Heartling by Indah Hanaco

Indah Hanaco
Gramedia Pustaka Utama
260 pages


Bagi Amara, monster itu bernama Marcello. Monster dengan kenangan-kenangan buruk. Cowok. Sahabat. Gaun. Pemerkosaan. Rumah sakit. Amara tidak lagi menginginkan hal-hal itu hadir di hidupnya.

Seakan takdir belum puas mengolok-olok Amara, monster itu tiba-tiba muncul mengganggu hubungannya dengan Ji Hwan. Tepat ketika dia berusaha membuka hati.

Apa yang harus Amara lakukan?

The problem with prolific writers is that sometimes they tend to sacrifice the depth of plot and character development for the sake of incessant swooning moment or extremely-hot-and-handsome-characters or fanservice. "Heartling" is my second read of Hanaco and it suits that description. My first read was Cinta Tanpa Jeda that I loathe, especially because of Mary Sue characters, and it makes me avoid Hanaco's books before I decide to try this one. After all, how bad can it be? I am wrong, of course, once again. It is worse. In a way, "Heartling" basically tastes as sour as "Cinta Tanpa Jeda", with Mary Sue character--who has been given a big flaw by Hanaco, but it still doesn't work; I'll explain it later--stiff conversation, and the lack of the depth of characterization. But, it's not those things that I hate the most.

It's how Hanaco uses rape as a plot device. I'm not gonna put it on my spoiler tag--I won't even bother. I'll just put it there so people will know that this book is about raping. It's such a low move, to be honest. In a perfect world, rape should've not happened, but since we live in the shitty world, that shitty thing happens. Rape is a horrible thing because it will not only destroy your physic, but your mental as well. It will crush your confidence, your self-worthiness, your independence, and your mind will be haunted by this terrible experience. And it can happen to women or men. Using rape in work of fiction is really tricky because it's a sensitive issue and it is hard to transform what the victims go through into words that are limited. There's no word that can describe what horror they must bear, and what trauma they go into, and every victims share different story. A fine example how authors handle rape is in Pierce Brown's Red Rising where Brown perfectly describes that rape happens, indeed, but it should've not happened or Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak where Anderson portrays a victim rape realistically. 

In "Heartling", our main character, Amara, a Mary Sue character who happens to be a victim rape that makes her afraid of guys who try to hit her--which surprisingly a lot, but of course, Amara is a Mary Sue. Hanaco narrates with the stiffest narration style that I've ever read--it kinda reminds me of Arumi E.'s--who is coincidentally a prolific writer as well--style in Monte Carlo: Skenario--with the most unflowing and unnecessary conversation that rarely drives the plot that I have to follow. The plot seems so flat that it makes Freytag cry. Reading "Heartling" makes me cringe all the time. 

Amara is annoying even if her ridiculousness is understandable--after all she's a victim rape, and every victim has different story--but she's not believable, the reason why after all rape is only as used as plot device. The most shocking and ultimate reason why I hate the book is when Hanaco puts another victim rape as easy as that for the sake of twist. Damn. This issue should be fastidiously handled, and I'm speechless. "Heartling" has no personal mission or moral value--and I'm one of the few people who believe that moral value is not the main thing in work of fiction; there's nothing you can get by reading, except for frustration and lividity. And the supporting characters are just there and frivolously written. Even one of the supporting characters, Reuben, appears in the beginning of the story and puffs by the end. Everything about this book is just off. 

If I have "Worst Book" candidate, well, I guess "Heartling" matches all the criteria.

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