Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Fate’s been playing tricks on Cara Nicolas lately. She agrees to go on a blind date with her best friend’s fiancé’s cousin, only to discover that the guy is her first love from high school, Lucas Lobregat. Now that would have been a charming story, except that the date turns out to be one of the worst ever. And they can’t even pretend it never happened, because they’re both suddenly part of the wedding preparations.Just as she is starting to get to know more about the boy she used to love, Oliver Sta. Maria, an old flame who owes her some closure, surprisingly shows up. With two pasts resurfacing, which will Cara choose to rekindle? Or can she have the chance to choose at all?
When I got the invitation for Blast From Two Pasts blog tour, I immediately checked the book on Goodreads and read few reviews. Almost all readers were saying that it has the kilig-factor (swoon factor), and considering that this is a New Adult contemporary novel, that’s most likely the effect that I’ll be looking for.
The first half of the book was dragging and it really bored me. The progress was too slow and I almost gave it up. BUT gladly, I didn’t. The next half of the book just got better and I finally found some developments, at the very least.
The writing was good. At first, I had a hard time connecting, as I’ve mentioned, it was dragging on the first half, but Kristel was definitely a good writer. Though, I still stand in my opinion that this would have been way better and more realistic if it was written on a typical Taglish (Tagalog-English) language. Well, this was my first time reading an English novel which was set in the Philippines and has Filipino characters. I had to really process the fact that the characters were speaking English in the busy urban city Metro Manila while eating at a carenderia and gotohan. lol
I found the story itself still unique in a way (about the wedding planning and stuff), but the romance was pretty much cliché and predictable — not in a very bad way though. The romance has a slow development considering that the book only has 100+ pages. But I’m glad that it kept up and it was executed well at the end. I also liked how the throwbacks of Cara gave a feeling of nostalgia. I did imagine the setting of her high school on my own high school. lol
I was not a fan of the female protagonist Cara and her best friend Ayen. But I definitely like the character of Lucas. Oh, well, he’s the typical dreamy guy on every romance novels, but who cares when he’s dreamy?
Overall, I found the book really cute. I didn’t feel much kilig (swoon) but it was definitely cute and worth the read. I think I may have enjoyed this more if it was longer than only 100+ pages. But I know that Kristel Villar will give us way better books in the future. Kudos!
KRISTEL S. VILLAR covers sporting events for a national broadsheet by day and tries to write fiction by night. She has also penned “The Rumor About Me”, a short story for the young adult book anthology, Kids These Days: Stories From Luna East Arts Academy Vol. 1 published by Anvil. Her second short story for Luna East Arts Academy, “One on One”, is currently featured in Clara, a romance online journal (www.clararomance.com). She graduated Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas.