No Strings Attached, Mina V. Esguerra‘s latest addition to her Minaverse, didn’t fail us.
The story focused on Carla Alejandro and the issues she’s faced before she even turned thirty: dating a guy who is five years younger than she is and who she doesn’t have much in common with, having two best friends who have very contrasting personalities from each other and from her as well, and being one of the two single people in a barkada (circle of friends) who all have settled down already and wants her to do the same thing.
I can’t say that I was able to relate to the story but just like the other stories from Esguerra’s universe, No Strings Attached‘s story is realistic, and Carla’s voice was enjoyable to follow.
It’s funny how much Carla thinks that dating a guy who is younger by five years than her is a big deal. I find it that way because I know a couple (real life speaking) who are dating each other, has fifteen years age difference from one another, and still they seemed so perfect and happy together. Or at least that’s what I think of them whenever I see them–perfect. I’ll never know what’s really happening in their relationship, right?
Here’s the synopsis:
Carla is a whiz at her job: she’s efficient, reliable, and a total genius when it comes to putting something together at the last minute. The snag is she’s single and turning the big three-oh in a few months. Her girl best friend (yes, she’s married just like the other girls in Carla’s barkada) keeps trying to set her up with stable banker-types, while her guy best friend (single – the other single one) encourages her to play the field – no strings attached.
Then, through no set up or extraordinary circumstance, Carla meets Dante. Hot, smug, sexy Dante. Definitely not a banker-type and seemingly too good to be true. So there’s got to be a catch. There is. He’s five years younger. Is the universe telling Carla to finally let loose and enjoy a fling with a younger man? Or is there a lot more to this awkward situation that she bargained for?
I find No Strings Attached different from the other stories Mina wrote. Or any other chick-lit novels that I’ve read for that matter. It didn’t focus about figuring out who the heroine should end up with, or about a girl who is running after a guy. Its focus is on the consequences two people should face by creating their own rules, and how other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter when two people are trying to build a better relationship. It really is a unique story but I’m pretty sure that girls who would read this would be able to relate to it somehow.
Here’s one of my many favorite parts of the story:
My seatmate touched my messenger bag, which had been on my lap, and nudged me. “It’s you!”
“That’s not my ringtone,” I said.
“It’s coming from your bag.”
I fished through the outside pocket and true enough, I pulled out a phone I didn’t recognize. It kept ringing still, caller ID flashing, “MOM.”
Oh shit. I picked up the call and knew who it was going to be.
“You have my phone,” Dante said.
“You put it in my bag!”
“You’re going to have to return that.”
“I don’t have to do anything.”
“You can either give the phone back to me through my mom, when you get back to work tomorrow, or meet me and give it to me yourself.”
Though I had only known him for a day, I could imagine rather vividly what he looked like as he told me all this. From tousled hair to a mischievous “who me?” grin, to sunburned cheekbones. I blinked and tried to get the image out of my head. “Or I could just keep this. It’s a nice phone.”
“I don’t think you’re a thief.”
“You don’t know me at all!”
“I know you’re very efficient. If you don’t return it to my mom, I’ll call you again and tell you where to meet me. See you soon, Carla.”
I hit the “end call” button without saying goodbye, but only because I didn’t know what to say. Should I be mad? Should I remind him that I meant what I said and didn’t want to see him?”
I never did get to figure that out, but I was smiling as I napped on the long drive back home.
This book may have a title called No Strings Attached but I’m pretty sure you’ll be attached to its story. Have fun reading! This gets four-star rating out of five! 🙂