe. He sacrificed himself to do something great. It may seem that he only saved two people, but his sefless action saved a lot of people in the future. People may not know, but he will be the unknown hero.

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