I have recently read two novellas by one of my favorite Filipino authors, Mina V. Esguerra. One is a gift from my Kris Kringle mommy last Christmas and the other, a short story released a few weeks back and which I got for free at Smashwords.
THAT KIND OF GUY/Mina V. Esguerra
Summary from Goodreads:
Good girl Julie never expected her hot former-player boyfriend to propose marriage. But when he did, she turned him down for reasons even she couldn’t figure out. Will she settle for a nice, safe guy instead? Or will she let him find his way back into her carefully guarded heart?
Julie describes herself, or at least her sister, Andrea, as manang or “older woman” as defined in the book. But it is not the age that actually makes a manang in this country, but the conservative ways that one firmly believes in. I used to think that I am manang too, considering that I am the eldest of three siblings and I used to have younger friends who look up to me for advice (not fashion advice, though.) I didn’t date around like Julie and I don’t call up a guy I haven’t met before to set a date. I had my first boyfriend at 29 then got married to him the following year. That is why I don’t exactly believe that Julie is manang. Still, I like this book because of Anton. I like it that he is willing to pursue Julie, who, in my opinion have serious self-esteem issues. No, she is not strong with her convictions. She is a coward and prejudiced. She doesn’t know a good guy when she sees one. Yes, I’m a bit of biased here because, heck, Anton is that kind of guy who shouldn’t be shunned like that because of his social status. And that list of Julie’s? It’s simply a confirmation that she isn’t comfortable with who and what she is. Read this book to see what I mean.
YOUNG AND SCAMBITIOUS/Mina V. Esguerra
Summary from Goodreads:
Who is Elizabeth Madrid, exactly? She’s Manila’s latest It Girl–stylish, staple of the club scene, new best friend of famous-for-being-famous Chrysalis Magnolia. She’s also a jewelry clan heiress, a former model, an Ivy Leaguer… except no one actually knew of her until last year. Shouldn’t her new society friends be more suspicious? Especially “BFF” Chrysalis, who reportedly already lost an expensive ring to a friend who turned out to be a thief?
I just saw this being promoted on Twitter and didn’t have any idea what the story is all about but because this is by Mina V. Esguerra, I just have to read it. And I was not disappointed. I love the mystery surrounding the persona of the main characters — Jane and Gabriel — and I must say that I love Ms. Mina more for putting together a story like this. BUT! I am frustrated that the ending was so abrupt. I really really want more!
P.S. Very pretty cover!