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Book Review: Negeri 5 Menara

This is the first book I finished this year (horrible me), after I read half biography of Merry Riana. Authored by Ahmad Fuadi, from West Sumatra, reporter of TEMPO Magazine as he dreamt, got 8 scholarships in several countries in Europe and the US.

My subjective rate is 8 from 10. This novel has some similarities to Andrea Hirata's novel "Laskar Pelangi". The strength of both book is they used celestial objects in their novel : rainbow and cloud. The friendship part is similar, the most genius people can't continue their school for a family reason. The idea of the story is actually not difficult as it is actually like his diary, but I really appreciate his effort to recall the memories which have past more than 20 years and bring it all into inspirative writing without patronizing people. I'm gonna predicate this novel as the most honest novel ever! Love it!

In my opinion, most of alumni will be -of course- proud of their ex-high school. They will say, "my school was the best high school ever". They can't actually judge something like that, just as simple because they had never gone to another school for the same level. But what I would say here is I like the school described by Ahmad Fuadi. It's Pondok Modern Gontor, by the way.

I'm unfortunately a female and catholic, to be honest I've never heard about this kind of school exists in Indonesia. But I really like the concept of the school, how the school educates the students. It is a full-time education. I was surprised that they're really not allowed to speak Indonesian. Only Arabic and English. I love the ideas about jasus, bulil alil, language comittee, security comittee, speech day, shaolin punishment, Class Six Show and the magic spell "man jadda wajana" (means: Everybody who makes every effort,will be success). Basically the students theirselves play a great role for the success of the school through participating in activities, obeying rules, respecting people, learning hard, being a leader and an example for the younger. I love his story about friendship (the saddest part of farewell has brought the novel to the fullest), Tyson and being punished, accepting something against his dream, dreaming, grabbing chances, believing. Even most of the homilies has inspired me!

So many things can be picked from the novels. Personally I learn not to stop dreaming. I learn to find out what I really want, listen what my heart desires, reach it, grab it with the help of God. Eventhough it's gonna take years, as it said before "man jadda wajana". If there is a will, there is a way :) Most important that the novel has opened my mind about moslem. I believe, it's gonna be pretty nice and peaceful if so many indonesian are like that. I can't wait to read the second part of this trilogy. Just a little note from me: if you're not a moslem and don't speak arabic, try to notice all noted arabic words, because the explanation of those words will not be repeated for the second time. Happy reading, people :)

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