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Book Review: Dilan, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990

Dilan, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990

Dilan Cover
Title: Dilan, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990 (in English: Dilan, He is My Dilan Year 1990)
Author: Pidi Baiq
Genre: Teenage Romance, Non-Fiction
Publisher: DAR! Mizan
Pages: 333 pages
Published Date: April 2014

Dilan, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990 is the first book of a trilogy consists of “Dilan, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990”, “Dilan Bagian Kedua, Dia adalah Dilanku Tahun 1991”, and “Milea, Suara dari Dilan”. All the novels based on true story. Just like what the title said, the event happened in 1990 in the 1st book, 1991 in the 2nd book, and both year on the 3rd book. The first and the second book tell us the story from Milea’s point of view, while the third book tell us from Dilan’s point of view. In this post I will only review the first book. I’ve finished reading the second book, but I haven’t finished the third book.
The first book has been released since 2014 and still be sold in many bookstores in Indonesia. However, I have just finished reading the book on Sunday, 27th August 2017. I started reading the book on Saturday, 26th August 2017. It seems weird that I suddenly interested in a book and then read the book and finish it only in a night. I read the book because it was recommended by my friend and at this time (at the time I wrote this review) the book is being filmed, so it’s a good time to read the book before the film published.
The book generally tells us about love. It’s about how a couple of teenage boy and girl, around 16-18 years old fall in love. However, the story is really interesting because the boy is romantic and poetic but naughty and the girl can accept the boy even though he is naughty.
The story started with introduction of Milea. Milea Adnan Hussain is the first children of Adnan Hussain, who is a soldier, and Marissa Kusumarini, who previously is a well-known singer in Bandung. Milea has just moved from Jakarta to Bandung following his father rotation to Bandung. Moving to Bandung made Milea have new friends. One of them is Dilan. Dilan and Milea first meet on the way to school. Milea was walking while Dilan was riding motorcycle. It turns out that Dilan has targeted Milea. He wanted to know Milea. Milea is a beautiful girl, so it’s easy for her to be well-known.
Dilan likes Milea, he wanted her to be her girlfriend. But, Milea didn’t. Milea has already have a boyfriend. Her boyfriend is the son of an actor. He is rich, handsome, and a good guy. So it’s hard for Milea to accept Dilan. However, Dilan’s effort to win Milea’s heart is really unexpected. Dilan is a really brave guy, but he is also funny. The characteristics of Dilan derived from his father, who is a soldier too, and his mother, who is a principal in a school in Bandung.
Dilan once follows Milea go home by angkot (a public transportation in Indonesia, similar with bus, but uses minibus with modified seats, and can stop everywhere) even though he goes to school by motorcycle. It’s easy for Dilan to tell his friend to help him because he is the commander of combat of a motorcycle gang. In the angkot, Dilan tell Milea “You’re beautiful. But I haven’t loved you yet. I don’t know about this afternoon.” The next day, Dilan give Milea a letter with the content “Announcement: Since yesterday afternoon I have loved you – Dilan!”. Then the love story started.
As time passed, Milea broke up with Beni, her boyfriend in Jakarta who is the son of an actor. Even before he broke up, Milea have loved Dilan. Milea was impressed by Dilan acts. Dilan acts were unordinary. One of them is Dilan gave Milea a filled crossword as her birthday present, with a letter which contain “Happy birthday, Milea. This is the present for you. Only a crossword. But I’ve fill them all. I love you. I don’t want you confused filling the crosswords. Dilan!”
Crossword is the beginning of the mutual love story. It’s not hard to find romantic things, words, quotes, and acts in all passages in this book because they’re what the book sell. However, the love story doesn’t always run smoothly. The attendance of Mas Adi, who likes Milea, Susiana, who like Dilan, and Dilan problem with teacher, with other motorcycle gang, or even his friend in the same gang, and Milea who always worry Dilan because his motorcycle gang activities, colored up the novel with many colors that make the novel really beautiful to read.
At the end of this book, Dilan and Milea were boyfriend and girlfriend for official. They stated their status verbal and written. Even written in a paper and they both sign that above a stamp. The letter content is really similar to Indonesian Proclamation.
The best part of the book for me is the part when Dilan was fighting with Anhar because Anhar slapped Milea. At that time, Milea and Dilan relationship was “unofficial boyfriend and girlfriend”. They haven’t declared their relationship but the feel is like a couple that is in relationship, even Dilan’s mother thought they were in relationship. At that time Dilan was suspended from school because he attacked a teacher. But, Dilan stay around the school to picked Milea up after school. When he heard that Anhar slapped Milea, he run to the school searching for Anhar, and fought him. Dilan didn’t care if Anhar is in the same gang with him, but Dilan didn’t want anyone heart his girl. He once said “Don’t ever tell me that someone hurts you, Milea. Later, the next day, he will be lost.” That day, Dilan proved his word to Milea. Because of this fight, Dilan and Anhar fired from the school.
I think it’s the best part because it seems contrary to the condition nowadays. Lots of men didn’t protect women. They threat women, they hurt women. Even they disrespect women. Even some men demeaning his own women. It’s contrary with what Dilan do to protect his woman. Even though the way he protects his woman isn’t right, but the aim is correct.
How the writer draws something in the novel is really good. Milea, who has been about 40 years old when writing the novel could retell her story well. It’s easy to understand the language (thanks to Pidi Baiq as the author). Milea’s feeling is described clearly and really understandable even though it has been more than 20 years. The description of 1990’s Bandung is really good, which makes me want to teleport to 1990’s Bandung. Quiet Bandung, cold, not many cars and motorcycle, trees everywhere, and not much high rise building.
I think the novel have a good composition. The taste is good with balance of chilli, salt, sugar, and sour. Even though the things that highlighted in the novel is romance, but not all here is romance. But there is also comedy or something funny but romantic like crossword as the birthday present. So it’s good that the story is balanced.
However, the end of the story is predictable, a happy ending. But, keep in mind that the book is only the first of 3 books. It may have different ending in the second book or the third. After that, not all actions can be done in real life. Attacking teacher, skipping classes, driving motorcycle under age, fighting with friends, smoking around the school, and join motorcycle gang is actions that isn’t acceptable nowadays.
Every book has positives and negatives. I think this book is really enjoyable and suitable to read in free time. If you want to know how to treat each other, this book is really preferable.


“Don’t miss us. It’s heavy. You can’t stand it. Let me.”

Dilan to Milea (p. 284)

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