Welcome to another episode of me burying myself with the pile of books that I need to read. I haven’t really bought anything from the books I have for you today because I’m sort of saving money for the Romance Class event on February 11!
I think I’m having a good balance with hauling local books since 2017 started and I’m really glad about that. I’m also glad that a lot of book bloggers have started to be aware of the Filipino Book Community, especially the authors and their books! I’m really excited to read these bunch!
Thanks to Summit Media, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins International, Penguin Random House International, Kids Can Press, Blink YA Books, Carla De Guzman, Thessa Lim, Clarisse David, Ines Bautista-Yao, and Mia Siegert for the books! <3
How many books have you hauled for the past weeks?
A broken heart doesn’t mean the end of the world. In this short story compilation, Patrick, Toby and Andrew still continue to hope for and dream of their own happy ever after,
Someday With You
Five years ago, when they were teenagers in college, they’d made a pact to come back to this same spot, no matter where they were in the world, no matter who they had become. But five years wasn’t enough to erase the heartache Patrick felt when Andrea disappeared from his life when he thought he’d lost her for good. And now that the time has come, he can’t keep the feelings from rushing back to the surface, possibly messing up his life once more.
One Last Thing
All Toby wants is to keep Angela from falling in love with someone else. That isn’t too much to ask considering he’s already won her over and she’s finally convinced he isn’t just another spoiled, rich boy. But when his buddy Jake enters the picture, Angela seems to be slipping away. Toby has to make the hardest decision of his life and that might even mean letting go.
Things I’ll Never Say
Andrew, Penny, and Raffy aren’t what you call regular teenagers. They’re hugely popular models of hot, teen clothing brand Pineapple Slice. Though all three have become celebrities in their own right. Fans passionately ship Penny and Raffy (with a hashtag to match). What nobody knows is that Andrew has been in love with Penny ever since he heard her laugh at one of his lame jokes. So when she tells him she wants out of their charmed existence, he starts to panic. But he also wonders if this is his chance to claim the happy ending he’s always hoped for.
I received an ARC of this book from the Author. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
This is such a short read but it was really satisfying. I particularly enjoyed reading this because it’s from the male characters’ POV. I always find male POVs fascinating and I’m glad that the book clicked just right for me.
The first story, Someday with You, follows Patrick and his sort of once-requited love for his college friend Andrea. Patrick has been invited for a camping trip along with his college friends, including Andrea. But since Andrea disappeared, he wasn’t sure if Andrea really was coming. I really enjoyed how the story was told as flashbacks, and it’s really a sad story. I could feel Patrick’s genuine emotions and it’s my favorite thing from the story.
One Last Thing might be my favorite from the three. Although, it was a bit hard to relate with Toby, still the story was good! It’s so sad I could cry just by thinking about it. It’s basically a great tale of grief, letting go, and moving on. I really enjoyed reading Toby, Angela, and Jake’s story. I also enjoyed Sascha’s snarky and sassy character.
The last story, Things I’ll Never Say, is about three models, Penny, Raffy, and Andrew. This one’s a really cute story. Andrew has been in love with Penny for so long, and I really loved how the story moved. It’s pretty much a given that this is a HEA story but still, I enjoyed how things unfolded.
This is the third book I’ve read from Ines, and honestly, she never fails to make me feel kilig with her well-written stories.
Title: Plain Vanilla Author: Ines Bautista-Yao Publication Date: February 12th 2016 Source: ARC from the Author Rating:★★★★ Amazon / Goodreads
Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she’s ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn’t help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question what’s really going on inside her heart.
I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
I have previously read Only A Kiss by the same author and I really liked it. So consider me excited when I heard about this book. The thing about Ines’ way of writing is that it’s very Filipino so it’s close to the heart.
The story was about Tempest, a quirky and adorable young lady who was called “vanilla” by her crush, Paco, so she put it upon herself to try to change it by attempting to do everything in a certain book of dares that she came across. Only to be more confused and distracted by Paco.
Tempest was one of the freshest characters I have ever read. It was so easy to get into her character. She’s close to her family and friends. Paco’s almost the same too! And he’s really sweet so it wasn’t hard to like him.
I adored the writing style, though it may seem simple, but it was really enjoyable! It didn’t make me swoon that hard but I do commend the effort that was put into writing it! Overall, the book was a fun experience and I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.
Title: Only A Kiss Author: Ines Bautista-Yao Publication Date: November 29th 2014 by Chamber Shell Publishing Rating: ★★★★ Amazon // Buqo (0.99$ Sale until Feb 14!)
When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.
Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.
But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.
Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.
When Katie entered the living room in her midnight blue gown that showed off her shoulders and clung to all the right places, places he had never noticed before, his breath caught in his throat. Her hair was all wavy and loose down her back but it looked like she had done something to it because it looked shinier. And she was radiant. Her eyes were sparkling, her lips were glossy—it could have just been the illusion brought on by makeup, but still, he felt as if he were standing next to someone else. Someone he had asked to the ball, not because she was his best friend, but because there was something about her that he wanted to get to the bottom of—because there was something about her that was slowly reeling him in. And at that moment, he realized he wasn’t just anticipating the hype, he was already living it.
I really did adore this book! I’ve read a few Filipino Contemporary romances and I’d probably tag this as one of my favorites. I love the sense of familiarity I got from this book.
It started out a bit slow but once I got into the rhythm, I couldn’t put it down. The setting and plot seemed cliche, a typical Filipino thing, but it worked and I’m really glad it did. The book was really a fast read. It registered only 75 pages on my reader so, obviously, I flew through the pages.
“Is that how you see marriage? A dead-end?”
The characters, Katie and Chris were very relatable. Typical Pinoy, I’d say. I adored their chemistry. I definitely knew they were going to be an endgame. Since this is very Pinoy, I can’t stop myself from feeling so mushy and kilig all over. Besides, those bestfriends-turned-into-lovers stories are my favorites.
I also liked how the book had different parts that described different stages of the characters’ lives. From them being childhood bestfriends to them being adult.
“It’s always been you, Kate.”
If you need a fast-read, contemporary romance with a happy ending, I’d definitely recommend you to pick this one up!
ABOUT INES BAUTISTA-YAO
Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.
She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head: http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbyao-author-project/