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text 2016-11-28 00:29
Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra 99 cents!
Fairy Tale Fail - Mina V. Esguerra

Ellie Manuel is a hopeless romantic, stuck in a cubicle all day. She's in her twenties and should be having more fun. But instead of doing what she really wants, like traveling wherever her Philippine passport can take her, she's hung up on the guy who dumped her for not being "ambitious enough." Someone should tell her that there are other cool guys -- who probably even eat at the same office cafeteria! -- who would encourage her just to be her fabulous self.

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review 2015-05-01 15:41
Playing Autumn, by Mina V. Esguerra
Playing Autumn (Spotlight New Adult Book 3) - Mina V. Esguerra

Playing Autumn was my first Mina V. Esguerra book. I'll be honest: I first ran into Mina on Twitter, and I liked her so much, I asked her to do a Q&A. (You can read that here.) Once I learned more about her books, I had to give one of them a try, so I bought Playing Autumn for iBooks on my iPhone (the only way I can read ebooks, until I get a Kindle or some other fancy e-reader). ;)


Right away, I could tell that I was going to like Playing Autumn. The book is centered around a musicians' mentoring festival, which interested me right away. Music is the soundtrack to my life, getting me through the hard times. The characters all had great chemistry and, despite their differences, were fun to observe in their interactions. And the chemistry between Haley and Oliver! I rooted for them the entire time.


Esguerra's characters aren't perfect, which is what I love most about them. They all came from different backgrounds, with their own faults and insecurities. I related to Haley quite a bit, having skirted my own calling for years.


The ending itself was one of the sweetest I've ever read. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Mina.

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review 2013-10-07 12:14
Book Review: Queen of the Clueless
Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love) (Volume 2) - Mina V. Esguerra

Dear Miss Mina,

First and foremost, thank you for this. Queen of the Clueless was a breather after working my ass out finishing 7 novels in 10 days. This was an easy read with a lot of humor that the wrinkles I got during the past days were instantly erased. I liked the first book but I fell in love with this one what with the toe curling scenes and awkward moments you've thrown my way.

I am very grateful that you answered a lot of my questions and granted some of my wishes. I loved that Hannah's project in this book was Sol. That made things more complicated than it is. God knows how I love complications. And oh my golly. You literally creeped me out with Neil Prado. It's like he was endowed with a dark version of Venus' charmspeak prowess which seriously repulsed me. Way to go.

Speaking of Sol, I was really hoping that she would at least end up with Diego Simon ya know? Diego is perhaps my most favourite character in the IGOL series. He had the loudest voice of all with his recklessness, impulsiveness and plain bad boy attitude. And I couldn't help fangirling about him in this book. Can you please make another novella featuring Diego Simon and his would be love interest? Pretty please because I want to read more of him.

Although I am crazy about Diego, it doesn't mean that I didn't notice Robbie. He is such a pleasant character and I adore his crazy thoughts. Dammit! They were so delectably outrageous that it was difficult for me to tell him that Hannah already belongs to Quin. Nonetheless, I still want a happy ending for him in the last book. So you better give him that, Miss.

I appreciated that you put more substance into this book as compared to the other one. You expanded the Filipino mythos here which is the main reason why I was glued to this series like a second skin. And the fact that you ensured that romance didn't eclipse the overall story made me a happy camper.

Really, the only thing that made my heart sink while reading this book is there's a lot of Quin but there's so little of him. If you know what I mean.

All in all, this is an excellent second book and my favourite as of now. I even welcomed the cliffhangery ending which I deemed is necessary to gear up the stage in book 3. But before I'm gonna end this letter, remember my other unmet demands. And don't forget about Diego's story. Look into that please.

Until next time.





Source: thoughtsandpens.com/2013/10/filipiniana-sunday-3-book-review-queen-of-the-clueless.html
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review 2013-09-23 00:00
Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess... Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess of Love, #1) - Mina V. Esguerra Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This review first appeared on my blog at Thoughts and Pens

Dear Miss Mina,

Please be informed that I am once again frustrated with the shortness of your novel. Just an hour and a half ago, I was pretty sure that I was still at ~page 35. How did I arrive at page 114 without me knowing it? I was still enjoying reading Hannah’s progress on being the interim Goddess of Love. How can you end my happiness?

I won’t be reading books 2 and 3 until the succeeding weeks. They are reserved for Filipiniana Sundays 2 and 3. Can you imagine the kind of torture I’m undergoing through right now? Suddenly, I can’t get enough of your books. I am scared that this would lead me into becoming a glutton for your books. I have to stop myself from taking a peek into the next book lest I become a sinner for the 7 deadly sins and waste my life in Hell.

Now, Miss Mina, I have some few demands to make before I dive into the succeeding sequels:

- I must see a lot of Quin in the Queen of the Clueless
- I’ve never been a fan of Filipino Mythology until now. I need to read more of it in the second book. I want to get to know Bathala and his family in a more intimate fashion…if you know what I mean. I want to meet Quin and Vida’s other siblings. I want to know the extent of their powers.
- I want to read more about Diego. Is he a sibling, cousin, uncle of Quin?
- I want to see Hannah handling “projects” outside Ford River College.
- I want to understand why, of all colleges, did these gods choose to go to Ford River?
- I want to see Hannah ending up with Quin. Robbie seems like a nice guy but where’s the fun in that?
- Hannah should be able to see the dwelling of Bathala and his family in the next book. Ford River College is a nice setting but visiting other Filipino mythical places would be AWESOME.

If these demands aren’t met, I’m gonna flood your e-mail, blog, twitter, facebook, pinterest, cellphone with demands for you to write a fourth or fifth or sixth and so forth and so on Interim Goddess of Love sequel. I will only stop hounding you until my demands are fully satisfied or…my expectations exceeded. Do we have a deal, Miss Mina?

Remember, this is not an empty threat.

Sincerely yours,
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review 2013-09-13 00:00
Love Your Frenemies
Love Your Frenemies - Mina V. Esguerra Love Your Frenemies - Mina V. Esguerra Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This review first appeared on my blog at Thoughts and Pens.

Not counting my stash of Pinoy Pocketbooks, Love your Frenemies is my very first book read—after so many years—authored by a Filipino. I admit that I got so hooked with books written by international authors that I forgot to fully explore our local book market. Oh well, I have my eyes on Tagalog Pocketbooks. Anyway, I was really happy that I spared some time to snoop around Goodreads and discovered Mina Esguerra. And after reading a positive review (written by a fellow Filipina) for one of her books, I immediately decided that I have to try it. What’s more is that it gave me an idea to start a feature here on my blog which will be called Filipiniana Sunday.

Back to topic, Love Your Frenemies follows the story of Kimmy Domingo, a selfish bitch who after being jilted by her groom nine days before her supposed wedding, fled to the US to think things through and find herself. A year later, she came back to the Philippines to reclaim her old life. Despite her yearlong hiatus and soul searching, Kimmy was still a selfish bitch.

After I finished reading Love Your Frenemies, the first thought that came to mind was that this is not a romance story. Told through alternating flashbacks and present times, Love Your Frenemies is more about Kim’s self-discovery and her struggle to rise from the mess she’s in. Kimmy is not only confronted with lovelife issues but also with concerns pertaining to her relationship with friends and immediate family. How Mina managed to give this very short book a mesmerizing depth is beyond me. The romance in this book was kept to a bare minimum and I was glad that the story was able to progress without relying from the romance.

Although a very short read, the book didn’t fail to provide me a solid insight to Kimmy’s life, thus, making me understand her on a deeper level. One of the strongest points of this book is perhaps its ensemble of heavily flawed characters with Kimmy occupying the number 1 spot. As the story advanced, I felt my resolve to hate her weakening. I found myself slowly sympathizing with her. Kimmy is a mirror of thyself. I think selfishness is an intrinsic part of human nature and everyone shouldn’t have difficulty in stepping into Kimmy’s shoes. Aside from Kimmy, Mina was also able to bring to life the secondary characters of this book like Chesca and Manolo (I just wished that I’ve seen a lot of him in this book).

Mina’s writing was certainly fluid making it easy for me to navigate the whole story. The pacing was good and there wasn’t a single moment that I got bored. And when I thought that Mina would surprise me no more, I was instantly floored with the ending. That was just so good & so unexpected that I was on the verge of tears. Chesca and Manolo FTW!

Despite my enjoyment, I cannot set aside my feelings of frustration for this book. As I’ve said earlier, Love Your Frenemies is a very short book and clearly, I want more. :D In addition, there were powerful moments in this book that weren’t given the highlight they deserve. And the book ended with some things left loosely wrapped which are summarized below: (Warning: Don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled)

- Kim’s yearlong issue with Chesca was resolved in an unconvincing fashion and too easily.
- Manolo finally confessed his love for Kim but it wasn’t explained why, how and when he came to that realization.
- Kim’s issue with her mom was fixed but it was just implied in an ambiguous way.
- And last but not the least, Kim’s realization about her mistakes was mentioned rapidly that it made me ask myself: Has Kimmy really realized the depth of what she’d done?

To wrap this review, Love Your Frenemies is more than a feel good book; it’s a humbling story that would surely set the readers on a path towards finding one’s self in this complicated world.
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