Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Kelabu by Nadia Khan

So 2014's first book review will be of another book published under Fixi. I'm currently trying to finish all of their books that I bought last year before spending more money on their other books. Now let me introduce you to probably my (current) most favorite book:

Front cover (a stunning mix of colours and no, it is not upside down.)

The back cover.
Book info:

Title:  Kelabu (Grey)
Author: Nadia Khan
Publisher: FIXI
Country published: Malaysia
Release Date: December 2011
Price (Ringgit Malaysia): RM 21.20
Pages: 456 pages
Format: Paperback
Genre: Romance (mostly), society-related issues

(English translation of the back cover)

It's easy to live in a world of black and white. Good-evil, right-wrong, love-hate, male-female.

What happens in the middle?
What happens to people like me?

When Jun came to me, offering a position as a "contract boyfriend", I didn't refused. Is it wrong for me to say "yes" to a hot chick? Is it wrong for me to be better at entertaining her more than her own boyfriend?

Is it wrong for me to fall in love with her?

I'm Amir. Come into my world, where the black and white aren't that clear. Maybe only after that, you'll understand how it feels like to be in my world. The GREY world.

(My synopsis)

KELABU is a story that revolves around Amir, a typical Casanova who can catch just about any female's eyes. Amir (who works as a freelance photographer) meets Jun, a university student who offers Amir a position as her "contract boyfriend" on certain reasons and terms. A lot of issues comes up when Amir falls in love with Jun. Amir's bff Shah starts to show another side of him. Jun's secrets starts to show up. And Amir struggles to be on the right track. I could say that the story has a lot of turns and drama, especially on Amir. The ending is something I dislike because it is..a cliffhanger. Gdi I hate those. But I guess the ending serves its purpose as it allows the readers to come up with their own ending, satisfying themselves. Well, except me.


The main character portrayed in this novel is a person named Amir. Along the storyline, Amir is shown to have problems from the past and also in the future. Amir also has a lot of principles in life. I have to say that Amir is the most interesting character I've ever met in Malay novels. The side characters such as Jun (Amir's contract girlfriend), Shah (Amir's bff), Maya (sort of like Amir's boss sometimes) and Dato' Ridzwan, Black as well as others makes the story more interesting and create a whole lot of drama in Amir's life. Some characters slowly fade into the background at first but they all come into harmony in the end. But seriously though..Amir's the bomb.

Language and literacy:

Fixi's known as one of the most urban and contemporary book publisher in Malaysia. Therefor, you can expect slangs, informal use of English and the typical "rojak" language Malaysia is known for. So no, it's technically not a "Malay" novel. What more can I say?

Nadia used quite a lot of English in my opinion. Especially in the conversations between characters. She should really consider writing an English novel. Or at least a sequel for Kelabu. *hint hint*

Mature content:

A few vulgar words here and there. Sexual hints (not TOO sexual). Society-related issues. Oh, and LGBT.

My Story and Overall rating:

It is extremely hard for me to review this book without giving any spoilers or hints. But to be honest, the moment I laid eyes on the cover and the title, I could guess what it was about. No, I did not read any reviews on it before reading. So this book took me about two days to finish. Or one and a half if you minus the times I have to pause to do chores or pray business. This was the first book from Fixi that I had in mind to buy when I went to the Lejen shop to haul some of the books (read about it here).

Not only is this book entertaining, but it also provides a lot of interesting information especially about people like Amir and their problems. It opens up a new door society should know of. Although I really disliked the ending (CURSE YOU CLIFFHANGER!), this book almost sprung tears in my eyes up to the last sentence. Good job to Nadia Khan. I really wish you'd write a sequel. *hint HINT HINT* Although she did made a side story for KELABU in KLCC.

(-0.1 because of the effing cliffhanger)

P.S: Have you guys noticed that I didn't used his/him or her? *wink*

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