Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

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Director: Ol Parker

Producer: Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman

Screenplay: Ol Parker

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Dominic Cooper, Andy Garcia, Cher, Meryl Streep

Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1hr & 54 minutes (114 minutes)

Production Company: Playtone, Littlestar Productions, Legendary Pictures, Perfect World Pictures

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Release Date: July 20, 2018

Synopsis:  Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! Sophie prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her mother’s past.

Rating: 3/5

 

My Review

“The film’s high spirit overshadows its faults”

The first film, Mamma Mia! which was released in 2008 is one of the few musicals that makes me want to dance and jive and sing along with classic ABBA songs. I know I’m too young to be a fan of ABBA songs, but hey, music knows no age, and I’m a proud old soul, especially when it comes to music (Thanks, dad! Yes, I’m one of those millennial/Gen Z people who listens to dad songs). Moreover, this film is one of the reasons why I grew to love ABBA songs, so thank you Mamma Mia! for the music and songs I’m listening and singing.

Nearly a decade later and fans of the film rejoiced when news broke that a sequel is in the works. I was thrilled, but skeptic at the same time. Normally, I would grow anxious about the sequel’s performance since nothing beats the original really, plus there are instances where sequels performed poorly than its predecessor.

The first film felt complete and concluded on a nice note, so it was a wonder what the sequel’s story line would be. As one critic said, it was enough and a sequel is completely unnecessary, but that won’t stop studios from producing another hit film that will most likely be profitable given the fan base it garnered thanks to the first film. However, when it was announced that the film would be a prequel/sequel of some kind, it lifted my hopes up and sparked curiosity and excitement, we’ll finally get to see young Donna’s  wild adventures and how her relationship with the three dads started.

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My Long Journey of Entering the World of K-Drama

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As far as I can remember, Asian Dramas have been part of pop culture for a long time now, in fact, I can still remember bits and pieces of the Taiwanese version of Meteor Garden (2001) even though I was still a young kid back then and to be honest, I have no idea what was going on 80% of the time. I can’t comprehend complex dramas yet because my four or five-year-old self would still yearn for cartoons and kid shows, my cognitive skills are still in the level of answering every question asked by Dora the Explorer. All I know is that I was very fond of the character named ‘Shan Cai’ and the male group “F4” is massively popular back then that I’d see their faces everywhere—from posters, stickers, cheap merchandise on the streets, billboards and commercial, heck I even danced and sang along to their famous single ‘Oh Baby’.

Over the years, I’d still catch a few episodes of other Asian Dramas, particularly, Korean Drama. I remember giggling over “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho” and “Boys Over Flowers” (which was hugely popular) when I was still in Elementary school. However, I’d only watch it whenever I had the chance to or when I stumble upon it on TV, I wasn’t really keen on watching the drama day by day. Normally, I’d watch all episodes on its premiere week but as time progresses, I was bound to miss an episode or two due to school work and I’d lose interest in playing catch up. After that, if there’s nothing else good on TV and I stumble upon these shows, I’d watch it with the itching question of ‘what the hell is going on?’ since I missed a few episodes in between.

Fast forward to 2010s, the K-Drama craze continued to thrive, in fact, it even became more popular (as in really popular, really.) 2016-2017 was the year I became fully aware of the whole K-Drama obsession. Everyone was talking about it and it all started with ‘Goblin’ and then I’d hear other shows like ‘Weightlifting Fairy’, ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ and ‘Descendants of the Sun’. I couldn’t escape it, everywhere I go, it was the talk of every magazine, website, every conversation I hear in the hallway and inside the classroom. It was everywhere. E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. Korean Drama became an even larger portion of pop culture, especially here in Asia, and as someone who grew up and fell in love with Western Pop Culture, I continued obsessing over Riverdale, The Walking Dead, The CW Shows, and other fandoms, and just ignored and learned to live with the whole K-Drama craze.

A year later, something sparked my interest and jump-started my curiosity in Asian Dramas. Everyone started talking about ‘F4’ again, at first I just thought it’s because they are a timeless and classic male group, however, I was taken by surprise when I found out that there’s a Chinese remake of 2001’s Meteor Garden. (Yes, I was living under a rock, but truth be told, I was clouded by my Western fandoms, that I was too blind to pay attention to Asian Pop Culture). I never intended to watch an episode or watch the whole series even, but all that changed when I was able to watch an episode while riding the bus home. I remembered my childhood and I’d lie if I say that I didn’t find the actors who play the members of this new version of F4 cute, especially Darren Chen who plays Hua Ze Lei. What’s interesting is that I have always likened Hua Ze Lei, be it the Taiwanese version or the Korean version, ‘Boys Over Flowers’. There’s something about this cool-headed character I seemed to be drawn to more than the lead male, Dao Ming Si who embodies a typical arrogant, hot-headed bad boy.

Now, why am I blabbing about a Chinese drama remake of Meteor Garden when it’s not even a Korean Drama series and the title of this blog post says ‘My Long Journey of Entering the World of K-Drama’, well, my lovely dreamer readers, watching a few episodes of Meteor Garden (2018) and jumping into the craze sparked my interest about the whole K-Drama obsession a lot of people was caving about. When the K-Drama craze was on its peak during 2017, I didn’t completely jump into the bandwagon and I wasn’t open-minded enough to watch TV Series with a language I don’t understand and just rely on subtitles. The Asian Dramas I used to watch back then were dubbed and with the rise of streaming services, various K-Drama shows are now accessible. Sure, I’d catch a glimpse of it whenever my block mates would air Korean TV Shows by connecting their laptops to our classroom’s Smart TV, but I never really paid attention to it. Usually, I was busy doing other requirements for different course subjects and would lift my head from time to time if a scene piques my interest.

Now that I am more welcoming towards Korean Drama, I started watching Goblin around September of last year—and I. Was. Hooked. Goblin is the first Korean Drama I binge-watched and it was the first Korean Drama I’ve watch in Korean. It wasn’t dubbed and I was quite glad with the experience since I got to learn a few Korean words. This show broke my misconception towards K-drama; that all K-Dramas follow the same formula and is just angled towards cheesy and sappy love stories. Despite Goblin centered on the relationship between Kim Shin and Ji Eun-Tak, I was still astounded by its plot—its twists and turn and modern take on deities, grim reapers, and reincarnation. I am a proud fan of fantasy stories and the elements injected in this show to pass as a fantasy drama gave me a new perspective about mythologies, specifically an Asian lens in the world of the Gods since I was used to seeing it through Rick Riordan’s established world of the Gods in Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus Series. Sure, there weren’t counterparts of Zeus, or Poseidon or any other Greek or Roman Gods we know of, instead, it creates its own concept.

Goblin was also my go-to happy pill during the time when the semester was becoming burdensome and I had no motivation to socialize with the people around me. I was enduring an extreme case of separation anxiety from my previous block in Senior High School and still trying to warm up to my college block mates. The workload wasn’t a burden since I got the hang of the university’s system since I’ve been studying there for three years now, but Goblin helped me cope up with separation anxiety and it got me through tough times. I know what I did is use it as an escape from reality and I tend to do that, but I was just really happy I took a chance on K-Drama.

After completely fallen head over heels for the series, Goblin, I decided to watch “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” since it was becoming popular at the time and even dubbed as one of the most popular Korean Drama of the year. Again, I am amazed how this Korean Drama makes me fall in love with their characters and storylines, once again, my misconception about Korean Dramas only having cheesy romances is broken. I never thought that Korean Dramas also include heavy storylines, character arcs, plot twists,  and interesting supporting characters. Because of this, I decided to spend my Christmas and Semester Vacation by catching up on all the K-Dramas, since I was late for jumping into the whole K-Drama craze.

As of today, I’ve watched Goblin, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Love in the Moonlight/Moonlight Draw by Clouds, Fight For My Way and Legend of the Blue Sea. I plan to watch more Korean Drama since it serves as a happy pill and a breather from reality. Here’s to watching more Korean Dramas in the future.

The CW’s Elseworlds

Since 2014, The CW made it an annual tradition to make crossover episodes of some (if not all) DC TV Series currently airing in their network. The crossover usually consists of two or more TV shows namely Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow clashing together in three or four-part storyline, however, for this year’s Arrowverse crossover, Legends of Tomorrow is skipping this one out after being part of the said television event in 2016  (Invasion!) and 2017 (Crisis on Earth X).

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This year’s crossover is different from prior crossover event since it introduces a character from a TV Series that hasn’t premiered on the network yet, in fact, the solo series is still in under production and is scheduled to premiere fall of this year. Ruby Rose plays Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, who roams around the streets of Batman-less Gotham, to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence.

The crossover episode went on a great start. It even ignited anticipation and excitement when the preview of the Elseworlds episode was shown in The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl. The scene previews the aftermath caused by Novu, one of the main villain, but even though the whole scene comprised of darker tones, every DC fan knows that particular scene was full of easter eggs, especially when the camera panned to several bodies lying on the ground, which features all too familiar costumes, armor and weapons used by well-known heroes in the DC universe.

The first part which aired as an episode of The Flash, starts the storyline by an introductory conflict: Barry Allen and Oliver Queen’s life has been switched. The two tries to convince Team Flash about the odd situation they are in, however, the team becomes skeptical and both Barry and Oliver ended in being locked up in the pipeline, because of this, it pushed Barry and Oliver to take extreme measures by going to Earth-38 and to ask Kara for help. As Barry and Oliver jump into a portal to Earth-38, it previewed an all-to-familiar farm-house and song that will surely make every Smallville fan’s heart melt.  This particular scene flooded my system with nostalgia, hearing Smallville’s opening theme song, ‘Save Me’ by Remy Zero brought back memories about the TV Series. Sure, I didn’t really follow Smallville from the beginning since I’m basically still a small kid when it first hit the small screen, and I’d rather watch the animated version of Justice League and Teen Titans, but it gave me time to sentiment all the sleepless night I had binge-watching the series. I even dedicated an Instagram story over how much I’m overjoyed at hearing that familiar song again.

For this part of the crossover, we are again welcomed by Tyler Hoechlin’s charm at playing Clark Kent and we finally see Elizabeth Tulloch play the titular role of Lois Lane, and she brought with her that eagerness and earnest attitude. So far, the only baddie the protagonists encounter is a robot named A.M.A.Z.O., which is an android that analyzes and copies metahuman’s powers. Quite similar to the Sentinels of Marvel’s X-Men. The episode concluded with one mystery answered and now, our three heroes are headed to Gotham to find more answers to the mystery of why Barry and Oliver switched lives and the people involved in Cisco’s vision. To be honest, when the camera zoomed to focus on the Wayne Enterprises building, I squealed, well, because, it’s Gotham. Our heroes are headed to freakin’ Gotham and it only means one thing, Batwoman’s coming.

The best portion about the second part which took over in Arrow is seeing Ruby Rose in action as Batwoman. Gotham has been portrayed a lot of times on-screen and after recently finished seeing the season 1 finale of DC Universe’s TITANS where it shows Gotham as a complete mess after Batman has gone rogue and of course, FOX’s Gotham where Gotham was explored more and given more depth since the whole series is centered around it and its inhabitants (and they don’t have a screen time to follow like the ones on the big screen), The CW’s vision of Gotham is still a little bit boring and too nice compared to TITANS and Gotham. Where’s the grit? The darkness? The gloomy facade? The unsettling feeling you get? Even Arkham Asylum or the GCPD didn’t give off a Gotham-like aesthetic (or maybe I’m used and biased on FOX’s Gotham?) I really hope to explore more of Gotham in The CW’s Batwoman.

Another highlight of this episode that I enjoyed is the relationship between Kate Kane and Kara Danvers. Ruby Rose and Melissa Benoist’s chemistry on-screen is natural and undeniably cute, I could really see them being partners or doing a team-up in future episodes.

And this is where it all went downhill. The third part was a complete knock off and sorry not sorry, but corny, senseless and absurd. We finally know the real motives of our villains and for me, it’s just shallow. It was like the plot isn’t that polished and well thought of. The whole rewriting stories and destinies using a magical book have already been done on screen, in the form of a magical pen in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. John Wesley Ship’s character as The Flash of Earth-90 was such wasted potential, instead, was just used as a plot device, a warning device for our heroes in Earth-1. Just as adrenaline is pumping seeing our heroes in action with the iconic John Wesley Ship as the Flash, he disappears like dust, and we never get to see him again. Don’t even begin to mention the book, it looks like a prop from high school play and the whole scene where Superman and Deegan opening the book to rewrite or bring back reality was cringey.

In conclusion, The CW’s fifth annual crossover event was a bit off for me, it wasn’t as grand and majestic as the previous team-ups. The central conflict and villains weren’t enough to make the plot stronger, it came off as mediocre. In millennial word, it’s meh. Despite all this weak plot and antagonist, smaller details, parts and highlights such as the Smallville theme song, Batwoman in action and the small moments between Kate and Kara are the things I enjoyed most in this three-part crossover event.

In the end, it didn’t really live up to my expectation, Invasion! is still the best crossover for me followed by Heroes Joins Forces, Crisis on Earth X and Flash vs Arrow.

 

 

Most of The CW’s DC TV shows were on hiatus after the Elseworld episodes. The Flash returns today, January 15th; Arrow onSupergirl on January 20th and Arrow on January 21st. Batwoman is slated to premiere fall of this year.

Aquaman

 

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Director: James Wan

Producer: Peter Safran, Rob Cowan

Screenplay: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 143 mins.

Production Company: Warner Bros Pictures, DC Films, The Safran Company, Crueland Unusual Films, Mad Ghost Productions

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: December 21, 2018 (United States)

Synopsis:  Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

Rating: 4.8/5

 

My Review

“There’s nothing more to say except it’s a splashin’ good film. It’s a spectacle you never want to miss”

I have been waiting for this movie since Justice League came out. I’m a huge DC fan and even I won’t deny that Justice League (2017) was a cinematic mess. The reason why I was so ecstatic for this film is because I was hoping that it would redeem the DCEU (or Worlds of DC) back to its glory of creating solo films, after its team up superhero movie failed to impress audiences—and boy, this film didn’t fail at all, in fact it exceeded my expectations; that I am proud to be a DC fan in this world full of DCEU haters.

Aquaman truly is a solo film because it’s the only DC movie that premiered in 2018, and the rest were all Marvel films (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom). To be honest, I was quite afraid that Aquaman might underperform given its preceding DCEU film, Justice League’s bad performance in the box office, and mainly because the success of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Venom (I know Venom isn’t as critically acclaimed as the first two movies mentioned, but it did bring a massive amount of numbers during its theatrical run) would overshadow the only DC film of 2018. However, Aquaman managed to surpass the depths and rise above the surface as its own unique spectacle, even though the character is dubbed as ‘Wet Thor’ and the plot is compared to Black Panther, where Killmonger is the hero.

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The Princess Switch

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Director: Mike Rohl

Producer: Amy Krell, Brad Krevoy, Linda L. Miller

Screenplay: Robin Bernheim & Megan Metzger

Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nicki Sagar

Genre: Romance

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 1hr and 41 min.

Distributed by: Netflix

Release Date: November 16, 2018

Synopsis: A Chicago baker (V.Hudgens) is competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia. There she bumps into the prince’s fiancee. They look alike and switch for 2 days. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Rating: 3/5

 

My Review

First of all, someone award Netflix as the new home for Christmas movies, because they have dethroned Hallmark in producing cheesy and sappy Christmas themed movies. Of course, the movies produced by Hallmark will remain in hearts, but in today’s time and way of consuming media, I gotta hand it to Netflix.

There is nothing much to say rather than it’s a movie made to entertain audiences (because that’s basically the sole purpose of movies anyway) and to get them into the Christmas spirit (I know, I have). I haven’t seen a lot of negative reviews about this film and the critics seem to love it—and they love it more than Aquaman? Which is absurd in my opinion, given the spectacle and grandeur of the DC Film. Don’t believe me? Head on over to Rotten Tomatoes’ website to compare the critics and audience score of both films, it’s a living proof that critics love hating on DC Films and that audience score is more valuable and authentic anyway.

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Sierra Burgess Is A Loser

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Director: Ian Samuels

Producer: Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Molly Smith, Rachel Smith

Screenplay: Lindsey Beer

Starring: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, RJ Cyler, Noah Centineo, Leah Thompson, Loretta Devine, Alan Ruck

Genre: Romance, Drama

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hr & 45 mins.

Production Company: Black Label Media

Distributed by: Netflix

Release Date: September 7, 2018

Synopsis:  A case of mistaken identity leads to an unexpected romance when a teen joins forces with a popular student to win the heart of her high school crush

Rating: 3.7/5

My Review

Unpopular Opinion: I prefer Sierra Burgess is a Loser than To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (I’ll explain later)

While everyone is under the hype of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (to be honest, I decided to watch the movie a week late and then boom, I’m in love with the movie too), I was also anticipating the release of Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, though it’s kind of weird that the marketing department of Netflix decided to release these two movies, not even a full month apart, maybe to keep feeding people the publicity and fame Noah Centineo is gaining? Whatever reason, I knew I had a feeling that Sierra Burgess will still be shadowed by the success of To All the Boys I’ve Before.

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story

 

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Title: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Author: Ned Vizzini

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: May 1, 2007

Publisher: Miramax

Synopsis: Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself. Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety

Rating: 4.3/5

 

My Review

This book just speaks to me on a deep level. The way how Craig felt during his darkest days speaks to me on so many levels because it’s exactly how I feel too during my own darkest days. I couldn’t describe it but Ned Vizzini did it for me, in the form of Craig Gilner.

Now, I’m not clinically diagnosed as one having depression or anxiety but what I do know is that my mind is as messed up as Craig’s. And yes, I have thought of suicide but that’s just it, a thought. A thought when things start to get shitty in my life. It never went beyond that because the idea of being exhumed in this world would be a much better place than dealing with the nightmares of reality but I admit that I’m shitless scared of doing the real thing, I’m not brave enough to jump off any high place or grip a gun and blow my brains out.

This is one of the few books that perfectly depicts what’s it like to suffer from mental illness. What made this book appeal to me is the cause of Craig’s depression. Academics. Craig’s pressure when it comes to his academic performance is the same pressure I excruciatingly experienced when I was in high school, (especially during my senior year). I kind of traded my sanity for perfect scores on exams, awards and extracurricular activities, and academic ranking. The difference between me and Craig is I didn’t check myself in a psychiatric hospital (although I really wanted to see a therapist) and our parents. I am so jealous of Craig’s parents, they were supportive of him and they understand and consider his condition. My parents didn’t acknowledge such illness and maybe it’s the reason why I kept my mental illness from them (until now, actually). They just think I’m overreacting or my illness is invalid. Sucks, right?

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A Wrinkle in Time

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Director: Ava DuVernay

Producer: Jim Whitaker, Catherine Hand

Screenplay: Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell

Based On: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Levi Miller, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Pena, Deric McCabe

Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 109 minutes

Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures, Whitetaker Entertainment

Distributed by: Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Release Date: March 9, 2018

Synopsis: Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe

Rating: 2.7/5

 

My Review

“Don’t expect too much and too high”

And I guess I did, that’s why I was left with disappointment after watching this anticipated film. As much as possible I try not to anticipate things since it might lead to disappointment afterward, but with films, well it’s so difficult not to.

A Wrinkle in Time has been one of the most anticipated films of 2018. It attracted not just fans of the novel but regular moviegoers and people who are trying to find a sense of feminism or female power in Hollywood films or just plainly enjoying the rise of it since several films nowadays include strong female leads.  What makes Meg Murry a little different is that she’s a kid, she’s a people of color and she’s portrayed as a smart, nerdy kid who is in a dire need of self-confidence because she drowns in her own insecurities.

Now, before I really dive into the review itself, I have neither watched the first movie adaptation for this novel nor read the source material for it, not even a glance or a skim, all I know is that it started with the usual “It was a dark and stormy night”. It’s a common opening or starting phrase to tell a story and it’s a great way to set the atmosphere and mood, and it usually ends up into to two results: either it’s a great story or a mediocre one that has nothing special in it. In the case of Ava DuVernay’s take on A Wrinkle in Time, it’s kind of the latter part.

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Extraordinary Means

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Title: Extraordinary Means

Author: Robyn Schneider

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: May 26, 2015

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, A HarperCollins Imprint

Synopsis: When he’s sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over. But when he meets Sadie and her friends – a group of eccentric troublemakers – he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn’t have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Rating: 4.7/5

 

My Review

“The love child of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in our Stars”

Without a doubt, this novel has hints of John Green’s Looking For Alaska & The Fault in our Stars sprinkled all over the plot, but it has that certain Robyn Schneider signature that distinguishes it from the novels that inspired it.

Okay first of all, what is up with characters who would do anything for academics? An exquisite GPA, joining extracurriculars that would look good in a resume or college application and then there it is, getting into the perfect college. I’ve been catching up on my To-Be-Read List during this year’s summer and seriously, I’ve been reading novels with these kinds of characters three times in a row now, first Craig Gilner from It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Ana from The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak and now, Lane. I think the world is trying to tell me something, maybe it’s: “Hey wake up! You’ve been lying low for two years. Time to bring back your A-game. You’re entering college now. So wake the fuck up and work, work, work”. Yeesh, the last time I went all out for my academics, I almost lost my sanity.

Going back to the real topic of this blogpost, Extraordinary Means is an extraordinary novel (pun intended…is that pun anyway?). It has that perfect mixture of comedy, drama and adventure. Speaking of adventure, Lane only thought of Latham as some kind of vacation from his real life but going through the novel, it wasn’t a vacation; it was one hell of an adventure.

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The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak

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Title: The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak

Author: Brian Katcher

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Fiction

Date Published: June 18, 2015

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, A HaperCollins Publisher Imprint

Synopsis: When Ana Watson’s brother ditches a high school trip to run wild at Washingcon, type-A Ana knows that she must find him or risk her last shot at freedom from her extra-controlling parents. In her desperation, she’s forced to enlist the last person she’d ever want to spend time with—slacker Zak Duquette—to help find her brother before morning comes. But over the course of the night, while being chased by hordes of costumed Vikings and zombies, Ana and Zak begin to open up to each other. Soon, what starts as the most insane nerdfighter manhunt transforms into so much more. . . .

Rating: 4.9/5

 

My Review

“A guy & a girl in a sci-fi convention + 24 hours of adventure = one helluva night.”

Perhaps it’s because this book happened in a course of one night (I’m a sucker for 24 hour adventures), or the fact that it happened in a Sci-Fi Fantasy Convention and it brought nostalgia of going to one (I love going to comic cons), or the inclusion of excessive pop culture references (Pop Culture is life) or the bizarre chain of events that our two protagonists had to go through (It was a wild one) or the idea that Ana & Zak are two ends of a spectrum yet found a connection after a night of escapades and chasing down Ana’s brother in a geek convention.

The first time I read the synopsis at the back of the novel, I knew I would love this book. Bought at last year’s Manila International Book Fair, it took me ten months to finally had the time to read this pop culture-infused novel, (Of course, what do you expect? It’s a book about a geek in his natural habitat, so expect a looooot of fandom references). And I loved and cherished every single one. Before diving into the review itself, I just want to share that…I can’t believe I read this book in just five hours! I couldn’t put the book down and before I knew it was already 3:21 in the morning.

With a hint of The Beginning of Everything and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (which are two of my favorite young adult novels), I knew The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak is a promising novel full of plots and dialogues I’m a sucker for. Basically, it’s now added to the list of my favorite teen fiction novels.

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