#62 Olive’s Ocean

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
224 pages, ebook edition
Published July 2nd, 2013, by Greenwillow Books
4/5 star

Sinopsis, dari Goodreads:

“Olive Barstow was dead. She’d been hit by a car on Monroe Street while riding her bicycle weeks ago. That was about all Martha knew.”

Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends. But they weren’t — and now all that is left are eerie connections between two girls who were in the same grade at school and who both kept the same secret without knowing it.

Now Martha can’t stop thinking about Olive. A family summer on Cape Cod should help banish those thoughts; instead, they seep in everywhere.

And this year Martha’s routine at her beloved grandmother’s beachside house is complicated by the Manning boys. Jimmy, Tate, Todd, Luke, and Leo. But especially Jimmy. What if, what if, what if, what if? The world can change in a minute.

Yes, this novel was about someone’s life encounter. To be specific, it was Martha’s. So why it titled Olive’s Ocean? And what was this Olive’ Ocean is about?


Tiba-tiba saja, seorang ibu dari teman sekelasmu -yang tidak begitu kamu kenal dan sayangnya ia baru saja meninggal dunia karena kecelakaan-, datang ke rumahmu dan menyampaikan secarik kertas sobekan dari diari temanmu itu. Isi secarik kertas itu adalah diarynya yang menyebutkan namamu. Berkata bahwa kamu adalah orang yang baik dan ia sendiri -meski dilabeli sebagai anak yang aneh- ingin sekali berteman denganmu. Apa reaksimu?

Well, Martha tak sempat bereaksi apa-apa karena kedatangan Ibunya  Olive terasa begitu singkat dan Martha..shock, cuma bisa terdiam menerima sobekan diary Olive tersebut. Isi lengkapnya?

June 7: My Hopes
I hope that I can write a book someday. Not like the kind we did in writing lab. A real one, like in a library or bookstore. And not a mystery or adventure one, but an emotional one. Maybe I can make kids change their opinions on emotion books like some authors did to me. Most kids at school call the kind of book I want to do a chapter book, but I call them novels. Maybe I could be the youngest person ever to write a novel. Maybe I can develop a unique style of writing that no other authors have. I already know the first sentence of my novel: “The orphan’s secret wish was that her bones were hollow like a bird’s and that she could just take off and fly away.”

I also hope that one day I can go to a real ocean such as the Atlantic or Pacific. I like Madison with all the lakes (especially Lake Wingra), but I think it is not the same. When I’m eighteen I want to live in a cottage on a cliff that looks over the sea.
What else do I hope?

I hope that I get to know Martha Boyle next year (or this summer). I hope that we can be friends. That is my biggest hope. She is the nicest person in my whole entire class.

Martha got eerie feeling. Belum lagi dua poin lainnya juga membuat Martha terkejut. Begitu kebetulan, esok pagi Martha akan pergi berlibur di tempat Godbee yang berada di Atlantic Ocean. Dan tanpa bermaksud menyamai harapan Olive -juga  bukan untuk menyamai Ayahnya, Martha juga ingin menjadi penulis. Dan tiba-tiba Olive mengambil bagian yang besar dalam pikiran Martha.

Summer Holiday

Liburan musim panas kali itu, ada yang berbeda. Sobekan diary Olive dibawa serta oleh Martha. Dengan Olive yang terus menggelayuti pikirannya dan buku catatan, di musim panas itu Martha tahu bahwa ia akan menulis tentang Olive. Tapi liburan musim panas sebenarnya adalah tentang Godbee dan tempat tinggalnya berada di samudera Atlantic, tepatnya Buzzard Bay, Cape Cod. Tempat yang selalu Martha inginkan untuk bisa kembali.

Musim panas itu, Godbee ingin Martha bercerita banyak kepadanya. Sedangkan Martha, meski pikiran tentang Olive terus saja memenuhi benaknya, ia tidak bisa langsung bercerita (jujur, Martha sangat ingin berbagi tentang  Olive). Tapi disamping itu, Martha menikmati kebersamaannya dengan Godbee -nenek yang sangat ia favoritkan. Bermain Parcheesi dan mendengar cerita-cerita Godbee. Lalu di musim panasnya juga ada keluarga Manning, tepatnya anak laki-laki keluarga Manning. Lebih tepatnya lagi, Tate. Yang hanya berselang 1 tahun dari usianya. Martha ingin tahu seperti apa Tate sekarang ini?

Diluar ekspektasinya, anak laki-laki Manning yang  mewarnai liburannya (dan menjadi partner embrionic lovenya) justru adalah Jimmy Manning. Kemana Tate? Ah, selipan cinta monyet di novel ini antara Martha – Jimmy; Martha – Tate, ini bikin saya senyam-senyum. Unyu banget deh. Malah saya sempat ketawa liat tingkahnya Martha. Deuh, jadi pengen balik SMP. Hahha. XD

Dan liburan musim panas kali ini, Martha benar-benar memulai tulisannya. Karakternya adalah Olive, well dia tidak bisa menghindari hal itu. Olive masih menyembul disela-sela liburannya yang berwarna kali itu. Saya ngerasa Martha ini keren banget, sebenarnya. Tulisan awalnya bagus. Lucu, saat dia sempat patah hati -saat summer itu juga- dia sempat memutuskan menjadi poet saja. Tapi toh itu kan juga menulis.

A slight life-changing of Martha trough her 12 y.o summer, sebenarnya itu inti dari novel Olive’s Ocean ini.

The thing that Martha called as Olive’s Ocean

Meski novel ini bercerita tentang Martha dan liburan musim panasnya, Olive’s Ocean tetap ada. Tapi apa sih Olive’s Ocean itu menurut Martha? Dan buat apa Olive’s Ocean sementara Olive sendiri sudah meninggal. Well, cari tahu sendiri dengan baca novelnya aja yah. Hehhe 😀

The death issue for a 12 y.o girl

Kevin Henkes, yang membuka novel ini dengan kematian Olive, tentu saja membawa isu kematian dalam novel ini. Tepatnya isu kematian ketika dipandang oleh seorang gadis usia 12 tahun. Too young for the death issue? Thats what we might think but actually death was issue for people at all ages. Its just that people of different group age deal with it in different way. So, what does Martha thought about death through Olive’s death?

The world can change in a minute, and at the same time remain unchanged. But, in another way, the world had changed dramatically—because Martha understood for the first time that the world didn’t revolve around her, that it was bigger than that, that it simply was, and would continue to exist with or without her. But she was here, and wanting to be, more than ever.

Tentu saja Martha takut, bahkan ada scene saat akhirnya emosinya ruah dalam tangis. Lalu ada scene, nanti, saat dia hampir menghadapi kematian itu sendiri. Pfiuhh.. its a tough things to deal, even for us the adult. Tapi Martha belajar dari itu semua, she’s been slightly matured herself through that summer.

The sum of Martha’s 12 y.o summer experience.

12 y.o Martha gained perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer. After that summer, she listed the things to do about Godbee, about an older boy (i dont want to tell you is it Jimmy or Tate :-P) and about her dreams to be a writer. What i can tell you is finally she told her father about her dreams and gained his father support. Yeay! i’m happy for her. It is really a good thing to discovered you and what you want  to do in the future at your early age. This is what the novel has told me teary eye

The cover

I think this novel should have better cover. Because there are no fish at the book. The cover should the ilustration of the form of Olive’s Ocean itself.

My last comment

I feel lucky to give this novel a try, as my first newberry novel pick. I like it soo much i give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommended to you. Its a children lit with not really twisted plot but nicely-done written by Kevin Henkes. You there who’s enjoyed children lit should give this novel a try. You wont regret 😉

One thought on “#62 Olive’s Ocean

  1. Pingback: [Monthly Recap] July | Faraziyya's Bookshelf

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