Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WE GO TOGETHER - Carla de Guzman {Review}

TITLE: We Go Together
AUTHOR/s: Carla de Guzman
PUBLICATION DATE19th of January, 2015

First of all, happy book birthday We Go Together! Yay!

As part of the celebration, I got the chance to review Miss Carla de Guzman's work (in line with my 'advocacy' in supporting Filipino indie authors. Click the banner below for more info!) I've been hearing her around the bookish-sphere for quite some time now and even got a couple of her previous works from an event that I've participated in but this is actually the first time that I'll be reading her writing and I couldn't be more thrilled!

*Thanks to the author for providing a review copy! Receiving one did not affect my views on the book.

"What happened to Beatrice and Benedick?

They used to be in love. They used to be together. But something got in the way and its turned them into angry, bitter rivals that can't get along, much less work together on a project that could change everything for Bea and Claudia's little paper company.

Bea isn't going to let Ben ruin her mood. Ben isn't backing down from Bea's barbs without a fight. But why is Claudia telling Hiro that Bea is head-over-heels in love with Ben? Why is Hiro convinced that Ben is in love with Bea?

Set in Washington DC, this book is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing."

I've always looked up to Shakespeare but I haven't read Much Ado About Nothing yet. Still, upon reading the book blurb, I was excited to start reading! The premise looked promising and THAT COVER! What a pretty <3 

Moving on, if I were to say what for me is the greatest point of this book, it will definitely be its characters. They were all fun and exciting to read about and you'll want to know what they'll do next because the all have a certain unpredictability (?) in them. Of all the characters, the one I liked the most was Bea. I kinda relate with her quirkiness and occasional "beast modes" although she proves herself soft and a little bit sappy on the inside despite her self proclaimed no-man diet.

Of course the secondary characters were amazingly written too! They didn't feel like they were written just for the sake of having additional people in the story. Claudia is the type of best friend that you would want to have despite all her flaws and 'bad days'. I really admire their determination in putting up their own business. You go girls!

On to the other side of the spectrum, the boys weren't so bad either. I'm slightly biased with Don because geez I AM IN LOVE WITH PRINCE ERIC, OKAY??? Although aside from the looks, he is a complete jerk. But I do think that there's something more inside him which made him what he is. Something that I'm looking forward to discovering someday (hi Miss Carla!)

Meanwhile, Hiro was Ben's own Claudia. I am actually 50-50 on whether I like him or not. I do not approve of the actions that he did and his somewhat aggressive approach on things. However, he turns out to be a complete softie too (especially with Claudia) which kinda balances things out. Leo was an interesting character too especially with Bea's little crush haha! I loved how protective he could be of his little sister - something I really actually want :)

Lastly, Ben. Simply stated, he is the type of book guys I usually pine for. The adorkable and/or artsy ones. I just really adored his banters with Bea which is another highlight of the book for me. Their relationship felt like there's this tension between them not only because of their history but also because there is still something there *cue awwww-sounds*

However, with all these beautifully written characters, I was a bit confused plot-wise. It's not because of the author's writing style (which for me was effectively executed with the flashbacks and descriptive narrative.) It is probably because I was thinking of something bigger and grander that will tie up all the loose ends and conflicts in the story. It felt like there are still some conflicts left to resolve. I also was expecting something sweeter by the end (because I'm a fan of cheesy reuniting scenes and grand gestures lol) but I guess the ending fit well especially since it was established that Ben and Bea aren't into those kind of things.

Lastly, aside from little typographical errors and the feeling that some phrases were slightly overused, I surprisingly enjoyed the short read which took me only a few hours to finish. 

"What kind of love would it be if it crumbled to pieces over one accusation? If it doesn't endure, then what's the point?" -Claudia

"You decide to love someone, and every day you make that choice again and again until you can't make it anymore. You don't quit when you've hit a tiny speed bump. When you're with the right person...working through it is worth it." -Bea

"You go together. Wherever that may take you." -Bea

I can say that my first Carla de Guzman book did not disappoint! The characters took on a refreshing twist from a set of usual archetypes in literature and I really had fun watching each of their stories unfold. A spin-off would be really nice too. Maybe that of Don finding his match and maybe getting a taste of his own medicine? *wink*

I also would like to point out how artistic the narrative was! Like the author was painting the words and scenarios instead of writing them. The description of the places that the cast had been makes me wanna go hop on a plane and travel there too haha! :) 

Three-point-five out of five rating for Carla de Guzman's We Go Together

3.5/5 Rating! :)

If you ask Carla de Guzman what she does for a living, she will tell you that she's not quite sure. By day, she works at a consultancy firm and writes for a lifestyle website. By night, she's an author and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk and making these silly love stories. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi, and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family.

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