Title: The First Time They Met
Author: Ana Valenzuela
What’s making Mayumi anxious on her best friend’s birthday party?
Is it her long time best friend Marie? Marie is now in college, and Mayumi starts to doubt their friendship as Marie meets new people and gets closer to them.
Or is it this basketball player named Micah? A guy she recently met and is making every girl fall for him—Mayumi included.
The First Time They Met is available in
Since I haven’t been able to write anything for my manuscript becase of a faulty keyboard, I ended up focusing myself on reading. Of course, I’m aware that this book should be the first in my list since this is the featured book for this month’s Backlist Revival Project. I was expecting that this would contain about 20 chapters or less. Probably ranging for 15-20 chapters. And the story would focus more on one scene or setting.
To my amusement, it was like Dawn Lanuza’s “What About Today”. Sorry for citing an example but this is the story that I could compare it to. I’m only comparing about the setting, which both books focused on only one event/setting. In Ana Valenzuela’s book, it was during Marie’s birthday.
This was a really heartfelt story which shows a lot of Mayumi’s shyness and introverted personality (you can disagree on this part, if you like). Of course, this doesn’t stop her from catching the attention of one of the boys at the party which she always thought was impossible or at least a bit apprehensive because of age gap. Nowadays, people don’t care about age gaps—or at least they don’t, most of the time. But I think from the way Mayumi was raised and what she had (or had not) adapted from the world, age gap still matters. Distance also matters to her that it made her quite scared and anxious because she wasn’t aware of her friend’s life as often as before. Communication matters to her as well, since she felt that she had missed out a lot about Marie’s life more than she thought.
And yet as the night went by since the party started and had crossed paths with Micah, things had taken a different turn. Most of them, she didn’t expect to come or happen at all. And most of the issues that mattered to her so much seemed to have dissipated the more she spent time with Micah, pouring out most of her feelings and thoughts about everything that bothered her. Their time together during that special event to their common friend slowly brought out a part of themselves that they never thought they had and they were able to confide to each other about it. Mayumi had anxiety issues about Marie’s life and friends and Micah and pressure issues about other people’s expectations to him.
Okay, I think I’ve rambled enough. But this is a lighthearted story, maybe not too much of a coming-of-age, but more of a realization of what life had offered and will offer to them from there and out. One of those “offers” was each other’s company that would surely start a story a new friendship and perhaps, romance. Well, the story’s ending was something I would call an open-ended one, if that even made sense. So that means, Mayumi and Micah will still have a long way to go.
I hope this story has a continuation, a part 2, a sequel. Anyway, they meant the same.
About The Author:
Ana Valenzuela graduated with a degree in AB Literature from UST. She is currently taking up her masters major in Development Communication at UPOU.
She works as a content writer for an online retail company and does freelance work on the side.