Sunday, March 27, 2016

Allegiant (Movie) Review

After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

Credit to

Gooooooood day, you worldly humans! It's that time again . . . group review time! Yay! Yay! We're getting the band back together again! Yay!
Overall Review (because we're too lazy to do the review in sections):
Kalee: I think Allegiant was better than Insurgent, but not as good as Divergent. (Slight spoiler but) Although the plot was confusing, I liked the part when the Pures went out to the Fringe to steal the children. I found the scene to be pretty powerful yet intriguing. What did you think?
JC: I thought (some of) the action scenes were better in this movie than the others--Four is amazingamazingamazing--but the storyline was kind of . . . super weird. The technology was really . . . super weird. It was just super weird. And, yes, I do agree that Divergent was the best movie of the series. 
Kalee: It was hard to keep up with the plot of the movie, because people kept on betraying other people. I can't sum up the movie in my head without becoming really confused. It didn't really feel like there was a lot of direction in the movie.
JC: Everything was happening really quickly, too. Tris and Four are supposed to have this big fight because of a difference in opinion over this thing (sorry, I'm trying not to spoil) but it seems like it took all of two seconds for them to form said opinions over said thing. And it also seems like as soon as any conflict was brought up, it was solved almost immediately.
Kalee: I liked that they did fight though, because it added tension and drama. I also liked Peter. He was funny, but he only cared for himself which kind of made him more funny. The movie did a good job of fleshing out the world of the Pures and the society seemed interesting.
JC: But I don't like it when they fight :(
Kalee: It added more development to their relationship.
JC: Sad Four and Tris a happy me does not make. But anyway--moving on, I thought that the characters kind of lost some of their seriousness and overall unhappiness in this movie. They seemed a lot less depressed, which is good, but it felt like an entirely different series. But that might've just been me.
Kalee: Tris was unproductive during the middle of the movie. She didn't do much to get plot moving until the end.
JC: I will say that there were some surprising moments. You can ask that lady that we were in the movie theater with. She gasped really, really loudly towards the end, so it must've been quite upsetting.
Kalee: There were a lot of "twists" that made it hard for my brain to comprehend. JC is talking about Christina so I thought I might mention her. She didn't do anything really BIG. She was just THERE.
JC: True, true. But she's still cool because she was cool in the books. Who cares about the movies, amiright? *goes for a high five*
Kalee: *emoji high five*
JC: I'm done here *drops mic*--all yours, Kalee.
Kalee: I can't really tell where the next movie is going, but I hope the ending stays true to the book. *lifts eye brows* This is completely unrelated, but I wanted to mention something about popcorn at the movies. A small bag of popcorn costed $6.50, but a kid's combo, which included (a lot of) popcorn, a small drink and a snack of your choice, only costed $6.00. The pricing seemed odd, but kid's combos are coolio.
JC: (she's just mad because she wanted the small popcorn) Alright, folks, that's it! My rating: 7.5 out of 10 (being generous here).
Kalee: I would give it 8 out of 10. It wasn't that bad.
JC: 'Kay, bye, thanks for reading! Farewell, my (our) friends!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton


Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

To start off, I would like to thank JC for all of her blogging, while I was being lazy in the corner. Now onto the review!

I read this book on recommendation from a post-it note at the library. There was this wall filled with post it notes and book reviews. This is not the kind of book I would usually read, but maybe JC would. I read a couple of reviews and decided to pick up Royally Lost thinking it was going to be a cutesy novel where a prince falls in love with commoner girl. And that's what I got.

Royally Lost ended up being very predictable with characters that seemed just a little too perfect. A lot of the book was comprised of complaining about parents and insulting history. But this book wasn't bad and was an enjoyable, light read. Here's what bugged me throughout the book:

Perfect love interest
Nikolai was very very perfect. He just didn't have a perfect life. Although he was nice and charming, he didn't really do a lot wrong other than the running away from home thing.
 * spoiler warning *
However, Nikolai's parents eventually change their ways because they were wrong not Nikolai. There wasn't a lot of depth in the characters.

I don't like insta-love because it's usually a relationship first established because of a physical attraction rather than personality. Even though people do actually fall in love at first sight, it doesn't make for much of a compelling story. It's usually engaging to read about a couple of people who have problems and maybe don't connect at first. Perfect couples are nice, but not fun to read about.

Becca insulting history
The author clearly did research about European history, which I appreciate and respect. But Becca though. She had no respect towards history and just complained about how old everything was. It just made her seem rather ignorant and disrespectful. I was really hoping she would develop a little bit and learn to respect those who helped establish the foundations for the country she was in.

I was going to write something about how I liked the way the author researched about Mondovia, but it's not a real place.

Cliche stepmom situation
Father marries other woman, children mad because stepmom is not not real mom. I'm fine with reading about this trope if it's changed a little, unfortunately it was very predictable.

Becca's hostile treatment of Vicky made me not really like her character. All Vicky wanted to do was bring their family closer together, but Becca seemed unwilling to give Vicky a chance. (Admittedly, Becca's attitude was understandable, but still)

*spoiler warning*

 The ending was very picture perfect, and there was no moral to the story.
 Run away and lie to your parents, because you'll end up with the love of your life and your parents will change tradition for you and everything will be happy.
 I like picture perfect endings when the characters really deserve it, but most events in this book seemed too convenient and their problem were rich people problems.

 Overall, I would give the book 6 out of 10 stars. If you're looking for a cutesy romance that you may be able to read in one sitting.

Thank you for reading,

Friday, March 11, 2016

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

^ That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. It’s hands-down the most amazingestestestest book I’ve ever read in my entire life (sorry, Hate List, but it’s true). It was just . . . funny, and sad (occasionally COMPLETELY DEVASTATING) , and sweet, and JUSTSUPERSUPERSUPERAMAZING all at the same time. I don’t even know what else to say about it.
Where do I start?
The premise was really interesting. Schizophrenia is a condition that I’ve heard of, but I haven’t really gone out of my way to learn about it. The story’s about a girl who joins the “normal” world after years of experiencing things that are anything but normal--only to find that the life of an ordinary teenager isn’t always so ordinary. Some of the things that occur in this book are hard to believe, but I’m pretty sure that’s kind of the point. I had a hard time distinguishing what was real and what only existed in Alex’s head--I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone who’s more than just a spectator to it.
Zappia’s writing brings a humorous side to a somewhat dark topic. Her characters are complex and lovable (okay, not always, but even the less appealing characters had their reasons). The main character’s voice was both dark and light, both serious and hilarious, and totally and completely real. Mostly hilarious.

While Tucker stepped out back for his break, I commandeered his condiment armies. Gus’s cigarette smoke wafted toward the ceiling, pulled into the vent. The oscillating fan on the wall made the papers on the employee bulletin board flutter.
Halfway through my recreation of the Battle of the Bulge, I shook Finnegan’s Magic 8 Ball to find out if the German saltshaker would be successful in his offense.
Ask again later.
Useless thing. If the Allies had taken that advice, the Axis would have won the war.

I’m feeling like I really want to spoil something, but alas, I will abstain. I’m not even going to put a spoiler alert and then spoil it because if you’re like me, you may or may not ignore the spoiler alert and just read on (but that’s just me).
Anyway, I don’t know what else to say about this book. I guess I can say that . . . I loved it? I want to kiss it and hug it and marry it? Also the cover is super cool?
Yep, that should be about it. If you like books of any kind, or even if you don’t like books--READ THIS BOOK. The parameters for my recommendation: you have to be a living, breathing human (preferably with a heart, just so that this book can rip it out, stomp on it a few times, then put it back in and have a nice, long snuggle with it).
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Okay, that’s it, folks. Thanks for reading!
Till next time,
JC <3