27 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (2): Madly by Amy Alward

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 
This meme features upcoming releases (books!) that I really really really look forward to! :)

Author: Amy Alward
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
To be published on September 29, 2015

Samantha may be falling for the beloved of the princess she is sent to save in this start to a hilarious, adventurous, and sweetly romantic trilogy.
When Samantha is summoned to the royal court of Nova for a secret mission, it’s her chance to put her training to the test: Princess Evelyn has taken an illegal love potion with disastrous effects, and Samantha, like her ancestors before her, is great at mixing potions. She may not be one of the naturally Talented—those who can heal or transform at the wave of their hands—but she is skilled nonetheless, and determined to find an antidote and cure Princess Evelyn. 
The problem? Princess Evelyn took the love potion to make her best friend Zain fall for her—and it’s Zain who Samantha keeps encountering on her hunt for antidote ingredients. As forbidden sparks between them fly, Samantha is forced to wonder: will curing Princess Evelyn doom her own chance at love?

 Here's another thing about me: I have a thing for potions! I used to mix shampoo, liquid soap, and water to create my "potion." Some of our plants died because of that. I also "brewed" some more crazy stuff.

Potions seem magical. They are magical, right?

And I love romance novels. Potions plus romance? Bingo. The cover and the colors- just perfect. I love it.

Madly is the first of The Potion Trilogy, and I want need this one.

26 May 2015

Excerpts + Giveaway: Buqo YA Bundle 5: Perfect Moments

Follow the tour! http://oopsireadabookagain.com/2015/05/blog-tour-invite-buqo-ya-bundle-5.html

Perfect Moments
Various Authors

Sometimes you’ll meet your match: at detention, on the badminton court, in a resort hotel in Davao, at a lab, in a foster home, at an epic party. You’ll never know. But always keep your heart ready for that perfect moment. Read these stories and experience the bliss of first love.
Aaaand... We're down to the last (definitely not the least!) Buqo YA bundle! This week, it's available for only 0.99 USD (45 pesos). Thank you so much to Dianne from Oops! I Read A Book Again for organizing this tour!

I'm so sorry for the pictureless post. We're on a vacation and I'm not sure I can use anything capable of that :(

24 May 2015

A Guide to a Grand Bookish Adventure

I know, the banner is super off-theme, but I really felt like that the blackboard theme was appropriate. 

A Guide to A Grand Bookish Adventure! Let me rephrase it: a guide to an epic reading experience/reading tips!

21 May 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway: In The Beginning There Was Us by Ingrid Jonach

Thank you to Dianne from Oops! I Read A Book Again and of course, Ingrid Jonach!

We have a guest post by Ingrid, an excerpt from In the Beginning There Was Us, and an international giveaway for you guys! 

20 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (1): P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 
This meme features upcoming releases (books!) that I really look forward to! :)

P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
To be published on May 26, 2015

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?  
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

18 May 2015

Review + Giveaway: Buqo YA Bundle 4- Heart Choices

Heart Choices
by Various Authors
Publication Date: April 24, 2015

Sometimes it’s hard to choose. 
Do you stay or do you let go? Should you become friends, more than friends, or stay strangers? Would you risk love for popularity? You’re invited to explore these stories and find out each character’s choice from the heart.

Thanks to Oops! I Read Again Tours for organizing this! :)


Today's my tour stop for this bundle and I'm reviewing two of them!

17 May 2015

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible. 
But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests. 
Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.


I was so excited for the special international edition of The Heir that I asked my sister to buy it for me on the release date! (I'm just twelve, so I'm kind of not allowed to go to malls whenever I want/need to.) Thank you so much to my sister, Fay from Bibliophile Soprano! :)

I had fun while reading The Heir- especially on the middle parts. The first chapters bored me a little and I always thought: GIVE ME THE SELECTION PART ALREADY!.

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: May 6, 2014


The time has come for one winner to be crowned. 
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.


I still read this book despite my opinions on The Elite because I liked book one so much!  I don't regret reading this- not even a bit- because I enjoyed being in America's world once again. 

16 May 2015

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Pulication Date: April 23, 2013

Goodreads Summary:

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.

Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip awa


This is the book two for The Selection series. Click here to see my thoughts on book one.

I loved book one, but I'm kind of disappointed with this one. I felt like this was just written to stretch the Maxon-America-Aspen story into a trilogy.

14 May 2015

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: April 24, 2012

Goodreads Summary:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


This is the first YA book I've ever read, and I'm happy because I wouldn't be blogging without The Selection; I wouldn't go YA Romance-crazy, who knows?

In The Selection, Illea had this caste system with numbers representing their class: One being the highest, Eight being the lowest. The Ones were the royalties, while the Eights were the homeless. The possible jobs depend on their caste, like Fives cannot be models and Sixes cannot be singers. If two people from different castes marry each other, the girl joins the boy in his caste. That was America's problem. She needed to save up for her and Aspen (Six). Their relationship was sort of hidden. Her mother wanted her to join the Selection and told her she could apply for a job if she applied for the Selection. 

I didn't connect with America well in the first half of the book because I felt like she was too self-and-Aspen-centered. However, she got much better in the Selection. Now, Maxon, he is a very patient guy. In fact, most "patient guys" make it to my mental Favorite Fictional Boys (and Maxon made it!). Maxon is just soooo cute!

"One can never help being born into perfection." - America Singer

I love the lines! Points for all the quotes in The Selection. I don't really consider the thing I quoted  a quote, but it's possible to make a bookmark out of that.

The plot is very interesting, but it takes long to explain everything essential. The first few chapters were a blur, like "What are castes?" and I was confused with America being her name, and how she was a singer while her surname is Singer. My little confusion was one of the reasons why I kept on reading. And as I read on, feels started to grow. I started to ship Maxerica!

I recommend this book to people who appreciate romance stories of any age (this is pretty light).


13 May 2015

Review + Giveaway: Velvet by Temple West

Author: Temple West
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Feiwel and Friends)
Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Goodreads Summary:

First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.

After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.

Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?

Special thanks to Bibliophile Soprano for lending me a copy! :)


First of all, I don't regret borrowing this book from my sister. (Thank you sooo much!) After reading this book, I became emotionally attached to the copy and I wanted it to be on my own shelf.

The book cover is ultra gorgeous. I enjoyed tilting the book just to emphasize the glossy Velvet!

Caitlin Holte was this tragic and depressed girl, and I really liked her development throughout the book. I enjoyed being in her world. Her POV was so relatable and laugh-able, and thanks to that, there was no dull moment. Her reaction to her mother's death was realistic, but it made me not like her at first. Her friends were good cool and funny (Trish and Meghan!)!

Speaking of "there is no dull moment," the writing. It's sooo natural. Like Temple West is talking to you. And I ALWAYS ENJOY BOOKS LIKE THAT.

Now Adrian. He's so cute and awkward and he has a much longer line of patience compared to Caitlin. He's the type of character that's certainly likeable. In fact, he's now part of my mental Favorite Fictional Boys! AND I WANT MY OWN ADRIAN.

Temple West's idea of vampires is interesting. The science looked really serious and original and awesome.

Velvet is a fun read, and I love the humor. I normally don't like chapter titles, but the titles in Velvet were part of the things that kept me reading on. I read this book faster than my normal rate because I simply can't put it down. Caitlin and Adrian's moments were so adorable! The focus of the story was more on the romance than the demon threat thing. And, thank goodness there was no evident love triangle.

I definitely recommend this book, and I WANT MORE. I need the sequel right now!

RATING: 6.25/5

This giveaway is affiliated with Fay of Bibliophile Soprano.

12 May 2015

Review + Giveaway: Buqo YA Bundle 3: Finding Fairytales

Organized by Oops! I Read Again Tours

We all want the happy ending, the dream come true. But what if it doesn’t happen? How far would you go to get that “ever after?” Would you change who you are? Would you swallow your pride? Is the story really going to be as perfect as you think? Follow the path of these characters and see where they lead.


The first story  that I read in this bundle was When Cocoy Became Kikay by CP Santi because the title really caught my eye.
Kikay. Filipino slang word for someone (female) who loves make-up, fashion, accessories and the likes. 
It was a quick read, and it never got me bored. After reading When Kokoy became Kikay, I ended up saying "Uy guys, ang ganda nung When Cocoy!" (Hey guys, When Cocoy is beautiful!)

Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza was actually longer than how I expected the short stories to be (but it can't really go as a novel so...) but it got me after reading the first chapter! I liked Grace and Jason's development throughout the story And... Violet and Grace's KPop love! ♥ 

Shoutout to Love in The Time of Viral Videos for being so unique! I've never read anything else like that before. The only thing that I didn't like about this is that this was more of reactions than the happenings.

I recommend this bundle to you guys, especially to those going through a big change. For this week, this bundle is available for only 0.99 USD (45 PHP)! Get it on  the Buqo store!

Buqo is giving away one powerbank to a lucky Philippine resident!

Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet

TOP TEN TUESDAY is a feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

It's not just the book that I love, also the author behind its brilliance! 

I was searching The Broke and Bookish's future topics for Top Ten Tuesday when this topic caught my eye. Because to be honest, there were missed opportunities for me to meet the authors I want to and feel the glory: this author wrote such a brilliant thing. 

in no particular order:

1. Jenny Han- she's part of the Missed Opportunities list, so I want to be there, the next time she visits some place I can go to.

2. Kiera Cass- she has an upcoming book signing event on September and I HAVE to go there!

3. Pseudonymous Bosch- I LOOOOVE THE SECRET SERIES. He writes like he's talking to the reader, and I love it when authors do that. They seem to predict what's going on in my mind and most of the time, they're correct. And yeah, I'd love to meet Gilbert Ford too!

Me with V!!! :DDD 

4. Veronica Rossi- I met her once because of my sister, and I would love to see her again in person. By that time, I have to have finished the Under the Never Sky trilogy. I think she's friendly because I was just taking pictures and then she called me and shebam. Glory.

5. Jay Asher- Thirteen Reasons Why was the first about-suicide-book I read, and it changed me.

6. Jennifer Niven- All the Bright Places is the newest book in my mental Favorite Books list. I cried a lot, and my bookmark even got wet.

7. Kaye Dee- When a Kiss Falls was my favorite in Taking Chances, and I look forward to more of her YA romance stories.

8. Ransom Riggs- I still remember the picture of the creepy santa. I saw him in person once, but we didn't really interact or something, so I wouldn't call it meeting him.

9. Paige McKenzie- She's not a ghost, but I want to play Monopoly with her (or maybe checkers, since it's faster).

10. Jill Santopolo- I enjoy reading and rereading (or should I say: replaying) Summer Love, because up to now, I haven't encountered all the endings. And I can't be that organized! Writing something like choose-something/choose-your-own-path is hard, so muuuuch wow for her.

This is just ten, and every YA/MG author would be glorious to meet! :) (If only I had a mental masterlist of all their names and faces...)

10 May 2015

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children's Books)
Publication Date: January 6, 2015

Goodreads Summary:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Thanks to Bibliophile Soprano for lending me her copy :)


RATING: 10/5

Unlike my usual style, for this review, I put my rating first just to tell you that you need to read this book. It's amazing. It made me cry. I love the author's note too.

This is the second about-suicide-book I've read (Thirteen Reasons Why was the first), and so far, I like about-suicide books, not because of all of the death, I just like them.

Erin's Note: This review may contain big spoilers that you may not want to read, so please pay extra attention to the 

spoiler warning.



I'm gonna start with the cover. It's beautiful and simple. I actually came to a realization that it was very related to Finch and his Post-its of thoughts just now.

The flow of the story wasn't too fast or too slow, and the cuts for the perspectives are short. The book has a lot of quotes in it, and I'm gonna feature some randomly. :)

"Sometimes, Ultraviolet, things feel true to us even if they're not."
"It's late.""That depends on who you ask. See, I don't necessarily think it's late. I think it's early. Early in our lives, early in the night, early in the new year. If you're counting, you'll notice the earlys outnumber the lates. 

And they were quoting The Waves, and I love it when they do that. I don't even know if The Waves does exist, so I'll search it later.

For the names, I had a little trouble understanding what Finch (the name) is. Is it Theodore's surname? Is it his second name? But hours ago, I reexamined All the Bright Places' cover, and noticed this: "boy called Finch and a girl named Violet." And Finch was on Theodore's house's mailbox, so yeah, I think it's his surname. Correct me if I'm wrong. :) And I like how he called her Ultraviolet. Finch is supercool.


I admit, I'm a Swiftie, and I was just about to write something like this book is tragic and beautiful when I remembered the song.

They changed each other positively. I felt so happy when Violet started counting the days differently. Finch has always thought of suicide, and he somehow finds a way to postpone it, and Violet became a way.

Their wanderings were beautiful. People from my school actually call me Dora for being short and always walking around, and this book even pushed my mini adventures more.


I knew it was coming when Finch disappeared. But it took me some seconds to realize what just happened. Then I reread it. Then I just cried and cried. Violet wandering alone made me cry more.

"You're the best friend I've ever had, Theodore Finch." And he is, even more so than Eleanor.
And she lost both.


I kept on crying up to around five minutes after finishing this book. I was so emotional.

I think that suicide is in a way, selfish. You just end your own problems, then what? Nothing happens next to you. And you leave the people who care for you in sadness.


This book is Ultra Remarkey-able. I think I'll remember this for the next ten thousand years of my life.

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7 May 2015

ARC Review: Lottery Boy by Michael Byrne

Lottery Boy
Author: Michael Byrne
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2015

Goodreads Summary:

A fast-moving and gripping thriller with a powerful emotional engagement; this is a young boy’s story of loss and unbearable hope as he survives on London’s streets.

Reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, this contemporary adventure story set on the streets of London follows a boy whose luck is about to change. Since his mother's death, Bully has lost his old life. Living rough with his dog, Jack, he can’t imagine his future. But one day, in the last birthday card she ever gave him, he finds a winning lottery ticket, a last gift from his mum that suddenly offers such hope. If only he can get to his prize on time. Life is not that simple. Bully’s struggle to survive has just got a whole lot harder. They’re after him on the streets, everyone wants a piece of him. And even if he does claim all that money, will he really be winning what he needs the most?

Special thanks to Bibliophile Soprano for lending me her copy! Much love xx

Out on the streets, in with a chance. A breathtaking race to survive.

This is a sad story, and it's like I can feel Bully's struggle through reading this book. Lottery Boy brought up some things in my head. This book told me, money isn't bad, but the love for it is.

The clocking system of this book reminded me of In Time, one of my favorite movies. 
In In Time, when time runs out, you lose your life, but in Lottery Boy, when Bully's time runs out, he loses his chance for a good life.

His timer added to the thrill: If the timer shows up every like, two paragraphs, you know something actioney is going on. Bully's ways of escaping excite me. Sometimes I feel sorry for Jack(y) because I think that's a lot for a dog.

The plot is good, and I didn't find anything mainstream in this book (winning the lottery doesn't even look mainstream to me). I didn't expect the ending so plus points. :)

Overall, I like this book and it didn't bore me. The only thing that bothered me while reading this book is that I can't understand some of Bully's words, but I guess the reason is I'm not good with British slang.

RATING: 4.75

6 May 2015

Buqo YA Bundle 2: Sweet Complications (Excerpts + Giveaway)

Buqo YA Bundle 2: Sweet Complications
This bundle is available on the Buqo store for only 0.99 USD!

Thanks to Oops! I Read Again Tours for organizing the tour! :)

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.

D’01 by Sassy Fova

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

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

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

“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

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

Tamang-tama at binaba nga kosa 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.

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