Falling in love in a bookstore: MVE launches three new books!

The Harder We Fall and Never Just Friends by Mina V. Esguerra

The Harder We Fall and Never Just Friends by Mina V. Esguerra

Last April 25, Mina V. Esguerra officially launched three of her newest New Adult novellas – Never Just Friends, The Harder We Fall, and Welcome to Envy Park. I arrived a few minutes before 3 p.m., excited and in full fangirl mode. After purchasing two of the three books (they were discounted, yay!), I found out that buying the books that day meant that I could pick a prize. I’m not particularly lucky when it comes to palabunutan, so I didn’t expect anything. But that day, I was two for two; I was one of the first people to win a bottle of wine! Woohoo!

I took a seat near the front and excitedly waited for the event to start. While waiting for everyone to arrive and settle down, Ms. Mina went around and greeted us. We talked a little about her books and about her successful #buqoYA class. Half an hour later, two of the bloggers from Will Read For Feels opened the event. There was a short introduction about the three books being launched before the interview started. Ms. Mina talked about the books, self-publishing, her choice of leading man, and her current and future projects. I was particularly interested in the Mystery/Suspense class that she’s planning towards the end of the year. Hopefully, I’ll get to join and finish a story this time around. That is, if I can juggle that with my MA thesis. T.T

After the interview, the MCs asked everyone to line up for the book signing. They also mentioned that there was an official photographer, but we could also take selfies with Ms. Mina if we wanted to. I have never been good with taking selfies, but for this once in a lifetime event? I was definitely game. (^_^)v

While listening to the bloggers and Ms. Mina talk about books, I remembered the first time I decided that I wanted to write. I haven’t written anything in years and part of me doubts that I can still write. However, hearing Ms. Mina talk about her fears gave me hope that I could do it, too. Thank you for being an inspiration, Ms. Mina. I can’t wait to read your books and write again!

Mina V. Esguerra with the bloggers of Will Read For Feels.

Mina V. Esguerra with the bloggers of Will Read For Feels.

Readers/fans line up to have their books signed.

Readers/fans line up to have their books signed.

L-R: Selfie with Ms. Mina; the books with the bottle of wine I won that day.

L-R: Selfie with Ms. Mina; the books with the bottle of wine I won that day.


The search for My Imaginary Ex

my imaginary ex











I saw Mina Esguerra’s My Imaginary Ex a few months ago and I promised myself that I would buy it. I have read M.D. Balangue’s Mr. Write and Claire Betita’s No Boyfriend Since Birth and I have enjoyed both immensely. Unfortunately, every time I had the money to buy Miss Esguerra’s book, I couldn’t find it. And whenever I saw it, I didn’t have any money. It was as if I wasn’t meant to buy her book.

And then, by some stroke of luck, I saw her book again—and I had the money to buy it! The only thing that prevented me from buying it was that the copy had a torn cover. I quickly asked one of the salespeople if they still had another copy of the book. They didn’t. I asked if the book would be discounted because of the torn cover. They told me I’d still have to pay for the regular price of a hundred and fifty pesos.

Now while I had nothing against paying that amount for a book made by a kababayan, I still wanted to pay for a new copy of the book. So, I didn’t buy it. I searched for it in numerous bookstores and still came up with nothing. I promised myself that the next time I saw that book, I’d buy it—even if it was torn.

On February of this year, I saw the book again in the same book store. It was still torn, but I bought it anyway. I did not regret my decision.

Mina Esguerra skillfully writes the story of two unlikely friends, Jasmine and Zachary. It’s boy meets girl in a classic way, but Esguerra manages to change some of the rules, giving it a fresh feeling. Instead of a common interest, it is a lie that binds their friendship. In a desperate attempt to get the girl he liked, Zack asks Jas to pretend to be his ex-girlfriend. Though hesitant at first, Jas eventually agrees.

However, ten years after, everyone still considers that lie the truth.

Here’s what happens when you play pretend. Those are the first words you see on the cover of My Imaginary Ex and it is quite appropriate. Somewhere along the way, the lines blurred and both Jas and Zack forget what is canon and what isn’t. And for a friendship between a man and a woman, blurred lines always make everything more complicated.

I think one of the reasons why I was so adamant in buying the book was I could somehow relate to it. No, I have not been anyone’s imaginary ex-girlfriend, but I knew how it felt like to be thought of as your best friend’s girl. I understood why Jas never thought of Zack as anything but her best friend. He was her best friend and to think of him as something more than that would be crossing a line.

Here’s what happens when you play pretend. After reading the book, I kept looking at those words. At some point in a friendship between a man and a woman, one of them blurs a line and tiptoes to the other side. If it works out, we thank God for the courage He gave us. If it doesn’t, we blame ourselves and regret we even played along. No one can predict the outcome and most of the time, this is what scares us more. Sadly, more of us never try to cross the line—contently watching that person we love become someone else’s. As one song says, I’ll always have the memories. And she’ll always have you.

My Imaginary Ex is a very entertaining read for everyone who has had that friendship with blurred lines and complicated feelings. It reminds us that sometimes a seemingly innocent game of pretend can change everything. Especially when you have two meddlesome exes—and an imaginary one to boot.

As posted in themonestery.