December 15, 2015

Wicked Review: Welcome To Envy Park by Mina V. Esguerra

Published: January 2015
Publisher: Anvil Publishing
Acquired: Paperback
Amazon || Get this for only P185 at your nearest National Bookstore (PH readers)

Moira Vasquez is a doer. A planner. A get-up-and-goer. At twenty-two, she left her hometown to work in Singapore, to satisfy a need to travel as well as give her savings account a boost. Five years later and she's back in Manila, with a shiny new apartment to her name, but no job, no career, no boyfriend. She meets Ethan Lorenzo, the quiet hunk of an IT consultant on the ninth floor of her condo building, and he's a welcome distraction during this period of having absolutely nothing going on in her life.

But she has a plan - of course she does - and this is just a short layover on the way to the next country, the next job, the next big thing. Or will she be missing out on something great that's already there?

As a twenty-one year old, I long to live independently, have a stellar career, maybe be in a relationship, ensure that my mother and my brother are doing well, travel to different places, and have the best life ever. I know I still have my whole life ahead of me.

But with Moira Vasquez, those things or at least one of those things should be a done deal already. She's twenty-seven years old. She spent five years in Singapore to work and experience life in another country. To others, that would've been the life. That was it! She was in a different country, a more progressive one at that. So imagine the surprise of Moira's family and friends when she moves back to the Philippines to look for a job.

Now, Moira has moved in her new swanky unit in an expensive place. She has no job as of the moment. But she does have a hot neighbor. In this book, I realized that uprooting yourself is hard. She spent five years in Singapore, for crying out loud, only for her to come back in Manila without a name for herself. Moira thought that when she came back, everything will be the same. Her good friend, Roxie, has a stellar career even if she stayed in the Philippines. This is where Moira struggled. She had to go through the motions again.

Mina Esguerra has introduced me to different characters who are so full of life and reading the book in Moira's perspective, I learned a lot about life. Some of them are well better off than her, some are going through some of the toughest experiences she couldn't even imagine having to go through at her young age. Welcome To Envy Park isn't really a romance novel. It really is about choices you make in life and how you live with those choices. It's very easy to read and very engaging. I learned a lot from this book.

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "Is this story based on you?" is always, always "No."


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