A Letter for October — September Wrap Up

Hi October, you arrived so fast this year so please be good. While I have a lot of things to be thankful for, let me simply start with the fact that I get to spend a lazy rainy day reminiscing some of my good reads and summing everything up in a blog post today. I'm also beyond grateful for being able to add 4 physical books and 4 e-books to my wrap up last monthfor all I know life could be hectic tomorrow and the days after.

(Please skip this part if you haven't read Steelheart and Firefight)
After being corrupted by his own power, Prof turns into an unbeatable High Epic with Regalia's draft plan to implement. Still clueless about his weakness, David and The Reckoners are quick to follow him to Ildithia though they have to be extra careful or else they will be discovered. No matter how impossible the condition might seem, as the leader of the group, David has to at least have a plan.

My experience with this book may have come to an end but how this trilogy highlighted my weeks won't ever be forgotten—I fell for Sanderon's works through these books and I will pick up another by him in the future. In other words, The Reckoners trilogy was certainly worth the hype. If you have a thing for a fast-paced superhero story, this trilogy would be something you'd like to try.

(It's a local book so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
Resign! bercerita tentang kisah empat orang cungpret (alias kacung kampret) di sebuah kantor konsultan di Jakarta yang sedang berlomba-lomba untuk melihat siapa yang bisa terlebih dahulu resign. Alranita adalah pegawai termuda yang sudah hampir dua tahun bekerja di bawah tekanan Tigran, bos yang semena-mena. Carlo, yang baru saja menikah, kepingin pindah dengan harapan bisa mendapat gaji yang lebih besar. Karenina, salah satu pegawai senior yang sudah gedek banget dengan kelakukan sang bos yang menganggapnya tidak kompeten, betul-betul gak sabar untuk hengkang. Terakhir Andre, yang meski menjadi satu-satunya bawahan yang mendapat perlakuan paling manusiawi dari sang bos, kepingin mendapat jadwal yang lebih fleksibel.

Overall, saya enjoy banget baca Resign! ini. Kalau kalian lagi kepingin baca sesuatu yang ringan dan fun, buku ini harus banget dicoba. Memang ada beberapa yang saya sayangkan sih seperti eksekusi endingnya yang terasa agak sedikit terburu-buru dan peran keluarga Rara yang sebetulnya punya potensi untuk digali lebih. Tapi selebihnya, saya betul-betul menikmati. 

Sorcery of Thorns follows the story of a foundling in one of Austermeer's Great Libraries named Elisabeth Scrivener. Having been taught that sorcerers are evil for her entire life, Elisabeth longs to be a warden one day as she wants to protect the kingdom from dark magic like the grimoires that are guarded in the restricted areas of the libraries. One day, an act of sabotage happens—a grimoire is released in the middle of the night. Being the one and only witness, Elisabeth is suspected and thereby brought to the capital to face justice. However, she soon finds out that everything is more complicated than it seems to be. Elisabeth has no one to turn to but someone she has always loathed, a sorcerer. With his mysterious demonic servant called Silas by his side, Elisabeth's alliance with Nathaniel Thorn eventually grows stronger that she starts questioning everything she has been taught about magic.

Following the footstep of Strange the Dreamer, Sorcery of Thorns is one of the most beautifully-written books I've ever read. I was very much in love with everything about the setting: magical libraries with books that were classified based on their power and in the restricted area the whispering grimoires. With a descriptive narration and Rogerson's beautiful writing style combined, the setting felt very vivid and alive to the point that I felt like I was really there. I found it difficult not to wish to revisit this world one day.

(It's a local book so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
Love, Hate & Hocus-Pocus bercerita tentang dua orang manajer sebuah perusahaan farmasi bernama BHI yang jauh dari kata akur. Gadis Parasayu ini orangnya nasionalis banget. Ia paling anti sama sesuatu yang terlalu bau kebarat-baratan dan selalu mendukung brand lokal. Sedangkan Troy Mardian, yang memang lama besar di Amerika, sudah seperti bule wannabe. Selain sering gonta-ganti lensa kontak berwarna, Troy ini selalu mengenakan barang-barang dari designer terkenal luar negeri dan kalau ngomong pun hampir selalu pakai bahasa Inggris. Keduanya pun terpaksa bekerja sama dalam proses peluncuran produk baru BHI yang konon katanya dapat menyembuhkan penyakit demam berdarah. Tapi, belum sempat obat itu resmi diluncurkan, sudah terjatuh korban yang membuat para petinggi BHI kalang kabut. Hubungan Troy dan Gadis yang sudah kacau makin kacau saja saat hal-hal berbau hocus-pocus yang sangat mereka tidak percayai itu malah menjungkirbalikan kenyataan sebenarnya.

Overall, buku ini memang bukan favorit saya, tapi jelas cukup menyenangkan untuk dibaca (atau mungkin saya yang terlalu ketelatan banget kali ya bacanya). Kalau soal jalan cerita sih, saya gak mau komen banyak. Menurut saya, buku ini tipe yang cocok untuk senang-senang aja. Tapi saya sempat berpikir, alangkah kerennya kalau cerita ini difokuskan ke salah satu aspek pentingnya aja.

The Girl and The Witch's Garden follows the story of a twelve-year-old Piper Peavey who has to spend her summer vacation in her mother and grandmother's house, the Mallory Estate. Besides not wanting to leave her father alone in the hospital, it's been seven years since her mother abandoned Piper and her father, therefore imagine how surprised Piper is when she finds out that her cruel mother is fostering kids now. Soon, Piper discovers that magic is real and she may need to lie to get what she needs the most. While the estate is rumored to be owned by a witch in addition to the dead garden that is never taken care of, Piper tries to uncover the secret beneath it before it's too late with the help of her new friends.

All in all, I considered this book very heart-warming. With a satisfying conclusion to end the journey, this book managed to squeeze in some messages throughout the story and at some point it even got my eyes all teary and wet. Even though I was hoping for more details about the magi world, magi hunters, and their motives, I adored this book so much. If you love magical adventure and middle-grade story in general, this book would be something you'd like to put your nose in.

(It's a local book so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
Runaway Ran ini bercerita tentang Katrina, seorang mahasiswi S2 manajamen yang baru saja mendapat kabar kalau ayahnya terpaksa harus mengambil pensiun karena satu dan lain hal. Mau tidak mau, Katrina pun harus mulai belajar hidup hemat, padahal semua orang juga tahu kalau Katrina ini gila belanja. Untuk mengakali hal tersebut, Katrina pun berniat untuk mencari kerja part-time. Setelah susah payah mencari ke sana kemari dengan bantuan teman baiknya Alya, Katrina pun akhirnya diterima kerja oleh seorang komikus lokal yang sedang naik daun, J.F. Ran.

Overall, saya menikmati Runaway Ran ini sebagai bacaan yang sangat menghibur. Jujur aja, awalnya saya sempat berpikir kalau saya bakal lebih menikmati buku ini seandainya dibaca beberapa tahun lalu. Tapi setelah dibuktikan, ternyata sekarang pun saya masih suka. Rencananya sih setelah ini saya mau coba baca buku Mia Arsjad yang lain. Kalau kalian lagi kepingin mencoba bacaan yang ringan dan fun, buku ini boleh banget dicoba.

Not If I Save You First starts when Maddie Manchester is still a ten-year-old girl living in the White House with her Secret Service agent father and best friend Logan. Despite the fact that Logan is the president's only son, the two are inseparable. They do a lot of things together until one day a kidnapping attempt happens and Maddy is whisked off to Alaska for safety. She never hears from Logan anymore in the ensuing days. Jumping forward into six years later, Maddy is used to the solitary life she and her father are living in. She doesn't go to school, the mall, or basically anywhere except the woods. She no longer has a friend too as Logan never once replied to her messages. So when something happens and Logan is sent to live with Maddie and her father, Maddie is mad. She is even madder when another kidnapping attempt happens and there's no one she can turn to but herself.

Even when we put the inexplicable into consideration, I'd say that I was still able to enjoy this book thoroughly especially when it came to the parts where Maddy and Logan had to survive in the wilderness alone. The scenes were descriptive enough that I could almost feel the cold, the frustration, and the fear. How it took a turn in the end was quite satisfying too. Alongside fun characters like Maddy and Logan, Not If I Save You First contained the wintery adventure I had been craving for so long.

The Time of Green Magic follows the story of Abi whose father is getting married to a single mother of two boys named Max and Louis, though the three children haven't gotten the chance to bond yet when something happens with Polly's apartment lease and so they have to move out immediately. The newly blended family then goes for a house-hunting and after a long and difficult search, their choice falls on a big old house covered with ivy and a Narnia look-alike lamp on the front. However, strange things start to happen in the new house. Abi finds herself lost in a book quite literally every time she starts reading. Max loses his best friend and falls head over heels in love with someone he used to despise so much. Louis gets a secret visitor which is becoming much more real and scary through time. Hoping for no one else to get hurt, the three of them try to find a way to solve it.

While the storyline was great, I considered the ending a bit... bland. Don't get me wrong. I still think it's a nice conclusion for a sweet book like this though frankly I was hoping for something more drastic and dramatic like action or magic (or maybe it was because it had contained enough magic already that it wasn't any longer necessary to include another dose in the ending). But still, the way Abi could literally touch the things she read in a book was such an exceptional idea. In conclusion, The Time of Green Magic was an enjoyable middle-grade read with great storytelling and an eerie setting. If you're looking for something light with a touch of something mystical, this book would be another addition you'd like to experience as well.