The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Sun is shining and it’s one of the warmest days so far this year, so I was not that keen on watching a movie today. Luckily school decided to show me the Boy in the Striped Pajamas and I honestly believe that it almost get’s better every time you see it.

We enter the scene of World War II. Our main character is an 8-year-old boy (Bruno) who’s moved to a house near a concentration camp. One day he discovers a boy his age behind a fence and they become friends. But Bruno does not understand why this boy is behind a fence, nor does he understand the disgusting smell of something that has been burnt in the chimneys nearby. As the story progresses we get to see a dramatic story about how the war could have been perceived through a child’s eyes…

This is one of those must see movies, the acting is great, the plot equally so and the same goes for the setting. I have never been the one for movies about history but this is just the kind of movie that proves that there needs to be these kinds of movies. The beast part about it is the new perspective. I think that it is crucial for everyone to see it in order to broaden their horizons. You will see many layers of the war and it is interesting to see what happens to the family.

It is also a good movie for the ones who want to ask themselves the philosophical questions like: “could this really have happened” and “why did some of the characters know so little about everything even though they are in the upper classes in the society?” The perspective in this movie is really important because you can learn a lot from watching it. This is not the war movie where planes are shooting at each other, this is a movie that pleas to ones emotions and it comes with a desire that the viewer will think a lot about what they actually saw afterwards. For one of the best war movies I have ever seen it will of course get a rating that fits accordingly. 9 / 10

Ash

There has been some book reviews lately but I am planning to see some movies soon and I have made a new recipe. But today you will get a review of the first fairytale retelling I have ever read. I had been curious about the genre for a while but I could not find any book that I liked. I just wanted to read something about fairies so I was surprised that this little LGTB – YA book also turned out to be a fairytale retelling of Cinderella, written by Malinda Lo (published 2009).

Ash (the main character’s) mother and father dies, she is left as a servant serving her stepmother. Ash hates it and want’s to escape and figure out if the fairies from the tales exist or if she will discover something more important during her quest…

This book was nothing like I imagined it to be. The fantasy element was bigger, I had assumed that it would be set in a somewhat modern time, or at least be a bit more realistic and I thought the only fantasy elements would be fairies. I was sorely mistaken. There was not particularly a lack of fairies but it was not at all like I imagined it. I was also surprised that it was told from a third person view and I was happily surprised by the lack of romance.

The story is well written but sometimes I wished that a bit more would happen in the book, because I sometimes felt that the story got a bit dragged out and the book is only about 250 pages so I thought that it would be a bit more adventurous than it was. The plot differed so much from what I had in mind, in the end I suppose I had wanted a different story but the one I got was pretty good to. I would actually recommend the book and if you think I’m negative I am actually not. I am just surprised, the story was pretty special and I will definitely try to get a hold of another book Malinda Lo has written. 7 / 10

I like both covers but I prefer the blue one, it looks more mysterious…

Book Update

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Yesterday there were disturbances with the internet connection in the entire area, so I just hope that doesn’t happen again this week. This meant that I will tell you my awesome story about yesterday’s events today. Recently the library in my town was rebuilt. I was so mad because I could not find a single book I wanted to borrow. I thought it was a disaster so when I returned to the library yesterday I was shocked. They had so many books that it was insane. I could only borrow five but I will return and borrow six more once I have finished these once.

This means that there will be a lot of book reviews coming soon. Therefore I decided to give you a teaser on what is to come.

I will talk about the books starting with the upper row from the left. In brackets you will find the English translation because believe it or not (I almost didn’t) but I found so many books directly that I did not even reach the English section! Click on the title and you will magically appear at the book’s Goodreads page.

Darlah (172 Hours on the Moon) This by a Norwegian author (yes it has an English translation) and it’s about three normal teens winning a competition that takes them to the moon. But are they really alone on the moon? This sounds like an interesting book since there are normal teens so I’m excited.

Resten får du ta reda på själv (Before I fall) You only have one day left to live, or do you? Because when Samantha dies she get’s seven more tries to fix her last day alive. I do realize that I might not like the book because I think that there will be a lot of psychological aspects about what Samantha is thinking and feeling, nevertheless it sounds like an awesome concept.

Rör mig inte (Shatter me) Gosh, sometimes Swedish translations are so weird. It took me a while to figure out what it was called in English since the actual Swedish translation means don’t touch me. Don’t touch me is kind of a good explanation in a way since the main characters touch is deadly… This reminds me of the girl from x-men (Rouge?) either was I think it’s an epic theme so I really have big hopes for this one.

Mitt klimat-katastrofala liv (The Carbon Diaries 2015) In 2015’s London a new system is introduced to save the environment, but the people are really not happy about it. I have always liked books set in the future and this is such an interesting way to change the society. The book also have pictures and fun things in it which I usually do not like but they really fit in this case, pictures of those kind of pages in the book will come with my review, if I can remember taking them, hehe…

Divergent (Divergent) Yep useless translation, I know, but either way here the rant comes. Am I the last man (or woman) standing that still has not read these immensely famous dystopia series? Either way not it’s time and I think it’s interesting that it all comes down to one life choose. I don’t actually want to know much more about the book before I read it, I just hope it blows me away!

Ash (this is already in English) So, I did not actually borrow this book but since some of you might wonder what happen to it I decided to mention it. I am over halfway through it so you can expect a review of the first fairytale retelling I have ever read very soon.

Miss Julie

If you wonder why I have not been around lately it’s because of some headaches and the fact that it’s only three weeks left until summer break! I would have been excited for the summer but school has always had a particular fascination with seeing how many assignments and homework they can give the students and see who breaks down in tears first… So I’m pretty busy at the moment.

This was a little thing from school, namely an old tragedy play written by one of Sweden’s most famous author August Strindberg. If you had seen my reviews of other plays you know I’m not a fan of them. This one was not so bad, but old language, set in the 1800’s and it deals with the class systems from that era. In other words this is the type of writing that I should not be reading since I always end up hating it.

The story’s main character is Miss Julie, who is the daughter of the estate owner who likes to socialize with the servants of the house and other people she shouldn’t mingle with. Jean is the main servant of the house and this story is about Miss Julie and Jean and how their relationship develops…

This was honestly really confusing, I did in fact not understand the ending until I looked up some words and found a summary for the play. Now that I know what the ending is, I actually like it. Another good thing was that there was a lot of drama and we got to see some interesting events. The problem with this play is there is so much drama and change of attitudes between the characters that I get bored.

There is not so much to say about a play that is only about 60 pages, but if you are interested in these types of plays than you might love it, if you don’t it kind of falls flat. 4 / 10

This appear to be an adaption but it was the only sole cover of Miss Julie I could find that is not fused together with the other plays he has written.

 

Chocolate cake with salted peanuts

This type of Chocolate cake is very typical for Sweden; it hardly passes a week without someone I know mentioning how they baked an awesome chocolate cake. Now I don’t really like peanuts but I have to admit that salty peanuts in the mix were splendid idea, but that’s up to you to decide.

Oven temperature: 150˚C Time range: about 35 – 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 deciliter of sugar

100 grams of butter

1 ½ deciliters of wheat flour

4 tablespoons of cocoa

1 – ½ deciliters of salted peanuts

Icing ingredients:

3 ½ deciliters of icing sugar

1 tablespoon of cocoa

1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar

50 grams of butter

½ deciliters of strong coffee

Some coconut flakes, you can use sprinkles or something else if you feel like it.

  1. So this is a pretty simple thing to make. Melt the butter first and then simply throw all the ingredients in and whisk properly. It might seem odd to do so without any steps but it’s needed for the consistency that I will come back to later.
  2. Cut a baking paper into a circle. The circle should be larger than the pan so it protects the edges of the pan. Place the circle in a round pan (with a diameter of about 20 centimeters), the pan you use should have removable edges. The removable edges parts is once again for the consistency because if the pan does not have removable edges the cake will most likely get stuck in the pan.
  3. Pour the dough into the pan and put it into the oven in 150˚C for between 35 – 45 minutes.

How to make the icing:

Simply mix everything together (the coffee should preferably be cold). Put the icing on the cake and top it or with coconut flakes or sprinkles.

This is the one I made.

This is the one I made.

My picture was not so good therefore I found this one instead, it is not the exact same recipe tough but this is the consistency the cake should strive to have. So like you can tell it is not supposed to be super solid, so don’t look too much at the minutes when it’s in the oven but look for it to have the kind of consistency that you find in this picture.

Chinese Cinderella

This is the memoires of Adeline Yen Mah. They were published in 1999 and in the book she returns to her past to tell us the story about how she grew up. In her upbringing she was seen as the black sheep of the family, the unwanted daughter that no one cared about. She tries to exceed in school to make her family like her, but will that ever really work and what happens to a girl that no one cares about, does she even have a future at all?

I have always liked autobiographical books and especially books where everything is not perfect. A downside whit the “based on a true story” books are that they are just based on a true story and are none-fiction books. Why is that an issue? I feel like sometimes excitement is lost and in a real life situation the action does not occur all the time. This made me loose the will to read the book. It felt like there was nothing to look forward to on the next page.

The story is unique and it has some plot twists to keep you going, but the language did not make me immerse myself in the book and the characters were not so good. This is supposed to be a great tale and it’s a very good book for many to read. I liked reading about the culture and the last section of the book the best. Tough in a way I still don’t feel that it’s special enough and in the end I am kind of dissatisfied with the book. 5 / 10

Yes Man

Few can have missed this comedy movie that came out back in 2008. I have seen it quite a few times and I suppose I like it more than most people do.

This movie is all about a negative guy who makes a promise to answer yes to every single question for an entire year. So it’s not surprising that most unexpected things happened and ha huge personality transformation to go with that appears.

The movie might not give me the greatest laugh of all time. This is simply because any movie with Jim Carrey in the tend to go a bit overboard and this is one of them. Sure some moments are hilarious but there are major flaws where everything is just a bit too much. The story however has an originality that I appreciate. Saying yes to everything would cause quite comical situations and I think many wants to know what that is like and therefore the movie has become so popular.

I really do think it is the idea behind the movie that makes it so interesting and the comical situations that arises with it. But most importantly the thought you get afterwards: “Is saying yes to everything something I would want for myself:” It is always fun to see big character development but when the background characters are a bit plain and uninteresting the grade falls a bit.

It is still a fun movie and it is worth watching just for the concept behind it. 8 / 10