[Teaser Tuesdays]: July 29

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

click the picture to visit the original source
Here is my teaser:

"Tessa, who had moved to stand beside Will at the table, gazed down at the paper. It was covered with a rough blueprint drawing of a human skeleton made up of pistons, cogs, and plates of hammered metal."

~p. 238, "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare.

[Musing Mondays]: July 28

musing mondaysMusing Mondays is a weekly meme originally hosted by Should Be Reading, where one is asked to muse about one of the following each week:
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

7171637Fourth question's answer!
I'm currently reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, just passed the third chapter. Everything works fine this far, except for the part that I'm still wondering what really makes Tessa Gray suddenly changed into a Downworlder, there's still not enough explanation for me. Perhaps it will gradually be revealed. I'm especially fascinated and totally attracted to William Herondale. The author successfully draws his feature in my mind ©_©
I was just curious since visiting some book bloggers' site and knowing that they read Clare's The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series - one of my best friends also read this book. Hope it will work for me too.

Below is the blurb from Goodreads:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them....

[Book Review]: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Image Source: Goodreads
Book Title: The Silkworm
Author: Robert Galbraith
Publisher: Sphere Books (Little, Brown & Company)
Source: Purchased
Genre: Crime Fiction
Year: 2014
Page Count: 455
ISBN: 9780316206877
Warning: Contains explicit murder scenes and some vulgarity.
My rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...

Cormoran Strike has gained fame after solving Lula Landry's murder and thus brings various clients on steady streams. Someday a woman named Leonora Quine, turns to Strike's help for finding her husband, Owen Quine, who has been missing for two weeks. While others believe that it is Owen's other trick for seeking attention like he did before, Strike has another perception furthermore after hearing that Owen has just finished a manuscript containing very ugly methapors of people in his life, a book to be called Bombyx Mori.

Strike is not surprised when he found a dead Quine, but what is more than that that is the novelist's inhumanly murder which imitates the final fate of Bombyx, the main character of his book. Just like when Strike dealt with Landry's case, his assistant, Robin Ellacott, helps him collecting leads and proofs, even though later their rapport is kind of strained because of Matthew, Robin's fiance.

By thinking that everything's written in Bombyx Mori is the main lead for the murder, both Strike and Robin are racing with time to solve the case, even more when the police suddenly throws the blame to Leonora Quine, whom Strike convinces to be innocent.

As a huge fan of Ms. Rowling, I would never in the world, miss any books of her, especially when I have been fascinated by Cormoran Strike on the first book. In this second installment, there are some additions and changes I can spot.

I like the quotes and excerpts the author puts on every chapter title, which mirrors what happens within. The author also gets more detailed in knick-knacks of Strike and Robin's lives. While the plot of the book is totally more complicated than the first one.

For a common reader of crime fiction, I have to admit that the author is clever to entangle me in Owen's mysterious murder where I cannot even predict the real perpetrator in the end. The journey within the book makes me thrilled and shivered in some scene where the Quine's brutal murder is explicitly described.

As many readers will demand logic in books, the author also does not let Strike only drown in single case, but gets it balanced with any other small cases which is told as a stream of Strike's income.

I personally think that this second installment is so much better than The Cuckoo's Calling. If you haven't had your copy, go grab one. I really recommend it as a companion in your summer holiday. Hope the third book will come soon.

Here are some quotes from the book which I find really interesting:

“Though they spent so much time trying to make themselves beautiful, you were not supposed to admit to women that beauty mattered.”

“Many lonely people, Strike knew, found it pleasant to be the focus of somebody’s undivided attention and sought to prolong the novel experience.”

[Book Review]: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Image Source: Goodreads
Book Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James
Publisher: Arrow Books
Format: Paperback, Electronic Book, Audio Book, eBook Bundle.
Source: Purchased
Genre: Erotic Romance
Year: 2011
Page Count: 514
ISBN: 9780099579939
Find it at: The Official Website of E.L. James
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
Warning: Contains explicit adult materials for +17
My rating: 2.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Ana Steele, a final-year literature student, is asked by her best friend, Kate Kavanagh, to interview Christian Grey, a wealthy young entrepreneur, for an article on student newspaper. The short encounter leaves Ana's first impression of Christian as a controlling-freak. Much to Ana's doubt that they will ever meet again, the two share coincidences from Christian showing up at Ana's workplace and Kate's demand for Christian belated photograph session for the article.

Christian and Ana then are getting along and someday he says his wishes to take their relationship to a new 'level', but then reveals that the one thing he wants is the 'dominance and submission' sexual relationship. Christian offers some contract about how their relationship is going to be, for Ana to sign, but he gives her some time to consider. Will she sign the contract in the end?

Fifty Shades of Grey is the first installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy. The second and third volumes are Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

First thing first, I want to admit that I put so much interest in this book after getting to know that everyone on the internet talks about it and some of my friends also read this book. It was ALL the consideration I had, to stubbornly want to get Fifty Shades of Grey on my hands. I only read a slightest synopsis of the book, and WITHOUT caring to probe further about what everyone has to say about it, I went to a local bookstore and immediately bought it. Please also note that I will not be commenting on the 'dominance and submission' sexual relationship matters, as I don't have any capacity to discuss it.

As a non-native English speaker, I acknowledge that this book is readable, not necessitating me to visit dictionary.com every thirty second. But when I started to read the first few pages of the book, I felt a strange tug, an imprint that reminded me a bit of Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, where Ana is Bella Swan and Christian is Edward Cullen. The early idea where they build their relationship is even quite similar: Ana is said to be attracted by Christian, where the latter tries very hard to resist the temptation to approach her, since he realizes he is dangerous for Ana with his own inclination to have 'dominance and submission' sexual relationship. Meanwhile we can replace Christian's inclination to 'vampire status' in Twilight Saga, as Edward also sees that his being a vampire is dangerous for Bella.

Overlooking that thought, I continued to read until half of the book when I could no longer hold my curiosity and had a look at Goodreads. I was literally SHOCKED to find the fact that the writer INDEED, factually, wrote this book as a Twilight Fanfiction before having it self-published as her own novel. That is the very first failure I insist about this book. I mean, I indeed have never read that said-fanfiction, but that is not my point here. The writer may be able to take some ideas of Twilight, but couldn't she revise, improve, amend the plot, the main idea before she decides to market it???? I mean, if I wanted to read that fanfiction she wrote, why should i even bother to buy the book when I could read it on fanfiction site for free? I say it like this, since many reviewers confided that the book is not any different with the fanfiction version, only having to change the characters' names.

Second, I find no consistent plot and purpose in this book, since it is only about Ana who is head over heels for Christian and then agrees on everything he sets for her only because she wants him, even though she does not want the kind of relationship which Christian gives. And then what? What is the purpose the author wants to provide for the readers?

Third, I tell you that I am a person who appreciates process. I love reading a story which invites the readers to dive in the relationship process among the characters. The problem is that I do not discover any relationship process in Ana and Christian. It only happens that Ana falls in love with Christian at first sight and then she literally worships him throughout the book. The author could have taken the advantage of the first person point of view she has applied for the story. She could have explained and described what qualities (beside being rich and devilishly handsome) Christian does have to entrance Ana from Ana's point of view, therefore the author could have convinced me. But unfortunately the author can not afford to do that.

Fourth, I am also irked by the logic this book provides in some case. Such as when Christian confides to Ana that his parents are never aware of the sexual abuse he suffered as teenager. Meanwhile there is a part on the book when Christian's mother visits his office and clearly says like this:

“But if he’s still in bed, then he must be ill. He’s never in bed at this time. Christian 
never sleeps in.”

What we can get from above excerpt is that Christian's mother is an observant and watchful person. While I do not read only a little amount regarding sexual abuse issues on minors, therefore I understand that victim of sexual abuse MUST give away some certain characteristics, no matter how small it is. So why Christian's mother NEVER notice any changes in her son, it is still beyond incredulity for me.

In the end, I give rating 2 for this book, that I appreciate the author's willingness to get her book published even though I'm still a bit certain that it's unethical to gain financial profit from what you previously published as fanfiction; and because I would like to encourage the author to provide something much better for her next works. For we, readers, deserve it.

[WWW Wednesdays]: July 23

WWW_Wednesdays4WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme originally hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:

18214414What are you currently reading?
My hands are on The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, have reached page 60 so far.

10818853What did you recently finish reading?
Two days ago I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I think my review for this book will be posted today too.

What do you think you’ll read next?
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare was the next to arrive after The Silkworm. I'm waiting for another four books from online order as well :)

[Teaser Tuesdays]: July 22

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

click the picture to visit the original source
Teaser for this Tuesday:

"Now, on this cold winter's morning, sitting in his office with her picture in the bin beside him, Strike found himself craving orders, a case abroad, an enforced sojourn on another continent. He did not want to trail after unfaithful husbands and girlfriends, or insert himself into the petty disputes of shoddy businessmen."

~p. 196, "The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith.

[Musing Mondays]: July 21

musing mondaysMusing Mondays is a weekly meme originally hosted by Should Be Reading, where one is asked to muse about one of the following each week:
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Turn for the third question!
4374400A few days ago I surfed through the New York Times site and checked on their bestsellers list. I found a book by Gayle Forman, If I Stay, and I was really caught with the short synopsis the NYT disclosed. I went through the details more in Wikipedia and Goodreads, learned some reviews - now I can't wait to finish all my book hauls and immediately get to hit the book rental store!

Goodreads' Blurb:

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

[Ulasan Buku]: The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) oleh Michael Scott

This post is in Indonesian. If you would like to read it in English, please click here.

Judul Buku: The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
Penulis: Michael Scott
Penerbit: Penerbit Matahati
Sumber: Pribadi
Genre: Fantasi
Tahun: 2007
Penerjemah: Berliani M. Nugrahani
Tebal: 493
ISBN: 9791141223
Dapatkan buku ini di: Gramedia Online
Harga: IDR62,900
Cek buku ini di Goodreads.
Rating pribadi: 3.5 dari 5.0

Deskripsi dari sampul buku:
Kebenaran: Nicholas Flamel, yang lahir di Paris pada tanggal 28 September 1330, dikenal sebagai Alchemyst termasyhur di masanya. Ia berusaha menciptakan ramuan untuk hidup abadi, dan mengubah logam biasa menjadi emas murni. Menurut catatan, sang Alchemyst meninggal tahun 1418, tetapi ketika dibongkar ternyata makamnya kosong.

Legenda: Nicholas Flamel masih hidup karena ia berhasil menemukan ramuan untuk hidup abadi. Semua rahasianya ada dalam Buku Abraham the Mage. Jika jatuh ke tangan orang yang salah, buku itu dapat membawa petaka bagi umat manusia.

Terkadang, legenda merupakan kebenaran.

Aku adalah legenda...

Itulah judul prolog buku ini. Terdiri dari empat puluh satu bab, buku ini adalah volume pertama dari seri The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, yang mengadaptasi karakter dan kisah hidup sang alkemis legendaris dari Perancis, Nicholas Flamel.

Bab pertama buku ini menceritakan bagaimana kakak-beradik, Sophie dan Josh Newman, menemukan rahasia besar bahwa Nick, pemilik toko buku dimana Josh bekerja, sebenarnya adalah Nicholas Flamel. Suatu hari John Dee, mantan murid Flamel, mendatangi toko buku tersebut dan mengkonfrontasi Flamel dan istrinya, Perenelle, untuk mencuri Codex (Buku Abraham the Mage). Dengan menggunakan sihirnya, Dee berhasil merebut buku tersebut dan menculik Perenelle.

Terjebak oleh rahasia sang alkemis, Sophie dan Josh terpaksa harus mengikuti perburuan Flamel untuk menyelamatkan Perenelle dan merebut Codex kembali. Flamel meminta berbagai pertolongan dari berbagai kenalannya seperti Scathach (anggota Ras Tetua), Hekate (salah satu Tetua) dan sang Penyihir dari Endor.

Tanpa Codex, Nicholas dan Perenelle akan menua dan dalam satu siklus bulan, mereka akan layu dan mati. Dengan adanya Sophie dan Josh, si kembar yang ternyata memiliki potensial sihir besar, apakah Nicholas dapat menyelamatkan istrinya dan mendapatkan Codex lagi?

Seri The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel ini terdiri dari enam volume: The AlchemystThe MagicianThe SorceressThe NecromancerThe Warlock, dan The Enchantress.

Tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa saya membeli buku ini karena saya penasaran tentang Nicholas Flamel, sang pemilik batu bertuah di seri pertama Harry Potter. Sampul buku ini juga menarik perhatian dengan kesan mewahnya :)

Saya mengagumi imajinasi dan penyusunan plot yang rapi dari penulis. Karakter-karakter legendaris yang diaplikasikan dalam buku ini, disusun dan dikembangkan sedemikian rupa hingga bahan cerita mudah dipahami meskipun pembaca tidak memiliki pengetahuan dasar sama sekali tentang kisah bersangkutan. Penulis menggunakan sudut pandang orang ketiga dalam buku ini, dengan mengutamakan dan berpindah-pindah antara Flamel, Josh, Sophie, Scathach dan Dee.

Meskipun secara keseluruhan buku ini layak untuk dijadikan koleksi, saya mendapat kesulitan untuk melanjutkan membaca setiap halaman karena buku ini tidak begitu bisa menarik saya ke dalam cerita. Saya bahkan ragu untuk melanjutkan membaca volume-volume berikutnya. Oleh karena itu saya memberikan rating 3.5 untuk buku ini.

Satu hal lagi yang patut untuk diulas adalah pengalihan bahasa buku ini. Saya menyukai diksi yang dipilih oleh penerjemah sehingga enak dibaca dan sesuai dengan definisi orisinil versi buku ini. Ada beberapa kesalahan ketikan yang terdapat dalam buku ini, tetapi hal tersebut masih dapat dimaklumi.

[Book Review]: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Book Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Available Format: Audiobook, Electronic Book, Paperback
Source: Purchased
Category: Fiction
Year: 2010
Page Count: 320
ISBN: 9780061968310
Price: New package starts from GBP5.34
My rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
This is a story about how tomorrow can change what happens today...

Tamara Goodwin has everything she ever wanted and she never has to think about tomorrow. But suddenly her world is turned upside down and she has to leave her glamorous city life for a new one in the country. However, Tamara is soon lonely and longing to return home.

Then a travelling library arrives in the village, bringing with it a mysterious leather-bound book locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What Tamara discovers within its pages takes her breath away and everything starts to change in the most unexpected of ways...

I can't deny that I picked this book from the local bookstore's shelf mostly for the pretty cover :P And mostly because it's produced by the same author as P.S. I Love You, even though I only watched the movie and was not too in love with it.

This book consists of twenty six chapters which mainly focuses and is written from a sixteen-year-old Tamara Goodwin's point of view, with some chapter at the end by Rosaleen's. It's opened with Tamara contemplating on her father's recent suicide and how it affects her life and her mother's. The condition forces her to leave her comfortable life as a rich girl and moves out to the countryside, Meath, with her mother.

In Meath, they are sheltered in gatehouse owned by Tamara's uncle, Arthur, and his wife, Rosaleen. Tamara has to brace herself, enjoying what has life given to her. Her mother falling into a great shock from her father's death, is not going to be any help for the situation. Apart from the hardship, there she also meets numbers of interesting people like Marcus, Weseley and a nun, Sister Ignatius and discovers a secret written inside a book which she gets from a travelling library: her future.

With a sudden mental upheaval due to her father's untimely death, her mother's catatonic state, Tamara starts her adventures in the little town and soon finds out what it has hidden within for years.

I really like what the author has to offer from this book. The idea of the story is really simple, but Ms. Ahern gloriously builds the plots so that the secret within the book remains undiscovered until the last chapters. The author well describes the mental struggle of a sixteen-year-old girl's from losing a father and how she traps herself from some teenaged mischievousness.

In a few opportunities, the author also applies some wise analogies that the main character uses to contemplate her life. What I really like the most is the one with the 'bluebottles' analogy. I think it perfectly describes what Tamara and her mother have to suffer.

If you are wondering what the book's title really means, then you will find it more suitable starts from the middle section of the story. Though the idea of knowing that your future is already written in a book, might be really interesting, I think the author does not really put that magic inside. The power of the mysterious book just seems a little off.

Readers might want to be more alert on some swearing words in the book. And there are some misspells which I found really annoying as I read it. Eventually rating 4.0 is enough to show that I enjoyed this book.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the books:

“I make it easier for people to leave by making them hate me a little.”
“All families have their secrets, most people would never know them, but they know there are spaces, gaps where the answers should be, where someone should have sat, where someone used to be. A name that is never uttered, or uttered just once and never again. We all have our secrets.”

“Hope like that, as I thought before, doesn't make you a weak person. It’s hopelessness that makes you weak. Hope makes you stronger, because it brings with it a sense of reason. Not a reason for how or why they were taken from you, but a reason for you to live. Because it’s a maybe. A ‘maybe someday things won’t always be this shit.’ And that ‘maybe’ immediately makes the shittiness better.”
“I wonder if my watching him from the armchair is what it's like to be God, if there is a God. He sits back and sees the big picture, just as I could see that if the bluebottle just moved up a few inches, he'd be free. He wasn't really trapped at all, he was just looking in the wrong place. I wondered if God could see a way out for me and Mum. If I can see the open window for the bluebottle, maybe God can see the tomorrows for me and Mum. That idea brings me comfort. Well, it did, until I left the room and returned a few hours later to see a dead bluebottle on the windowsill. Then to show you where my mind is right now, I started crying...Then I got mad at God because in my head the death of that bluebottle meant Mum and I might never find our way out of this mess. What good is it being so far back you can see everything and yet not do anything to help?
Then I realized this: I had tried to help the bluebottle, but it wouldn't let me. And then I felt sorry for God because i understood how it must be frustrating for him. He offers people a helping hand, but it often gets pushed away. People always want to help themselves first.” 

[Ulasan Buku]: Anne of Green Gables oleh Lucy M. Montgomery

This post is in Indonesian. If you would like to read it in English, please click here.

Image Source: Goodreads
Judul Buku: Anne of Green Gables
Penulis: Lucy M. Montgomery
Penerbit: Penerbit Qanita
Sumber: Pribadi
Genre: Klasik
Tahun: 2008
Penerjemah: Maria M. Lubis
Tebal: 513
ISBN: 9789793269863
Cek buku ini di Goodreads.
Rating pribadi: 4.0 dari 5.0

Deskripsi dari sampul buku:

Anne, gadis yatim piatu berusia 11 tahun, datang ke Desa Avonlea karena sebuah kekeliruan. Dua bersaudara Marilla dan Matthew Cuthbert ingin mengadopsi anak untuk membantu membantu mengurus rumah mereka yang dikenal sebagai Green Gables. Mereka meminta sebuah panti asuhan untuk mengirim seorang anak laki-laki. Namun, yang datang ternyata gadis kecil berambut merah, Anne.

Mulanya kehadiran Anne tak disukai banyak orang. Apalagi ada desas-desus tentang asal-usulnya yang tak jelas. Namun, sikapnya yang ceria, tutur katanya yang blak-blakan, perilakunya yang polos dan kadang konyol meluluhkan hati Marilla dan Matthew. Anne juga segera jatuh cinta pada Desa Avonlea dan Green Gables.

Anne adalah gadis yang penuh imajinasi, tiada hari yang dilewatinya tanpa pengalaman seru. Menjelajahi tempat-tempat yang ia beri nama-nama unik: Kanopi Kekasih, Danau Air Riak Berkilau, Permadani Violet, Hutan Berhantu, dan Ratu Salju. Berpetualang dengan sahabat-sahabatnya, Diana, Jane dan Ruby. Berseteru dengan Pye bersaudara dan Gilbert, musuh bebuyutannya.

Kisah Anne yang seru, lucu, juga haru ini akan membawa anda memasuki dunia yang diwarnai imajinasi dan tekad untuk berbahagia di tengah kesulitan apapun.

"Oh, aku menyukai berhubungan dengan segala sesuatu, bahkan jika mereka hanya tanaman geranium. Hal itu membuat mereka lebih mirip manusia. Bagaimana Anda bisa tahu bahwa perasaan geranium terluka karena dia hanya disebut geranium dan bukan dengan suatu nama? Anda tak akan menyukai dipanggil dengan sebutan 'perempuan' sepanjang waktu. Ya, aku akan memanggilnya Bonny." - Anne

Saya rasa kalian sudah bisa menangkap bagaimana karakter Anne dari deskripsi sampul buku dan sebuah paragraf diatas :) Buku yang terdiri dari tiga puluh delapan bab ini, bercerita tentang Anne Shirley dan kehidupannya di Desa Avonlea setelah diadopsi oleh kakak-beradik Marilla dan Matthew Cuthbert.

Pada awalnya Marilla dan Matthew berniat untuk mengembalikan Anne ke panti asuhan tempat anak itu berasal, karena mereka menginginkan anak lelaki, bukan anak perempuan. Matthew, yang telah menyukai Anne segera setelah bertemu dengannya, ingin anak itu tetap tinggal bersama mereka. Tetapi Marilla berkeras untuk memulangkan Anne, meskipun ia mengizinkan anak itu tinggal beberapa hari di Green Gables. Dalam kurun waktu tersebut, hati Marilla melunak dan juga prihatin akan nasib Anne yang selama ini harus berpindah-pindah keluarga angkat. Hal ini membuat Marilla memutuskan untuk membiarkan Anne tetap tinggal di Green Gables dan mengasuhnya bersama Matthew.

Di Green Gables, Anne juga bersahabat dengan Diana Barry, yang sama-sama suka membaca buku, dan sekelas dengan Gilbert Blythe, anak lelaki yang selalu menggoda Anne. Tidak semua orang menyetujui dan menyukai kehadiran Anne, apalagi dengan sifatnya yang blak-blakan dan bersemangat. Tetapi sama halnya dengan Marilla, Anne menyentuh hati setiap orang di Avonlea sedikit demi sedikit. Seperti contohnya Mrs. Barry, Ibu Diana, yang langsung mencap Anne sebagai anak nakal setelah secara tidak sengaja membuat Diana mabuk karena mengira anggur sebagai jus raspberry dan melarang anaknya untuk berteman dengan Anne lagi. Tetapi bukan Anne namanya jika tidak bisa membuat semua orang menyukai kepribadiannya yang unik! Karena suatu insiden, akhirnya Mrs. Barry menerima Anne dan bahkan menghargainya sebagai teman dekat keluarga mereka. Ada banyak lagi kisah lucu dan menghangatkan hati dari pengalaman keseharian Anne, seperti tidak sengaja mencat rambutnya sendiri menjadi warna hijau dan lain-lain.

Kisah Anne Shirley ini terdiri dari enam volume, yaitu Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams dan Anne of Ingleside.

Saya tidak memiliki alasan khusus untuk membeli buku ini. Ketika saya mengunjungi salah satu toko buku di Bandung, saya melihat satu rak khusus untuk memajang serial Anne of Green Gables. Saya tertarik karena kisah gadis berambut merah ini terdiri dari beberapa buku. Setelah memeriksa urutan serial, saya memutuskan untuk membeli volume pertama dulu.

Saya sangat menyukai plot dan tema cerita dari buku ini. Kisah sederhana tentang keseharian seorang anak perempuan yang penuh imajinasi dan bagaimana ia menyentuh hati semua orang disekitarnya. Melalui tingkah laku Anne yang unik dan berbagai petualangannya, penulis banyak menyampaikan berbagai pesan moral mendalam kepada setiap pembaca. Seperti ketika Anne berpikir bahwa ia sangat beruntung tidak memiliki segala sesuatu yang mewah, karena imajinasinya akan tetap ada dan aktif untuk membayangkan hal-hal mewah tersebut.

Hubungan antara Anne dengan Marilla juga berkesan bagi saya, bagaimana Marilla, yang pada awalnya skeptis dengan Anne, akhirnya berubah menyayangi Anne, meskipun ia menutupinya dengan sikapnya yang tegas. Marilla bahkan sering merasa Green Gables menjadi suram tanpa kehadiran Anne. Hal ini sangat bertolakbelakang dengan hubungan antara Anne dengan Matthew, dimana dalam beberapa ringkasan di internet disebutkan bahwa mereka berdua sangat akrab. Menurut saya, penulis tidak begitu membangun hubungan antara Anne dengan Matthew, sehingga menjadi kurang nyata. Malah penulis lebih membangun dan mendalami proses hubungan antara Anne dengan Marilla. Saya juga menyukai interaksi antara Anne dengan Gilbert dan sebenarnya sangat penasaran bagaimana penulis akan membawa hubungan mereka dicerita selanjutnya.

Beberapa diksi yang dipilih oleh penerjemah dirasa kurang tepat dan membuat saya agak bosan pada pertengahan novel. Secara keseluruhan, novel ini layak untuk dijadikan bahan bacaan anda selanjutnya. Meskipun saya tidak cukup yakin untuk melanjutkan ke serial berikutnya.

Berikut adalah beberapa kutipan yang saya suka dari buku ini:

"Bukankah pikiran tentang semua hal yang harus diselidiki terasa menakjubkan? Hal itu membuatku merasa bahagia karena aku hidup-dunia ini adalah suatu tempat yang menarik. Kebahagiaan itu akan berkurang setengahnya jika kita mengetahui tentang segala sesuatu, betul, kan? Tidak akan ada ruang imajinasi, bukankah begitu?"

"Kita sudah kaya," kata Anne dengan yakin. "Mengapa? Kita memiliki enam belas tahun kehidupan kita sendiri, dan kita bahagia bagaikan para ratu, dan kita memiliki imajinasi, kurang lebih. Lihatlah ke arah laut, Teman-Teman-semua keperakan, bayangan dan bentuk benda-benda tidak terlihat. Kita tidak bisa menikmati keindahannya jika kita memiliki jutaan dolar dan untaian berlian."
"Tapi, betulkah, Marilla, manusia tidak akan terus menerus sedih dalam kehidupannya di dunia yang menarik ini, iya, kan?"

"Aku telah berusaha sebaik mungkin, dan aku mulai mengerti apa artinya 'kesenangan persaingan'. Selain mencoba dan berhasil, hal terbaik lainnya adalah mencoba dan gagal."

[Musing Mondays]: July 7

musing mondays
 Musing Mondays is a weekly meme originally hosted by Should Be Reading, where one is asked to muse about one of the following each week:
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Image Source: Goodreads
The second question's turn now!
I ordered online The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith about two weeks ago and still waiting for it to come. Gosh, I'm so excited! As for the reason, nothing more than because I'm a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and I think I will read every book she publishes in her life :)

If you are curious about the book as well, you can read a two-chapters extract here.

[Weekly Wrap Up]: 30 June 2014 - 6 July 2014

                              Hosted by
                               Caffeinated Book Reviewer


Spent most of my days in this week tweaking this blog and I didn't know that it was such time-consuming and tiring work :P

                                                     Last Week on the Blog                                                       

                                                     This Week on the Blog                                                       

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery [Book Review]
  • The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern [Book Review]

                                                     Book Haul for the Week                                                     

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Scouting for the Reaper by Jacob M. Appel
  • She by H. Rider Haggard

I also received a few books from giveaway and can't wait to read it!:

  • Wedding Wipeout by Jacob M. Appel
  • The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel
  • Apex Rising by Tom Wright
  • Phoning Home by Jacob M. Appel

I don't know when I will finish the book haul and the rest. I'm currently stuck on The Alchemyst. It's not too interesting for me :|

[Book Review]: The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

3950967Book Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Children's High Level Group
Available Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy
Year: 2007
Page Count: 105
ISBN: 9780747599876
Find it at: Bloomsbury / Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Price: GBP6.29 / IDR50,000
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

The first part of this novel is the introduction from the author itself. Ms. Rowling explains how the magical fairy tales differ from the Muggle one. While magic is only seen as the hero or heroine's troubles for the Muggles, in magical fairy tales, magic is both weapon to shield and cure them, and troubles too.

This premise is shown in the five stories of this book. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot tells us about a son of a kind wizard who inherits a cooking pot, a magical cauldron which can spring out potions, charms and antidotes for helping and curing people. But the son is in a very different disposition to his gentle father, who does not believe that they should waste their magic for Muggles. Soon after, he refuses every person who comes into his doorstep, asking for help.

The second story is The Fountain of Fair Fortune. There are a knight and three witches; Altheda, Asha and Amata. Together, they fight their way to the Fountain, bathe in its waters and receive Fair Fortune. They pass three obstacles before finally reach their destination. But suddenly Asha, who is sick of a malady no Healer can cure, falls to the ground, close to death. There is only one person who can bathe in the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Which of them who finally gets the opportunity?

The next story will be The Warlock's Hairy Heart. It is about a young warlock who refuses to not fall in love, instead employs Dark Arts to ensure his immunity. One day, he overhears a conversation between his lackeys about how they pity the warlock for he is yet beloved by nobody. Feeling wrathful and insulted by the servants, he then resolves at once to take a wife.

Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump tells about a king who wants to have the power of magic. He therefore hires a cunning charlatan for a Brigade of Witch-Hunters post, who only wants the sack of gold and gemstones which the King gives. The charlatan gives a twig, which he snaps from the palace's trees, to the King, claiming that it is a wand of tremendous power. The King, as ignorant as a King shouldn't be, asks for practicing nearly every day with the charlatan as his guide. One morning, they suddenly hear a cackling out of nowhere, which is from an old washerwoman who lives in a hovel on the edge of the grounds. Insulted by the the woman, who is apparently a witch in disguise, the King threatens the charlatan if he cannot perform magic in front of the court, then he will have the charlatan beheaded. The charlatan then finds out about the washerwoman and her disguise, and demands her to help him deceiving the King.

If you have watched the two final set of Harry Potter movies, then you will be familiar with the last story, The Tale of the Three Brothers. The story recounts us about three magical brothers who encounters Death as they are passing a river too deep and dangerous with the help of their magic. Masking his wrath of being cheated, Death pretends to congratulate them upon their magic and gives each of the three brothers a prize. The oldest brother asks for a wand more powerful than any existence. The second brother, with his conceit, wants a power to recall others from Death. The third brother does not trust Death easily, so that he asks for something that will enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. What will the Death give to them and how will the three brothers employ it?

No doubt, this is my most favorite fairy tale among the other existing one. Being a spin-off of Harry Potter, every of each tale has its own unique which differs it from the variety of its story. The main idea of all the stories in this book is that how each character employs magic in their daily lives.

Between the five, the stories I love the most would be The Wizard of the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Many things I learned from the three stories. The first one a bit reminds me of the Malfoys who have been Muggle-haters forever. The old kind wizard teaches his anti-Muggle son through the hopping pot on how a human should love and help the others when they have abilities regardless of their varied background. The Fountain of Fair Fortune tells us that magic can never overpower kindness and sacrifice and the last story delivers how we should live humbly and not to boast on our power and be greedy. Rating four is appropriate to appreciate Rowling's skill to deliver us the messages within the magic.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

"To hurt is as human as to breathe."

"The heroes and heroines who triumph in his stories are not those with the most powerful magic, but rather those who demonstrate the most kindness, common sense and ingenuity."

"Truth... is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution."

Trivias about the book:
  • The book was originally produced in a limited edition of only seven copies, each handwritten and illustrated by J. K. Rowling. One of them was offered for auction through Sotheby's in late 2007 and was expected to sell for £50,000 (US$103,000, €80,000); ultimately it was bought for £1.95 million ($3.98 million, €2.28 million) by Amazon, making the selling price the highest achieved at auction for a modern literary manuscript. The money earned at the auction of the book was donated to The Children's Voice charity campaign.