It's The Peak Season's Wrap Up

Ah, April. This year's peak season was finally over. While I was not fully involved in the preparation, it was still an exhausting month regardless. In conclusion? Six books in total were quite an achievement. 

Persuasion follows the story of a twenty-seven-year-old Anne Elliot whose family is on the edge of financial ruin. After consulting with some friends, her father decides to let their home, Kellynch Hall, rented. It obviously saddens Anne exceedingly, much more so the fact that her father and elder sister Elizabeth resolve to reside in Bath for a while. Being considered as no use there, Anne is to live with her friend Lady Russell and her married younger sister Mary for some period of time. But it is not helping that the house's tenant turns out to be Fredrick Wentworth's sister and her husband. Having a history together is one thing, but the fact that eight years ago Anne broke off her engagement with Wentworth after being persuaded by Lady Russell is certainly another. She has been left with regret since then even though her friend insists that such a match is unworthy. Now that Wentworth is back from the sea as a rich and successful captain, Anne has to act like nothing between them has ever happened and that she is okay with not sharing even so much as a greeting.

I was once again in love with the ambiance Austen's book managed to create during my time reading. Persuasion was an enjoyable read if you didn't mind the almost-boring first few chapters in it. If you like classic or a fan of Austen's other books, you should totally add Persuasion to the list of your to-be-read. All in all, this book seemed like it consisted of a similar formula to the other Austen’s books but I felt like Persuasion’s pace was the fastest if compared and also the most romantic.

Fable tells the story of a seventeen-year-old Fable who has been abandoned by her father for four years on an island full of thieves after watching her mother drown in an unforgiving storm. As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, Fable determines to survive in the world built for men and get off the island in order to demand a place in his crew. To survive, she has to dredge and sell as many pyres as she can to collect enough coins to get herself on a boat and cross the Narrows. She finally gets the help she needs from a young trader named West in his boat called Marigold and soon finds out that after all these years, her father's enterprise is getting bigger and bigger and so is the amount of his rivalries, while West and his small crew are not exactly like what they seem either.

Overall, Fable was an enjoyable sea-setting book that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next installment of. The adventure was intriguing enough that I admittedly half-forced myself to finish almost every part of it in a day. If you want to read a pirate-themed young adult book, this book may be for you. But please remember that sometimes expecting nothing is the key. You will likely end up enjoying it more than if you have expected too highly of it.

(I got a translated copy in exchange for an honest review, so I'm gonna write the review in Bahasa)
Legenda Perompak Naga bercerita tentang kisah seorang Juru Masak di kapal Naga Hijau, seorang pemuda berusia 17 tahun yang beberapa tahun lalu diselamatkan oleh si Perompak Naga yang legendaris. Sebagai yang terpilih, si Juru Masak tentu disiapkan untuk suatu hari menjadi pemimpin para kawanan Naga Hijau. Tapi si Juru Masak merasa bahwa menjadi perompak bukanlah panggilan hidupnya. Satu-satunya impiannya adalah menjadi seorang juru masak handal yang mahir menggunakan pisau dapur untuk memasak dan bukan membunuh. Tentu saja hal itu sangat berlawanan dengan dunianya, apalagi kawanan Naga Hijau memang ditakuti karena kehebatan mereka merompak dan mencuri dari kapal dagang dan para saudagar kaya.

Secara keseluruhan, saya menikmati perjalanan saya menyusuri lautan bersama si Juru Masak dan para kawanan Naga Hijau di buku Legenda Perompak Naga ini. Petualangan di laut memang selalu asyik untuk diikuti, dan buku ini termasuk salah satunya. Bagi teman-teman yang suka perpaduan antara middle-grade dan fantasi, buku ini wajib banget untuk dicoba.

No Judgement follows the story of a twenty-five-year-old Sabrina 'Bree' Beckham who has been living in Little Bridge Island for three months in order to take a break from her messed-up life in the city. Working as a waitress in a diner called Mermaid Cafe, Bree is determined not to let anything get in her way there, including a category five hurricane threatening to ravage the island or her boss' hot nephew, the notorious heart breaker Drew Hartwell. When the rampage actually comes, most of the islanders have already evacuated but not Bree or the Hartwells. As soon as the damage is done, they decide to help those in need including some pet owners who have been cut off from their pets. Because of this, Bree has no other choice but to let Drew help her in her mission rescuing all the cats, dogs, birds, and others.

I finished this 350-something book in a day and it must say something if I have not. No Judgement was a light, guilty-pleasure read with interesting characters and even more interesting animals to kick off your weekend with. Minus the ending that felt too quick and one particular part that seemed a little disturbing as it took quite a dark turn, I still enjoyed the rest of this book thoroughly hence my decision to give it four solid stars. Moreover, No Judgement had a fast pace that flowed really well, so I would still recommend it if you want something light and fun.

The Shadows Between Us follows the story of an eighteen-year-old girl named Alessandra who is tired of being overlooked her entire life. To remedy that, she plans to woo the newly-crowned Shadow King, marry him, and kill him before finally taking the entire kingdom for herself. But it turns out that she is not the only one planning the King’s murder. To achieve her ultimate goal, Alessandra realizes that she needs to keep Kallias alive long enough to make her a queen though she doesn’t count on the fact that she might risk her own heart along the way.

Contrary to popular liking, I didn’t find this book as wonderful as I had thought it would be. But still, I would recommend it if you love a quick fantasy read. Some side characters seemed to pass by quickly without any distinct development or purpose other than to make Alessandra look very desirable. And the only ‘fantasy’ element found in this book was The Shadow King’s power and nothing more. While it was not exactly a bad thing (except for my expectation), I did find myself feeling a wee bit disappointed by the world-building or the lack thereof.

(Please skip this part if you haven't read Fable)
Following where we left off in Fable, Namesake starts right after our main character has experienced short-lived freedom before being a prisoner in the notorious trader ship called Luna. In the middle of the vast ocean, Fable has nowhere to go. The only thing she can do to survive in the enemy's lair is to assist Zola in whatever scheme he is currently into and avoid the blood-thirsty crew that has been thirsting for Crane's death revenge. Still, Fable doesn't have a clue that all the scheming and deceptions are leading her closer to finding her mother's deepest secret. When it seems like it is going to endanger the very people Fable cares about, she knows she has to risk everything to save them including everything she loves.

Overall, Namesake was an enjoyable fantasy read. The story was told beautifully and the world-building was as bizarre as the first one. Meanwhile, the characters were deeply flawed, but I loved how they managed to become believably better and progress. While it may not be the kind of series that leaves me feeling desperately in need of another installment, Fable is certainly a duology I will want to reread in the future.