The Ghost Next Door

When Sherry Alston came to visit her aunt Judith, she claimed to have an imaginary playmate named Miranda. Sherry didn’t know anything about Miranda, her dead half-sister, who accidentally drowned in a pond, years ago. Thirteen year old Lindsey lived next door to the Alstons’ mansion. Together with her best friend Tammy, they tried to unravel the mystery of the ghost next door.

I love this novel and the flow of the story was very intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. Basically, people around little Sherry were skeptical whether she could really see Miranda’s ghost. Most of the characters are either weird or interesting, especially Mr. Farrar (he belonged to the weird character category) who even invited a famous psychic to summon the spirit of little Miranda and plotted evidence just to prove that this psychic he brought could communicate with ghosts. I’m not sure what’s up with this guy but I’m glad he wasn’t my neighbor.

Mr. Alston, Sherry’s dad and her aunt Judith were close siblings and they were obviously still affected by Miranda’s sudden death. Mr. Alston tried to give Sherry everything because of the guilt that he wasn’t able to be there for his dead daughter while aunt Judith couldn’t give Sherry the same affection she gave to Miranda and wasn’t ready to let go of Miranda’s memories. I feel that these two are being unfair to Sherry. It’s hard to fight for someone’s love especially if you’re competing with a dead person.

Lindsey and Tammy are neighbors with the Alstons and a good friend of aunt Judith. Sherry became friends with Lindsey’s brothers when she came for a vacation with her parents. I’m not sure why I find the two girls, Lindsey and Tammy, a bit peculiar. I think they’re too unbelievably clever for their age and it’s difficult to relate to them especially for a thirteen year old reader.

The best thing I like about this story is the mystery whether Sherry could really see Miranda’s ghost or everything she knew about her dead half-sister was due to finding Miranda’s old diary. Well, the bad thing -the mystery remained a mystery till the end.Miranda didn’t really show herself to anyone except to Sherry- if she really could see the ghost of Miranda. There was no climax where the characters were being chased by a terrifying spirit of a young girl or no dramatic confrontation with shocking revelations or similar to that.

Even the place where Miranda hid the owl with the love on its eyes, a figurine she made with her aunt before she died, wasn’t much of a revelation. I was expecting something shocking like aunt Judith accidentally killed Miranda and the owl was buried with her hidden body but there wasn’t anything like that. It’s still my favourite part though and what kept me intrigue till the end.

Over all, the novel is a great read and a page turner if you like mystery and it did scare me a bit but I have to warn you, don’t expect a ghost to show up or you’ll be disappointed.

464102._sy475_

Halloween Reads

I want to start this post by telling a story I heard from my brother, which was also told to him by a friend or a co-worker- I don’t remember anymore. Anyway, the story is about a distance relative who received a job offer from a company who was generous enough to assist him in finding a new apartment that is in close proximity to his new job. They had a spare apartment which they could rent out to him for a more reasonable fee. After accepting the job, he soon moved into his new home with his wife. One night, he dreamed of a child going out of the old wardrobe which was located near the bed. The wardrobe was owned by the previous occupants and was locked. He didn’t think of the dream as something weird and assumed that it was one of those normal nightmares you get every night caused by vivid imagination or from watching horror movies. But he kept on having the same dream until it started to bother him. He decided to tell his unusual dreams to his wife. His wife was frightened, and they soon moved out of the house. Why did they move out immediately? It was because the wife was also having the same re-occurring dream, a boy going out of the closed wardrobe.

This story reminds me of the children’s horror books I used to read when I was in high school. They are probably not as creepy as the horror novels for adults but they are unforgettable enough that even if you remember the story years later while you’re alone in your living room, it will still make you shiver and run to your mother even if you’re already twenty seven. Or maybe it’s just me whose animal spirit is a scared cat.

Since it’s Halloween, I decided to share my favourite horror novels.

1. The Doll in the Garden

Following the death of her father, Ashley moved with her mother in a quiet neighbourhood. The not so friendly, landlady warned her to never to go to the garden, but Ashley didn’t listen.

This story is sad and heart-warming at the same time. It shows how a childhood regret could haunt someone till old age.

541521._sx318_

2. Wait Till Helen Comes

Molly hates her step-sister, Heather who always put her and her brother, Michael into trouble. Heather’s real mother died in a mysterious fire and her father remarried Molly and Michael’s mom. And now, they’re stuck with her and their new step-dad who spoils his daughter and believes whatever she says, in their new house in the woods. A house that used to be a church with a graveyard behind.

And now, Heather found a new friend named Helen and Molly’s terrified of her. It’s because Helen died in a mysterious fire, a hundred years ago.

I love the close bond between Molly and Michael and the novel doesn’t only tell the story of a ghost who was separated from her parents but also shows the complications of remarriage, both for parents and children.

267972._sx318_

3. Time for Andrew

Andrew made a deal with a ghost of a dead boy that looks exactly like him, who lured him into a different time. What if the ghost doesn’t want to switch places with him anymore?

This is a good story of a journey to the past and being able to meet the younger version of your family. I wish I could switch places with a ghost too and be able to  see how my parents lived during their younger days and perhaps, I’ll be able to change the future.

541527

4. Jane-Emily

A nine-year-old orphan, Jane, came to spend the summer with her young aunt, Louisa at Jane’s grandmother’s huge, mysterious mansion, where a young girl named Emily died, a long time ago.

32796489._sy475_

5. The Dollhouse Murders

Amy found an antique dollhouse- an exact replica of their ancestral house- in the attic of their old family home. The dolls in the dollhouse were moving on their own, as if they want to tell Amy something. Perhaps, they have the answer to an old family secret- the murder of Amy’s grandparents that happened years ago.

750035._sx318_

So, these are my favourite ghost stories. Have you read any of these? Don’t forget to share what you think of these novels. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Horror Cartoon Movies

Whenever I’m in a bad mood, I would open my laptop and search for a nice cartoon movie. It helps me forget my problems and escape reality for a while. I was a little bit surprised and disappointed with two cartoon movies I’ve seen recently. Perhaps, it was my fault that I did not check the plot before I watched these movies but I still believe that these kind of films are not suitable for young audiences.

coraline_poster

Coraline

Plot:

When Coraline feels neglected by her workaholic parents, she decided to explore their new home, an old, huge, dilapidated apartment. While exploring the house, Coraline finds a small door sealed by a brick wall. She later dreamed about the same door where  a mouse woke her up and she followed it to the small door which leads to the Other World, a parallel world where everything is perfect and where her parents pay attention to her. All the people surrounding her have a more entertaining version in the Other world, however, their eyes are buttons and not real ones.

Despite of warnings from her neighbour and a black, stray cat, the only creature who can cross the other world from the real world, Coraline continues to go to the Other World at night to escape the boredom of real life. When the Other Mother invited her to live in the Other World forever, she must decide if she stays in the Other world with her perfect parents in exchange of sewing buttons on her eyes, like the eyes of everyone from the Other World. When Coraline demanded to return home, the Other Mother angrily reveals her true self. Coraline realized that the Other World is not perfect after all.

Monter House

Plot:

When Dj’s best friend Chowder’s ball accidentally landed on Mr. Nebbercracker’s lawn, an elderly neighbour who hates children, DJ tried to retrieve it only to be caught by their grumpy neighbour. During the confrontation, Mr. Nebbercracker, unfortunately had a heart attack and was taken away by an ambulance. Now, there are stories about the old house of Mr. Nebbercracker being haunted and while investigating the mysterious disappearance of the people who vanished outside the old house, DJ and Chowder found themselves trapped inside.

Well, they’re not as scary as a typical horror film I’ve seen but they are still creepy and I’m sure I won’t be able to stand watching these movies if I watch it as a kid. Moral lesson: Try to do a bit of research before watching a movie. It will spoil some scenes but at least you know what to expect.

 

*This post was retrieved from my old blog written on Jul. 1, 2013.

Art of The Devil 2

art-of-the-devil-2_mp_poster

This is a story about a teacher ,who decided to seek revenge using black magic. Ta’s mother died when he was young and his father remarried his teacher, Miss Panor.He used to date his friend, Kim, who is now dating one of their friends, Por. In their last year at school, Por had a secret relationship with Miss Panor. He later discovered that he wasn’t the only guy in Miss Panor’s life. Aside from being married to Ta’s father, she’s also having an affair with the school’s coach.Por’s jealousy pushed him to tell Ta about the affair and encouraged him and their friends to film Miss Panor in order to prove her infidelities to Ta’s father. The coach sexually abused the group in a gunpoint after discovering that they were the one responsible for the video being broadcast in the entire school.

The students asked a monk’s help for revenge, who agreed to use his power to curse the coach. Unknown to his friends, Por went back to the monk and asked him to curse Miss Panor too. The coach died in a fishing boat, accidentally stabbing himself on a fish hook. Embarrassed at her sexual exploits being revealed, Miss Panor went in a remote area, away from the city.

The story begins two years after this event. After receiving the news that Ta’s father committed suicide, the group decided to visit Ta’s hometown and offer their sympathy to Miss Panor.

Upon arriving, the group was greeted politely by Miss Panor and Ta’s grandmother. Noot then received a cellphone call from her secret boyfriend who wanted to see her. She bid her friends goodbye and went back to the city.

The group was not aware that in her secret cottage, Miss Panor has corpses with a photo of each student. Every corpse represents a student and they were used by Miss Panor to curse the group.

The group experienced Miss Panor’s wrath while discovering each other’s secret. They later found out that Noot didn’t leave Miss Panor’s place and her flesh was served to them for dinner. In the end, only Kim and Ta were rescued but Miss Panor was no where to be found.

In the hospital, Kim was visited by a smiling Ta and the two decided to forget the horrible incident and start with their new life together. Kim turned the T.V. on and a news flashed in the screen,reporting the incident in Miss Panor’s cottage.Dead bodies were discovered in Miss Panor’s hut and one of them belongs to Ta.

Kim witnessed Ta turned into a burned corspe. He explained to Kim what really happened to him and confessed to her that the group was lured by Ta’s vengeful spirit to visit Miss Panor in order to experience the pain he went through since all of them were responsible for the curse, but he chose to save Kim because of his lingering feelings for her. Horrified, Kim ended her life by jumping off the building.

*I was fifteen when I first saw this film. It was 11:00 in the evening and I was in a bus terminal, waiting for the 12 am trip. I was having a conversation with my mom, trying to pass the time when I heard a loud scream from a distant booth. It turned out that the workers were watching a horror film. I don’t usually watch horror movies at night but I suddenly became interested, not in the movie, but in the cute guy watching inside the ticket booth. He was probably the most handsome guy I have ever seen in my entire life. So I decided to stay in my post and watch the movie with them.

The movie became my favorite. It wasn’t frightening enough to give me sleepless nights ( or probably because my mind was not focusing in the movie the time I saw it) but for me, its purpose is not only to scare the viewers but to serve as a warning that revenge can backfire. Once you have made a decision to use black magic against your enemy, you have to be responsible for your actions and face the consequences.

Ta’s heartfelt effort to save Kim despite his determination to revenge his tragic fate shows how powerful love is. Anger may take over one’s heart but love will always be there.

One of these days, I will find time to watch the movie again. Although I’m not certain if I will have the courage to watch it alone.

The Clique

the_clique_film

When Massie Block learned that the Lyons are coming to their mansion, she was less than thrilled. First, their arrival ruined her night since she was planning to attend a party with her friends but was forced to stay home and eat dinner with the newly arrived guests. The Lyons were invited by Massie’s parents to stay in their guest’ house while they were looking for a permanent place to live since they just moved from Florida and Claire, the Lyons’ daughter, would be going to the same school with Massie. But Claire Lyons didn’t meet Massie’s approval. She thinks she’s too plain and doesn’t have a good fashion sense. She certainly doesn’t belong to the clique.

At first, Claire tried to fit in her new school by changing the way she dressed up. But Massie and her friends, Alicia, Kristen and Dylan, made everything difficult for her. Wanting so much to be ‘one of them’, Claire made a plan to ruin Massie’s relationship with her friends. Soon, Massie’s friends started hanging out with her and ignored Massie completely. But they immediately found out that Claire hacked Massie’s IM account and pretended to be Massie to make her friends mad at her. Alicia, Kristen and Dylan kicked Claire out of the group and started hanging out with Massie again, and of course, Massie treated Claire worse than before. Claire did find a true friend with Lane, who is also being treated as an out cast but didn’t try to change just for people to like her.

In the end, Claire learned that in order to be accepted, you must stay true to yourself and embrace who you are, and Massie realized how quick her friends are willing to trade her for a new pal. She then confessed to Claire that the reason why she was being bitch to her is she is insecure with Claire and sees her as a major threat. She also answered the question her friend asked Claire during a sleep over, ‘would you rather be the friendless loser or have a bunch of friends who secretly hates you?’ Massie said that she’d rather be the friendless loser.

This is a simple yet inspiring story about friendship and being who you are. True friends will always be there for you despite of your imperfections. Don’t waste your time trying to please everybody. Remember that life is not a popularity contest.

 

Blubber

Jill Brenner, together with her fifth grade classmates made a laughing stock out of Linda Fischer, an overweight girl in class. Linda gave a report about whales during their class individual report and was given the nickname ‘Blubber’ by their classmate, Wendy.

Jill joined the leader of bullying, Wendy,who was also the class president and her best friend Caroline in tormenting Linda, forcing her to say ‘I’am Blubber, the smelly whale of class 206′ and embarrassing her in front of the whole class.

When Linda was hurt in a game, Jill was asked to accompany her to the nurse’s office. Linda confronted Jill about the bullying and threatened her that she will find ways to revenge.

On Halloween night, Jill and her best friend Tracy Wu, played a prank on their old, mean neighbor, Mr. Machinist by putting raw, rotten eggs in his mailbox. Later, they were identified in the photo taken by Mr. Machinist on the Halloween night and were asked to rake the leaves in his backyard.

Jill remembered the threat of Linda and suspected her as the one who informed Mr. Machinist about them. Tracy thinks that it was Caroline and Wendy who told on them since they met the two on Halloween night and told them about the prank.

It made Wendy furious, thinking that Tracy was accusing her. Jill, who didn’t want to cross Wendy,suggested to have a trial. However, the trial didn’t go well.Jill had an argument with Wendy and found herself being the new bullying victim. Wendy made the whole class turned against her, including Linda, who was once bullied by Jill, was more than willing to torment her. She was given the nickname B.B. meaning baby Brenner and Wendy once pinned a diaper on her chair.

Instead of defending herself, Jill decided not to fight back and just laugh with their jokes. She managed to gain her classmates’ respect by showing what a good sports she could be. She stayed strong and seemingly unaffected by their teasing, although she was hurt deep inside. An incident in the girl’s bathroom made Caroline realized that Wendy doesn’t consider her as her best friend anymore and walked out on her. The classroom was tensed, some things changed and some went back the way it used to be. Linda went back on being alone, although no one is making fun of her anymore. Caroline and Wendy drifted apart and started hanging out with other girls. Jill found a friend in Rochelle, the new girl in class who never take part in the bullying. She still considers Tracy as her best friend and was thankful that although others are always changing their best friends, she and Tracy are not like them.

This book was my favorite when I was around fourteen. Although I was old enough to read romantic novels, I still preferred reading children’s book as they tackle issues that I experienced as a child. Judy Bloom was one of my favorite author back then. I’m proud of Jill for not letting herself be a victim of bullying. As people say, sometimes having enemies doesn’t mean that you are a bad person, it means that once in your life, you stood up for what you think is right.

I highly recommend this book along other stories from Judy Blume as they tackle childhood issues like bullying, fear and the struggles of growing up. If you’re looking for a gift to your middle school child, this book is perfect.

Amazing Kpop Songs From Disbanded Groups

I’ve only been a kpop fan for about five years and although most second generation kpop groups have not disbanded at that time, they were not active as before. I’ve witnessed the disbandment of my ultimate girl group 2ne1 and although it was a heartbreaking experience for a new fan like me as I didn’t get the chance to support them long enough, I knew it was inevitable and it’s not a reason to stop supporting kpop as a whole.

But there are groups that I’ve just discovered recently and I would have become a huge fan if  only I had the chance to listen to their songs before they disbanded. I wanted to ask myself what was I doing all those times? Where was my kpop guardian angel to guide me?

Anyway, I made a list of my top 5 favorite songs from disbanded groups to commemorate the legacy they have left.

5. Janus   Boyfriend                                                                                                                                               boyfriend_starship

4.Turn me back     1Punch

281punch28ec9b90ed8e80ecb9982929_ec84a4eb82a0_ec9db8ec82acec9881ec8381_5s

3. I’m Ill   Hello Venus  

gg_hellovenus_shim_header

2. Nobody  Wonder Girls                                                                                                                                      wonder_girls-2008_korea_food_expo_06

1. Go away      2ne1

2ne1

Runner up:

Monalisa  MBLAQ

152                                                                                                                                     

*Photos are not mine, unless stated. Credits to the rightful owner.