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Bookbed recommends: ‘Welcome to Envy Park’ by Mina V. Esguerra

by KB Meniado

It sounds selfish and ungrateful, doesn’t it? Bemoaning life’s imperfections and focusing on the negatives instead of counting all the amazing things you actually have going on for you, I mean. (And by you, I mean all of us self-doubting youngins on the verge of adulthood.)

But it’s normal, just the circle of life happening. You get to a certain point in your life, whether it’s your twenties, forties or even seventies, and you feel like you aren’t turning into the person you expected you would be.

It might feel like the universe is picking on you exclusively, but really, life crises happen to millions of people all over the world.

Even in the literary world.

Take Mina V. Esguerra’s Welcome to Envy Park. When I picked it up last month, I was expecting an astounding love story because after all, we did not hail Mina as the Goddess of Love Stories for nothing.

But while the romance, which was the slow-burning yet candid kind I enjoy, was splendid, it was Moira’s quarter-life crisis that left a mark. It was so on-point, I could easily pull examples from what I’ve been witnessing in real life—in my colleagues, friends and myself.

You and I both know that we already know what to do with this so-called crisis. But if you need to be reminded, this book does it well. It’s good to remember that it’s not about things, that it’s simply you—how you manage, how you react and how you decide.

Just like Moira. She thought she was falling behind her successful contemporaries but it was only her insecurity talking. She thought she deserved a better job and higher compensation but it was just her discontent speaking. She thought the answer could only be found in another place but that was only her desire to escape urging her.

I’d love to chalk the satisfying ending up to Ethan because it’s a love story after all. But I bet once you read the book, you’ll agree with me: Moira figured it all out on her own. So, surely, you and I will, too. ☁

Welcome to Envy Park has guide questions! Have a go at two of them below:

“What do you know about “quarter life crisis”? Do you think it’s a legitimate stage one might go through while in their twenties?”

“If you’re currently a Filipino resident, do you have plans of moving to another country soon? What are your reasons for doing so?”


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