Friday, May 8, 2015

Buqo YA Bundle#2: Sweet Complications [Book Tour Stop]: Review + Giveaway :)

TITLE: Sweet Complications (Buqo YA Bundle#2)
AUTHOR/s: Sassy Fova, Ines Bautista-Yao, Amae Dechaves,
Charm Lee, Irish Fleur, Kristel Ann Cruz
GENRE: Contemporary romance

My support for fellow Filipino writers is not a big secret.

Actually, I wanted to try joining this "workshop" headed by Miss Mina Esguerra but my hectic University Schedule prevented me from doing so. That is why when I heard that Dianne from Oops! I Read A Book Again is organizing tours for #BuqoYA works, I didn't second-guess!

Follow the tour for the second bundle here!

My Bundle#1: Taking Chances review + excerpts HERE!
(via Goodreads)

Would you do a set of dares to prove someone wrong? Would you risk your friendship so you can find love? Would you admit your real feelings? There are a lot of complications when it comes to finding love. Get the feels when you read these sweet stories.

I've always been a big, BIG fan of Miss Ines Bautista-Yao so it's no surprise that the story I loved the best among the second bundle was *drumroll* Plain Vanilla!

First of all, how could you NOT love the cover? It's simple but totally adorbs :) Second, it's MISS INES BAUTISTA-YAO! How could you not love it? She's one of the greatest writer of the genre that I've ever read, and that is saying something since I've read quite a lot.

Moving on, the story's highlight for me was how Tempest  found herself despite trying to be someone she's not. I love the Juan family! They seem really cool and just amazing. Every reunion/family event is like one big costume party! (Though I could just imagine how tiring it could be at some point)

Also, I love how the side characters were as interesting as the main ones. Margarita was vibrant and I visioned her as this one big ball of energy giving off positive vibes while Clara seemed like the calm and zen-ish cousin who balances the trio. Plus points because, PAPER CRANES! (and I love paper cranes) I even actually enjoyed Alfonso's character even though he wasn't as emphasized as the others.

And of course, Paco Lorenzo. This "antagonizing, arrogant, annoying, amazing boy." If he was an ice cream flavor, he would definitely be a chocolate. He's sweet and is something you'd appreciate having at the end of the day. I just wished we knew what really went on his mind throughout the story since there are some questions only he could answer (like why did he ask *tooot spoiler* to prom, of all people? and did he really like that cousin?) I wouldn't mind a spin-off-ish of Plain Vanilla in his point of view *wink wink*

As usual, Plain Vanilla gave me beautiful beautiful feels! I tried to guess what's the catch with the vanilla comment thing and I couldn't have thought of what the real explanation was but I loved it! I devoured the story as fast as I could finish a serving of vanilla ice cream teehee. (Now I'm craving for ice cream)

Overall, this bundle took me to a ride I've never been before. Sure, some of the stories were based on tropes that is widely seen everywhere but the authors managed to add a little bit something that make their works different. I loved how it showcased not only the complications in love but also the problems you have to deal within yourself and the things you Awesomesauce!

"Tempy, stop fighting it. You have to let the energy of life flow through you. Let things happen, let the cards fall where they may. Stop trying to control everything." - Clara (Plain Vanilla)

"Why all the hinting? I don't get it." - Margarita (Plain Vanilla)

"Her hands were shaking. All because of a stupid boy. An antagonizing, arrogant, annoying, amazing boy who had managed to weasel his way into her mind, into her heart" - Tempest (Plain Vanilla)

"(...) I'm looking for a girl I can feel comfortable with, someone who is like home, just like vanilla ice cream. The moment you taste it, you know it doesn't need all those other things to make it stand out because it already does, just by being what it is." - Paco(Plain Vanilla)

"(...) you don't have to prove anything or try to be someone else." - Paco (Plain Vanilla)

Here are the blurbs and some sneak peeks of the stories included here in the bundle! Hope you get to check them all out!

D'01 by Sassy Fova
Kat Arcanghel has just turned 18 and she feels that it is the right time to fall in love. She finds herself falling for Alech Crisologo, but she has always thought of herself as a deviant/rebel and there’s nothing more mainstream than crushing on the guy that everybody loves, thus she fights her feelings and tries to search for the right one—just not him. 

Will Kat continue rebelling against her own heart, or will she let her heart conquer the battle and let it lead the way? She’ll find the answer when she meets D’01.
For once, I didn’t hit the snooze button. 
At 6 o’clock, I got up as soon as my alarm clock went off. Today is the day that I have to start acting mature: whether they be small matters like the alarm or other things that are more important, I have to be responsible for anything that I set. Because today, I’m officially of legal age. 
I’ve made a list of stuff I just HAVE to do when I turn eighteen – get a driver’s license, go to a bar and drink beer, French kiss somebody, lose my virginity (maybe), and so many other things that someone can decide to do without their parents’ consent – but the most important thing on my list is this: I HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE. 
I guess I’m what they call NBSB, or No Boyfriend Since Birth. I’ve had crushes before – nothing too serious, and all of it short-lived. I used to not care. But now… I think I’m ready to be in a relationship. So I tried to conjure a mental picture of the boys at school who might be boyfriend-material… but only one comes to mind. 
Alech Crisologo. 
As soon as is smiling face popped into my head, I shake it off immediately – that will never ever happen, not even in my wildest dreams. Anyone but him. I open my Facebook page and post a status: I’m so ready to fall in love. 
I slide my windows open and take in deep breaths of air. Is this how freedom smells like? Like longganisa and fried eggs? Nah, that’s just breakfast that our stay-in housemaid, Helen, is cooking. I resist the urge to shout, “Good morning world!” and make a total fool of myself. I sit on the windowsill instead and admire the view.
One Lovely Summer Day by Amae Dechavez
Kwento ng Pag-Ibig, Pangarap, at Pag-asa... Sa Pila, Laguna, bakasyon at abala ang lahat sa bahay nila Tiya Isidra—“general cleaning” ika ng matanda. Bukod pa roon ay darating si Maylie, ang paboritong pamangkin niyang galing ng Maynila. Gaya ng inaasahan, naroon si Ethan para tumulong sa paglilinis at paghahanda. Bagamat mukhang tahimik ang dalaga, unang sulyap pa lang ay agad na nagandahan at nabaitan si Ethan sa kaniya. Naging matalik na magkaibigan ang dalawa. Sa isang di inaasahang pangyayari at proyektong kailangang lutasin nilang dalawa, lalong napalapit si Ethan at Maylie sa isa-isa. Gayun pa man, alam ni Ethan na isang araw ay aalis din si Maylie at maiiwan siya. Sasabihin ba niya kay Maylie ang nararamdaman niya?
Habang naglalakad sila ay naalala ni Ethan ang sinabi ng nagtitindang ale kanina. ‘Mabuti at may girlfriend ka na.’ Bakit nga ba hindi ko tanungin si Maylie ngayon kung pwede ko ba siyang maging nobya? 
“Silong muna tayo sa may loob ng simbahan, Maylie. Ang init eh,” wika ni Ethan. 
Halos walang tao sa loob ng simbahan. Lahat ay nasa labas, nanonood sa mga palabas. Pagka-upo ay agad na nagsalita si Ethan. 
“Ahm… Maylie.” 
“Ano ‘yon, Ethan?” 
“Ahm, naisipan mo na bang sabihin sa mga magulang mo na ayaw mo na ng palipat-lipat ng tirahan?” 
“Ah… hindi pa. Kailangan ko bang sabihin sa kanila?” 
“Bakit hindi?” 
“Ano ‘yon?” 
“Gusto ko kasing sabihin na…” 
“Ma…ha… Mahabang usapan pero gusto ko lang sanang magpasalamat.” 
“Oo, magpapasalamat lang ako. ‘Yon lang ang gusto kong sabihin sa’yo.” 
“Salamat saan?” 
“Sa mga sinabi mong advice sa akin kahapon.” 
“Ah, ‘sus. Wala ‘yon. May sasabihin ka pa?” 
“Ahm… wala na. Umuwi na tayo. Gutom na ‘ko, gusto ko nang mananghalian.” 
Umuwi na sina Maylie at Ethan at kapagka-pananghalian ay pumasok si Ethan agad sa kuwarto niya. 
‘Ang torpe mo, Ethan,’ sambit ni Ethan sa sarili niya. 
Kinuha niya sa drawer ang maliit na salamin at tinignan niya ang sarili niya. 
“Sabihin mo, MA-HAL. MAAA-HAAAL… Mahal kita!”
 Once Upon A Sticky Note by Kristel Ann Cruz
Nate and Tanya have been “talk all day, every day” best friends for years but on the eve of Nate’s birthday, Tanya realized she has started developing more-than-platonic feelings him. They’re going off to college soon so confessing anything that might make things complicated between them doesn’t sound like a good plan, especially now that Campus Sweetie Armi has entered the picture. What would Tanya do? Could she? Should she? Grab a sticky note and place your bets.
Of course it also doesn’t hurt that he is nice to look at. I have always pegged Nate as a pretty boy, but his unassuming ways make him look more attractive. I like his thick eyebrows, his smiling eyes, and the dimple on his left cheek that mirrors mine. I can’t even tell you how many jealous stares I have fielded when we walk through the school together, or how my heart secretly swells seeing these. 
It’s quite melodramatic to say that our lives have never been the same since we became closer because we are still very young, but that fact doesn’t make it any less true. I will feel so lost when the time comes he or I would have to go our separate ways. Graduation is coming soon and to be honest, I’m dreading college. I wonder if we will be as close as we are now or whether I will be left behind, a mere footnote to carefree high school days. 
It was almost morning when I realized I am in love with my best friend.
Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao
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.
“But what about Margarita?” 
“She sped off in another direction.” He shrugged, still pulling her along. But this time, he wasn’t holding her arm anymore. His hand found its way into hers. And she told herself she didn’t let go because it was dark and she didn’t want to trip on anything. 
When they got to the covered courts, they didn’t bother to find a place to hide. It was so dark, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Paco sat on one of the benches and pulled Tempest down next to him. She was tempted to pull her hand away, but he still hadn’t let go. What was the protocol when it came to something like this? Do you let go when you’re about to do something like look at your watch or scratch an itch? Or do you just keep holding on till both your hands get too sweaty? And why did it have to be so complicated? 
“I think this is awesome, what you’re doing.” He smiled at her. Or at least she assumed he was. It was too dark to tell. 
“Sitting in the dark, holding your hand?” Tempest couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening, so might as well call attention to it. 
Paco surprised her by squeezing her hand and still not letting go. “Well, yeah, this too.” He laughed easily. “But I was talking about the dares. I mean, daring other people is something Marga and I do all the time, but daring yourself is cool. Why didn’t you tell me about it last night? I could have helped you do some of them while we were just hanging out. What’s on your list anyway?”
Tempest didn’t tell him that the dares had only materialized today because of him. “Well, nighttime hide and seek, sleeping under the stars, and glow-in-the-dark bowling are part of it. That pathetic excuse for chalk art this afternoon was too.” 
“That wasn’t pathetic.” 
“Whatever.” Tempest snorted. “There’s also doing a color run which I am seriously thinking of swapping with something else, running through sprinklers, flying a kite, making a slushie—” 
“You’ve never made a slushie?” Astonishment. 
“I lead a very dull life, okay?” 
“Or flown a kite?” More astonishment. 
“Fine, Mr. I’ve Done Everything Fun in the World, what haven’t you done? If you were to give yourself a list of dares, what would you put on your list?” 
“Well, I wouldn’t mind breaking into an all-girls high school after dark and playing hide and seek.” She could hear the smile in his voice. 
“Boring. I’ve done that already.” 
Paco burst out laughing. Tempest’s insides began to feel all warm and gooey. It felt good to make him laugh. And to have his complete attention. And to still be holding his hand.
Same by Charm Lee
March 2. 
Of all places, Atasha never thought that she would end up in a hospital on this specific day. Rush was looking forward to just enjoying the day. 
But with the white walls and medical noises around them, two young and very different souls cross paths. Rush and Atasha discover that even if they are as alike as night and day, they aren’t as different as they thought after all.
I woke up today thinking that everything will be normal. I got out of bed at around 10am, and caught my reflection on my vanity mirror. Ugh, my long hair is all frizzy. I tried to comb my hair through it to kind of manage it but it didn’t work. Oh well. 
I’m excited. I can’t wait to watch the new movie that everyone has been talking about. I wonder if it lives up to all the buzz that I have been hearing. I think I still have time after the movie to check out Robert’s. It’s Saturday so there is a new shipment of books that I can check out. 
I can hear songs now blasting off from my mom’s room. It’s her favorite band. I ignore it. I’m looking for clothes to wear when my mom enters my room and asks me if I want to go with her and my dad to my aunt’s house. They just need to get something for my grandparents, then we can go to the department store after to buy some stuff that we need since we are renovating. 
“Pass. I’m going to Robert’s.” I feel awkward whenever I hang out with my parents. I just feel like we have nothing in common and we won’t have anything to talk about. I hate social situations like that so I avoid it as much as possible. 
I see the disappointment in my mom’s face, says okay and left me alone. I feel the guilt creeping in but I shrug it off. 
She asked and I chose. She gave me an out so it’s okay. 
I proceeded in getting ready for my alone day. After I’m all ready, I went downstairs to check on what I can eat on the go as I don’t really want to sit down and eat breakfast with them. I spy the peanut butter and bread. Perfect.
Travel of Two by Irish Fleur
Biyahe mag-isa? Check! Isa na namang item sa bucket list ni Isobel ang matutupad. Sino bang hindi magiging masaya kapag nagawa mo na ang gusto mo? Pero hindi lang pala si Isobel ang nagso-solo travel--si Arty rin. Si Arty na suplado, na-friendzone, makulit, at nakilala ni Isobel sa paglalakbay niya. At kahit ganito si Arty, mas naging exciting ang pagbiyahe ni Isobel. 
So, magka-boyfriend... mache-check din nga ba ito ni Isobel sa sa bucket list niya?
Tamang-tama at binaba nga ko sa lugar na sinabi ko. Nagpaalam ako kay Arty. Nakatalikod na ako at nakailang hakbang na nang marinig kong ang pangalan ko. Paglingon ko ay nakita ko si Arty patakbo papunta sa akin. Napanganga ako. 
“O bakit? Nagulat ka, ‘no? ‘Lika na sa inyo, nauuhaw na ako,” hinihingal niyang sabi sabay akbay sa akin. 
“Baliw ka ano?!” at inialis ko ang akbay niya sa akin. 
“Huwag kang mag-alala, alam ko kung paano pumunta ng Tibiao galing dito sa inyo. I just want to spend more time with you,” sabi niya. Nanlaki ang mga mata ko sa sinabi nya, siya naman ngingiti-ngiti lang. Pero infairness ha, kinilig ako sa sinabi niya. 
“Ang drama mo din eh. Bakit, type mo ba ako?” 
Tinignan niya ako mula ulo hanggang paa at nilagay pa ang kanyang kamay sa ilalim ng baba na tila nag-iisip. 
“Well… Aaminin ko na: maganda ka. I mean, maganda ka in a simple way.” 
“Binigay ko na sayo yung number ko, pwede mo naman ako kontakin anytime. Tsaka may mga plano ka rin, right?” 
“Ayaw mo bang ma-extend ang pagsasama natin? Pwede kitang ipasyal sa Tibiao para sulit naman ang bakasyon mo.” 
Napabuntong-hininga na lang ako at hinayaan kong sumabay sa akin si Arty. Afterall, wala naman sigurong mangyayaring masama; gusto lang naman ni Arty makipagkaibigan.
Buqo is giving away one (1) powerbank to a Philippine Resident!

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