SOLA MUSICA: Love Notes From A Festival

Sola Musica


Summary from Goodreads:

A beach cove, a hot summer weekend… SOLA MUSICA is where everyone’s going, to enjoy the best new music from all over. Bestselling Filipino YA/chick lit authors Mina V. Esguerra, Marla Miniano, Chinggay Labrador, and Ines Bautista-Yao each tell a story about this festival: the music, the people, the hearts that will soar (or break).

Jack is the go-to behind-the-scenes guy for electronica group, Box Trap, and finds himself inexplicably drawn to the lead singer he’s tasked to work with. (SPECTATORS, Chinggay Labrador)

Georgia wants to finally talk to Ken about this “thing” that’s between them, but he seems intent on avoiding it, even if they’re spending a weekend at a music festival together. (GEORGIA LOST AND FOUND, Mina V. Esguerra)

Gem has the chance to make her dreams come true and perform at Sola Musica, with one crippling problem: all her talent left her six years ago when a boy kissed her. (A CAPTURED DREAM, Ines Bautista-Yao)

Natalie is about to watch her favorite band in the world, with a guy she’s crazy about—if only she can get through forced family bonding with her grandmother, her little brother, and her grandmother’s boyfriend. (BREAK, Marla Miniano)

I absolutely loved all the stories in this collaboration. Out of the four authors who wrote a story here, I have only previously read the works of Mina Esguerra (I have read most of her books; I am a fan) and Marla Miniano (I’ve read From This Day Forward and loved it), but after reading Sola Musica, I will definitely check out the books of Chinggay Labrador and Ines Bautista-Yao.

Reading Sola Musica was refreshing. The variety of the stories all make up such a good read. It made me long to go to the beach. Or a quiet cove. Like the Anawangin Cove in Zambales that has been on my bucket list since 5 years ago. It also made me want to go see a concert. Like the concert of The Script here in the Philippines which is scheduled next year. And which I haven’t really done for a long, long while. Haha.

The first story, Spectators, is teeming with emotions. It is heartache and bitterness and pain. It affirms the pathetic reality of unrequited love. I thought that since the setting is in a beach cove, I will be reading something light and fun, but this first story broke my heart (in a good way.) I am glad that Spectators defied my typical expectation and gave me a well-written story that reminds me of my high school crush (and my pathetic feelings then, waah!). I thought the ending was abrupt because I expected something to happen between the two main characters, but maybe that “something” is yet to happen and is still to be written,

With Georgia Lost and Found, I got my dose of kilig. But it also reminds me of the value of communication. And to never assume anything until and unless the words “I love you” are out in the open. Which reminds me again of my pathetic high school self. Heh. Too many lessons to learn here; don’t be fooled by the cute sunny cover.

A Captured Dream stumped me at the beginning, but when the pieces started falling into place, I was impressed. It has an enchanting feel to it, and it makes me want to pick up my guitar and compose a song. Only that I don’t have a guitar and I don’t know how to write a song. It reminds me of my poem-writing days back in high school, though, and yes, the poems were pathetic love poems. 😛

If I were to pick a favorite, it would be Break. Not because I like Natalie — the rebel that she was — but because of the beautiful writing. I also loved that my cutesy-fluffy expectations of this book were thwarted and instead what I got was a story teeming with dynamics on family relationships and profound elaboration on the real meaning of love.

“The ocean ahead of us, beyond us, surrounding us, was as vast and deep as a love that would take time to understand, a love I don’t know what to do with just yet. Maybe this is the kind of love that breaks if you’re not careful with it, but maybe it isn’t. Maybe this is the kind of love that stands its ground.”

And oh, I think I am going to make my own soundtrack of my life, too!

4/5 stars.

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