I’ve been meaning to read a finished novel written by Carla de Guzman after I have read a draft of her ‘Marry Me, Charlotte B!’ But with the ever growing TBR shelf at home, I was forbidden to buy more books until I have read them.
And voila! I got my first hardcopy of a book by Carla de Guzman!
Hence…the reading began…
Marry Nick from the Backstreet Boys
It was more nostalgic than hilarious to me, hehe.
I mean, come on, we all probably went through the same phase of going gaga over boybands. For the 90s kids that is. I for one had started writing stories about BSB back in…err…when I was younger, hahaha.
It was the first thing that I found relatable with Ava.
The next was the breakup and not getting into one of the best law schools in the Philippines.
That’s why understand Ava when she suddenly booked a ticket to Bali. Sometimes, we really have to spend time alone in order to pick ourselves up and try again.
And Carla was able to show this in the story. I loved the fact that early on, Ava’s life plans crumbled before her. The emotions were realistic and not dragging or exaggerated. Ava’s struggles makes readers want to hug her tight, tap her back and say everything’s going to be fine.
But of course Ava didn’t need all that because of the mysterious Scottish hunky, Scott McLeod.
It’s my first time reading about a man from Scotland because alas! I don’t watch Outlander.
Although the head-hopping disoriented me a bit, I eventually got the hang of it and realized it was the author’s strategy to keep a cloud of mystery around Scott. I kept wondering about the phonecalls he wouldn’t answer and I was always itching to skim the end of the book just to uncover what it was, hahaha. But I fought the urge and like Scott, ignored the annoying ringing of the phone hahaha. There was a point that I wanted to punch him in the face btw.
Anyway…I have always found the strangers-to-lovers trope as a fascinating read. In my opinion, it takes more than a week and a couple of steamy sessions for two people to actually be in love witn each other.
And that’s another thing that I liked about Midnights in Bali. I don’t remember ever reading about either Ava or Scott declaring that she or he was already in love with the other. Though they get along well and are good together, there were no exchanges of I love You’s throughout the story. Instead, Carla allows these two to get to know each other on a deeper level and gives them the chance to be together. At least that’s what I’d like to think.
And I looovvveee the Ava’s and Scott’s individual struggles and how they came to face them. I have spoiled a lot of things in this review and I’m choosing not to mention how they were able to resolve their problems.
I’ve never been to other Asian countries, but the way Carla described the place—the temples with the statues, the red brick roofs, kalachuchi and all that—it was as if I toured Bali too! The way Carla painted the image of the place in my head was so vivid I could actually imagine being there with them. I suddenly want to book a tour to Bali hahaha.
In conclusion, Midnights in Bali teaches us that The Plan doesn’t always work. That we should be flexible for unexpected changes that will lead us to wonderful surprises, teach us valuable lessons or to simply get in touch with what our hearts truly desire.
Congratulations and thank you, Carla de Guzman for writing such a wondeful story of courage.