New Adult is an emerging literature category that focuses on themes of discovery and independence for characters in college to their mid-twenties. Say That Things Change is a new adult romance anthology featuring stories by Filipino authors Jhing Bautista, Jonnalyn Cabigting, Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla, Leng de Chavez, Rachelle Belaro, Rayne Mariano, and Mina V. Esguerra.
I was looking for a quick and easy read, and based on my experience, I had found reading local novellas the perfect fix for a reading rut. When I learned that Say That Things Change is an anthology of novellas by local authors, one of whom is a favorite, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to read an ARC. I had been reading a difficult book with a really distasteful subject, and it was all I could do to just chuck it. A breather was in order and I knew that it was the perfect time to finally read this compilation.
First two pages, and I was taken aback. I was not exactly prepared for the medium in which the stories were written. Except for the last story which was entirely in English, most stories were in Taglish (Filipino and English). For someone whose primary language is Hiligaynon/Ilonggo followed by English, reading stories in Filipino is a chore. Not that I don’t read Filipino texts – I had my own PHR Romances phase while in college – but these days, I rarely read these kinds of books, except for one Bob Ong book I read last year.
At least the Filipino words that were used were contemporary. And I was thankful for that. It made my reading less difficult. Actually, it was the first story that sucked me right in and made me finish the entire collection. Six Degrees of Separation by Jhing Bautista struck right through my heart. It was just plain ouch. And true. Indeed, when you love, you give that person you love the license to hurt you.
The stories that followed (there were 7 stories in all) brought me back to my teenage life. I was a mix of kilig and raised eyebrows. Ah, young love. Unrequited love. Assuming love. Haha.
Although most of the themes explored about love weren’t entirely new, I found my self agreeing with the stories because they all feel real. Easily relatable. And full of lessons worth pondering. I could find fragments of my self – past and present — in the characters in every story. My only (mild) complaint was that the last story, My Muse Apollo 1: Creation Myths by Mina V. Esguerra ended abruptly. Good thing I was told that there’s a second part. Something to look forward to! 🙂
If I were to pick my top 3 favorites, they would be the following:
- Six Degrees of Separation by Jhing Bautista. 4/5 stars. “When hearts break, they don’t break even. Someone’s heart will lose a bigger chunk.”
- Sharm’s Side by Rayne Mariano. 4/5 stars. “Sa tuwing gigising ako, gusto ko ulit matulog. Kasama ako sa groupies na mas pipiliin pang manatili sa panaginip kaysa sa realidad. Reality sucks. So why bother waking up?”
- Before I Do by Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla. 3/5 stars. “And yet, despite everything I had just shared, I still couldn’t get to admit to another person that I was lonely, at least not out loud.”
All in all, I liked the stories in Say That Things Change. The Taglish may take time getting used to, but once I got the hang of it, I eventually enjoyed the stories. Recommended for those who want light and quick reads.
My copy: free ebook, thanks to Ms. Mina V. Esguerra