[Musing Mondays]: November 30 - I am the Black Sheep

MusingMondays-ADailyRhythmMusing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm,.that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

"I am the Black Sheep"

I cannot think of when the last my Musing Mondays post was. And my today's Musing Monday is not corresponding to that of Jenn's @ A Daily Rhythm. I'm sorry about that. And I am currently so out-of-date of book blogging activity. But I feel obliged to share recent event I was through, and the personal thought resulted from. Firstly though, I humbly thank Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm who devotedly hosts weekly memes on her blog, which is the place for other bloggers to share. And I also pass my condolence for our brothers and sisters in Paris for the recent tragedy there. Please remember, we only start being the victim of terrorism once we are afraid of the perpetrators.

What I want to share is not particularly themed about books, but the activity of reading in general. If you are not aware yet, I have lived in Indonesia since I was born. I studied International Relations for my four-year bachelor degree. Internally and externally, during this time I learned considerable subjects regarding politics of various countries and social issues and cultures of other international societies. I read literally everything from newspapers, books and internet. I don't like watching soap operas like my parents and siblings did. The only things I see on telly are national and international news portals. My past lecturers forbade students from classes, if they were not prepared by updating themselves with current issues. I didn't find this as academic burdens or responsibility, as this turned out to be my daily habit. I love reading novels, but I do not want to limit myself into fictions. I also met exchanged students from various countries in my campus. I once aimed of becoming a diplomat even though it was short-lived as the government offices in my country are full of nepotism practice.

This habit still continues til now. Thanks for the invention of smart phone, the world is now at my fingertips. I also have the routines of sharing what I got, to my sisters, my parents, and my friends. I love sharing what I learn to people. I want others to have the knowledge I have too, and it is likewise I want them to share their knowledge to me too.

But the hard reality is, sometimes things just don't go that way.

Recently I shared to my fellow blogger that I had arguments with my mother. I was able to defend my own opinion in the debate with her, where she could not. She then said I read too much that I am dared to argue with her...

She blamed the reading activity which I do, like in almost all the time in my day. I still continue reading and as I said, I gain lots of things from reading. Not only reading books, but reading articles, journals, newspapers, magazines, blogs and everything. But I didn't know that this kind of activity is what my parents would oppose. Every other parent that I know, would be discouraged of other activities like illegal drugs-addictions, shoplifting, bullying, physical violence, brawling, etc. from their children. But my parents are apparently afraid if their children have too much knowledge.

I thought that this folly would end at that time. But, no. It has to step to the next things.

I have a cousin who is a transgender. She was born a male, but she feels that she is truly female inside. If it is asked where my stance on this case is, it will be this: even though I am straight, I support and respect whatever decision she wants to take. I am never against LGBTQ people. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with them. I always try to treat people equally, regardless their race, sex, religion, ethnicity, etc. But apparently my extended family is like the half of the people in the world who are against LGBTQ people. They do not accept my cousin and thus my parents are extremely sensitive to LGBTQ issues.

A few weeks ago, I read in some news that Japanese government has issued same-sex partner certificates. At the night when I read it, my mother called me and I immediately shared that news. And you, my friend, would not believe what my mother said in response. She directly asked me whether I was lesbian or not. Whether I was like the people on the news. I asked her why she thought of me that way? She then said that is because I have never dated or haven't had a boyfriend until now, thus she started to doubt my sexual orientation.

The other case:

As the recent development, I have updated myself with everything about the terrorism in Paris. I read news about the 13 November. I also read things regarding the IS group, how they develop, how they recruit, the former members of IS, and how the mothers of IS members are now coping. When I shared the news to my sister, here is her reaction: "Why are you reading things about IS? You're not thinking of joining them, no?"

And she was not joking when she said that. She was literally having the idea that there was possibility of me joining the militant group...

To say that I was upset to my mother and sister, is an under statement. I was and am still livid. Is this what they think of me all this time?

So the case would be: If I read something about narcotics, I must be a druggie. If I read something about cancer, I must be a cancer patient. If I read something about food recipes, I must be a cook. I f I read something about corruption, I must be a corrupter.

Is that how my family perceive READING ACTIVITY??????

I loathe how people label and stereotype others. I mean, I'm not a naive; I know that in our heads, everyone must have prejudgement toward others. But, DO WE HAVE TO DECLARE THEM ALL THE TIME? If we had to, this world must have been a hell to live. We would not give ourselves to think and examine whether other people were just like what we had judged them as or not. People would say straightly their prejudice and hate would be everywhere.

I know I would not end this case by writing in this blog and letting bloggers read. But I need to write this to other people who are not my family. I need to let it all out of my head for a second. It doesn't mean that I am against and badmouthing my family. I just want to figure out everything's going on. And it's always refreshing to hear and read others' point-of-views.

Thank you to everyone reading this post. Thank you for sparing your time to read my rant. May the force be with you (in respect of the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens :P )

All the best,


[Mini Book Review]: Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling

23731881Book Title: Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Purchased
Genre: Non Fiction, Self Help
Year: 2015
Page Count: 70
ISBN: 9780316369152
Find it at: J.K. Rowling's Official Website
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.

This is a mini review which does not really discuss the content, just an act of fondness toward this lovely lady whose works have been accompanying my life since I was 10 years old and some quotes I found in this book and would really like to share with you guys.

Also the sales of this book will benefit Lumos, a charity organization founded by J.K. Rowling that works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

"There is an expiration date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you."

 "Failure means a stripping away of the inessential."

 "Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case, you fail by default."

"Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way."

"The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I've ever earned."

"So given a Time-Turner, I would tell my twenty-one-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive to its vicissitudes."

"Unlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's places. One might use such an ability to manipulate or control just as much as to understand or sympathize."

"Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it through our own apathy."

"If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages..."

"...then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

"As is a tale, so is life; not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters."

One of my most favourite parts of this book is on page 48, when Ms. Rowling recounts the young man from Africa. Truly heartbreaking, yet inspiring. Thank you very much for sharing this precious wise words to the whole world. Ms. Rowling!

[Book Review]: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Book Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Source: Purchased
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Year: 2009
Page Count: 538
ISBN: 9780804138338
Find it at: Gillian Flynn's Official Website
Warning: Contains explicit murder scenes and some vulgarity
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

After the hype of Gone Girl, I had been curious of Gillian Flynn's works. But I ruled out the mainstream and tried Dark Places first, based on reviews I read. Thriller and mystery are genres are not really my main and favorite stuffs, but I can like, appreciate and am willing to read the good ones. Robert Galbraith and Abigail Haas' works are one of them.

In my opinion, thriller and mystery books are not like contemporary or fantasy young adults which are able to put different colours and sensation in the content. Thriller and mystery books are all typical. There are criminal cases, the process of finding out the truth, the chill and thrill when you read while guessing your speculations and then finally you get the answers. But there is something for me that makes Gillian Flynn's book truly high-class and stands out among other books within the same genre. Gillian Flynn does not follow the usual plot and flow that are common in the genre. She does not cheaply give away the clues and hints. The way she wraps the case is very gentle. Thus all speculations I made, were not really that strong. All in all, Dark Places is more that just mind-wrecked.

There are great deals of main and supporting characters in this book. But each of them has strong characteristics. Take this as an example, there are four children in the Day family. As you read their childhood story, you can see that Ben is a strange and unsociable boy who has malignancy inside him which he does not even understand; Michelle is a curious, meddling girl; Debby the crybaby; and Libby, the youngest of the family, who always needs someone to lead her. One of my favourite characters in this book is Diondra. Flynn shaped her into a tremendously horrifying character, in a savage way, despite her being a seventeen year old teenager.

I've read that this book is adapted into a movie too and I can't wait to see it immediately. Even though when I read the cast list, I just could not imagine how Charlize Theron playing Libby. So what's of Gillian Flynn that I need to read next? I'm just not sure it will be Gone Girl. Sharp Objects is in line immediately once I'm recovered from Gillian Flynn's syndrome.

[Teaser Tuesdays]: June 2

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. 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!

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It lets us share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book we are reading or thinking about reading soon. 

Another post for Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros! I'm so happy that I read 4 books this week. Initially I set the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge to 50 books, but I realize that I'm never going to make it with all the college stuffs. So I cut it down to 25 books for this year [even though I'm hoping for more :( ]

Today I'll be highlighting another Melina Marchetta's book. This is new from her for me. I adore all her contemporary books, so I'm sure despite the fantasy genre, she will surprise me all the more!


The first paragraph and teaser:

First paragraph from Prologue:

A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.

The dream came to him from the gods on the eve of the Harvest Moon Festival, when the whole of the kingdom slept under the stars in the Field of Celebration. It was Finnikin's favorite night of the year, watching his fellow Lumaterans dance and give thanks for a life of peace and plenty. When the dawn broke and the priest-king sang the Song of Lumatere, the joy in people's souls lit up their world. And what a world it was - made up of those hailing from the Flatlands, the Forest, the Rock, the Mountains, and the River. All protected by a beloved king and queen and their five children, said to be descended from the gods themselves.

First paragraph from The First Chapter:

When it finally appeared in the distance, Finnikin wondered if it was some phantom half-imagined in this soulless kingdom at the end of the world.

There had always been talk that this land had been forsaken by the gods. Yet perched at the top of a rocky outcrop, cloaked in blue-gray mist, was proof to the contrary: the cloister of the goddess Lagrami.

Random teaser:

"You started this when you forced us to cut flesh from our bodies, Finnikin," Lucian whispered. "But I would do it a thousand times over to see our queen lead us back home to Lumatere."

~p. 295, "Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)" by Melina Marchetta.

Share with me what you're reading this week! :)

[Book Review]: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

5303373Book Title: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2009
Page Count: 213
ISBN: 9780312627751
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

Before I read this book, I know that there are these kind of religions, faith, cultures that hold polygamy value high. A few years back, there was a renowned religious figure in my country that married his second wife and caused such an uproar. Many people opposed and there were many that supported him too.

I don't know much things about the religious background for someone to do polygamy, but when I read this novel, I was appalled. I really was because there's apparently someone (and it happens to be Ms. Carol Lynch Williams) who writes about the whole things of polygamy in pretty much details. I never read one that lifts such issues. The worst part is that how Ms. Williams blatantly shows the fact that some men have only lusts towards their young brides, hiding beside the masks of religious duties, tribal myths and etc.

In this book, it's not that the author explores such sensitive issues (at least in my country it is), but she hauntingly shows the desperation that the thirteen-year-old Kyra feels about her having to marry her sixty-year-old uncle. Throughout her journey, I was constantly feeling enraged, shocked, anxious of what would happen to Kyra in the end.

Despite the severity of the topic, the novel is a very easy read and the characters will absolutely live in my heart for a long time.

[Book Review]: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Book Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2013
Page Count: 273
ISBN: 9780316221351
Find it at: Matthew Quick's Official Website
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

After reading two works of Matthew Quick, now I'm really sure he's a very kind man. I want to meet him in person and give him the biggest hug in the world. Seriously, how can an author manage to write two books that effectively dried my eyes from tears while I was reading them? T_T

Leonard Peacock is another ordinary teenager who is damaged. He's being bullied at school, no one befriends him, and his parents don't care about him. The four people who give a care are his old neighbour, one of his classmates, a devout Christian girl and his teacher. As I read through the book, these four people are the only one who at least can bring some happiness to Leonard.

Quick also once again puts one of the kindest characters I ever read. This time, it is Herr Silverman, Leonard's teacher. He plays the biggest part that determines Leonard's decision in the end.

About the main character, Leonard is also a very unique character. Even though he's been disappointed by so many people in his life, he got me thinking that he still cares about them and believes that everyone should not be forced to live a life they don't like. He's a contemplating and even a sweet boy, I think. There are only few authors that can create a character who makes me want to scream about the injustice they are through, and want to laugh at the same time at the naive, quirky and witty voices they bring.

I really want to thank you to Matthew Quick for writing this kind of book. I'm wondering what a wonderful world we live in would be, if everyone read books like this and was changed to be a better person because of them.

Read my review for Matthew Quick's Sorta Like a Rock Star here.

[Book Review]: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

19732381Book Title: Dangerous Boys
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Year: 2014
Page Count: 328
ISBN: 9781471119163
Find it at: Abigail Haas' Official Website
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Two days...
Two days I was tortured by suspense from these Haas' books. I was never a fan of mystery novel before, but Abigail Haas has opened that door to this genre for me.

Firstly, this book is not the sequel of Dangerous Girls. It's totally different from Haas' previous work. Dangerous Boys is written in the first point of view of Chloe Bennet, in spite of the title. It alternately changes from the present and past. Chloe has been living in a small city since she was born. She is a normal girl, always goes with the stream in her life. She dreams of leaving the town once she graduates from high school, but it is shattered when her mother falls to depression, leaving her as Chloe's responsibility. During this moment, she meets Ethan Reznick, who is going to be her boyfriend and at first she believes that he is the only thing that keeps her holding on with all those pressure. While she's trying hard to accept the fact, she meets Oliver Reznick, Ethan's older brother who is the total opposite from his younger brother. Oliver is all Chloe needs to bring out the her inner demon. Yes, I write it correctly: 'demon'.

Even though this book is not as nerve-wrecking as Dangerous Girls, it's still a very powerful book. To say it out loud, this book is about damaged people. It's about how desperate you are in finding your own way in life, to do something in order to be someone. Haas once again drags out the worst of each character in Dangerous Boys. Throughout the story, you will once again guess and speculate about things, which will turn out wrongly at the end. You will be surprised on whom Chloe saves and why. Just like me lol

Dangerous books are really recommended for those who like to be in suspense and find gritting truth about the characters in the end. Two thumbs up for Abigail Haas!

Also read my review for Dangerous Girls here.

[Book Review]: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

16074758Book Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Year: 2013
Page Count: 388
ISBN: 9781442486607
Find it at: Abigail Haas' Official Website
Warning: Contains murder scenes and some vulgarity.
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. 

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

So here is the thing. I've been caught up in inhumane busy-ness where my reading time has been cruelly robbed from me in these months. The last book I finished to read was in January and my brain was in idle mode.

What was it that urge me to finally grab this book which has been occupying my shelf since six months ago, I didn't know. I decided that I needed a little time-out from the real life and to be drown in fiction world once again.

And... such decision is proven fatal. My brain, which had been inactive for four months, was suddenly crammed with this nerve-wrecking, mind-blowing, and terrifying book. And I mean this in A VERY GOOD WAY.

The main character, Anna, goes to Aruba for spring break with her best friend, Elise; her boyfriend, Tate; and her other friends. It all goes wrong when Elise is found brutally murdered and the leads bring Anna and Tate as the main suspects. As we turn the pages of the book, we will find flashbacks about how Anna and Elise's became friends, the things that happened which shape Anna's character, and the process of Anna's trial in court. All is told in Anna's point of view, which will leave you judge and speculate some other possible suspects. What I love the best about this book is how the author has the ability to psychologically shows the characters and the relationship between Anna and Elise, which you will find really complicated. And the ending... It tops it all! The blurb is right, the final truth will be extremely shocking.

All in all, this book is about betrayal, insecurity, lust, friendship, bribery and other things that you will think foreboding, but with Haas' writing, it's crafted smoothly and fast paced, where you won't be taking this book off your hands the moment you open the first page.

I spent two days reading this book, and finished it last night, where I sacrificed my sleeping time and left me feel ill and uneasy afterwards, even it haunted me in sleep lol

Anway when I read news and the author's blog, I felt sad that this book doesn't have financial success which forces the author to self-publish her next book, Dangerous Boys. So in order to pay the respect and to show support for the author, I would like to post my package of these Dangerous books to you.

[Teaser Tuesdays]: April 7

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. 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!

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It lets us share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book we are reading or thinking about reading soon. 

3 months! I've been away from book reading and blogging for t.h.r.e.e. horrifying months :O :'(
2015 is indeed one of the busiest years for me, as deadlines are sticking everywhere. I have only touched two books so far, which is really down degrading for me. I think my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year will be a failure T_T

Nevertheless, I'm trying to keep back on track only a bit. I admit that in this busy days, the only genre that catches me is contemporary. So here's the newest pick from me which I'm struggling so hard to finish despite all the bumps.


The first paragraph and teaser:

First paragraph:

The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It's like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.

Random teaser:

It's amazing how different they are from me.
Also, it's sort of thrilling to mess with their heads-to see how stupid they are, because they would never dream I have a gun, even though I basically just told them I do.

~p. 108, "Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock" by Matthew Quick.

Does this teaser whip you up? For me, since I read the blurb of this book, I've already been excited to get into it! There's some kind of tug on me which urges me to read more of Matthew Quick's books. I'm sure this one will be a firework for me :)

What about you? What do you have for this week? Please share me with me in the comment box below :)

[Book Review]: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

1162022Book Title: On the Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2006
Page Count: 419
ISBN: 9780061431852
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:

I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

Melina Marchetta really rules contemporary young adult books! I had been holding myself to read this one, since I heard it was a very emotional reading and it indeed was. And after finished turning every page, I found myself crushed, torn, but sometimes I laughed too at occasional humor this book brought.

After having Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son read, I've slowly begun to recognize Marchetta's novel theme pattern. She is one of the few authors I've encountered this far, to have the courage to take up such dark and heavy themes for young adult, which is inevitable that we need to examine such restricted matter, and Ms. Marchetta was flawless in doing it.

Marchetta applied the first person point of view which is of Taylor. As a seventeen year old teenager, Taylor is moulded in such a way that she's not a common young girl character you find in a novel. She is tough, has been through much predicament which uncommon to teenager like her and not what you think as the oldest in the orphanage, that is always expected to be responsible in her role.

In this book, you will also find the novel draft written by Hannah, which leads to clues that can reveal Taylor's past. Will Taylor reconnect with her long lost mother at the end? You should find out further in this masterpiece.

[Teaser Tuesdays]: January 6

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!

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It lets us share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book we are reading or thinking about reading soon. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015, lovely people! How were the very first days in 2015? For me, it's tiring. So much to do this January, even from the beginning. Many has written bookish resolutions for this year, but I don't think I can follow you, guys. I'm afraid I'll be reading less books in 2015. I even set the Goodreads' goal onto only 50 books this year. What a shame :( Hope you have much better resolutions than me!

Below is my teaser for this week.

The first paragraph and teaser:

First paragraph:

From the prologue:

My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.
I counted. 
It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I'd ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of miles away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, "What's the difference between a trip and a journey?" and my father said, "Narnie, my love, when we get there, you'll understand," and that was the last thing he ever said.

From the first chapter:

-Twenty-two years later-
I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree and at the exact moment I'm about to hear the answer that I've been waiting for, the flashlights yank me out of what could have been one of those perfect moments of clarity people talk about for the rest of their lives. If I was prone to dramatics, I could imagine my sighs would have been heard from the boundaries of the school to the town down below.

Random teaser:

I realise, after a moment or two, that I am not alone. Slowly I look up, beyond the tree trunk, higher than the branches, to the very top. There, in broad daylight, is the boy in my dream staring down at me.

~p. 126, "On the Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta.

Please put down your links to your first chapter, first paragraph and Teaser Tuesday below, so that I can visit yours back :)

[Book Review]: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

7417780Book Title: The Piper's Son
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year: 2010
Page Count: 328
ISBN: 9780763660628
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Goodreads' Blurb:
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family's hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.

Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it's Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can't forget. Shooting for oblivion, he's hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom's in no shape to mend what's broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper's Son redefines what it means to go home again.

I'm in love with Melina Marchetta. Totally.

The Piper's Son is another contemporary work from her and, it's like a spin-off of Saving Francesca, only this time the main characters are Thomas Mackee, Francesca's friend; and Georgie Finch, his aunt. While Saving Francesca applies first person naration, The Piper's Son uses third-person one and Marchetta has proven that she is the author who can handle everything perfectly.

There are several themes this novel raises. The relationship between Tom and his father, who is an ex-alcoholic; the friendship with his so-called ex friends who never give up on him, the girl Tom betrayed; the long grief of Tom's family towards the sudden death of Tom's beloved uncle; and Georgie's unexpected pregnancy and her strange relationship with her unborn child.

Seeing those considerable themes, one is likely to doubt the capability of the author to handle it. But once again, it's Melina Marchetta! No need for such thought.

Just like what it was with Saving Francesca, the author writes the first hundred pages of the novel in such way it's full of mystery. You might find yourself puzzled with what's really going on in the novel, but that was what kept me going, the author's inexplicable way to reveal one by one like peeling an orange.

And now I'd like to talk about the cover. Actually what I got is the other version of the cover:


It's really indie, but I don't get the feeling that the man in the cover is Tom, which I think the major character among the others. Instead I think it's Tom's father, Dominic. Since the texture of the figure says it doesn't belong to someone below twenties. I much prefer the Australian version (on the preface of this post) than this one. It really resembles Tom in such way.

This novel is one of those which I won't forget as long as I live. It brought me sadness, warmth feeling on how a family unites to fight the grief despite all their broken relationship, and what a truly friend is like.

Thank you very much, Ms. Marchetta for such a warm book.