[Blog Tour Book Review #13] Waiting in The Wings by Tara Frejas (+ Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway)

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At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

Book Specifications:

Author: Tara Frejas

Format: Kindle Copy

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Philippine Literature, Theatre Arts

Book Review:

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Buy it on Amazon!

Rarely do I get the chance to participate on blog tours and promote books that are about Philippine Literature and Theater Arts. It might not occur to most of my friends because I don’t usually mention it, but I’m a big fan of theatrical performances, whether it be set in a Filipino setting or not. I like the idea of watching, and appreciating this kind of art, but I’ve never wondered as to how it really is to be a performer. Only until after I heard of Waiting In The Wings did I become intrigued.

Waiting in The Wings is a love story about Erin Javier, a theater performer who’s torn between her love for Ramon, her co-performer who’s always had her best interests at heart, and Pio, who’s bright smile and fame can easily swoon lots of girls. The story focuses on not just the journey Erin took before she chose between these lovely boys, but it also tackles how amazingly heartfelt it is to be a part of something so moving, and emotional here in the Philippines, which is the community of Filipino theater performers.

First off is the writing style. Erin, Ramon, and Pio’s story was told in such a very simple yet moving way. Tara’s writing, albeit this being the first time I read a book by her, is strongly appealing and will surely be an instant favorite for those who like short, and simple, but still utterly entertaining and sweet stories. Waiting in The Wings will have you sweet-sighing from one moment, and just plain crying and cringing to the next. Also, the nods she wrote to songs composed by actual Filipinos? I have no words to express my gratitude.

Next is the impressive and subtle way that the love triangle between Erin, Ramon, and Pio was handled. For years, I’ve had issues with the love triangle trope. I see it as something that’s a bit problematic and angsty, and I try to stay away from said trope as much as possible, especially if there are negative reviews about a specific title, but with Waiting in The Wings, it wasn’t angsty at all! It’s quite the opposite. It highlighted the importance of choosing the right person for you, without the MC having to feel pressured to choose with haste. (Am I making sense here, or…?)

And lastly, I love how everything turned out fantastically in the end. The ending was a little too predictable for me, but everything was so well written, and well delivered, and I love how my ship unexpectedly sailed. (Don’t you just love it when you get on all the right ships?) Honestly, I’m amazed with the ending as my favorite LI for Erin got his big break!!! (Is this a spoiler? Probably, but you’ll understand my feels when you read it.)

“Waiting in The Wings is a fantastic New Adult novel about how it is to be a part of an amazing family of Theater Performers. Not only that, but it also pays great tribute to plenty of Filipino composed songs which I consider to be great contributions to Philippine literature. Oh, and did I mention that it’s written rather beautifully? It’s an amazing book meant to be read by all those who has ever felt negatively about being a small star in a galaxy filled with constellations.”

RATING:

Characters – 4.50

Plot – 4.00

Writing Style – 5.00

Pacing – 5.00

Ending – 4.50

TOTAL – 4.6 / 5 ★

Thank you to Tara Frejas for letting me be a part of this blog tour, as well as for providing a review copy, and tour kit for me. This, by the way, did not affect my opinion nor the content of my review in any way.

Giveaway:

Click here for a chance to be entered to win 2 #romanceclass books of your choice, 2 ebooks of Waiting in The Wings and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Quotable Quotes:

Excerpt:

Erin’s first kiss was a guy named Timothy Matias.

She and Timothy—christened Mots by Kai—were both Teatro Lakambini rookies three years ago, and Chronicles of a Breakup was their baptism of fire. Even so, he wasn’t new to kissing.

Thankfully, Mots was considerate. He noticed her apprehension about the stage kiss and offered to fake it instead. But the scene had to be staged in a way that a fake kiss would have been so painfully obvious, and Erin just went “oh what the heck” and decided to go for gold. Mots obliged, and was nice enough to “mentor” her without being all judgey.

“Don’t pucker your lips” was his first tip. “Loosen your jaw” was his second. There were more, and they came in unexpected moments, like when they waited in the wings and he told her to “Press your lips against mine a bit harder before I push you away.”

It was an Act Two breakup kiss, what they shared. Erin’s character was desperate to keep his, but his just wasn’t into hers any longer. As they went through the scene five times a week for eight straight weeks, Erin felt as if her heart wasted away every single time she kissed Mots goodbye.

The feeling stayed with her for weeks after the show had closed that she had to ask him to sit down and talk about it one afternoon.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Sometimes I look at you and I can’t think straight.”

The look on his face prompted her to clarify. “I’m not in love with you, Mots. It’s just that I’ve been this character for a while and it’s difficult to get her out of my system.”

He got it, he said. They hugged it out, and that was that.

Five months later, she was kissing Andres San Vicente under a dim streetlight in Sa Kanto ng Kaimito at Santol. It was a more innocent kind of kiss, one that would reduce the females in the audience to squeals and giggles. Erin liked their once-a-show kisses better because they were hopeful and held the promise of a blossoming new love. And at the back of her mind, she allowed herself to fantasize over that kind of love too—until Andres brought his boyfriend to the cast party and crushed her dreams.

The distinction of sharing the most number of kisses with Erin goes to Brian Castro and Johann Rivera. Alternating as Erin’s long-distance boyfriends in Minsan Tayo, the average number of kisses she received per show was twenty, not including the ones that didn’t land on her lips. But even if Brian and Johann played the same character, their kisses were completely different.

Brian’s was playful and tentative half the time and tasted like Tic Tac. Johann’s was more intense and tended to linger a little more. They didn’t taste like anything remarkable, but Erin recalled the one time his lips tasted like ginger tea.

By the time she got to act alongside Nathan Zalameda for Karaoke Queen, the tables were turned: He was the novice, and she was the pro. Recalling every relevant moment in her kissing resume, Erin taught Nathan everything he needed to know.

And he was a fast learner. So fast, Erin actually found herself feeling flustered more than once.

Thinking about all those kisses made Erin feel a little dizzy. There were okay kisses, and there were kisses that, whether she liked to admit or not, completely rocked her world.

Is anyone going to measure up? she wondered. More importantly, is there anyone out there willing to?

About the Author:

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Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, this full-fledged Piscean (who cares what NASA says?) is passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dance, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

In another life, she wishes to be a musical theatre actress. Or a director, maybe. But in the meantime, she’ll continue being an avid supporter of the local theatre scene…one show at a time.

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2 thoughts on “[Blog Tour Book Review #13] Waiting in The Wings by Tara Frejas (+ Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway)

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