I haven’t read such a good novel in a long time and I’m definitely sure this is it. Surprisingly enough, I’ve never read Dee Lestari’s previous novels, and I’m really amazed by her talent in writing because Perahu Kertas is unputdownable as it makes me laugh, cry and feel inspired.
The story itself is a simple one; a love story between a petite girl called Kugy who wants to write fables, and Keenan, a bright student with the passion to paint, and yet he is forced to leave his dreams because his father disapproves of it. They both find similarities and solace in each other because they know how it feels like to want to do something and forced to leave it behind simply because it is perceived to be too pompous and unrealistic.
What really captures me is the way Dee writes the story – it flows so easily, and the characters are strong and vivid in a way that I can relate to; Kugy’s strangeness in the way she dresses, and how she doesn’t care what people think about it, and yet it all changes when she meets Keenan. How Kugy is touched when Keenan has painted her fable’s characters beautifully that she actually cries in front of him. How Keenan misses Kugy even though he hasn’t seen her for years, because she knows him so well and so does he. How Kugy is disappointed in Keenan’s decision to stop painting which makes her feel alone and in turn makes her stop reliving her dream too.
For me, not many writers have successfuly created such a good connection between two people who love each other. Not many writers actually know the concept of soulmates and are able to put it in writing, not even Stephenie Meyers who’ve written the Twilight trilogy. Although the concept of a clumsy female human falling in love with a perfect-looking vampire is interesting, but it’s not something I can relate to. The reason that the male vampire falls in love with her because she’s the only person in which her mind he can’t read is just too shallow a reason.
Dee, on the other hand, has done it so beautifully, I feel as if I’m reading my own feelings. She knows that the concept of a soulmate exists because a person finds his or her reflection from his or her soulmate. When Kugy meets Keenan for the first time, she feels as if she’s known him for ages, despite now knowing each other at all. This is due to their being in the same path that leads them to make the decision; to pursue or not to pursue their dreams.
In this simple love story, the readers are taught not to forget their passion and to appreciate the value of friendship and family. It also teachers the readers about love. True love doesn’t require each other the need to even ask, because it will give so willingly without being requested to do so. It will not work with second best choices, because it will only hurt each other in the end.
I highly reccommend this book to everyone of all ages who wants to be inspired and reminded about love.