Review: When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao
Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?
Gosh, look at that lovely cover. I can’t choose which I liked best – the warm colors, the paper-cut design that looks like it will just pop out or will be ruined if I run my hand over it, or that really catchy title that just spells love and romance and all the sweet stuff. Right?
Well, not exactly. Ines’s new book is a sweet romance, but there’s a lot of things in Regina and Ben and Lana’s story that kind of hurt. See, Regina has always been the good friend — a loyal wingwoman of sorts to Lana, who was the shiny red apple to her plain dull orange. But when Lana gets her heart broken for the first time, Regina was bent on cursing the guy who did that…until she meets him while she’s out with Lana and starts falling for him. It’s not something she should do, given that Lana is her best friend and she’s clearly not truly over him and again, she’s her best friend. But the heart is a hard thing to fight, and soon, Regina finds herself spending more and more time with Ben, while thinking about how she deserves this kind of love, too. Will she find a way to keep her friend and the love of her life, or will she have to lose one to keep another?
There’s a lot of sweetness and kilig in Regina and Ben’s story, and I really liked Ben from the start, with that coffee cup move. That initial spark set the pace for the rest of the book, and everything about how their relationship unfolded felt sweet and natural but not too sweet — I could totally imagine (and wish, haha) a guy doing what Ben did. It was a pleasure to read how their relationship grew, but the feeling that something was hovering over their heads was there and would not be shaken off. Because things have to fall somewhere, and boy, did it fall. And boy, was it painful. I’ve never been in that situation (thank God), but I’ve had friendship issues in the past and that definitely hurt more than having love issues. Ack.
I love how things were treated in this book in terms of that — how the characters were very three-dimensional that you know there was more to the initial impressions about them. I liked how the complications of having a relationship like Ben and Regina’s were discussed with care that all the loose ends were tied very well in the end. I admit that I was a little surprised with the twist with that other character, but it set the stage for the redemption of the main cast.
Overall, When Sparks Fly left me with a big smile and a happy sigh at the end of the book. 🙂 If you like sweet romance and good friendships in a book, I totally recommend this.
Oh, and special mention to Paulo, Regina’s boss. Best supporting character and I’m hoping he gets a spin-off? 🙂
About the Author:
Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao’s heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s English department.
Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines’ time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.
Most readers can remember Ines as the former editor-in-chief of K-Zone Magazine and Candy Magazine . At present, Ines is working as an editor ofSummit Books. She is also married to photographer Marc Yao, whom she says she consults whenever she’s stuck in the middle of a story she’s writing.