Monday, August 30, 2010

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelly

Stargirl Caraway. Feel familiar with this name? Maybe, about nine years ago, you had read about an eccentric and compassionate girl, who naming herself Stargirl. 
This book is the sequel to the bestselling book, Stargirl and centers on "the world's longest letter" in diary form. It picks up where the previous novel left off after Stargirl left Mica High and describes her bittersweet memories in the town of Mica, Arizona along with the involvements of new people in her life.

Don't  worry for you who haven't read the first book, because you can still enjoy an extraordinary life for Stargirl. After leaving her previous life, Stargirl start to meet new people with various characters. Some become her new friends, some become her enemies, and one of them maybe able to replace Leo in her heart. Will he?


But, obviously Stargirl still keep Leo in her mind. She always write to Leo. Tell about her new life, new friends, new habit, even a boy who steals her heart. Stargirl tells how her uniqueness turn out to be something in her new environment, that she can prove that to be different is okay, as long as you feel comfort with yourself. She tells Leo, that it doesn't matter to be freak, as long as you're not trying to be someone else.


Stargirl and Love, Stargirl is an example for teenagers to always proud to themselves, build confidence, even you're not same like people around you. To struggle your love, but know the time you should stop because you should appreciate yourself than sacrificing it for someone you love. That you should put respect to yourself, and never let anyone else to underestimate you.


Must read one, even you are not teenager anymore!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Remember her first book who really caught me up? Finally after long waiting, Gramedia Pustaka Utama publishes its sequel, Catching Fire.
WARNING! SPOILER FOR THE FIRST BOOK!!!
Still present Katniss and Peeta as main role, this book take time setting after they both come home as the winner of Hunger Games, and of course still act as young teenagers who deeply falls in love one to another to avoid suspicion from Capital that they only made the love story up for win the Games together. But, it proves that their braveness against Capital's rules in Hunger Games brings out other districts courage. They slowly rise, plan rebellion to the Capital.

Katniss, who only wants to protect her family, is confused about what to do. One hand, she should keep pretending that she's in love with Peeta, for everyone's good, but her hunting mate, Gale, is always imagined in her mind. While wandering blindly, Katniss found that Capital is forcing back all previous winners of Hunger Games who still live, to compete again, in celebrating 75th Hunger Games. It means that she, once again, should compete with Peeta!

How it ends? I really wish I could give you little spoiler, but it will make me such bad reviewer. What I say is Suzanne Collins has successfully built suspense as she did in the first book. The Games turns more cruel, brutal, because it has more competitor. But, she also writes about Young Katniss heart, hesitation when she should choose the path of her future, and not being together with someone she loves. All packages in one book. Good job, Suzanne! I can't wait for last book! :)

And The Winner Goes To....

Many creative and crazy ideas from my latest giveaway. Well, I am excited reading your imagination, and wish that someday you can realize your dream birthday.
I had no birthday party, but being surrounded by people who I love and love me is greatest bliss for me. For you too, I am sure. I feel so glad that I could share little happiness to all of you. Maybe I can choose you all to receive this gift(that's my biggest regret, I am so sorry), but you all have brought joy to me. I couldn't stop smiling while reading your answers. Birthday is special day, and you all wake my wildest dream to create an amazing birthday party someday.

So, here it is the winner of my giveaway.

1. If Only It Were True - Noor's blog (inside of me)
2. Paviliun Maria - Cie
3. Kembalinya Sherlock Holmes - miss bibliophile
4. A Little Princess - Fanda 
5. Matilda - Reni
6. The Hobbit - Winter 
7. The Opposite of Fate - papillonianz

You are having really nice dreams! well, actually you all are! But too bad, too bad.. I should pick just seven winners. Thanks for participating, and don't forget to always visit Books of Dela because I still have many ideas for giveaway! :)


For winners, congrats! Email your full name and complete address at yuliadeladacrea@yahoo.com, and I'll send your books soon. Enjoy reading, and keep telling me how the book is.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Marmut Merah Jambu by Raditya Dika

Have you joined my latest giveaway? I prepare seven free books, you have to join it if you haven't. :)

So, late reading, yes. My friend just brought me Marmut Merah Jambu by Raditya Dika. By reading his previous book, I was thinking it just another comedy book. Oh, yes it is. But let me tell you.

Thirteen short stories. Or should I say thirteen sweet love stories? Yes, a bit different from his previous books, Radith tried to insert some romantic favors here. Love is all around. Maybe, we used to see Radith as a comedian, hilarious person who always makes people laugh, weird act. But he's a human too. He's falling in love. He wants to being loved in return. He can be serious if he want to.

Too serious? Don't worry, Radith still comes with his usual jokes, fresh and amusing. Even in a very bitter ending, he's still able to find bright sides, and makes us rethink about what we've felt all this time. Are we falling in love? Have we found our soulmate?

From teenage love stories until mature ones, we are brought to see different life of Raditya Dika. The stories are similar with what happened to all of us, so it's like standing in the mirror, considering our own life. One of my favorite chapter called "How I Meet You, Not Your Mother". He says that we all are destined to meet somebody. Cosmos prepares it for us. He calls it cosmological coincidence. That everyone has their fate, their own line, and maybe sometimes the lines will intersect each other. How beautiful. :)

So, Raditya Dika has been succeed to bring out his mature side. I am falling for this book, hey, I even sacrifice my sleeping time for completing this book!! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

BIRTHDAY BASH : Another Giveaway!!

Bad blogger. Yes, it's me. I am not going to ask apologize, it's really my fault, I couldn't spare some times for updating, even reading books in my rushing activities this month. But, I am gonna try something to compensate my hiatus.

ANOTHER GIVEAWAY! YAY!


So, this is it. By the end July, I will turn into 22. Wow, it's hard to believe that I've through such as many years in my life. I am so grateful and feel blessed of my life. That's why I arrange this giveaway. To share my happiness. With all of you. :)


Some people have suggested what book they want for this giveaway, and I really appreciate it. I am sorry (again), if I can't fulfill your wish. I have limited capability, but still, I hope you can participate here. So, these are books that I want to share FOR FREE.


1. If Only It Were True - Marc Levy, published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


2. Paviliun Maria - V Lestari published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

3. Kembalinya Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


4. A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett published by Wordsworth Classic.


5. Matilda - Rpald Dahl published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


6. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

 

7. The Opposite of Fate - Amy Tan published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.


So, what you have to do is..
1. It'll be nice if you are one of this blog followers. :)
2. For Indonesian only, I am sorry... :(
3. Share with me, what is your craziest dream of birthday party? What do you want for its theme, who will you invite, or maybe the stars who will perform in your party? Be creative!
4. Share your dream in comments box, don't forget to choose ONE from those books above, and insert your email.
5. It will be very kind of you, if you want to tell your friends about this giveaway. :)


I will close this giveaway on July 30th, exactly on my birthday, :) and announce the winner in the beginning of August. So hurry, fill me up with your dreams!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interview with Sitta Karina

I was very excited to feature this author. Sitta Karina, in my opinion, is one of best author in Indonesia. The way she writes, makes everyone who reading her story feel special. She writes many books, some of them are family related fiction, well-known as Hanafiah. Sitta tells story from every members of Hanafiah family attractively. Beside Hanafiah, Sitta also writes fantasy story, and some articles for CosmoGirl! Indonesia. Here is my interview with her. Lucky me, she was able to make time for answering some questions while she is busy with deadlines, and of course her pregnancy. :)




(image from sittakarina.com)

Hello Sitta. As everyone knows, you are famed by writing Hanafiah story. Hanafiah is recognized as wealthy family, who have sophisticated lifestyle. Well, I wonder if you have any idea to create another family story, but with different background, for example middle life?
Of course, and actually I've already had. Social background in "Kencana" and "Circa" is coming from middle circle, indeed. So will Syadiran and Aslan's family. Thing that should be concerned is there are some kinds of middle circle nowadays. Lot of people ride BMW and Benz, whereas they are coming from middle circle. But, they are strong middle class people, not old money people, like conglomerate or former official who settle in Menteng.


Some of Hanafiah character seems to be real for readers. They even have twitter account. Are they real? Or maybe Sitta was inspired by someone when creating them?
Basically, their characters are combination of a few people's character that I've already known and recognize. If it said real, yes, they are real. Although in the story, the characters are combined with my own imagination.


Many loyal readers are waiting for next Hanafiah story. Who is next character who will be appointed to your next book?
I am actually having a "break" in writing Hanafiah. But to fulfill your request, there is novelette about Reno Hanafiah, titled "Dunia Mara", which will published as E-Book.

From all of your character, I personally love Austin Hanafiah in Titanium. If someday, Titanium will be filmed, who's most appropriate actor to perform Austin?
Honestly I have no idea. I think there's no suitable local actor to perform Austin's role now.

Last question. Beside writing, what's you favorite activity in spare time?
Playing with my husband and son. They are my center of life. :)

That's it! Thank you Sitta, we're absolutely waiting impatiently for your new book! :) You can reach Sitta Karina by visiting her website, or follow her twitter!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Can You Help Me?

I've been busy this whole week, and it could be said that I almost had no time for reading. So, please apologize if you haven't found any newest reviews here.

Well, June is coming! I had great May, and hopefully June will be as well too. I'll arrange a HUGE GIVEAWAY in July. I will prepare A LOT OF BOOKS. Hahaha, hope you all interested. My birthday is on July, and of course I am gonna sharing my happiness to you. Well, I am growing older, but it really doesn't matter right?

To make sure that you are going to get happy, I'd like to invite you to tell me what books should I prepare for the giveaway. Maybe you have to wait for a month, but feel free to share what books do you want to get for free. Comment here, share, you can insert one, two, three, as many as you can! XD

Waiting for your entries here. Or you can tweet me @deladacrea!


X
Dela

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult


What does it mean to be a good mother?
How far would you go in the name of love -- and justice?
Summary

In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well. In a heartbeat, Nina's absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son -- no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice.

I was crying while reading this book. I swear I never felt heart-broken before while reading a book. In middle of page, I even put off it and almost decided not to finish it. It's too hurting. But, as I am a bookworm, I took it back, and started reading again. For everyone, who have read Sister's Keeper, or Salem Falls, should have known how Picoult aware about morality and law, how it can be opposite but sometimes mistakes should be executed to get better life. Maybe we have to take very hard decision, which break a law, but we think that it should be done for our future.

That's what Nina Frost does. She is an attorney, but also a mother. Her feeling is broken when she knows Nathaniel, her son, becoming sex violence victim. While Nathaniel is traumatized, he becomes mute, and not able to inform who had performed it to him. Nathaniel, who was active kid before, like to ask around, talkative, turns to vegetative boy, silent, and often try to do suicidal.

When Nathaniel finally tells Nina who's the offender, Nina must take reality that imperfect States law of sex assault can give freedom to suspect. So, Nina takes a decision, brave decision, which able to change her life forever.

I even can't choose side here. I know that Nina is doing mistakes, very huge one, but for God sake, she is doing it for her son. I'll have no idea what am I gonna to do, if I am in her position. Nina have to sacrifice everything to protect her son, and maybe other children, who maybe will be treated the same, if they release the suspect. So once again, right and wrong is gray area, huh? We'll never know the difference. It always change in different condition.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vice Versa by Alanda Kariza

" Koreksi saya jika salah, tapi saya merasa Tuhan telah memilihkan kamu untuk saya." (Yudhis - Bunga)
Do you believe in love at first sight? Or fairy tale, which states that you'll meet your prince charming and live happily ever after? That's what Diandra believes inside her heart. That someday, she will find her prince, marry him, and live happy life together. So, what's going on next, when she should marry with Yudhis, her mother's choice, man coming nowhere, and she even hasn't known him before! Will their marriage work? Or, maybe Diandra will leave Yudhis, and try to find her true love?


That's synopsis of Bunga, one of 18 short stories written by young writer, Alanda Kariza. Remember her? I was once interviewing her a moment before her stories compilation is published. I was so excited for waiting her book launching, but too bad because of some family business, I couldn't be there. But still, I bought her book, without any expectations.

Be honest, I was assuming this book as teenlit. You know, some love story for teenagers, which is always ending happily, or impossible love that happened between two teenagers, but finally after all they can reunite. But, when I read first story, Vice Versa, I know I've been wrong. Yes, it's a book of love story, but Alanda writes it maturely. The characters are varied, from adults, teens, even kids. Variety love is written here. Love to our lover. Love to our family. Love to our dream. Every stories have different ending, and they're all meaningful. Honestly, I don't believe it's all coming out from 19's Alanda. It's compliment, dear! :)


My favorite piece is Bunga, love story between Yudhis and Diandra, which is shared above. I obviously learn a lot from their relationship. Then, 98. Breathtaking. Rumah Impian Annisa. Touching. Buku dan Gula Ayah. Inspiring. Oh, should I mention them one by one? I am pretty sure you'll love this book. I've only spent an hour to read this book, but after that I reopen it from beginning and start to re-read my favorite story. Thank you, Alanda. I have learned a lot from you in an hour. :)


Good job, Terrant! And if I may give a little suggestion, I think this book is a bit expensive. Well, I know you provide extra discount for ordering it in your website, but some people have more satisfaction when they go to bookstore, and pick and buy it by themselves. But anyway, don't bother it. Keep publishing our young's creations.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Mediator, Ninth Key by Meg Cabot

You must have known Meg Cabot from Princess Diaries series, right? A story which is telling a life of ordinary girl, Mia Thermopolis, who suddenly recognized as Genovia Princess. I can say I was so fascinated about the series, but one day I saw another Cabot's book in bookstore. It called The Mediator, and I had no idea before, but after reading it, wow! It's even better than Princess Diaries! I mean it. :)


What I'd like to review here is the second book. Yes, I know I should review the first book before, which is Shadowland, but it is borrowed by a friend.  I don't have any confidence to write a review where I don't have the book itself beside me. haha, weird, but it's me.
So, I'll share you about little about Susannah Simon, so you're not going to be anxious of her.

Summary

Susannah-used to called Suze- can see dead people. She is a mediator, connector between the living and the dead. When her mother gets married again, and they're moving to sunny California, she meets hot guy there. Too bad, he's a ghost. Jesse, his name, is haunting her room, but it seems like he doesn't need any help, which is doesn't matter for Suze, because actually she prefer going shopping and other girl things to chasing the deads around, and mediating them.
In second book, everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad.particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status-not to mention apparent disinterest in her-make him unattainable.
What Suze can't ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past. 


What makes it more interesting than Princess Diaries? Well, I should say, in my humble opinion, is relationship between Suze and Jesse. They're unique, coming from different world, flirting one another without confessing their feeling. I have nooooo idea what'll happen at the end. And, Meg insert some fighting scenes- Suzes sometimes has to use her power to force evil ghosts, so they can come back to heir world- which couldn't met in any Princess Diaries series. 

Character of Suze, itself, is interesting. Playing like lost puppy, when she can't adapt well in her new environment, facing new family, new dad, and brothers (and they are all weird!), with her father's ghost's following her everywhere. And, a cute ghost in her room. Can you imagine how is Suze able to get some privacy? The other way, she is only a teenager.

So, here, The Mediator Ninth Key. I bet you'll love it! :)


PS. There are six books in The Mediator series. They've already published it in English copy, but I'll try to wait patiently for Bahasa copy. Gramedia has published two of them, Shadowland and Ninth Key. I can't wait for the third book! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Misteri Rahasia Enam Wanita by S. Mara GD

As I ever mentioned before, Indonesian writers rarely meet my expectation. Well, never judge too high, but some of them are writing boring story with expected plot, some of them are using high language, and others make high-class literature that I don't even understand. Haha, look what I've said. It seems like I underestimate my own country, right? No, no, there are plenty talented Indonesian writers who still have place in my heart. One  of them is S Mara GD. I don't know if you know them, I mean, well I doubt if teenagers nowadays even have heard her name. But, mostly my generation, or older, must have known her as Indonesia's queen of crime. Agatha Christie from Indonesia. I knew her coincidentally from my mom's book collection.

I've just read her book, "Misteri Rahasia Enam Wanita". Not a recent one, but interesting.


Summary
Six women with their six secrets... which is connected like branches, twisted complicatedly and tightly, so it can be released free without scarifying one.
Marla is first woman, her secret begin this story. Then Fiona, Noni, Helen, Vidya, and Katherine, each other twist their own thread. They intentionally fall to irresponsible man, who found death after that.
Murder, revenge, rape, and violence color their life. Can Kosasih and Gozali analyze their secret one by one and found the suspect?


Another case of Kosasih and Gozali! I find this duo is so fascinating and breathtaking. Now, they meet complicated case with many pretty women inside! And, they all are suspected with murder case! Well, can Kosasih and Gozali reveal who's behind these murders?


Setting behind this case is a dating scams. It match makes one person to another, and every victims here are member of this club.  S Mara GD often inserts unique background in every stories, and here she tells about a dating club, where every people connected here have role in the murder. The owner, member, staff. Even when finally the murderer is revealed, you won't believe who she/he is.

Most interesting one is Dessy's stories. Some maybe assume Dessy as side story, but actually she is my favorite part. Dessy is Kosasih's daughter who falls in love with Gozali, Kosasih's partner. Gozali always refuse her, although he actually also in love with Dessy. His dark past restrict him. In this episode, we could see that Dessy is suffer from amnesia, and not able to remember her love story with Gozali. Mrs Kosasih, her mother, insist that she must get closer with Sam, a doctor who flatters to Dessy for a long time. So, will Dessy get her memory back, and remember her love to Gozali?


yeah, woman.. even when we read crime novel, we still love romance scene. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

I want them!

it's even not a review, but I really want to share you. many good books are outside there, and I want more than I could afford. I feel so miserable. ;(
So, here what I want. well..

1. The Bartimaeus Trilogy - Jonathan Straud
I've already read them, but only own the last book. When I heard Gramedia publishes a box set of Bartimaeus trilogy, I was like crying, realize how much I spend for books this month. Ow, maybe next month, I hope..
2. The Tourist - Olen Steinhauer
3. Dog Stories - James Herriot
4. The Story Girl - L.M. Montgomery
5. The Millennium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson
6. Your Job is not Your Career - Rene Sudarhono
7. Entrok - Okky Madasari
8. Diary of Whimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
9. Ingo - Helen Dunmore
10. Time's Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
11. Oh My Goodness - Yoris Sebastian
12. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
 

I can't remember the rests. Well, I'll update later.
And oh. I really appreciate if you can give any consideration which one I should by first. ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


Summary

A father and his little son, walk across burning America, slowly toward seashore. None there, nothing move in the dead landscape. There are only flying dust and gray sky. Sun is shinning no more, and the weather is cold, more than everyone in earth have imagined. Trees have no leaves, animal is all dead. Rain and snow is falling every day. The Man and his Boy have nothing, besides a gun with two bullets, for defending themselves from evils in street, who sometimes able to kill and eat them, clothes wore in their body, a cart of used foods, and one another.

Heartbreaking, haunting, and emotionally shattering. I never regret my decision to read this book. A drama, which is full of love and humanity. Actually, I've just watched The Book of Eli, an epic movie which shares us a post-apocalyptic tale after great war happened. And, when I read synopsis of The Road, I thought it might be another apocalyptic story, and because Eli is good, maybe this one would be great too. So, I was interested to bought and the read it.

The book tells two unnamed human, they are called The Man and The Boy. Setting is in U.S, which has destroyed by unexplained cataclysm. Civilization and almost all life in Earth has lost, there are only falling ash, and the weather is extremely cold. The Man brings her son to the south, with hope of finding warmth and more "good men". What makes me so emotionally involved is father-son relationship. They only have each other, and with many cannibalism around them, they repeatedly assure one another that they are good people.

Some interesting things told here. Example, when The Man find a can of Coca Cola. He gives it to his son, who never able to taste it before. It's bubbling, he comments. Touched! It's very easy to get any soda drinks that we want now. And, sometimes we forget to thank of it.

Lack of food become main problem for them. You'll read how hard they search every abandoned house to find leftovers, and it's really hard to find clean water! Clean water, which is simply used by us every day. And, sometimes, in some houses, they find scary stock room, where the cannibals save "their meat". Freaky.

Many things make me think. A lot. Something made this happen. I don't know what. Maybe human's greedy. Or, their careless act to environment? In this modern life, people sometimes think only about themselves. We're selfish. We can't love our earth. We sometimes love to be grateful. We are greedy, and always wanting more. There's nothing bad to have a better life, but we must not forget to keep our environment good. We live with other people, we live with Earth. If we can make peaceful life with them, well, maybe someday what happen in this book, will happen to all of us. And I believe, it is happening now in some countries in this world.


People who declare war, should read this book. People who sill hurt the Earth, should read this book. Recommend this book to all your friend, as many as you can!! :)


PS. You don't like reading a book? Oh, okay, I'll recommend the movie. It's pretty good, with Viggo Mortensen there. Remember Aragorn? Go get the movie too! ;)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Here's The Winner!!

Welcome May! Sure, it'll be beautiful month, but in Jakarta, it's obviously hot! Yesterday, it reached 36 degrees of Celsius! However, life must go on, right?
I am so glad to see your participation in Magical Giveaway. I really appreciate it, and honestly I was shocked to see how big your attentions are. I used to think fashion giveaway is more interesting than book, but, well, there are few people like you, who still love book!! Glad to know that!

So, pretty difficult to decide the winner, because I don't want disappoint you at all. I consider to give more than one book in next giveaway, so I can choose more winner. But, today, I must pick only one. And the lucky one is..


Congrats dear! Well, send your complete address soon to yuliadeladacrea@yahoo.com. I hope you'll enjoy Alice. Smooch! XD

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview with Alanda Kariza

After successfully publishing Mint Chocolate Chips, Alanda now back with her newest novel, Vice Versa, which is gonna published soon. But, before reading her book, you should read my short interview with Alanda. With her business, managing Indonesian Youth Conference, college tasks, and book launching, Alanda still prepare some times for answering my question. What a humble girl! :)
  (images from alandakariza.com)
 
Tell us, why did you choose “Vice Versa” as your book’s title? 
"Vice Versa" means "the other way around". The book is a compilation of 18 short stories I have written in the past 5 years, and "Vice Versa" is the title of one of the stories. I used to define an issue, including love, can be seen from different perspectives, can be turned upside down, can mean the same in a different way towards people.

It’s been several years since you’re writing your first book. Do you see any differences in your writing style now and before? 
Yes, my writing style is very much different, indeed. I have read different books, learned a lot of new things, met tons of inspiring people, including authors. Now, I write from a deeper level in my heart and my mind. I write my concerns and thoughts, not only my imagination.

You’ve been very busy lately, involved in many activities, included Indonesian Youth Conference. Do you see writing as hobby to spend your spare time or considering it as your future profession?
 It can actually be both. I am very interested in meeting new people through having a lot of activities, and I want to bring a greater good, a positive impact to my society. I want to be a social entrepreneur, and to achieve it, I need to learn a lot, and I am learning through these activities. Wish me luck!

What did inspire you in writing this book? 
 My surroundings.

How long did you need to finish this book?
 Selecting the stories only took me a few weeks, but I have written the stories since I was 14, I guess. So, 5 years to write, 5 weeks to compile.

Who is your favorite writer? Why?
 Sapardi Djoko Damono, because he makes "nothing" into "very special things". His writings go deeply in my heart. I can absorb his emotions, only by reading what he writes. I want to be able to write like him.

Do you have any writing tips for beginners who are going to start their writing career? Don't give up, you have nothing to lose.

Where and when will you launch your latest book, “Vice Versa”?
Insha Allah at Warung Pasta Kemang, Sunday, May 2, 2010. Let's hope that the books have been printed by then.

I’ve heard we can order the book before it’s launched. How can we order it?
Yes, you can! Just fill out this form and Terrant Books will contact you: http://viceversa.alandakariza.com/?page_id=7/. You can always log on to http://viceversa.alandakariza.com to get some useful info :)

 I guess it's all from me. We can't wait until the book launching, right? Good luck for Alanda, and for you, don't forget to get the book! Bye!

Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

Few days ago, when I was writing a post for MINDCUBE, suddenly I was reminded to my Shopaholic collection. They are settled peacefully in my book shelf at home. Coincidentally, I was going to go home that day (for you, who haven't known yet, now I stay in Jakarta, while my hometown is in Sukabumi, little town, which is 4 hours-distance from Jakarta. Ah, google it. :) ) So, yesterday, I dismantled my collection to find out those books, and re-read them.
There are five books, include:


First, I was gonna to post each series in different posts, but well, I thought about it again, and revealed that they are must united. They essentially tells about life of Rebecca Bloomwood, a journalist from England. She loves to shop, oh, who's the girls on earth don't? But Becky, that's what she used to be called, has addiction about it. She has a thousand reasons to shop continuously. Nothing can stop her. Even, when her bank manager mails her, and say she has exceeded her credit card limit, she still find a way to get chance for shopping. Becky, oh Becky, I am sure, most of you, girls, will be grinning while reading the book, and think, "Oh, it's so me!". Well, i do that! Except, credit card part, and lying part.

First book share us life of single Becky, who spends her money irresponsibly, whereas she works as financial journalist! Ironic, huh? Then, she meets Luke, who's gonna be her soulmate later through funny accident. And, how finally she gets so much trouble because of her shopping habit. (Girls, read it carefully!)

And in second book, for the first time, Becky goes abroad! She visits New York, in order to Luke's job (oh yes, they are getting more serious here), and goes mad when she hangs out, and find a lot of fancy shops there! Branded things with cheap prizes! Madly, Becky always assume dollar as toy's money, because it's look unreal than poundsterling! Ooooh, big problem! When she finally faces bankruptcy, she realizes that her relationship with Luke is also broken. How can she fix it? Becky, of course can do it!

Well, short story (oh, please apologize for my laziness to review all of book), next three books tells phases of Becky's life later. How she gets married with Luke (even their marriage run dramatic! Should I say that Becky can't choose one of dress to be her wedding dress? She buys five! Holy moly), then she finds that actually she has a sister (who doesn't like to shop at all. I am serious. Can you imagine how disappointed Becky is, where she has imagined to shop together with her sister?), and gets a baby!!! Lucky baby, as a mother, Becky has bought a lot of things to you. She even plans to bought baby box with NASA technology! Superb!

Oh, well, I am a bit overjoyed. Shopaholic series are light, simple readings, you don't have to think too hard while reading them. But, the spirit (ladies, be prepared! you'll read many brands that could make you drooling over!), and messages included there. It's not about shopping, and spending your money to unimportant stuffs. We can find many messages here, affected with family and friendship, and love relationship of course. You'll learn what's most important in life, and take care of it carefully.
Interesting, funny, hilarious. One complete package for you. And, oh, guys, maybe you should read them too to know what's inside girl's head.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Morning, Noon, and Night by Sidney Sheldon

Last week, I decided to buy some books from Vixxio. I went gaga and lasted with purchasing 7 items in my shopping cart! What a shame! After all, I didn't regret it, though I bought used books, but they are all in good condition.

What should I review first? Three of them are Sidney Sheldon's, but most catching one is Morning, Noon, and Night. 


Summary


Cruising on his yacht, Harry Stanford, one of the world's wealthiest men, drowns under mysterious circumstances. Now, a young woman appears at the family gathering following the funeral claiming to be his daughter and heir. As the respected Stanford family seeks to learn whether she is genuine or an imposter, a hidden web of blackmail, drugs and murder emerges from behind the facade.

As his other book, Sheldon often presents twisted plot, which is revealed perfectly in ending. First, we will be fascinated with life of Harry Stanford, his luxurious business, always surrounded with lovely women everywhere. But, then he dies mysteriously,told as an accident.

Then, we're introduced with his heirs, Tyler, Woody, and Kendall. Three children with different characters, but same attitude. All of them takes no matter with their father's death. What they want is legacy, inheritance, money. So, when a young woman, named Julia, comes and claim to be Harry's daughter, they accuse her as an imposter, even call detective to investigate her parentage.

While Julia's history is investigated, family's secret starts to be revealed. It tells why Harry's children show hatred to their father. How they are underestimated along their life, unsupported to reach their dream, even often treated by harsh words. Then, we begin to wonder, is Harry's death really an accident? Or, one of his children, who hates him so much, plans to kill him? Is Julia real heir, or she is fake?

Many surprises be found in middle and ending of this story. Finally, like every stories do, truth is always be the winner.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with Cassandra Niki

If you have been blogged for long time, you probably recognize this girl. Her name is Cassandra Niki, well-known as Casseybunn. Cassey is a talented photographer, also an active blogger. Who knows her passion of blogging world takes her to be a writer? Now, she’s officially a writer, after publishing her first book in February. Her first book titled “Letters, Stories, and Dreams” and published by Terrant Books.
To be frank, I am one of her huge fans. So, one day, I had an idea to interview her for this blog. So, I emailed her and asked for her willingness. And I was so honored when she said yes. So here it is interview between me and Cassey.

Tell us, why did you choose “Letters, Stories, and Dreams” as your first book’s title?

Believe me or not, I didn't have a title until 2 days before it was up for printing. So, under pressure, I just thought 3 basic things that were the most important parts. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was stories. Because I'm practically turning myself into a storyteller telling stories of my life. Then, it was dreams, which is like "bonus chapters" in my book. Eight "Dreams of a Dreamer" chapters which contains my secret dreams. And last but not least of course my letters. Which were the most personal parts of this book. Because it started and ended with a letter. Putting those words together was tricky. But I thought of one of my favorite songs, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which was a Beatles song about a kind of drug, Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD which makes you hallucinate things like Lucy in the sky with diamonds. I'm not on drugs, but that song means a lot to Jonas (the main character of the book) so I decided to name the whole book Letters, Stories, & Dreams. LSD for short! Simple and easy to remember by readers but also personal and meaningful to my close ones. The short name LSD is also a 'hidden joke' for close friends.

What did inspire you in writing this book?

Mostly everything that happened around me. What inspired me the most was the fact that what I've been through really was common in between my friends and family. I just have to share to the world!

How long did you need to finish this book?

The writing process itself took 8 months. Editing, printing, publishing took 2 months. But the whole book took 2 years of my journal entries.

Did you encounter any obstacles while writing this book? How did you solve them?

Of course. The same old same old, handling writing with my studies and my work was pretty hard. But the worst obstacle I had to go through was my personal problem which was breaking up with my boyfriend. How I solved it? I went on vacation and came back more inspired than ever. 

I’ve observed that your book become best sellers everywhere. Congrats! In your opinion, have you received enough appreciation (royalty) for you hard work? 

Hahaha thanks! Well, if you're speaking money. I think that's pretty private :p but yeah, it's good so far. Hahaha. What means a lot to me actually isn't the money but look at all those readers. Having a 'name' out there is really really WOW! The perfect appreciation. 

Which part do you love most from Letters, Stories, and Dreams? I, myself, love the part when you’re dreaming as rock star! Every one must have that moment in their life.

I can't pick only one part. Everything supports everything. Without one or other my story isn't complete. Writing each part was fun; the whole book is my favorite. I love it so much :D 

Beside a writer, you’re a talented photographer too. Which one is harder? Writing or taking photos?

Writing is definitely harder. Taking photos is a hobby to me. It only needs my eyes and my heart and I have no need to fulfill anyone's expectations. As for writing, which was once a hobby too, now is a job. I think more when I write, not only I must make my writing readable I must make it likable. Now, isn't that a pickle? :p

Many readers are waiting for your book’s sequel. Have you planned to write it? We’re absolutely anxious of your relationship with Jonas after crying scene in last chapter.

Well, well, well. Here's a surprise. I AM currently writing a second book. However though, it won't be the sequel of Letters, Stories, & Dreams. But, don't be disappointed just yet. I'm gonna arrange a nice surprise considering to tell all my readers what happened after my last letter in this second book. It will be a little epilogue perhaps? I don't know yet. You'll have to wait and see. But I promise, I'll tell you what happened ;) 
Do you have any messages for teenagers who have relationship problems as you did?

Hmm. Maybe I'd like to say that it is time to differentiate love and obsession. As obsession is one of my weaknesses in this book. But either than that, let's realize the importance of fighting for what you need not what you want :)


Who is your favorite writer? Why?

Tough question. Lemme think. Mitch Albom & Chuck Palahniuk. Mitch Albom writes simple everyday activities but touches you so badly, I always cry on reading each of his books. He writes with the simplest words, not poetic or anything just how it is. But it's like so real and so close to you. Chuck is more theatrical, he writes every moment in detail, what a person wore, how the lighting was, how the temperature was, where every drop of sweat fell, etc. He is super cool. Reading his work is like watching a movie.
 
Describe your self!

If you were a canvas, you’d be painted by… Andy Warhol. A common thing but colorful & unpredictable.

If you were a microphone, you’d be sung by… J√≥nsi. The only person I'd die to be sung by.

 If you were clothes, you’d be worn by… An early 90's rockstar. Simple, a tee & jeans.

I can’t live without… Internet, music, & body lotion. Enough said.

My favorite quote is… "If it hurts, you know what, it's probably worth it" -The Beach.

If I were a movie, I'd be directed by... Sofia Coppola. Beautiful cinematography with complex hidden meanings and a hot soundtrack.
That it is! If you haven’t got a copy of “Letters, Stories and Dreams”, go to nearest bookstore. It will be effortless to find it, because it always placed on “Best Seller” shelf!
But, for you, who want extra discounts, you can visit Terrant Books website for ordering this book.  You can get 35% discounts! So, what are you waiting for??