Kelabu by Nadia Khan | Book Review

September 19, 2017

I knew about Buku Fixi few years ago, together with Lejen Press. Bought few Lejen Press books before, but Kelabu is my first one with Fixi (I think) and the very first item I bought via Carousell :D

I feel like totally helpless and jobless and penniless right now. Expect more book reviews as I can't allocate my time and saving for any travelling yet. ;p

Title: Kelabu
Author: Nadia Khan
Pages: 456
Publisher: Buku Fixi
Publication Date: 2011
The book is about Amir, the main character in this book, portrayed as the first narrative. Till halfway of the book, turned out that he is actually a she, Amira. Being a 'pengkid', he is more attracted to have relationships with girls and Amir has up and down stories of them. The latest one is more about him and Jun, a girl he met during a college carnival and Amir worked on that day as a photographer, a job he loves to do. Oh yea, he has a best friend since his study time in Germany, Syah who actually secretly likes 'him'.

I'm not good with creating my own version of synopsis though.

But for this book, you need to read it to understand:
  • why exactly Amir became like that, 
  • what actually happened to him, 
  • how about his family's acceptance of his condition,
  • what will happen to his love life,
  • what finally happen to Amir at the end. 

Or you may get spoilers if you continue reading this post. -_-'

1. Do you believe in second chances?
In this novel, it shows that Amir does not believe in second chances. There were many things happened around him that he felt like people are leaving him without any attempt to stay at first. His mother left him when he was a child, leaving him under the control and guidance of a father whom he idolized a lot. Even his so called girlfriend, Su left him. 

And it was because of his differences. 

Because people make mistakes.

Until one day when he was in a relationship with Jun, after being single a long time since Su left him... when suddenly Su and his mother came back. 

For me, I do believe in second chances - but depends on the situation. I made mistakes, at least I need to give myself few other chances to move on. Otherwise, you probably won't see me around, in this condition. I may end up somewhere I can't even imagine. 

2. Are we choosing happiness?
Happiness is a very subjective word to everyone. Some people can be happy for the very small things that happen in their life. Some even need huge events to be happy. 

In this novel, it is just not my interest to enjoy the love jokes and how they perceive relationships. I don't know, maybe because I see relationship as a sacred thing. 

At first, Jun was hiring Amir to be her part-time boyfriend just to make her current boyfriend, Azhar jealous and hope Azhar will be more into the relationship. End up, Jun was falling for Amir. Adoi.

Amir and his metaphors. 

3. Nik's definition of love. 
Nik, a guy who works in a cafe of Amir's apartment (if I am not mistaken). Amir described well about Nik in this novel if you want to know how they know each other and how he can give advice to Amir; about love. 


I told you earlier that Syah secretly likes Amir (I know it! haha). Syah is actually treating Amir like a guy but deep inside, since he knows Amir is actually a girl... he is waiting for Amir to change his preference before he says his heart out. Complicated huh?

Amir assumes Syah as a gay and that is when Nik counterback him with, "Chenta ni hanya boleh wujud sebagai hubungan dua hala, di mana pihak-pihak terlibat akan buat apa yang patut asalkan menepati batasan seorang manusia yang beragama." Nik wants Amir to accept the fact that he is actually a girl and it is totally not wrong for Syah to feel that way. 

4. Now I get the answer.
I am not that liberal to accept LGBT but I always wonder about this. Especially which toilets will they go in public. In this book as well, you can learn to know why girls are attracted to 'pengkid'. 

5. People who loves us will have our back.
Amir's dad is there whenever he needs him. 
That's why Amir loves him so much. 

Amir actually went to Germany to search for his mother and realized her already living happily with her new family. Then he decided to return to his dad without his mum (he was planning to bring her home). 

If you read more about Amir's grandparents, you can relate more on this point. I lost both my grandparents since I was a kid, so my time with them was limited. I heard, our parents will lose to their parents if our grandparents back us up. :)

6. "Do you believe in happy endings?"
HAHA I don't really like open endings. 
And that's what you will get at the end of this novel. T____T

It is good at some point as it encourage readers to imagine the ending they want it to be. For me, of course I am shipping for Amir & Syah. And a thing that makes me continue reading the book is to hope there will be changes to Amir. 

Glad he changed! Phew. 


My rating: ★★★☆☆

The very first thing I am glad about Kelabu is it does not have so much bahasa kasar (I mean all those f-, s- words). Even though I survived my 6 years in Czech listening to my international friends saying those words, please avoid that if you are speaking to me. T_T

To be honest, it is hard for me to digest (to suit my heart) with all these urban lifestyle portrayed in Indie books as I have been growing up in a different way. My circle of friends is different, my environment is different as well. But, life is being life. People live differently. But most stories are something I don't get to see and encounter myself in the real world. Just like this book. 

That's another thing I need to appreciate and to learn the differences to be more grateful with my own life. I may not have the best lifestyle ever, but everything that happens is the best Allah can give for my life. :)

SS, Perak, Malaysia.

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