Seems like I’m having Mina V. Esguerra marathon – been reading her three books consecutively now. Anyway, after reading My Imaginary Ex, I proceeded to Love Your Frenemies – a companion novel or somehow a sequel to My Imaginary Ex.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Kimmy Domingo was the kind of girl everyone hated and envied — until her fiance’ dumped her a week before their wedding. Soon after, she quit her job, hopped on a plane, and just hid from everyone who knew her. A year later and she’s back in Manila to be maid of honor at a wedding she can’t miss.
Kimmy’s home because she’s ready to start over, but she also knows that some people at that wedding were responsible for the mess her life turned out to be. The first step to recovery? Cutting off the ones who caused her troubles to begin with: her best friend and her first love.
In this novella, Kimmy is the main character. Being a villain of some sort in the previous book, she is now given a different portrayal. If you have read My Imaginary Ex, you would already know how Kimmy is described in that book in the point of view of other people. As a matter of fact, readers like me would undoubtedly hate her in the previous book. However, reading Love Your Frenemies will certainly give readers an unusual perspective about the dynamic characterization of Kimmy.
As people often say, there are always two sides of a story. My Imaginary Ex and Love Your Frenemies is the perfect example of this. While we see what the other people think of Kimmy in the first book, Mina is able to provide an avenue in the second book where readers can look at the side of Kimmy in her point of view. Surprisingly, she’s not the way I expect her to be. She is truly misunderstood not just by her peers, but also by the readers themselves. I slowly come to know more about her and her strong personality.
Kimmy may come out as someone with a bad attitude, but I admire her competitiveness. She sets high standards for herself and keeps on challenging herself to build up her confidence more, but I don’t blame the outcome of her personality. Sometimes, I guess possessing that kind of attitude will come in handy, especially in a corporate business setting. But then again, with every strength, there’s a weakness. I won’t delve into the details, but let’s just say that I’m glad Kimmy finally accepts and faces her weakness in the end with the help of her friends and Manolo – Manolo, the guy whom ladies would gush over.
I’m also amused by Chesca’s personality. She may sound bitchy, but the book is able to show that she’s a true friend. She would go an extra mile just for Kimmy and even though she is demonstrated as an insensitive person, readers can still figure out that she’s more than what she seems to be. People just have to be patient and should look deeper into her to know the real her and her thoughtful gestures. Isabel, on the other hand, may be the opposite of Kimmy and Chesca, but in a way, she maintains the balance between her two friends. She’s caring enough to stick around to her friends and be there for them.
On a side note, I find one thing in the book funny and totally relatable. Reading the part where Kimmy explains that there are different kinds of flirting, one of which is when some don’t do it up front, but instead “flirt by way of contrived situations”, just makes me laugh. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the few people I know who do that in real life. And no, I won’t name names.
On a serious note, Mina certainly did an amazing job to justify Kimmy’s personality. Readers will surely empathize with her and the characters are, indeed, realistic enough to be relatable. Love Your Frenemies is a kind of novella that won’t let you down. It’s a light and enjoyable read for people who need a break from stress – may it be at life or at work.