Rewind Down: The ‘I Heart Iloilo’ series by Clarisse David

by KB Meniado Welcome back to Rewind Down, where we sit back, relax and revisit stories. This is inspired by The Rewatch Project of Forever Young Adult. (Read our previous sessions here.) For this session, we’re returning to the I Heart Iloilo series by Clarisse David, a YA+NA romance series set right here in the Philippines. The first book, Keeping the Distance, follows the high school romance between model student Melissa and trouble-making basketball player Lance, while the second one, Making It Complicated, is about a summer fling between photographer Cam and drummer Hunter that turned out to be more than just that. Here…

Bookbed reviews: ‘Gitarista’ by Reev Robledo

by KB Meniado THE STORY This historical novel takes place during the rise of cosmopolitan Manila in the 70s. Buildings towered over paved roads, vehicles caused traffic jams, business districts were expanding, and the music and arts scene was a burgeoning form of entertainment and a stark representation of the country’s national identity. Raised by a single mother in the province, guitar virtuoso Alejandro Sebastian is thrust into the classical music scene when he gets accepted into The Conservatory of Music. With the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) a few months away, eccentric maestro Pablo Rocca trains his gifted…

Bookbed reviews: ‘Down and Across’ by Arvin Ahmadi

by KB Meniado THE STORY Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion. With college applications looming, Scott’s parents pressure him to get serious and settle on a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks off to Washington, DC, to seek guidance from a famous professor who specializes in grit, the psychology of success. He never…

Bookbed reviews: ‘Love, Hate & Other Filters’ by Samira Ahmed

by KB Meniado THE STORY American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school. There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of…

From the Bookbed Room: ‘Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet’

by Bea Masaluñga Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet is a collection of contemporary stories about cute first encounters turned into romance. Not all people enjoy instalove but once in a while, you’ll want it if you’re looking for something fluffy. The stories are a hit-or-miss but my favorites were by Katharine McGee and Sara Shepard (both are new authors to me). ☁ Continue reading on Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic ☁

From the Bookbed Room: ‘Because You Love to Hate Me’ edited by Ameriie

by Bea Masaluñga Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie is a collection of short villain stories where authors are paired up with Booktubers for prompts. Most of the authors here are new to me except Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star, which gives me an idea which writing style I prefer. Ameriie wrote a solid introduction, and as for the stories, most of them were a miss and okay-ish for me. ☁ Continue reading on Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic ☁

Bookbed reviews ‘A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares’ by Krystal Sutherland

by KB Meniado I don’t want to blame my superstitious upbringing for my irrational fears but… clipping nails at night? A big NO—somebody will get sick and possibly die. Pass by a hearse? Throw coins and/or blow your horn to avoid bad luck. Woke up from a nightmare? Bite your pillow and bite wood thrice. The list goes on, but I assure you, it’s commonplace here in the Philippines to have many of these so-called weird beliefs so I’m not exactly a snowflake. A lot of us lead our lives with these strange practices. Just like Esther Solar. THE STORY Ever…

From the Bookbed Room: ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by Andre Aciman

by Miguel Galang Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman follows Elio as he reminisces the time when he was 17 years old and living in Italy with his parents. Every summer, Elio’s parents would take in an academic guest who would live in their villa for six weeks and help with his father’s academic paperwork. They also get to take Elio’s bedroom, much to his annoyance. The guest, 24-year-old academic Oliver, immediately intrigues Elio with his carefree disposition. Sparks fly and unsure feelings rise up in this sweeping and fleeting summer love affair… For the most part, I had trouble connecting with…

From the Bookbed Room: ‘What to Say Next’ by Julie Buxbaum

by Shealea Iral Let me quickly throw this out there: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum is a wonderfully written, heartwarmingly captivating novel that I will actively recommend other people to read! It is meant to be read and passed on to another pair of hands. By that, I don’t mean that it’s a story you should only read once; rather, it is one that leaves such a monumental impact that you feel compelled to share it with someone else. ☁ Continue reading on That Bookshelf Bitch ☁

From the Bookbed Room: ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas

by Kevin Dones “We’re the ones who get the short end of the stick, but we’re the ones they fear the most.” The Hate U Give is certainly a novel that should be included in every country’s required reading list for schools because of its authentic approach to the topics of unnecessary police violence, dark implications of the illegal drug industry and the enigmatic contemporary lives of African-Americans. It has been a long time since I read a book that sparked this kind of reaction in me and I am not ashamed to say that I am a THUG trash! In…