Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao

I also won an ebook copy of this book via Buqo from a giveaway hosted by Ines Bautista-Yao during the #MoreLoveinPH Romance Writers of the Philippines Multi-Author Bash last June 27-28 on Facebook.

Here’s the synopsis:

Plain Vanilla coverDespite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she’s ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn’t help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question what’s really going on inside her heart.

High school, crushes, prom – if these are what you’re looking for in a story, then Plain Vanilla is the right one for you. Having been introduced to the title, I don’t know what to expect. What does an ice cream flavor have to do with the story?

Being surrounded by family members full of energy and crazy ideas, Tempest stands out the most. Not because she has the craziest ideas of all, but merely the opposite. Right from the beginning, I can easily connect with her in terms of personality as I can see similarities between us. Aside from being an introvert, I also sense Tempest’s neatness and orderliness – a state of condition I always want my place to be in. But with a single comment from Paco, Tempest proves to become just like her family – “not boring”.

I like the analogy Ines Bautista-Yao creates between one’s personality and an ice cream flavor. Readers will eventually understand what plain vanilla means and why this pertains to Tempest. Reading this story pushes me to reminisce my high school life. Looking back, life in high school has its fair share of dramas and fun. I can totally understand the different cliques formed in school and the feeling of excitement over the highly-anticipated prom night.

Overall, Plain Vanilla is a short but interesting read that would make one look back to his/her teenage years. But apart from it being a cute love story, Plain Vanilla also centers on friendship, family, and building one’s self-esteem. I must say, kudos to Ines Bautista-Yao for nailing the ending scene. At the end of the day, not only does Tempest learn to be herself, but she also gets to have her sweetest prom night ever!


About Rhin

Expression through words. Finding contentment in the simple things in life. Embracing opportunities. Daring to live her dream. View all posts by Rhin

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