Book Review: When Cocoy Became Kikay by C. P. Santi


Title: When Cocoy Became Kikay

Author: C. P. Santi
Genre: Young Adult, Filipino Lit, Contemporary
Release Date: March 25th, 2016
Publisher: Indie
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository | National Bookstore | Fullybooked

Cocoy’s not-so-secret dream is to one day become a gun-toting, ass-kicking secret agent. But she has another dream—and this time, even her best friends don’t have a clue—she dreams of someone. 
Problem is, she finds out that Jaime Arguelles—a.k.a. the guy she’d been secretly crushing on for years—likes girls who . . . well . . . like pink.
To Cocoy’s logical mind, there’s only one solution: it’s time to go girly. After all, how hard can it be?
With the help of her friends, Cocoy embarks on a pink-tinged journey that somehow turns her neat and orderly life upside down. But it’s all good—because in the midst of her blossoming relationship, Cocoy learns a whole lot about life, love, dreams, and friendship . . . and about the healing power of pan de sal, Chippy, and Nutella.

(I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book)
One day while browsing my for review books on my Kindle app, the cover of When Cocoy Became Kikay snatched my attention. Yes, I like me some cute stuff. lol. When C.P. Santi first contacted me, I immediately checked this on Goodreads and thought it’s pretty interesting and I like the whole tomboy-transformation-to-girly concept (Kikay means girly). It’s also pretty short so I knew that this will be a fast read.

When I first read the synopsis, I pictured an extremely different environment compared to what it really was. I didn’t expect for this one to be YA. I mean, yes, it can be… but I kind of expected more of an NA environment. 
So the thing was, the characters were actually high school students, and Cocoy, the main protagonist of the story, wanted to be in the army after she graduates high school, because she was groomed to become one as her late father was a soldier. Because of Cocoy’s strong and tomboy-ish personality, she was surrounded by boys — meaning, her friends were all boys, and they were her brother buddies. She doesn’t wear skirts, and doesn’t hang out with girls and talk girly things. But one day, she was told that her long time crush has thing for girly girls. That’s when Cocoy started her transformation plan during her summer vacation so that her crush will finally notice her.
Sure enough, Jaime, Cocoy’s crush, noticed this suddenly pretty girl. They started hanging out a lot (men… is it all about pretty things?), Cocoy started hanging out with Jaime’s friends and she eventually hang out lesser and lesser with her brother buddies — the three boys who have been her friends since young. She began missing their movie overnights, and basketball games and that’s when it all got complicated. With Cocoy’s transformation, did her personality changed as well? So the story goes.
Personally, I think, I would have enjoyed this a lot more if the characters were college students. Say, they were actually in military school, and she starts her transformation there. It’s kind of complicated which makes the whole concept a lot more interesting. But that’s only for me, of course.
Overall, C.P. Santi did a good job with When Cocoy Became Kikay. Sometimes, I found the characters pretty childish (well, for goodness sake, they are 14-15, of course it’s normal. lol), but it has a good lesson at the end. The story was very simple and light, and sure enough a very fast read. It’s a good in-between read if you are a mad fantasy-hungry fella like me. 

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