Love Your Frenemies

Book: Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra 

Synopsis: Kimmy Domingo was the kind of girl everyone hated and envied -- until her fiance' dumped her a week before their wedding. Soon after, she quit her job, hopped on a plane, and just hid from everyone who knew her. A year later and she's back in Manila to be maid of honor at a wedding she can't miss.

Kimmy's home because she's ready to start over, but she also knows that some people at that wedding were responsible for the mess her life turned out to be. The first step to recovery? Cutting off the ones who caused her troubles to begin with: her best friend and her first love. [via Amazon] [photo credit the author's blog]

Book Notes: 

I've decided, since February is the month of love, to go on a major chick lit/romance reading spree. I'm a total sucker for Valentines, and the sappy hopeless romantic in me just swoons over a good love story. So to start off my list of cheesy books to further indulge myself in, i read Love Your Frenemies.

This was actually my first time reading a chick lit written by a local author. Honestly, I didnt even think this genre quite existed in the local market. (Proof that I should patronize local writers more!!) 

When i received the book i thought to myself... wow this puts the pocket in pocket books! Its a tiny book with only a couple of pages, basically a novella and I wondered how much can you really get from such a short read. Then I remembered how much i enjoyed First Love, and told myself not to judge a book by its pages.

At first I thought it was rather odd reading a chick lit with so many local references. It took a little getting used to having the occasional taglish word mixed it, but once i picked up the pace, it was easy to kind of ease into the story and get used to the author's very familiar language. 

The further I got into the story, the more interesting the characters became. Although I thought some of the flashback chapters transitioned rather roughly in the story, it was only in the end that i realized how essential this method of story-telling was to help build some mystery and excitement for the reader. 

Strangely enough, I was rather fond of the leading lady, Kimberly Domingo (although not so much for her name). In the author's note, she wrote that she tried to make Kimmy an unlikeable character, but I actually felt that in the entirety she had one of the best, most vibrant personalities out of all the characters in the books. 

Perhaps it's my strong western upbringing, but a character that takes pride in fiercely climbing the corporate ladder, embracing her overall sexuality and isn't afraid to speak her mind is an infinitely better character than the stereotypical maria clara type. Perhaps majority of the Filipinos aren't prepared for such a strong woman, but it is exciting to have characters like this slowly develop. So I would like to disagree with Kimmy being dislikable. She is simply an empowered woman and a force to be reckoned with.

The protagonist's character was also surprisingly real. Although not all of us have the luxury of just walking out of our jobs and flying to LA, disappearing is something all of us secretly want to do after everything just all goes to shit. Kimmy's fleeing Manila was supposed to have made her a detestable person, but her sudden vanishing was one of the most human reactions. Immature, definitely. But that is one her most significant character flaws. It was that specific trait that stood between everything she ever desired. 

Overall, I was rather fascinated by this book. It had all the makings of an enjoyable chick lit, most especially a debonair leading man that was oh-so-bad, yet oh-so-gorgeous at the same time. The type of leading man that you just want to hate, but cant stop smiling about. The pacing was very quick, but it was simply charming how the entire story just unfolded. 

I definitely found it interesting that it was written by a local (Philippine) author, and truth be told, I'm rather intrigued about her other published stories as well.  

Rating: 3.8/5


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