When life, love, and rock and roll come together on the sandy beaches of La Union for music festival Summer Crush, expect nothing less than the crashing of lips, bodies, and waves against the shore, against each other, and against your soul.
Allow these three tales of love to take you away for an unforgettable weekend.
Ana’s life as a corporate warrior, graduate student, and girlfriend to indie rock band boy Miki starts to spin out of control, and she wonders if it is love that has to give. (You Only Need Reminding, Jay E. Tria)
Newly reinstated EG Project roadie Filipina Legaspi flies with her band back to the Philippines for Summer Crush, unaware of the emotional waves that engulf her when she sets foot in the beaches of San Juan, La Union. (Almost There, Tara Frejas)
Rhys has three problems: Arabella, the theme song with the Trainguy, and singing live for the first time—and now also on that list is Isaiah, sea-sweet Mango Rum kisses, and long overdue decisions she’s intent on avoiding. (Ocean Eyes, Six de los Reyes)
Some years back, I read Sola Musica which was an anthology of short stories that took place on a music festival on a beach and I remember wishing to read more of stories and author collaborations like it. With Summer Crush, my wish was granted and my heart was filled with all the feels once more.
I’ve been following the #romanceclass tag on social media and I am aware of how local authors are coming up with more diverse romance stories in varying levels of kilig and steam, depending on a reader’s preference. Of the three authors in Summer Crush, I haven’t read Six de los Reyes yet but her previous works have been on my radar for quite some time now. I have read — and truly loved — Jay E. Tria’s short story, Majesty, and I’ve also loved Tara Frejas’ previous works, so I’m glad I got to read their stories in Summer Crush and at the same time sample Six’s writing with which I was truly impressed.
You Only Need Reminding opens this collection beautifully despite crushing my heart for the sheer reality of it. I see Ana in most of my single friends, I even see her in my self while I was younger, reminding me of the struggle to choose my priorities. This would be my most favorite story if I would be forced to choose because those lyrics! </3 And oh, I believe we all need a Miki in our lives — always patient, always loving, always there.
Almost There is heart-breaking but it is also hopeful. I feel for Yihwan but I also admire his strength of character. I enjoyed the fangirling vibe and I love Fi’s character. Also, Yihwan’s song comes closely second to Miki’s because, words!
Ocean Eyes drowned me with the loveliness of the metaphors. I want to dive under, do twirls and somersaults, and simply swim in the words of Six de los Reyes. I appreciate how this story speaks about an initially unlovable main character, but her development made me root for her as she braves the odds to find herself and her happiness.
I salute these lady authors for such an admirable feat. Coming up with a collaboration like Summer Crush where characters of different stories intertwine and where the setting is portrayed similarly without necessarily losing each individual’s writing touch? Wow. (I’m curious to know of arguments during the planning stage, if there had been any.) (Also, high five to the one who first thought of the Tropical Hot guys. I mean, this was really clever.) Needless to say, I require no further convincing but to put these author’s other books on my TBR — that is, if they aren’t there yet.
My Rating: 4/5 stars.