Book Review Writing Now

August is #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

I write this as I take a break from #StrangeLit duties (Activity 2 achievement unlocked!), and because I was super excited to find out that this month, August, is Buwan ng mga Akdang Pinoy. I’m thrilled to join this campaign, mostly because of two things. Firstly, these past few months I’ve been binging on works of Filipino authors, and secondly, I am also struggling to be a successful one myself (the struggle is fun and tiring and very real, guys).

This month, despite my own writing goals, I aim to finish reading the following works of super awesome Filipino authors:

1. CP Santi. Be Careful What You Wish For

Ana is in a rut. For years, she had been focused on trying to carve out a niche for herself in a competitive, male-dominated, scientific world. On her 32nd birthday, she finally takes a step back and realises her life is . . . boring. With a little prodding from her friends, she decides to shake things up. She vows that this is the year she’ll finally capture the heart of Daniel Sato, the research associate she’s secretly loved for ages.

So she makes a birthday wish—to finally fall in love with someone (‘with’ being the operative word).
But then, she hadn’t counted on crossing paths with hunky and opinionated actor Ken Nakamura.


The hook for me here is the name Daniel Sato, then she puts there actor Ken Nakamura. And a bit more digging told me that Ken Nakamura was based on Oguri Shun (forever my Hanazawa Rui/love of my life). How can I not one-click? Early reviewers were right. This novella reads like a shojou manga, or a dorama, and though I’m still a few pages away from finishing it, I’m loving that vibe.

2. Agay Llanera. Once Upon a Player, Choco Chip Hips

Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She’s the star spiker of her university’s volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target–the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she’ll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.

I know nothing about sports, so I guess I one-clicked this book for research purposes, apart from the fact that her newest work Choco Chip Hips was also getting rave reviews (yes, that’s also part of my list). But I digress. I’ve never read a sports-themed romance before, and I thought this would be a good place to start.

3. Budgette Tan. Trese

When night falls, drivers try to avoid Balete Drive for fear of seeing the lady in white. For decades, she has haunted that street shaded by those ancient trees. So, when a lady dressed in white is found dead on that very street, it becomes more than just another car accident. It becomes a case for Alexandra Trese. Indeed, how does one kill a ghost? Join Trese as she unravels the secrets surrounding the corner of Balete Drive and 13th Street.

My editor Layla just worships this series, and I totally get how she got hooked. Bad ass female lead, supernatural elements, crime-solving, all in the grimy Philippine city streets–this graphic novel series is an easy sell right there! Now I just have to be a little less of a scaredy cat so I can get through the series.


4. Mae Coyiuto. The Year We Became Invincible

I only read an excerpt of this gifted lady’s prose in her blog and also in Mina’s blog (more about her up next in the list), and I can’t wait for the book to be out. She’s actually having a book launch at National Bookstore Glorietta on August 8, 3pm. Who’s for sure gonna be there? *raises hand and waves*

5. Mina V. Esguerra. The Harder We Fall, Fairy Tale Fail, Welcome to Envy Park, Georgia Lost and Found

She knows it won’t last… Nicholas is unlike anyone Daria has ever dated, and yet he hasn’t left her mind since she got her hands on the 23-year-old rugby player when he took a tumble during a game. But they aren’t even really dating; a fast fling is all they have time for. He’s heading to Japan to play pro and is only in town to tie loose ends. She’s graduating in three weeks, and is only covering his struggling rugby club to win an internship spot in a documentary that will start filming in Europe. Getting what they want means they don’t get to stay together. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun — as long as they don’t fall hard.

When I said I was binging on Filipino authors, I was mostly binging on Mina V. Esguerra’s works. Her first work I read was My Imaginary Ex. After that I read the Interim Goddess of Love trilogy, and I have not stopped since. Apart from loving her writing, she has also inspired me to just go ahead and try self-publishing too, because why not? I’m learning so much from reading her works, reading works she recommends, stalking her on Twitter, and now with StrangeLit, bucking up the courage to get out of my shell and actually join a writing workshop. Thank you Mina <3

Maybe add them to your reading list too? Okay? Yay!#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy


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