Icon of the Indecisive

Icon of the Indecisive by Mina V. EsguerraIcon of the Indecisive by Mina V. Esguerra
Interim Goddess of Love # 1
Publisher: Bright Girl Books
My copy: review copy from the author

College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?

* * *

So at the end Queen of the Clueless by Mina V. Esguerra, I was pretty much sad for Hannah, and I was wondering what will happen next. I won’t explain why I was sad, but if you’ve read a lot of trilogies like I do, second books usually end on a sad/cliffhanger note, so it was kind of expected. I was very, very glad to hear that Mina planned to release Hannah’s third and last book, Icon of the Indecisive, early, because I need to know what will happen next!

Slight spoilers for the first two books starts here! The story opens on Valentine’s Day, the day when Hannah as the Interim Goddess of Love, will become most busy. Hannah is a little bit tired of handling other people’s love problems, and she wants to focus on her own this time around. But since Quin is supposed to fall in love with an extraordinary human girl, Hannah figures may it’s time to give Robbie the Cute Human a chance. But Quin’s acting just a little strange lately. Not to mention there’s Vida, who still hasn’t explained what she did to Hannah, and Diego, who asks strange things of Hannah. How will Hannah ever focus on her own life now? Spoiler warning ends here.

Let’s just say this book had me…er, squeeing more than half the time. Hee. There were many, many things I wanted to ask at the end of the second book, but I’m very glad to report that this third book delivers. Questions were answered here, and loose ends were tied up nicely, with a lot more explanations to what the gods and goddesses can do. I liked that Hannah can do more goddess-y stuff here, and that we get to see her grow more here with her own decisions in life. I like that there’s more Robbie the Cute Human here (because he is a cute human :D), and there’s just a lot more swoon here.

As far as the ending goes…I got the ending I wanted. But it’s not just that, and I liked the message about how these characters will get to that ending. I won’t say anything more, but if we’ve talked about these books lately, then you’ll know why I was very happy with how this ended. Very happy. <3

Okay, I was partially squeeing there, did you notice? I actually got to read the book waaay earlier than the release because Mina asked me to be a part of the Interim Goddess of Love audio commentary (with Chachic, Chris and Meann) that you can download here. Not only do you get to hear us talk, but you also get to hear some juicy trivia about the series. But listen to it after you’re done with the series, because you don’t really want to be spoiled. :)

If you want something cute, light with so many #feels, or if you just want an easy introduction to Filipino fiction with a bit of Filipino folklore, make sure you pick up the Interim Goddess of Love series. And lucky you who won’t have to wait long to see how Hannah’s story ends. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
The Girl Who Read and Other Stories
Chachic’s Book Nook

Reviews of other Interim Goddess of Love books:
#1 Interim Goddess of Love
#2 Queen of the Clueless

Queen of the Clueless

Queen of the CluelessQueen of the Clueless by Mina V. Esguerra
Interim Goddess of Love # 2
Publisher: Bright Girl Books
My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle Store

If you’ve been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don’t worry — Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity’s love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn’t as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It’s frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she’s decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn’t exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it’s not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it’s not what people want.)

* * *

Hannah Maquiling is still the interim Goddess of Love, and this time around, she’s taken her best friend Sol as her project. Not because she was summoned, but because Sol is her best friend and if her goddess powers can help, then she would willingly use it. But instead of getting Sol together with someone, Hannah is actually trying to split them up. She’s all for her best friend’s happiness, yes, but not it if involves a boyfriend who steals from people. That’s what the Goddess of Love would do, right?

After a long wait, the second book of Mina V. Esguerra’s Interim Goddess of Love series is finally out! I was really, really excited to read this that even if I said I would finish reading Les Miserables first before anything else, I dove right in. I was so excited to read about Hannah, and the cute guys (god and human) around her. Hee. Queen of the Clueless is still as entertaining as the first book, despite having a slightly different tone. I liked how there seemed to be a villain in this book, someone who seemed like a complete mystery to them, even the gods. Somehow this had less of the cutesy romance and more of the fantasy. While I still kind of wanted more swoon, I think seeing more of how the gods and goddesses’ powers work was also fun.

There was more Diego here than Quin, although since we’re in Hannah’s head, Quin was always still there. My heart went out to Hannah at the final parts of the book — girl, I think most of us have been where you are, too! Except maybe we didn’t fall in love with the God of the Sun. I liked how we got to know Diego here, though, and it feels like it’s always more fun when he’s around. Robbie the Cute Human is also growing on me, and I may be thisclose to changing my side from Quin to Robbie. But who knows what will happen by the third book?

This had more of a cliffhanger ending than the first one, which I understood because like in Mira Grant’s Deadline, the second book is really a bridge to the end. If you’re looking for things to make sense in this one…well, you won’t, not so much. No loose ends were tied in this, so it’s really more of Hannah finding out more about her powers and the complications of her feelings. But more theories can be formed (and if you have some, let’s talk about it. Because I kind of need to talk to someone about my theories, haha). And I think an indicator of a good second book in a trilogy is when you want to get the next book in your hands now now now  when you’re done with it. Because I kind of want to get the last book in my hands now now now. :)

Queen of the Clueless is currently available in ebook format on Amazon, but there will be an international paperback version with that cool cover up there (IGoL has a pretty new cover, too!). The Philippine edition of Interim Goddess of Love published by Summit books should be out by Valentine’s Day, too — that’s yesterday, so I think it’s time to hunt for copies in local bookstores soon. :D

Interim Goddess of Love

Interim Goddess of Love – Summit edition

Rating:

Other reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook
reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac

Reviews of other Interim Goddess of Love books:
#1 Interim Goddess of Love

Interim Goddess of Love

Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra

Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra
Interim Goddess of Love # 1
Publisher: Bright Girl Books
Number of pages: 180
My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle Store

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.)

* * *

You know a book is good when you go back and reread some most of the book the moment you’re done. Sometimes it’s just to read your favorite parts, but for others (especially for novellas), it’s almost like reading the entire book because you just can’t get enough of it and you want to relive the events of the book.

Such is Mina V. Esguerra’s newest novel (and her YA debut), Interim Goddess of Love. College sophomore Hannah Maquiling is a scholar in exclusive Ford River College, and she’s caught the eye of Joaquin Apolinario, aka Quin, one of the hottest guys in school. But it wasn’t in a way that she (or anyone else) expected. She caught Quin’s eye because Quin is also the Sun God, and he needs her to be the Interim Goddess of Love. The real Goddess of Love has gone missing, and someone needs to fill in her shoes for a while, and Hannah fits the bill. Hannah accepts (because the Sun God was nice, not to mention cute), and starts using her powers on Kathy Martin, a shy classmate who’s all flustered about her secret admirer.

So cute. I’ve always loved Mina’s books, but Interim Goddess of Love had me giggling and grinning when I was done (and when I was rereading some parts), almost like how I was when I was reading Fairy Tale Fail. I admit that I may have already loved Hannah before I read the book — she had me at this: “She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice.” But I loved her even more as I got to know her. Hannah’s voice sounds authentic and different from other YA heroines — it’s nice to read someone who isn’t too whiny and who doesn’t sound too old for her age, too. She’s a very likeable and reliable narrator, and she sounds like someone I would want to be friends with. It was so easy to stick with her and to root for her and hope for a happy ending for her. She’s not perfect, but boy did I find her easy to relate to. :P

Speaking of happy endings, there are the boys. As usual, Mina created very crushable guys to go with her heroine, not just as romantic interests. I found it funny that one of the questions that came up while reading this book was “Who’s your favorite?” That’s because there’s not one but three guys in the book, each with their own charm. I am particularly fond of Quin, but mostly because he’s the one in spotlight, but the other two guys provide good contrast (and competition) for the god of the sun.

That’s another thing to love about this book too: Interim Goddess of Love is not your usual contemporary YA romance because it had elements of Philippine mythology in it. Oh, you thought the gods and goddess reference were just figurative? It’s not. It doesn’t provide an in-depth discussion on Philippine mythology, but if just a taste of it, then you’ll get just that in this book. Then like Hannah, you’d end up wanting to know more because there’s just so much more to know. I look forward to reading more about them and how exactly they all relate to each other in the next books. :)

Interim Goddess of Love is another great book from Mina, and I still can’t stop grinning when I think of my favorite scenes. My only wish was it was longer because I definitely wanted more when I was done. I am so glad that this is the first book of a planned series and that the next book will be released later this year. I can’t wait to read about Hannah’s next goddess project (and more Quin moments, hihi :”> ).

Rating:

Other reviews:
Ficsation

More info: Interview with Mina V. Esguerra at Rocket Kapre