Book Review: Stay a Little Longer

Stay a Little Longer book review

I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this book courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stay a Little Longer by Dawn Lanuza
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: New Adult
Pub Date: May 28, 2019
ISBN: 9781524851057
Price: $14.99 (USD)

They were perfect strangers—all perks, no strings. Until they weren’t.

Elan wasn’t supposed to meet Caty. She lived halfway around the world, and he barely left Manila. Yet here he was, giving her a ride to the airport. Convinced that they would never have to see each other again after that day, Elan and Caty started to bond over truths, dares, stolen kisses, and games in hotel rooms and bars.

With brief encounters that turned them from acquaintances to friends — tipping to the point of lovers, always — will Elan and Caty keep settling for a day, or will someone finally dare to stay long enough to discover: Is this love?


What I Loved:

» A Filipino author!
I never made a concerted effort to read Japanese or Filipino authors until recently. I specifically want to read my ethnic background. It’s easy to find English text of Japanese authors, but difficult of Filipino authors. I stumbled onto this title through pure luck of browsing and I couldn’t be happier.

» Building of Elan & Caty
I hated Caty at first. I hated Elan and Caty interacting. Their dialogue was so clunky and stilted. Caty was so immature and brash, while Elan was such a doormat. I almost DNF-ed the book so many times in Part 1. But then at the end of it, she shows she’s self-aware of how awful she can be.

Then, they get to know each other better. They both share more of themselves and I began to understood why she’s like that and why Elan is overly patient with her. As Elan and Caty open up to each other, their dialogue becomes more fluid and natural. After Part 2 I was full-on rooting for them.

» The Dance Scene
LOVE! I could see it in my mind and I loved it.

» The Long Distance Relationship
My husband and I met by chance and spent almost 2 years in a long distance relationship before we got married. Even after we got married, we spend a lot of time separated because of the military. So the angsty goodbyes and the awkwardness of seeing each other for the first time in months made complete sense. There’s a part when Caty doesn’t know how to handle having Elan in her space and it really resonated with me. When Cass came home from his first deployment, I didn’t know how to exist with him physically in my life again. Lanuza did a great job of capturing those feelings and the difficulty of articulating them to Elan.


What I Wished For:

» More of their pasts
They give each other the quick rundown of their complicated pasts, but I wanted more details. I get the gist of how these events from their pasts have effected them, but I wanted just a little more. Especially from San Juan. Caty talks about how everyone gossips about her. I wanted to see more of that.

» More of Jules
She’s friends with both Elan and Caty and I wanted more of her in their story. They talk about and around her, but she doesn’t have much a presence until a chapter toward the end.

» More info in the epilogue
[Spoiler alert! Highlight over the blank section below to read]
There were very real reasons why Elan lived in Manila and Caty in Toronto/New York. They didn’t address how they were going to bypass Elan’s mother’s health problems and Caty’s career aspirations. Elan felt all that pressure to take care of his mom because his sister had a daughter and her husband worked on a freighter and was gone a lot. Caty was building a styling career in New York and was gaining some traction. They were such huge reasons throughout the story and they felt swept aside with no real explanation.


TL;DR:
Realistic long-distance love story with great character development

Book Review: Always Never Yours

Always Never Yours book review

The cover has some To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before vibes which threw me off a bit at first. But Megan is very different from Lara Jean so I stopped comparing them right away.

What I Loved:

» Megan embraces her high school role
She knows she’s not the girl these guys will choose for a long-term relationship (or as best as high school can get) so she leans into it. She flirts with all the cute single boys because why not have fun? She also knows she wants to go into directing and everything she does is to improve her résumé for college. She knows exactly where she wants to go and she knows what she needs to do to get in. I hate it when “ambitious high schoolers” are taken by surprise by admissions requirements.

» The authors are married
How cute is that!? This is their first book together and they’re releasing a The Taming of the Shrew retelling soon! I love the play and I’m curious to see their take on it.

» The book is set in Oregon
It never fails to make me happy to find out that a book I’m reading is set in Oregon. Bonus, I’ve been to a play at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival where Megan’s theater program puts on their big show and Ashland is ADORABLE!


What I Wished For:

» More of Megan’s flirtiness
There was some of her overt flirting, but not as much as I was expecting. She’s the school flirt and I wanted to see a lot more of it.

» More of Megan’s exes and where they are now
She’s the one before the one and I only got a real sense of one of the couples and I have questions about the others. How quickly did these guys find their ultimate high school loves after breaking up with Megan? How many of them did she have real feelings for? Where does she find these guys? Does she know/like all the girls they ended up with?

» Megan’s assertiveness
There were several times I was screaming at Megan to speak up. She’s so confident in who she is in school and in the theater, I hate that she doesn’t always stand up for herself or express her feelings in her personal life. Don’t get me started on her theater teacher.

TL;DR:
Super cute high school love story with Shakespeare connections.