ARC Review: Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

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After reading ‘Paper Planes Back Home’ and ‘The Forget You Brew’, I’ve become a fan of Tara. She just has this knack with words that evokes different feelings throughout the narrative.

‘Waiting in the Wings’ is no exception to her growing list of masterpieces.

I especially liked the fact that she chose a setting which is very close to her heart–theater. I don’t know much about her on a personal level but I follow her on different social networking sites and if she’s not posting about her WIPs or anything related to #romanceclass, it would be about a play she is going to/has already watched. I also find it clever that she managed to insert a few elements and characters from her previous works in this story too.

Anyway… review…

As someone who last watched a play back in college (because it was a requirement for a class), this was something new for me to read. At first I was worried that I would get lost in theater jargons but I didn’t. Tara focused on the romance. But the way she described Teatro Lakambini allowed me to have a clear picture in my head of how it all looked like–the backstage, the ‘performance stage’, the balcony, etc. She was able to use all these to move the story forward smoothly.

With the characters…

Just own up to your feelings, Erin. If you keep them bottled up like that, sooner or later you’re going to explode and make a mess of things.

I liked bubbly but dense Erin (the opposite of another ‘Erin’ I know in real life). I love dense characters in general because I love reading about how they finally realize the other’s feelings and come into terms with their own. More than this, I also appreciate how she was able to step back from what could have been a ‘performance-of-a-lifetime’ which could open more career opportunities for her. Although I felt a bit disappointed, I think it was brave for her to decide on helping out from the backstage for Hanggang Ulap. So kudos, Erin!

And then there’s Ramoncitooo. Aside from the romance plot, I love how “Monfigs” was able to overcome his fears and insecurities that built up overtime due to consecutive failures. To me, this is a very important ingredient in the story that is relatable regardless of the reader’s profession. Most of us, when faced with numerous rejections give up on our dreams. Ramon was in the same situation, but he managed to jump over that hurdle not just with his career but also with his relationship with Erin. This was the turning point for me as a reader to root for him in the end, hahaha. Did I say I love torpe stories too? Because Monfigs is one hehehe. I hate how they over-analyze things that paralyze them but I love how torpe guys manage to make that one huge leap to move the relationship to the next level.

 

Pio’s presence as the other guy was perfect. When Ramon still couldn’t make up his mind if he’s going to come clean, kiss or plainly admit his feelings to Erin, I got annoyed and was like: “Bahala ka na diyan sa buhay mo. Hindi lahat ng tao kayang maghintay. Dun ako sa gagawin ang lahat makamit lamang si Erin.” And like what I posted on Twitter, we got to give Pio credit for his effort. I mean, come on, closing a whole restaurant just so you could date a girl? He was doing so well–the complete package: handsome guy who’d do anything for the girl he’s pining for.

Until the ‘Please don’t post photos of us’, that is. I understand that his career as an actor might be affected, but did he have to say that for a group picture?  Anywaaaay… I’m looking forward to Pio’s love interest who’d make him drop this rule hahahaha.

 

The conflict is also perfect. Just when everything’s been sorted out, Erin blurts out something that hurt Ramon a lot. My reaction was… ‘That’s a foul! Why did you have to do/say that!’

 

I’m not a fan of grand gestures so I was worried about how Erin was going to make it up with Ramon. But it turned out that my anxiety was unnecessary because her gesture was perfect. I love how they were able to resolve the conflict and that Pio didn’t vanish into thin air after Erin made her choice.

But I’m looking forward to a performance where Erin and Ramon would be the lead stars. I didn’t get to imagine Erin performing because at the start of the story, she already backed out. I was actually hoping that somehow in the middle, she’d change her mind, but she didn’t. Or maybe…this wish of mine will be granted in the author’s future works? A snippet would do, haha. No pressure though.

 

To readers who are both into or not into theater, this story is for you.

To readers who are struggling in their careers, this story is for you.

To readers who are stuck in the friendzone, this story is for you.

 

‘Waiting in the Wings’ is worth every penny and every minute.

 

This came late, but at least I posted it in time for your birthday 🙂 Happiest birthday, Tara! labyu! ❤


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