Friday, January 29, 2010

Avril Lavigne - Alice

~Pop Song of the Day #30~

Meet Avril Lavigne, a 25 year-old Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and actress. She's known for her worldwide hits "Complicated", "My Happy Ending", and recently, "Girlfriend". Avril's also currently one of the top-selling pop music artists of the decade in the US. You seriously MUST have heard of her before. She's one of my favorite artists ever!! She caused some controversy when she changed from her old punk/rock genre to pop/rock; in other news, she recently got divorced... Alice is her first single since her The Best Damn Thing days, and fans have been eagerly anticipating this song. It's also going to be on the new Disney remake of Alice in Wonderland's soundtrack. She has been reported as saying that her new album will show off her singing voice more. This song is fantastic.. hope you enjoy listening!! =D

Why I Love #6: Movies That Aren't Sad

You know what's one thing that always manages to get me down? (Well, besides for the usual everyday things in life, of course.) Sad movies. I absolutely do not like sad movies ie. My Sister's Keeper. I have seen enough of them to last a lifetime, believe me. I mean, is there really any point to have the audience leaving the movie theatre thinking, "Wow, that was so... SAD!" Ok, so I understand that sometimes there are reasons why the movie has to be sad. For instance, My Sister's Keeper is about a family's struggle when they realize that one of their daughters has cancer. (Hope I didn't spoil that for anyone.. there's also a twist at the end, that I totally wasn't expecting & so I didn't spoil anything really.)

So sometimes, it is necessary to make a movie sad because the subject material itself is aad, and it wouldn't make sense to turn a bad situation into a comedy. (Oh, I just realized that the title I put onto this blog post was a little ironic. Yep, we are not going to talk about something I love today.. instead, we are going to talk about the opposite of the title.) The thing is, I just really don't like sad movies at all. If a movie wants to make me cry, then I think, "Why did I just watch that movie?" I mean, real life is depressing enough. Do we really want to depressed over fictional characters that we don't know, also? I guess the answer is yes, since there is such a high market and large audience for these "sob story" movies. Do people honestly need a movie to get their "sad fix" or something?

So yesterday, I rented My Sister's Keeper from a local Redbox. (You can read more about my LOVE of Redboxes in a previous Why I Love post.) The thing is, I knew already that the movie was going to be pretty sad. So you might wonder why in the world I want to see a movie that I knew was going to be sad if I really really don't like sad movies. Well, the answer is that many of my friends/acquaintances had been going on and on about the movie lately. And I would hope you would know by now, I only watch new releases. That is, if I have time. (I rarely ever have time to sleep, let alone watch a 2 hour movie.) But I enjoy watching new releases, just so I can talk about them with people when it turns out we've watched the same ones. I guess you could call me a pop culture junkie.

Anyway, many of my friends on Facebook have been saying, "This movie was so sad... it made me cry." and such. So I decided to see the movie just because so many people that I know have seen it. I believe that you could call this "peer pressure" of a sort, because I watched it only because I didn't want to be left out. In conclusion, I watched the movie. (I don't normally watch a movie for the acting, plot elements, lighting, or anything like that... so don't even ask that.) Instead, I realized again exactly why I hate sad movies. Because... it was sad! Duh. Not to say that the movie was horrible, because it wasn't. I'm sure that someone in the world out there would praise the acting, the twist in the plot, etc. But I'm not going to.

The only positive thing that it did to me was open my eyes to what someone going through cancer has to go through. It was very informative in that way, and I learned a lot from this movie. (Note: it must be horrible to have to bleed and throw up and everything, and I feel really bad now that I'm saying that I didn't like this movie). The truth is, I chose My Sister's Keeper as a subject on this blog post simply because it was the first sad movie that I have watched since I got this blog. It could have been any other movie out there, so please don't hate me if you're a huge fan of My Sister's Keeper or something. Lastly, I hope that next time a really popular "sad" movie comes out, someone will remind me not to see it =D

Thursday, January 28, 2010


To my readers, thank you so much!! =D I know that you guys aren't doing anything for me besides reading my blog, but I sincerely want to thank you. Today, I checked my view count (which is on the bottom left corner of my blog), and I noticed that I had over 1000 views! I never imagined that so many people (or repeated visitors) would want to see what books or music artists that I recommend.. especially since I opened this blog less than 2 months ago. Again, the point of this blog is for me to review teen fantasy books that I like and recommend pop music songs that I love. I also have "Why I Love" sections where I post about random things. Well, if you seriously enjoy reading my blog, please send this link to your friends!

Thank you for the 1,000 views!! =D

Ps. You may have noticed the advertisements on the page lately.. well, these are basically "ads by Google". I'm pretty sure that all the ads have been tested by Google, so they are 100% safe. Just letting you know..

Rachael Yamagata - Be Be Your Love

~Pop Song of the Day #29~

Meet Rachael Yamagata, a 32 year-old American singer-songwriter and pianist. Born in Arlington, Virginia, she is a fourth-generation Japanese American on her father's side and of Italian and German ancestry on her mother's side. Be Be Your Love was a single released from her debut album, Happenstance, which was released in 2004. It was featured in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and on One Tree Hill. Her songs have been featured in many other places, and her second (most recent) album, which had a darker sound, was released in 2008. I was thinking today that I hadn't featured any sad or melancholy songs lately. Well, here's a reminder that not all pop songs are completely happy and dance-type music =D

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gabriella Cilmi - On A Mission

~Pop Song of the Day #28~

Meet Gabriella Cilmi, an 18 year-old Australian singer and songwriter, who is best known for her debut single "Sweet About Me". She has won six ARIA awards including Single of the Year and Best Female Artist in 2008, and has had very mild success her in the US. On A Mission is her first single from her second album, and on this song, she experiments with the dance-pop genre. I like this song much better than Sweet About Me. Although both are pretty catchy, On A Mission has been stuck in my head all week. Definitely listen to this more than once =D

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shontelle - Licky

~Pop Song of the Day #27~

Meet Shontelle, a 24 year-old pop/r&b/reggae singer-songwriter from Barbados. She recently won the Barbados Music Award for "Song of the Year" for her song T-Shirt in 2009. She can be called a newcomer, since her debut album came out in 2008 and was only mildly successful in the US. She's definitely not a household name yet, even though her singles are very, very good. I became a fan of hers after listening to her debut album; however, I think that the only good songs were the ones that she released as singles. Shontelle is currently working on her 2nd album, and Licky is the first single to be released from it. It samples a Princess Superstar track (which I have not heard), but it is insanely catchy. Unfortunately, Youtube won't let me embed the official music video (what is with VEVO these days?!) but the song can stand well enough on its own =D

The Secret to Teen Power by Paul Harrington

~Book Review #4~

So I picked up this book from my local library based on a recommendation from a friend. Sure, I had heard of The Secret before- I mean who hasn't heard of one of the latest best-selling books of all time (citation needed, lol)? I was initially interested, particularly because this book was aimed directly at teens. Being a teenager myself, I just HAD to read this book.

After reading this, I have pretty mixed opinions about this book. The logic of the Law of Attraction seems very sound- especially since the author mixed real-life quotes of famous people with stories from regular teenagers around the world. I just don't think that it will actually work. What, you say? How in the world could I not believe in The Secret after all the evidence that the book cites? Well, maybe it is because I already have a very very good life... in my opinion, I am one of the luckiest people that I know. So have I managed to attract very good things into my life even though I constantly think negative as well as positive thoughts?

I realize that some of you readers may have no idea what I'm talking about. Well, this post is for the people who also know about The Secret. (Spoiler warning.) Back to the subject. The book says that you can attract anything you want into your life simply by visualizing that it will happen, thinking positive thoughs, and believing that it will eventually come true. I just don't believe that this can happen. Sure, there are miracle stories, but I don't think that something will happen simply because you want it to. Also, people who think negatively all the time can still get what they want... it's common sense. In conclusion, I guess that The Secret may work for some people, and others may not ever understand it.

I still recommend this book though, because it is a very nice book that will let anyone get his or her self-confidence back. Overall, it's very positive, and I'm sure that anyone who truly believes in it will find that their life will become better. However, I call this the "placebo effect" (no, I didn't make that up). It's basically when a sick person takes medicine that doesn't do anything, but because the person believes that the medicine will work, the patient ends up getting better. I think that the same principle applies here. People who did not know The Secret may have been taking the good things in their life for granted, or not noticing them. However, once they get the book, they will start noticing all the good parts in their life and atttribute it to The Secret. That's my theory. I recommend this book to people who think that everything's going wrong in their life- perhaps The Secret will help them develop a more positive outlook and will "work" for them =D

Recommended. 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Justin Bieber - Baby

~Pop Song of the Day #26~

Meet Justin Bieber, a 15 year-old Canadian pop/R&B singer who was discovered on YouTube by Usher and signed a record deal with Island in the past year or so. He has become the only artist in Billboard history to have four singles from a debut album chart in the Top 40 of the Hot 100 before the album's release,and the first artist to have all songs from a single album to chart in the U.S. Hot 100. The album has been certified platinum in Canada and the US, which is an amazing feat for a 15 year-old. You know, hearing about all these successful teenagers around my age makes me wonder if only I was able to, too. Anyway, Baby is the lead single from the 2nd half of Justin's debut album, and it might be his catchiest song yet =D

Monday, January 18, 2010

2NE1 - I Don't Care

~Pop Song of the Day #25~

So I don't know a lot about K-pop girlbands, except for the fact that their songs are awesome & there's an awful lot of them debuting within the past year. Perhaps Korean music executives want to cash in on the phase of successful girlbands like the Wonder Girls (who toured and released a single in the US last year- please support!) and Girl's Generation. Anyway, basically the only thing you have to do to find a girlband is find four girls who can sing/dance and look good & voila. And listening to K-pop girlbands makes everything better =D Like I said, I don't know any particulars about 2NE1, but definitely listen to this song!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

JoJo - Coming for You

~Pop Song of the Day #24~

Meet Joanne Levesque, better known by her stage name JoJo, a 19 year-old American R&B singer–songwriter and actress. She had much success in her early days as a singer- her debut single "Leave (Get Out)" reached number one on the US Top 40 Mainstream songs, which made her the youngest artist to reach number one in the United Stats. Subsequent singles have reached high spots on the Billboard Top Singles, while her numerous acting roles have won her a large fanbase. Recently, she was involved in a lawsuit after she claimed that her label wouldn't let her out of her contract or release her 3rd already-recorded album. She has now moved to Interscope label, which is great since I'm sure everyone wants to hear her new album. Coming for You is a song off her 2nd album, and although it was not released as a single, it defintely had the potential. I remember listening to her 2nd album a couple of months ago, and when I heard this song, I thought "This is awesome!!" =D

Why I Love #5: Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight was literally the best show that I have ever watched in a long, long time.. and it aired on the unlikeliest of places because it was supposedly "aimed" at boys 7-12, or something like that. So the reason for this blog post is to the lament and sad and painful death of a truly wonderful show. Unfortuately for fans everywhere (I'm sure that there are some somewhere), Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight was officially cancelled due to low ratings- 2 episodes before the series finale. Yes, that's right.. they taped 40 episodes altogether, but they didn't air the last two. Two whole episodes. Redefines cliffhanger, doesn't it? Anyways, there's no use talking about it now.. I feel kind of powerless, like when I used to watch Pokemon back when I was little, and I didn't know anything really about the world. I would just be happy in my little bubble of what I knew and not care about anything else.

So I guess I better start talking about why I <3 Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight. Well, first off, from the picture, you would probably think that the show was like Power Rangers. The truth is, that is not even the littlest part true. Apparently in Japan, they have a whole genre of TV shows devoted to shows like Power Rangers and Kamen Rider- so no, it's not a Power Rangers rip-off. The fact is that Kamen Rider was intended for more mature audience. Sure, Power Rangers might have adult fans, but the storylines are obviously intended for children. With Kamen Rider, the storylines could be complicated, characters could be complicated (instead of just good or evil), everything just seemed more mature.

I guess I can compare it a little to Digimon or the first Pokemon movie. Back then, I think that there was less control over what children saw (with parents' groups and stuff, but that's a whole other topic). Digimon had very very dark and scary moments, and thinking back, I wonder if they would let kids watch it nowadays. The first Pokemon movie (if anyone remembers it?) also had the main character basically die- although he gets revived in the end. My point is that because Kamen Rider was not written entirely for children, young adults (like me) and people of all ages and genders could love it too. The plots were great, the characters were believable.. it was also unintentionally funny sometimes. With one word, I would describe the humor as "campy"- which I define as being a movie or TV show being unintentionally funny due to a low budget or other reasons. I loved tuning episodes of Kamen Rider & wondering if little 1/2 my age were watching the same show.

Overall, I guess this is good-bye to Kamen Rider.. with the show cancelled, even a DVD box-set would take some time to be released. I really hope that it does come out though- so that fans can finally see how the storyline gets resolved. Kamen Rider brought much joy into my life- especially since it was so different than all of the other shows. I'm sad that it's cancelled, but what can you do? Shows like this rarely popular anyway.. thank you, readers, for following along on my rant. If you want to check out Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight (and I recommend that you do), just search for it on Youtube on something. Let's ride!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Agnes Carlsson - Release Me

~Pop Song of the Day #23~

Meet Agnes Carlsson, a 21 year-old Puerto Rican pop singer raised in Queens, New York, who became famous after winning the 2nd season of Swedish Idol in 2005. She has gone on to be one of Sweden's and Europe's most popular and best-selling female singers, selling over 180,000 albums in her home country alone. She has recently achieved internationl success, and Release Me is her first single released in the US. Just one listen, and you will know why it's a hit. Definitely listen if you're a fan of pop music with strong vocals, like Leona Lewis. I think she's going to be a household name soon..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raven Symone - Anti-Love Song

~Pop Song of the Day #22~

Meet Raven Symone, a 24 year-old American actress, singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and television producer. She's best known for her Disney Channel show "That's So Raven" and for being a part of the Disney franchise, the Cheetah Girls, for a limited time. It's kind of sad how once these Disney stars are no longer on a TV show/movie, their albums won't sell anymore. Case in point, Anti-Love song was one of Raven's songs from her latest self-titled album. However, Hollywood Records did little to no promotion (and coupled with the fact that Raven was no longer on a Disney Channel show), so her album basically flopped. It's a shame, since many of the songs there are very very good. Definitely take a listen if you like r&b/pop =D

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Robyn - Be Mine

~Pop Song of the Day #21~

Meet Robyn, a 30 year-old Grammy Award-nominated Swedish pop singer-songwriter. I'm not much of a fan of hers, since I only heard her latest US album, and I only like 2 songs (Be Mine and Robotboy). Apparently, she's very famous around the world- especially in her home country of Sweden. Below is a fanmade music video of Be Mine set to the CW television show, Gossip Girl. I didn't like the official music video a lot (what can I say?), so I put this one instead. The song itself is phenomenal... just one listen, and you'll probably love it =D

Friday, January 8, 2010

Vistoso Bosses - Delirious

~Pop Song of the Day #20~

Meet the Vistoso Bosses, an up-and-coming American R&B and pop duo made up of Taylah P. and Kelci from Atlanta, Georgia. They're both teenagers, so I'm surprised that their debut song didn't instantly pick up a Radio Disney following. They're style is very bright and colorful (from their name, lol) and their songs are really really good. Delirious is their debut single, and it has hit number 42 on the American R&B charts- which is pretty good for a newcomer. When I first heard this song, I knew that I was going to love the Vistoso Bosses. Definitely listen if you like R&B =D

And Youtube won't let me embed the official musicvideo =( Whatever. They have other song samples from their upcoming debut album on their Myspace, but I no longer link to Myspaces to save time when writing posts. Just Google it instead =D

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kari Kimmel - It's Not Just Make Believe

~Pop Song of the Day #19~

Meet Kari Kimmel, an American pop singer, songwriter, and producer from Los Angeles. Her debut and only album so far, A Life in the Day, was released in 2006. Many of her songs have been featured in TV shows, movies, and commercials, and several have also been covered by different artists. The song, It's Not Just Make Believe, was featured in the Disney movie, Ella Enchanted. I'm proud to say that I purchased her CD off of Amazon, and I love every single one of the songs on it. If you like catchy pop songs that appeal to adults as well as tweens, then definitely take a listen =D

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lily Allen - The Fear

~Pop Song of the Day #18~

Meet Lily Allen, a 24 year-old British recording artist, talk show host, and actress who has had chart success in the UK. Although she may be well known in the US, her singles have charted less well here than in her home country. The Fear was her first single from her second album, It's Alright, Still and it became a #1 hit on the UK singles chart. Her second album is in the genre of electro/pop which is a change from her debut album. In my opinion, I like the songs on her second album much better than the first. Unfortunately, Lily Allen has recently stated that she has no plans of recording a third album.

Click HERE to visit Lily Allen's Myspace & listen to some of her songs.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Some & Any - Last Man Standing

~Pop Song of the Day #17~

Meet Some & Any, a German pop duo, formed during the 8th season of the German version of the international talent show Popstars (similar to American Idol). Some & Any is comprised of 18 year-old Vanessa Meisinger and 20-year old Leonardo Ritzmann. The band's debut album, First Shot, was released December 18 2009. I have the album, and it is awesome!! The album shows electro, dance, and of course, pop influences, and the songs are very catchy. It is definitely one of my favorite new albums of 2009. Unfortunately, the album and single, Last Man Standing, charted on the worst positions in Popstars history.

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year, readers!! =D Hope you all enjoyed watching the ball in Times Square drop yesterday... I kept falling asleep xD And in the end, the channel I was watching didn't even show the ball dropping! lol. They just flashed to lovers kissings right after the countdown. Sigh, I wish that I could find true <3. My New Year's resolution is to stop leaving everything till the last minute aka stop procrastinating everything. Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish this =D I guess that the fact that I put it on my blog serves as proof that I will try. Anyway, now that the break's almost over, I might not be able to update daily. That means that you might have to go an entire week without posts! lol. Jk I will try to update as frequently as I can. Here's to hoping that 2010 will be just as good and even better than 2009!! =D