In continuation of the #buqoYA blog tour organized by Dianne of the Oops! I Read A Book Again book blog (you can find the stories’ synopses on her blog), here are the excerpts from Bundle 5 called Perfect Moments (Note: Perfect Moments is the common theme of the bundle, but not necessarily the title of the stories).
by Charm Jacinto
I went to the shoreline barefoot and let the small waves tickle my feet. Biela already made friends and was enjoying the day as much as I did. Ben didn’t lie when he said that I will enjoy the beach. The scenery is just so breathtaking. The coast is clear, the skies are blue, powdery sand, and coconut trees are all over the island.
I can hear a reggae song – B.M.D by Insolence playing in the background, one of my favorite beach songs. I let the gentle sea breeze mess my hair and the cool water splash on my aqua sleeveless dress then I closed my eyes and seized the moment.
When I opened my eyes, I saw Brett standing in front me with his gorgeous eyes looking into mine.
“I was gonna tell you that they are all eating at the table” he said in a husky voice.
I snapped out of my reverie. Looking at Brett right now makes me feel safe and calm. Maybe I was staring too long because Brett started to become worried.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I just remembered I forgot to put the suntan lotion in my bag”
“Suntan lotion huh?”
“Yes” I lied. “But seriously, I wanted to thank you for all your effort.”
“Effort for what?”
“Brett, you have my happy list in your head. The sunflowers, photos, beach, Biela…”
“And the quiet moment that I interrupted. So, you’ve noticed huh?” He said scratching his head. “Let’s just say, I’m saving a lab partner in distress.”
“Well, I”m happy to report that I’m getting back on my feet Sir! But what’s in it for you?” I asked curiously.
“I’m practicing my skills on how to save a life. I’m a future doctor, remember?”
“Really Brett? Do you want me to pack up and leave?”
“No no no you just got here. I was just kidding!” He touched my shoulders lightly. “When you became my lab partner, all I ever do is save you from trouble, not that I’m complaining. You’re one happy chaos in my very organized life.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Not really. I still consider you as my friend.”
Someone to Care
by Jessica Larsen
Humigpit ang hawak ko sa dala-dala kong traveling bag nang tumambad sa paningin ko ang malaking yellow two-story house with red roof mula sa kabila ng kinatatayuan kong mataas na metal bars gate. Hinila ko pababa sa knee level skirt ko ang sleeveless tee kong suot at humugot nang malalim na hininga. Tension filled my heart as my fingers hovered over the doorbell, but before I could press it, a teenage boy not far from my age, with tousled black hair and gray eyes, opened the gate. Nanigas ako sa posisyon ko nang magtama ang aming paningin. I saw recognition in his eyes, but before I could speak, a woman’s voice called out.
“Val, bumalik ka rito!”
“Sorry mom! Babalik din ako mamaya!” sagot ng binatilyong sa palagay ko ay may taas na 5 feet, 8 inches, given that I stood about four inches below him. He furrowed his brows at me, and without saying anything more, he dashed down the road before the woman got to us.
[MY SHORT REVIEW]
Someone to Care by Jessica Larsen is one of the stories I edited for #buqoYA, and I can say that it’s a classic hate you-love you story that will make you fall in love with her characters along the way.
As they say in Español, muy bien! 🙂 (P.S. Larsen is a Filipino author living in sunny Spain!)
A Moment Like This
by Sue Donymko
A few minutes later, Noel came out wearing shorts and a snug shirt. His legs were quite hairy, and she caught a glimpse of his trim stomach when his t-shirt lifted as he dried his hair. Kris told herself to quit staring or he might think she’s the maniac.
He laid down on the bed, made himself comfortable, and closed his eyes before acknowledging her statement. “Okay, what do you want?” he said tiredly.
“That’s it, what do I want?” she asked incredulously.
He looked at her and raised both eyebrows. “It’s not as if I don’t know what to not do such as not stare at your legs if you wear shorts,” he said innocently, but his eyes held a teasing gleam.
Kris flushed. “Touché. Okay, no staring. No going to each other’s beds. No undressing in front of each other, no leaving dirty clothes on the floor. I don’t want to see your underwear!”
“What makes you think I wear any?” he said, closing his eyes again.
She gaped at him until he started smiling.
He forced himself to sit up and look at her seriously. “I’m really not going to take advantage of you. I know we’re still in our hormonal years, but I do act like a human being ninety percent of the time,” he said.
This time, she was prepared for his teasing. “And ten percent of the time?” she asked lightly.
“That’s when I start scratching my head with my feet, start licking my balls, and howl at the moon,” he said with mock seriousness before laying down on his bed again.
Kris couldn’t help but laugh at that imagery. She caught him smiling just before he fell asleep.
by KZ Rizman
I turned away the moment Geo tried to kiss me. It just didn’t feel right. None of these, however real they felt to me, was right. Everything was so wrong. Everything that led to this night had been lies – that photo wall, that chance to be with Matt again. If it was me who had been blindsided, I didn’t know. What I did know was that he was putting an end to it all.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my heart thudding against my chest. I’d push him out if I had the strength to do so, but having him that close to me drained me of my will.
He didn’t move nor did he say a thing after that, but I could feel tension slowly rising between us, the distance too close no matter how much I tried to get away from him. I couldn’t breathe. I felt my knees wobble, and I sat on my bed, calming myself.
“Zoey, I really like you,” he said.
“Please don’t.” It was a whisper.
“But I do. I do like you…”
“How could you do this to me?” I yelled at him. What kind of a sadistic asshole pushes a girl to the boy of her dreams, does sweet things for her and then tells her that he likes her, too?
Match Point Mishap
by Madelyn Tuviera
Wency gave him a long look, sucking in his bottom lip as he did so. He tilted his head, squinted his eyes. It was almost as if he was studying Lester, and maybe he was. Maybe this was what Wency did during down time, between matches – watch people move from one side of the court to another, trying to see if there was anything in their normal actions, gestures, reactions that could allude to the next shot they were going to make, or the block they planned to deflect his shots with.
“You look familiar,” Wency whispered. Slowly, he bent his knees before getting down on all fours, looking up at Lester through the narrow gaps of his bangs. “Very familiar.”
Lester took a deep breath. He was really bad at names, but he was dead sure he hadn’t seen Wency prior to the try-outs at the start of the week. His memory of faces and anything visual was impeccable, after all. So it only made sense that if they’d at least bumped into each other in a tournament or in school, Lester would’ve recognized him, picked him out from the crowd of aspirants hoping to make the badminton team. He didn’t have the biggest social circle, but having Jude and Jessica as close friends made him friends with everyone by extension.
And when he mentioned a certain ‘Wency David’ to both of them, they’d only said, “Oh wow, you remembered his name. Must’ve been really good, huh?”
Anything You Want Me To
by Audrine Pascal
“So where’s Via’s boyfriend?” I catch someone blurt out.
I’m supposed to debut Kyle Olvera tonight. I’m supposed to introduce him to all my friends. I’m supposed to make them all drool in envy, because he’s gorgeous and rich and totally hot for me. I’m supposed to drink and dance with him by my side. I’m supposed to take a million make out selfies when we’re good and properly smashed.
Where’s Kyle? The photo saved in my phone flashes before my eyes. Didn’t you see the picture online? It must’ve been shared a million times by now. He’s busy. Busy kissing someone else!
I was already home yesterday when my phone chirped to notify me that Kyle had just created a post. I opened the app to find the picture that would make me stumble backward and stifle an outraged scream.
It’s a close up. There’s Kyle’s unmistakably angular profile and it’s pressed against a face that isn’t mine. Pink lips, delicate cheekbones and unbelievably thick lashes that can only be fake or unfair. The caption: #todaywasafairytale.
Fairytale? What kind of a banal hashtag is that?
The girl is tagged in it. Who the expletives-that-would-make-my-dad-faint is Nicole Valencia? Who does she think she is? Doesn’t she know anything about Kyle and me?
He posted it. He wants me to see it. He wants everyone to know.
A boy breaking up with a girl is already bad. A boy breaking up with a girl, then getting it on with another one, is a jerk. A boy breaking up with a girl via text is listed in the dictionary under the word ‘asshole’.
But a boy breaking up with a girl, using a picture of him sticking his tongue down someone else’s throat, uploaded on social media?
OMFG, I want to die.
Title: Match Point Mishap
Author: Madelyn Tuviera
Format: E-book (ARC)
“Shit happens to the best of us,” goes a saying, and Lester Torres, a now-starving student-artist, cannot agree more. The family business has reached a steady decline. His parents are distraught. His education is at the risk of being put on hold because tuition’s too expensive, impractical. Something they are no longer able to afford. Unwilling to give up, he tries to apply for an athletic scholarship in the hope of keeping the dream alive. He was in the high school badminton varsity team, after all. Might as well put his dormant skill to good use, right? He aces the first few matches, winning them in a breeze, and thinks that he’s got this scholarship in the bag already. Easy as pie.
Enter a talented player by the name of Wency David, and Lester lands the first missed service of his game.
Let me start by telling you that this story reminded me of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan simply because this is probably the only second LGBT-themed story I’ve read.
Anyway, I decided to review this for Bundle 5 (aside from being the primary cover) because I found it unique and something that truly supplements what’s lacking in modern Philippine literature. It’s YA, it’s set in the Philippines, it’s LGBT-themed, and it’s about badminton. In fact, I learned a thing or two about the aforementioned sport because Tuviera‘s writing is so spot on, you’d think she plays the sport professionally (then again, maybe she does).
Overall, I liked it enough to give it a rating of 4 because it’s the kind of story that should be written more about and read in return. It enables people to have a more open mind about the LGBT community, including the challenges and triumphs they face not just in their love lives, but LIFE in general. 🙂
Rating: 4 out of 5
They were the misfits in this place, in this world. They stuck out like a fucking sore thumb, too red from being pushed down for so long. And a boy who likes a boy isn’t a boy who deserves to be happy. That’s what everyone says. That’s what the voice at the back of Lester had been saying for the longest time, for years. Forever. – Match Point Mishap by Madelyn Tuviera
Read the complete stories by getting your own copy of Bundle 5 from Buqo! 🙂
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