Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Knife's Got Reflections by Mia Sallehudin [Book Review] [Vlog Script]

Assalamualaikum and hello there!

Been a while but here’s the review!

[what is the book about]

The Knife’s Got Reflections by Mia Sallehudin published by Terfaktab Vine is a story about an a very talented young chef named Nuha who has a love interest in the form of an already established cook named Zef.

Their relationship seems to drift apart when Nuha goes to Dubai to work in a restaurant over there, and this is when she befriends Laith, thus starting a LOVE TRIANGLE!

Nuha comes back to Malaysia, and resumes her relationship with Zef, gets engaged and gets stood up on her wedding day. She gets sad for a while before opening her own restaurant, and then Laith comes and proposes to her.

Cool? Cool.

[what i liked about the book]

I like that I got an insight into the life journey of a chef. I got to find out what it’s like to be a chef in real life, the struggles of a chef, what chefs tend to think about and all that jazz.

Since I am not a cook nor do I have any friends who are cooks, I appreciate being able to read about what being a cook entails.

And the scene where Nuha has to salam cium tangan her makciks and call off the wedding, that was something new that I appreciated. I’m a sucker for localised narratives, and the cium tangan scene was really something.

[what I didn’t like about the book]

Having said that, it still is, at the end of the day, a love-triangle story, and in that story I was able to salvage very few bits that I found interesting.

It also sounded rather preachy in what Nuha has to say about cooks, likes she’s defending the profession from critics that existed only inside her brain, but not inside the story. 

One particular passage highlights this point, in page 154 when she seems to be addressing the reader directly by telling us, “cooking with passion will take up most of your heart. You may not have much left to do anything else. Some of the people I knew didn’t even have enough left for things like personal relationships and family. So you better make up your mind.”

Thing about it is, the story itself shows that you can be a highly successful cook while having a fulfilling personal life, so this ranty paragraph becomes moot. 

A big chunk of the first few chapters were explanations of cooking techniques that wouldn’t interest a noob in cooking such as myself. Have a pause here to read part of a paragraph from page 37. I understand that some people might find all that interesting, but I’m reading this book for a story, not ways to prepare food.

I guess I would have appreciated more restraint on behalf of the author in regards to this.

I wish I liked the main character more, but I just didn’t. There’s this one bit where she admits that she was not most people (I wasn’t most people, page 50), but then buys an I-Love-Budapest t-shirt as a souvenir literally two pages later. Somebody has to tell her that “most people” buy that shirt as souvenirs.

[nak rekemen buku ni kat sapa]

I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to gain a better insight into what the journey to become a chef might look like. I think aspiring chefs would appreciate this book a lot more than I do.

Overall, it took me a long time to finish this book for a reason. I just didn’t find it very page-turning. I think that the story at the crux of it is meh and the storytelling is similarly meh.

I think the author can write. They just have to find a more interesting story to tell, in my opinion.

If you’ve read the book, what did you think about it? Leave your comments below, especially if you disagree with what I had to say about the book! I’d love to read what you think and or feel about the book.

The next video will be a list of books that I’ll be talking about in 2017, so look out for that one.

And I think that’s it for this video, until next time, may peace be upon you!

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