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.