It’s review time once again~ and this time, I’m doing two stories from the third #buqoYA bundle called Finding Fairytales. Admittedly, I haven’t read all of the stories in this bundle yet (because work hinders everything fun in life, yes?) but I hopefully have read enough to be able to do justice to Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza and Love in the Time of Viral Videos by R. Linea.
First, an excerpt from Fall for Grace.
Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza
Mabuti na lang at hindi nila kailangang mag-usap habang naglalakad. Mas kailangan nilang pagtuunan ng pansin na hindi masyadong mabasa ng ulan habang sinisigurong hindi liliparin ng hangin ang payong. Sa kahabaan ng kanilang paglalakad ay walang ibang nasa isip si Grace kundi ang pagkakalapit nilang dalawa. Hindi siya gaanong nilamig dahil na rin dito. Kung ganoon lang sana kadali patahanin ang dagundong ng kaniyang dibdib.
Ni minsan ay hindi pa siya pinakitaan ng kagandahang-loob ni Jason. Hindi rin naman niya sinasabi na hindi ito mabait; hindi lang ito naging mabait sa kaniya. Kaya nga medyo hirap siyang intindihin ang mga pangyayari, lalo na ang mga bagong nararamdaman niya sa mga sandaling iyon.
Gaya nga ng sabi nito, hindi malayo ang lakarin. Pag-angat niya ng tingin ay napansin niyang ilang dipa na lang sila mula sa waiting shed. Mabilis nilang tinungo iyon. Nang naroon na ay pinakawalan na siya ni Jason at nanumbalik na siya sa kaniyang katinuan.
“May Bus 5 na dumadaan dito. ‘Di ba malapit na yun sa inyo?” Pinapagpag ni Jason ang payong.
“Oo, pero lalakad pa ako nang kaunti.”
Tamang-tama, naaninag na nila ang ilaw ng paparating na sasakyan. Walang jeep o tricycle sa lugar at serviced vans lang ang nakakaraan doon dahil isang exclusive property ang buong compound ng Luna East pati ang dating subdivision na tinirhan ng pamilya Almeda.
“Heto.” Iniabot ni Jason ang payong sa kaniya. Napatitig lang siya dito na para bang nagsalita ito ng ibang lengguwahe. “Sabi mo maglalakad ka pa papunta sa inyo. Kakailanganin mo ‘yan.”
Nagkibit-balikat ito. “Hindi naman ako mamamatay kung maulanan ako. ‘Tsaka dadaanan ng bus ‘yung bahay ko.”
Hindi na ito nagpatumpik-tumpik at inilagay ang payong sa mga kamay niya. “Ayan na ang bus. Sige na, nang makauwi ka na. Baka hinahanap ka na sa inyo.”
Tumigil ang coaster sa tapat ng shed at sumakay na siya.
Tiyempong may bakante sa tabi ng bintana kaya doon siya naupo. Kinawayan niya si Jason nang umarangkada ang sasakyan.
Kumaway din ito sa kaniya, sabay kindat.
There’s something about well-written fiction in Filipino that appeals to me, especially in this day and age where most Filipino writers put out books in English, and most youngsters do not know how to use proper Filipino in written (or spoken) communication. In high school and college, I used to write fiction in Filipino as well, an exercise to make Gat Jose Rizal proud–no, really–but when I started working in different companies and got to know friends from different parts of the world, I began writing more fiction in English to make them more universal. Anne Plaza’s story Fall for Grace is in very good Filipino, and that’s the first thing that got me to read it.
I must have some kind of Hate-You-Love-You magnet because that’s exactly the trope I got again with this story. I’m not complaining, though. I just let Grace and Jason take me through their story, and I might’ve giggled my way through certain scenes just ’cause. There were moments when I’d just roll my eyes at Jason and feel the urge to scream at how stupid he’s acting, but there were also times when he’s cute and I forgive him all the same. 😛
There’s also something about the dynamic of high school cliques that gave me a throwback to my own high school days. I think it was a good touch, especially for someone like me whose teenage years seem so far away now. Somehow, I was able to see, feel, and even smell my own alma mater while reading this, though if you ask me if mine was ever as extravagant as Luna East, I would say no.
My favorite part? There’s something about rain scenes that make me happy. Like, all the time. So there you go. ^///^
Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Plus points for: Making me want to write in Filipino again.
Because of this story: I cringed remembering all the math I had to do in high school. Why didn’t I have a Jason of my own to tutor me too? Oh right, all-girls school. Darn it.
About the Author: Si Anne Plaza ay mula sa Lungsod Quezon at nakapagsulat ng isang chick lit novella, ang In Over Her Head (2013). Ang Fall for Grace ay ang una niyang kathang YA romance. Nagtatrabaho siya bilang isang marketing associate para sa isang ad agency at malimit siyang nagsusulat kahit hindi pa tapos ang kanyang shift. Nakahiligan na niyang magbasa ng Tagalog romance novels (noong kapanahunan pa nina Helen Meriz, Jo-An Solis, Gilda Olvidado, atbp.) at nakapag- publish na rin ng apat na akda sa ilalim ng My Special Valentine. [ Find her on: Blog | Twitter | Facebook ]
And here’s an excerpt from Love in the Time of Viral Videos:
Love in the Time of Viral Videos by R. Linea
I – Hurley. Chen. Karim.
Are YOU ready to be famous? This is 15 Seconds of Fame! The show where we give everyone a chance for worldwide popularity and then be forgotten to obscurity. Like all you viewers know, we’re always on the lookout for either the next Ellen DeGeneres discovery or the next evening news exposé. Because here in Fame, fifteen seconds you’re in and the next fifteen, you’re out!
Grab your popcorn my lovely viewers and get your bandwidth ready for a slew of videos that’s worth your miniscule attention. Right off the bat, we’re serving you the nth version of Let It Go sung by an unknown Filipino! And he not only sings it perfectly, he does it without his shirt on, right in the middle of EDSA traffic! Talk about grit! Oh yes, two things Filipinos are infamous for, traffic inefficiency and hitting the high notes, together in just one video! Could he be the next Oprah protégé? Will his face launch the next thousand memes? Only time could tell!
And by time, I mean your fifteen seconds is up, Mr. Half-naked Elsa. We now move on to the sequel of one of the forefathers of viral videos. I present to you, Charlie Bit My Finger Part Toe! Awww…look guys. Charlie’s biting his brother’s toes this time. He’s so cute with his googley eyes…as he tears the entire toe off! Oh my freakin’ G! Oh, I can’t watch this. Too much blood! I’m blacking out! I’m blacking out! Oh this isn’t good. Why does their mom just keep on taking the video? Can somebody please hand over my barf bag? Somebody please report this video immediately! Take it down!
Reading this story needs a lot of focus, at least that’s what I tell myself now, because I started reading Love in the Time of Viral Videos while juggling two tasks at the same time. And let me tell you, it gets pretty confusing.
I chose this story to read because I’m a bit of a social media addict, and I felt like I’d be able to relate to it. The storytelling style surprised me in a pleasant way, because it’s new to me. Quirky and a bit confusing, yes, but you gotta give props to the author for taking that risk and doing a good job in trying to capture the voices of different social media networks we use daily. It’s also in this style that I wish I could see R. Linea write more pieces, to hone this little idea he started and make it his own. There’s room for improvement, but the brilliance is already there. I’m sure he can come up with another story that makes use of more social media channels, and I’d love to see how he could put her own spin to it.
As for Patch and Sebastian . . . I loved their bickering. I don’t know what it is about bickering couples, but it makes me feel more kilig than lovey-dovey ones. There’s something about a constant exchange of snippy comebacks that’s very cute to me, and Patch and Sebastian’s conversation was peppered with that. Call me a happy camper.
And yes, give me more. Please?
Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Plus points for: Exploring a quirky storytelling style and sticking with it.
Because of this story: I kind of want to go back on all my social media posts and think of what kind of story they will tell, from another person’s point of view, that is.
Let’s continue supporting Filipino authors buy buying all the #buqoYA bundles found here! For other reviews on this bundle, check out Oops I Read a Book Again‘s Finding Fairytales post. There are two more tours coming up for bundles #4 and #5, so do watch out for that.
And oh~before I forget, CLICK HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A POWERBANK FROM BUQO (Philippine residents only)!