Welcome back to Book & Film Review where we will review Indonesian books and films. In today's edition, we will review a novel entitled "Dan Hujan Pun Berhenti" or "And the Rain Stops" by Farida Susanty. This novel was the first work of Farida Susanty, a woman who was born in Bandung, June 18 1990. Dan Hujan Pun Berhenti was written when she was in high school and was published in 2007. Until now, that title kept being reprinted. This novel made Farida won the Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Talented Young Writer category in 2007. This novel is about Leostrada Andhika Servorova Ekihara Miyazao or Eko, an Indo-Japan descent, naughty student of 103 or Wahutri High School, who was often summoned by counselor. With four of his friends: Luthfi, Adi, Kevin, and David, they call themselves Bunch of Bastards and often make troubles. However, behind it all, Leo is just a fragile young man. Leo leaves his home, since he cannot bear his family's condition. He feels empty, lonely, traumatic, and distrusts. His life is pitch black. And Leo hates rain, since under it, the world took Iris forever - the only friend Leo had, to whom he trusted all his feelings.Amidst his sorrow, he met Spiza - Spizaeuts Caerina. Both met in an "unusual" way. As if bewitched, Leo finds his Iris in Spiza. Thoughts about Iris guides Leo to keep getting closer to Spiza. Until the two feel comfortable, a bitter reality hits Leo. He must choose: grows up and makes peace with his past, or keeps being haunted by trauma which keeps killing him. Farida created the characters in her novel carefully. Quirky names and strong characterization are presented through every narration and dialogs. They incluude the depressed, deeply wounded Leo who longs for attention and affection; then, Spiza who is innocent, guilt-driven, and fearing betrayal; both selfish parents of Leo; as well as the funny and loyal friends of Leo. With setting in Bandung city, all teenagers' life are well-depicted by Farida. However, long dialogs and many footnones in the middle of the story makes the 322-page novel a little bit uncomfortable to read. Long dialogs in every chapter may exhaust the reader. Very unfortunate if this affects readers' opinion about the book, more overly if they do not finish it. Some conflicts in the novel are also too much for highschoolers, but isn't everything possible in fiction?. The diction used in the novel is still very typical of teenagers, easily understood, and not using too many foreign terms. Up and own plot as well as surprises keep the reades curious. Many messages on family, friendship, and love, and all are well-packaged by Farida.The theme is also very fresh and different from many other teenage novels. Therefore, the original and fresh idea is able to make Farida worthy for Khatulistiwa Literary Award.
"Hey! Why do you hang that?"
“Hei! Kenapa menggantungkan itu?"
"So that the rain won't fall."
"Biar hujan nggak turun."
"So what if it falls?"
"Memangnya kenapa kalau turun?"
"I'll die before I suicide."
"Aku akan keburu mati sebelum aku bunuh diri."
"You want to commit suicide?"
"Kamu mau bunuh diri?"
"Yes, only when it's not raining."
"Ya, asal nggak hujan."
That was a dialog between Leo and Spiza in their first meeting.Suicide and depression tie the two characters. Some characters of this novel are depicted as easily play with death. What intertesting is, such issues are quite common among teenagers yet often ignored. By bringing out suicide and depression in the novel, this hopefully can make people more aware about teenagers' mental health. The novel which have three different covers contains deep moral values. Besides reminding us to care with depression and suicide among teenagers, this book is full of messages. One of them is to make peace with the past; however dark it was, if we want to forgive and let it go, our life will be peaceful. Also, we should always accept God's fate, because everything destined by the God have some values in it. that was our brief review of Dan Hujan Pun Berhenti or And the Rain Stops by Farida Susanty.