A Little Behind, But Here's My July Wrap Up

It's not a good enough excuse to say that work has been getting into my way a lot lately but I'm glad that I finally get the time to look back on my July's life with fondness through all the books I read that month. Although, pardon me for not including A Man Called Ove in this picture I took the other day as I haven't had the chance to buy the physical copy yet but please remember that it's worth mentioning and good.

(Please skip this part if you haven't read Red Rising)
Following where we left off in the first book, Golden Son starts four years after Darrow agrees to be a Lancer for House Augustus. Though he is now considered as one of the Notable Elites, Darrow is still trying to prove himself worthy in the Academy. However, it's hard to maintain victory if you have to face House Bellona as your number one enemy. After facing a major defeat and being embarrassed in public, Augustus finally decides that Darrow will no longer be a Lancer for his house. His contract will be traded at The Summit that takes place in Luna.

I had sensed since the very beginning that the conflicts were being explored thoroughly to build up something spectacular, although compared to the actual ending, the other scenes might seem less shocking. Golden Son was certainly full of wars and while it was even more gory and bloody, the strategy and politics were far cleverer also. To put it simply, I very much admired it for its cleverness in both its plot and quality.

(Please skip this part if you haven't read Red Rising and Golden Son)
Morning Star follows the story of a now-captured Darrow who is helplessly tortured by the cruel Jackal for nine whole months in Attica before being dragged out to be tested by a Yellow doctor in a lab. However, something weird suddenly happens when everyone there is shot to death: two Son of Ares' members try to help Darrow escape no matter the cost it may take. Though their attempt to escape isn't as easy as planned, Darrow has successfully reunited with his family and friends. Once again, they plan to break the chain, to fight for not only his people's justice but also Eo's dream.

All things considered, this book had everything I looked forward to in a series finale that made my feeling crumpled like a piece of paper. After being led to believe that there would be something huge revealed in this finale, the anticipation didn't disappoint at all. Morning Star was a brilliant read and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this fandom.

In a small neighborhood, a 59-year-old man called Ove lives alone. Ove doesn't talk much on a daily basis and gets grumpy easily though Patrick, Parvaneh, and their two daughters don't seem to realize this. When the four of them move into the house across Ove's, much to his dismay, they can't seem to leave him alone even for a little while. A Man Called Ove tells the story of Ove in both his present and old times, included in it Sonja, the love of his life, whom he met in a train station growing up. Despite having a different view of life, Ove has always been very hardworking and honest to the point where it’s admirable if a little insane.

I didn't expect to be emotionally invested in Ove's character as much as I didn't think I would find something special in what seemed to be a very ordinary story. A Man Called Ove was the kind of book that could clearly strike a chord with its representation of life in a simple but touching way. All in all, this book felt very precious and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is in need of something honest and warm.

Serpent & Dove follows the story of a witch called Lou in the City of Cesarine where witches like her are considered a demon and therefore being hunted and burned. For the past years, Lou has been running away from her past with her best friend Coco while trying the best she can to keep being alive. However, everything turns upside down the day her path crosses with Reid, the captain of the Chasseur.

It was honestly hard for me not to like this book considering it contained almost all the aspects I'm always eager to look forward to in a book. Even though it started out a bit confusing by introducing a few new characters at once while talking about things I hadn't fully understand yet, I literally couldn't put this book down once I had gone past that. Mahurin's writing style was beautiful and easy to visualize that it kept me up all day and all night. I loved every detail written about Cesarine as well as the visualization of the magic system. To put it simply, it was an enchanting world Mahurin built.

Quintessence follows the story of Alma Lucas who has just moved to the town of Four Points due to her parents' job. In addition to not being great at acclimating, Alma finds herself going through regular panic attacks that her parents aren't aware of. However, her life suddenly gets a lot more interesting when she meets a strange shopkeeper from a strange shop called Fifth Point. The lonely Alma is suddenly joining the Astronomy Club in which she makes not only one but two new friends named Hugo and Shirin. Moreover, Alma realizes that she has just witnessed something impossible in the form of a falling star that looks like a child, crashing in her backyard. With that, an adventure of elements begins and she can finally feel her Alma-ness again.

Overall, this book was a heartwarming tale with a mystical setting and a lovely ending. While science was something quite remarkable in this book, I found the development in the self-discovery part worth mentioning also. Experiencing this book from Alma's point of view made me want to like her for being tough. She didn't let her fear control her even when she was forced to experience a lot of ups and downs in the process. Her journey to overcome her anxiety and discover her true self touched me, and while I could relate to how hard it was to adapt to what seemed to be an entirely new life, I couldn't stop thinking about how great of a choice the word Alma-ness was.

(I got a translated copy in exchange for an honest review, so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida sendiri bercerita tentang kisah seorang anak kuliah bernama Miwako Sumida yang baru saja ditemukan gantung diri. Oleh karena itu, cerita di buku ini dituturkan dari tiga sudut pandang orang terdekat Miwako: Ryusei Yanagi, laki-laki yang sangat menyukai Miwako meski cintanya tak pernah diterima; Chie Ohno, sahabat terdekat Miwako sejak sekolah; serta Fumi Yanagi, kakak perempuan Ryusei yang juga sangat dekat dengan Miwako.

Overall, saya sangat menikmati The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida ini, apalagi bahasa terjemahannya mengalir banget dan enak untuk dibaca. Ending buku ini juga berhasil bikin saya kepikiran selama beberapa jam, jadi saya sangat merekomendasikan buku ini untuk teman-teman yang sedang mencari bacaan serupa. Dan last but not the least, saya juga ingin berterima kasih kepada penulis dan penerbit yang memberi saya kesempatan untuk membaca dan mengulas novel ini.

(I got a translated copy in exchange for an honest review, so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
Rainbirds bercerita tentang Ren Ishida yang memutuskan untuk pergi ke Akakawa setelah kakak perempuannya, Keiko Ishida, tiba-tiba terbunuh. Di sana, Ren berusaha mencari tahu apa penyebab kematian Keiko dengan pelan-pelan merunut ulang kehidupan Keiko beberapa tahun belakangan ini, termasuk dengan mencoba menjadi guru bimbel bahasa Inggris di tempat Keiko dulu mengajar. Dalam pencarian itulah, Ren berhasil menguak rahasia-rahasia yang selama ini Keiko simpan rapat-rapat.

Overall, buku ini (beserta misteri yang dikemas dengan perlahan namun mengejutkan) sangat dapat dinikmati. Dengan mengambil latar Jepang, cerita ini bisa dibilang menarik dengan ciri khasnya sendiri. Bagi kalian yang kepingin membaca buku di mana misterinya dibangun secara bertahap, buku ini oleh banget dicoba. Terakhir, saya ingin sekali lagi berterima kasih kepada penulis dan penerbit untuk kesempatannya membaca dan mengulas novel ini.