Mouth to Mouth by Christian Simamora

OK. Christian Simamora is officially my favorite Indonesian romance author now. As soon as I knew the new novel is released, I raced to the bookstore to buy 1 copy. He’s back with his J-boyfriend series this time. (Preorder is one option but I like being in control of what I’m paying for more. You can always preorder here: http://twigora.com/.)

Image result for mouth to mouth christian simamora

Isadora (Is), our main actress of the novel, was a buyer at a premium department store, Haute & Co. She was traumatized by her ex boyfriend, Al, with whom she just broke up 1 month ago and who couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘break up’. Al kept contacting her, saying that he missed her and that he wanted her back. What’s worse was the fact that Al was somehow related to Is’ sister’s soon-to-be husband (their wedding was 2 weeks away). She convinced him that she already had a new boyfriend but Al wouldn’t buy it, resulting in her having to take her ‘new boyfriend’ to her sister’s wedding.

Jordache (Jordi), definitely our J-boyfriend, happened to just moved in to Is’ next room in her lodge. A couple of meetings with Jordi popped an idea to Is’ head: to make him her fake boyfriend, to take to her sister’s wedding to make her ex boyfriend believe that she had a new boyfriend. Little did they know that after Jordi agreed to being Is’ fake boyfriend, they would be enjoying the pretending very much.

I enjoyed the novel very much that I finished reading in 2 days. Definitely couldn’t stop reading once I started. Another good job from Babang Christian Simamora. πŸ˜€

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Burn Baby Burn by Christian Simamora

This is officially my 3rd time pre-ordering Christian Simamora’s novel – I didn’t look after the bonus, but the ability to receive the novel earlier than everyone else. If you’re interested in ordering too, you can follow the publisher’s social media accounts: Twitter or Instagram. This newest novel was released on 22 January 2018 and I finished reading it in 3 days. πŸ˜€ I can only give my salute to this guy for releasing a novel with different genre than he normally writes and he’s also out of his J-boyfriend series at the same time (he claims that the story was from the same universe, though).

Gia was an introvert translator/writer who enjoyed staying at home and being careless about how she looked. At the age of 35, she was still single and felt uncomfortable interacting with other human, especially her older sister, Cass. She felt that Cass meddled in her business way too much, complaining about her being single and forcing her to get out of her ‘nest’. Gia felt the opposite about her niece, though. Gadis, Cass’ daughter, got along very well with Gia. They hung out now and then, and their favorite restaurant was The Roux, a creole restaurant.

Kyrian LeRoux, or in short, Ky, was the handsome owner and chef of The Roux. Unquestionably, Gia felt for Ky. Encouraged by Gadis, Gia started her approach to Ky after he called her by name during one of her visit to The Roux. They believed that Ky also had feelings for Gia.

Cass kept warning Gia (and Gadis) that Ky had nothing special for Gia, and that Gia needed to be extra cautious being around him. Instead, both Gia and Gadis confronted Cass. It didn’t take a long time for Gia to be heartbroken: Ky had a girlfriend. The worst of it all was that only when Ky broke up did he find Gia again, confirming Cass’ claim that he only took Gia as a ‘spare tire’.

As always, Christian Simamora never upsets me. In this novel, he proves that he’s matured up his writing skills. I cannot wait to read his other new novels. Good job, Abang! πŸ˜€

What a Boss Wants by Christian Simamora

*First of all, I need to say sorry for not being able to write a review about Christian Simamora’s previously released book. Here’s the review of his newest novel titled ‘What a Boss Wants’ which was released early August 2017.

Jiro Amadeus Vimana inherited Toybox, a local toy producer, from his father, Danno Vimana, who has recently become ill. Danno is a Vimana who doesn’t want to use his family’s name and wealth to start a business – instead, he started Toybox with his own blood and sweat. After 1 year of retreat around Asia, Jiro still could not fight the fear he’s had when dealing with the dictator Danno, who wouldn’t listen to whatever Jiro said.

Becoming a toy designer has always been Soleram Anand (Sol)’s dream ever since she was a child. Being a huge fan of Carousel Pony, she practically lived in a fairy tale she’s created for herself. Never had she imagined that she would be working with a very charming and handsome Jiro in Toybox, which honestly had attracted her since her first day of work. Jiro had always been, on the other hand, out of reach for Sol that she didn’t dare dreaming about him.

Shanghai Toy Expo had somehow brought the two people traveling together: the love-skeptical Jiro and the imaginative Sol. Spending one week away from home, the ice between Jiro and Sol melted away..

As expected, Christian Simamora has become more mature in his diction and story plot. The novel is very much enjoyable, making every reader want to keep flipping the pages on and on. Keep up the good work, Bang! πŸ˜€

Good Fight by Christian Simamora

Good Fight by Christian Simamora, 2014's new cover (image from www.goodreads.com)
Good Fight by Christian Simamora, 2014’s new cover
(image from http://www.goodreads.com)

So I went to the bookstore 2 weeks ago to search for gift idea for my best friend who’s studying abroad and the first thing that came to my eyes was this book instead. I’ve been looking for the novel for the past year and never found it. Apparently they reprint it to match Christian Simamora’s J-boyfriend series’ style: muscly guys’ abs on the cover. *intermezzo: work has been so crazy that even though I finished reading this novel last week, I just have the chance to review it here today*

Good Fight 2012's cover (image from www.goodreads.com)
Good Fight 2012’s cover
(image from http://www.goodreads.com)

Teresia is a successful young lady working as a chief fashion stylist for Mascara (yes, the very same Mascara as the one read by Devika in Guilty Pleasure), together with her best friend Lisa and the two-in-one Sesa and Rian (and yes, this is the same Rian as the one in Guilty Pleasure as well). Ever since she first met Jethro Liem, a photographer for the magazine, they never missed an argument. In short, Tere felt a deep hatred over Jet that Lisa told her to control herself because deep hatred will most likely lead to deepest love. One day, Jet found out the dark side of Tere’s love life: she was the third wheel of her boyfriend’s engagement, just like him and his girlfriend. Being stuck in an elevator together for an hour one night, they shared stories from heart to heart, without any argument this time. Apparently, they were good as friends too when no argument takes place. A surprising move from Jet that night finally changed Tere’s heart – they fell in love and were pretty good at it. The storm passed by when each of their lovers found out they were together, but as other romance novel, they ended up happily ever after. πŸ™‚ Overall, I’m giving 4 out of 5 stars for this novel. This novel from 2012 is the kind of Christian Simamora’s one that I can’t stop reading page after page. Please please please keep up the good work, mate! πŸ˜€ ❀

Si Parasit Lajang by Ayu Utami

ImageLately I’ve been back to the crazy old hobby of reading novels. When it comes to novels in Bahasa Indonesia, I can even finish one book in less than 6 hours. πŸ˜€ (It doesn’t apply to English books though, as I get tired easily reading those.) This hobby has been abandoned for quite some time (read: during my stay in Aussie, due to the high price of books *oh damn, there was no cheap books and shipping books from any other side of the world, namely USA and UK, is sometimes more expensive than the book itself* and the joyous high Internet speed *so I’d prefer watching drama/TV series online*), I’d almost forgotten how it feels like to read good books. Well, I don’t read useful books (as my sister says) like psychology or motivational books; I prefer reading those cheesy romance novels instead.

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I used to budget some amount of money every month to buy books, but that’s another story since I don’t do that anymore. The book prices are too various in range now, not to mention the books themselves. It’s been quite hard to pick good books up at the bookstores because of the so many writers and publishers nowadays. (That, regardless of the fact that even the biggest chain bookstore is in the middle of crisis due to the ever decreasing interest of reading books.)

ImageThe latest impressive book that I read was “Si Parasit Lajang” (or translated to: The Single Parasite) by Ayu Utami. I’ve read her other book before, but that was classified as “literature” which was really tiring to follow. This one is more of an autobiography, part of a trilogy. The single parasite is a Japanese term for a 30-something single woman still living in her parents’ house, free of the obligation of paying bills and doing house works. This woman, Ayu herself, decided not to get married in her late 20s and, living in the country where people are glorifying marriage, had to answer people’s confusion about her decision. The novel was a compilation of Ayu’s articles from various local magazines, with some hand-drawn illustrations added. Her straight-to-the-point style is of course controversial, but that’s the interesting point to continue reading page through page. I’ll definitely buy the second and third novels of this series.

quality of an author

I just finished reading Suzanne Collin’s “Catching Fire”, the 2nd book of The Hunger Games trilogy, last night. I read the book for only 2 weeks, wow.. not to mention it’s during exam weeks. I just practically couldn’t get my head off the book *except when I’m studying for exam.

I’ve realized this thing from a long time ago I guess, but I’ll try to write it once more in this blog *I’m not sure if I hadn’t brought this thing up before.

Fan-art of Catching Fire movie, by Jacob Dimaio

For me, there are 2 things that determine the quality of an author:

  1. The originality of the story. Of course, who can trust an author who plagiarize someone else’s work? Originality is a very important thing. Even if the plot is predictable, what the author makes of it will attract more readers. For example, this Hunger Games trilogy is not that original. I believe some mentioned “Battle Royale” from Japan or one of Stephen King’s novel to have similar idea with Hunger Games story. However, people are still amazed by The Hunger Games because it’s still different to the others. I didn’t read Stephen King, but I watched Battle Royale – I even thought the stories will be pretty similar at first [I wrote it in my blog before watching the movie, read it here] and Collins really did her work at spicing up the story.
  2. The way to engage the readers to the story. Even though I mention this point as a second point, I always think this is the most important thing. Here in the Hunger Games, I like the way Collins described things around the characters, it made me feel like I was really in the spot itself. There are certain authors who are my favorite and successfully engaged me in their stories: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Cecelia Ahern, Dewi Lestari [an Indonesian author – if you’re an Indonesian I suggest you read her novels], Jodi Picoult.. πŸ™‚ Some big names in authorship just don’t amaze me because they didn’t really put me inside their stories. I like feeling involved in the story itself.

This is just my opinion πŸ™‚