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2017 Favorite Reads.. so far

It’s September, bibliophiles! You know what that means—the Manila International Book Fair is here again. Looking for a reclist? Well, we’ve asked members of Girls Got Game to share their fave read/s (so far) in 2017.

JERICA, I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson follows the relationship between fraternal twins Noah and Jude, and how they navigate their lives, relationships, and themselves after a family tragedy tears them apart. I ended up falling in love with how this novel was written—the prose and how everything was stark yet poignant.

The story structure isn’t unique (honestly, a lot of fanfiction employs this method of storytelling). It’s told from the alternating points of view: Noah, at age 13, and Jude, at age 16. As a result, the structure feels like it only serves to make the plot feel more interesting. And yet it still works for the story because it heightens the parallels between the twins at different points of their lives.

Nelson uses gimmicks to give the characters individual voices. I so loved how Noah narrates everything in colors and paintings. At the same time, yes, part of me suffered uncontrollable face-twitching at the overuse of metaphors (especially at the beginning) but after awhile, I learned to roll with it—it matches the book’s whimsy.

manila international book fair
Noah, falling in love.

Structure and gimmicks aside, this LGBTQ+ Young Adult novel will yank feelings out of even the coldest hearts. It’s a story that deals with loss, growing up, family, falling in love, lifelines, and how everything is intertwined. It touches the hidden emotional struggles between family—from expectations to the deepest emotionally inflicted scars. Finally, it’s a story about how art—whether it’s through books, media, film, or as in this book, paintings and sculptures—can save us.

KIMI, Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo

Occult detective fiction gets a Filipino twist in the Trese comics, where the familiarity of Manila locales are juxtaposed with the unfamiliarity of the supernatural—tikbalang, multo, and duwende roam around just as humans do. Alexandra Trese is a detective who picks up cases where the police can’t cause something weird is involved. If there’s a problem too spooky for the police to solve, Trese will do it.

manila international book fair
src: Trese Facebook

While she draws comparisons to John Constantine or Hellboy, Trese stands on her own merits. Not just as a heroine of Filipino origin dealing in the Filipino supernatural, but as an occult detective.

I wholeheartedly recommend Trese series of comics a great deal. It’s a wonderful, and more importantly, an accessible series to Filipino mythology and to Pinoy komiks. Plus, the quality of these books is amazing—the attention to detail in both paper quality and printing does justice to Kajo Baldissimo’s drawing style of stark blacks and whites.

Pick up a copy from Visprint this MIBF.

Jerica Chingcuangco on Instagram
Jerica Chingcuangco
Jerica will soon fulfill her dream of becoming a real-life Pokémon Master. She loves true crime, fanfiction, and journaling. She doesn't have enough patience to follow TV shows weekly, but will binge a whole series in the course of several days instead. Her hair magically changes color when she’s bored.

Talk to her on instagram. View more of her work here.
Kimi, Arbiter of BS
Kimi is a half English half Filipino philosophy postgrad in Ireland by day and a geek by night, who splits her writing between WAG and Girls Got Game.

When she's not terrifying undergrads, she spends her time playing mono blue Magic the Gathering decks, hugging her game consoles, cosplaying and crying over her husbandos and waifus in Fate/Grand Order. Determined to be a katsudon that seduces men (and women) with her mad skillz.

I also Twitter at @kannascope.
Reina Bambao
In full: Her Radiance Rhaena Targaryen Malfoy, the Dauntless, Kapitana of the Ruscats, Grandmaster of Ylisse, Khaleesi of Slytherin House, and Queen of England.

In brief: Reina. Nerd, nurse, writer, witch. Keep her writing on and reading on Bibliofeline!

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