[NOVEL REVIEW] The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The title. Yup, that’s what got me the most from this novel. It sounds interesting and, somehow, scientific haha. For someone who still believes in love at first sight, I found the title amusing. It was kinda promising.

So, does the title really represent the story of the novel?

Since I am a fan of the title, I had a pretty huge anticipation and expectation toward the story. Unfortunately, after reading it, I found it a bit disappointing. The title is only one of many ‘taglines’ or quotations worth the citation from the novel.Moreover, it can only be found on page 103, which is already the end of the story. Lesson learned; hoping too much is never good.

This novel written by Jennifer E. Smith offers you a simple, cute and sweet story revolving around Hadley, Oliver and their own families respectively. There are not any unnecessary exaggerated side stories. Everything is depicted and explained proportionally. Everything is just fine.

Though never heard of the author’s masterpiece before, I honestly enjoyed my time reading this novel. The story, as fine as it is, is a bit cliché for an old woman like me haha. Especially when the main characters-Hadley and Oliver, are way younger than me. They are still teenagers! Well, reminiscing my good old teenage days.

I don’t know about other people, but neither when I was 18 nor now, I never meet a boy who willingly brings my suitcase here and there in our first meeting. I haven’t met a boy or a man who is that gentleman, particularly here, in my country haha. So, I can’t relate to the sweet and a bit magical love story between Hadley and Oliver. It was magical, unreal and fast. Despite having different origins (Hadley, the American girl and Oliver, the British boy), it only took 24 hours for them to upgrade their relationship level from completely two strangers to lovers. It was only 24 hours for the story between them to unfold yet they already had three kisses. That was too fast for a woman like me lol. Nevertheless, I still find it cute. Their love story, although much predictable, still triggers me to keep reading the novel until the end. The moment I realized that the story isn’t up to my expectation, and vice versa, I threw away my expectation and rather considered it as a light reading time. It’s the typical reading where you can just enjoy everything without the need to too much thinking.

Aside from Hadley and Oliver’s love story, this novel also provides a bit heavier conflicts regarding their families respectively. Dealing with divorced parents, broken home, cheating father, accepting new mother as well as new father and misunderstanding are, more or less, things mainly brought up in this novel. The depiction of how any trivial things can be so swallowing in those situations is also delivered well for me.  Unfortunately, since I’m fonder of Hadley and Oliver’s story, these heavier conflicts can’t really pull me in. Regardless, the cute and sweet conversation between Hadley and his father is one of my favorites.

To sum up, is this novel worth the reading?

I can say yes, especially when you are in the mood for reading light romance that is a bit cliché. As simple as it is, the story will still be able to stamp on little smiles on your face along your reading. The only disappointment I have is, the title doesn’t represent the story and so doesn’t the story represent the title.

How many stars will you rate this book?

Overall, I could rate this novel 3,5 out of 5 stars. On Goodreads, I saw this novel was rated 3,8 stars. Not that bad.

Will you recommend this to other people?

Probably, but I’m not sure either, haha. It will depend on who I will recommend it to, I guess. Anyway, this novel is pretty much PG rated. So, as long as you told your kids for not allowing strangers to kiss them within 24 hours since they know him/her, then I guess everything will just be fine haha.

How can you get this novel?

Online book stores can always be your easiest option. Or, ask your friends. Who knows one of your friends has this novel haha.

Lastly, be happy always, everyone! 😘

Title of Novel: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy Hachette Book

Number of pages: 108 pages

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[Novel Review] “Me Before You”

Such a tissue-needed and a simply heartbreaking story. 

/I really have the urge to insert a crying emoticon right here to show what I’m really doing right now/

Serious talk here, I was not really a big fan of romance novels. There are a few to nothing romance novels that I’d ever “really read” or finished. I don’t even remember of having them bought on my own. It was always about motivating books about life or sci-fi fictions that get me the most whenever I spare my leisure time in bookstore or go browsing for e-books. Not that I don’t like romance genre at all. In fact, I’ve been a rom-com dramas/movies lover and I always be. It’s just that I don’t really fancy imagining those romantic stories while I’m reading it. Yet, I have to admit myself that I need to be more open for any kinds of genre. I need to give it a try.

So, as I said I should be more open to any genres, “Me Before You” is probably the fastest  200-pages-more novel that I finished to read. I only needed 3 days to finish it. Not really 3 days,I actually just started reading this on Saturday evening and today I almost preoccupied all my lazy 24-hours of Sunday to finish it, since I was really engaged in the story. It was such a record. Even right now, as I’m typing, as hours already passed since I closed the tab to my e-book, my heart is somehow still hurt. All my tears had dried up. /not a big deal tho, since I’m an easy-to-cry person anyway/

Ok, so I got to know this novel from someone whom I know was starting to read this. I was curious because this someone-I-know person was really into sci-fi and mystery. So, I started browsing the web to read the reviews of this novel and I found a fairly many positive reviews and all of them stated the same headline; a heartbreaking story.

There are three covers of this novel that I know. They are:

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Title : Me Before You

Author : Jojo Moyes

Published year : 2012

I’m not going to say it was a kind of realistic love story that will happen to any lives at anytime. Since, somehow there were parts, especially the ending parts, that I found still more fairy-tale like. However, Jojo Moyes really served you a story with varied topics that you can relate to your very own life; struggle to earn a living, do a job that you don’t like, widen your horizon, make a decision for your life, knock out your comfort zone, have an affair, efforts to make your loved ones happy, and a person’s right to die…

Yep, I want to bold the last few phrases, as it was really the main topic of this novel. A Will Traynor’s right to die. A Will Traynor’s choice of staying alive or just dying.

People say you will never know what will happen to you in any future seconds, won’t you?

The life that A Will Traynor has lived is such an as incredible life as you’ll imagine: born in a wealthy and well-facilitated family, grown up as a fine young gentleman with financial security and a remarkable profession, having gorgeous girlfriend, and able to go to any parts of the world he wanted, climbed and flied from any heights he wants, in shorts… he lived a big dynamic life.

It did not need to take any longer time if God wants to take whatever He wants to take from you. In fact, it only needs a matter of second to change everything in your life. It also needed one second for Him to make Will Traynor not able to do anything else in his life but to sit in a wheelchair and had everything done for him by other people. Eating, getting dressed, having shower, and even having any toilet business. Will is now a C5/6 quadriplegic.

In another part of the world, there’s Louisa Clark. A 26-year-old girl struggling to earn a living of herself and her family. One thing a Louisa Clark surely knows is that she really loved working in The Buttered Bun for the past 6 years. Not until Frankie, the owner of The Buttered Bun, decided to close down the cafe and flied back to Australia due to his family issue. Then, this will be the turning point in both Will’s and Lou’s lives.

Having a duty to support her family’s financial problem, Lou looked for another new job that she thinks “fit” to herself. Yet, there is no other job that is just as “fit” as what she used to have in The Buttered Bun. At last, there’s this only one job choice that she can apply; a carer of a quadriplegic. That’s when finally a Louisa Clark, a witty, straightforward, and has-an-exotic-taste-in-fashion woman, finally meet with a Will Traynor, a hopeless, skeptical, and reserved 35-year-old quadriplegic without knowing how big changes given to each other.

A skeptical and sarcastic Will doesn’t make anything easy for Lou in the first few weeks of Lou started worked for him. Everything that Lou does will be given negative judgement and sarcastic comments. Lou still tries to be patient since she needed the money so much. It doesn’t take long time until finally Lou shows her true color to Will. Lou starts to “fight back” whatever Will says to her. Whenever, Will says something rude to Lou, she’ll just says another rude thing to Will. However, this kind of thing is what makes them connected. It is what makes them know each other well. Really, the typical “witty”, “rude” and sarcastic conversations between Will and Lou are hilarious. Their conversations are what makes me giggle while reading, aside from anything silly coming from Lou, mostly.

However, it is later found out that Will had already decided to end his life way before Lou worked for him as a carer. Will attempted to suicide once, but it was failed and his life was succesfully saved. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make him swayed for ending his life. He already decided to go to Dignitas after coming to an agreement with his mother and his family that he will give them 6 months. I personally don’t know what this 6 months are actually intended to. 6 months of preparation for Will’s family, Mrs. Traynor specifically, to let him go? Or, 6 months of wishing for a miracle will happen and change Will’s mind?

That’s actually the reason why Lou is contracted to work for Will for only 6 months. Lou, at first, is only employed to “babysit” Will and make sure that in that 6 months, Lou will not make an attempt to suicide without his family knowing. However, this 6 months is what changes Lou and Will. Lou and Will get along better and better, until Lou accidentally knows about Will and Dignitas. She was upset and decided to quit her job. But then she came back to work for Will, since she actually cared for this man. She does everything she can do to make Will happy with a hope that Will will change his mind to go to Dignitas to end his life.

Time is ticking away.

There is still hope for Will to change his mind. Will is being a happier person beside Lou whenever they go out. The most memorable moments between Will and Lou, for me personally, are when Will and Lou walk around the castle and Will asked Lou to go into the maze there without knowing what had actually happened to Lou in the maze when she was younger. That time Will become Lou’s savior prince in both getting Lou out of the maze and getting Lou get rid of her one of fears, burdens. I couldn’t help but cried while reading this chapter as I can quote what Will said to Lou:

‘Some mistakes … just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let that night be the thing that defines you .’

Ah, there was also my another favorite moment in this walking-in-around-the-castle scene. It is when Will said:

‘I’m surprised we never met each other,’ he said. ‘When I was growing up, I mean . Our paths must have crossed.’

Aww! The moment Will said this, both of them still burried down their feelings for each other. Lou is still with Patrick. But, I mean this comes from Will’s mouth. Does, deep down in his heart, Will hope that he could meet Lou earlier as a Will he used to be, as a Will leading his big life? huhuhuhu if only.

The other my favorite moment between these two is when they attend Alicia’s marriage. They really had fun there, it’s up to the point Lou and Will dance. Lou sits on Will’s lap and they literally dance on the wheelchair. And at this moment, Lou is also successful in persuading Will to go abroad with her. Just both of them. With Nathan, Will’s personal nurse, preferably actually. Then, a hope that Lou can change Will’s mind is getting higher. Everyone gets excited.

A big overseas trip that Lou had planned for Will way before is actually failed since D-8 before they departed, Will gets pneumonia and his condition was really drop til he should be hospitalized. This moment is the moment when finally Lou admitted that she really likes Will, a lot. That she actually loves Will.

The love of Lou has for Will makes her restless just to plan another overseas vacation for Will, in hoping that miracle can happen during this vacation. That, Will will change his mind. The vacation really goes as expected. Will looked soooo happy, sooo peaceful, and sooo relaxed during this vacation. Will and Lou are also getting closer and closer. Until, the last night of the vacation tragedy happened. That time, Nathan has a personal business with his new girlfriend, so that Will and Lou have an exclusive time for only both of them. Lou is being insane again, she finally confessed  to Will that she loves him, that she wants to plan a future with him, that she want him to stay alive. Unfortunately, Will’s decision has never been swayed by a little bit. Will loves Lou, too. He really does as she is the only one makes him happy and already made his 6 months of endurance become precious 6 months ever. Yet, he is already tired of all pains he endured this all time. This is not the life that Will wants. This is the most heartbreaking part of this novel begins as you will read…

Everything is just painful to read…

Call me hyperbole, but my heart is still hurt. T T

However, I found it funny tho, because both Will and Lou insisted  the concept of widening your horizon to each other’s life. Will insisted Lou to try something new in and with her life, to live her life to the fullest as his concept of widening your horizon. While, Lou insisted Will to see that his life is still worthy to live, that there are many new things he still can do in and with his life, that there’s no a point at all in doing suicide as her concept of widening your horizon. Good point is that both of them want the best for each other.

/Sigh/

I recommend this novel if you are in the mood of getting sad or a little bit teary. Happy or sad ending is actually from what point of view you actually see the ending of this novel. However, this novel is really simply heartbreaking. Ah, based on what I found on the web, “Me Before You” is going to be adapted into a movie. Aaaah I can’t wait. It is said that the movie will be released this year. Anticipating it really…hopefully they can really bring the beauty of Will and Lou’s relationship into reality.

[Review Novel] “Mockingjay” (Buku Ketiga Trilogi The Hunger Games)

Hollaaa!

Hihi such a looong time not visiting and posting something on this blog and it’s 2015 already.

Time flies too fast these days.

Nevermind, sebelum hari pertama di tahun 2015 berakhir, kali ini saya ingin memberikan review sedikit mengenai buku yang beberapa bulan yang lalu sudah selesai saya baca. Hehe, selesai bacanya beberapa bulan lalu, baru nulis review-nya hari ini. Ya, saya memang sedang dalam not-in-the-mood-for-writing state yang separah itu. Hehe.

Judul Buku : Mockingjay

Penulis : Suzanne Collins

Penerbit : Scholastic

Tanggal Terbit : 24 Agustus 2010

Ok, let’s start!

Jadi, novel yang kali ini saya ingin review adalah novel yang berjudul Mockingjay. Sebenarnya Mockingjay bukanlah novel yang baru-baru ini diterbitkan. Novel ini dirilis pada tahun 2010, setelah sebelumnya 2 novel pendahulunya, yakni The Hunger Games dan Catching Fire dirilis pada tahun 2008 dan 2009. Yap, Mockingjay adalah “anak bungsu” alias buku ketiga yang sekaligus buku terakhir dari trilogi terkenal The Hunger Games karya Suzanne Collns. Jadi, buku ini sudah pasti bercerita mengenai ending dari perjalanan Katniss yang melawan Kapitol!

Saya nggak ngikutin trilogi The Hunger Games dari novelnya sih. Bahkan, nggak juga nonton film The Hunger Games di bioskop. Biasa, dapet stock film dari temen kuliah, hehe. Jadi, untuk dua judul novel awal, yakni The Hunger Games dan Catching Fire, saya tahu jalan ceritanya dari film. Nah, sedangkan untuk Mockingjay ini, saya sengaja membaca novelnya langsung karena kebetulan saat saya sudah selesai membaca novel ini, filmnya masih dalam tahap shooting dan baru dirilis tanggal 19 November 2014 kemarin. Itu pun hanya part-1 nya saja. Dan, lagi-lagi saya melewatkan filmnya di bioskop huhu. Padahal saya ingin membandingkan apakah film yang ketiga ini mampu mengadaptasi dan merealisasikan cerita dari novel dengan baik atau tidak (100% penilaian pribadi hehe). Bukan tanpa alasan, membaca komentar dan tanggapan dari para kritikus maupun penonton yang sekaligus pembaca novel trilogi The Hunger Games, film pertama dan film kedua yang ceritanya didasarkan pada cerita novel tersebut berhasil cukup baik merealisasikan apa yang para pembaca baca dan imajinasikan pada saat membaca cerita asal dari novel. Sayangnya, saya belum jodoh menonton Mockingjay Part 1 di bioskop, karena ketika saya pergi ke bioskop, film itu sudah tidak tayang, huhu.

Ini cover dari novel Mockingjay yang saya baca. Saya sendiri membaca versi asli, yakni versi Bahasa Inggrisnya, dan tidak tahu pasti apakah ada versi Bahasa Indonesianya atau tidak.

Mockingjay Cover

Seperti yang sudah saya tulis di paragraf sebelumnya, novel berjudul Mockingjay ini masih menceritakan perjuangan dan perjalanan Katniss Everdeen dalam menentang kekuasaan Kapitol di bawah pimpinan Presiden Snow. Bedanya, di novel ini para pembaca akan dibawa bertualang ke perjuangan akhir seorang Katniss Everdeen bersama teman-teman pemberontakannya yang baru. Jika di The Hunger Games dan Catching Fire, Katniss selalu kita lihat berjuang berdua bersama Peeta Mellark selama di arena Hunger Games maupun Quarter Quell. Di novel ini, mereka berdua berpisah. Katniss berhasil dibawa ke Distrik 13 sedangkan Peeta berhasil ditangkap oleh Kapitol. Tapi justru dengan perpisahan inilah Katniss menyadari bahwa Peeta se-berharga itu untuk dirinya. Bahwa selama ini dia menyepelekan kehadiran Peeta di hidupnya. (Yep, a lil dramatical romance found here!)

Di Kapitol sendiri, Peeta tidak lagi diperlakukan sebagai seorang victory. Dia justru diperlakukan layaknya seorang sandra dan umpan bagi Kapitol untuk menghentikan dan mengancam Katniss yang semakin berhasil meyakinkan ke-11 Distrik lainnya (Distrik 12 -tempat asal Katniss- sudah dihancurkan oleh Kapitol dan Pasukan Peacekeepers-nya sesaat setelah Katniss berhasil dibawa kabur ke Distrik 13) bahwa dia adalah Mockingjay, that she is the rebellion. 

Interesting point from the novel was Katniss’s character!

Dua film dari dua novel terdahulunya yang sudah saya tonton tetap tidak membuat saya terlalu tertarik terhadap main character dari cerita trilogi ini, yang tak lain adalah Katniss. Selain fisik Katniss yang menginspirasi saya untuk lebih mengurus dan merawat diri saya dengan lebih baik lagi, saya tidak merasa bahwa karakter Katniss ini menarik. I mean she is just that common stubborn, social-awkward, arrogant, unfriendly yet silently caring and aware-of-her-surrounding woman. Ya, intinya saya belum merasa tertarik dengan karakter Katniss yang saya dapat dari filmnya. Tapi kemudian, ketika saya membaca novelnya, I fell for Katniss! Dia masih keras kepala, dia masih arogan, tidak ramah, dan masih menyebalkan. Tapi, disisi lain, Katniss yang digambarkan di dalam novel ini merupakan Katniss yang memiliki sisi sarkastik yang mampu membuat saya tertawa. Dan sisi sarkastik itulah yang membuat saya tertarik pada karakter Katniss. ^^

Apa yang terjadi pada saya dan karakter Katniss di film dan di novel tidak terjadi pada saya dan karakter Peeta. Saya tetap tidak merasa bahwa karakter Peeta menarik. Bagi saya, Peeta itu terlalu “lunak nan lembek” sebagai seorang pria. Dia terlalu lemah untuk segala sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan Katniss. Mungkin ini berhubungan juga dengan tipe ideal pria menurut saya juga, hehe. Karakter Peeta yang bagi saya terlalu “lemah” tersebut mungkin berkurang di cerita awal-awal Mockingjay ini. Peeta malahan berubah menjadi seorang “monster” yang membenci Katniss melebihi apapun. Itu terjadi setelah Peeta dicuciotak dan diprogram oleh Kapitol sebagai alat pembenci dan pembunuh Katniss nomor satu. Namun, jangan khawatir karena di akhir-akhir cerita The Old Peeta akan kembali, kok! Sayangnya, perubahan karakter Peeta yang cenderung dinamis ini tidak berpengaruh apa-apa pada saya. It didn’t do things to me. Too bad. Dalam hal karakter, Gale juaranya bagi saya. He is bold, tough, and sarcastic. That’s what a man should be, man! Haha hanya pendapat pribadi tentunya. Ya, meskipun terkadang Gale juga tidak kalah menyebalkan dari Peeta.

Ternyata Suzanne Collins masih percaya pada happy ending. Trilogi The Hunger Games pun ditutup dengan akhir yang cukup bahagia di novel ketiganya ini. Tapi kalau saya boleh jujur, I believe the author could do better than this, hehe. Bukannya saya tidak suka dengan akhir cerita bahagianya, namun ada beberapa bagian dari ending yang membuat saya bertanya-tanya “WHY????”Just my personal taste, perhaps.

Di akhir cerita, Katniss hidup bahagia bersama /drum roll/ Peeta! Pretty predictable, isn’t it? hehe. Yup, walaupun di novel ketiga ini saya sedikit dikecoh mengenai pada siapakah Katniss melabuhkan pilihannya -Gale atau Peeta?, saya sudah yakin sejak awal bahwa ujung-ujungnya akan tetap tentang Katniss dan Peeta.

Dalam epilog, diceritakan bagaimana pada akhirnya The Hunger Games dihapuskan namun tetap dipelajari oleh para murid di sekolah dan diceritakan pula bahwa pada akhirnya Katniss memiliki anak! Yup, Katniss digambarkan sedang memperhatikan kedua anaknya (satu putra dan satu putri) yang sedang bermain bersama. Satu hal yang pasti adalah, tidak mudah bagi Peeta untuk merayu Katniss untuk akhirnya mau memiliki anak. As Katniss said:

“It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree”.

There’s a saying said “Happiness is followed by sorrow”. Begitu pun dengan cerita ini, meskipun berakhir dengan bahagia, ada beberapa karakter favorit saya yang hidupnya harus berakhir sebelum sampai pada ending cerita. Berikut adalah karakter-karakter tersebut:

  1. Yang pertama adalah Boggs, pemimpin tim propaganda Katniss. Yang membuat saya tertarik pada Boggs adalah cara kepemimpinannya yang bijaksana. Poin plus bagi Boggs adalah dia berpihak dan percaya pada Katniss, hehe.
  2. Karakter berikutnya adalah Prim, adik perempuan Katniss. Prim digambarkan sebagai seorang gadis yang cerdas, khususnya dalam hal medis. Poin plus bagi Prim adalah bagaimana cara dia melihat dan memahami suatu masalah dari sudut pandang yang berbeda dengan mempertimbangkan berbagai kondisi dan keadaan. She is that thoughtful for her age. Sayangnya, Prim ini such a her-cat-fool. Dia bahkan pernah hampir membahayakan nyawanya sendiri hanya untuk menyelamatkan kucingnya.
  3. Dan yang terakhir adalah Finnick, teman seperjuangan Katniss sejak di Quarter Quell sampai di Distrik 13. Finnick is just that charming. Tanpa bisa saya jelaskan, tapi Finnick memang semenarik itu bagi saya, hehe. Mungkin karena kesetiaan dan ketulusan yang ada dalam karakter Finnick ini.

There are also some amusing things that I found from this novel. They are:

  1. Peradaban dan kehidupan bawah tanah Distrik 13 yang terhitung sangaaaat canggih (bagi saya). Bayangkan saja, meskipun hidup di bawah tanah, mereka tetap bisa melakukan hal-hal yang dilakukan oleh manusia yang hidup di atas tanah pada umumnya. Penduduk Distrik 13 tetap bisa bercocok tanam. Tetap memiliki perlengkapan militer yang tak kalah canggih dengan milik Kapitol. Kehidupan mereka pun diatur sedisiplin itu, mulai dari makan, pakaian, sampai waktu yang mereka miliki.
  2. Twisted story antara Katniss, Presiden Snow (Presiden Panem) dan Presiden Coin (Presiden Distrik 13). Katniss yang sejak awal berencana membunuh Presiden Snow dengan tangannya sendiri berubah membunuh Presiden Coin, di detik-detik pengeksekusian Snow di depan publik. Sedangkan Snow sendiri mati tanpa alasan yang pasti. Alasan kejadian ini? Find out by yourself hehe.
  3. Lagu “The Hanging Tree” yang merupakan lagu terlarang. Agak merinding sih baca lirik lagunya, hehe.

So, I think that’s all! Thank you for reading and visiting!

Hope you have a great day and Happy New Year!

Bye 🙂