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!

Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: 2016
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

I will be honest and say that it was hard for me to read this book, it was hard to write this review as well. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book though, because I did, I appreciate it very much and I firmly believe that it needed to be written.

Let’s talk briefly about why this book had such an effect on me. I had always admired and kind of envied the people who already knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives, those people who can just decide and stick with it, because I know it will be hard for me to do that.

I recently finished my contract with a research project at my old uni, I held a position very similar to the one Lux had. This job left me physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and to be honest, I wasn’t really happy.

I am kind of in a limbo place right now, not really knowing what I want to do next. I do know that I would like to continue working in science, but that’s it. I am intimidated by the thought of trying, and trying, and trying, and never finding my niche. So yes, I didn’t like the head space that I got into when I was reading this, it hits too close to home, to all my doubts and my struggles.

“In the end, it’s never the big things that push you past the breaking point. It’s always the small rejections, frustrations that build with each repetition…”

So not only did the author perfectly capture the life and hardships of pursuing a career in science, she also did a good job in realistically encapsulating how a person functions or at least tries to when they have depression, add in the stress, the self doubt, the anxiety.

But the book wasn’t all about sadness or dark clouds, there were so many light and funny moments and banter. There were loud music, dancing, and bands. You’d also find so many familiar names from Six’s other books. It also featured avocado shakes, and the beach, it is a summer festival after all.

Lux is my person. I think, and act, and talk like her at least 95% of the time. Okay okay, I think she is funnier than me. She is currently taking her MS in Microbiology while also working as a reserch assistant. She’s really smart and really into music. She’s also a fangirl deep down. She was a little reserved at first, until Micah slowly but surely got through her walls.

Micah was very talkative, but he was also the perfect sounding board. He listens well and when he replies, he is very sincere and he says the things that will make you feel a little bit better. And I think you’d kind of maybe want to share more, share those that you can’t even say out loud. He brings the comic relief we all needed after feeling so much with Lux.

I was very touched by how sweet and perceptive Micah was when he chose the anchor tattoo so that Lux will no longer “float away”. That was definitely one of my favorite parts of this book. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think Micah and Lux fit together, Micah can be Lux’s light through her dark days, and Lux can be Micah’s family.

Perry is a very doting brother, I did not expect that! He is very cute at being protective though. Kris was a good friend to Perry and Lux, and I am just happy that they have him. I also really enjoyed Kara’s participation in this book. She didn’t make it more difficult for Lux, she even helped her as much as she could. I guess, she only wanted to contribute to Micah’s happiness, and for that I declare her a great friend!

So to summarize, the writing of this book was captivating, the characters were very real and relatable, and the story sends an urgent and relevant message. Six did a really wonderful job with this one. Loud applause.

PS: Trigger Warning for Self Harm

Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Source: ARC from the Author
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Five-minute girlfriend. That’s what Jett signs up for when she meets Adrian and his band Arabella at beach music festival Summer Storm. One kiss and the attraction is too electric to ignore, but Jett has no room for love and Adrian is Mr. Relationship who’s getting over his recent breakup. The solution? Keep it simple. Keep it casual. For three months (that’s the rule about breakups, right?), Jett helps Adrian move on and Adrian shows up on Jett’s bed whenever she wants.

Then the three months are up and neither of them are in a hurry to be the first to leave. Does Jett walk away from a potential disaster or does she finally let someone into her closely-guarded heart?

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 the second book in the author’s Summer Storm series. The book has a lighter and funner vibe than the first one, but both are important.

Let me just start this by saying that wow this book is very hot. I believe that out of all the books I’ve read from this author, this is the hottest one yet.

The 5-minute girlfriend and no strings attached premise were already very exciting, even without factoring in our go-getter MC and our singer  LL. Also, the cover of the book perfectly represents the gamer girl and the band boy, it’s just gorgeous.

My most favorite thing about this book is honestly Jett (Sorry Adrian, Sorry Franklin! 😂).

It is so highly refreshing that we have an MC as strong and confident in her sexuality and her body as Jett, especially here in the Philippine-setting. She is one of the coolest girls I have ever read, and you’d think she can’t be any more cooler, but she can. Why? Because she works in a science museum, that’s why! In my opinion, that job is one of the most fun and rewarding jobs a person could have. This girl also takes no shit and is an experienced gamer!

I am so amazed that even though we’ve already established that she’s the coolest, she was still made very relatable by the author. I get it, I get her. She didn’t want to get too close to anybody and she wanted everything to be on her own terms because because she was hurt so many times, she was deeply hurt by her dad, and then Ziggy, the hard habit to break, happened.

"to all gamer girls out there na na-Ziggy" (de los Reyes, 2017)
Let’s talk about bb Adrian (Baedrian, if you will 😂)

How is Adrian perfect, let me count the ways. Aside from his wonderful singing voice, and the body he got from Michael Brian’s intervention, he is also patient, and vulnerable, and all out.

He is obsessed with cleaning which is a must for a husband (Jk, Jk!) The boy actually listens to what you’re saying, and doesn’t push himself on to you. He waits until you’re ready. Also, he maybe already kinda see through your bullshit, but he still loves you wholeheartedly.

Do you want to talk about Franklin’s puns and Michael’s Brians abs (and also other things)? Okay.

Franklin is the best thing ever, he is so lovable and funny. He breaks even the most awkward of situations. His best friend Michael Brian is witty, and very good looking, but he’s also a good friend and wing-man. Franklin and Michael Brian’s fights were so petty and funny.

The nicknames’ Fluffy, Sniffles, Sleepy, Intern, Baby Spice were so adorable and reminiscent of the seven dwarfs. 😂 Franklin and Kenny’s tag team during the first chapter was so charming and funny that you’ll be hooked to the story instantly.

Overall, this is a strong book, we have such an interesting and eclectic mix of people that blends so well, we have scenes that will make you hold on tight to your seat, and we have realizations that true love is there, you just need to not shoo it away.
PLEASE DON'T ATTACK ME WITH A LIGHT SABER. OR DO. UP TO YOU. 😂