Summary from Goodreads:
Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?
When Sparks Fly can be read as a standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to Ines Bautista-Yao’s other book Only A Kiss.
I remember reading Only A Kiss maybe last year and even though I liked it, the story never really stayed with me. It was one of those fluffy, feel-good stories that made me feel better after I was done reading but did not really made its mark on me, probably because the characters didn’t really speak to me. This does not say that I’m complaining about the author’s writing because I’ve also read Ines’s short stories in Promdi Heart and Sola Musica and I also enjoyed them. What I want to say is that among the stories that I’ve read so far from Ines, When Sparks Fly was the one I really loved the most.
The main reason is because Regina’s character was easily relatable to me (for several reasons I hate to divulge, but yes, mainly because I can identify with her insecurities, ugh). Of course, the setting in Negros Occidental certainly spoke to my Ilonggo heart and I can’t help picturing out the old houses mentioned in the story to the old houses I’d seen during my visits to this province (which is only an hour of a ferry ride from where I am!).
The dialogues between Reg and Ben are fun to read and the chemistry — the spark, between them is clearly portrayed. I have a small complaint regarding the old college “flame”, though, because the ending for me was overly dramatic and maybe, but I guess that was also a way to show how Reg’s character developed. Other than that, I’m fine with the ending, especially how the story did not just focus on the romance but also on friendships. I also totally read Paulo’s character wrong, haha! A spin-off story on that side would be fun to read. 🙂
When Sparks Fly shows how falling in love can be something that you don’t plan to happen but when it does, you don’t just wait for things to unfold because relationships, and staying in them, takes work to work.
My Rating: 3.5 stars.
P.S. Sunny Side Up looks to be a fun place and I’d love to visit it one day, that is, if it’s real? Also, whoever thought of the name Jamaican Me Crazy is crazy…cool. Haha.