Sunday, February 14, 2016

[Feature Filipino] Book Review: Plain Vanilla

Plain Vanilla
By Ines Bautista Yao
February 12, 2016
Young Adult, Romance

Despite its length, I think this is one well-written story about young love. This is actually my second young-adult story from Ines Bautista Yao, and she remains consistent in keeping her voice young and relatable, which is something I really appreciate.

Truth is, I got a little confused with the story when I began reading because I thought 'Plain Vanilla' meant something else. LOL. The fault was entirely my own, and partly because FSOG has given the term 'vanilla' a different meaning. It was funny because I got confused and thought, 'how in the hell is there going to be a love scene in this story?! WTF?!' When I finally recovered, I had the urge to smack myself senseless for my sheer stupidity. haha!

Anyway, I really enjoyed this Valentine offering! Tempest (Pesty! Great nickname, by the way.) is a really charming character even if she thinks she's boring and normal. I'd rather describe her as stable and grounded. She might not see herself this way, but I think her cousins did a great job at keeping Pesty from the brink of depression and hopelessness.

I don't have a crazy family as Pesty, so I can't say I can relate, but the way her family was described in this story was downright hilarious. I couldn't help but chuckle and smile while I was reading.

All in all, this was a really great story, which I wished my tween self could have had an opportunity to read.

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.

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