Romance books have been part of my reading adventure since I was young. I would take books my sisters borrowed and read while they slept. And so my night owl life began with reading and eventually writing.
But the books I’ve read were by foreign writers. Filipino writers I used to need to read for class were either Filipino classics or Literary award winners. They weren’t bad; they were just not Romance. When I started writing, I invented a pen name that sounded so foreign.
So coming across Romance Class and their community of Filipino Romance writers was something I am glad about. With my interest in KPop and KDrama, Tara Frejas’ Scandalized was recommended to me. I loved it as I could see the events happening with the eye of someone watching that industry for years. Tara added bits and pieces you’d come across with if you become a fan of Korean Pop Culture.
So I was pretty excited when I learned that a sequel was on the way. Play It By Ear just dropped and I pre-ordered it on Kindle. I wanted to wait for the paperback, but I don’t have that high an EQ not to eat the marshmallow in front of me.
The second book events happen a year after the events in Scandalized. Do you need to have read Scandalized before reading Play It By Ear? Not really. It doesn’t distract you from enjoying PIBE on its own, but it would make it more pleasurable. Knowing the characters will allow you to be more emotionally invested in what happens to them from Episode 0 to the Epilogue.
However, knowing what happened in Scandalized will give you a glaring hint of what’s going to happen eventually. But then again, this isn’t a Thriller or a Suspense novel. There’s no unexpected twist. What it has is a Happily Ever After (or Happy For Now). And it’s still heart warming how they get there.
The story focuses on Yihwan, the KPop group’s leader, and a trainee named Yoojung. They meet as contestants to a Talent Reality Show. I cheered for this pair. I cried for this pair when they had difficulties. One of their performances moved me to tears even though I was only reading it and not watching it. I just wish they had more kilig moments like Fi and Gabe had in Scandalized.
Should you get this book?
- If you like Romance, yes.
- If you like KPop and/or KDrama, yes.
- If you like supporting Filipino authors, yes.