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.
She’s Dating the Gangster by Bianca B. Bernardino
Paperback, Summit Books, 143 pages
Read on May 29, 2013
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.
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.
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.”
Book # something of 2013
Blurb and Cover Photo: Goodreads
Book Copy: Owned