Rewinding the Pages #1

I read books—a lot, or sort of. Most of the time when I’m busy and am having the reading slump, I just browse through Goodreads to see if there’s anything new and interesting to add to the famous never-ending to-read list. I stopped reading for a while because of school and real-life has been taking much of my reading time. I just started again a few days ago, hacking away the books on my to-read list, but I have a feeling that I’ll become an absentee again in the near future as school’s going to start really soon.

Anyways, I started this book blog. I have already had wishes of making a book blog of my own since I was in junior high school but failed. Some of the causes were because of commitment issues, template problems (I like pretty things, naturally), and so on. I started one earlier on my personal Tumblr as I used to mistrust WordPress and Blogger, but in the end chose to go back to WordPress as I realized that making comments while blog-walking is one of the keys to making friends in the blogging world (in which Tumblr, I think, doesn’t have or isn’t one of its popular features), and also because I realized that WordPress templates are as good as Tumblr (Read my post here to read about why I chose Tumblr in the first place before resorting back to WordPress).

Now, in honour of the birth of A Wave of Vellichor, I am going to…rewind the pages!

Before I start writing about the new books I’ve read and wrote a review about, I am going to rewind what I have read since I first discovered Goodreads before I went on my reading slump. I joined Goodreads in 2014, and since then it has been a reliable tool for me to do an inventory of the books I’ve read and also discovering new potential great read books.

99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa by Rais Hanum Salsabila – A story of Islam in Europe, written by the daughter of Indonesia’s minister. I borrowed this book from the library for my mother, but then I read it myself, too. It portrays Islam in a good way, and that’s what it makes it such a good read.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – This was painful. Imagine a stuck-up genius with a spoiled-rich friend decided to go on an adventure, and then meeting a gorgeous girl who somehow has the same name with all his previous girlfriends. Not to mention the mathematic reference of which I practically skipped. I like smart characters, but this is a totally bad way of portraying them.

Anna series by Kendare Blake (Book 1-2) – A favourite! I prefer the first book than the second one as I don’t like the replacement love interest for our main character, but I also love the ending of the second book. And the covers—they’re beautiful. The first book I recalled could be quite scary if you’re reading it for the first time alone, but by the second or third read, it won’t be anymore. And also the quotes—they’re great. Especially this one: You f***! You ate my cat! I don’t swear in real life, but seriously, this quote is too good to ignore.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Book 1-13) – I got interested in reading this series after watching the movie. And so far, it is the longest series I had read, with 13 books in total. The books, I remembered, were enjoyable to read. With the genius orphans and the academic terms thrown every now and then, I also find to be intellectually satisfying as I learned new words from reading about it. I also remembered adding Klaus to my book crush list, and also Violet being one of the fictional women I admire. And of course, don’t forget Sunny the baby—she grew to be the brawn of the family with her strong teeth despite being a girl and the youngest.

Autumn in Paris by Ilana Tan (Musim series #3) – Actually, I’ve read all four the Musim series. But maybe at some point, I forgot to address it into my Goodreads account. Though it is a series, all four of the series could stand as a stand-alone itself, as the only connection between the four stories are the characters who somehow has a mutual friend with each other. From all the four, my favourite is this book (maybe that’s why it is the only one registered on my Goodreads). Autumn in Paris, unlike the other books in the series, has a sad tragic ending. It was sad, yet bitter-sweet. My second favourite book was Winter in Tokyo (which has a movie made from it), while my least favourite is Spring in London.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – Beautiful. A girl’s struggle for redemption as her last day was repeated over and over again until she had it right. I think I wept a tear on the ending or so.

Bulan Terbelah di Langit Amerika by Rais Hanum Salsabila – This book is like a sequel to Hanum’s first book, 99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa. It told their story of how Islam and what it’s like to be a Moslem in America. It’s nice, but I don’t think it is as good as the first book.

Burn for Burn series by Jenny Han (Book 1-3) – I did not remember how I finished the last book, but somehow the three of them are sitting in my read-shelf. The synopsis—the first book at least—made it sound like it’s a realistic fiction with high school teenage drama, but later on, something paranormal is revealed. Beautiful covers—one of the things that got me flipping through it.

Delirium series by Lauren Oliver (Book 1-2) – After reading the first book and Before I Fall, I was planning to finish the whole series. I even looked for the whole series in advance. Delirium was really good—the words were poetic and made me fall in love them. The second book was again, boring and I ended up completely abandoning the series.

Double Murder by Hitomi Akino – Also one of the oldest I own. I received this as a gift from my aunt. It is also the only Japanese-translated book I have packed into a small size resembling a pocket book. Being a kid, I remembered being terrified of reading it at night (HP books back then also had the same effect). The plot was genius, and I really am looking forward to the romance going on for our heroine.

Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #16) – My brother borrowed it from his school library. A quick read. I did not remember much of it, though. Maybe one day I’ll start reading more of Christie’s works.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Book 1-7) – Need I say more? This series is a popular classic. I’m not going to bore you with details as you’ll find lots of writings about them on the internet. My favourite book is the sixth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because it was where the characters began to experience feelings like normal high-school students and get out a bit of the gloomy atmosphere that has been surrounding them since the fourth book.

Janji Hati by Elvira Natali – A cliché teenage love story. I did not remember much of it except there’s something about a violin going on. A film was made from it, but I’m practically out-of-date with the showbiz since college.

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan – One of the books I read post-Eleanor and Park. I read this in hopes of finding a book that made me feel the same way when I read Eleanor and Park. I did not find it in this book. Also the main character—she’s a bit of a stuck-up, but I’m re-reading it again in the future to make sure of my judgment.

Matched series by Ally Condie (Book 1-3) – The book that got me into Goodreads, dystopia books and book blogging. It is the first book I picked up after reading a review about it from the Internet. I initially had high hopes for it as I found the first book to be good—the first time I read it at least. The second book dragged, and I could not remember a bit how the third book went.

Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (Book 1) – Normally when I only read one book in a series, I wrote its title down. But in this case, I don’t because I’m officially done with it. I don’t like the writing because it resembles more of a crappy fanfiction writing than a novel (believe me, I’ve read better), and I also hate the movie.

Omen series by Lexie Bu (Book 1-4) – The series that got my siblings reading. The first time I bought this book as a birthday gift for my brother (whom since I introduced the PJO and HP series had become a bookworm, too). In the end, we ended up buying the whole series. My siblings probably had finished the whole series by now. I, however, had yet to finish it as the books are kept at home while I am away for college.

Pintu Harmonika by Clara Ng – I did not realise it until the ending that this book contained some implications of the characters being Christian until the end. However, the book itself does not teach any Christianity at all. It was good, and the plot-twist, in the end, was tear-jerking—the character did not he was dead all this time.

Putri Hujan dan Ksatria Malam by Sitta Karina (Hanafiah series #4) – This is one of the oldest popular novels I have. I bought it as a birthday gift when I was in primary school. Despite it being a part of a series with the book being it’s fourth, I did not have any difficulties in reading it. Sitta Karina wrote it in a mix of Indonesian and occasional foreign terms, with also both Indonesian and foreign settings. The style of the writing is really refreshing with a mature teen-speak, so readers from teenagers to early-adults would find it entertaining. One of my favourites.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer – Apparently, the experiences with the Twilight series failed from stopping me to stop reading Meyer’s work. Well, actually I refused to read it at first, but after watching the movie, curiosity got the better of me. I did not remember if I enjoy the book thoroughly or not. I did rate it three stars, though, but I did not write any reviews or comments about how I enjoy the book. I think I might add this to my read-again list if I have the time.

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (Book 1-3) – Probably the only trilogy that has managed to keep up its consistency so far. The second book was even better than the first. The last one dragged a bit, but still better than the other trilogies I’ve read.

The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker – I don’t like reading translated books, but this one was an exception. In my high school class, we have this class library on where we would lend our books for the others to read. One of my friends had a translation of this one and I borrowed it. The character’s sister—or the song reader—was really cool. I mean, reading into people by their latest track is a skill any psychologist—or anyone with an interest in popular psychology—would vie for. However, the skill itself led to the destruction of the wielder. But in the end she made peace and had a happy ending, too.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – I first got interested in reading this when during my ‘necro’ phase where I found death, depression, and suicide fascinating. Telling the story of how a bunch of sisters killed themselves after enamouring some boys, I was expecting it to be whimsical—mysterious, romantic, magical. I was wrong. I tried to watch the film afterwards, but the scenes of blood and stuff stopped me. The fashion in which the sisters dressed were pretty, though. I ended up obsessively scouring out the internet with the tag ‘the virgin suicides fashion’ instead.

Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (Book 2-4) – This is a confession—I bought Eclipse. And to be honest, it wasn’t really that bad. I continued reading the Breaking Dawn (in which I skipped some of it), tried to go on to New Moon, but in the end lost interest in it. That’s why I didn’t complete reading the whole series.

Udah Putusin Aja! by Felix Siauw – A self-help book about how to finally break free of the dating world and fully commit yourself to a no-dating policy. Dating in Islam is prohibited—you can’t even go with only an opposite sex alone if he/she isn’t your family (or mahram/muhrim—I forgot which one is right—to be exact). One of the most effective books in persuading the readers to do—this book was popular among my high school friends at that time and lots of them ended up getting the dumped (the boys) or calling the off the relationships they are in (the girls).

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – The first book of the Warm Bodies series. I’m not a fan of zombies nor the film it was made after, but this book was an enjoyable read. I haven’t read the rest of the series, though, and I’m looking forward to them.

Saving June by Hannah Harrington – Again, a book about suicide (I think I had a ‘suicide-book’ obsession back then). The cover is pretty, with the wistful look. Also the music references in there—I’m reading it again in the future to check them out. I’m kind of irked with the character’s sister’s boyfriend became hers, though.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Read after discovering the movie. I did not remember much of it except the main character wrote a letter to himself. I should re-read it, but I don’t know—it doesn’t interest me much right now.

Restart by Ardianti Nina – I wrote it in Goodreads as boring—need I say more?

If I Stay series by Gayle Forman (Book 1-2) – They were nice, quick, light read. Like most duologies I’ve read so far, the first book is better than the second. The time span in the first book was short but sweet. I loved the soundtrack of the movie. I marked the second book 2 stars, though. Hmm, why?

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Cool presentation with spooky pictures. The sequel has come out (and the movie, too, I think). I’m going to re-read this again someday as I did not fully grasp it before.

Rindu by Tere Liye – Bought but not read until a year later. Like Tere Liye’s previous works—they are wonderful. I especially like the poem on the back, which is what made me interested in the book in the first place. The main character was a bit too good to be realistic, by the way.

Crying 100 Times by Ko Nakamura – A Japanese read borrowed from my high school library. A short light read with something about a sick girl—I couldn’t remember. I supposed it is sweet as well, but I shelved it in ‘couldn’t-really-feel-it’ list. Hmm.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Again, a book by Han. Reading my previous comments, this Lara Jean must have been quite a drama queen. I did not put the second book on my to-read list, so maybe I decided to abandon the series. And again, pretty cover.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan (Book 1-2) – Other than beautiful covers, this series also has awesome titles. However, the characters themselves were not as great as the covers or the titles. I finished the first book but did not finish the second.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I wrote a review about it along with Looking for Alaska somewhere, but I forgot. I’ll post it when I find it. I did not enjoy it both during my first read or second read when I gave it another try. How it got so popular is way beyond me.

You are the Apple of My Eye by Giddens Ko – A Taiwanese novel. Copying what I wrote: It’s also one of the most realistic romance novels I’ve read—maybe it’s because it is also a semi-autobiography of the author’s love life. This book shows that loving someone—even for years—doesn’t mean we have to own them—being their friend is enough. One of those novels whom the male character didn’t get the girl.

Ai by Winna Effendi – I noted it as the better of the writer’s works. But I still couldn’t remember much about it.

Remember When by Winna Effendi – There’s a movie about it I think.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – Absolutely the best contemporary romance novel there is! Up until now, I have yet to find something that managed to its standard. Great, cryptic ending, great cover, and great story! Love the references to the 80s music as well.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I like it less than Eleanor and Park. The amount of Simon and Baz exposure is worth a novel on its own. I skimmed through those parts, though. The love interest was out of bounds.

Bumi Manusia by Pramoedya Ananta Toer – A classic Indonesian literature. I read this as a school assignment. At first, I thought that this book will be hard to understand as it is written in the oldies Indonesia with the settings before Indonesia became independent—I was wrong. The writing itself resembled modern-day novel writing (even better than some) and also there’re some great quotes in there of which definitely worth noting and applied.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – I’ve read this? Pretty cover, great title, interesting synopsis, but a forgettable story. I did not remember a bit about what’s inside it. Up for a re-read.

Padang Bulan by Andrea Hirata – Apparently, I wrote that a review is to come. But then it got abandoned. A modern-day Indonesian literature.

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares – Beautiful cover, horrible story. My main problem is how quick the romance went. Might re-read it again as I remember the story line was interesting, but I’ll skip through the part which I didn’t like.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – Great title. Set in short time span, I think. Something about aeroplanes and the MC initially not believing in love at first sight until the end of the book.

High School Paradise by Orizuka – Another Indonesian read. Quite nice, actually. Focuses more on the friendship than the romance.

Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata – One of the most popular Indonesian novel with movies made from it and its sequels. I planned to read the rest of the series, but till this day I still haven’t.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – Bought from a second-hand bookstore by my aunt. A classic great read about horses. If I have a horse, I’m naming it Black Beauty.

The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot (Book 1-4) – I initially planned to do a Princess Diaries marathon and review but stopped at the fourth book. I like the movie a lot, by the way. Mia here is more childish than the movie version. Michael at first wasn’t exactly like he was portrayed in the film, but later turned out to be pretty much similar. I love the transitions of the relationship between those two. Up for a re-read AND continuity.

Kau, Aku & Sepucuk Angpau Merah by Tere Liye – The best Indonesian romance novel, though the ending was a bit down-letting than the rest of the book. The setting is humble and simple, and the development of the relationship is smooth and realistic enough to make readers relate to it.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – My (only) favourite John Green book. I wrote a review about it somewhere along with TFIOS. Looking forward to the movie.

Yuk, Berhijab! by Felix Siauw – Another of his self-help book to persuade female readers to wear the hijab. Not as effective as Udah, Putusin Aja! though.

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma – Pretty cover, disappointing ending. I remembered something about kids sneaking out for a swim and water pollution or some sort. Tempting to re-read.

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner – Similar to Divergent, the first book was good by the second book dragged with the technicality of the scenes repeating over and over again. I had forgotten how the third book went.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp – What surprised me the most is how different the ending of the movie and the book is. I wasn’t expecting Sutter getting such a dark scene in the end where he seemed that he had lost hope.

Perahu Kertas by Dee Lestari – Also a popular Indonesian novel. It deals with college-age teens’ romance venturing into new adults. I enjoyed the first part, but not the second—it became too weepy.

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers – Beautiful cover. Something about photography and being deceived. I noted to myself that I couldn’t stand re-reading it again, but I think I might someday. Summers’ books are a light read after all.

3600 Detik by Charon – Meh.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield – I was hoping to do a marathon but after the first book I kind of lost interest. I might continue it one day, though. Review in the works.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern – An adult chick-lit in which I really enjoy. The writing is unique and doesn’t feel too adult. Might be re-reading it someday.

Victory by Luna Torashyngu – Again, meh.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Beautiful cover, great title, nice main character name—not so nice story. The plot was boring and I, in the end, abandoned the whole series.

Aku Tahu Kamu Hantu by Eve Shi – In English, it means I Know You’re A Ghost. A horror novel with a pretty cover and an interesting story. It follows the story of a girl who can see ghosts. But when the ghost of one of the boys in her school contacted her, she must discover who really had killed him. I was expecting that this ghost was to be her love interest, and there a cliffhanger in the end which led me to wish that there will be a sequel about it. Good presentation, too—before the start of every new chapter, there’s this picture of a guy who seemed to slowly become nearer. For unsuspecting readers, this can be both surprise and fright.

Negeri Para Bedebah by Tere Liye – Another Tere Liye book. Unlike most novels I’ve read, this one is in the action genre. Cool main character, interesting plot, and good action scenes. I have wanted to read its sequel, but until I graduated from high school (from which I borrowed the book), I still haven’t read it yet.

Harus Bisa!: Seni Memimpin a la SBY by Dino Patti Djalal – A non-fiction book about one of Indonesia’s previous president. Books like this usually bore me, but this one is actually interesting. Might be biassed, some say, but at least the writing is nice.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – A movie was said to be made about it, but till now it still hasn’t been released. I wrote a review about it somewhere, but I seemed to have lost it. Hmm.

Dear Umbrella by Alfian Daniear – One of the romance book with the most disappointing couple. It was actually quite enjoyable, but the love interest who won the main character’s heart in the end sucks big time.

Setiap Tempat Punya Cerita series – So, this is a series of romance novels written by numerous Indonesian novelists set in foreign places (hence the namesake). Some of them are nice, while some others are plain horrible and cliché. Pretty covers, though.

Books I have read but either didn’t bother to add to Goodreads or forgot or misplaced:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – A favourite. The story is simple, but moving. The boy in the book made it to my book crush list. Up for a re-read.

The Paper Towns by John Green – I misplaced this on my TBR. Not as bad as TFIOS but not as great LFA. A good road-trip novel, though.

Summer in Seoul, Winter in Tokyo, Spring in London by Ilana Tan (Musim series 1, 3, 4)Summer in Seoul was ordinary, Winter in Tokyo was second best, Spring in London was horrible.

Okay, now, did I miss something? Hmm. I listed more than 100 read books on Goodreads, so there’s a chance that I accidentally skipped some books while writing this. Any other way, If you find a book that I’d marked as read before July 2016 and you want to more about how I remember it, just please drop a comment below.

And so, what books have you read before your reading slump?

Rewinding the Pages (2)



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