She’s Dating the Gangster

What a freaking waste of money. Pardon my harsh words but I’m cutting back on book expenses and I’m a little picky with the books I buy these days. One hundred seventy-five pesos for a novella is a bit pricey but I support Filipino writers so that’s okay. It’s just that I want a good book to read not something I’ll regret buying. I’m okay with trying new authors but this time, I should have bought another Summit book.

Type Her She’s Dating the Gangster by Bianca B. Bernardino

Paperback, Summit Books, 143 pages
YA, Romance

Read on May 29, 2013

It all started when 17-year-old Athena Dizon unwittingly plays a trick on resident heartthrob and bad boy, Kenji de los Reyes. All of a sudden, she finds herself pretending—unwillingly at that—to be his girlfriend to make his ex jealous.

Now, not only does she have to deal with dirty looks from the girls in school who want Kenji for themselves, but her supposed boyfriend is getting on her nerves. He’s hotheaded, never seems to agree with her on anything—and everything about him screams gangster.

Has Athena gotten herself into more trouble than she can handle? Or has she actually found herself a boy she can call hers—gangster be damned?


The synopsis of She’s Dating the Gangster is catchy. A refined bad boy had always been my weakness so I put it up in my wish list. I’ve also been hearing a lot of praise for this book given that it has a bunch of followers when it was still being published as fan fiction on the internet. I said it won’t hurt if I give it a try. However, it did hurt in the end not because I got touched with the way it ended but because it was not worth it.

I know I’m having such a violent reaction over this. It’s just that I put so much hope in this book and since Summit Book published it, I was expecting it’s pretty good. The writing isn’t bad. Bianca has the potential of being a well-rounded author. I just don’t like the way how the story went. There are things that bothered me and the ending was a deal breaker. I’ve read Summit Books before, they always end in a positive way. That’s what Chick Lit is all about, right? I’m not looking for a happily ever after, but at least something that would empower women (as what Chick Lit had always been) not make you depress or fuming mad at the end.

I think I’m gonna give this away. Who wants to have it?

The character’s age and the setting do not fit the story-line. There are things that are impossible to happen at that age. It would have worked if the setting is in college; it is more realistic than high school. Since I know this is originally a fan fiction, I’d let go of the similarities of most scenes from Korean dramas I’ve seen but that isn’t enough reason for me not to look for something different and new with this book. Thinking about it, I don’t know if I’ve read something I haven’t read before. Probably one of the reasons why it didn’t work is because I’ve read numerous New Adult novels I got immune with overly dramatic situations. I’m not gonna make any more excuses; the story didn’t reach my heart. I was more annoyed than sad.

I said I’m okay with bad boys but being an asshole is another thing. Kenji went from irritating to amusing, then charming and loving, and ended up as stupid, insensitive jerk. He was turning out as a lovable character with seventy percent of the novel, I don’t get why he has to make a 360 degrees turn in the last couple of chapters. Athena was fierce at the beginning. I love her spunk but she turned out differently as the story goes. That’s what I don’t get in this novel. Why do the characters have to go from good, to bad, then worse?

The only thing I find good in this novel is that it made me realize I need to review my Korean notes from a class I took last year. I’m now having a hard time reading Korean characters when it was so easy before. There are also some words I know differently from what was used in the novel. Maybe because they’re using banmal or I only learned the basic formal/informal words and phrases.

No-No: It’s not worthy of my time.

No-No: It’s not worthy of my time.

I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book to teens or those with a weak heart and in the verge of suicide. You might get ideas. No matter how great that love is, I would still go with what Ramon Bautista said, “There is more to life than love.”

Other Reviews:
Absolutely Wonderful


Book # something of 2013

Blurb and Cover Photo: Goodreads
Book Copy: Owned


9 thoughts on “She’s Dating the Gangster

  1. Chibivy says:

    I’ve read this when it was still a ‘fanfiction’ circulating in the Internet. It surely has lots of “fans” but oh boy, I was really disappointed when I read it. It was filled with those emoticons and immature phrases (like ‘Now Playing’ and ‘Kyaaa~’ such), and majority of the whole story lack coherence. Then the language jumped from English, to Tagalog, to Korean.

    So I was surprised when I learned it would be published as a book. I haven’t read the actual book, but tell me, they DID edit it, right?

    I hope the author would write other stories. She has some potential, but “She’s Dating A Gangster” felt like it was a blog/diary entry written by a prepubescent teen.

    Btw, hullo! I stumbled on your blog. 🙂

    • Alona says:

      Yes, they did edit it. I haven’t read the fanfiction version of this since it was taken down when Summit Books bought the publishing rights. There are no emoticons, no Tagalog phrases and the Korean words/phrases are minimum.

      Kudos to the editing team, really. The story sequence is okay though I can’t make a valid comparison. If you want to read it just because you want to know if there’s any difference, borrow a copy from your GR friends. It’s not worth the money. -_-

      • Chibivy says:

        I think there are still the earlier version of She’s Dating A Gangster out there that you could download. It has a huge follower base which comprises of young teenage girl. Well, the main idea of the story was sort of “nakakakilig” for other girls, probably, but it wasn’t well execute. It was like reading a story for an amateur Wattpad writer.

        I’d like to read the book version but I definitely won’t buy one. I could buy other worthy books with that money. I’m actually waiting for my other friends to buy it so I can borrow, haha.

  2. Alona says:


    Are you a member of GR-TFG or GR-PRPB? I’m a member of both groups though I am more active in TFG (oh not lately). If you want, I can lend you my copy. 🙂 I can send the book to your address or if you’re a member of any of these groups, I can give it to you in one of the monthly meet ups.

    I don’t think I’ll read the fanfiction version. This already gave me a headache. Haha. Once is enough. LOL.


    • Alona says:

      Yes, Star Cinema bought the rights to make it a film. Probably it would be KatNiel, profit-wise. I just hope it’ll be better than the book.

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