Hey there! Welcome to my stop of the #BuqoYA 2 Blog Tour!
Buqo recently released 5 eBook bundles with 6 YA short stories, each written by various authors from the Philippines!
Organized by Oops! I Read Again tours, I’ve decided to take part with Bundle 2’s blog tour. Subtitled “Sweet Complications”, BuqoYA Bundle 2 surely has the right amount of kilig with a free ride to a roller coaster of emotions! Discover more as we head over to some reviews and sneak peeks from the bundle! Watch out for the giveaway too, just lying around here somewhere. 😉
Would you do a set of dares to prove someone wrong? Would you risk your friendship so you can find love? Would you admit your real feelings? There are a lot of complications when it comes to finding love. Get the feels when you read these sweet stories.
1. Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao
Summary: Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she’s ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn’t help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question what’s really going on inside her heart.
Review: Whoever associated Vanilla with boring, plain and bland clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. Seriously, I’d pick vanilla ice cream over any flavor in the world and never get sick of it… errr. Wait. Why am I even talking about an ice cream flavor here? HAHA. Ok, so Tempest Juan (Yup, that’s her name. Oh the irony 😉 ) just happened to be one believer of the vanilla=boring implication. Being a part of a family who seems to go over the top with almost everything, Tempest feels like she doesn’t belong. Being called a vanilla didn’t help either. So with a help of some dares, Tempest tries to prove that she can be the Juan she is expected to be.
With a cutesy romance on the side and a bunch of dares that you can try out as well, Plain Vanilla is your summer story that certainly needs to be on your TBR list.
Rating: 4/5 stars
About the Author: Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.
She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head: http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbyao-author-project/
2. D’01 by Sassy Fova
Summary: Kat Arcanghel has just turned 18 and she feels that it is the right time to fall in love. She finds herself falling for Alech Crisologo, but she has always thought of herself as adeviant/rebel and there’s nothing more mainstream than crushing on the guy that everybody loves, thus she fights her feelings and tries to search for the right one—just not him. Will Kat continue rebelling against her own heart, or will she let her heart conquer the battle and let it lead the way? She’ll find the answer when she meets D’01.
For once, I didn’t hit the snooze button.
At 6 o’clock, I got up as soon as my alarm clock went off. Today is the day that I have to start acting mature: whether they be small matters like the alarm or other things that are more important, I have to be responsible for anything that I set. Because today, I’m officially of legal age.
I’ve made a list of stuff I just HAVE to do when I turn eighteen – get a driver’s license, go to a bar and drink beer, French kiss somebody, lose my virginity (maybe), and so many other things that someone can decide to do without their parents’ consent – but the most important thing on my list is this: I HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE.
I guess I’m what they call NBSB, or No Boyfriend Since Birth. I’ve had crushes before – nothing too serious, and all of it short-lived. I used to not care. But now… I think I’m ready to be in a relationship. So I tried to conjure a mental picture of the boys at school who might be boyfriend-material… but only one comes to mind.
As soon as is smiling face popped into my head, I shake it off immediately – that will never ever happen, not even in my wildest dreams. Anyone but him. I open my Facebook page and post a status: I’m so ready to fall in love.
I slide my windows open and take in deep breaths of air. Is this how freedom smells like? Like longganisa and fried eggs? Nah, that’s just breakfast that our stay-in housemaid, Helen, is cooking. I resist the urge to shout, “Good morning world!” and make a total fool of myself. I sit on the windowsill instead and admire the view.
Review: Sweet and complicated, mix them both together and you’ll have D’01 by Sassy Fova. Much of the complications were made by our YA heroine, Kat. (Don’t we all make our own complications?) Her eagerness to be different results to her being this “rebel” that makes impulsive decisions. If you’re a fan of high school (in this case, college) love stories, I’ll bet you’ll like D’01.
Rating: 3/5 stars
About the Author: Sassy Fova is just your average girl from Ilocos Norte, PH. Sassy is a hopeless romantic who’s got her head in the clouds, and comes back down just long enough to write about it. Being an Ilocana, she is thrifty, but she spares none when it comes to sharing all the love.
3. One Lovely Summer Day
Summary: Kwento ng Pag-Ibig, Pangarap, at Pag-asa… Sa Pila, Laguna, bakasyon at abala ang lahat sa bahay nila Tiya Isidra—“general cleaning” ika ng matanda. Bukod pa roon ay darating si Maylie, ang paboritong pamangkin niyang galing ng Maynila. Gaya ng inaasahan, naroon si Ethan para tumulong sa paglilinis at paghahanda. Bagamat mukhang tahimik ang dalaga, unang sulyap pa lang ay agad na nagandahan at nabaitan si Ethan sa kaniya. Naging matalik na magkaibigan ang dalawa. Sa isang di inaasahang pangyayari at proyektong kailangang lutasin nilang dalawa, lalong napalapit si Ethan at Maylie sa isa-isa. Gayun pa man, alam ni Ethan na isang araw ay aalis din si Maylie at maiiwan siya. Sasabihin ba niya kay Maylie ang nararamdaman niya?
Habang naglalakad sila ay naalala ni Ethan ang sinabi ng nagtitindang ale kanina. ‘Mabuti at may girlfriend ka na.’ Bakit nga ba hindi ko tanungin si Maylie ngayon kung pwede ko ba siyang maging nobya?
“Silong muna tayo sa may loob ng simbahan, Maylie. Ang init eh,” wika ni Ethan.
Halos walang tao sa loob ng simbahan. Lahat ay nasa labas, nanonood sa mga palabas. Pagka-upo ay agad na nagsalita si Ethan.
“Ano ‘yon, Ethan?”
“Ahm, naisipan mo na bang sabihin sa mga magulang mo na ayaw mo na ng palipat-lipat ng tirahan?”
“Ah… hindi pa. Kailangan ko bang sabihin sa kanila?”
“Gusto ko kasing sabihin na…”
“Ma…ha… Mahabang usapan pero gusto ko lang sanang magpasalamat.”
“Oo, magpapasalamat lang ako. ‘Yon lang ang gusto kong sabihin sa’yo.”
“Sa mga sinabi mong advice sa akin kahapon.”
“Ah, ‘sus. Wala ‘yon. May sasabihin ka pa?”
“Ahm… wala na. Umuwi na tayo. Gutom na ‘ko, gusto ko nang mananghalian.”
Umuwi na sina Maylie at Ethan at kapagka-pananghalian ay pumasok si Ethan agad sa kuwarto niya.
‘Ang torpe mo, Ethan,’ sambit ni Ethan sa sarili niya.
Kinuha niya sa drawer ang maliit na salamin at tinignan niya ang sarili niya.
“Sabihin mo, MA-HAL. MAAA-HAAAL… Mahal kita!”
Review: Nobody said that I’m not allowed to pick a favorite in the bundle, right? In that case, One Lovely Summer Day just claimed that spot. At first I thought that I was gonna have a hard time reading this because it’s purely written in Filipino. But as soon as I started reading, I just found myself loving every bit of it. One Lovely Summer Day took me to a world away from the city. Praises to Amae for depicting Pila, Laguna beautifully in her story. I can seriously picture how amazed Maylie was when Ethan showed her around the province.
Another thing that I love about this book, if I still haven’t mentioned enough, is Ethan. Ethan is so adorkable (my ideal type 😛 ) and very Pinoy. It’s not very often that I see YA boys with Pinoy characteristics *coughs torpe coughs* and I’m glad that they’re still not extinct. HAHA. The chemistry between him and Maylie is captivating. No insta-love, just insta-attraction which I think is cute.
One Lovely Summer Day is a quick read that will surely leave an impression. I honestly want to know what happens next (Subtly hinting for a sequel or a full story here 😉 ).
Rating: 5/5 stars
About the Author: Amae Dechavez (amaeauthor) is a blogger, fiction author, YA novelist, and children’s book writer. She was born in Quezon City, Manila in 1983 and has a Penn Foster diploma in Child Daycare Management. She has been authoring for several digital distributor hubs in (the Philippines) and has been writing for many free online/ social media platforms. When not hugging or arguing with her dog, you can find her at Writerscafe.org.
4. Same by Charm Lee
Summary: March 2. Of all places, Atasha never thought that she would end up in a hospital on this specific day. Rush was looking forward to just enjoying the day. But with the white walls and medical noises around them, two young and very different souls cross paths. Rush and Atasha discover that even if they are as alike as night and day, they aren’t as different as they thought after all.
Review: Same by Charm Lee is a fresh new story about Serendipity. 2 people brought together by coincidence, they got to know each other without knowing each other. Sounds grool, right?
Same is the perfect short story when you need to pick up a light read but still aiming for the feels.
Rating: 4/5 stars
About the Author: Aspiring hero wanting to save the world. TV show addict. All around shy girl.
5. Travel Of Two by Irish Fleur
Summary: Biyahe mag-isa? Check! Isa na namang item sa bucket list ni Isobel ang matutupad. Sino bang hindi magiging masaya kapag nagawa mo na ang gusto mo? Pero hindi lang pala si Isobel ang nagso-solo travel–si Arty rin. Si Arty na suplado, na-friendzone, makulit, at nakilala ni Isobel sa paglalakbay niya. At kahit ganito si Arty, mas naging exciting ang pagbiyahe ni Isobel. So, magka-boyfriend… mache-check din nga ba ito ni Isobel sa bucket list niya?
Tamang-tama at binaba nga ko sa lugar na sinabi ko. Nagpaalam ako kay Arty. Nakatalikod na ako at nakailang hakbang na nang marinig kong ang pangalan ko. Paglingon ko ay nakita ko si Arty patakbo papunta sa akin. Napanganga ako.
“O bakit? Nagulat ka, ‘no? ‘Lika na sa inyo, nauuhaw na ako,” hinihingal niyang sabi sabay akbay sa akin.
“Baliw ka ano?!” at inialis ko ang akbay niya sa akin.
“Huwag kang mag-alala, alam ko kung paano pumunta ng Tibiao galing dito sa inyo. I just want to spend more time with you,” sabi niya. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko sa sinabi nya, siya naman ngingiti-ngiti lang. Pero infairness ha, kinilig ako sa sinabi niya.
“Ang drama mo din eh. Bakit, type mo ba ako?”
Tinignan niya ako mula ulo hanggang paa at nilagay pa ang kanyang kamay sa ilalim ng baba na tila nag-iisip.
“Well… Aaminin ko na: maganda ka. I mean, maganda ka in a simple way.”
“Binigay ko na sayo yung number ko, pwede mo naman ako kontakin anytime. Tsaka may mga plano ka rin, right?”
“Ayaw mo bang ma-extend ang pagsasama natin? Pwede kitang ipasyal sa Tibiao para sulit naman ang bakasyon mo.”
Napabuntong-hininga na lang ako at hinayaan kong sumabay sa akin si Arty. Afterall, wala naman sigurong mangyayaring masama; gusto lang naman ni Arty makipagkaibigan.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
About the Author: Irish Fleur is a Licensed Pharmacist, cat lover and travel junkie who loves writing since she was seven years old.
6. Once Upon A Sticky Note by Kristel Ann Cruz
Summary: Nate and Tanya have been “talk all day, every day” best friends for years but on the eve of Nate’s birthday, Tanya realized she has started developing more-than-platonic feelings him. They’re going off to college soon so confessing anything that might make things complicated between them doesn’t sound like a good plan, especially now that Campus Sweetie Armi has entered the picture. What would Tanya do? Could she? Should she? Grab a sticky note and place your bets.
Of course it also doesn’t hurt that he is nice to look at. I have always pegged Nate as a pretty boy, but his unassuming ways make him look more attractive. I like his thick eyebrows, his smiling eyes, and the dimple on his left cheek that mirrors mine. I can’t even tell you how many jealous stares I have fielded when we walk through the school together, or how my heart secretly swells seeing these.
It’s quite melodramatic to say that our lives have never been the same since we became closer because we are still very young, but that fact doesn’t make it any less true. I will feel so lost when the time comes he or I would have to go our separate ways. Graduation is coming soon and to be honest, I’m dreading college. I wonder if we will be as close as we are now or whether I will be left behind, a mere footnote to carefree high school days.
It was almost morning when I realized I am in love with my best friend.
Review: An adorable best friends turned lovers story, Once Upon A Sticky Note is a story about expectations vs reality. Expressing ones feelings is surely a burden when your friendship is in line. But what if, just what if, the feeling is actually mutual?
Once Upon A Sticky note didn’t just make me swoon, it made me want to jump in the story and seriously just tell the characters what they need to know! The feels are for reals. 😄
Rating: 4/5 stars
About the Author: It boggles the mind how someone so shy and awkward found herself in Public Relations, but somehow Krissy makes it work. If she were a fictional character, she’d be a female Ted Mosby. Whether it be prose, poetry, a watercolor painting, or a craft project, she is happiest when she makes. Talk about books, movies, and lipsticks with her on www.krissyfied.com.
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