Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review: "Paper Boats" by Dee Lestari

Kugy has always been a dreamer and her passion is to write fairy tales for a living.  Keenan is also a creative soul with a natural talent for painting.  But then there is the harshness of reality, and Kugy knows that she'll have to make money first before she can be who she really wants to be, and Keenan is being forced to follow his father's footsteps in business.  Feelings develop between the two, but the timing is never right, and as the years go by, it seems that they were just meant to be friends and collaborators.  After all, they both have good people who love and support them, so everything's good, right?

I was really very curious about this because I don't think I've ever read anything set in Indonesia (Hello Reading All Around the World Challenge) and definitely nothing written by an Indonesian author.  I really loved the setting, as it happens, as it is so unlike what I'm used to in so many ways but is also so perfect for the story.  Kugy and Keenan meet at University, where they make a foursome of friends with Kugy's best friend Noni, and Eko who is both Noni's boyfriend and Keenan's cousin.

Now a lot happens between the four of them.  And this is where it gets a little bit like a soap opera.  At first I was a little confused by the vague start to each chapter, but it fits the soap opera feel.  I did enjoy when the real world entered in - like that Kugy was teaching poor Sudanese children how to read and write in a makeshift school under a tree, or when Keenan is emotionally affected by a bomb that went off in a nearby town on Bali.

This is a cute story and fun to read, but I wasn't overly excited by it.  I'm not shocked that it went on to be a blockbuster film in Indonesia, it has that feel to it naturally.

*****
Paper Boats
by Dee Lestari
Translated by Tiffany Tsao
Amazon Crossing 2017.  First published 2004.
400 pages
Source:  Amazon First Books
*****

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1 comment:

Jean said...

Reading All Around the World FTW! I have my eye on an Indonesian book too, but then, I have my eye on a lot of books....

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