[Books] Fangirl: “I’m not a fangirl though I could fangirling when I was in the mood.”

2.5 sebenarnya. Saya nggak begitu raeg pas baca novel ini. Dan mungkin bisa 3 bintang kalau aja saya nggak dipaksa baca fanfic DracoHar—uhuk, maksud saya Simon x Baz. Saya nggak gitu ngerti apa hubungannya dengan cerita utama, selain sebagai fanfiksi yang ditulis Cath dan alat buat nunjukin kenerdy-an dia. I mean… kalau pun bagian itu saya skip dengan senang hati, kayaknya saya nggak bakalan missing anything kan? Kecuali kisah Simon and Baz, of course.

Trus soal karakter Cath… dia itu cukup ngeselin. Dan bisa jadi banget dalam hal-hal tertentu. Bukan berarti saya nggak ngerti personality dia, kenapa dia melakukan itu, etc. Saya ngerti sebetulnya. Tapi karena saya ngerti, beberapa hal yang terjadi pada dia, dan reaksi dia kerasa lebih menyebalkan. She was actually pretty fortunate.

Sebagai contoh, saya cukup ngerti perasaan dia waktu di awal kehidupan kampus milih menghindari dining room di asrama dan makan err… calorie bar selama beberapa hari (atau minggu?). Karena itu setiap dia melakukan hal yang menurut saya ngeselin pun, saya selalu berusaha bikin justifikasi buat dia. Termasuk ketika dia dengan begonya ngumpulin fanfiksi sebagai tugas kuliah.

Tapi… saya nggak bisa bikin pembelaan apa-apa waktu dosen Cath ngasih kesempatan kedua buat dia nulis cerita sebagai tugas akhir matkulnya dan Cath nggak merasa grateful sama sekali. Udah dosennya ceramah panjang lebar, ngasih motivasi, dan memberikan perlakuan khusus untuk Cath… dia malah kayak anak kecil dikasih permen supaya mau ke sekolah biarpun telat juga tapi malah ngelunjak minta cokelat. Gimana nggak bikin kesel (apalagi dia bukan anak kecil)? Ditambah lagi, dia hampir menyia-nyiakan kesempatan tersebut demi fanfiksi. Trus meskipun Cath akhirnya bikin ceritanya beberapa hari sebelum deadline, setelah sebelumnya dikasih kesempatan satu semester (Prof, you were too kind, be my lecturer!) untuk nulis short story 10k words (eh iya kan? Saya lupa), cerpen dia dengan sangat magical bisa mendapat penghargaan cerpen terbaik buatan mahasiswa S1 atau sejenis itu.

Damn Mary Sue.

Kesampingkan soal Cath, ada beberapa plot yang… kok kayaknya tidak diselesaikan. Soal ayahnya yang rada weirdo (apa dia weirdo dari dulu atau karena cerai?). Soal Wren yang mabuk sampai hampir koit. Soal ibu mereka. Soal kenapa Wren tiba-tiba mau mulai komunikasi dengan ibu tersebut. Soal kuliah Cath (seriously, setelah semester pertama, nggak ada lagi cerita soal kehidupan kuliah dia kayak gimana).

I mean… dibanding ke arah mana cerita ini berakhir dan berjalan, saya sebetulnya lebih penasaran sama plot-plot itu. Not to mention, I can’t care less about Cath and Levi’s relationship or Simon and Baz’s. Tapi ternyata scene lovey-doveynya banyak banget, bikin saya eneg. No. Please. Kalau kalian mau kissu atau flirting, nggak usah diceritain juga nggak apa-apa kan. Or at least, nggak usah sedetail itu. Ini masih di tengah cerita kan!? Gimme a break, please!

Or should I say: Riajuu, bakuhatsu shiro!!

[Books] 1984: “Why did you expect the worst from humanity?”

Setelah sekian lama menjamur di to-read list. Akhirnya beberapa minggu yang lalu saya selesain baca juga. Walaupun jujur, mungkin karena udah jamuran, atau emang saya nggak perhatian, saya baca 1984 tanpa tahu kalau novel ini bercerita tentang dystopia. Makanya sebelum-sebelumnya, waktu nyoba baca, saya selalu stuck di bagian… “Big Brother is watching you~ teehee~” part.

Ha? Big Brother? Who? Ini cerita soal apa sih?

Dan nyambung juga waktu kemarin akhirnya berhasil baca sampai akhir. Yah. Mungkin saya kurang konsentrasi pas baca sebelumnya.

Jadi… ini dystopia…? O.K.

Saya akui saya bukan fans genre dystopia. Bukan berarti nggak suka juga. Tapi saya bukan tipe yang bakalan teriak-teriak kyaaa genrenya dystopia kyaaa soo cool kyaaa (saya sendiri nggak tahu apa ada orang yang beneran kayak gitu). Saya belum pernah baca Hunger Games yang buat anak zaman sekarang adalah novel paling ngetren di genre ini. Saya juga nggak selesai nonton film Battle Royale gara-gara saya nebak nggak bakalan ada happy end buat semua karakternya.

Makanya, saya nggak heran kalau saya ngerasa setengah nyiksa diri baca 1984 sampai selesai. Ridiculously suram sampai bikin pusing kepala. Mulai dari motto ridiculous the party:

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Sampai konsep doublethink yang bikin watdeheck. Setelah selesai mengenali dunia “1984” (yang tbh, IMO rada bertele-tele, muter-muter bikin tambah eneg. Apa mungkin ini sengaja buat menguatkan atmosfer kelam untuk pembaca? hhaa :v), seperti yang diduga MCnya ketangkep dan… mulailah cerita soal penyiksaan yang well… horror.

Endingnya juga as expected.

And it is fine.

Tapi ya… tapi… masalahnya… dari awal cerita ini dimulai, tokohnya itu udah berasa di titik bawah. Tinggal disentil dikit, dia bakalan jatuh berjumpalitan. Nah… setelah jatuh itu, terus dan terus dia ada di titik terbawah. Sama sekali nggak ada tanda kalau bakalan ada morning rescue (I’m sorry for the inside joke) yang bakalan muncul. Jadi pas akhirnya begitu pun… well… siapa yang heran *shrug*.

Karena dari awal saya cuma liat penderitaan dia tanpa sedikit pun adanya harapan. Waktu dia makin jatuh pun, saya juga cuma bisa ngeringis sedikit tanpa peduli apakah semuanya akan menjadi lebih baik atau nggak. Selain itu karakternya juga not really likeable. Oke, saya kasihan sama Winston, sama Julia karena nasib mereka emang bikin kasihan. Tapi ya… sebatas itu aja.

Anyway, di atas saya komentar kalau 1984 itu ridiculously suram. Alasan saya pake keterangan tambahan ridiculous adalah karena betapa stupidnya sebenarnya hal-hal tersebut—the party, motto, sistem doublethink dan penghapusan sejarah secara shameless dan terang-terangan tersebut. Kalau dipikir secara normal (iya, otak saya diwired berbeda sama mereka di cerita, karena lingkungannya juga beda, iya), apa ada manusia yang nggak ngerasa aneh?

Dengan kata lain, karena saya baca ini tanpa ada niatan untuk merelate atau mempercayai apa yang terjadi, kesannya jadi ridiculous. Iya, saya tahu hal-hal yang diceritakan di novel ini mungkin (dalam skala kecil, dan rahasia). Tapi ya itu.. rahasia. Saya nggak bisa bayangin mayoritas orang bisa sebegitu bego atau sebagian bisa sebegitu jahat. Makanya saya susah buat baca tanpa ngerasa kalau ini fiksi sekaleh.

[Books] Around the World in Eighty Days: “It’s not love at first sight, nevertheless it’s love.”

I was pleasantly surprised, when in the middle of reading this, I realized, I was actually starting to care for the characters more than I expected at first.

Mr. Fogg was really a gentleman although he was cold and almost as calculative as robot.

Passepartout was nice, a bit careless but nice. Even though his luck was bad, he meant well.

Aouda, hmm, I’m biased to female character, and she was the only woman appeared in this novel. I don’t think I have to explain why I like her.

Detective Fix was… just… stubborn. Rather than dislike him, I think I should just pity him for trusting his initial instinct too much. He was a good addition for the plot. I won’t try guessing which path the story would take if he wasn’t there to be the spice.

Well, if I had to describe my experience reading this novel, I think it felt like falling in love slowly (and happily, mind you). You weren’t enamored with them at the first glance. However, after befriending them, knowing them better, you couldn’t help but care. Then, you started to root for them; you wanted them to be happy, as if their happiness had been linked to your happiness.

And the ending was just perfect.

My ship was sailing exactly as the story always hinted along.

[Games] Blackwell Series: “Don’t tell me I have to become a spirit medium–[spoiler]–for the universe to pour into my head just so I could understand.”

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fanart: random sketch after I finished playing them all

If we’re talking about David Gilbert and Wadjet Eye, of course we have to talk about the Blackwell, right? Wrong. We are talking about whatever we want to talk, but yes, this post is about that. Blackwell Series is a point and click adventure game by Wadjet Eyes. As what I wrote stated, it was a series consisted of five episodes.

I played through them all in one week. That’s why my memory is a bit fuzzy regarding them. I can’t really remember the difference between the five games and my impression for each episode. So I will just comment in overall.

Rosangela Blackwell is our lead in these games along with Joey Mallone. They were very likable characters. I think I could relate to Rosa easily because of her background as writer/journalist before she became a spirit medium. There was another main character, special for the second game, Lauren Blackwell or we would know her as Rosa’s aunt. And she was… how should I say? …cool. She felt very different from Rosa. In a good way for both of them.

The story itself was interesting. The Legacy did well introducing the story to the player, the Unbound dug the plot deeper as a flashback episode, the Convergence connected the past and the present neatly, the Deception gave the chance for the characters to grow, and the Epiphany showed you the end brilliantly.

However… there were some details that stuck in my head. I don’t think I can let them go just because I’ve had reached the ending. And it should be no wonder to anyone when I said this post would contain spoilers.

So here goes nothing.

Continue reading

[Scraps] FooL

Just because you mean well, just because you are a nice person, just because you are so kind

It doesn’t mean you will not be wrong

It doesn’t mean you always set your priorities right

It doesn’t mean you won’t hurt others

It doesn’t mean you can’t disappoint anyone

It doesn’t mean you will always choose the right one

Because whether you are a nice person, kind, or not…

You are still just a fool

Everyone is too

We are both foolish

We never know anything

We can only see what we can see with our own eyes

But isn’t that fine?

Being a fool

Doing foolish things

Even falling into the same hole twice

As long as you will get up again

As long as you can place your faith back into the right path

Past is something that you shouldn’t forget

Present isn’t something you can only enjoy

Future is something you have to prepare

Rather than just dreaming it as something far away

Because you don’t only live just once

[Games] Shardlight: “Green lung, I just wish they implied about smoking in here, somewhere, somehow.”

It’s from Wadjet Eye. I’m talking about the picture and the game.

Shardlight definitely had beaten Kathy Rain to the ground. From the concept, the characterization, the plot, and the puzzles (or maybe I’m just bitter about the poem). I still have grudge for that chalkboard. I mean… it was easy after you had gathered all the clues. But you won’t solve it if you try to brute force the answer or thinking about it without any proper guide. It stumped me good. Thank goodness the things called walkthrough is easy to search nowadays.

The story itself is really brilliant. Post-apocalypse and dystopia. What’s more do you need after setting like that? Okay, there’s more I wanted. But that’s not the point.

The story took place in a country that had been destroyed by bomb, twenty years (or twenty one? I forgot) later. But their condition didn’t change for better even after that many years passed because of the corrupt and sucky government called Aristocracy. Well, it’s a classic story we heard often, isn’t it?

Then, the interesting part… after the bomb, there was a new disease called green lung appeared. It was infectious, so the one who got it had to go to quarantine zone when they got worse. And there was still no cure for it. The only thing they could do after infected was getting a vaccine every month as long as they live. Unfortunately, the government didn’t give that vaccine to everyone. They just gave them to the people who could afford it aka the members of higher class in society.

If a person from a lower class wanted the vaccine, they had to take part in lottery by doing… a lottery job, yeah. And that was our main character did in the beginning of story before something happened and changed her—the world.

Aside for that, there was a story about the Reaper and his cult. If we were talking in the term of cooking, it was a nice spice. It didn’t make the food particularly delicious, but the taste would definitely change if we forgot to add it or replace the spice with something else.

Now, I like the idea of green lung. I think they actually could develop this part deeper to make the plot more interesting and give the concept more meaning than just a new disease without cure. Unfortunately, they didn’t. They chose to focus on the political side. And unfortunately again, it ended before it became too complicated. It is still good, I guess. Just leave you somehow a bit unsatisfied.

As you would expect from the story like this though, there were deaths and killings. I don’t mind. But… I don’t really like a certain death. I don’t think it was really necessary to kill them. Couldn’t they try to talk before pulling the trigger? I don’t like the “for the greater good” card the author pulled here. I mean… who were you to judge? Didn’t you think your method, in the end, was almost the same with the one you killed?

And the three slightly different endings just make it worse. It gave away the author’s opinion too much about that matter.

But okay. Aside for that, everything is okay and cool. The story felt a bit rushed, I think. Still enjoyable though. I felt really happy when I realized I could relate to the main character in this game so much better than I did in the Kathy Rain. It made me care more about what happened to her.

P.S (revision for previous post): Kathy Rain may not be the first point and click adventure pc game I’ve played. I don’t really remember them.