Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Title: Serenade
Author: Claire Du
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: 2017 by Spark Books
Source: Copy provided by the author
Pages: 86
Genre: New Adult, Romance

What would you tell your 15 year-old self if you come face-to-face with your boy band crush, 10 years later?

Elise Rodriguez is a 25year-old corporate junkie who has everything she could ask for except for a boyfriend. So when her best friend dares her to join a dating website, she decides she should do at least one thing she will regret when she turns 30. No one meets her expectations better than handsome surgeon Julian, who becomes her boyfriend. To celebrate her 365th day with him, Elise flies to the Queen City of the South for some couple time and, yes, canoodling. But she finds out her perfect boyfriend isn’t so perfect after all.

Enters boy band has-been Connor Ortiz—snobbish, easy going, and hot. Connor challenged Elise to see the world in a different angle. Set in Cebu, Elise and Connor takes us to amazing tourist spot destinations.

▴ Any National Bookstore Branch ▴ Anvil

Alright, here we go. I've been stalling in posting this for a while now because my dislike outweighs my like in a way. Claire is a good friend of mine and I have been honest to her about my feelings towards the book. Serenade just hit shelves and I don't want my review to be the first one up. It might still influence people in a different way (as if people even read my reviews lol thanks to those who do though) and I don't want that. I want nothing but success for her and I am so SOOOO happy I got the chance to read her work. But I gotta do what I gotta do. So I guess, I'll start with the things I think and feel need to improve.

The major issue I can only tell you falls under the technical category. Story wise, the essence is there. But like, there are several LONG sentences I needed reread a few times over to get the gist, then my brain would kind of rephrase what I read and I'd come up with a shorter version? The conversations are so stiff I couldn't help but cringe at times. And I can see how rushed the printing process had been because I lost count on how many typos I saw. I wouldn't mind if this is an advanced copy but this is actually the finished copy. My reading experience was horribly bumpy for such a short story and that alone landed this one the one-star rating.

Serenade is a tiny book (less than a hundred pages) graced with a pretty cover. Serenade is something about your high school crush reappearing in your life and he happens to be the one to point out how shitty your current relationship is. Then he tours you around and treats you nice and when you finally kiss, it starts to rain. How much more cliche can we get? I hate how controlling, bossy and desperate Elise is. SERIOUSLY. I still can't understand what the hell this person really wants. She does a lot of stupid things, I'm totally okay with whatever she does but damn, Elise. You don't get to complain after you made shitty choices. There's a lot more to hate about this character but I'm afraid I need to stop. It's stressing me out. What a brat. (Wait for the part when she just got back to the office to know the brat part I'm talking about)

Now on to the part I really liked.

Giiiiiirl, the setting! It's in Cebu! I'll tell you this, I have only been there once but I instantly fell in love with the city! I can see myself moving there for good! So imagine when this book took me back to Cebu, I started making funny noises because I can legit imagine where I would possibly spot them and all that. Serenade reminded me of how beautiful the people in Cebu are and how home-y the city is. Aaaah, thank you Serenade for bringing me back. Now you made me crave for lechon. And this part redeemed two stars for the book.

Serenade could definitely use some more editing. If you're up for some puso (either the heart or the rice) and can ignore the typos, this is a quick and fun read I can still recommend.

Thank you so much Claire for sending me a copy!

"It's just that, it's tiring, you know. When all I ever wanted was for someone I love to love me back."

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