Friday, August 17, 2012

On 'That Kind of Guy'

It is not an uncommon trend on Philippine television shows and in romantic movies where the leading lady, often projected as someone who is plain-looking, will attract a bad boy type. You know the formula; boy is the appealing type with a long list of pretty and insecure girls that are now history, girl is your typical manang who still can't get over her last relationship which ended n years ago. Then the inevitable happened: boy meets girl, girl meets boy. For girl, the meeting was nothing special--she's wary of guys his type, and she's just not impressed. Meanwhile, the seemingly ordinary meeting for girl was actually a pivotal moment for boy, for he is, for the rarest of times, actually in love! We, girls, do not understand however this happened and so we begin to openly criticize the story for being so typical. But deep in our hearts, there is a very small question mark: "what are the chances that this can happen in real life?" Okay, I won't delve deeper into that. You get my point. There is a story that we know how it will end, always. Mina Esguerra's That Kind of Guy is not an exception. It is predictable, story-wise. But, as they say, it is not the destination, but the journey, which really matters. This chick-lit novella was a journey I was willing to take.

One of the reviews is right in saying that it is hard to put down. Primarily because it is a short and easy read. But mainly because it felt like listening to a girl friend I haven't seen for quite some time and there she was telling me her fairy tale all at once.

My imaginary girl friend is named Julie who finds herself involved with a hot Casanova type of guy, Anton, who all of a sudden, after being in a relationship with her, did not want to be a player anymore. At first she was okay with this--come on, who isn't a sucker for gentlemen?--but when he suddenly proposed, she turned him down. She was too scared he'll go back to his ways and inadvertently hurt her. For months after their breakup, she tried convincing herself that what she did was right. Perhaps no one can really decide to totally change overnight and have no lapses. Perhaps she is indeed meant for the pudgy lit-geek type. Perhaps she keeps on looking for reasons because she is just trying to mask her regrets. Anyhoo, the twist happens when this Anton guy, after finally extracting from Julie the reasons behind his rejection, tries his luck again but choosing to be the aggressive player this time instead of being the good guy. By the end of Chapter 15, I genuinely felt excited for Julie.

"And when I decided that I wanted to be with you, I was serious about it. But only because I thought--I think--you're the right person for me." 

Rating: 3/5

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