Wonder

I Know Nothing about Love

I used to think what is the use, for people out there, studying relationship. Why they learn about human intimacy, love, marriage, even they made a research about it?

Yes. I once thought about it, then forgot it, but now I’ve just gotten the answer after reading a foreword in Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. I know now the reason why people study and researching human relationship is to teach people like me, who don’t understand relationship and know nothing about as well as what I need to do to love.

They study in order to teach people like me to start from a scratch. Funny is, I need a Doctor and therapist to help me.

Wonder

Old wishes

It’s funny when your old wish has just granted now, when you’re actually desired for something else. It is even funnier, when this gift is also the answer of another three old wishfull thinkings at the same time.

Should or shouldn’t I be happy? Is this the right time? Is this a bless?

Or… is it because a little hope I unconsciously put in this bet – on this critical moment , when I was feeling hopeless at the same time?

Book Review

Book Review: Lone Wolf – Jodi Picoult

416 pages
Published: March 2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genre: Young adult fiction.

Synopsis:

A life hanging in the balance…a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family, love, and letting go.

Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason. (Goodreads).

My thoughts:

Motherhood, Biology/Medicine, and Law are three major topics that you will find in Jodi Picoult’s. As long as I read her books, she consistently presents them to her readers. in addition, she always picture a perfect figure of a father in her stories. 

In my view, Picoult writes the topics like she’s the expert. She will show us the detail of an end to end legal process. On the other hands, she will also explain us the medical/scientific terms, which will be the main topic of her story, like she master it. Then they will be perfectly combined into a storyline

This is a story of Zoologist, Luke Warren, who experienced a car crash with her daughter. Cara was badly injured, but it didn’t affect her consciousness, while Luke himself was in a worst condition. He had a brain trauma and his life depend on medical devices. The conflict started when his son who had been gone for years, appeared. Since his parents divorced and her sister was underage, Edward would be responsible of his father life. With some consideration, he decided to let his father go, which is totally opposed Cara’s wish.

Regardless of the family conflict, the author gave me some details about wolves, such as their behaviour, the pack hierarchy, the hunting and defense strategy, how they communicate, etc. These information were found through Luke’s point of view and presented as his journal. I also found some medical information about brain injury. However, the author had almost made me doubt her consistency. I didn’t find any sign of court trial until I reached more than a half of the story. It was when both siblings fought for a legal guardian for their father. This was also the moment when revelation had started.

During my reading session, I have always thought about the reason why Edward left his family and what exactly happened before the car crash. Unfortunately, the answers were out of my anticipation. As long as I read Picoult’s books i have never found this kind of plot. At the moment I finally found the actual reason why Edward left as well as a brief chronology of the accident.

Lastly, Lone Wolf is quite different from Picoult’s other book. While she mostly focused on medical or molecular biology in detail, she showed her knowledge about zoology in this book. As a closing I would like to share some meaningful quotes I found in the story:

“Because hate’s just the flip side of love. Like heads and tails on a dime. If you don’t know what it feels like to love someone, how would you know what hate is? One can’t exist without the other.”

“Doubt is like dye. Once it spreads into the fabric of excuses you’ve woven, you’ll never get rid of the stain.”

“I knew a thing or two about tigers. Like: If you shaved one, its skin would still be stripped. And every tiger had a white mark on the back of each ear, so that it seemed like it was keeping an eye on you even when it was walking away.”

Book Review

Book Review: Looking for Alaska – John Green

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

268 pages
Published: March 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Genre: Young adult fiction

Synopsis:

“In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla, and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes – fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too.”

Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up – and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and pain of living and loving unconditionally.

Nothing will ever be the same.

A vivid, passionate and intensely moving novel from internationally bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Miles Halter, who used to be friendless back in his hometown, Florida. When he started his new school in Alabama, Miles had finally found some friends in Culver Creek. Chip, or used to be famous with “The Colonel,” was wild, tough, and a little bit temperamental. He wasn’t only Miles’ roommate, but also his classmate. Takumi, a Japanese student, who has always been the last person that knew the secrets. However, he was the one who incidentally knew the secret behind those secrets. Lastly, there was Alaska. She was the picture of a young, wild, sexy, as well as a smart girl. Alaska was the star in Culver Creek with her famous pranks and her private library. “The Labyrinth” was the exact credit for Alaska Young. No one could specifically understand Alaska’s thoughts as well as the puzzles she left. That’s why it’s called ‘looking for Alaska.”

Looking for Alaska was incredibly written by John Green. Miles might be the one that led the story, but He was just the storyteller of Alaska. In different circumstances, spirituality was the book’s trait. It discussed Islam, Christian, and Buddhism quite often, especially about mindfulness and self reflection. Someone with philosophical thinking might be suitable to read Looking for Alaska, otherwise it would be dreary. The readers should consider his/her age since Looking for Alaska contains some mature scenes, such as smoking and sex. In general, It deserves 3.5 stars.

Since John Green put some philosophies, these are the most outstanding ones:

“If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.”

“I’m not going to be one of those people who sits around talking about what they are gonna do. I’m just going to do it. imagining the future is kind of nostalgia.”

“We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we’d learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.”

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

Wattpad & Storial review

Wattpad review: Janji Seribu Bulan – Skia Lingga

20200720_110617.jpg

Writer: Skia Lingga
Genre: Fiction, mystery, mashup
Language: Indoensian
Platform: Wattpad

It was a brief moment after Va in Soarta was published, then Skia Lingga created a new story. Janji Seribu Bulan was like a fresh air. When I read the first chapter, I knew Janji Seribu Bulan would be amazing. I sensed this story would have a deep and complicated plot. I really like it.

Janji Seribu Bulan is a currently ongoing story of Skia LIngga. it told me about the mystery that happened in Kalinda, the female main character. The story started from her first life in hundreds years ago. At that period, she was the daughter of a royal  member in Mataram. She suffered from a strange illness in her childhood, so her parents sent her to a monastery. On her twenty first birthday, she was sent back to her family because of her arranged marriage Rajendra, an official of Sriwijaya. 

On her way back home, she was killed by Tara, her colleague she trusted. Then, unexpectedly, instead of dying, she traveled to the future and lived in a girl’s body who had a similar name like her. With her current state, she must find the reason why she traveled to the future and solve many mysteries around her, including the mystery in Gara and other new characters that have just appeared, as well as the mystery in Kalin herself. 

This story was divided into 2 parts. The first part mostly showed Kalinda adapting to her new world. Then, I could see that in the second part the author was developing the resolution for the main mystery of Janji Seribu Bulan. In my view, Janji Seribu Bulan would have a serious and intense  plot. I also sense that Janji Seribu Bulan plot was dark,

I like this story because I adore history and the mashup genre.  On the other hands, the author could manage inputting some humorous scenes in the first few chapters, especially when Ganes was around. I also love the way Skia pictured Kalinda. She was a smart and cautious girl. She was cold and blunt, but amusing at the same time.

To sum up, Janji Seribu Bulan would be suitable for people who like history and dark stories. The author could develop the image of modern and ancient life into a beautiful story plot. Although the story is still ongoing, It deserves 4 out of 5 stars.

Wattpad & Storial review

Wattpad review: Va in Soarta – Skia Lingga

Writer: Skia Lingga
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Language: Indonesian
Platform: Wattpad

There is an author in Wattpad called Skia Lingga. I have been reading her stories since she published “My Empress,” perhaps in 2017 or 2016. The author always amaze me by her extraordinary ideas. Before Skia published the current stories, Va in Soarta was my most favorite (I remember this wasn’t the initial title).

Va in Soarta is a story about a young girl, Laylaa, who accidentally woke an ancient vampire up. It happened when she and her ghost hunter club explored an eerie forest where they incidentally entered an old castle. It was believed that the castle belonged to a vampire kingdom. Layla got into the castle by destiny while her acquaintances got in by mistakes. So, when they were looking for a way out it was when they were hunted by the remaining watchmen of the castle. While some members of the club were killed, Layla was led to the vampire lord and the story began. 

It was the starting point when the author ran the plot. This book will show you the ancient history of the vampire lord, the relationship between Laylaa and her family, her secrets, as well as the bond between her and Ioan, the vampire. The general story was dramatic, but you might also find some funny moments between the main characters as well as the bitter fact.

In spite of the plot, there are some  other reasons why I love Va in Soarta. Firstly, Skia put some dialogue in Hungarian (if I’m not mistaken), which is a very rare language in Indonesian translated literature, or even in international literature. Secondly, the bitter sweet moment between Layla and Ioan showed the strong chemistry between them and I was into it. Lastly, I’m just devoted into fantasy mashup genre. If you are the fan of fantasy book, I think you might like it, too.

In general, the main idea of Va in Soarta was brilliant. The author could manage to answer each of the mysteries of the plot very well, too. However, the author currently revising the story. I’m not sure whether there would be a major plot change and I spotted a broken sequence that perhaps an editing error. I personally gave 4 out of 5 stars to Va in Soarta.

Wattpad & Storial review

Storial Review: Jakartaholic – Dita Soedarjo

20200507_113016

Writer: Dita Soedarjo
Genre: Fiction, metropop
Language: Indonesia
Platform: Storial

Jakartaholic is the first story from Storial I review. Why did I choose this story? The reason is it just caught my attention. In addition, the plot was surprising. 

The first time I saw the story title, i imagined it would be a whole single story and was similar to a common metropop novel. The story that tells the audience about drama, conflicts, and the elites’ lifestyle in Jakarta. You would see the characters and their conflicts, the climax, and the ending. You can take one of the stories from Ika Natassa as an illustration. 

However, Jakartaholic was like the collection of some short stories of public figures with Tina as the bridge among them. Well, it indeed showed me some of my expectation, but also its dark side. You could find some atrocity of the people who has power and money as well as their tragedy. Then, the main character, Tina, was the pool of everyone’s secret. She could easily expose and destroy them with her career as a journalist. She could use the information to help other people who look for justice. 

When I was reading the story, i always wondered what would she do with those secrets? Would she finally expose it silently in order to help the victim? Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, she did something unsatisfying, but it was wise. And in the end, I just realized that (maybe) the writer focused on Tina’s issues instead of those secrets since the beginning. Then, she used them as Tina’s consideration to finally overcome her conflicts.

To sum up, Jakartaholic is an interesting story, especially for metropop readers or the readers who prefer casual reading. it was written to reflects the misery behind the promising life in a big city. Although i didn’t get my prefered ending, this story is worth it. I’ll give 4 out 5 stars to jakartaholic

Book Review

Book Review: The Wedding Girl – Medeleine Wickham

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset

366 pages
Published: December 2010
Publisher: Black Swan
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction

Synopsis:

At eighteen, in that first golden Oxford summer, Milly’s best friends were Rupert and his American lover Allan. When Rupert suggested that she and Allan should get married, just so that Allan could stay in the country, it all seemed just a bit of fun — and to make it seem real she dressed up in cheap wedding finery and posed on the steps of the registry office for photographs.

Ten years later, Milly is a very different person. Engaged to Simon — who is wealthy, serious, and believes her to be perfect – she is facing the biggest and most elaborate wedding imaginable. Her dreadful secret is locked away so securely she has almost persuaded herself that it doesn’t exist — until, with only four days to go, her past catches up with her. (Goodreads)

 

My thought:

This book was actually written by Shopie Kinsella, but she wrote it as Medeleine Wickham. The Wedding Girl might be the third or fourth book of Kinsella I’ve read. Although I’m not a big fan of Kinsella and don’t really recognize her writing style, in my opinion, this book was quite different from her other books. If you found some cute and hilarious moments in her previous books, then you wouldn’t find it in The Wedding Girl. You might sense that the plot was quite serious. The storyline and conflicts were simple, but you won’t find the humour, which Kinsella usually put in her stories.

The Wedding Girl told me the story about Milly, a lucky girl, who was going to marry Simon. He was rich and to be an extra bonus, he was also the son of a famous billionaire. It wasn’t a surprise if their wedding was perfectly planned by her mother in order to show the world their family fortune. It was like a fairy tale, where an ordinary girl met her prince charming and soon they are going to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, on one fine day, when they were doing the pre-wedding photoshoot, all the fantasy was crashed down. Someone knew Milly’s secret and she’s totally forgotten about it. She tried to fix her old issues and to find Allan, the key person of her obstacle. She went back to Oxford to track him. Nevertheless, looking for Allan is not as easy as it seems. He left her long time ago with no number and address. That was also the moment when the secrets her relatives hide had finally revealed. Then what will happen with her future marriage with Simon?

To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy reading The Wedding Girl. It took several months to gather the mood although I finally could manage to finish it. There were some chapter that excited me, but there were also some boring parts. Perhaps I was currently bored with this genre. However, I still appreciate the story because Isabella’s and Rupert’s puzzles were quite interesting. I have only 3 out of 5 stars for The Wedding Girl.

Book Review

Book Review: Tentang Kamu – Tere Liye

32467509

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

Synopsis:

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” showed the life of Sri Ningsih, the woman who lead this story. She was pictured as an ordinary woman at the begining. Then after you read further, you would find how amazing she was. Sri Ningsih was just a girl from a small distric who traveled to jakarta after her family’s gone. She started her job as a common worker then she kept improving her skill and career as a business woman. She also traveled from one place to another, but who know that, apparently, a terror haunting her?

In my opinion, the author wrote Sri Ningsih’s 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, 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 was a person with mystery and it was 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 faced 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. 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 off 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. However, she still 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

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

I think this topic 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.

I saw a statement in Jouska, said that, we should make a plan for our retirement as early as possible, especially preparing the financial plans. We need to consider it since the beginning of our career due to the inflation that keeps increasing. If we only think about our short term plan, then it would be too hard to start taking care of our retirement, 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 plan living in a peaceful county. There would be some occasions 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.