Allegiant // Slugging to the Finish Line
Sunday, 27 March 2016 @ 11:05// 0 comment(s)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Release date: March 18th, 2016
Genres: Action, Sci-fi
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort
Duration: 121 min
Rating: PG-13

See full cast and crew
Tris (Shailene Woodley) escapes with Four (Theo James) to journey beyond the wall that encloses Chicago. For the first time, they leave the only city and family they have ever known to find a peaceful solution. Once outside, they learn shocking new truths that render old discoveries meaningless. As the ruthless battle threatens humanity, Tris and Four quickly decide who to trust to survive. Tris must ultimately make difficult choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.


Allegiant was a very slow read for me. It was really hard for me to get through it. The focus of the trilogy underwent a sharp change that I didn’t find as interesting as the focus of the first two books, Divergent and Insurgent. The action felt sluggish, and the plot slow.

For the above reasons, I did not expect to really enjoy the film, which I watched in theaters as a final show of dedication to a series that I had once adored. I was right: I wasn’t particularly drawn into the movie and nothing really resonated with me.

As always, it was “The Tris Show” as Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) was yet again being paraded around as “special”. This time, according to David, the head of the Bureau of Genetic Warfare, she wasn’t just divergent, but “pure”. I’ve become less enamored with Tris’s character, and didn’t really find myself rooting for her as some special little snowflake.

Tris’s genetic purity, as well as the favoritism she received from David, caused a rift between her and Four/Tobias Eaton (Theo James) as their relationship hit a snag. I have to mention that, at this point, I wasn’t really feeling their romance, and it was getting stale and boring for me. The conflict stemmed from Tris’s trust in David, while Tobias was increasingly distrustful of not only David, but the Bureau of Genetic Warfare as a whole. There was, I must admit, a powerful moment when Tobias urged Tris not to follow David, and Tris looked him in the eye and refused, defiantly going along with David. It revealed Tris’ independence and willpower. Even though she ended up being wrong, I couldn’t help but admire her strong will.

Now, on to the rest of the ensemble. Tori (Maggie Q)’s death was pretty predictable for me, simply because of the way they were lingering instead of running from the imminent danger behind them. Rest in Peace.

It seemed that Peter (Miles Teller) has now become the comic relief. I still strongly dislike the weasel, but for some reason, he was given all the “witty” lines, which brought out laughter from the theater audience. I was appalled. He’s a disloyal douche bag, and his character did not amuse me.

I liked Caleb (Ansel Elgort) in this! To be honest, I never hated him, even though he betrayed Tris. I really enjoyed watching the way his brain works, and what makes his gears spin. I was riveted by his wonder when he was assigned surveillance. His intelligence is honestly wasted in Allegiance. I loved how, in the end, he basically saves the day with his smarts. Go intellect!

I wish Christina (Zoe Kravitz) was given more character development, instead of just being Tris’s sidekick. Unfortunately, this is too often the case for women of color in film. Christina is so badass, and I wanted to see more of that. However, I was thrilled by one scene towards the end, when Christina was teaching Tris how to work the drones. Watching them fight together, with Christina in the lead, was so kickass! I also adored the way she was basically like, “hands off!” to Caleb when he tried putting his arms around her – while she was on his lap out of necessity - in the aircraft thing. I was like, “You go, girl!” internally.

Overall, I felt that the movie plotline was pretty lethargic, and needed more action. I also still don’t completely understand the Bureau of Genetic Warfare and their motives. I think that the storyline got too convoluted, and it shows.

My rating:    ★ 

Reviewed by Kelechi

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Through The Zombie Glass // WHY? JUST... WHY??
Sunday, 20 March 2016 @ 10:18// 0 comment(s)

Through The Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: September 24th, 2013
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages:  480
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they've got mine…

Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong.

After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things...

Yep. That was me. Picking this book up. Opening it. Bracing myself for its awesomeness... and instead, I got.. oh well. Let's not go into that, shall we?

I bought three last books in this series right after I read Alice In Zombieland, which was full of wonders. I had been expecting the awesomeness to continue, but what did I get?


Now I'm starting to rethink my decision about buying the whole series.

I want my money back! Dammit.

First, the characters that made me fall in love with the first book failed horribly in this one. I mean, seriously, Cole Holland? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? You used to be this super cool yet mysterious kinda guy that made me swoon, but now I just wanted to smack your face. I hated his on-and-off affection with Ali. He kept his distance, avoided her at all costs, but threw dagger stares at any guy who so much as talked to her. I just didn't get him. I mean, what was he? Five? He was 17, for God's sake! I'd thought by now he would've grown some sense and stopped acting like a sulking hormonal fourteen-year-old. All throughout the book, I was like,

And Ali! My sweet, dear, lovely Ali. I HATED HER. She was a badass in the first book! I loved her! She had sass and a personality I adored. But, in this book? All those qualities were drowned by the flooding water of jealousy and teenage hormones. She was acting like a middle school girl while in fact she was 16. Hey, I'm 16! I know what it feels like to be 16! And I sure as hell don't make excuses to be with my crush when at the same moment my family wants me to be there. I mean, this girl is messed up. She kept telling herself she'd make it up later with her grandma while she ran off to be with her boyfriend-but-not-really-boyfriend, Cole. FAMILY COMES FIRST, GIRL. IT ALWAYS COMES FIRST (Except when you're reading Divergent, then Faction comes first). And here's a bonus gift to sum up Ali in this book:

I could go on and on and on about the characters. Specifically, about how I LOATHED the characters. But then it would probably take hours and my writing would be enough to be a dissertation. So, I'll make it quick. Kat is no longer the sister I never had but I wish I did, she's more like a sister I'm glad I never had. Nana is the epitome of wrong-grandparenting-101. She left Ali in her room to be with not one, but TWO teenage boys with raging hormones and testosterones INSIDE her BEDROOM! What kind of grandparent is that? This was my reaction to that scene and several others like it:

The plot itself was VERY predictable. They went into trouble, struggling to survive, but in the end, they'd survive. OF COURSE, they'd survive. I mean, who'd want to read a depressing story about a girl without parents and NO FRIENDS? Yeah, probably me, but that's just wishful thinking. And plus, the story would've been much, much shorter if only Ali had even bothered to tell everyone about her problems rather than just keeping them all to herself. That's something I really HATE in most main characters. Keeping yourself in danger to keep your beloved ones safe, keeping an important secret that would make everything easier IF only you'd bother to tell anyone, blah blah blah. All those heroic bullshits. You should know by now that telling people about your problems is ALWAYS a better option.

And most annoying of all... the writing.

Well, it's not for me to judge, really. I'm not one who writes like J.K. Rowling or Marissa Meyer or any other famous authors. I've tried writing but failed (not that I wouldn't try again, though). But, I DO know magnificent and superb writing when I see one. And this book isn't one of it. It was mediocre on the brim of disappointing. So sorry, Gena, but I just...didn' it.

One thing that also kept nagging my mind was that I found it difficult to believe a 17 year-old-boy would have that much charm, cockiness and that many tattoos. Maybe it's because I don't really have that many comparators. But, oh well.

In the end, I think Through The Zombie Glass was definitely NOT a good sequel. It disappointed me in many possible ways. I gave 2 stars because the last one-third of the book was more bearable and action packed. But still, the romance made me cringe here and there. I really hope the next ones are going to be better because I've bought them all! Oh God. You should read this, though, if you've read the first book. You should know what happened...what a jackass Cole actually was...and so on and so on.

My rating:  ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Inas 

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Every Move // Flawed Yet VERY Lovable Characters
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 @ 08:00// 0 comment(s)

Every Move (Every, #3) by Ellie Marney
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release date: March 1st, 2015
Genres: YA, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
Pages:  349
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Rachel Watts is suffering from recurring nightmares about her near-death experience in London. She just wants to forget the whole ordeal, but her boyfriend, James Mycroft, is obsessed with piecing the puzzle together and anticipating the next move of the mysterious Mr Wild - his own personal Moriarty.

So when Rachel's brother, Mike, suggests a trip back to their old home in Five Mile, Rachel can't wait to get away. Unfortunately it's not the quiet weekend she was hoping for with the unexpected company of Mike's old school buddy, the wildly unreliable Harris Derwent.

Things get worse for Rachel when Harris returns to Melbourne with them - but could Harris be the only person who can help her move forward? Then a series of murders suggests that Mr Wild is still hot on their tails and that Mycroft has something Wild wants - something Wild is prepared to kill for.

Can Watts and Mycroft stay one step ahead of the smartest of all criminal masterminds? The stage is set for a showdown of legendary proportions...

INCREDIBLY AWESOME are two words I'm gonna use to describe this book.

There's no doubt that this series has crawled its way into my 'favorite series of all time' list, along with The Lunar Chronicles and The School For Good and Evil.

However, I'm afraid that this review won't be much different from my previous reviews. I gave all of the previous books in this series five solid stars because they totally deserved it. I'm willing to give them more, if possible. But, nope, too bad, five stars is all I can give. This book is no different. It exceeds my expectations in every possible way. When I thought there'd be no chance of the plot being any better than before, I was wrong. When I thought the romance had no chance of being any more swoon-worthy, I was wrong. When I thought it had no chance of being more heart-stopping and gut-wrenching, I was wrong.

Clearly, I was wrong in a lot of ways.

Every Move starts not long after the near-death experience Rachel Watts and James Mycroft had in London a month before. At the beginning until the beginning of the book,  Rachel seems to be having constant nightmares about the incident. She and Mycroft also grow apart in the past five weeks. That's because Mycroft is too busy investigating his parents' death and Rachel is too traumatized to deal with anything relating to London.

In this finale, we get to see the melancholic side of Rachel and Mycroft. Rachel, because of all the trauma and PTSD she's dealing with. Mycroft, because of...well, something I'd rather not spoil. If you thought these characters aren't capable of being any more flawed, you were wrong. They're hurting a lot and in those moments of weakness and heartbreaks, I found myself loving them more and more. It's possible that they both have made me more human than I already am. They've made me realize that sometimes letting go of something you love isn't always the right thing to do. The truth is, the more you love something, the more you have to hold on to it.

By reading the paragraph above, I'm sure you've realized by now how smitten I am with Rachel and Mycroft. The characters in this series, no doubt were made to become as human and real as possible. Nobody, in reality, is perfect, nor every single person in this series. But that just adds more points to the series.

While the characters are one of the best things in this book, the plot and conflict themselves are also downright pure genius. The plot is fast-paced, therefore adding more intensity to the pages. It's not possible for you to put it down other than for toilet breaks or sleepingwhich I'm sure isn't even important when you are reading a novel as awesome as this one. The conflict is also intriguing. It'll make you more and more curious each page and keep you bubbling with anticipation inside. Every time the action part starts, I found myself biting my nails, gripping my seat, and shrieking every few second. Reading the book itself feels like a cardio exercise.

One thing I adore in Ellie Marney's writing is how every situation, sight, and even any kind of sense is described oh-so-beautifully. She uses words like they are guitar strings and she's the guitarist. She also uses many Australian slang words that sometimesemphasis on that sometimesI don't understand. But that just makes me itching to look it up.

Another thing I LOVED in this book is how INDONESIA is mentioned so many times! It's my mother country and I LOVED how Bali, rupiah, and rice (our staple food) are slipped so effortlessly into the story. Well, not really as the important part or anything, but still. Ellie used to live in Indonesia, so she clearly knows what she's talking about.

The last thingI'm saving it for the last because it's my favoooriiteeeis the romance. This book has SO many swoon-worthy scenes. They're all adorable and at times funny. Mycroft uses covalent bond as an analogy of their relationship, for God's sake! Anyone, anyone, capable of creating a romantic line out of any science stuff totally deserves an award. Rachel and Mycroft complement each other. They're both imperfect, but the two of them together is like yin and yang, they balance each other. One without the other feels incomplete and strange. For me, the romance here is the most beautiful thing ever. But it doesn't seem like it outshines the plot in general. That's why I think this series without the romance is like a cake without a cherry on the top.

In all, I think Every Move is the best finale you could ever ask for. It will no doubt exceed your expectations. The characters are something you will DEFINITELY love. The plot is something conjured from the head of a genius. Go read this series if you haven't! If you have, then go read this finale and prepare yourself for the awesomeness.

P.S. Thank you, Ellie, for creating Rachel and Mycroft! I hope you're planning to write something else because I'd be willing to read it in a heartbeat! And PLEASE come to Indonesia because I'd like to ask for your autographs! *wink wink*

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★  

Reviewed by Inas 

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The Siren // When A Dangerous Girl Falls In Love
Sunday, 13 March 2016 @ 08:31// 0 comment(s)

The Siren by Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: January 26th, 2016
Genres: YA, Romance, Fantasy
Pages:  336
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
From Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series, comes a captivating stand-alone fantasy romance.

Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who's everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can't bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

The Siren was previously self-published; this brand-new edition has been completely rewritten and redesigned.

The Singers Of Death.

That's what I'm gonna call the Sirens.

You see, this is a romance storyan impossible romance storyof an otherworldly beautiful girl who has a lethal voice and an ordinary boy who's cute and adorable and totally likes her because of her personalitiesnot her beauty.

Why is this girl's voice lethal?

She's a Siren. A servant of the Ocean who sings to keep the Ocean fed with human bodies-slash-souls. You might know a similar story of mermaids who sing to distract sailors and get them killed. Close enough. Except Sirens have regular human bodies and no fins. They'll serve the Ocean for a hundred years, after that, they'll be released to the society and their memories will be wiped out.

I have to admit, the premise itself is very intriguing. I found myself getting more curious about this Siren thing after each page. Even though I've heard many similar stories about this kind of creature, it was fun to read how Kiera Cass managed to execute it all.

I liked how the whole Siren's idea is portrayed. They serve the Ocean. See how the 'O' in the Ocean is capitalized? That's because the Ocean is alive. It's a She. She can talk and understand her Sirens and people. I liked how the Sirens treat the Ocean as if She's their own mother. And I liked how every humanly move that the Ocean makes is portrayed, even though at first I found it a bit ridiculous.
So, one of the best? Is it bad to tell You that I don't really want to be good at this job?

She swirled around my face and hair, trying to console me. No one with a beating heart could enjoy killing their own.
As for the characters itself:
The plot itself feels too slow-paced, in my opinion. There isn't really that many of swoon-worthy scenes, since the girl and the boy barely spend time together. If I could make it into a graph, I'd say only about 40 percent of the book is actual romance, really romance, with the boy and the girl face-to-face. The rest is just some Siren stuff-slash-problems or Kahlen missing the boy and wishing to be with him, but then a second later she'd say No, I can't be with him, I might kill him yadda yadda.

I think this book is decent and okay. It's perfect if you need a light reading just to pass your time. I read it in the middle of an exam week and it barely affected anything (I hoped so). You can just skim most part of the book and still be able to know the outline and the story in decent details. There are swoon-worthy scenes, but not that much. If you're looking for a swoon-worthy book filled with swoon-worthy scenes, go read The Sky Is Everywhere or Lola and The Boy Next Door or maybe The Heir. If you're looking for a book with a main character who has the opposite traits of this one's, go read Snow Globe.

In all, The Siren is a so-so book. It has a so-so plot, so-so characters, and so-so conflict. The only thing that made me give it three solid stars was the whole Siren premise. While Kiera Cass never ceased to amaze me in the past, I'd say this book is not her best one. But, I'd still read her grocery list in the midst of waiting for The Crown to come out in May.

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Inas 

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