For this week’s blog tour, this charming novella by a fellow Filipina makes its stop here on It’s A Wonderful Bookworld.
1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.
Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what’s true from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled — one story at a time.
Can I just simply say that I really love this book?
First off, the cover is already a delight to look at. It perfectly captures all the wonderful things that make up the story and more than that, just by looking at it makes me think of ice cream (haha!). I love the colors used – because I am partial to blue (:P) – and the font used makes me think of gummy bears (!!!) which I also love.
And then there are the characters. Gio reminds me a bit of my bookish crush Lincoln although of a milder degree. I like it that this novella has decided to use the unpopular route by narrating through Gio’s – a male – POV instead of the more fashionable female one, and still got away with it.
I am no big fan of Korean pop culture (maybe aside from the few Korean melodramas that I used to watch a few years back) but aside from that my knowledge of K-pop is close to nil. And so although I am prepared to be disinterested with Min Hee at the beginning, I found myself growing to like her as the story progressed. “Brownie points” to the author for making me like a character whom I don’t have much in common with. 🙂
Gio and Min Hee’s story is actually not uncommon. Theirs is a tale of “opposites attract”. Gio is a neat freak who likes to always be on the safe side, while Min Hee is more outgoing and adventurous. While the mystery about Min Hee’s character did not really mystify me, I find myself enjoying her tales and antics – her cover stories – and how she was able to worm her way into Gio’s heart. The banter between Gio and Min Hee are fun to read as well because they sound normal – not overdone or too “scripted”. There are the kilig moments, of course, but in just the right amounts.
But what really made me love this book is because it made me feel at home. The setting is the infamous Boracay Island, a mere five-hour bus ride from where I live. Although Boracay is practicably near, I can count on my ten fingers the times I’ve been to Boracay. I have this notion that Boracay will always be there so there is really no hurry for me to be there. But for the few times that I did go and visit, I must say that it is indeed a paradise.
BUT. I am glad that Cover (Story) Girl portrays Boracay as more than just powdery sand and scenic beach. It is able to weave into the story the other (more unpopular) side of Boracay and snippets of Aklan culture and tradition (including the dialect) and don’t I just love that? It is not often that I get to read a Filipino contemporary romance which is not set in the big city of Metro Manila and for once, I get to read about familiar places and phrases. Somehow, all these local culture has made me all the more involved in the story.
My only complaint is that the story ended to soon! Still, I love the epilogue and I find it a very creative way to cap Gio and Min Hee’s story.
Complaint aside, Cover (Story) Girl is a delightful read. It affirms my belief in happy-ever-afters and in choosing to love despite the odds.
Now, where do I get to try those calamansi muffins? 😉
About the author:
Cover (Story) Girl is Chris Mariano’s first published romance work, but her speculative fiction and poetry have appeared in Fully Booked’s Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Prose Anthology, Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 7, TAYO Literary Magazine, and Ideomancer. When she’s not writing, she supports EskritoryoPilipinas, an organization that encourages kids to appreciate Filipino literature and culture. She divides her time between Manila and Aklan.
Email: [email protected]