Bumi // 'Vanish' Can Disappear
Sunday, 22 October 2017 @ 17:32// 0 comment(s)
Bumi (Bumi, #1) by Tere Liye
Publisher: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Release date: January 27th, 2014
Genres: Indonesian Lit., Fantasy
Source: Bought it
My name is Raib, 15 years old, 10th grader. I am a girl just like you, your sisters, your neighbors. I have two cats, their names are White and Black. My mom and dad are fun to be around. The teachers in my school are cool. My friends are nice and awesome.
I am not unlike most teenagers, except for one thing. There's something I've been hiding ever since I was little. Something miraculous.
My name is Raib. And I can disappear.
The first book in the BUMI series.
Hi, fellow bookworms! I'm back after such a super long hiatus! I can guarantee you I'm not dead. It's just that it was kinda hard to get back on track on my reading ever since my parents banned me from buying any novels months leading up to my high school graduation and college entrance exams. However, I'm gonna try to post regularly now that I've bought so many novels!
Okay, on to the review.
BUT, before I start my review, I'm gonna be honest with you, guys. The reason I just bought this book recently even though it was published 3 years ago was that of the rumor that Tere Liye would stop publishing any of his works. Why? Because the tax for writers is crazy (or so I heard)! He also said that he would stop printing any more copies of his past works (including this series) and that's why I bought the whole published series as soon as I could. The other reason was also that the new cover is more attractive than the previous one:
Bumi is an Indonesian novel written by the well-known Tere Liye (he's SUPER famous in Indonesia). He's known for writing all kinds of novels--romance, action, drama, you name it. Bumi is a fantasy novel set in 'Indonesia'. It's the first book in the series under the same title. It's narrated by a teenage girl--who can disappear and make things disappear--named Raib (literally means vanish in Indonesian). I'm not gonna spoil anything about the plot because, honestly, the surprises were what made me enjoy this novel so much.
Most of the main characters are 15-year-old teenagers and like most 15-year-olds, they're a bit stupid at times (which is a good thing, I suppose. Because it's more believable than making them all geniuses).
Seli, Raib's best friend, is a real pain in the butt sometimes because she constantly worries about her parents and cries even though no one else does that besides her. But she's a really supportive friend for Raib and I liked her for it. Oh, she also has a cool power *cough*like Mare Barrow *cough*.
On the other hand, I liked Raib the least because other than her ability to disappear, super strength, and make things vanish, all she has is her unbelievably high ego and irrationality. She tends to act rather than think first. There's a life-and-death situation in which she messes up badly and it's not even gonna happen if only she listens to her other friend--Ali. But it's needed to create conflicts, of course.
Which brings us to my most favorite character, Ali! He is the most rational, smartest, brilliant 15-year-old to ever exist in Indonesian literature. He's the brain of the group and, without him, everyone would be dead from the first few chapters. He's a genius and he knows it, proudly bragging his awesome life-saving ideas to Raib and Seli--to which they admit begrudgingly. I liked the fact that he embodies all of the qualities needed in order to make a character instantly my favorite--quick-witted, rational, outgoing, likes to joke even in the toughest situations. Of course, there are more characters, but I'm not gonna spoil you the fun of reading it by telling you all about them here.
The Plot and World Building
Since this is the first book in a series of 4-5 books, it's quite understandable if this book is quite heavy in the sense of world-building. However, I don't think it bothered me that much because there are still a lot of things going on that if the world-building was any less, it wouldn't be as fun reading this. The story escalates quickly from just a normal everyday life of a teenage girl--going to school, getting punished for homework, eating in the cafeteria--to a raging battle between worlds. I loved how I could literally picture every scenery and situation vividly as if I had a TV in my head. But I guess I'll talk about this on The Writing section more.
Yes, the writing. It never ceases to amaze me how Tere Liye could write so well. I liked how he always writes the voices of his narrators as if he knows exactly how they would think in the situation. You see, I've read some of his works, ranging from an action story with a 30-something man from Sumatra to a romance-drama story with a frustrating 20-something woman who's in a requited love with her childhood friend. I liked them all even though sometimes some characters annoyed me to no end. However, I liked the fact that when I'm reading Bumi, it's as of I'm reading a translated novel from English into Indonesian. He writes in formal Indonesian which totally fits the condition and circumstances of the novel. I could literally translate the whole thing into English while I was reading because it's just that formal. But, yeah, I liked it. Nevertheless, I'd honestly prefer if this book was written from Ali's POV.
In all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Fantasy novels and for those who might be new to it, since this book isn't that hard to digest (the fantasy part, I mean). I didn't give this book five stars because, well, I just couldn't shake the feeling that this book could be WAY more interesting if only Ali were the main character.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Inas