Crafting; my newfound love

I used to mention boring and basic stuffs like sleeping, swimming, reading and eating whenever someone asks me about what I like doing in my leisure time. Although I do love doing those aforementioned activities, no doubt they make me sound tremendously boring.

Good news!

I just figured out a newfound love that can be added to my lame list of hobbies.

It was crafting that I fell in love with.

Crafting is actually not something new I do. I always love making things with my own hands ever since I was a little girl. I suddenly remembered how I used to make my own barbie gowns from whatever pieces of clothes I found at home. I also love doing origami. Creating something using your own hands until you finally can get what you intended it to be is really satisfying. Moreover, when you can make money out of doing it. It seems like you get the best of both worlds.

Thus, I just admitted that crafting is one of my hobbies recently. I even make an instagram account dedicated to my passion towards it (even though I still don’t have sufficient time to create more contents there orz). I might post some tutorials in this blog too sometime in the future.

Crafting can be in many forms, can’t it? I found my interest keeps changing all the time haha. It started with simple things like making paper bags, bookmarks, notebooks, and then bracelets. Just recently, I stumbled upon crochet videos and I fell head over heels with it at the drop of a hat. Yet, until this post was written, I still hold on to my belief that crocheting is not easy as I haven’t even been able to make a simple rectangular cloth from it.

I used to treat crafting as my merely fun activities to kill my leisure or procrastinating time. I didn’t take it seriously until in March, when I decided to sell my charms bracelet in accordance with my fangirl charity project. Although it did not sell that much, but I was so happy when people who bought the bracelets informed me that they love the bracelets. I usually give away my crafting creations to my students or my friends at work. Thus, selling it and having people actually bought it are far cry crom what I’ve ever imagined. It makes me so happy though to think that my bracelets can reach other countries. Yeay! So when will the creator?

That was such a precious experience for me and makes me want to learn it seriously yet in a fun way. I want to try to look for and probably join crafting communities established around my town. Yet, I’m not that social as a person. I’m not good at interacting with new people I meet for the first time. Thus, I feel like getting caught between two stools. Well, for now, I guess it’s still safe and fun to do it on my own way. Who knows in the future? 🙂

I ❤ Wonderful Indonesia

Going from one video to another video just to stumble upon another video on YouTube isx” always a favorite thing to do at times like this (fyi, it’s almost 3 a.m. here~ bye sleeping beauty and detoxification time!).

It’s somehow usually unuseful video that I find on YouTube, but not tonight! Starting from watching people’s reaction videos to some Indonesian singers, I end up watching people’s reaction videos to “Wonderful Indonesia” series; official promotional videos showing off the beauty of my country that seem like to be released months ago but was just discovered by me tonight. I failed so much as an Indonesian (what’s new? I’ve already felt so since years ago).

But, really, hats off to the people involved in creating the videos! Watching the videos hits me where it hurts the most. My country is an amazing land! My country is really beautiful! I love my country, I really do! My country, Indonesia, really deserves much better government.

I barely watch tv. I don’t know whether the videos are also (ever) broadcasted on Indonesian national tv stations. But, I really hope government could regularly broadcast those kinds of videos as often as possible on national tv stations. Indonesian people, especially citizen like me (those people who already feel skeptical and hopeless to the current situation of this country), somehow need to be reminded of how much blessings this country has and how much beauty this country offers. Therefore, no reason for not feelimg proud of being a part of it. Therefore, no reason for not looking after this country with what you could do.

I can’t even bring myself to watch all videos. I know I’m gonna tear up, and with how much little time I will have for sleeping, crying is the last and the least option I can afford for my health.

Somehow, I’m glad that I chose to be a teacher. This way, I could, at least, be useful for my students who are Indonesia’s future generation. This way, I could, at least, do something for Indonesia through my job, though I still have long lists of I really wanna do for this country that I haven’t realized yet. May I be given time and opportunity to make them real in the future. Ameen!

I’ll pray hard that this country can be taken care of by people who genuinely love and care about it. I ❤ wonderful Imdonesia!

Amyway, I’m sleepy already. Good night! (will update later).

Pengalaman Membuat Passport

Jadi, seperti yang sudah saya katakan di post sebelumnya, kali ini saya ingin berbagi pengalaman pribadi saya dalam membuat paspor.

Sharing is caring. 

Melihat banyak pengalaman orang lain yang harus bolak balik Kantor Imigrasi beberapa waktu yang lalu membuat hati saya terketuk untuk berbagi pengalaman ini, hehe. Jadi, siapa tahu post kali ini bisa membantu memberikan pencerahan kepada bapak/ibu/mba/mas/kakak/adik sekalian yang berencana akan membuat paspor atau memperpanjang paspor.

Pada dasarnya, alur pembuatan paspor baru dan perpanjangan masa berlaku paspor itu sama. Persyaratannya pun hampir sama. Dan, jika ditanya apakah prosesnya sulit atau tidak? Saya bisa katakan, tidak. Saya cukup senang melihat bahwa birokrasi di negara tercinta kita ini sekarang mulai berbenah. Nah, birokrasinya sudah mulai berbenah, giliran masyarakatnya juga dong ikut berbenah. ☺

Sebagai informasi, saya membuat paspor secara manual (walk in) dan saya membuatnya di Kantor Imigrasi Unit Layanan Paspor (ULP) Bandung yang beralamat di Jl. Soekarno Hatta No. 162/348 (saya juga bingung tentang nomornya karena di gedungnya tertulis no. 162 tapi di Google Maps, alamatnya di no. 348). Patokan jelas Kantor ULP ini adalah Gedung Bina Citra Lestari Lantai 3. Gedung Bina Citra Lestari itu tepat di samping Gedung Bandung Convention Center (BCC) dan kalau dari arah Cimahi, letaknya setelah Terminal Leuwipanjang.

Pertama. Apa yang harus dipersiapkan?

1. Niat dan waktu

Niat itu penting, supaya kalau disuruh bolak balik karena satu dan lain hal, ngga gampang putus asa dan emosional. Niat juga penting supaya proses mempersiapkan berkas yang disyaratkan dijalani dengan sungguh-sungguh.

Waktu juga sangat penting. Kantor Imigrasi Unit Layanan Paspor (ULP) Bandung itu mulai beroperasi pukul 07.30 pagi. Tapi, sudah bisa dipastikan antrian akan dimulai dari pukul 06.00. Kantor Imigrasi memberlakukan sistem first come first serve. Jadi, semakin pagi anda datang, semakin cepat aplikasi paspor anda untuk diproses. Begitu pun sebaliknya, semakin siang anda datang, semakin lama pula anda harus menunggu, atau bahkan, semakin besar pula kemungkinan anda pulang dengan tangan hampa dan kembali lagi keesokan harinya.

2. Dokumen identitas pribadi

Sebenarnya syarat dokumen untuk paspor itu terbilang sederhana. Jadi, selama anda menjadi warga negara yang baik dengan selalu melengkapi dokumen pribadi yang wajib dimiliki, anda tidak akan menemukan kesulitan yang berarti.

Dokumen yang dibutuhkan adalah:

  • 1 Copy KTP yang berlaku (bagi yang belum mempunyai e-KTP, ayo sebaiknya diurus terlebih dahulu)
  • 1 Copy Akta Kelahiran
  • 1 Copy Kartu Keluarga
  • 1 Copy Ijazah terakhir/Buku Nikah
  • Bagi yang ingin memperpanjang paspor lamanya, dibawa juga paspor lamanya.
  • Materai 6000 (jumlahnya disesuaikan dengan jumlah paspor yang ingin dibuat, pembuatan satu paspor membutuhkan satu materai)

Hal-hal penting untuk diperhatikan dari semua berkas/dokumen adalah:

1.Pastikan semua data yang tertulis di semua berkas itu sama. Pastikan nama, alamat serta tempat tanggal lahir yang ada di KTP, KK, Akta Kelahiran dan Ijazah atau Buku Nikah itu sama. Petugas Kantor Imigrasi tidak akan menolerir perbedaan data, meskipun itu hanya satu huruf. Anda akan disuruh pulang lagi untuk mengurus surat keterangan mengenai data yang berbeda sampai di tingkat kecamatan.

Saya mengalami hal ini. Jadi, nama di KTP saya itu masih nama yang salah dan saya baru akan menerima KTP saya yang telah dikoreksi nanti di Bulan Desember. Jadi, satu-satunya cara agar tetap diproses aplikasi paspornya adalah dengan meminta surat keterangan mengenai kesalahan data di KTP sampai tingkat kecamatan. Berdasarkan pengalaman saya, saya harus meminta surat rujukan ke RT terlebih dahulu lalu ke RW dan kemudian ke Kelurahan. Nah, surat keterangan dibuatnya di Kelurahan, untuk nanti di legalisir di Kecamatan.

2.Bawa semua berkas aslinya saat anda datang ke kantor imigrasi. Tanpa berkas aslinya, aplikasi paspor anda tidak akan bisa diproses.

3. Bagi yang bukan asli berdomisili di Bandung, mahasiswa/i dari luar kota contohnya, bisa membuat paspor dengan menggunakan KTM dan (mungkin) meminta surat keterangan juga sampai tingkat kecamatan.

4. Buatlah semua copy-an dokumen di kertas ukuran A4. Semuanya. Begitu pun KTP, jadi copy KTP-nya jangan digunting sesuai ukuran KTP ya.

Semua persyaratan berkasnya lengkap dan akurat. Kedua, apa yang harus dilakukan?

1. Persiapkan semua copy-an berkas dan aslinya dalam satu map.

Mapnya bebas. Ini ditujukan agar memudahkan anda dan petugas Kantor Imigrasi dalam melakukan pengecekan.

2. Bangun dan berangkat sepagi mungkin.

Seperti yang sudah saya katakan sebelumnya bahwa Kantor Imigrasi memberlakukan sistem first come first serve. Pengambilan nomor antrian pun hanya sampai pukul 10.00. Tapi, saya sangat sarankan anda datang sebelum pukul 07.00.

3. Mengambil nomor antrian pemeriksaan dokumen/mendaftar di waiting list

Nomor antrian ini hanya ada 100 nomor dan akan habis sebelum jam 07.30. Bagi yang tidak mendapat  nomor antrian, akan masuk data waiting list yang ada di meja keamanan di luar. Kemarin saya sampai di KanIm pukul 07.47, dan saya sudah masuk waiting list no. 27 (yang berarti nomor antrian saya itu 127). Saya sampai disana pukul 07.47, dan baru dipanggil ke meja pemeriksaan dokumen pukul 10.00 (Haha lama yaaa). Ada tiga petugas yang akan melayani pemeriksaan dokumen ini.

4. Mengisi formulir.

Jika berkasnya lengkap,semua berkas akan dimasukkan ke dalam map kuning (dari Kantor Imigrasi) dan anda juga akan diberikan nomor antrian untuk wawancara, foto dan sidik jari. Akan terdapat dua lembar formulir di dalam map yang harus anda isi sambil menunggu nomor antrian anda dipanggil. Formulir pertama adalah formulir biodata yang berisi nama, alamat, tempat tanggal lahir, kantor, nama orang tua, tempat tanggal lahir orang tua, alamat orang tua, dsb. Sedangkan formulir kedua adalah formulir surat pernyataan, nah formulir ini yang membutuhkan materai 6000.

Setelah mengisi formulir ini, silakan menunggu nomor anda dipanggil. Saya sendiri kemarin harus menunggu 1,5 jam sampai akhirnya dipanggil untuk wawancara, foto dan pengambilan sidik jari. Sebenarnya tertulis disana ada 8 loket wawancara yang tersedia. Tapi, kemarin saya hanya melihat 3 loket saja yang beroperasi.

5. Setelah dipanggil, silakan masuk ke loket sesuai nomor antrian anda.

Proses wawancara, pengambilan foto dan pengambilan sidik jari berlangsung cukup cepat. Lamanya kurang lebih 15 menit/orang. Wawancara juga sebatas pertanyaan seperti mau kemana? tujuannya apa? dsb. Setelah proses wawancara, foto dan pengambilan sidik jari ini selesai, anda akan diberikan dua buah kertas. Yang satu merupakan kertas pembayaran dan yang lain adalah kertas biodata (saya juga ngga ngerti fungsi kertas kedua).

6. Melakukan pembayaran ke bank.

Setelah mendapatkan kertas pembayaran, anda bisa langsung melakukan pembayaran ke bank atau kantor pos yang berafiliasi dengan Kantor Imigrasi. Saya tidak tahu daftar bank lengkapnya, tapi kemarin saya melakukan pembayaran ke bank BNI. Mungkin anda bisa bertanya ke keamanan bank yang anda tuju apakah anda bisa melakukan pembayaran paspor disana.

Total yang harus saya bayar itu Rp 355.000. Kalau saya tidak salah, Rp 5.000 itu merupakan biaya administrasinya. Paspor anda baru akan bisa diambil setelah 3 hari kerja terhitung dari tanggal anda melakukan pembayaran. Saya kemarin melakukan pembayaran hari Rabu dan petugas Kantor Imigrasi mengatakan saya bisa mengambil paspor hari Senin mendatang.

7. Mengambil paspor

Seperti yang telah saya tuliskan sebelumnya, pengambilan paspor dapat dilakukan setelah 3 hari kerja sejak pembayaran paspor dilakukan. Dan, pengambilan paspor hanya bisa dilakukan dari pukul 13.00-14.30. Anda cukup membawa bukti pembayaran dari bank dan bukti pembayaran yang diberikan oleh Kantor Imigrasi. Begitu sampai di KanIm, langsung saja menuju meja pemeriksaan berkas. Berikan dua bukti pembayaran tadi, nanti anda akan diberikan nomor antrian.

Pengambilan paspor ini hanya bisa diwakili oleh anggota keluarga yang terdaftar di Kartu Keluarga. Dan, jika diwakili orang lain, maka anda harus membuat surat kuasa bermaterai.

Kemarin saya mendapatkan nomor antrian 5-073 sedangkan di layar loket pengambilan paspor tertulis 5-003. Sempat deg-degan harus menunggu berjam-jam. Tapi, tidak sampai 5 menit kemudian, nama saya dipanggil padahal saya lihat masih banyak orang yang menunggu lebih dulu dari saya belum dipanggil. Asumsi saya sih, pemanggilan nama diurutkan dari tanggal pembayaran. Seperti yang sudah saya sebutkan, sebenarnya saya bisa mengambil paspor dari hari Senin, tapi karena satu dan lain hal, saya baru bisa mengambil paspor hari Rabu. Dan yeay! paspor saya sudah jadi. Here it is~

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The story about Passport, Marriage and Scholarship

It was Wednesday morning when I sent a message to my older sister through Whatsapp asking her about our late parents’ birthdays.

‘What kind of daughter who doesn’t even know her parents’ birthdays?’ 

That question must pop up on your mind when you read the opening sentence, right? Haha. Don’t be surprised. I myself also asked the same question whenever I was required to write down my parents’ birthdays and got stuck in remembering their exact and correct birthdays.

Well, to my defense, both of my sister and I don’t know the exact dates of our late parents’ birthdays. It’s not because we don’t care about it, but because my family doesn’t put much attention to things like that. We don’t celebrate birthdays. Our late parents taught us that birthday isn’t something to celebrate, it is something to be grateful for and also something to reflect. It’s the time where you get older, which means your time in the world gets cut by one year.

Ok, back to the time when I sent a message to my sister. Shortly, she (with a help of my brother in law) sent me the correct dates. I thanked her. A question arose in my heart,

‘She doesn’t ask anything further? I guess I will need to prepare myself for an interrogation after work tonight.’

I was in Immigration Office at that time, and the dates were needed since I was filling in the form for my passport application. I will probably share with you my experience in making a passport when I already get my own passport later since I saw so many people should go through complicated ways due to incomplete information they got. In fact, as long as you are a good and diligent citizen with completed personal documents, making passport is not that complicated.  🙂

Go back to the story, so, dates were written down, the forms were completed then I had the interview, paid for the passport, went to New Concept, taught my students and finally, went home.

Just like what I predicted, right after I finished my dinner and changed my clothes, my sister asked me what were the dates for. Don’t wanna lie to her, I answered her honestly,

For making a passport, for applying scholarship‘, I said.

‘Where?’, she asked.

‘Europe’, I answered.

Then, the discussion began..

She started to ask why I should choose Europe when I can choose to study here, in my own country instead. Then, the next thing she brought up is my status, which is still single and unmarried.

I don’t know about other people but when I am 25 and still unmarried, then I must be accustomed to people questioning why I have not got married yet. When I said people, it doesn’t only include my family, relatives or friends, but also strange people I just met and talked to five minutes ago. I’m accustomed to it, to the point of giving a smile to the question is my sufficient answer.

Who doesn’t want to get married and have cute babies and live happily with your own family? Isn’t that always the perfect ending for every fairytale? There might be people who don’t want it or don’t believe in it. I respect everyone’s decision. However, I’m not that person. It’s always stated on my life goals to have my own family and to be a good wife and mother for my future husband and future children. Yet, it’s always stated on my life list too that I should pursue my dreams and keep learning. Longlife learning.

It’s not wrong when my sister argued that nowadays, you don’t have to fly thousands miles away from home just for getting a good education. You can learn anything from anywhere. There’s no need to go to Europe or other countries to learn something.

It’s totally not wrong. In fact, I totally agree with that. However, if you are given an opportunity and experience that not everyone gets. If you are given an opportunity that may be able to make you a better person for yourself and for people around you. Then, why should you limit yourself? Then, why should you belittle your own ability to be something better and might be bigger than what you’ve ever thought?

It was somehow funny to have this kind of serious discussion with her when I haven’t even applied for the program yet. I’m still completing the document requirements. and it’s like the very start line of my long journey, yet my sister had made it like I already get the LoA and the scholarship, and I am ready to fly there haha. Hmm, does this mean that my sister actually believes in my ability? I will give it a BIG AMIN, then. 🙂

 

Bad that turns out to be good.

We can’t always have good days, can we?

Well, to be fair, bad days are what define good days for us. Often time, we realize something is good only when we already experienced the bad one beforehand.

However, just because it is bad, it doesn’t mean it will give bad impacts on us. It honestly depends on which perspective we decide to judge. It depends on which impact we will choose to encounter; the good one or the bad one.

Indeed, it is much easier to put an emphasis on the negative impact instead of the positive one. Parallelism; bad things are resulted by bad things. It is so easy to drag yourself down in misery after you go through tough times that, you think, are bad for you. It doesn’t need any effort to let yourself drown in all negativity you unconsciously decide to focus on.

On the other hand, it requires so much effort to focus on the positivity when you yourself firmly believe that you just went thourgh hard and bad times. Well, it’s true that stay being all nice and positive honestly costs us $0. Unfortunately, its direct implementation in daily life isn’t that easy and pain-free. You need constant reminder and commitment to do it. But then again, we are merely mortal creatures with swings of emotion. No matter how mature and strong we are, there will be times when we just want to give up on everything and let the emotion to take over. Well, isn’t doing something good always more difficult that doing something bad?

Back at it again, see! It’s all about our own choice to decide where we want to pay our attention to. We have power to choose it, so why don’t we use a bit more power we have just to feel the positivity?

 

p.s. This post is my personal reminder.

Why are we on Earth?

Pernah terbersit ga sih pertanyaan tentang sebenarnya untuk apa diri kita ini diciptakan dan dihadirkan di dunia?

Pernah bertanya-tanya kenapa sampai saat ini kita masih diberi umur untuk mencicipi dunia Allah SWT?

Pernah mempertanyakan kenapa dengan murah hatinya Allah SWT memberikan kita kemudahan, kecukupan, kebahagiaan serta segala nikmat lain yang tak pernah kita sadari?

Pertanyaan yang sejatinya kita harus ingat dalam keseharian kita: Untuk apa kita ada di bumi, hingga saat ini? Padahal, jika menurut Allah SWT kematian merupakan hal yang terbaik bagi kita, maka detik ini pula, tidak peduli apa yang sedang kita lakukan, Ia bisa saja memisahkan roh dari raga kita dengan mudah.

Mungkin ada hal-hal yang masih harus kita lakukan di dunia ini. Hal-hal yang kecil namun nyatanya bermanfaat bagi orang lain. Hal-hal yang sejatinya hanya diri kita sendiri yang mampu melakukannya dan bukan orang lain, karena sebenarnya setiap orang itu special in their own way. Believe me, we are irreplaceable!

Bukan ingin sok bijaksana melalui tulisan ini, tapi memang pertanyaan ini seringkali muncul dalam pikiran saya dan belakangan ini paling sering membuat saya gelisah. Mungkin ini pertanda Allah SWT untuk menyuruh saya merealisasikan rencana-rencana maupun cita-cita yang saya simpan sejak dahulu, namun tanpa ada action.

“Untuk apa kamu, aku, kita ada di bumi ini?”

Bisa jadi salah satu jawabannya adalah untuk menebar manfaat dan kebaikan. Ingat salah satu hadits Nabi Muhammad SAW ini?

خَيْرُ الناسِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلناسِ

Sebaik-baik manusia adalah yang paling bermanfaat bagi manusia” (HR. Ahmad, ath-Thabrani, ad-Daruqutni. Hadits ini dihasankan oleh al-Albani di dalamShahihul Jami’ no:3289).

Begitu juga dengan surat Al-Jumuah ayat 10.

فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلاةُ فَانْتَشِرُوا فِي الأرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (١٠)

Apabila telah ditunaikan shalat, Maka bertebaranlah kamu di muka bumi; dan carilah karunia Allah dan ingatlah Allah banyak-banyak supaya kamu beruntung.” (QS. Jumu’ah: 10)

Allah SWT memerintahkan kita untuk bertebaran di muka bumi untuk mencari karunia, dan Nabi Muhammad SAW mengatakan bahwa sebaik-baiknya manusia adalah yang bermanfaat bagi manusia lain. Jadi, untuk mencari karunia Allah SWT sebanyak-banyaknya di muka bumi ini, salah satu cara yang bisa kita lakukan adalah dengan menebarkan kebaikan dan manfaat. Mungkin kita tak perlu melakukan hal-hal baik dan bermanfaat yang sulit, besar dan spektakuler di luar kemampuan kita. Mungkin mulai hanya dengan hal-hal kecil semampu kita.

Berhubungan dengan hal ini, malam ini, saya ‘diharuskan’ membongkar kembali dokumen-dokumen yang berhubungan dengan identitas saya, termasuk ijazah sarjana yang saya dapatkan sejak dua tahun lalu. Jujur, sejak menerima ijazah ini, saya belum pernah benar-benar membaca isinya. Sampai akhirnya saya baca detail isi dari sehelai kertas yang untuk mendapatkannya, saya harus berjuang 4,5 tahun ini. Ada sesuatu yang membuat saya terdiam setelah membaca satu kata yang tertulis disana.

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Lihat kata yang saya garis bawahi? Yup, kewajiban. Saya jadi ingat sebuah quote dari film Spiderman 1, yang kurang lebih bunyinya seperti ini “With great power comes great responsibility” (saya juga sepertinya pernah mendengar quote ini di film The Incredibles).

Diberi kesempatan mencicipi pendidikan tinggi sampai akhirnya bisa menggunakan gelar S.Pd. berarti ada porsi kewajiban tambahan yang saya miliki di dalam hidup ini (tentu seiring dengan hak dan kewenangan yang didapatkan). Berarti saya harus mampu menebarkan manfaat dan kebaikan yang lebih lagi. Insha Alloh secepatnya ^^

Mari bertebaran di muka bumi dan menebarkan manfaat dan kebaikan bersama-sama. Allah SWT is always with us ♥

T

[NOVEL REVIEW] “After You” by Jojo Moyes (claimed as the long awaited sequel to “Me Before You”)

Good night~ (It’s 10 PM already here)

After spending so much time doing this and that, last holiday, I finally was able to finish one novel. In fact, I already challenged myself to at least read 12 books this year. It’s May and I only finished one, I repeat ONE! hehehe. Okay, let’s start!

So, the novel I read this time is “After You”, the sequel to one of my favorites novel “Me Before You”. This novel itself was originally published in September 2015, but I only knew about this sequel in December last year and only finished reading it in May 2016 haha.

Well, everything was beautiful and impressive and lovely for me in “Me Before You” (later abbreviated as MBY). Thus, when I knew it has a sequel, I looked for the sequel immediately hoping I would get what I got from MBY. If you read MBY, you will know that Will, at the end, regardless what he has for Lou, still decided to end his life. And if you hope that there will be some kind of impossible miracle happened to Will that makes him come back in this novel, then you’ll be disappointed. Well, he does still wander in Lou’s thought tho, and I found it annoying haha.

This novel mainly focuses on how Louisa Clark keeps going with his new life after the downturn she experienced from losing Will. She’s no longer living in Stortfold. She moved to London and lives in a flat from Will’s legacy. She now works as a waitress in an airport bar.

In all honesty, I’m pretty disappointed with Lou I found in this novel. Well, she still has that sarcastic side, which I like best from her, but she is no longer the witty and bright and strong Lou I know in MBY. She is that depressed about Will and lives her life under Will’s shadow along the story of After You. However, Lou’s family is still that amusing and funny family that is worthy to visit.

There are so many new characters introduced in this sequel. Well, it’s inevitable, Lou lives in a new place surrounded with new people. Yet, we will still be persuaded to visit, though not all, old characters we know from MBY. For me personally, I think that there are too much characters involved in this novel with their own conflicts and story. And, somehow, it makes me lose track of what the story actually focuses on. However, it’s relatable to our life where we inevitably are involved to some people’s life, either those people are new people we know or the old friends we finally bump into again. Hmm talking about new characters, there are two main characters who will later give most impacts on Lou’s life. They are Lily and Sam. Lily is strongly related to Will, while Sam is  someone who will make Lou find herself again. My new fave character from After You is Sam! He is just that typical charming, mature, gentleman and understanding man.

If I should compare After You to MBY, well MBY is somehow still better for me. You may disagree with this, but I found MBY’s story is ‘ripe’. It’s a typical story that can make readers feel more and more curiousity as the story unfolds. So that, the readers will want to just keep reading it until finished. I experienced it myself. I finished MBY in totally 2 or 3 days (I forgot). That broke my record in reading a more than 200-page novel. I didn’t want to put down MBY for a long time. Unfortunately, the same thing didn’t happen with After You. As stated in the beginning, I knew and got this novel in December and only finished it in May. It took 5 months for me to finish it.

However, it was still a nice reading experience. At least, everyone gets their own happy ending here (is this spoiler? hehe). Probably, Jojo Moyes wants to give the readers happy endings she owed in MBY? hehe… To conclude, if I should rate this novel. This will probably be 3 out of 5 stars, while I can give MBY 4,5 stars.

I recommend you to read MBY before you read this novel, that way you can get involved in the story better. However, I guess you still can read this novel as a stand-alone because there are not so much things referred to MBY. Anyway, MBY the movie will be released on 3rd of June! Can’t wait~ hehe hope it isn’t disappointing. ^^

The followings are the covers of this novel. There are some more editions of the cover as far as I know.

Title: After You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published Date: September 24, 2015

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