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


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

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

2013 Must-Have Books

I almost forgot to come up with this list because of my recent sort-of blogging slump. Thank goodness for archives, though, because I checked my posts during January and found my 2012 Books I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands On list. In order to keep up with tradition, I am coming up with a list for 2013 so I can remember which books to pre-order for myself and use laser labels (assuming I have them, that is).

Besides, it’s fun writing this list.

Image from we heart it

Image from we heart it

And here we go.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee (February 5). I’ve heard of this book around…2009? Early 2010? And finally, it’s coming out. I am so, so excited for this. I loved Demon and Havah, and when I heard that Tosca is writing a book about Judas Iscariot, I knew I had to get it. I actually have a galley of this already, but I am so, so getting a print copy because it’s Tosca. And I’m pretty sure she’s going to tear my heart apart again with this one.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee

Continue Reading →

12 Best Books of 2012

So the 2012 reading year was interesting because I think this is the most I’ve explored different genres. I blame my book club for this, especially with our monthly discussions and their book recommendations. As a result, I didn’t reach the 150-ish book goal. However, I did enjoy exploring these other books that I wouldn’t normally read, so it’s still a pretty good year reading year.

I’ll talk about my reading stats more on another post. First, let’s get the best list out. 12 Best Books for 2012. Let’s get at it, shall we?

  1. Angelfall by Susan EeGruesome, creepy and scary but absolutely fun. I read this book because of all the good reviews I read from my Goodreads friends, and I devoured it in several days. I loved Penryn the kick-ass heroine and the equally bad-ass angels who caused the apocalypse. When is the sequel coming out again? Please make it soon?
    Angelfall by Susan Ee Continue Reading →

Spreading the Mina V. Esguerra love

Oh look, it’s 12-12-12! I can’t let this day pass by without blogging on my personal blog and here, because this date will not pass by again until the next century. I’m no immortal, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be around by the time 12-12-12 rolls around again. ;)

So, I’m going to use the fancy date to plug some of the books by a favorite local author, Mina V. Esguerra! :) I’ve known Mina ever since I read her first book My Imaginary Ex, and asked her for a pep talk for NaNoWriMo Philippines. Ever since then, we’ve ran around sort of similar circles in writing and in the book club, and I’m always excited to hear of the things she’s cooking up. I’ve pushed her books to so many people because her books are good place to start if you want to read Filipino chick lit/romance books. :) So I’m really, really happy to share these Smashwords discount codes that Mina generously provided for the people who stumble upon my blog. :) You can use it for yourself if you haven’t read her yet, or use it to buy an ebook for a friend as a Christmas gift! :) The codes are valid for a year, so you can use it for birthdays of friends in 2013, too!

Fairy Tale Fail
Smashwords link: Fairy Tale Fail
Code: VF92P
* My review for Fairy Tale Fail

Love Your Frenemies
Smashwords link: Love Your Frenemies
Code: CK34B
* My review for Love Your Frenemies

Interim Goddess of Love
Smashwords link: Interim Goddess of Love
Code: RY33Q
* My review for Interim Goddess of Love

If you’re a paperback fan and you’re in the Philippines — fret not! Summit Books is releasing Philippine editions of these books –Fairy Tale Failis already out, and it’s special to me because it’s my first time to be included in an acknowledgments page of a book:

Love Your Frenemies and Interim Goddess of Love will be out soon, too, I think! Also, I hear Queen of the Clueless, the second book of the Interim Goddess of Love series, will be released in ebook format soon, too. :)

So if you haven’t read any Mina V. Esguerra book yet, this is your chance! I would love to hear from you if you decide to get them — and then let’s gossip about which Mina guy is the hottest, yes? ;)

That Kind of Guy

That Kind of Guy by Mina V. EsguerraThat Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra
Publisher: Summit Books
Number of pages: 170
My copy: paperback, won from the author’s contest

Good girl Julie never expected her hot former-player boyfriend to propose marriage. But when he did, she turned him down for reasons even she couldn’t figure out. Will she settle for a nice, safe guy instead? Or will she let him find his way back into her carefully guarded heart?

* * *

Back in college, I was friends with two girls in my org, and we were often called as the Powerpuff Girls because we were always together. Our little group was also known to be the “ate‘s” or the older sisters of the other younger members of the org, which was kind of why we had a kind of impression on others that we always laughed about when we were talking amongst ourselves. Privately, we call ourselves manang‘s (another term for older sisters in some Filipino dialects, but colloquial use refers to being old fashioned older women) because we all have our own levels of being…well, manang. We had levels of being manang based on how people often approach us: one was the ultimate manang because of her strictness (and also because she’s an officer of our org), I come in second because I’m not as strict but not everyone finds it easy to approach me and finally, the last member of our group is the least manang because she’s was just naturally friendlier and the younger members find it easier to confide in her.

Fast forward a few years later, and it’s no surprise that the least manang among all of us is married. The remaining two — well, we’re still pretty manang. :P

I can’t help but remember this particular college memory while I was reading Mina V. Esguerra’s latest book, That Kind of Guy. Julie has always been a good girl, and has always done what was expected of her. How she ended up with bad boy Anton was a mystery, even more when he popped the question to her. The only obvious thing to do when he asked her to marry him was to say no — after all, she wasn’t even sure if she knew Anton well enough after 11 months of “dating”. Julie figures there are enough safe guys out there that fit her personality better, but does she really want that?

Okay, of all of Mina’s heroines, I find Julie both the easiest and hardest to relate to. I can relate to her manang ways, obviously — about how she does the right things, how she tries to be honest and tactful, about how she tends to play safe. I also couldn’t relate to her because unlike Julie, I’m not exactly friendless because of my (attempts at) honesty. I don’t know if that makes me less of a manang then? Anyway, I think Julie can be either likable or unlikable depending on the reader’s POV, but like Mina’s other heroines, her voice still sounds so authentic that it feels like I’m just hearing a story of a friend over a meal. The hero in the story is a familiar one for those who have read Mina’s old books — he was mentioned once in Fairy Tale Fail and was one of the secondary characters in No Strings Attached. I liked that he showed another side in this book, one that wasn’t really expected based on how we were introduced to him in the previous ones. You don’t need to read the two books to really get into this, though, but it’s nice to be surprised at the depth of his character in That Kind of Guy. While Anton is still not going to top my favorite Mina guy (Lucas of FTF — who has a teeny mention here, squee!), I was surprised at how much I ended up liking him in the end.

I think That Kind of Guy will be able to speak to a certain kind of girl who rarely has a starring role in chick lit books — the good girl. This isn’t about a good girl deciding to be bad, or a good girl getting into scrapes that she didn’t deserve because hey, she’s good. It’s about that kind of girl who wasn’t sure what kind of guy she really wanted, if she would take the risk or go for the safe choice. The fun thing about this is that Julie never really had to change much about her being a good girl, even if she tried to be not. Julie didn’t have to change to someone too wild or too careless for her story to move forward. The growth of her character came not from a shocking revelation because of her sudden wild changes, but from the things she proved that she already knew but just needed to be brought out. In the end, That Kind of Guy was really about being certain of your choices and acting on it, even if the outcome is not really guaranteed. To quote (this one is really more specific about those choices):

Next time, just say something. It doesn’t have to be the first date. Maybe the third or the fourth. Don’t wait a year if you’re sure. Certainty is sexy. And owning up to your attraction is sexy, too, and if you do it right and you’re not creepy about it, I bet she will respect you for it anyway even if she does not like you back. (p. 157)

It’s no surprise that I really liked That Kind of Guy. :) I think it just proved Mina’s strength in drawing out characters that different readers can relate to. I really liked the epilogue too, and I’m curious if that new character will have her own story eventually. If she does, then I can’t wait to find out what Mina has in store for her. But even if she won’t have her own story, it doesn’t change the fact that I am still going to read everything that Mina writes. :)


Other reviews:
Girl Next Cubicle