Although there is small connection between them which Ilana has cleverly put to interlink the novels and made them more interesting, each book can be read alone in any order because they are actually separate stories with different settings, plots and characters. I personally prefer to read them in the publication year order because the earlier books did setup some sort of preliminary for the laters.
What I like the most about the novels is the fact that these are original Indonesian novels with an international taste and cultural blends (even the names and their lifestyles!). True that they are all revolving in love and hate stories that eventually end up in either happy or sad ending, something that all pop novels and chicklits offer, but reading them from Ilana’s writing, they are all come out fresh. And beautiful. These novels remind me again how precious it is to fall in love, be in love, and be occasionally head over heels.
Summer in Seoul(Gramedia, 2006)
Summer in Seoul is a funny and comical relationship between Sandy and Jung Tae-Woo, a famous Korean singer. I can’t stop smiling while reading this one. With all the K-drama experience, it’s not difficult to transform visual of this novel into a real moving picture on my mind. Yummy!
Autumn in Paris (Gramedia, 2007)
Autumn. Paris. A great combination for romance, where love forms shapes for Tara and Tetsuya. The story begins and flows through letters sent by Tetsuya to “Je me souviens“, a radio program in Tara’s work place. I feel that the story is more mature than the earlier novel. The painful twist hurts me as much as it has hurt Tara and Tetsuya. Pain!
Winter in Tokyo (Gramedia, 2008)
Kazuto moves to Tokyo as an escape from his past and meeting Keiko is not part of the plan. Who plans love anyway? But Keiko doesn’t see him as he is. Keiko is still waiting for her first love, the feeling she never lets go since she was teen. The story is richer in plot details than the previous two, less attractive character-wise, and this is probably the one that’s very ‘chicklit’ the most.
Spring in London (Gramedia, 2010)
Naomi’s dark past made her frightful to be friendly with Danny, no matter how kind and attentive he is to her. But she needs to move on, especially if she wants to complete the video clip in which they model together. It takes a while to built the bonds between them, only to hit the haunting past again. This is the last of the box set and also my favorite. It’s romance is not too sad nor too comical, the relationship feels more realistic, the intrigued is unsual, and the last but not the least, it has a good sense of humour. Love it!
PS: I got the PDF e-books (in Bahasa Indonesia) from a website, I forgot where, when I randomly googled for Ilana Tan. Clearly these files are still on the initial drafts because they are not yet proofread. You can download it by right click+download link as file on the titles. For Ilana or publisher Gramedia, if you believe this is NOT legal, please let me know, I will remove them from my site. Thanks.
Updated August 20, 2016 – I have removed the file links as requested by Gramedia as the holder of the copyright. To: Gramedia, thanks for contacting and letting me know :) Sorry it took me years to revisit my blog and read your message. Back to hiatus now.