Undercover Tai Tai

Undercover Tai Tai by Maya O. Calica
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Number of pages:  224
My copy: paperback, bought from National Bookstore

Amanda Tay thinks she is losing her mind or starring in a surreal film by Stanley Kubrick.

You would be too if you’ve been knocked unconscious on your first date in 27 years only to awaken in a beautifully appointed apartment that looks like a page from Tatler Magazine.

Last time she checked, the film student-turned-book researcher was renting a tiny room in a flat, so what was she doing sprawled on a king-sized bed with 600-thread count bed sheets and a ponkan-sized bump on her head?

The Undercover Tai Tai is a hilarious journey of a young woman who, while pretending to be someone else, makes connections with her past and discovers parts of herself that she never thought existed.

* * *

Undercover Tai Tai is my first Maya O. Calica book, and I bought a copy as a thank you to her for giving us a pep talk for National Novel Writing Month. I have been wanting to read another one of the Asian chick lit novels republished by Anvil in the Philippines after I read Amazing Grace, so I thought it was just timely to get this, too.

Amanda Tay is a small, quiet girl who hates her job and her roommates, does capioera and dreams of something exciting to happen in her life. Her prayers get answered when she accidentally knocks CID Agent Brian out, and soon she finds herself as a new undercover agent mingling with Singapore’s rich and famous socialites to find out what really happened to tai tai Jasmine Kwong.

Undercover Tai Tai is a fun and surprising novel. Surprising, because I was expecting to read one of those typical chick lit stories where the heroine goes through one mishap after another to find herself, but instead I found something a little deviant of the usual chick lit formula. I like watching undercover movies and shows, so this book was a real treat for me because it appealed to the adventurous part of me that liked espionage. It’s fun, because even if the plot is highly unbelievable and requires suspension of disbelief, I thought it was well written and the mystery part of the story was kept well under wraps up until the end. The cast of characters added to the fun of it all, too. I am particularly fond of Agent Omni, who works on Amanda’s designer gadgets (such as diamond bracelets that has hidden surveillance cameras and binoculars) and doubles as her personal stylist as she goes undercover. Oh and let’s not forget Alexis, the crime fighting chihuahua. Gotta love it when there’s a dog involved in the story. ;)

Like I said, it’s a fun novel, and it was a good and quick in-between read. While I don’t hold it in the same regard as the other chick lit novels I liked this year, I thought it was still pretty good. If you’re looking for a usual chick lit novel you may want to skip this, but if you’re in for something a little bit different, then I suggest you pick this up and enjoy the ride. I am pretty sure Maya wrote this as her NaNoWriMo novel because Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo’s founder, is cited in the acknowledgments, and that explains all the craziness that happened in the story and, of course, the crime-fighting dog. :)

Rating: [rating=3]

Other Reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook

Teaser Tuesday: Amazing Grace by Tara FT Sering

Last week, I blogged about two books I was currently reading, hoping that one of them would be book # 50 for 2010 before the first half of the year ended. Book # 50 ended up to be a different book, one that I bought on a whim and finished in two days. Crazy, I know. But I guess I overestimated myself with the two books since they were quite long.

Since I already gave teasers for those two books, I’m giving one from another. Yes, I read a lot of books at the same time, and I know that’s crazy, but I have different books for different occasions. I only read one book a time if it’s a classic, but since most of the books I’m reading are all YA/fantasy/chick lit, I can afford to focus more than one.

Anyway. Enough of that. Today’s Teaser Tuesday (hosted by MizB) is from an Asian chick lit novel that I got a week ago.

Amazing Grace by Tara FT SeringAmazing Grace by Tara FT Sering

Pre-school teacher, Grace Lim, thinks that she has finally found her man at age 27. Mr-Blind-Date-No.-7, Mike, has turned out to be everything that she s ever wanted, dreamt about, and more!

With a marriage proposal in hand, Grace thinks that she is set for life. Trouble begins to stir in paradise when Mike informs Grace that he is re-locating from Manila to sunny Singapore because of work.

But the conveniences of modern technology aren’t enough to bridge the distance between Mike and Grace, and what of Mike s colleague Kaela who appears in every photo that Mike s uploaded online?

So Grace decides to give Mike a surprise visit in Singapore but is she ready for what she will find?

Filipino chick lit is starting to grow, and I’m glad to see variety in the choices! Interestingly, the book is written in second person POV, so it’s like I am Grace in the story. I’ve learned to avoid writing in second person in my pieces, because it almost always doesn’t work as well as it should be. I just started reading this book, and I’m liking it so far, so I guess its second person POV works!

Here’s the teaser:

And factoring in the fact that only fictional chicks in movies get the guy they like on the first and second try (or after many cute pratfalls in equally cute outfits), you can expect a period of tumultuous hitting and missing, so getting together with someone by the time you’re 28 will require you to start looking around and dating about…well, last year. (p.15)

Hee! At least I’m not yet at that age yet, so I have time. I think I’m still at the age where I care more about acne treatments than that…but I can’t say I haven’t thought about it!  I’m no fictional chick, though, so I feel like there’s work cut out for me. Eeep! :P

What are you reading this week? :)