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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

520 halaman
Penerbit Spring, 2016
115.000 IDR

"Ada dua jenis rasa bersalah, Jenis yang membebanimu dan jenis yang memberimu tujuan. Biarkan rasa bersalah menjadi bahan bakarmu. Biarkan itu mengingatkanmu tentang jati diri yang kau inginkan. Tarik garis dalam pikiranmu. Jangan pernah menyeberang lagi. Kau punya jiwa. Jiwa itu rusak, tapi tetap ada. Jangan biarkan mereka mengambilnya darimu, Elias."
-Laia, hlm. 436


Laia seorang budak. Elias seorang prajurit. Keduanya bukan orang merdeka.

Saat kakak laki-laki Laia ditahan dengan tuduhan pemberontakan, Laia harus mengambil keputusan. Dia rela menjadi mata-mata Komandan Blackcliff, kepala sekolah militer terbaik di Imperium, demi mendapatkan bantuan untuk membebaskan kakaknya. Di sana, dia bertemu dengan seorang prajurit elit bernama Elias.

Elias membenci militer dan ibunya, Sang Komandan yang brutal. Pemuda ini berencana untuk melarikan diri dari Blackliff, menanggung risiko dicambuk sampai mati jika ketahuan. Dia hanya ingin bebas. 

Elias dan Laia. Keduanya akan segera menyadari bahwa nasib mereka akan saling silang, dan keputusan-keputusan mereka akan menentukan nasib Imperium, dan bangsa mereka.


Laia dan Elias adalah dua individu yang saling bertolak belakang. Laia merupakan keturunan bangsa Scholar yang telah sejak lama dijajah oleh bangsa Martial. Sejak lahir, Laia ditakdirkan untuk hidup dalam ketakutan serta ketidaktahuan. Ia ditakdirkan untuk tunduk terhadap bangsa Martial. Sementara Elias yang merupakan keturunan Martial, ditakdirkan untuk mengabdi kepada kekuasaan Imperium dalam wujud seorang Mask, prajurit pembunuh berdarah dingin. 

Namun, mereka berdua lebih mirip dari yang terlihat. 

Mereka adalah batu-batu Ember yang membara di tengah abu. Mereka berjuang sekuat tenaga demi meraih hal paling penting dalam hidup mereka. Laia, yang berjuang demi keluarga, demi membebaskan kakak yang begitu disayanginya. Dan Elias, yang berjuang demi kebebasan yang tidak pernah dirasakan olehnya semenjak takdir memilihnya untuk menjadi seorang Mask.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] Wrecked by Maria Padian

368 pages
Algonquin Young Readers, 2016

I receive a copy from Netgalley in exchange with an honest review


Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school's investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict. 


Wrecked tells us an important story about rape in the society. The story itself takes place in the college and it centers on a rape scene that happened to a girl named Jenny. What's interesting about 'Wrecked' is how Padian decided to focus more on capturing 'Who's the real victim' situation instead of telling readers about how painful or traumatizing a rape could be. Padian made me question about who speaks the truth for the entire book. Is Jenny the real victim? or is she the 'culprit' instead? Because the case where an innocent man accused as rapist doesn't only happen once or twice. It happens all the time. And Padian takes this into account. She puts the reader into a bystander point of view. Where we see the whole scenario through Jenny's roommate, named Haley, and the suspect's housemate, named Richard. 

Even though Wrecked focuses more on the possibility of false accusation, it doesn't completely disregard about the traumatizing effects of rape to its victim. It portrays the effects pretty well without being too much or too dramatized. The effects are portrayed perfectly.

Aside from being a strong book about rape, it also has some portion for romance. A cute one, even. The romance between Haley and Richard isn't forced. It fits the whole story perfectly and even adds more dimension into it. 

Another thing that I love about Wrecked is how the book doesn't fall into a depressive or dark category. It is light and educative. It's such a unique thing, knowing that most of the books that are dealing with rape are usually pretty depressive. 

By the end of this book, I'm willing to give this 4 glorious stars, simply because of its awesomeness. I'm glad that I pick this book despite of being worry about the number of pages at first. Since I still think that a contemporary YA romance with more than 300 pages is actually kinda... worrying(?) I mean, I don't want to read a lovey-dovey cringy relationship for more than 300 pages. And I could assure you that Wrecked is definitely not one of them! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

384 pages
Simon & Schuster, 2016

I receive a copy from Netgalley in exchange with an honest review

“The darkness lives in everyone. She knew this better than anyone. Everyone had two faces, and she looked deep into us until she found it.”

“If there's a feeling to home, it's this. A place where there are no secrets, where nothing stays buried; not the past and not yourself. Where you can be all the versions of you, see it all reflected back at you as you walk the same stairs, the same halls, the same rooms. Feel the ghost of your mother as you sit at the kitchen table, hear the words of your father circling round and round after dinner, and your brother stopping by, wishing you'd be a little better, a little stronger.... It's four walls echoing back everything you've ever been and everything you've ever done, and it's the people who stay despite it all. Through it all. For it all.” 


Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
All the Missing Girls is a psychological-suspense novel that will not let you stop wonder what's actually happening in the story. It's eerie, suspenseful, and confusing at the same time. But I need to say that I enjoy being confused by this book. It's most likely the intention of the book since we're reading the story backwards. So things happened, and we would see the 'effect' before the 'cause'. Like I said before, it's told backwards, from day 15 to day 1. And believe me, it's genius. 

When I read the blurb for the first time and saw that statement, I was intrigued. How could you surprise the reader in that way? Because we were used to have a story where the climax happen near the end, not in the beginning. And Megan Miranda didn't disappoint me. I couldn't see that. I couldn't see the 'beginning' of the story. I couldn't see all the twists and turns. I'm just totally mindblown by how the story resolve. 

The characters are not totally lovely or charming, they have their own problems. But the problematic characters here feel more normal than all the characters in The Girl on the Train (Sorry, I couldn't hold the urge to compare both of them since the publisher also mention that book in the blurb). And I like that a lot. I feel like I could connect to them more even though they're 'annoyingly' quite problematic. But, I also couldn't say that I'm totally head over heels to the characters here. They are just 'okay'. 

What I enjoy the most is how the 'backward storytelling' give quite huge impact on each revelation. It's different. It just has a different feelings with the 'forward storytelling'. Each revelation send chills down my spine. And I could never guess that the story would lead to 'that ending'. 

All the Missing Girls doesn't need ghosts, psychopaths, or serial killers to create an eerie atmosphere. It just needs a character named 'Corinne' that's apparently dead and 'haunting' the memory of our main character. She's the definition of something bad, scary, manipulative, yet charming. I need to say I'm in love with her the most. She's just quirky, different, and eerie (I don't know how many times I would type eerie in this review).

I'm a bit picky when it comes to thriller. But by the end of the book, I need to say that this book is the best one compared to several thrillers that I've read before. Especially, The Girl on the Train. This book needs to blow up more than The Girl on the Train. Simply because it's better in a lot aspects. 

4.5 stars to All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

I need to cut 0.5 stars because this book is quite boring on several chapters. But I also keep in mind that I've never found a thriller without any boring chapters in it. It's just their custom, I guess?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

[EARLY BOOK REVIEW] The Lunar Chronicles: Cress by Marissa Meyer

576 halaman
Penerbit Spring, 2016
Paperback Edition 
115.000 IDR

"Scarlet ini... kau jatuh cinta kepadanya, ya?"
"Dia Alfa-ku,"
"Seperti bintang?"
"Bintang apa?" 
"Oh. Eh. Dalam konstelasi bintang, bintang paling terang disebut alfa. Kupikir, mungkin maksudmu dia adalah... seperti... bintangmu yang paling terang." 
"Ya. Tepat seperti itu." 
-Cress & Wolf, halaman 460

"Tapi, kupikir kau benar juga. Mungkin tidak ada yang namanya takdir. Mungkin itu hanyalah kesempatan yang diberikan, dan apa yang kita lakukan dengan kesempatan itu. Aku mulai berpikir bahwa mungkin romansa yang epik dan hebat tidak terjadi begitu saja. Kita harus membuatnya sendiri." 
-Cress, halaman 564


Cinder dan Kapten Thorne masih buron. Scarlet dan Wolf bergabung dalam rombongan kecil mereka, berencana untuk menggulingkan Levana dari takhtanya. 

Merek mengharapkan bantuan dari seorang gadis bernama Cress. Gadis itu dipenjara di sebuah satelit sejak kecil, hanya ditemani oleh beberapa netscreen yang menjadikannya peretas andal. Namun kenyataannya, Cress menerima perintah dari Levana untuk melacak Cinder, dan Cress bisa menemukan mereka dengan mudah. 

Sementara itu di Bumi, Levana tidak akan membiarkan siapa pun menganggu pernikahannya, dengan Kaisar Kai. 


Reaksiku ketika membaca lembar pertama Cress: 

Aku sangat sangat teramat sangat menyukai Scarlet. Scarlet benar-benar mengubah pandanganku terhadap seri The Lunar Chronicles. Dan oleh sebab itu, Cress adalah salah satu judul yang paling kutunggu-tunggu kehadirannya. Satu-satunya hal yang kupikirkan ketika mulai membaca Cress adalah bagaimana cara untuk menahan diri agar buku ini tidak selesai kubaca hanya dalam satu hari (serius). Aku membatasi diri dengan hanya membaca beberapa halaman saja setiap harinya. Aku hanya tidak ingin buku ini segera selesai kubaca. Aku sangat mencintai dunia The Lunar Chronicles dan tidak ingin berhenti terhanyut di dalamnya! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

[EARLY BOOK REVIEW] Purple Eyes by Prisca Primasari

144 halaman
Penerbit Inari, 2016
Paperback Edition

"Membenci itu sangat melelahkan, bahkan lebih menguras emosi daripada merasa sedih."
-halaman 117

"Tidak ada salahnya memiliki harapan, baik ketika hidup maupun setelah mati."
-halaman 123

"Umur 22 tahun atau 200 tahun tidak ada bedanya. Kalau kau sudah meraih semua yang kau inginkan, yang tersisa bagimu hanyalah beristirahat dengan tenang. Dan menjalani kehidupan yang lebih baik setelah kematian."
-halaman 124


Karena terkadang, 
tidak merasakan itu lebih baik daripada menanggung rasa sakit yang bertubi-tubi

Ivarr Amundsen kehilangan kemampuannya untuk merasa. Orang yang sangat dia sayangi meninggal dengan cara yang keji, dan dia memilih untuk tidak merasakan apa-apa lagi, menjadi seperti sebongkah patung lilin.

Namun, saat Ivarr bertemu Solveig, perlahan dia bisa merasakan lagi percikan-percikan emosi dalam dirinya. Solveig, gadis yang tiba-tiba masuk dalam kehidupannya. Solveig, gadis yang misterius dan aneh.

Berlatar di Trondheim, Norwegia, kisah ini akan membawamu ke suatu masa yang muram dan bersalju. Namun, cinta akan selalu ada, bahkan di saat-saat tergelap sekalipun. 


Purple Eyes berkisah mengenai Lyre dan Hades. Sesuai nama, Hades adalah seorang dewa kematian sementara Lyre adalah pelayannya. Tugas Hades dan Lyre adalah menyambut orang-orang yang telah meninggal di Bumi dan mengantarkan mereka pada ujian yang akan menentukan nasib mereka. Apakah mereka akan menuju ke alam lain dan benar-benar mati, atau bereinkarnasi dan kembali ke bumi. Semua itu ditentukan oleh seberapa besar keinginan mereka untuk hidup atau mati. 

Tugas semacam itu tentunya membuat Hades merasa bosan. Untungnya, kebosanan itu tidak berlangsung lama. Hades dan Lyre ditugaskan ke Bumi untuk memberantas pembunuh berantai yang berkeliaran di Trondheim, Norwegia. Lyre yang bersemangat menjalankan tugas itu pun menyiapkan segalanya, mulai dari pakaian hingga nama samaran untuknya dan Hades. Ia memilih nama Solveig sebagai nama samarannya, dan memilih nama Halstein sebagai nama samaran Hades. Ia hanya tidak tahu bahwa kasus ini akan menjadi kasus yang berbeda dari sebelum-sebelumnya karena kehadiran sosok Ivarr Amundsen...