PINOY READS: Mina V. Esguerra (again!)



Interim Goddess of Love

Interim Goddess of Love #1

The summary (from Goodreads):

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)

I am not a big fan of mythology and I must confess that I often confuse my Roman gods and goddesses with their Greek counterparts. However, reading this charming novella containing Philippine folklore is something refreshing, not to mention close to home, and not at all a turn-off for someone who doesn’t dig mythical creatures like me.

I must say though that this isn’t exactly my favorite Mina V. Esguerra book (so far, I loved Love Your Frenemies better). Hannah, the main protagonist, is a college girl and even though my college days weren’t that too long ago (12 years isn’t that long ago, right?), I still can’t get into her character.  Or maybe, yes, it’s been so long since I’ve been to college, haha!

The guy characters (i.e. Quin) is not that swoon-worthy for me, because I can’t really get into the world where gods and goddesses abound. Quin maybe cute as depicted but somehow the thought of him having powers and knowing my thoughts just don’t catch my fancy.

What makes me more interested in the story is the knowledge that this book is a first of a series and despite not being too keen about Quin and Hannah, I definitely would want to know more about Kathy and other girls (if ever there would be) who would benefit from Hannah’s favors as the Interim Goddess of Love.

3/5 stars.

My copy: ebook


No Strings AttachedNo Strings Attached

The summary (from Goodreads):

Carla is a whiz at her job: she’s efficient, reliable, and a total genius when it comes to putting something together at the last minute. The snag is she’s single and turning the big three-oh in a few months. Her girl best friend (yes, she’s married just like the other girls in Carla’s barkada) keeps trying to set her up with stable banker-types, while her guy best friend (single – the other single one) encourages her to play the field – no strings attached. Then, through no set up or extraordinary circumstance, Carla meets Dante. Hot, smug, sexy Dante. Definitely not a banker-type and seemingly too good to be true. So there’s got to be a catch. There is. He’s five years younger. Is the universe telling Carla to finally let loose and enjoy a fling with a younger man? Or is there a lot more to this awkward situation that she bargained for?

No Strings Attached is one of my Required Reading for this month, and it is such a short and quick read, I should have added one more book to my list. Anyway, this book, despite its shortness and quickness, is a little mature for my expectations. I mean, I am no prude when it comes to books like this but I was expecting a more conservative heroine, perhaps? Maybe because the other Mina V. Esguerra books were a little less daring than Carla.

There are a lot of issues in Carla’s life that I don’t really get at all. I don’t really understand the big fuss over Carla turning 30. And I don’t get the big fuss all the more about her being single. What is wrong with being single?! It’s not like a disease or as morbid as death, right? Please don’t get me wrong. I did have my share of lonely moments when I was single but back then I knew that these are normal and that there is nothing wrong with me. I also have a lot of friends who are more than 30 and single and happy.

Another thing is the 5 year age gap. Dating a younger guy may be a little off for me if the guy is still in school, but Dante is already a professional. He is already capable of making his own decisions, he knows what he wants, and it is his choice for liking Carla, even if Carla is older than him. So what’s the big deal?

But you know what? Though these issues may seem petty to me, but these issues are real. The situation that Carla finds herself in happens. I may not totally agree with Carla’s choices and her preferences, but I am aware that even if I close my eyes over these things, I know that they happen to real people. And this is, at  least redeems the book for me. It is not my most favorite Mina book but I am glad that I have found a Filipino chick-lit author to finally like. Well, not that I haven’t said this already because I have become a fan after I’ve read my  very first Mina V. Esguerra book.

2 stars.

My copy: print from my Kris Kringle mommy, Cary (thanks a lot!)


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