Reviews · Uncategorized

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay” by J.K. Rowling

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”

I must confess I was slightly worried about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay. Mind you, my reluctance had nothing to do with its quality, but with its purpose. To be honest, it was the announcement of the four movies to follow that had me raising an eyebrow in suspicion. There’s absolutely no doubt that the Harry Potter universe is pretty much a self-selling treasure, but does that mean one should explore every tiny little corner of it? What about the space for imagination? While in general I think no one will ever be able to answer that question, in particular, concerning this one book, it could be seen as a new spark.

“Newt… I don’t think I am dreaming.”
“What gave it away?”
“I ain’t got the brains to make this up.”

I have yet to watch the movie, but I enjoyed every minute of the screenplay. Newt Scamander has officially become one of my favourite characters of this magical universe. He is so incredibly Hufflepuff – loyal, patient, dedicated. I will never be over the way he interacted with the beasts, more his friends than anything else, and also with Jacob Kowalski, never considering him to be any less for being a Muggle/Non-Maj. His spirit made me think of the word chances, endless ones.

“Whatever it is, one thing’s clear – it must be stopped. It’s terrorizing No-Majs, and when No-Majs are afraid, they attack. This could mean exposure. It could mean war.”

J.K. Rowling was yet again able to create characters that are almost impossible not to bond with, and a villain that is relevant beyond words. Also, I believe the bridge brought up to connect the narratives feels consistent, smooth – was I the only one grinning at the mention of Dumbledore? To be honest, I don’t see how she is going to expand this into four other screenplays, but if anyone can do it, it’s certainly her.

P.S. How magnificent was Queenie Goldstein? She is right up there with Newt Scamander. She doesn’t have magic, she is magic. Bless her!

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Reviews · Uncategorized

“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

“For Madeleine L’Engle, every good story and every good life is a search for answers through fiction, fact, and spirit. The poet, the physicist, and the prophet are all searching to understand the dimensions we can’t see, whether gravity, time, or love. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is a great journey through dimensions – a journey of exploration and discovery, curiosity and awe.”

That is how Lisa Sonne describes A Wrinkle in Time. To say that I couldn’t have said it better myself would probably be the understatement of the century (not really, but you know what I mean).

A Wrinkle in Time is… exceptional. I could probably attempt to deconstruct its exceptionality, but I believe there’s no point. You see, this book is about… well, everything. All the elements that are part of it seem to have been weighted to co-exist in a harmony that becomes almost palpable to the reader.

These characters and their peculiar traits seem to be made of hopefulness. They seem to be the equivalent of whatever force takes over us when we decide upon taking a leap of faith even when scared to death. They all have their doubts, their mood swings, their personalities, their ways… they all have their differences, but they are brought together by their need of seeking.

“Stardust is just one way that Madeleine L’Engle mixes fact and fantasy to inspire you to want to know more about science. With knowledge come more questions. With imagination comes more curiosity. With searching comes more truth. That blend is a specialty of L’Engle’s.”

A Wrinkle in Time is a treasure. I honestly didn’t expect it to be this emotional. It’s clever, honest, humorous, heartbreaking, hopeful… It will surprise you; it will make you think, wonder, question… and it will entertain you, no matter how old you are.

“We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things which are not seen are eternal.”

I recommend it to the universe. For sure.

“Thee onnlly wway ttoo ccope with ssometthingg ddeadly sseriouss iss ttoo ttry ttoo treat itt a llittlle lligghtly.”

 

 

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“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

I had to put The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society down twice: once to have lunch and once to sleep (my eyes were giving up on me, making it all blurry). During my first break, while my mother complained that the food was getting cold, I logged in on Amazon and sent a copy of this book to one of my friends. I was not even 100 pages in and I already felt the need to share it immediately. The same happened while reading Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I think these two books will get along just fine on the same shelf.

In one word? I would say… delicious. An irresistible dessert, I would call it, an impeccably balanced recipe. Both sour and sweet, saddening and joyful, heartbreaking and uplifting… just in the right amount. What a delight!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society shares its story by allowing the reader to go through the characters’ correspondence. I find letters to be such personal possessions. Not only do they tell a lot about their writers with what’s in them, they also tell a lot with what’s not (specially when you have access to multiple senders and recipients). It’s fantastic to witness the portraits of these characters coming together. One goes from not knowing any of them to feeling like they are family. I think that at some point I was already composing a letter in my head to send them. How wonderful is that?

There’s a little bit of everything. There’s life – and death. It’s real. And alive.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was an absolute joy to read! A wonder.

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“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

It’s about magic.”

I believe this quote summarizes I’ll Give You the Sun quite perfectly. I can’t leave it at that, though, for I am drowning in magic. I don’t even know what I am feeling right now, but I think it would be safe to go with everything.

Explosion.

It’s indeed the first word that comes to my mind when I think about I’ll Give You the Sun. It’s like Jandy Nelson trapped a little bit of the universe inside this mason jar and once you open the lid to start reading… it just explodes in your hands and there’s so much colour, so much feeling, so much soul…

I’ll Give You the Sun is mostly about love and the fantastic, sometimes heartbreaking, missions it takes us on. It’s about choices, mistakes, second and infinite chances, forgiveness… it’s about loss, guilt, desire, shame and disappointment… it’s about being alive and being so extremely aware of it that it becomes easier to just forget it at times.

Noah and Jude are the two kaleidoscopic characters that tell this story. Together, as twins, they build a narrative that would not make sense without the other. No matter how far apart or how close together, they just had to be. The importance of their relationship is obvious from the very beginning but the writing makes that fact acuter by the word, by the page. There seems to be this urgency… you can almost feel these characters’ heartbeats under your hands.

Shattered glass.

That’s me, on the floor, irradiating the world. Jandy Nelson’s writing broke me, broke me into a thousand and one tiny little pieces, and even though it’s going to be a pain to pick them all back up, I will do it gladly. This book is worth it. I mean, the writing… it’s just beyond stunning. I really don’t know what else to say, it’s a work of art.

If you love words, if you enjoyed Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars and All the Bright Places, you should definitely give I’ll Give You the Sun a chance. I promise you that it will fight for it with all its beauty.

Remake the world.

I might need to start by remaking myself. But by remaking myself I am remaking the world, my world. I guess that was what they were doing all along, even if not aware of it. We need to fall to learn how to get up. And we will do it over and over and over again until we are finally ready to stand.


Português


“É sobre magia.”*1

Penso que esta citação resume perfeitamente Eu Dou-te o Sol. No entanto, não posso ficar por aqui, pois estou a afogar-me em magia. Nem sequer sei bem o que estou a sentir neste momento, mas penso que será seguro arriscar com tudo.

Explosão.

É a primeira palavra que me ocorre quando penso sobre Eu Dou-te o Sol. É como se Jandy Nelson tivesse fechado um pouquinho do universo num frasco de conserva, e assim que abrimos a tampa e começamos a ler… explode simplesmente nas nossas mãos e há tanta cor, tanto sentimento, tanta alma…

Eu Dou-te o Sol é sobretudo sobre o amor e as fantásticas, por vezes de partir o coração, missões em que nos leva. É sobre escolhas, erros, segundas e infinitas oportunidades, perdão… é sobre perda, culpa, desejo, vergonha e desilusão… é sobre estar vivo e estar tão extremamente consciente disso que por vezes se torna mais fácil esquecer.

Noah e Jude são as duas personagens caleidoscópicas que contam esta história. Juntos, como gémeos, constroem uma narrativa que não faria sentido sem o outro. Independentemente do quão afastados ou juntos, eles só tinham de estar. A importância da relação entre os dois é óbvia desde o início, mas a escrita torna-a ainda mais aguda a cada palavra, a cada página. Parece haver uma urgência… quase que podemos sentir os corações das personagens sob as nossas mãos.

Vidro estilhaçado.

Sou eu, no chão, a irradiar o mundo. A escrita de Jandy Nelson partiu-me, partiu-me num milhão de pequenos pedacinhos… é para lá de espantosa. Realmente não sei mais que dizer, é uma obra de arte.

Se adora palavras, se gostou de Eleanor & Park, A Culpa é das Estrelas e Fala-me de um Dia Perfeito, deve definitivamente dar uma oportunidade a Eu Dou-te o Sol. Prometo que o livro irá lutar por ela, com toda a sua beleza.

“Refaz o mundo.”*1

Posso precisar de começar por me refazer a mim mesma. Mas refazendo-me a mim, estou a refazer o mundo. Acredito ser isso o que Noah e Jude estavam a fazer o tempo todo, mesmo sem estarem conscientes disso. Precisamos de cair para aprendermos a levantar-nos. E vamos fazê-lo constantemente, uma e outra vez, e mais uma vez, até estarmos finalmente prontos para nos segurarmos.


Deutsch


Es geht um Magie.“*1

Ich glaube, dass dieses Zitat I’ll Give You The Sun perfekt zusammenfasst. Dabei kann ich es jedoch nicht belassen, da ich förmlich in Magie ertrinke. Ich kann nicht einmal sagen, was genau ich gerade fühle, aber ich denke, es ist sicher, wenn ich sage alles.

Explosion.

Dies ist tatsächlich das erste Wort, das mir einfällt, wenn ich an I’ll Give You The Sun denke. Es ist, als ob Jandy Nelson ein kleines bißchen Universum in einem Einweckglas eingefangen hat und in dem Moment, in dem man den Deckel öffnet und zu lesen beginnt…explodiert es einfach in unseren Köpfen und es sind so viele Farben, so viel Gefühl, so viel Seele…

I’ll Give You the Sun handelt vor allem von Liebe und den fantastischen, manchmal herzzereißenden Missionen, auf die sie uns mitnimmt. Es handelt von Entscheidungen, Fehlern, zweiten und unendlichen Chancen, Vergebung…es handelt von Verlust, Schuld, Sehnsucht, Scham und Enttäuschung…es handelt davon am Leben zu sein und sich dessen dermaßen bewusst zu sein, dass es manchmal leichter wird es einfach zu vergessen.

Noah und Jude sind zwei kaleidoskopische Charaktere, die diese Geschichte erzählen. Zusammen, als Zwillinge, bilden sie eine Erzähleinheit, die ohne den anderen keinen Sinn machen würde. Egal wie weit auseinander oder wie nah beisammen, sie mussten es einfach. Die Bedeutung ihrer Beziehung ist von Anfang an offensichtlich, aber der Schreibstil macht diesen Umstand intensiver, Wort für Wort, Seite für Seite. Es scheint diese Dringlichkeit zu geben…man kann den Herzschlag der Charaktere fast unter seinen Händen spüren.

Zerbrochenes Glas.

Das bin ich, am Boden, die Welt anstrahlend. Jandy Nelsons Art und Weise zu schreiben hat mich zerbrochen, zerbrochen in tausend und eins winzig kleine Teile, und obwohl es wehtun wird, sie alle wieder aufzuheben, werde ich es bereitwillig tun. Dieses Buch ist es wert. Ich meine, der Schreibstil…er ist mehr als umwerfend. Ich weiß wirklich nicht, was ich noch sagen soll, es ist ein Kunstwerk.

Diejenigen, die Worte lieben, diejenigen, die Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars und All the Bright Places gerne gelesen haben, sollten I’ll Give You the Sun definitiv eine Chance geben. Ich verspreche euch, dass es dafür mit all seiner Schönheit kämpfen wird.

Gestalte die Welt neu.“*1

Vielleicht muss ich damit beginnen mich selbst neu zu erfinden. Aber dadurch, dass ich mich selbst neu erfinde, erfinde ich die Welt neu, meine Welt. Ich denke, dass ist es, was sie bereits die ganze Zeit getan haben, obgleich es ihnen nicht bewusst war. Wir müssen fallen, um zu lernen wieder aufzustehen. Und wir werden es wieder und wieder und wieder tun, bis wir endlich bereit dazu sind zu stehen.



*1 Tradução livre/ Freie Übersetzung