[Review] Tentang Kamu – Tere Liye


534 pages
Published: October 2016
Publisher: Putra Bangsa
Genre: Fiction, Mystery


Terima kasih untuk kesempatan mengenalmu, itu adalah salah satu anugerah terbesar hidupku. Cinta memang tidak perlu ditemukan, cintalah yang akan menemukan kita. Terima kasih. Nasihat lama itu benar sekali, aku tidak akan menangis karena sesuatu telah berakhir, tapi aku akan tersenyum karena sesuatu itu pernah terjadi. Masa lalu. Rasa sakit. Masa depan. Mimpi-mimpi. Semua akan berlalu, seperti sungai yang mengalir. Maka biarlah hidupku mengalir seperti sungai kehidupan.


Atas dasar pekerjaan, Zaman Zulkarnaen harus menelusuri hidup seorang kliennya, perempuan pemegang paspor Inggris yang barusan meninggal dan mewariskan harta yang jumlahnya bisa menyaingi kekayaan Ratu Inggris. Tiga negara, lima kota, beribu luka. Hingga akhirnya Zaman mengerti, bahwa ini bukan sekadar perkara mengerti jalan hidup seorang klien, melainkan pengejawantahan prinsip kuat di tengah cobaan yang terus mendera.

Tentang Kamu adalah novel terbaru Tere Liye. Sebuah karya yang tak hanya akan membawa pembacanya menyelami sebuah petualangan yang seru dan sarat emosi, tapi juga memberikan nilai positif sehingga membuat hidup serasa lebih patut disyukuri. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Tere Liye is an author with a great ability in writing a wide range of topics. As illustrations, “Sunset Bersama Rosie” took Bali’s boombing as the background of the story. Next, I read “Hujan”, which told us what our future would be with the rapid development of technology. Then I read this book, which was presented like a biography.

Just like “Hujan,” you may have a wrong impression about this book at first due to its title. It might give you an idea that this is a full romance book, but apparently it’s not. “Tentang Kamu” tells about the life of Sri Ningsih, the woman who lead this story.

In my opinion, the author wrote her history in detail. He told us about Sri Ningsih’s parents and their brief history before she was born as well as her hometown. Then it was followed  by Sri Ningsih’s greatest moments of her life before her death. Amazingly, Tere Liye could relate it to some of real histories in Indonesia, such as PKI attack in September 1965 and Malapetaka January 15. He also put some insight about Jakarta around the previous two-three decades.

Although he wrote such a great story about Sri Ningsih, however, in my view, the conflict wasn’t there. At the beginning of the story, the writer presented her has passed away and left a large amount of her asset without an official heir. She just left a diary for the law firm she hired to find the clue. You might see that she is a person with mystery and here is where the conflict began. In my view, the attorney, whose been assigned to take care of her case as well as the male lead, also face a similar problem to Sri Ningsih’s.

Regarding to Sri Ningsih’s character, this is the first time for me to find such an idiot protagonist in a story. Some people, perhaps, will appraise Sri Ningsih’s traits and personality, but I’m not among those people. I don’t hate Sri, in fact I quite adore her because she was smart, vigilant, brave and innovative. She pissed me because she was too kind, even to her enemy. She let her hurt herself multiple times. If she was a little bit fierce then I might loved her, but still she gave me a point. Although it was just a fictional character, I agree that the writer must put some flaws in her to show us that no one’s perfect. Without those imperfections there would be no interesting  story.. 

Lastly, “Tentang Kamu” was one of the great story written by Tere Liye. For those who love (light) history and mystery, I would recommend you to read this. I also have taken some quotes that are written in this book. You will find that some of them are quite long because they are the part of some letters Sri Ningsih wrote in the story.

Ada banyak hal-hal hebat yang tampil sederhana. Bahkan sejatinya, banyak momen berharga dalam hidup datang dari hal-hal kecil yang luput kita perhatikan, karena kita terlalu sibuk mengurusi sebaliknya.”

“Saat kita sudah melakukan yang terbaik dan tetap gagal, apa lagi yang harus kita lakukan? Berapa kali kita harus mencoba hingga tahu bahwa kita telah tiba pada batas akhirnya? 2x, 5x, 10x, atau berpuluh-puluh kali hingga kita tak dapat menghitungnya lagi? Berapa kali kita harus menerima kenyataan, untuk tahu bahwa kita memang tidak berbakat, sesuatu itu bukan jalan hidup kita, lantas melangkah mundur? Aku sekarang tahu jawabannya. Di sini, di kota yang sibuk mengejar dan dikejar pembangunan, gedung-gedung tinggi tumbuh seperti jamur di musim hujan. Di sini, di kota tempat harapan ribuan pendatang berlabuh, tiap hari terminal, stasiun padat oleh penduduk baru. Lampu-lampu gemerlap, jalan-jalan luas, kawasan hijau yang semakin habis, orang-orang mengejar mimpi. Terima kasih atas pelajaran tentang keteguhan. Aku tahu sekarang, pertanyaan terpentingnya bukan berapa kali kita gagal, melainkan berapa kali kita bangkit lagi, lagi, dan lagi setelah gagal tersebut. Jika kita gagal 1000x, maka pastikan kita bangkit 1001x.”

“… Terima kasih untuk kesempatan mengenalmu, Itu adalah salah satu anugerah terbesar hidupku. Nasihat-nasihat lama itu benar, cinta memang tidak perlu ditemukan, cintalah yang akan menemukan kita. Terima kasih. Aku tidak akan menangis karena sesuatu telah berakhir, tapi aku akan tersenyum karena sesuatu itu pernah terjadi. Karena dicintai begitu dalam oleh orang lain akan memberikan kita kekuatan, sementara mencintai orang lain dengan sungguh-sungguh akan memberi kita keberanian.”

1001 Questions: “How will you spend your old age?” -Lala Bohang

I think this matter is a little bit hard to think about. It will be around 25-30 years from now and I’m not sure whether I could live until the next few decades.

Neverthless, I have seen a statement in Jouska that we should make a plan for our retirement as early as possible, especially preparing the financial related matters. We need to consider it since the beginning of our career due to the inflation, which keeps increasing. If we only think about our short term plan, then it would be too hard to start taking care of our old age although we have been saving money. Thus, instead of fulfuling our desire to have an outstanding lifestyle in our youth, we have been advised to save money for emergency, make a financial plan for our short term goal, retirement, and make some investment.

In my view, if I start preparing my old days right now then I would like to live in a peaceful county. There would be some times when I travel abroad and see what had been changing if I still have the energy. However, i don’t want to do it alone, but with my husband. So, let’s pray that I would get someone that could be my partner in crime as well.

In my old days, I want to be someone who have a strong bond with my children, especially grandchildren because I’ve never experienced such a moment with my grandparents. i don’t want them to see me as just their grandmother (especially with a stiff relationship), but also their friend. I don’t mind them being outspoken. I would love it  instead because they have courage to speak up their mind. I want them to share their stories and problems. Since I thought I would never make my childish character disappear, then I would love to become their ally and make their parents as our opponents.

If I still have a chance to live this life until the next two or three decades, I want to spend my life in a place that serves a beautiful sunset, a place where I could easily access the beach, and somewhere lavender grows. I just want simple days, but meaningful. I just want to see everything I have never seen when I was young. And, I want to spend my little time in a place where I truly belong.

1001 Questions: “What was on your mind when you woke up this morning?” -Lala Bohang

When I woke up this morning I barely remember the thing that stuck in my mind. There are times that I would remember it, but I mostly don’t. It might be a good sign if we discuss about sleeping quality, but if we talk about productivity it would lead people to have a bad impression.

Having something in mind could mean that you are facing some problems, either it’s from work, school, or your relationship with people around you. And, whether you realize it, you are afraid/at least worry about the problems, too.

Let’s say that you have an assignment from your teacher to wirte a story, then you probably think about the idea anytime and anywhere until you get one. Specially, if you have an issue with creative thinking, you might work harder than any of your friends. In addition, due to its tight deadline you even think about the assignment in your sleep because you are afraid you might not make it. From my experience, this kind of fear probably haunt me in my dream, so in the next morning it would be my alarm to get up. As the effect, I would exhausted because I didn’t have a good sleep in the previous night.

Otherwise, having something in mind means that you have plan for your day. So, you know exactly what you are going to do to start and spend your time. As an illustration, you have made a plan to bake a cake. Therefore, when you are wake up this morning you might think that you should go to supermarket and buy the ingredients before you start working.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you woke up with or without something in your mind. It’s neither an obligation nor something we must avoid because it just come naturally. Having a positive mind at the beginning of your day is certainly nice, but if you accidentally get the negative one, then it would be pleasant if you try to control it. You can try to take a little time to relax or meditate. As an alternative, listening to your favorite music might be helpful, too.



1001 Questions: “Who keeps you in check?”-Lala Bohang

To those who are lost, worry not, me too. However, I’ve just ralized that the thing that keeps me from moving forward is the lack of (self) questioning, which the act of look ing into myself and find the burdens. Additionally, sometimes, I’m also afraid to give the real answer. It doesn’t mean that I don’t know what has been implicating me, but I’m scared to admit it. So, I decided to make this project with an aim for self introspection.

At the mean time, I take the questions from “The Book of Questions” written by Lala Bohang, but perhaps there would be some questions that come from myself later.

Siapa yang selalu mengingatkanmu?
Who keeps you in check?

Whether you realize it, genreally, people tend to not pay enough attention of the people who have been stay with them. The ones who support them either in their most generous moments or in their sorrow. If I didn’t get this question, considering their presence might never even cross my mind.

This question has just made me wonder the reason why I never thought about it before. Then I realized, there is a main factor that made me hadn’t been aware how important those people are, it is the sense of habit.

In my view, sometimes we usually remember the support that comes from our acquintances instead of from closest relatives. That is when the sense of habiit/familiarity affects us. When your acquintance helps you, you might take it as a debt that should be paid someday in the future. Meanwhile, when the support comes from your friends or close family member, it would be just it. I don’t have an exact explanation to describe it. It’s like your subconscious see it as an ordinary event because it happens constantly. It doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate their helps. In fact, I think you work mutually and they have your greatest consideration. You’ve just never noticed it since it has become a habit and you are comfortable with them.

On the other hands, this question has certaintly opened my realization that their presence could change, either it is steered by the change of their priority or your relationship. We all know that people come and go in our life although a few of them stay, even forever. If you take a look into your past, you might find there are some people whom had been in your company, but they are gone now. Otherwise, there are some people whom used to be strangers to you, but they affects your life in the present.

So, if you ask me “who keeps me in check?” Besides some of my close friends, I will certaintly answer “my parents.” No matter how far i go, no matter how mad we were when we were arguing, and no matter how presumtuous I might be, they always stay by my side and they always welcome me when I need them. Parents may see your worst character and deal with your worst situation, but they stick with you.

Review of a tiny part of Inspigo: Merawat Bahagia-Adjie Santosoputro

Kadang yang kita anggap penting itu tidak benar-benar penting. Karena pikiran yang ruwet dan gak tenang, maka semuanya terlihat penting. – Adjie S.

Sebelum mendengar pernyataan ini, aku selalu menganggap semua hal yang aku kira akan aku kerjakan itu penting. Contohnya, belajar IELTS itu penting untuk mendaftar program S2 dan beasiswa. Di samping itu aku merasa harus memantau info terkait dengan kedua hal itu. Di luar masalah perkuliahan itu, aku juga merasa harus belajar hand lettering dan berlatih menggambar. Menurutku itu penting karena aku suka kegiatan itu dan siapa tahu bisa dikembangkan, kemudian dijadikan bisnis sampingan. Selain itu, aku harus membaca buku-buku yang sudah tertumpuk tinggi dan belum pernah dibaca sama sekali. See? Terlalu banyak hal penting yang harus dilakukan dalam satu waktu.

Namun, harus kalian tahu aku meninggalkan itu semua setelah memproses informasi yang sudah aku dapat dari sesi “Merawat Bahagia.” Benar juga, semua hal yang sudah aku sebutkan itu ternyata tidak benar-benar penting, paling tidak untuk saat ini. Mereka hanyalah bagian dari keinginan sesaat ku karena aku punya kecenderungan melakukan hal lain dan terkadang bersifat baru untuk mengalihkan rasa jenuh. Maka aku pun mulai merelakan mereka pergi satu per satu.

Ada satu faktor yang seringkali membuat kita memiliki pikiran bahwa kita harus melakukan semua hal yang dianggap penting itu, yaitu perasaan tergesa-gesa. Tanpa disadari kita menjalani hidup ini seperti dikejar-kejar, entah waktu atau pun tuntutan, baik tuntutan yang kalian buat sendiri maupun tuntutan dari orang lain.

Maka dari itu, kita diajak untuk hening sejenak, menyadari apa yang ada di depan kita dan mensyukurinya. Kita diajak untuk mengikhlaskan keinginan-keinginan tersebut dengan cara merasa cukup dengan kondisi saat ini. Sebab, seringkali kita tidak sadar bahwa oleh perasaan tergesa-gesa itu lah kita mengabaikan hal-hal yang sebenarnya lebih penting daripada kepentingan yang kita anggap penting itu.

Terus, bagaimana jika kita masih dibayang-bayang oleh rasa cemas? Misalnya, (dengan jujur saya katakan) saat ini aku tidak bekerja. Kalau mau agak ngenes, nganggur. Awalnya aku merasa insecure dan malu juga sih. Bayangin di saat teman-temanku punya pekerjaan, bahkan beberapa sudah jadi manager entah dari kapan, sudah pada kuliah lagi dan sudah banyak juga yang lulus S2, tapi hidupku masih gini-gini aja. Memang sebelum resmi berhenti bekerja aku merasa merdeka. Akhirnya lepas juga dari perbudakan korporat, tapi seminggu setelah resmi nganggur baru terpikir “mampus gue, kalo ga cari kerja sekarang dapet duit dari mana,” “bakal mikir apa recruiter gue nanti kalo gue kelamaan nganggur,” dst dst.

Pada masa-masa itu, aku menganggap sesuatu yang sudah aku putuskan itu tolol. Namun, ada satu kalimat dari Adjie yang sangat menenangkan dan membuatku lepas dari rasa bersalah itu.

Apa yang negatif beneran negatif? Yang pahit belum tentu pahit, yang manis belum tentu manis.

Di saat itu, ada satu pikiran yang terlintas. Iya juga, baru sekarang aku benar-benar bisa menulis dan menghidupkan blogku lagi. Aku memang tidak punya pekerjaan saat ini, tapi aku punya banyak waktu untuk belajar hal-hal baru yang selama itu tertahan selama bekerja. Aku malah lebih produktif dengan tidak dipekerjakan oleh pihak lain. Dan akhirnya, aku pun sadar bahwa aku lupa salah satu alasan dari keputusan berhenti ini adalah untuk beristirahat. Pada akhirnya, aku nikmati saja waktu ini.

Memang ada kalanya aku masih merasa malu dan cemas karena kondisi saat ini, tapi aku berusaha untuk selalu menepis pikiran negatif itu setiap kali mereka muncul. Apa salahnya tidak punya pekerjaan? Tidak punya pekerjaan (seperti yang menjadi pandangan umum orang banyak) belum tentu tidak bekerja. Ini hanya masalah mindset dan perspektif. Aku selalu mengingatkan diriku untuk tidak perlu malu. Kenapa aku harus malu? Aku hanya manusia dan tidak ada manusia yang sempurna di dunia ini.

Berkaitan dengan hal ini, ternyata ada beberapa orang yang mengalami dan merasakan hal yang serupa saat ini. Berat rasanya, it’s like you are in the lowest point of the world. Mungkin bagi yang paranoid sampai berpikir bahwa orang-orang di sekitar punya pandangan negatif tentang dirinya, padahal tidak. Oleh karena itu, kita diajak untuk mengambil jeda agar siklus suffering itu terputus. Jalani dan hadapi saja apa yang ada di hadapanmu. Tidak usah sibuk menghakimi apakah ini musibah atau berkah. Sebisa mungkin kita lampaui pikiran itu. Percaya, rasanya akan lebih lega. Terima saja.

Di dalam sesi interview ini disebutkan bahwa beberapa orang sukses adalah mereka yang terlatih untuk berpikiran hening. Dalam keheningan itu lah kita terlatih untuk ikhlas dan di dalam keheningan itu terdapat keberanian untuk tidak bekerja keras.

Seperti yang sudah disampaikan sebelumnya bahwa kita saat ini hidup di zaman yang serba cepat dan tergesa-gesa, maka kita diajak untuk memperlambat laju itu dan mendapatkan waktu untuk beristirahat. Kesuksesan memang selalu dipandang sebagai hasil dari kerja keras, tapi di satu sisi kita juga diharapkan mampu pasrah akan apa yang akan terjadi selanjutnya. Sukses yang sehat tidak bisa dicapai dengan hanya bekerja keras karena akan menyiksa diri kita. Harus ada keseimbangan antara kerja keras dan keikhlasan itu, karena ada beberapa hal yang berada di luar kendali kita.

Jadi, untuk teman-teman yang saat ini sedang berjuang mendapatkan masa depan yang kalian inginkan, well, aku rasa semua orang sedang melakukan itu saat ini. Semua orang berusaha untuk mendapatkan apa yang mereka inginkan. JIka memang hal itu lah yang kalian inginkan dan kalian percaya akan mimpi itu, maka lakukanlah hal yang perlu kalian lakukan untuk mendapatkannya tanpa harus menyiksa diri kalian. Kalau pada akhirnya kalian gagal, berarti mimpi itu bukanlah mimpi yang tepat untuk kalian. Aku percaya Tuhan yang tahu apa yang terbaik bagi kita. Oleh karena itu, di balik setiap kegagalan itu pasti ada maksud tertentu yang bisa kalian sadari beberapa lama kemudian.

Setelah mendengar podcast ini, aku pribadi kemudian memutuskan untuk melepaskan semua beban yang selama ini aku pikul. Ku relakan semua mimpiku. I let them go because if they are really meant to be mine, they eventually will come back to me, one day.

Sebagai penutup, aku ingin membagikan kutipan yang menurutku sangat bagus untuk diaplikasikan ke dalam hidup kita,

Yang kita perlukan dalam hidup ini bukan belajar mendapatkan yang kita inginkan, tapi yang perlu kita pelajari dalam hidup ini adalah belajar mengikhlaskan keinginan kita.” -Adjie Santosoputro.


(Sebagian besar isi tulisan ini dibuat berdasarkan apa yang saya tangkap dalam sesi “Baca Bareng Indry: Merawat Bahagia” di Inspigo.)


(Source: Canva)

“Ten years challenge” shouldn’t had been just looking for your physical transformation, but also your personality improvement. While people mostly compare their change of their bodies, faces, or maybe status, I try to look for another perspective that should have been observed. Then I question myself “What had I been improving during the last 10 years?”

On January 2009, I guess I was in the last semester of grade X. At the time, I remember myself as someone sensitive, incapable to control my temprament, quiet person (well, I guess), close minded, and… what else? I don’t really remember it clearly because, hey, it was ten years ago.

Regarding to the main topic, I think I didn’t change that much. I’m still sensitive, but at least I can control my feeling (a little) this time. If you see me as a ten years ago of myself, you wouldn’t meet this calmer Metta. It wasn’t my intention to change and it just happened naturally. I think living in Jogja had helped me a lot to overcome that problem. It was a peacefully living and I meet a lot of people who had bunch of patience. Besides, they were really nice. I can say that their way of living affected me very much and it became a habit for me.

Likewise, I’m still a quiet person. I won’t talk if there is no important matter to talk about. Since this trait is my nature, I don’t think I can change it. However, I’m proud to say that I’m not close minded, which like I was used to, anymore.

Living in various places let me to broaden my perspective. That’s why I love traveling and moving around. When I live in a particular place I would try to live just the way the locals do. I would travel with local transportation or just walk, I would try their traditional meals, have a little conversation with the locals and just enjoy the moment. Living in many places leads me to know many people. During the interaction, I learnt about their personality, culture, and habit. And getting to know a lot of people have improved my tolerance. They let me see something I’ve never seen before.

In the previous post, I told you that I had an unpleasant childhood. It caused me to get a bad impression towards wealth and rich people, up until now if I may be honest. Even so, leaving my hometown had guided me to gradually alter my impression and point of view. It’s true that there were still some persons who had money and haughty, but there were lots of people who showed the opposite.

On the other hand, when I moved to Jogja, I’ve gotten another lesson that “something, sometimes, is not what it seems.” I used to be fed some bad opinion about some kind of people, but I pushed away those opinion after I experience social interaction during my stay in Jogja. I have even been friends with them and since then I always see the good side of a person until s(he) proves me wrong about her/himself.

I think that’s all I’ve learnt during the past 10 years, but, of course, I made it from comparing my life in 2009 and 2019. If the question chose another timeline, perhaps I would have a different answer.

So, in my conclusion, nothing much changed in me. I still have the same characters as the 15 years old Metta had. Neverthless, I did learn some lesson during the period. I learnt to control my emotion and it’s quite successful. In addition, I learnt “Ehipassiko” value, which means “come and see, you’ll know,” and to not think negatively about other people.

Well, since I still own some of my old traits, does it mean that I failed the challenge?

Realistic perspective of “soulmate”

This morning I heard a program in a podcast, which invited Adjie Susantoputro as the speaker. In the podcast, both moderator and the speaker talked about Adjie’s newest book called “Merawat Bahagia.” I generally got a point of this book, which discuss Adjie’s thoughts about happiness. The thing that got my interest was the chapter that talks about love. There was a quote that made me wonder about the one who exactly will be my partner in the future. It is said:

Jodoh itu masih dipahami sebagai orang yang bikin kita bahagia, kita seneng, kita gembira. Malah mungkin sebaliknya.

Soulmate is reflected for someone who makes us happy, but maybe [in reality] it would oppose [the thought].

Jodoh itu salah satu tugas utamanya adalah membikin kita patah hati. Jodoh itu salah satu tugas utamanya adalah mengganjal keinginan kita. Karena hanya seperti itu kita mulai menengok ke dalam diri sendiri. Jadi, orang yang paling kamu cintai adalah orang yang paling akan menyakitimu.

The main role of soulmate is to make your heart broken. The main task is to oppose your dreams, because it’s the only way for you to instrospect. So, the one you love the most is actually the one who hurt you the most.

Soulmate is not someone perfect and is not someone who will always makes you happy. It’s a fairytale dream. S(he) might hurt you, but s(he) also let you become stronger at the same time, and you grow together.

I won’t deny that I hurt some people and, at the same time, they hurt me, too, whether they realized it or didn’t. Although I’ve never been in relationship, I have expereinced the moment that would be similar of having such a special association with some men. I know the feeling of having a strong affection towards someone (I don’t dare to say “love” because it’s such a strong word), I know the feeling of jealousy, and I know how painful it is to let them go.

Once, I was told that I need to taste love in order to get familiar with the pain of your heart broken. And how idiot I would be, which would let me to have a desire to end myself, when my relationship is over. To be honest, I’ve been there and no one knew. If this is kind of the pain the quotes refer, then would my soulmate be the one who hurt me the most in the past? Or would he be someone new who will certainly give me the worst pain?


Nggak Usah Jaim Deh – Valeria Verawati

2019-01-13 15.57.00

312 pages
Published: 2005
Publisher: Pt. Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Genre: Teenlit, fiction
Language: Indonesian


Setiap hari dilalui Rhea dengan wajah manyun.Gimana nggak manyun, coba?
Berangkat dan pulang sekolah bareng Papa. Nilai-nilainya dipantau Papa.
Tingkahnya di sekolah pun diawasi Papa. Soalnya papa Rhea kepala sekolah.
Boro-boro bisa pacaran, cabut ke mal aja nggak bisa?

Makanya, sewaktu Felix ngajak nonton, Rhea bukan main senangnya. First date, bo! Tapi Papa melarang Rhea pacaran sama Felix. Papa malah meminta Nico—teman kakak Rhea—untuk mengajari Rhea. Soalnya nilai-nilai Rhea makin jeblok.
Nico emang pinter sih, dan lumayan keren. Tapi kalo jaimnya selangit, gimana Rhea bisa diajarin sama cowok itu?

My thoughts:

Do you know, this is the very first book I read when I decided to start read a novel back in early 2000s? I had been used to read comics in my childhood, such as Doraemon, Uncle Scrooge (Paman Gober), another Japanese manga, etc. There were some reason why I prefer reading comics than full texted books. Firstly, I loved the images. When I was reading comic I got the the illustration of the plot, characters, backgrounds and another supporting visuals. Secondly, I prefered comics because they were easily understood and, at that moment, I didn’t like reading. So, the images could be a distraction when I felt a little bit tired of reading the texts. I could just see the illustrations then I understand what the author was trying to say.

Then, when I was in junior high school I tried to challenge myself to read a book. At that time, I have a thought that people who read are cool and I want to be one of them. There, I chose this book as a starter. Well, let’s start our discussion.

“Nggak Usah Jaim Deh” (I feel a little bit uncomfortable while I mention this because the tille sounds creepily old and cheesy at the same time to me) tells about Rhea Athena’s life in her first year of high school. The book describes she lived in a happy family, but the matter was her father was very strict it made her life boring. She couldn’t do anything as she wished because her father always watched her. Actually, it was also applied to her older sister. However, since her sister had grown up and was studying in university, her father had let Reva, the sister, take care of herself. Regarding to the conflicts, there were two majors problems here and, due to its genre in teen literature, they were match to send some morale messages to teenagers.

The first was, it let us reflect our attitude towards our parents. As teenagers, we definitely have a desire to explore the world. We want to try the things that trigger our curiosity, we want to know the things we don’t familiar with, and as the ones who are in the stage of in between, we have developed our own mindset. Unfortunately, we still need a guidance. So. we might find that our thoughts totally oppose our parents opinion, but in the end whatever our parents did was for our good.

The second, it let us to be familiar with the love life among teenagers. It was visualized by Rhea’s attraction towards Felix and it was stronger when she started to like Nico. This book showed us the feeling of being in love at the very first time, jealousy, and betrayal. Yeah, sadly, betrayal indeed happened in school even in a real life.

Lastly, I want to tell you the best part of this novel. When you are going to finish, there is a moment when Nico’s father celebrating his birthday. I really love this part because at the time both NIco and Rhea truly showed their affection and it was sweet even for me, who read this again more than 10 years later.

If you ask me whether I would recommend this book, I don’t think I could answer that. I have a personal reason on why I keep adoring this book, but from my perspective of the current teenagers taste, I’m not sure this would match their preference.

Sandra – Agnes Jessica

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382 pages
Publisher: Vania Books
Published: not stated (but firsly published in 2005, according to Goodreads)
Genre: Romance, adult, fiction
Language: Indonesian


Dari Yogyakarta,Sandra datang ke Jakarta untuk menemukan pembunuh Diana Denita,kakaknya. Ia memulai penyelidikannya dengan terjun langsung ke dunia model yang ia geluti kakaknya semasa hidup,untuk itu ia mengikuti sebuah kontes kecantikan yang diadakan perusahaan tempat kakaknya bekerja. Melalui buku harian diana ia mencurigai pembunuh sang kakak adalah darma yang tak lain adalah kekasih kakaknya. Ketika akhirnya ia menemukan pria itu,ternyata pria itu menaruh hati kepadanya.

Haruskah Sandra memanfaatkan situasi itu untuk menyelidiki Darma? Namun mengapa hatinya juga terpaut pada pria yang diyakininya sebagai pembunuh kakaknya itu? Di bawah temaram Jakarta ia menemukan fakta-fakta yang mengantarnya menemukan sang pembunuh. Tapi…mestikah perasaanya sendiri dikorbankan kali ini?

My thoughts:

This is one of the old books I have. I firstly read Sandra when I was in junior high school, perhaps. I don’t remember it clearly. I pick this book because I don’t think people knew about “Sandra” and I want to share a little information about it.

The story is started where Diana, the main character’s sister, was under stress because she found herself pregnant and her boyfriend looked suspicious in avoiding his responsibility. Then, after several moments of their argument, Diana was found dead. This incident initiate a chaos in Sandra’s family. It is said that after hearing a news of Diana’s death, her father got stroke and it took his life. Meanwhile, her mother went crazy because she’s lost two of her beloved and then soon, she’s gone, too, and leaving Sandra alone. Her life began when she left Yogyakarta for Jakarta with a purpose to find Diana’s murderer.  Then in jakarta, she met many people that soon will be (for me) the main characters, too, in this book because they have their own personal history. Furthermore, each stories of the characters is written with the details of their problems and background, as well as their final fate in this book.

As a younger version of myself, “Sandra” was very fascinating. However, an older version of myself have an opposite opinion about this book. Let me start transforming as a 13 or 14 years old girl who read this. When I read “Sandra” for the first time, I instantly fell in love with it. There were some reasons why I like this book. Firstly, I had gotten a fresh story idea, which there were some aspects that had been included by the author, such as crime, conflicts in adults relationship, a perspective of celebrity life, and so on.  As a teeneger who was used to read teenlit novels, “Sandra” brought a new taste of romance literature. Secondly, I knew Agnes Jessica’s another books and they were nice, too. So, perhaps the first good impression also created a good impression on “Sandra” too.

In contrast, an older me thinks that this book is good, but it has too much information. I have mentioned that “Sandra” has a lot of main characters, while generally there will be 1 or 2 main characters in a story. I see that “Sandra” has Sandra herself, Ryan, Darma, Friska, even Sandra’s friends Hanna and Evita. Then, Agnes wrote his/her personal story of each of them. For me, personally, it has to many conflicts, but at the same time I think it also reflects reality where people around us have histories and they live with their own problems. And sometimes we can’t see it. In addition, I think for some scenes, the way Agnes presents this story is quite plain. Maybe it’s due to my experience of reading some books with different writing techniques.

Finally, I would say that “Sandra” woul be good enough for you who want to take a look on literature reference of early 2000. It might not my cup of tea now, but who knows you like it. By the way, I have noticed one inspiring quote from “Sandra”:

“Maka dari itu jangan banyak berpikir. Bukan hanya kau yang takut, semua orang sama. Aku, walau tak pernah diungkapkan, juga punya rasa takut. Tapi bagaimana kita meyikapinya saja.”

National Library of Indonesia


Credit: @hartohu


The first time I visited National LIbrary in Jakarta was around a month ago, when I was attending Bookish Indonesia workshop. When you are entering the first lobby of this library, you will be greeted by the miniature of a ship, called Perahu Aksara. Other than this object, you will be also presented a brief history of anything related to books and literature, such as the history of aksara (character) in Indonesia and its variation, various types of paper, etc. Ultimately, there was a mini museum in this building.

If you go further, you will meet the new building and you will be greeted by a big and tall bookshelf where many classic books stand. To be honest, I was enchanted by its view. it made my jaw dropped. Other that this view, there are many facilities in this building, for illustrations, canteen, community room, discussion spots, audio visual, etc. Overall, the facility in National Library seem very nice like you can find anything you are looking for, but for me personally, it does not meet my expectation. As the biggest library in Indonesia, I thought I would find a large amount of books here with a great number of genres. However, I only found mostly documentary related books. Maybe the other books were in the floors I didn’t visit.

On the other hand, I am not fond of the access that connected each floor of this building. Unless using the emergency stairs, we can only move from one floor to another by lift. I personally don’t like using lift because it makes me dizzy. So, I used emergency stairs to go to another floor. The problem is, I felt like a thief while using it like I was ‘playing’ hide and seek with police officer. I think it would be really nice if they also provide escalator or common stairs just like in the first four floors.

Despite of the weakness of its facilities, I would say that this library is worth to be visited. Perhaps, due to its new opening the facility is still under improvement. If you want to go there, you don’t need to worry about getting lost. The library is just across South gate of Monument Nasional, Jakarta.