Friday, February 17, 2017

WAITING IN THE WINGS - Tara Frejas {Filipino Friday Review + Excerpt + Giveaway}

#FilipinoFriday [7]
Waiting in the Wings
- Tara Frejas

TITLEWaiting in the Wings
AUTHOR/s: Tara Frejas

PUBLICATION DATE: 21st  of February, 2017
A week back, I've shared with you guys the cover for Tara Frejas' latest work - Waiting in the Wings! And now, for the second part of the tour, I'm so excited to share my thoughts AND a sneak peek on what you can expect in this beauty!

Without further ado, here's my review! (Thank you so much, Miss Tara Frejas for this opportunity!)

*curtain rises*

Do go around and check out others' tour stop of Tara FrejasWaiting in the Wings!

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

First of all, although I've said it before, I'll say it again - that cover is gorgeous!!!

Moving on, I'll begin by saying: ERIN IS ME. From her passion, quirks, and shallowness of tears to her two left feet, NBSB status, being the lead girl all the time without a real life thingy, and her "belief" in lucky charms! Our only difference is that she can sing waaaay better than me and she has this perf memory which my friends can prove that I do not have LOL! I guess what I'm saying is I can really relate with Erin which makes it easier to root for her.

When it comes to her love interest(s!!!), I originally wanted the other guy because well, you've got to read to know haha! But eventually, as the story progressed, I ended up rooting for the guy she actually ends up with. Yaaaaay! <spoiler> I'm always such a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope </spoiler>

Pio is the type of guy you would want to bring home to your parents. He's also the type of guy who'd give you giddy feelings all the time and his charisma would definitely sweep you off your feet. Still, despite this, the best thing I like the most about him is his big heart and ability to do the right thing even if it hurts. So if you like grand gestures and the butterfly-on-your-stomach feels every time you're with him, then this charmer is your guy!

On the otherhand, Ramon, in contrast to Pio is the more relaxed and homey type. He's the kind of guy you could be your true self with and the one that will always support you the way you'll want to support him no matter what. I also peg him for the type who'll be literally ~one call away~ anytime.

Despite having well written characters, the supporting ones weren't left behind. I enjoyed reading the scenes with Hiraya and Mark especially when they're giving advice to Erin and Ramon  and Pio; Mamu made me envision my Theater Arts professor (hi Ma'am Faye!); and Garnet was actually refreshing to see (though I really thought that the I-thought-she-was-your-girlfriend thing was predictable. Or maybe it's just me 'cause I've recently read Ana Tejano's Keep the Faith haha!) 

Seeing as it centers on romance, I'm glad that this aspect was actually well written. Despite wanting to find real life love, everything was paced. In fact, I loved the slow burn romance!!! One of the best parts for me here was when Erin is starting to make sense of the things she feel. 

I also noticed little ~easter eggs~ that made me go "oooooooh that's smart!" like how Ramon's unsent letters kinda parallel the Hanggang Ulap production and how some lyrics seem like they were actually meant for the characters themselves.

Speaking of the music, I LUUUUUV THE MUSIC AND I WISH WISH WISH the songs would actually get produced because I've already imagined singing voices in my head! (petition for Gio Gahol to voice Ramon!) The story actually gave me The Real Score feels (though I can't quite put my finger on why) and of course, High School MusicalThere were also parts where I imagine the scene unfolding in my head like a movie, complete with slowmotion and background music! Especially the charged moment between Erin and Ramon while rehearsing (hello What I've Been Looking For feels) and their moment while dancing on the rooftop! Also, the grand gesture was...well, grand! It reminded me of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore's Music and Lyrics (which is one of my faves!!!)

Of course, the real highlight for me here was its theater milieu. I love that readers got to see the behind-the-scenes of a production to make them realize how hard it is to put up a performance. (And yes, I got kilig when theater jargons like proscenium, thrust, and black box stagings were mentioned!!! #nerdalerd) I cannot say anything more about the ending but I can assure you that it's perfect!

Waiting in the Wings may be categorized under romance but it also dealt with other important things such as self-worth, perseverance, and trust that things will fall into place if you really want to make something happen.

"I know that a lot of us have to deal with a hundred 'nos' before we're given a chance on that stage, but that doesn't mean we should give up fighting for the 'yeses.'" -Erin

"Call him crazy, but in his eyes, she didn't simply move. She danced." -Ramon 

"He was so used to what was comfortable, so used to calculating everything until he got tired of overthinking and settled for what was safe. He was holding himself back from trying new and nicer things because at the back of his mind, he believed things weren't going to go his way anyway." -Ramon

"Because feelings are like that sometimes - like sleeping volcanoes taking their time, because nothing has moved them enough to make them erupt in a violent cloud of ash and lava." -Garnet

"What was wrong was denying himself the chance to be happy. Or at the very least, be free." - Ramon

"But there are people who are meant to stand in the spotlight, and there are people who need to hold the lights up for them. That's just the way the world works. We can't all be stars, Erin. You know that. Some of us need to stay behind in the dark so others can shine." - Ramon 

"But this wasn't a romantic comedy or a fairytale. Things weren't supposed to happen according to a formula or a set of rules. And sometimes the heart is a silly, silly thing that defies all logic - fluttering over someone's display of affection, but aching for someone else." - Erin

"Maybe putting your best foot forward every single time didn't always mean you'll end up dancing to the same beat." - Erin

Here's also a few edits from Miss Tara herself!

What a rollercoaster ride of feels, kilig, and everything in between! I'm really glad that Waiting in the Wings is my first Tara Frejas read because it did not fail to make me want to read her other works (especially Paper Planes Back Home because of Hanggang Ulap)

Reading about Ramon, Erin, Pio, and the rest of the Lakambini squad made me miss our theater days even more :( I know the struggle of putting up a production but I also know how great it feels after a successful one. The feeling I had after reading through the book is almost the same :)

Four out of five rating for Tara FrejasWaiting in the Wings

4/5 rating! :)
In my experience with ~minor~ theater and acting productions, I've never had scenes like this before (because nope nope not yet til I get my first official off-screen one haha!) But I really like reading about this part because it really showed Erin's dilemma aaaaand I can really relate with the feeling of a character latching to you even after productions. Tough sitch. But nevertheless, here's something for you guys. Enjoy!
Erin’s first kiss was a guy named Timothy Matias. 

She and Timothy—christened Mots by Kai—were both Teatro Lakambini rookies three years ago, and Chronicles of a Breakup was their baptism of fire. Even so, he wasn’t new to kissing. 

Thankfully, Mots was considerate. He noticed her apprehension about the stage kiss and offered to fake it instead. But the scene had to be staged in a way that a fake kiss would have been so painfully obvious, and Erin just went “oh what the heck” and decided to go for gold. Mots obliged, and was nice enough to “mentor” her without being all judgey. 

“Don’t pucker your lips” was his first tip. “Loosen your jaw” was his second. There were more, and they came in unexpected moments, like when they waited in the wings and he told her to “Press your lips against mine a bit harder before I push you away.”

It was an Act Two breakup kiss, what they shared. Erin’s character was desperate to keep his, but his just wasn’t into hers any longer. As they went through the scene five times a week for eight straight weeks, Erin felt as if her heart wasted away every single time she kissed Mots goodbye. 

The feeling stayed with her for weeks after the show had closed that she had to ask him to sit down and talk about it one afternoon.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Sometimes I look at you and I can’t think straight.” 
The look on his face prompted her to clarify. “I’m not in love with you, Mots. It’s just that I’ve been this character for a while and it’s difficult to get her out of my system.”
He got it, he said. They hugged it out, and that was that.
Five months later, she was kissing Andres San Vicente under a dim streetlight in Sa Kanto ng Kaimito at Santol. It was a more innocent kind of kiss, one that would reduce the females in the audience to squeals and giggles. Erin liked their once-a-show kisses better because they were hopeful and held the promise of a blossoming new love. And at the back of her mind, she allowed herself to fantasize over that kind of love too—until Andres brought his boyfriend to the cast party and crushed her dreams.
he distinction of sharing the most number of kisses with Erin goes to Brian Castro and Johann Rivera. Alternating as Erin’s long-distance boyfriends in Minsan Tayo, the average number of kisses she received per show was twenty, not including the ones that didn’t land on her lips. But even if Brian and Johann played the same character, their kisses were completely different.
Brian’s was playful and tentative half the time and tasted like Tic Tac. Johann’s was more intense and tended to linger a little more. They didn’t taste like anything remarkable, but Erin recalled the one time his lips tasted like ginger tea. 
By the time she got to act alongside Nathan Zalameda for Karaoke Queen, the tables were turned: He was the novice, and she was the pro. Recalling every relevant moment in her kissing resume, Erin taught Nathan everything he needed to know. 
And he was a fast learner. So fast, Erin actually found herself feeling flustered more than once.
Thinking about all those kisses made Erin feel a little dizzy. There were okay kisses, and there were kisses that, whether she liked to admit or not, completely rocked her world. 

Is anyone going to measure up? she wondered. More importantly, is there anyone out there willing to?

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she's not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, this full-fledged Piscean (who cares what NASA says?) is passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dance, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes. 

In another life, she wishes to be a musical theatre actress. Or a director, maybe. But in the meantime, she’ll continue being an avid supporter of the local theatre show at a time.

There's also a giveaway for you guys! Don't forget to join for a chance to win your own copies of Ana Tejano's Keep The Faithother #romanceclass books, and an Amazon gift card! :D

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