Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Print (PH only)

Synopsis

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

I read this book in one sitting because it’s really good! I was still high and dry from April Feels Fest, a local event courtesy of the #romanceclass community. Waiting in the Wings was one of the books that got featured in the live reading, and I’d say that it was one of the main reasons why I read this book. I felt so much kilig during the live reading and the same thing happened while I was reading the book.

Erin, the main character, was lovely. I really like her overall vibe and I could relate to her. Ramon was so adorable, I’d love to just cuddle with him forever. He’s such a great friend to Erin, and I just love how supportive he was of her, even if it somehow stomps on his feelings. It’s also worth noting that Ramon has alopecia, I think it’s a good thing to have this representation in books. Pio, the other guy that makes up the love triangle, is adorable as well. Although, I saw him as a bit reserved, but he’s also lovely and it’s hard to hate him! I heard that Tara is writing a story about him, so I really can’t wait to read about that.

I really liked the whole premise of the book, which featured theatre arts. I’m probably the least person you’ll see on stage, but you can bet that I’ll be one of the people who can fill in the audience. I’ve always had an admiration to theatre people and seeing plays and productions were the best things I did during college. It’s nice to see this aspect of the arts in the book up close.

We can’t all be stars, Erin. You know that. Some of us need to stay behind in the dark so others can shine.

I don’t usually enjoy books with love triangles but this was one big exemption. The love triangle was well-executed and there was literally zero bad blood between the two male leads. I just love how the whole thing unfolded, the romance between the three was fun to read. Also the “labyu” drops, oh my gosh, those were my favorite scenes!

I think I’m a bit on an advantage here since I have already experienced the feel of the book because of the live reading, even before I was able to read the whole thing. If any, it heightened my experience in reading. I also love Tara Frejas’s writing style, the emotions were easy to pick up, and it made me swoon so hard! This was my first from her and I can’t wait to read more!

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Keeping The Distance by Clarisse David
Publication Date: February 6th 2017
Source:  ARC from Author
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

No bets. No fake relationships. Just a very real one that has to be kept under wraps.

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can’t. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something’s about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn’t her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs…

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he’s ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he’s known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he’s about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs…

I received an ARC of this book from the Author. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

Hate to love trope isn’t exactly my favorite but I did enjoy this book so much. Clarisse David writes these types of stories so damn good. It really took me a long time before I was able to form coherent thoughts about the book, I have to admit that I’m still struggling, but screw it. This review might be short but I need to share these thoughts with you, and hopefully force you to pick this book up!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Lance and Melissa. It actually reminded me of two of my friends back in high school, and guess what? They ended up as a couple, they still are until today.  I also love the development of both characters, and their dynamics.

The story was a little predictable but I love the anticipation I felt while silently longing for that happy ending. The pacing was also a little slow at times, but overall this was a cute, swoonworthy read! I highly recommend this book!

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy #1) by Six de los Reyes

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy, #1) by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: April 17th 2016
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts’ relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin’s wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya’s recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn’t always happen inside a lab.

Hi guys! Long time no see, I guess.😂

I’m writing this while my whole face is still stuck in a smile. I loved this novel for so many reasons, and here are some:

 IT’S SO SCIENTIFIC AND NERDY!

A little side story, I started this book a while ago last year, and yes I enjoyed it then, there were so many parts that were so relateable as a Research Associate, but at that time I was so frustrated with work, my results are erratic, I was working OT everyday, and we had an upcoming deadline for a conference, and reading this book then kinda made me more agitated so I stopped. But this time around, all the science and research-related things worked in favor of me liking this book, because I survived all that last year, and I am at the point were I just feel happy recalling it. As a researcher, I also appreciated that the author tried to make it really scientifically accurate, heck she even described CRISPR. 😂 I also really loved the science puns and hugots.

THE PARTIES ARE VERY PINOY AND LOVELY

The events with Kaya’s family were so familiar because you know these things happen at your reunions and family gatherings, maybe their family is just a bit more grand, but it’s still very Filipino.

YOU JUST WANT TO GET TO KNOW EACH ONE OF THE CHARACTERS MORE

OH GOD. I feel like I just want to hug them all? They are interesting and lovable, and I just want them all for friends.

The father-grandfather-Kaya scenes

These were very sweet and insightful. I enjoyed these moments because these are the moments were Kaya gets her “Eureka! I have found it moments” when it comes to Nero. 😂

Kaya

I kinda identify with her on many levels, and I see my awkward, anxious, emotional mess of a self in her sometimes. Most of the time, I just want to hug her and say, oh you pure being.

Hmm, she’s not very thoughtful of Nero’s feelings sometimes, but I kind of get her reasons. She is very smart and determined, and I really admire her for it. SHE ALSO READS JOURNALS FOR FUN. (That’s gotta count for something!)

NERO

Oh dear, I feel like I just want people to find out how delightful, and hot, and sweet he is, for themselves. He is too precious. 😂

BUDDY READING WITH INAH

Sometimes, when there’s just so much feels, you stop and scream and maybe roll around the carpet, then you tweet it and shout your feels to your buddy, in my case my budi, Inah. It was infinitely better because I read it with her. (Same here, bud! – Inah)

There are many more reasons, but those were the main ones.😂

This novel was really a roller coaster. I almost cried once, my heart almost stopped twice, and my body almost burst out of feels so many times. So I guess, what I’m really trying to say is I love it.

A Promdi’s Guide to Self-Discovery by Rhea Gonzales

A Promdi’s Guide to Self-Discovery by Rhea Gonzales
Publication Date: November 26th 2016
Source: Review Copy from the Author
Rating: 

Synopsis

Kung tatanungin mo kung ano ang pangarap ni Mayumi Gonzales, isa lang ang isasagot niya – ang makawala mula sa mahirap at maliit na mundo niya sa probinsya. Kaya naman nang binigyan siya ng pagkakataong makapag-aral sa isang kolehiyo sa Manila, kinuha niya ito agad sa pag-aakalang ito na ang sagot na hinihiling niya. Puno pala ng drama ang buhay na naghihintay sa kanya at hindi siya handa para dito. Ipasok pa sa storya ang isang gwapong gitarista ng isang sikat na banda at talagang hindi na malaman ni Mayumi kung ano ang gagawin.

Ano ba ang dapat gawin ng isang promdi na katulad niya para malagpasan ang malulupit na mga pagsubok na darating?

I received an ARC of this book from the Author. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

It’s actually my first time to review a book written in my native language and it actually feels cool! I should do this more often!! So since some of you probably didn’t understand the synopsis, let me give you the gist of the story.

Mayumi is the protagonist, she’s from the province (Promdi is a Filipino slang for people from the province) and she has been offered by her bestfriend’s dad full ride to college in Manila. Then she meets Nathan, a guitarist of a famous band. She realized that the life she expected wasn’t all great, rather it was full of drama and challenges.

Mayumi lives a simple life in the province. She even described their technology as ancient, with non-functioning lamp posts, phones way too big, and tv channels you can count with your fingers. And this is real. Remote areas like this exist in our country.

Mayumi is smart, but a little naive with the modern culture of Manila. She almost got lost when she arrived in Manila while looking for her supposed place to stay. That’s how he met Nathan, a blue haired rockstar. I would call this a meet cute but Nathan is deadass arrogant okay? So there goes trope number one: bad boy-good girl. Also trope number two: rich boy-poor girl. And then, first day of school, she learned that she and Nathan are classmates in one of her subjects.

I definitely have mixed feelings about this. It was quite fun and interesting to read but then, I gave too many eye rolls while reading because most of the tropes I hate were present in this book. Yet, I don’t know, it’s actually a little funny because most Filipinos stick to these tropes in stories especially in romance, like there’s nothing more Pinoy than sticking with these typical tropes and stereotypes.

Another trope present in the book was the love triangle. Remember when I said Nathan was arrogant? Well, he flirted and dated Mayumi’s bestfriend, Claire, just to get back at her. Why? Because he was being jealous for all the wrong reasons. This was the thing I hated the most with Nathan, he’s being overly jealous yet he’s not defining his relationship with Mayumi. He’s possessive and that’s really unhealthy in a relationship, and of course being the arrogant person that he is, he’s got a dark past. I mean, don’t they all? *cue another eyeroll*

How did Nathan get his redemption arc? HE DIDN’T! Mayumi got into an accident with a bunch of robbers and she ended up in the hospital. So Nathan rushed into the hospital and opened up to Mayumi about his past. I don’t necessarily hate this trope, though it’s a little tiring to see. (and this was a little more spoilery than I intended)

Overall, this book wasn’t so bad. I guess it just fell into the hands of the wrong reader. Also this book got an award in Wattpad so I’m pretty sure that a lot of local readers would appreciate this more than I did. I guess I just read a lot of stories like this that I feel really tired with this. Maybe if the book was called A Promdi’s Guide to First Love, I wouldn’t expect so much.