Maisy ❤ May 2016

reading time: 3 min

Here we are again. Monthly media favourites: book, movie, music. As you may have noticed, there were no April favourites last month simply because I was too busy with my on-going internship and my master's thesis that I need to present in exactly 1 week (not the actual thesis, but my outline, methodology and progress so far), so I didn't have any time to read or watch movies. However, my internship is coming to an end now, and last weekend I managed to read a book! Yay!

Read: Der Dieb in der Nacht (The Thief In The Night, Katharina Hartwell)

Now this is just a quick reading tip for those of you who speak/read German, as this book has not been translated into any foreign languages yet. However, Katharina Hartwell's latest novel, "Der Dieb in der Nacht" (The Thief In The Night) is a true gem and well worth an English translation.

I don't want to give away too much, as this novel thrives on its mysteriousness: Ten years after his best friend Felix has been missing with no trace from Berlin, the protagonist Paul runs into a man in Prague and is immediately persuaded that this man is Felix. He moves like Felix, has the same mole in the same place as Felix. However, the foreigner introduces himself as Ira Blixen and claims to have no memories of his past. Can it be a coincidence that Blixen was found unconscious in a river years ago and lost every memory of the first 20 years of his life? After a meeting with Ira Blixen, who seems to know nothing of Felix, Paul returns to Berlin. Then, one day, the doorbell rings and Ira Blixen stands before his door. He is determined to find out what happened to Felix 10 years ago and if he is somehow connected to the case.

Hartwell's thrilling novel is divided into six parts, and with each part we are led deeper into the past friendship of Felix and Paul. After a slow start, the story develops into a game of deception and self-deception, of loss, identity, fear and desire. Blixen becomes the central character, forcing Paul and Felix' sister Louise to confront themselves with the disappearance of Felix. A tightrope walk between the real and the unreal, between fairy tale and the harsh reality of Felix's absence... Dark, possessive, absolutely worth reading. - I'm intrigued to get my hands on Hartwell's debut novel Das Fremde Meer (The Foreign Sea).

Watched: Zootopia (Byron Howard, 2016)

Zootopia (also known as: Zootropolis, or in German: Zoomania) is my favourite animated film this year, definitely. At first I was sceptical. From friends of mine I had heard that the funny scenes were all in the trailer (unfortunately, that is quite a common phenomenon with movies), BUT I'm glad to report that this is not true.

The Plot:
From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder..

The Message:
The reason why I love this film is its message. Of course, the very likeable characters also contribute to that, starting with the bubbly, enthusiastic, optimistic and idealistic Judy Hopps (that reminded me a little bit of myself to be honest, haha), who is able to perfectly transport emotions thanks to her moving bunny ears; Nick Wilde, whose background story was touching but not too much of a cliché (his entire introduction was great! didn't really see that coming at first - the ending was quite predictable, but I mean it's a Disney film, it's allowed to be predictable); the fat, doughnut eating cheetah at the police reception... Last but certainly not least the character of Bellwether the sheep is ingenious. It's the details: the pop star Gazelle (Adele?), the hippie yak and his oasis, the elephant yogini, the "Howl", the Godfather-like shrew, the Breaking Bad-like sheep chemist, oh and of course Flash, the "fastest" three-toed sloth and superstar of the trailer!
Overall, the film unfolds at an engaging pace and comes with a number of surprises and plot twists - and when you think, you've got it all figured out, it takes another turn! Funny, adorable, and thrilling, Zootopia has it all. It's a great film for the whole family (though kids might be a little scared at certain points). And within its entertaining façade, it shows a lot more than the regular buddy cop comedy adventure and has some relevant messages to tell, covering bullying, discrimination, racism, stereotyping and prejudice. And finally, Zootopia tells us to fulfil our dreams and become who we want to become, not who others tell us to be.

Maisy rates: 9/10 

I'm in love with this song! I don't know why, it just brightens my mood immediately. Whenever I have to tidy up or clean out my room, I put this on, and it's an instant motivation to get active!
I hope you're doing well!
Until next time :)


( - -)
((') (')