by Allana Luta

You know how you first tasted actual grown-up responsibilities in college? Like doing your own laundry, feeding yourself or actually budgeting your allowance for the first time. Taking care of oneself is hard enough, but imagine having the responsibility of taking care of everyone else’s problems. And not just any little ol’ problem, mind you, but matters of the heart. Yikes! You’d need god-like powers (and patience!) to handle all that drama.

And that’s exactly what Hannah got.

THE STORY

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.) Read reviews: Goodreads

WHAT I LIKED

Okay, first up, just the very idea of gods from Philippine mythology living in modern society is already very appealing, I don’t know why we don’t have more local novels like this! Or maybe there are and I just haven’t read them, but then why are they not more popular?

Anyway, I can’t really point out specifically what I liked about this trilogy (most likely because it’s been a… while since I finished reading it). Everything, from the characters to the setting to the challenges that Hannah faced, worked for me. Mystery was used in every story so it was exciting figuring things out along with Hannah and the gang. And even though we’re dealing with love and relationships and crushes, I didn’t find it one bit cheesy, which meant I could read the whole thing without rolling my eyes.

I also loved how each novella had its own quirky style that defined and added personality to how the story was read. The first novella, The Interim Goddess of Love, employed personality test results (Hannah works as a student employee at College Guidance Office). In Queen of the Clueless, Mina (first-name basis, yay! Read our feature on her here) used strategic chess moves to hint at the power struggles in the relationship between two characters. And in The Icon of the Indecisive, readers were introduced to different concepts in psychology. And…

… Well, all these three were very clever.

HOWEVER…

Proofreaders beware: typographical errors abound. 

Also, this was too short! The narrative possibilities of having deities in our midst is endless and warrants a full novel. (Or maybe this is just me being selfish. But seriously, somebody write this story!)

tl;dr

If you like love stories that aren’t cheesy, with fantastical and humorous elements to it, then you’ll fall in love with the Interim Goddess of Love trilogy. ☁

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