OH HELLO, JERVIS. =))
My fears aren’t really deep or whatever. So here they are.
- DOGS - Ever since I was bitten by our neighbor’s dog while riding my bicycle when I was in grade school, I despise every single dog I see. I cringe and go as far away as possible even if it’s just a small and “cute” dog. I mean, imagine my fear and pain when the dog bit my ankle and didn’t let go even after pedaling for another two cycles. I even got my legs scraped against the bicycle chain. -____-
- DESTRUCTION OF ALL MY BOOKS - duh! I couldn’t imagine what I’d do if all my books get ruined due to fire or any other accident/calamity. I am not kidding when I say that I would probably go insane and depressed. I invested a lot in my collection and some of the books I have a really special and hard to find. So, I just couldn’t picture losing them. It’s too scary and painful to even think about it now.
- DEGENERATIVE DISEASES - Now that we’re studying about degenerative disease of the brain, such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, I somehow felt worried about experiencing or having these kinds of conditions. We’ve seen patients and learn about how the illness progresses and honestly, I am too wimpy to face life if the control I have over my body is slowly deteriorating. Coupled with amnesia or dementia, I think I’d rather choose death than having to experience all those things. I was never a fighter after all.
Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief Movie Adaptation
French-Canadian newcomer Sophie Nelisse is making her English-language debut in the adaptation of the best-selling book by Markus Zusak.
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are set to topline Fox 2000’s adaptation of Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel The Book Thief.
French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse, who appeared inMonsieur Lahzar, will make her English-language debut as the title character in the World War II drama being directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).
Ben Schnetzer (Happy Town) and Nico Liersch also are cast in the screen translation of the novel, which spent more than 280 weeks on best-seller charts.
Thief centers on Liesel (Nelisse), a spirited young girl who witnesses the horrors of Nazi Germany while in the care of foster parents (Rush and Watson). The girl arrives with a stolen book and begins collecting other tomes, learning to read while her stepparents harbor a Jewish refugee (Schnetzer) under the stairs.
Rush’s character first takes on the young girl for money but soon comes to love her. Watson’s character is described as being very tough on Liesel, but her kindness occasionally shows through.
The film is looking at a production start this month in Berlin. Karen Rosenfelt and Ken Blancatoare producing.
Rush received a 2011 Oscar nomination for his work in The King’s Speech, and his last major studio film appearance was in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He most recently starred in the European drama The Best Offer, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso).
He is repped by CAA and Shanahan Management.
Watson most recently appeared in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. She next will be seen in the Neil LaBute-written Some Girl(s) with Adam Brody, Kristen Bell and Zoe Kazan.
God. I have mixed emotions on this one. I am excited because I really wanted to see how Death would be portrayed but at the same time, like in all other book-to-movie adaptations, I fear that they won’t be able to capture the entirety of the story.
Oh well, I think the movie plans are final and that it would push through. I just hope that they won’t butcher the book. I would seriously get mad if they ruin the entire magnificence of the story. This book is my most favorite next to the Harry Potter series.
I always come at the day’s end
I am the only one for the job
I don’t yearn much
I just want you
Unending echoes of agonizing screams
As wild flames enclose every piece of you
Charred and seared, you beg for an escape
But your seconds are over, your clock has stopped
Decaying skin of a crumbling soul
In that condition, I reach down to fetch you
And carry you far away
As your flesh and bones remain
For I am Death
And this is how it goes
We meet only once
When your life meets its close.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Please ignore Vera Dietz. Please ignore Vera Dietz! PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ!!!
This was what Vera Dietz screams inside her head, her mantra gone overboard, nowadays. All she wants now is for people to not notice her, to be invisible. She wanted them to look away from her, especially Jenny Flick and her crowd. She wanted to be alone with her thoughts, and wallow the loss of her bestfriend, her love, Charlie Kahn.
Actually, this was not how it was before. Her wish of being ignored was not as desperate. It was not this bad when she hasn’t lost Charlie, twice. Vera was devastated when he died, she was angry. But that was not the time she lost him, no. Vera Dietz lost Charlie Kahn way before his death even occurred, and she could not weigh these two instances and choose which was worse.
If she could only go back in time, when the only people in the world were her and Charlie, then she’d be happy. Vera Dietz and Charlie Kahn had known each ever seen they were in diapers. I guess that was given and inevitable when their houses are just a walk away, separated only by trees. Since childhood, the two have found solace in each other’s company. In their tree house, they spend their time, talking about life, school, the future, and everything else. This was their escape from their chaotic family.
Speaking of family, Vera and Charlie keeps each other s’ family secret. Vera lives with her father ever since her mom left when she was twelve years old. That was not the thing she hides from everyone. It was the fact that her mom used to be a stripper and that she eloped with her doctor, away to Las Vegas. For Vera, this secret leaking out was unfathomable and unimaginable. As for Charlie, he has a more complicated problem than Vera. His parents are forever fighting, arguing every night. His father hits her mom and this abusive behavior was known in the Dietz household. They here everything from the shouts, the hitting sounds, and yet, Vera’s father said that it was better to just ignore everything.
Vera and Charlie’s relationship continued for years and all was well. Vera developed feeling for her best friend which she kept secret for she cannot waste the bond they already had. They were living their different lives in school, Charlie being the popular delinquent he was and Vera the quiet, shy, smart and responsible kid. Despite this, at the end of the day, the two would still spend time together at their tree house or at the Master Oak or they would drive to the Pagoda and fly paper planes.
Things took a full turn when Charlie spends a lot more time in detention, hanging out with the Detentionheads and Potheads and Jenny Flick. Suddenly, there was limited time for him and Vera to even see each other. They don’t mention it, but both of them knew that the relationship they built over time was slowly crumbling down.
And then fate took its toll as lies made their way into the picture. How easy was it to destroy that strong bond with a lie planted by another person? Was it really the end of everything for Vera and Charlie? How could Vera forgive her best friend when just weeks after his betrayal, he just happened to die? Aside from the fact that she was left forever, Vera was also haunted by a secret that could reveal the truth about his death and clear his name. But does she have the heart to give in one more time, help him, even after all the hurtful things he did? Would she do the right thing despite being treated unfairly?
Three words that I think best describes this book: realistic, honest, and relatable. At first, I was wary and unsure of it. I thought that it was just another sappy teen romance story, the typical childhood friend-turn-to-crush-turn-to-love-life kind of thing. But oh, was I wrong.
What made it different from all those cheesy teenage novels is that it tackles issues that are usually hushed up and kept secret. Everything in this book—from broken families, abandonment to physical and verbal abuse, from pedophilia to betrayal, from alcoholism to escaping one’s destiny—is just exploding with truthfulness. And I think that was the main reason why this book touched so many readers. It was capable of harboring deep emotions from readers and showing it straight to our faces. Reading it was really a trip on an emotional rollercoaster. It was like being there, portraying the characters like it was our own life at play.
Another thing I deeply enjoyed about this book is how it toys with one’s idea of destiny and fate. The story revolves around Vera and Charlie’s struggle of prying away from the mistakes their parents made. And ironically, the process just shoved them back and leads them to be the people they never wanted to be. And it does not end there. It also affected their friendship badly. This was what gets to me the most. I can relate so well with Vera as she wade through life after the betrayal, lost and completely helpless. But what I admire so much about her is that she can control her feelings and that she is just so kind. She never stooped down to get revenge or anything. She kept to herself and endured every single misfortune she had.
I now understand why this book won the Michael Printz Honor, and I know that it was well deserved. I give this book a 4.5/5.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Grueling. Dark. Terrifying. Feared. Merciless.Morbid. These are some of the words that are attributed to Death. For most of us, we depict Death as a heartless creature, capturing and gathering the souls of the departed, bringing them to the place we have yet to know. To some others, it exists as life meets its finality, another unknown to be discovered and explored. But in general, human beings alike find Death a negative force that brings nothing but despair and grief. It is not something to be yearned and befriended.
But what if we are presented with a peculiar and interesting side of Death? One which has a heart that understands and pity the human beings he fetch, a mind that ponders on the mysteries of humanity, and a soul which tires from all the gloomy consequences of carrying the burden of every dead being it guides? And that is what I found as I unearth each page of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief.
There have been a lot of stories told, books published, and movies produced based on the people’s experiences and tales during the Second World War, particularly the time of Hitler’s harrowing reign in Germany. Yes, the Holocaust was devastating yet with it come great stories of heroism, courage, and life. And this book takes a little zoom in on Himmel Street, a small town in Munich, Germany, in the midst of war on 1939. As the Nazis are busy on executing Jews all over the country, Death’s workload seems unending. But in one of his trip to collect yet another young soul, he stumbled upon a little girl, Liesel Meminger. Death witnessed Liesel’s first act of book thievery that sparked his lengthy interest on the girl. And this isn’t his only encounter with the girl. In fact, he was able to pick up the book Lieasel wrote which tells the story of her life. And in turn, it was Death’s selfless act that he shared Liesel Meminger’s story with us—a story of struggles, life, friendship, love, courage, and abandonment.
“When Death tells a story, you really have to listen.”
Liesel Meminger is a book thief. During her first acquisition, it was not clear why she pick the book from the snow-covered cemetery. She cannot even read at time. She saw the book lying on the ground, and somehow, had the urge to get it. And so her story continues as she was brought to Himmel Street and given to be cared for by her foster parents. From then on, the story blooms as several characters came to light, that will somehow touch Liesel’s life in one, little or great, way or another.
Here are some names that made their way deep into Liesel’s heart in the duration of Death’s tale: Hans Hubermann, Rosa Hubermann, Rudy Steiner, Ilsa Herman, and of course, Max Vandenburg. The book can be described as a series of hellos and goodbyes, of each relationship formed by Liesel with each of these characters, weaved into one brilliant life-changing story.
To give you a little picture regarding each of these persons, let’s talk about them one by one. Let us start with the first people she met at Himmel Street, Rosa and Hans Hubermann. Imagine a little girl dragged into another unknown place to live with another set of parents. By this time, I think you can understand why Liesel threw her most stubborn character at their faces. But with his kind and patient heart, Hans Hubermann was able to slowly soften Liesel’s unyielding facade and reached the scared little kid hiding inside. And that was the beginning of a very personal and close friendship, perhaps the very reason why Liesel Meminger’s life was saved. The strong bond between Papa Hubermann and Liesel made me yearn for a father’s love so bad. Despite the poverty and tragic misfortunes Liesel experienced, I cannot help but envy her for having the chance to grow up with a father figure embodied by Hans Hubermann. There were times when I had to put the book down just to wipe away tears from my eyes. Tears that made their way, flowing from my eyes, even when the parts I’m reading aren’t actually that emotionally provoking, but just enough to tug on my hearstrings. I think that this is the first book that has touched me like this.
As for Rosa Hubermann, she is the booming and loud counterpart of her husband. At times, you will hate her for being very harsh, but soon, you’ll realize that this grave woman also has a heart of gold beating deep within her. She is a woman capable of great kindness and care even when everything around her seemed dark.
Next in line comes Rudy Steiner, one of the characters that will linger with me even after finishing the book. Rudy had one single wish in life, and that is to kiss Liesel Meminger, to feel her lips, just once, against his own. And that is the reason why his story became, perhaps, the most depressing and saddening in this book. I guess, I’ll leave it to you to know why this is such, savor the pain. Rudy Steiner became Liesel’s best friend after one game of soccer, and from then on became her partner in crime in every single stealing quest they had.
And then there’s the mayor’s wife, Ilsa Herman. She was one of Rosa’s few customers. She was also the witness to one of Liesel’s book thievery. Every day, Liesel would pick up or deliver her laundry at their doorstep with nothing, even a mere smile or sound, from Ilsa Herman. At first, I was intrigued by her character. Surely, there was something about her cold attitude towards the book thief. And then as I read on, I knew that I was right. She was another book lover as well and she gave Liesel the privilege to read inside her library, letting the girl loose around the brilliance of numerous books. This paved the way to an unlikely friendship and was the reason why Liesel even thought of writing a book of her own.
And last but truly not the least, is Max Vandenburg. One thing you should know about him though: Max Vandenburg is a Jew. In any other time, that would not have been a problem, but we are talking about a story during the Holocaust period and we all know that it clearly isn’t a good time to be a Jew. His appearance in the story may have lead to a series of problems for the Hubermann household, but in a way, without him, the Liesel’s story would not be complete. Even when they knew about his status, Hans Hubermann took Max in their home, to be hidden in the basement. This was to repay his debt from Max’s father, who was the very reason why Hans was still alive. Max Vandenburg’s stay at their home resulted into another strong relationship with Liesel as they both learned their similarities. Both was a broken soul, haunted by the past and left alone to survive. Also, they both cling on the magnificent power of words to survive the harsh times. Max Vandenburg is my favorite character of all for he was capable of touching the reader’s hearts with his thoughts and stories.
I guess to sum it all up, Zusak story is really one of a kind for he was able to relay the difficulties of that era as well as the struggles of people in general, especially in coping with grief and loss. Another great thing in this novel was that Death was personified in a very unique way. His perspective was very detailed and inquisitive, not to mention surprising and at times, hilarious. I think that was the reason why this book is a success for it shows us that even Death has a different view of life. His words will make you yearn to know more about the story he is telling. I can even feel like I am at Himmel Street, myself, as he describes each event.
Oh and just a fair reminder for those who plan on reading this book: If you’re one of those people who despise spoilers, I suggest you try and get used to them beforehand, for this book doesn’t hold back on its facts. At any point, you’ll find that the future events are already being thrown right at your very eyes. Trust me when I say that you can never be prepared with what turning one page of this book could bring.
I think this is the best book I have read this year and Liesel’s story will linger on, permanently etched in my mind even in the long run. The book just blew me away. From the very first page, I was hooked. I had so much emotions the entire duration of reading it and all I can say is that the book was perfect. I fell in love almost immediately. This book very well deserves a 5/5.