[Book Review] Persona


Judul: Persona

Genre: Young Adult

Penulis: Fakhrisina Amalia

Penerbit: Gramedia Pustaka Utama

Tebal: 248 halaman

Terbit: April 2016

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Namanya Altair, seperti salah satu bintang terang di rasi Aquila yang membentuk segitiga musim panas. Azura mengenalnya di sekolah sebagai murid baru blasteran Jepang yang kesulitan menyebut huruf L pada namanya sendiri.

Azura merasa hidupnya yang berantakan perlahan membaik dengan kehadiran Altair. Keberadaan Altair lambat laun membuat perasaan Azura terhadap Kak Nara yang sudah lama dipendam pun luntur.

Namun, saat dia mulai jatuh cinta pada Altair, cowok itu justru menghilang tanpa kabar. Bukan hanya kehilangan Altair, Azura juga harus menghadapi kenyataan bahwa orangtuanya memiliki banyak rahasia, yang mulai terungkap satu demi satu. Dan pada saat itu, Kak Nara-lah tempat Azura berlindung.

Ketika Azura merasa kehidupannya mulai berjalan normal, Altair kembali lagi. Dan kali ini Azura dihadapkan pada kenyataan untuk memilih antara Altair atau Kak Nara. Continue reading

[Book Review] More Happy Than Not


Title: More Happy Than Not

Author: Adam Silvera

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT

Publisher: Soho Teen

Pages: 293 pages

Publication: June 2015

Rating: 5 of 5 stars


In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. 

Why does happiness have to be so hard? Continue reading

[Book Review] None of the Above


Title: None of the Above

Author: I.W. Gregorio

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 328 pages

Publication: April 2015

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self? Continue reading

[Book Review] Sputnik Sweetheart


Title: Sputnik Sweeetheart

Author: Haruki Murakami

Genre: Adult, Romance, Surreal

Publisher: Vintage

Pages: 210 pages

Publication: April 2002

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Haruki Murakami, the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, plunges us into an urbane Japan of jazz bars, coffee shops, Jack Kerouac, and the Beatles to tell this story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited loves.

A college student, identified only as “K,” falls in love with his classmate, Sumire. But devotion to an untidy writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments–until she meets Miu, an older and much more sophisticated businesswoman. When Sumire disappears from an island off the coast of Greece, “K” is solicited to join the search party and finds himself drawn back into her world and beset by ominous, haunting visions. A love story combined with a detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart ultimately lingers in the mind as a profound meditation on human longing. Continue reading

[Book Review] Every Last Word


Title: Every Last Word

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Bullying

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 368 pages

Publication: June 2015

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. Continue reading