06 April 2019

#romanceclass: Be Careful What You Wish For by C.P. Santi

I went into this feeling hopeful because it had all my favorite plot tropes in the mix: pretend bf/gf, celebrity with non-celebrity and making someone jealous. I know, I’m horrible. (But am I really?) Hey, we all have guilty pleasure plot tropes right? 

The problem with these kinds of tropes, in my opinion, is transition. I need to see that the story is heading in the natural direction smoothly. In this case, I wanted to see the characters go from awkward pretend high profile bf/gf to a normal, genuinely loving couple. While they ultimately became a real couple in the end (non-spoiler alert!), I find that getting there was a struggle. 

Where do I begin?

There’s the fact that Ana, despite being 32 years old, is childish when it comes to her relationship. Fake or not, communication is key! You’ll get into some form of a business deal? Talk about it! Discuss the terms, and as her friend put it, if the terms seem like they are no longer being met, maybe it’s time to renegotiate. Ana is inexperienced with romantic relationships, I get that. But what I don’t understand is her lack of maturity. You don’t need to be a serial dater to understand, at that age, that hashing it out is important. It frustrated me whenever she was having internal monologues. She’s described as being spunky, independent, strong, intelligent and all that good stuff but where was all that when it mattered? Where was that Ana when she was worried over her place in Ken’s life? In reality, yes, people act stupid when infatuated or in love. But I don’t appreciate it happening in such a short story where her moments of weakness couldn’t be spread out evenly. 

And that too. Let’s talk about the length of the book. I understand that this is intended to be a short one. Having said that, I just wished there wasn’t so much cramped in such few pages. Too many names of friends, colleagues, and other random characters. It would’ve been fine if they weren’t all so actively participating. It gave me such a headache going through dialogues involving more than two people. Oh and don’t even get me started on the direction the story took at the last quarter of the book. It’s like the story sped up five times! I felt like I was reading a Filipino telenovela where all the good things are crammed in the end to compensate for all the hassle in the middle. 

Lastly, I feel that the relationship and characters could have been fleshed out more. I wanted to believe that Ken, without all his money and fame, is an honest to goodness lovable person. I wanted to know what made Ana the girl of his dreams. I wanted to see how their pretend relationship progressed. But most of what I saw where descriptions of who they are and rundowns what they did. It all felt lacking. 

I am not happy. 

I liked it for the setting — oh how I love Japan — and the tropes. However, the execution was disappointing. I would choose Santi’s other books over this one.

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