[MOVIE] Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

Maze-Runner-Death-Cure-poster-5-600x889The final instalment to the Maze Runner series is finally upon us. So I watched it.

I don’t think I can talk about The Death Cure without mentioning any spoilers so read on only if you’ve watched the movie or don’t mind reading some major spoilers.


From The Scorch Trials, we found out that Teresa betrayed them all by calling the WCKD team and informing them of their whereabouts, causing Minho to be captured while Teresa decided to join the WCKD research team once again. The Death Cure opens with Thomas, Newt, Fry and others trying to intercept a WCKD train, transporting children, which they believe Minho is in. They successfully hijack the train but alas, no Minho inside. Bummer.

They believe Minho was taken to one of the last standing cities in the world where the WCKD headquarters is situated. So, of course, they try to break into the city and into the building to try and save their friend. It’s not as easy as it seems because surrounding the city is a big wall much like the one that encapsulated the maze from the first movie. This is where they find the help of a former acquaintance whom they thought already died – Gally. Yep, that annoying kid in the first movie. He has grown up quite a bit into a badass guy and he willingly helps his former friends to break into the walled city.

Fast forward to the implementation of their planned heist, they use Teresa to get into to the building, whom they “kidnapped” by the way using Thomas as bait. They free more children being held by WCKD but still no Minho. After a bit of a chase, they eventually find Minho and they all try to escape the building together. Unfortunately, Newt’s condition worsens. I may have forgotten to mention that Newt was bitten by a Crank while they were on their way to the city. It turns out he was not immune to the virus as opposed to their previous theory that all the kids inside the maze were insusceptible to the infection. MAJOR SPOILER: He doesn’t make it. =(

While all this is happening, Teresa is up at the lab, examining Thomas’ blood sample to check out her theory that his blood could be the cure they were looking for. She noticed that Brenda, who was infected before, is showing no signs of being infected any longer despite only getting a shot of the “vaccine” months before with Thomas’ blood in it. She fully believes that Thomas’ blood is the missing agent to formulate the cure. So through an “intercom” broadcasted to the whole city, she calls Thomas to come to her so they can save Newt and the whole world. By then, Newt was already transforming into a full-blown Crank.

Thomas decides to go to Teresa but in the process, he gets abducted by Janson, the typical bad guy of WCKD, determined to profit off of the “cure” from Thomas’ blood. To keep it short, he doesn’t succeed and is devoured by Cranks. Yay Cranks! Unfortunately, Thomas gets shot at and as hellfire blazes all around (because of civil riot and mass city take-over by a group of rebels), he and Teresa find themselves trapped on the building rooftop with nowhere to go. It couldn’t possibly end there so of course, Vince to the rescue (the leader of the group that took them in back in Scorch Trials). Thomas manages to get on board but to make it more dramatic, Teresa gets left behind on the rooftop as the others watch on as the building collapses with her falling to her death all the while maintaining eye contact with Thomas. I mean, how terrible is that.

You must be waiting for the ending. Will Thomas survive the gunshot wound and the devastation of losing Teresa?

He does.

He wakes up in some island where we see a hopeful scene of people trying to build a community from the ground up. They lost many friends but there’s hope for them, far away from the grasp of WCKD or any other civilization for that matter.


So what about the cure? Nothing.

What about the other people? Doomed.

Basically, they just abandoned everything and sailed far away from wherever that was, settled in a deserted island and decided to build a new community there. It’s an ending that brings hope to a better future but I find that everything they did was such a waste. They could’ve just done that from the very beginning. Abandon the search for the “cure” and just live in isolation. How exactly did they know that the virus would not reach them there? It is airborne, after all (as revealed by Ava).

As a whole, the movie was actually quite enjoyable especially with the well-executed action scenes. The effects were flawless. The setting, very dystopian. The story, too predictable and not satisfying. I miss the fuzzy-feeling you get after a good ending like the ending of “Warm Bodies.” Although, the title of the movie did give a sort of warning that hey, there could be a “death” in the movie, be warned..

All in all, the movie in itself was good and enjoyable. Not a dull moment.

As a conclusion to a series, it leaves much to be desired. I haven’t read the book and I don’t remember why Thomas was sent to the maze in the first place but why wasn’t he “checked” or “examined” if his blood was compatible as a cure? If anyone has an explanation, please do let me know because I am sincerely curious.

NinthMelody rating: 8/10






[MOVIE] The Greatest Showman.

greatest_showman_ver7_xlgBack in December, when I first heard the soundtrack of “The Greatest Showman,” I fell in love with the songs immediately. They were very modern, pop and catchy. Totally my style. So I knew I had to watch it.

One month later, I finally got the chance to watch it in the cinema and it did not disappoint. The songs were even better in the movie than the soundtrack so just imagine how ecstatic I was while watching the movie. Every beat was made even more alive because of background effects associated with the visuals in the movie.

The plot is based on the real life story of P.T. Barnum, who is the world’s “Greatest Showman” apparently. I wasn’t really aware of his existence before this movie. I didn’t even know what a showman was. Pardon my ignorance.

The story was fast-paced and there was never a dull moment. Despite being almost 2 hours long, it didn’t feel like it at all. I actually even wanted more scenes to be shown especially of the “odd characters dubbed freaks by the society.” Another thing I would’ve like to see more of – Zendaya singing. She has an amazing voice and her number with Zac Efron on “Rewrite The Stars” was just insanely good.

All in all, the movie was a truly enjoyable experience. I don’t know if I would’ve preferred to watch the show without knowing the songs. Surely, the impact of the songs would’ve been much greater since it is accompanied by a visual reference but I do not regret listening to the songs first since they were the best thing I have heard in a long while.

My favorite songs are: This Is Me, Rewrite the Stars, The Greatest Show (the whole soundtrack is amazing but these just stand out above the rest. Special Mention to A Million Dreams because Ziv Zaifman’s voice is just too adorable)

NinthMelody rating: 9/10

[BOOK] Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel


Around a month ago, I was contacted by Mira Tudor, the author of “Poets, Artists, Lovers,” to ask if I was willing to read her book and write my thoughts about it. At first, I was surprised since it was an unexpected request. When I was sent the synopsis of the book, I became excited finding out that it would be about Literature, Arts & Music – topics that are generally interesting in my opinion.

As described by Mira Tudor herself, here’s the description of the book:

‘Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel’ is a fast-paced yet poignant character-driven novel riding waves of romanticism, drama, and wit in a manner reminiscent in parts of David Nicholls’s books (One Day)—and set in the exciting world of several vibrant Romanian artists and musicians.

Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her. Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things.

The title truly was on point. The book was full of poets, artists and lovers. In fact, the book was full of such talents that it makes you wonder how all these people found each other and how their lives became entangled. I guess, people with similar interests really do find their way towards each other.

At first, the sheer number of characters caught me off guard and threw me off a bit, causing me to step back a few pages every time I forgot who’s who and who’s in a relationship with whom. Once I got a hold on the basic relationships, I was able to follow the plot easily. The storyline moves between the past and the present as it introduces new characters and intertwining of relationships. Keeping up with the years can be a bit tricky if you don’t take note what year a chapter takes place.

The novel referenced a number of works of art and music pieces that I am sad to say, I am not familiar with. I truly wish I was knowledgeable enough in such areas to truly understand and appreciate the reason why they were mentioned in the first place. I’m sure it would’ve made more sense to me had I known whether the music one couple danced to was an upbeat or a mellow or a sad song. The author clearly had a vast understanding and grasp on these subjects, unfortunately, I don’t. I sincerely wanted to know what the author wanted to convey with the choice of music and art in specific scenes as I wanted to fully grasp the emotion associated with those choices.

I like how the story was actually quite realistic in the sense that things don’t always work out the way we want it to. Life isn’t always peaches and cream; as if your life was a movie. I just wish the novel had focused more on just a few characters with an in depth backstory for each so there’s room for more character development and that the readers can relate more to what they’re going through at any given moment.

Are men normally as patient and understanding as Haralambie and George, though? I was quite surprised or even, skeptical that such men would exist in this world. If they do exist, um, where are they and why have I not met them yet? As for Pamfil, sorry to say, I am not a fan. A guy who seems to attract the eye of every woman he meets and does not shy away from flirting with anyone who shows an interest in him – sounds like bad news to me.

You know what would make the experience complete? If this had been a movie. The novel talks about sculptures, art, music, food and the romantic setting of Romania. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could experience all those visually with the appropriate music playing in the background? It would be a complete sensory orgasm. Gives me chills just thinking about it. Match it with the complicated relationships and dramas, this would make good television. I truly do wish this could make its way to the screen. I think it would translate well. Please make it happen. ;p

If you want to check out the book, it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited or you may purchase it on Amazon.

NinthMelody Rating: 6/10



[BOOK][MOVIE] Veronika Decides To Die.

After reading Paulo Coelho’s “Veronika Decides To Die,” I found out that it was adapted into a film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. The movie was released in either 2009, 2012 or 2015. It’s unclear to me as different sources state different release dates. Anyway, let me talk about the book first.

THE BOOK (Goodreads synopsis)


Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything she could wish for: youth and beauty, pleny of attractive boyfriends, a fulfilling job, and a loving family. Yet something is lacking in her life. Inside her is a void so deep that nothing could possibly ever fill it. So, on the morning of November 11, 1997, Veronika decides to die. She takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up.

Naturally Veronika is stunned when she does wake up at Villete, a local mental hospital, where the staff informs her that she has, in fact, partially succeeded in achieving her goal. While the overdose didn’t kill Veronika immediately, the medication has damaged her heart so severely that she has only days to live.

The story follows Veronika through the intense week of self-discovery that ensues. To her surprise, Veronika finds herself drawn to the confinement of Villete and its patients, who, each in his or her individual way, reflect the heart of human experience. In the heightened state of life’s final moments, Veronika discovers things she has never really allowed herself to feel before: hatred, fear, curiosity, love, and sexual awakening. She finds that every second of her existence is a choice between living and dying, and at the eleventh hour emerges more open to life than ever before.

In Veronika Decides to Die, Paulo Coelho takes the reader on a distinctly modern quest to find meaning in a culture overshadowed by angst, soulless routine, and pervasive conformity. Based on events in Coelho’s own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Poignant and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

Being a book based on Paulo Coelho’s own experiences with being admitted to a mental facility, the readers are catered with various characters whose lives and circumstances vary yet they find themselves in one place – Villete, a mental facility in Slovenia. The book is able to establish that people experiencing different kinds of issues psychologically/mentally are not necessarily “crazy,” it’s just that they have a different perception of what the world deems is the norm.

Having read the book opened my mind to the possibility of us believing something because that is “normal” when in reality, we might be mistaken. Just because the majority of the population regards one thing as normal, it does not mean it’s true. We, as people, tend to conform to the status quo that sometimes we neglect to think critically for ourselves in fear of being ostracized for having a different opinion. I understand completely why Veronika felt free and liberated to show her true feelings inside Villete, no matter how insane or irrational it may be. Inside Villete, no one would judge you for doing something out of the ordinary. Inside, nothing is ordinary.

The main take away from the book is to find one’s purpose and to appreciate the miracle, that is life, everyday. It’s such a waste to throw your life away, no matter how difficult and pointless it may all seem.

NinthMelody rating: 8/10



I wasn’t even expecting for the book to have a film version so imagine my surprise to find out that it stars Sarah Michelle Gellar. The movie steps away from the Slovenian setting and the original background story of Veronika but other than that, the events appear to be pretty similar.

What I didn’t like about the movie is how the internal monologues of the characters (in the book) didn’t translate well on film. The other characters in the book had a solid background story which makes readers empathize with them more rather than just random people inside a mental hospital like how they seemed in the movie. Just because it was mentioned in passing that this character’s occupation was this before she  was admitted to Villete, it doesn’t mean that we already get her life story. There’s more to it than that. Okay, maybe because they wanted to focus the story on Veronika. However, even Veronika’s life didn’t seem very concrete to me. Alright, she was an Accounts Executive, she was a frustrated piano prodigy, then what? If one watched the movie without reading the book, it would have felt very superficial.

The point of the book in creating awareness about different mental issues and dispelling the taboo surrounding it, is lost in the movie. It simply became a love story when it is more than just that. As a standalone movie, it’s not worth much but as a companion to the book, it may hold more value. At least you can put a face on the characters in your head.

NinthMelody rating: 6/10

[BOOK] The Last Anniversary.


Another Liane Moriarty book, “The Last Anniversary” is one of her older ones (her second book). I can’t even say I’m surprised that I like this one. Her love of mysteries, suspenseful reveals and (at-first) confusing array of interesting characters make this a typical Liane Moriarty work. I’ve always had a difficult time remembering the characters at the beginning but slowly, sure enough you get used to their presence and their existence eventually solidify after every page.

Here’s the synopsis from LianeMoriarty.com.au:

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one who got away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was going to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since.

Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island—home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery. Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family, where it seems everyone has a secret.

Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions. As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around—and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

Ugh, I love revelations of secrets, plot twists and all those mysteries so this was truly an enjoyable read. I can’t even talk about anything in fear of spoiling the whole thing. The best part about enjoying this book is watching things unfold before you so even a small hint might ruin the entire experience. I suggest just reading it and just try to endure the first few chapters because it could get a bit overwhelming at first but I promise, things get better.

The book is narrated from a third person POV but the language, the style, the voice all change depending on which character is being focused on at any given time. It’s refreshing how these changes make the characters more realistic and that the narration becomes more alive and exudes personality rather than just a generic description of the character’s emotions and thoughts. 

The book touches on a number of topics including post-partum depression, being a single woman in her 40s, homosexuality, body insecurities and more. The characters feel like real people (as always in Liane Moriarty’s books) that I feel like travelling to Scribbly Gum Island, hoping they’d adopt me so I can have their freshly-baked cake everyday. Unfortunately, the island does not exist in real life. Bummer. According to Moriarty though, she was inspired to create this fictional island after visiting the Dangar Island. So I guess that’s the closest we can get to visiting Scrubbly Gum Island.

“The next best thing is to take a ferry from Brooklyn and visit Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney.”

“I was visiting Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River and I thought: What a wonderful setting for a novel…” – Liane Moriarty


NinthMelody rating: 8.5/10

[MOVIE] Back To The Future.

I know I’m late to the party but I just watched Back to the Future (1-3) for the first time. I’ve always known of its existence especially since it’s basically a classic and it’s been used as a reference in a number of movies. Also, since it was a major influence in a Busted song called “Year 3000.” If you haven’t heard of it, you’re missing out. It was also remade by the Jonas Brothers but meh.

Also, the band, McFly, got their name from Marty McFly…

Anyway, this post is not about that. It’s about the movie.

It was released in 1985, way before I was born but it’s amazing to think that it has withstood time, has become a classic and a widely referenced pop culture icon. It must’ve been such a mind-blowing concept in ’85 (or so I think) considering the futuristic concepts and devices shown in the movie. Actually, even now in 2017, a lot of the gadgets and devices are still mere concepts (hoverboards & TIME MACHINE, or is it?). Being a Doctor Who fan, I can’t shake off the feeling that it’s very much like Doctor Who – Doc Brown as the Doctor (duh!) and Marty McFly as the companion.

I can’t pick a favorite among the 3 parts as they’re basically one big movie cut into parts. If I were to pick one I would watch again, I would watch the second one simply because I feel like I didn’t pay much attention the first time I watched it. I was distracted, basically. Maybe only then will I be able to really pick among the 3 for a favorite.

What irks me in time-travel shows is the fact that they seem to forget what a time machine does. It travels through TIME. If you miss something the first time, go back in time so that you don’t miss it. I mean, on Back to the Future II, when Marty and Doc see that the police found Jennifer’s unconscious body and they decide to take her to her “home” (her future self’s home), instead of attempting to beat them to it, Marty and Doc could’ve just gone back in time to prevent it from happening. RIGHT? Or am I missing something? The excuse saying that “the story would’ve been much shorter had it not happened” is just that. An excuse. It’s a plot hole. It’s not exclusive to Back to the Future. In fact, most time travel shows are guilty of this. Use the time machine as a freaking time machine, please.

Anyway, the movies were fun to watch and were actually pretty effective in making scenes suspenseful. That was impressive. There are movies that fail miserably at this where some scenes are meant to be full of suspense. You expect it. You know you’re supposed to feel it. But you don’t. In Back to the Future, you expect it, you know it’s stupid to feel nervous because it’s just a movie and let’s face it, you know what’s gonna happen, and yet you still feel nervous. Now, that’s a good movie.

All in all, Back to the Future will always remain a classic and I can’t believe it took me this long to watch it. Thank you, Netflix for giving me the chance to watch this movie. Seriously, I wouldn’t have even thought of watching it had it not been suggested to me.

NinthMelody rating: 8.5/10

[BOOK] I Am The Messenger.

I Am The Messenger - coverI must admit. It took me longer than expected to finish this one. Not because it was boring but because the first time I tried to read it, it didn’t really grab my consciousness as much as “The Book Thief” did which was written by the same author, Markus Zusak.

Also, the cover. I’m not a fan. Let’s be real. We all look at the cover. We’re judgmental like that.

Anyway, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

According to my Goodreads profile, I started reading this book on August 15, 2016. Yes, that’s right. 2016! I didn’t even realize that I started it almost exactly a year ago. I guess it has that “August” feel to it. Anyway, I had to start reading it from the very beginning the second time around since I already forgot the details.

As what was written in the synopsis, it circles around a cabdriver named Ed Kennedy who helps stop a bank robbery and becomes an instant celebrity for a short while since his name and photos are all over the front pages for the next few days. He then receives an Ace of Diamonds in the mail with 3 addresses written on it. It’s mysterious since the sender is unknown and even more so, the purpose. Imagine getting the same type of card in the mail. What would you do? Would you check out the addresses or just brush it off and throw the card away?

Ed Kennedy decides to check out the addresses just to figure out what he’s supposed to do with them or at least find out who sent the card in the first place. In the first house he visits, he sees a family whose head of the household is a big drunkard who forces himself on his wife every night as their daughter listens in at the front porch, crying. It’s a heavy picture especially for an ordinary stranger like Ed Kennedy. Seeing a scene like that, there are only two options: Help or Ignore. After visiting the first house, Ed realizes that the addresses on the cards are missions for him to solve. Why him? And who is behind all this? Those are the questions that will play through your mind throughout the book.

Expect the unexpected for the ending. Did not see that one coming, to be honest. If you know me, I like me some twists in my books. *thumbs up*

So if you’re wondering whether to read this book or not, I suggest just go pick it up and start reading. It’s nothing like The Book Thief so don’t even compare it. But if you’re interested to know how they differ, I Am The Messenger is more easy-going and straightforward. Ed Kennedy is the main character and he’s also the narrator – first person POV. Simple. The plot is also light and it actually evokes a warm, fuzzy feeling especially once the problems are resolved. Not only that, it also hopes to inspire readers to dream, to do something and to BE.

NinthMelody rating: 8/10