Book Review: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

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The Similars is a book by Rebecca Hanover on human clones.

The Similars is a thought provoking novel that gives you a glimpse about the possibility of human cloning. It strikes you with questions on science and society.

The story gives you a roller coaster ride on events. I must also compliment the development of the characters in the story because none of us can expect what they’ll be doing next.

The plot actually follows a usual sci-fi pattern: evil billionaire with a revengeful desire to take out his bullies from high school. I do hope the next books explain more of his side as I can’t just accept that this is all a childish plot, especially with the plot twist at the end. I also think that there is more to Darkwood’s history.

Throughout reading the novel, I have thought about human cloning and my side on it. I think, however the advancement we make on science and technology, that we shouldn’t play with genetics and create humans unnaturally as this would pave way to extreme enhancement that would make the gap between social classes bigger than it already is.

Technological advances are what keeps us moving forward as the human race as a whole, but maybe what keeps us human is our limitations. Are we still humans if we are allowed to surpass our standards and create abilities? Did we not hang people we were afraid of in the medieval times because of their difference, and because they were more than us? Perhaps now we are considering this option as we understand more, but maybe this will be our end.

I hope the next books explore more of the effect of cloning to the human race as a whole. I am excited to learn more.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

 

Top Book Boyfriends And Why You Love Them

It is every reader’s most kept secret- we are all attached to a certain character in the books as if they were existing, and somehow it becomes a standard of our reality. Most of time, we read to fulfill our ideals of the perfect man who we hope to meet in our lifetime, which of course is far fetched but it gives us comfort to have these book boyfriends as our own.

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  • Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan

Percy is the epitome of a great Greek hero- powerful, courageous, and most definitely attractive with his sea green eyes. He has accomplished so much at a young age and is already a legend. Percy is the goofy kid with dyslexia but gets along with everybody else for being cool. As the son of Poseidon, he is one of the most respected demigods on the series, but what really makes Percy great is his undying loyalty to his friends and family- which is ironically also his fatal flaw. This hero will sacrifice the world just for you.

“You’re not getting away from me. Never again.” – Percy on The Mark of Athena, Book 3 Heroes of Olympus

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  • Jace Herondale (The Shadowhunter series) by Cassandra Clare

Don’t we all love a bad blond boy? Jace is the usual playboy who carries himself with confidence because he knows he is definitely better than the rest. His dark humor will keep you on your toes and will sway you to follow his every word. He is a natural leader who knows his strengths and uses them to his advantage. Aside from his fighting skills, he is also a talented pianist. But sometimes, the most powerful ones carry a darkness within them, and all he needs is someone who’s willing to look more into it. Although he has a tendency to lose track most of time, he’ll surely keep you wanting more.

“There is no pretending,” Jace said with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die and if there’s a life after that, I’ll love you then.” – Jace on The City of Glass, Book 3 of The Mortal Instruments

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  • Patch Cipriano (Hush, Hush) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Nothing tops the warning signs to get away from a literal Fallen Angel, but doesn’t that make them more attractive? Patch is the exact type of boy your mom warned you about- doesn’t attend classes, definitely has some secret dealings that are probably illegal, and will most likely kill you. The redemption, however, is what makes him so much more than what he is. He will burn everyone for your sake and will sacrifice his own wings just to be with you.

“All this time I’ve hated myself for it. I thought I’d given it up for nothing. But if I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have met you.” – Patch on Hush, Hush Book 1

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  • Peter Kavinsky (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series) by Jenny Han

Kavinsky sets the modern standards for boyfriends of today. Get you a guy who adjust your sweetness even when he is supposedly fast paced, and who not only makes you feel special but your family (especially your little sister) as well. He is the jock who falls for the quirky type and is the hope of unique girls everywhere.

“We’re you and me. And yeah, it’s gonna be hard. But Lara Jean, I’ve never feel for another girl what I feel for you.” – Peter on Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Book 3 of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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  • John Ambrose McClaren (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series) by Jenny Han

The rival of Kavinsky is the model UN smart type John Ambrose. He’s the guy who is sweet to his grandparents, which makes him an old romantic. We’ve all wished for a gentleman who’ll treat you well with slow dancing in the snow and a romantic dinner. He’s the one your parents will approve of, and the type of guy you know will always be there for you.

“I don’t think it was our time then. I guess it isn’t now, either.” John looks over at me, his gaze steady. “But one day maybe it will be.” – John Ambrose, on P.S. I Still Love You, Book 2 of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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  • Alex Stewart (Love, Rose – Where Rainbows End) by Cecilia Ahern

It’s always lucky to be in love with your bestfriend. Alex is the guy who knows you well- from your tells to your most embarrassing moments- but loves you anyway. He might be a bit slow in expressing his feelings in fear of ruining your friendship and the comfort that’s in it, but he’s the one you’ll end up with no matter what happens, because nothing is more perfect than a guy who accepts you for who and what you are. The thing about Alex is, even when you don’t end up together, you know you’ll always have your bestfriend by your side.

“Today I love you more than ever; tomorrow I will love you even more. I need you more than ever; I want you more than ever. I’m a man of fifty years of age coming to you, feeling like a teenager in love, asking you to give me a chance and love me back.

Rosie Dunne I love you with all my heart, I have always loved you when I was seven years old and lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn’t invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays, and when we fought. I loved you through it all. Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me.” – Alex on Love, Rosie

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  • Maxon Calix Schreave (The Selection series) by Kiera Cass

Everybody loves a Prince. Maxon is a total sweetheart and romantic who respects the capability of strong women, even when he is born to be a King. He is not like others who were born with a golden spoon who tend to be cocky and full of themselves, because he has a soft side to him. He is creative and appreciates the little things. He’s the type who will easily remember what your favorites are just by observing you.

“I want everything with you, America. I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy season and lazy weekends. I want peanut butter fingertips on my desk. I want inside jokes and fights and everything. I want a life with you.” – Maxon on The One, Book 3 of The Selection

There’s always this guy in the story that you root for and claim as your own. Who knows? Maybe one day, the words you read about will finally come to flesh.

Who’s Your Favorite Book Boyfriend?

  • Percy Jackson
  • Jace Herondale
  • Patch Cipriano
  • Peter Kavinsky
  • John Ambrose McClaren
  • Alex Stewart
  • Maxon Calix Schreave

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale (Book 1) and The Testaments (Book 2) by Margaret Atwood

I try to steer away from the genre of books we were required to read for academic purposes because I read leisurely to escape the world- it’s quite a burden to be reading such materials that will expose the harshness of reality.

The thing about dystopian fiction is that there is a sliver of truth in each outcome. Everything is a possibility- whether it’s a civilization of aliens or robots, or a trip back to historic monarchies. The ideas of the plot are firstly outlined by the choices that we humans make this very moment. This is why the pull for reading it is strong; we relate to it closer that we do to fantasy fiction.

The Handmaid’s Tale is considered as a classic for modern fiction, and I never really had the desire to read it because of its status. However, such times requires us to expand our scope, and I must say that I do regret reading it because of the heavy feelings it gave me. The book, in general, exceeds my standards for writing and plot devising. The series starts with the story of Ofred, a Handmaid, whose sole duty is to bear a child for a couple of high standing in the society. Here, Gilead is a fictitious country formed in the America under the absolute control of a cult.

Imagine, the horror of such idea being paraded as a moral duty because of their ideals and religious beliefs. I cannot stress enough how each scene has made me shiver because of the possibilities they impose.

Why did I carry on to the Testaments?

The second book is a collection of testaments from subjects being studied from the old Gilead, now a destroyed country. It offers a glimpse into the rest of the world and what Gilead plays in it, and the starting piece on to how everything was brought down. It reminds me a lot about the situation of North Korea. I wonder how long will it be until we finally take action- but do we really have the judgment to do so?

Sometimes it makes you wonder if we indeed have the right to decide for other countries as a whole based on their status. We have seen how some of those decisions went, and most of the countries we have tried to decide for are now just war zones.

I am afraid. I am afraid that these books are indeed our testaments.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

Book Review: Supernova by Marissa Meyer (Book 3 of the Renegades Series)

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Just as I’ve thought that I have ran out of new subjects to read about, Marissa Meyer came up with the Renegades. Superheroes are indeed everywhere in the cinematic world as well as the long standing comics, but not much on Young Adult fiction. I was excited when I read about Meyer’s books, because she already had me hooked with the Lunar Chronicles series.

Supernova is the conclusion to the trilogy The Renegades (Book 2 Archenemies), about the Villain (Anarchist) Nova, who pretends to be a Hero (Renegade) to revenge on her family. She previously lived with the rest of her Anarchists while hiding her uncle, Ace Anarchy, the original villain, who was also captured on the end of Book Two: Archenemies, before Nova was given a chance to hand him back his helmet (which amplified his powers, which she stole from the Renegades.) She is also torn as she already finds herself falling for her Renegade Captain and teammate Adrian Everhart, also the adoptive son of Captain Chromium and the Dread Warden, the original Renegades who defeated Ace.

Nova has had a lot of progress during the first two books where she struggles with her inner morals. I was really excited about how they would end the series, but I have been disappointed as I feel like a lot of things were rushed and a lot of questions were unanswered. Meyer has long said that it is only a trilogy, but I think, based on the ending, that there will be a spin-off of some sort and I would be really upset if there wouldn’t be.

Just thought that the plot needed some much more spinning. I think Marissa wanted to move on from Nova’s story to highlight a new character, but I think it should have been two more books. Also, we’ve already guessed some of the things unveiled in the story based on the plot of the two books so I think it downgraded the effect of the revelations and fight scenes in most of the climax. I like Marissa’s style, I just hope she left some mystery that isn’t really obvious and opened it with a bang in Supernova. Honestly, the Epilogue is the only thing you wouldn’t have guessed, and this is why it needs more books.

I love it- but I wasn’t awed by it like the first time. I, however, still recommend the books to anyone who wants the old YA drama with a somewhat refreshed slate.

One cannot be brave who has no fear.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

Film Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is the sequel to the acclaimed Disney’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie as the dark fae herself and Elle Fanning as Aurora, a retelling of the beloved children’s fairytale Sleeping Beauty, with a little twist as it paints a new light on the supposed villain.

REVIEW

There was once a time when the golden era of Disney would grace the cinemas, and I grew up in line with each film and they’ve made quite an impact to my life, as they did, I am sure, with everyone else’s. We cannot deny that the past few years have been disappointing in a sense, with Disney so focused on live remakes of the old cartoons that made us fall in love with it in the first place. I’ve watch the live action takes on Cinderella, Beauty and the Best, and Aladdin; alright, they weren’t bad at all, but I just want some new material to come on. Something that will sweep us off our feet.

The tale of Sleeping Beauty is one we are all familiar with- but of Maleficent? This is the reason why we have been entranced with the story when it first came out. It is a version, if I must say, freshly taken from an old tale; a different view. The appeal of villains having a good side is such a strong pull on the majority that we just cannot help but root for them.

Since this is a fresh uptake, we don’t have any idea of what might happen next, and it drove me to watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. I was not disappointed.

It has been on the cinemas for a while, but I shall spare you the juiciest details to get you to watch it yourself- it really is that intriguing. I must say that they’ve given new life to the story, and I am amazed on the many symbolism they had in the film.

Let’s not forget the graphics- it will literally blow you away. Everything is so beautiful in the Moors that it takes me back to being a kid all over again, wishing to be taken by the faeries. I love how they depicted the different kinds of faeries, and not just the perfectly made creatures we first picture them as.

I understand that Maleficent is the main focus of the story and Angelina is perfect for the role, I just wish that on this chapter that they’ve given a much deeper line for Aurora and Phillip. The queen, though, has done quite a great job on making me hate her all throughout the film. I need not say more.

Brace yourselves- that is just not it. Here, you will be introduced to more of Maleficent’s side. I will spoil you just this one- there’s more of them like her and they will play a vital role in the film. You must see their wings.

Just thought it ended when the climax was just happening- but I guess we can’t have too brutal deaths and solutions for a children’s film, yeah? (Though let me tell you, it was mostly adults in the cinema.. honestly, Disney.) I also love how it’s a mixture of everything- a bit of comedy, a bit of drama, a bit of action.

Once again, one is never too old for fairytales.

Rating: 10/10

TV Review: Raising Dion (Season 1)

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Raising Dion is a Netflix series adapted from the comics by Dennis Liu.

Raising Dion is a story that revolves about a struggling single mother raising her son Dion, whom she discovers has powers. As she gets on with everyday life, she finds out that Dion inherited his powers from his father, Mark, a scientist, who accidentally got it during one of his field expeditions to the Northern Lights. He disappeared during a storm and was thought to be dead. Alone, she tries to protect him from prying eyes in order to live a normal life.

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REVIEW

The trailer is what hooked me- I watched it a few months before the first season came out. I was not aware that it was based on the comics until I did a little bit of research about it.

I think the story is refreshing as a whole. Superheroes are the trend nowadays, but we haven’t had anything that closely looks into the situation of the gifted individual as a child. It also reflects a much more realistic part in answer to how one’s life will happen once they are discovered to have powers.

A part of me wonders, though, if the story is more interesting in the comics. There are so many sub plot holes that confuses me. I think the show needs to explain more of these events. I certainly will not tell you about the big plot twist towards the end of the season, but I have to be honest and admit that it wasn’t really enough to give an impact.

I hope they add on more characters to add more spice to the story. I must comment though on how young Dion (played by Ja’Siah Young) is doing a tremendous job on bringing the role to life. I also think that Dennis Liu really did a good job on general representation.

The writers need to work on bringing more exciting events to life in the show. As I have said, there are so many possible takes on the story, though I think they will mostly stick to the comics. I want to know how they will tie it to scientific evidence, and explain the nature of the storm.  I am excited to see how this will finally give Dion a purpose. Today, I might just say that it still lacks some of the creative value and is definitely much more interesting in the comics.

Rating: 7/10

Book Review: Foursome by Jane Fallon

I’ve decided to give Jane another try, and this time, I was not as disappointed as I was with the last book.

It is, though, of the usual story of friendship, middle crisis, and adultery. Honestly I am going to be so happy if Jane finally writes something out of these- but I guess some writers are just made that way. I liked the appeal with this book. Foursome is a book about four friends from college and how things have changed in time. It centers on Rebecca, who is fully contented with her life until it begins to fall apart starting with the break up of her two best friends Alex and Isabel.

Rebecca is a stagnant character. She’s not very noticeable at all, and the life of the book is ironically set on the other characters who revolve around her. I love the twists in the book even when they are a bit expected just because of how the characters carry out the actions. I think it also brings out the truth in most families and lives today, and that it justifies that sometimes, life is boring as well because that’s just how it is.

I do hope Jane writes something from a third person point of view, I think it was always her strength. I’d like to see more depth from the other characters who run the course of the story.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars

Book Review: Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon made me fall in love with her works when I first read Getting Rid of Matthew. She has a funny, witty, yet classy writing style. It’s a shame really how it took me weeks to finish this one.

Strictly Between Us routes on the usual retelling of adultery- just with a different scene. I honestly have yet to find a book of Fallon’s that diverts from this topic. This always seem to be the plot for literally all her books, so on the first chapter when it was described, I didn’t even want to continue with it.

All the characters are also pretty much the same. The protagonist is a woman, may be successful but lacking in the romantic department, or is a struggling middle aged woman who moans about her lack of adventure. The women in these books are starting to be depressing.

There is nothing much to be said about the main character, Tamsin. I found her to be very plain and quite boring. I also think that she is unfair to her best friend Michelle and should have just told her the truth. It’s all lies and we all know that never gets anywhere.

My dear Jane, this is the fifth book of yours I’ve read. Please give me some new material. It’s rather a pity- I really admire you as a writer, but the stories are redundant and there’s nothing fresh about them anymore. I’ve always thought you write rather well on Getting Rid of Matthew, even with the third person point of view. I loved Helen even though she was a cow in the story. Let us connect with your characters more.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for stars

TV Review: Peaky Blinders (Season 1 to Season 5)

8c1d6b08-e886-4a8d-800f-e77f3b383b31_800_420The Peaky Blinders is a series created by Steven Knight, about a gangster family in Birmingham, England set in 1919.

The Shelby family is the gangster family that heads the Peaky Blinders, named such as for their practice of sewing disposable blades into the peaks of their flat caps to use as weapons in blinding their enemies. It is actually based on a real life gangster of the same name, though it is argued that they do not really have blades on their caps from before.

The family is headed by Thomas Shelby, along with his brothers Arthur and John. They fought in France during the World War I where Tommy (Thomas) came back with multiple awards. He is considered as the head of the family, although he is just the second eldest, for his schemes that expanded the business and power of the Shelbys. The company is also comprised of his aunt, Polly Gray, her son and their cousin Michael Gray, their sister Ada Shelby-Thorne, their little brother Finn, and the spouses of the siblings.

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REVIEW:

Peaky Blinders first caught my eye as my old college schoolmate always posted about it on Facebook. I got curious because this particular person has peculiar taste, as he shuns the social hype and is often into things that are unique. I relate in a way, because things lose their value to me when they are hyped. I started to watch some of the short clips of the show on Facebook and my curiosity prompted me to finally get on Netflix.

I have watched Season 1 to Season 5 during my free time in a span of a fortnight.  Each Season is comprised of 6 episodes of about an hour each. You will not regret time spent on it, because every scene is so well crafted that there is nothing put to waste. Every detail is counted. The intro song is stuck to my head when it comes on.

Season 1 was the introduction of the Shelby family. I was a bit confused at first so I read some of the summaries about them online, (I always seem to be having this problem.) I couldn’t get the role of Freddie Thorne in it and why Tommy hated him until I refreshed my English History knowledge. It pays to know a bit about it, by the way, when you watch the show as it is aligned with England’s historical events. It begins with one of Tommy’s schemes in stealing war guns that everybody is looking for. The English government assigns Major Campbell to find them and he plants Grace Burgess, his spy, as a barmaid in the Shelby’s bar.

I cannot help but be drawn to the Shelbys. I like their swag, although to be honest they were (still are) obnoxious, dangerous, and selfish. They have the worst qualities of being bad men. They have the closest family ties, too.

The characters are fit for their roles. I don’t know how Steven Knight managed to get the perfect actors, but he did. I checked their profiles and they are really far off from the roles they play on Peaky Blinders.

Season 2 was focused on Major Campbell’s revenge on the family after Tommy outwits him in Season 1, and takes Grace from him. The Shelbys plot is focused on entering the London scene, already caught up in a war between two heading factions- the Jews and the Italians. Alfie Solomons is a fan fave, and I didn’t realize it was Tom Hardy until I looked him up. His character is too fluid, you won’t even understand where his loyalties lie.

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Michael was also introduced here and I must really comment on how he has grown all throughout because he was such an innocent kid here and he will become poisonous in the next seasons to come. You should really watch out for the character developments on this show.

Honestly, Season 3 was a bit of a blur to me because of Grace’s comeback, but the wedding scene is one of my favorites when Tommy warns the boys with no fighting. I didn’t really like Grace much, as she was Tommy’s weakness and brought out the worst in him. Tommy is involved with the Russians here and the portrayal of the Russians made me realize why their country abolished their monarchy. They’re all mad; the kind of madness that even Tommy cannot tolerate.

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Season 4 is my personal favorite although it had a lot of death (just so you know, everybody dies all the time in Peaky Blinders; don’t warm up too much to anybody.) Luca Changretta is my villain, what else can you expect from Academy award winning actor Adrien Brody? See, I told you they have brilliant casting. You will also see the ever recognizable Aidan Gillen (Peter Baelish on Game of Thrones) as Aberama Gold, whom Tommy hires as a hitman in the Vendetta between the Shelbys and the Changrettas, as they have killed Luca’s father and brother in Season 3.

I just love the whole string of ideas in the Vendetta. This is also the climax for me, as it brings the family a whole new image after the events in Season 3. They are not the same as before as each of them face their own demons, Tommy especially.

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Season 5 is too short for me. Here it is more aligned to history, as Tommy is given a place in Parliament (through his scheming, of course,) and he keeps an eye on Oswald Moseley. As you know, Moseley was a fascist, and an admirer of Mussolini, the Italian dictator, played by Sam Claflin. I am sorry, but I am so used to Sam’s soft face in my books to movie list (Me Before You, Love Rosie,) it was really weird seeing him play the villain. He’s doing a great job, though.

There is always a cliffhanger in every season, and this seems to be Knight’s style to keep the viewers wanting more of it. I don’t know how this show not as popular as the others, but the quality is an A plus. I don’t know what to expect from the next season, there are so many storyline that can be creatively written. Peaky Blinders should be the next Game of Thrones, but honestly, I hope they don’t ruin the end like they did with GOT.

I haven’t described much of the plot’s major spoilers to get you to watch it yourselves. I highly recommend this show. If any of you has watched it, I am dying to know what you think about the characters and what will happen next, please feel free to leave your thoughts.

Rating: 10/10

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Iliad has always been my favorite, though not for the love of Greece but of Troy. The mighty Hector is close to my heart, and I pity his fate and of the Trojans who were only casualties from a war brewed by the senseless pride of the gods. I cannot stress enough how much I hated Achilles for killing Hector. Hector, my mighty Hector, tamer of horses, and the most pious Prince. I have loved how he was one of the champions in mythology who was often told to act for the greater good. The Greeks in the Iliad were mostly depicted as barbarians. I think the Iliad, although a tale of Greece, was always made to highlight the tragedy of Troy.

This book has surprised me. I must be honest that I do not usually read books with themes as such, but this.. this one I recommend to others like me who are fans of mythology.

I am sorry, Hector, but this has given new light to Achilles and of why he is considered as one of Greek Mythology’s mightiest heroes, next to Perseus and Heracles. It was told from Patroclus’s point of view, and it made me understand him better. The writing style is light and yet it takes you back to the old age when gods would interfere with mortal matters. I admire the storytelling involved. Most people shun books that use words that are not common and hard to comprehend, but I did not have trouble with this.

Miller has mastered how to connect with the readers. She has made Achilles is much more than how Hollywood depicted him to be on countless movies about him. He is a true Demigod. I love how this mighty hero cannot be wavered by all or anything but his love for Patroclus. I have felt how pure and genuine their love was for each other, how Patroclus is what grounds Achilles to his mortality. I also want to note that how despite of war they had tried their best to keep their dignities somehow intact. The character developments are exciting as they are spiral and they add spices to the story, even minor ones like the other soldiers in the war.

But of course, my opinion might be based on how Achilles was so much like Percy in this book. The bravery, the invincibility, the hubris, and of course, the loyalty to Patroclus- all traits of a great Greek Demigod.

Overall Rating: Image result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for starsImage result for stars