The first time I listened to The Five by Five Podcast, I’ve been tuning to it ever since. Most of the time, it features and interviews local authors and bloggers and Anne Plaza was the guest in one of the podcast episodes. I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway in that episode and her debut novella, In Over Her Head, was one of the things I got.
Here’s the plot description from Goodreads:
Erika Apostol’s quiet and unassuming life gets disrupted when she learns that Richard Javier, the very same person who broke her heart many years ago, is now back in the country. Her world is turned upside down as old feelings she thought were buried resurface to haunt her once more.
Determined to give Richard a dose of his own medicine, Erika finds herself involved in an outrageous plan devised by her friends. They enlist the help of Jerome Gonzales, an attractive and charismatic DJ (with a playboy reputation), to pose as her significant other.
As the plan goes in full swing, Erika discovers Richard’s jealous side, and that there’s something more to Jerome than meets the eye. Will this grand charade work out the way it should, or will she be left with nothing in the end?
I received this book as an e-book copy. It’s been a while since I read an e-book, so I’m quite excited to read on my iPad again. But don’t get me wrong, I still prefer physical books over the electronic ones as I get to feel and smell its pages. Anyway, moving on, I really notice that more aspiring writers are emerging in our country nowadays. I’m not used to reading Philippine literature before, unless it’s a required school reading, but in terms of contemporary romance/chick lit, or young adult or new adult, more books under these genres are being published in the recent years. I’m glad that with the availability of social media and the apparent support of Filipino bloggers to local authors, the authors’ works get to have more exposure in the society.
Sets in Manila, In Over Her Head centers on Erika’s life, especially her love life, from being heartbroken to finding love once again. Based on the premise of the book, the concept may seem like your typical romance story, but the whole context of the novella still sets Anne Plaza’s story apart from the others.
Right at the beginning, I can already feel that I’ll love Erika’s character. She’s a pro long-term relationship, so that’s a plus for her. She’s also passionate about her work and shows to be independent while still leaving room for flaws and vulnerabilities, despite her denials. Her characterization definitely exists in most of us. Hence, readers will easily relate to her. Aside from Erika, her barkada, as well as Jerome, prove to be worth for keeps. The bond they share is strong that their friendship lasts for ten years, and surely, will extend for years and years.
As a Manila-based girl, I’m actually having a lot of fun reading about some of the places mentioned in the novella. I’m quite familiar with the locations, if not the exact place, and it’s as if the characters could be living right out from the story. Moreover, with Erika’s career, readers could get a glimpse of how people work in a publishing company. The same goes with Lorra and Jerome’s jobs. To be honest, it’s entertaining to read stories set locally. One way or another, readers could witness some lifestyles of Filipinos different from their own. That’s what In Over Her Head does to me. I may lack in the aspect of social life, but by reading books, I don’t think I’m missing out on anything.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Anne Plaza’s In Over Her Head. For a debut novella, it’s quite good. I love her writing style and she also succeeds in describing the settings in detail. The storyline may be simple and light, but that does not stop me from reading it. At the end of the day, I can’t help but gush over Erika and her chosen man. This will definitely not be my last book to read that’s written by Anne Plaza.