[Review] All The Light We Cannot See


Title : All The Light We Cannot See
Author : Anthony Doerr
Publisher : Scribner
Published : 2014
Page : 530 pages
My Rating : 4.5/5


Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times)

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Review – My Year of Meats


Title : My Year of Meats
Author : Ruth Ozeki
Publisher : Text Publishing
Published : July 2013 (first published 1998)
Page : 366 pages
My Rating : 4/5


When a documentary marker Jane Takagi-Little lands a job on a Japanese television show sponsored by an American meat exporter, she uncovers some unsavory truths about love, fertility, and a dangerous hormone called DES. Soon she will also cross paths with Akiko Ueno, a beleaguered Japanese housewife struggling to escape her overbearing husband. And the battle with ‘big beef’ will be on in earnest.

Romance, humour, intrigue–even a message: Ruth Ozeki’s much loved novel has it all.

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The Things About Never Let Me Go


Title : Never Let Me Go
Author : Kazuo Ishiguro
Publisher : Knopf
Published : 2005
Page : 304 pages
My Rating : 3.5/5

As a child, Kathy-now thirty-one years old-lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed-even comforted-by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood-and about their lives now.

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Review – All The Bright Places


Title : All The Bright Places
Author : Jennifer Niven
Publisher : Alfred A. Knopf
Published : January 2015
Page : 388 pages
My Rating : 3.5/5


Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge.

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Review – Anna Dressed in Blood (#Anna 1)


Title : Anna Dressed in Blood (#Anna 1)
Author : Kendare Blake
Publisher : Tor Teen
Published : August 2011 (ebook)
Page : 387 pages
My Rating : 4/5


Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

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Review – Falling Into Place


Title : Falling Into Place
Author : Amy Zhang
Publisher : Greenwillow
Published : September 2014 (Intl. edition)
Page : 296 pages
My Rating : 4/5


On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

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Review – Bonus Track


Title : Bonus Track
Author : Koshigaya Osamu
Translator : Andry Setiawan
Publisher : Penerbit Haru
Published : Oktober 2014
Page : 380 pages
My Rating : 3.5/5


Aku sendiri pun terkejut. Aku tidak pernah berpikir akan menjadi hantu dan bergentayangan.

Kusano Tetsuya bekerja di sebuah restoran hamburger besar di kotanya. Suatu malam, saat ia pulang kerja sambil mengendarai mobilnya, ia menjadi saksi tabrak lari. Sebuah mobil sport hitam melaju dengan kencang, meninggalkan seorang pemuda bertubuh kecil tergeletak di jalanan di tengah hujan.

Kusano mencoba untuk menolong pemuda itu, bahkan sampai memberikan napas buatan. Namun semua sudah terlambat. Semalam suntuk ia harus memberikan pernyataan di kantor polisi.

Gara-gara itu, Kusano demam tinggi dan bahkan berhalusinasi. Pemuda korban tabrak lari itu muncul di kamarnya, tidur-tiduran di atas sofanya, dan bahkan berbuat usil!

Tapi, apa itu benar-benar hanya halusinasi? Halusinasi itu sendiri sih mengaku kalau ia adalah hantu….

Kadang bonus track itu sendiri malah lebih baik dibandingkan dengan keseluruhan album.

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