Monday, May 30, 2011

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman


What will you do if one day you wake up, did your daily activities, had a breakfast, went to your officem and suddenly no one know you? Your identity is not exist, nobody recognize you, and like it wasn't enough, everyone will start to look through your body, as if you aren't there, or you're transparant! And all of this is because you help one dirty homeless wounded girl a night before.

Richard Mayhew is young and normal businessman. Have a busy life, overloaded work, and beautiful fiancee. One day, when he and his fiancee was going to have dinner with his fiancee's boss, they found a bleeding girl in dark corridor. Richard insisted to help her, while his fiancee tried to stop him, and even threatened him to leave, or she will break up with him. Richard chose to help the girl, later he know that her name is Door, and leave his fiancee behind.

After helping her, suddenly she disappered and one by one troubles come after Richard. While he desperately tried to get his old life back, he found a mysterious door to a world called London Underground. It seems real and similar to London City, but stranger and more dangerous. How will Richard struggle to get his life back?

Well, this book was compelling me not to stop reading unless I've finished it. I like fantasy story, but this is one is more mature, it's like bedtime story for adult. Gaiman epicly forced us to imagine how dark London Underground is, he even inserted a city map. There are many weird and scary characters, places where you can't imagine, and adventures. Door and her fellowhips planned to find out why her all family were murdered, and Richard was obliged to accompany them, in return they promise to give his old life back. But, who knows it will be so dangerous? He must negotiate with a mouse politely, crossing a life requested-bridge, finding an ANGEL, and questioning his faith. And after long journey, he has to accept the fact that they have one traitor in their companion, and almost fail them to the end.

Somewhat, in his seriousness, Gailman still able to insert some humours, that makes me laugh among the tension. Richard is described full of sarcasm, and what funny is most of his companion didn't realize that it was sarcasm.

And, when you come to the end, guarantee that you'll be surprised! Who did the murder, what its purpose, and why Door's family is so important for this world. Be prepared to receive a mindblowing ending ever in the history of fantasy book. :D

After that, home is a place where your heart is. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf


Calli Clark, a selective mutism since she was 4 years old. Dreamer, sweet, and calming.
Petra Gregory, a talkactive girl. Cheerfull, brave, and extraordinary.

They are best friends. These seven years old girls always come together, Petra is used to be Calli's voice. Nobody know how could Petra understand what's inside Calli's mind, what she likes to eat, what she wants to play, what she needs to do. Petra receives Calli just the way she is, and vice versa.

And one gloomy morning, both of them had disappeared. Nobody saw them, their parents took them into each other bed at previous night, and found it's empty in the morning.

Sheriff Louis is Calli's mother's -Antonia- best friend. He even had a history with her. Would he tell Antonia that he suspected Griff, Calli's violent father, Antonia's husband, who had kidnapped Calli? Was Griff do it?And why did he take Petra with them?

The Weight of Silence tells about family, how different people come and unite a family, and don't recognize how different they are, until a tragedy happens. First chapter brought me into fast adrenaline, when one of the girls is dragged to forest, and the other girl follow them. Next chapter is really riveting, it has slow plot, like every family drama novel, explain every character's background and history. The center is Calli's mutism, how an active girl turned to a total silence one, what has happened when she saw her mother's miscarriage 3 years ago. Then, how her mutism affected her family. Her mother is frustated, her father is becoming more severe drunker, and often do violence to Calli and her brother.

Then come Petra, a genuine young girl, who always help Calli at school. She help her against mean kids, and scary subtitute teacher. What interesting is Petra's characteristic, which is likeable person. She always comes with outstanding ideas, frequently assist her father's problematic students. Who knows that someday it'll turn against her?

This is the first time I read Heather Gudenkauf's, and she reminds me to Jody Picoult. They both have similar note, detailed characterization, ordinary life with twisted family's secret. I enjoy it page by page, not in hurry to know who's the kidnapper, and it feels good to know, even in the worst family, there's love indeed. Life is choices, and you'll see how every characters make a choice, regret it, and be grateful after realizing that their bad choices bring some kindness after all.