Cover Image: How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale

How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale

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Member Reviews

This book turned out to be such a disappointment. It started off really nicely but then the insta love felt a little too insta, and I couldn't bring myself to root for them. The heroine also seemed a little too immature to be as old as she was. I ended up DNFing this.
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I loved the wonderful sense of family that came from this book, the side story of Claire and her love and care for her grandmother whose health is failing; her relationships with her sister, and an overbearing aunt. I really appreciated that along with the almost instant love that occurs between the two characters, that there is also the regret and the soul searching that accompanies knowing that such a situation just doesn't happen very often in real life.
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Rarely, it happens that I'm unable to engage with a romance novel. Typically, the books have common characteristics: a male protagonist who is all powerful and a simpering female who is 'oh so in love' but also  powerless by comparison. This book checked those boxes. I found the billionaire flat and dull, far too perfect to be true. I found our female lead helpless. It felt like reading a romance novel from 1990. DNF from me.
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All I can say is that this book had potential… but it fell victim to the “quirky” protagonist curse. 

I couldn’t get through the book without wishing I was reading something… more?
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Thank you to Entangled and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

Cw: sick loved one, dementia (side-character), family tensions, diaspora 

The premise of this one was a lot of fun, but I struggled with the lack of realism in the story. The MC is emphasized to not care much at all about Hollywood yet gets swept away when an actor hits on her, is entirely willing to abandon the grandma she has been caring for, and go on an international trip with him. This book also involves insta love and she's not like other girls two tropes that aren't my favorite. It felt like the book relied on the fantasy rather than building the chemistry and intimacy between the two characters

If you are looking for some escapist fun check this one out, it just unfortunately was not for me.


Steam: 3
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This story has really good bones to it and is fast paced. I do wish it had a bit more “meat on its bones” as at times, it felt a bit rushed. You would find something out about the characters or plot and then two more big things would be thrown into the mix soon after so there wasn’t always a lot of time to explore those things in the story.
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So so good, and such a cosy read! Grab a blanket and a tea curl up and read this book! I loved everything about it and I am so glad I read it. 

If you love a cute (and spicy!!) romance this is your next book!
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I picked this one thinking this was going to be a fun read but I find myself rolling my eyes constantly at the absurd storyline. I do give romances a chance from time to time but romances that focuses on instant love and speedy romances are not my cup of tea. How can you even claim to love someone you barely know? It truly baffles me but this is coming from a love skeptic so do take this review with a grain of salt.

This story follows Claire Ventura who is working in a bookstore while hoping to start her own cookie decorating business. She comes from a first-generation Filipino family who has hopes for her to do better in life.   She also has her nosy aunts who re constantly nagging her about her life choices. Claire has a special bond with her Lola who is currently living in a care home due to Alzheimer’s. Sounds like she has a lot on her plate right? Then Nate came along! He is some big shot tech CEO but Claire doesn’t know how famous he is until he took her out on a date. They fell in love almost instantly and started dating. However, with two completely different backgrounds, how will their love survive?

The story started off great. I enjoyed the introduction to Claire’s family and their banter reminds me of ‘Arsenic and Adobo’. I wished there was more of Claire’s family in the story. I also loved how Claire is very determined and level-headed about her path and values despite being blinded by love. Other than that, I am not feeling the romance. Their love story is honestly very far-fetched and everything seems too good to be true.

Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me. Thank you Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for the arc.
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This book starts.out with some heavy family drama and does a sudden about face to instalove with an intense billionaire and some far reaching coincidences. It all felt a bit too forced.
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2.5 stars

How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale was a lukewarm romance to me for me for three-quarters of the book. It didn’t do anything to offend me but it wasn’t memorable either. Claire was likeable and I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her lola and sisters, as well as her fear of taking risks and chasing her dreams. Nate, even after finishing the book, is very much an unknown. We don’t really get to learn much about who he is and that is a major factor in why I didn’t care for their relationship.

I don’t agree with the ending - I think it completely undermines Claire’s growth and arc that we had been building towards. I understand that goals and dreams change but it didn’t been like the logical conclusion for her based on what she had been expressing for 95% of the book. Also, Nate was doing some emotional manipulation in one of their scenes and I’m not there for that! If that was the extent of developing his character, I could have done without.
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An easy to read fast paced romance. I enjoyed this book and think it would make a good tv show. I would rate it three out of five stars.
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Unfortunately, I just didn’t like the main character Claire and didn’t feel any connection between her and Nate. While I found some of the supporting characters interesting, they were not enough to give this a higher rating. Many thanks to Net Galley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I love this it was like One Day At A Time  and You Had Me At Hola rolled into one book! I love the diverse range of characters and the feminist take on an age old problem that the modern woman faces. Move over Carrie Bradshaw that’s all I can say, it could easily be adapted into a Netflix limited series.
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I appreciate having a Filipino protagonist, so thanks to the author for showing the beauty of diverse viewpoints! 

The main character’s poor judgment in men was not understandable, and I didn’t find her sympathetic enough to want to keep reading. Sorry, I wanted to like this book, but it just wasn’t my taste, and I never finished it.
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This high speed romance is a billionaire romance with the girl next door type. The storyline was pleasant with various stories going on at the same time that slowed the actual storyline down. 
ARC given by NetGalley for my honest review and opinion.
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Yeah, I don't know, I guess billionaire MMCs aren't for me. He flew her to Paris ALONE on their first date, and he wouldn't even tell her that's where they were going, as if she doesn't have a life that she needs to make arrangements for. That might be romantic for some people, but it really took me out of the story.
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I LOVE THAT THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A FILIPINO AMERICAN AUTHOR. If you love hallmark movies, this is for you. A classic prince charming trope who was beyond heart eyes! I loved this book so much because I appreciate a classic good guy gentleman. Nothing too crazy happens but I love the exploration of the pros and cons to having a very close knit family. PLEASE read this and I can't wait for another release by Elle Cruz. =)
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1.5/5

I’m so sad to say that this book was a huge letdown for me. As a Filipino reader who believes that there aren't nearly enough contemporary fiction books that center around Filipino protagonists, I was really looking forward to a cool and fun but yet meaty story that incorporates Filipino-centric themes in exciting ways. While this novel does touch on some specific Filipino and Asian family ideals, the plot and overall character developments were extremely superficial and unrealistic. 

The main couple, Claire and Nate, were so forgettable that I had to refer back to the book just now to remember their names. Claire is the Filipino main character who works at a bookstore, loves to bake, visits her grandmother everyday at an assisted living facility, and whose family pressures her constantly to find a ‘real’ job instead of the baking side business that she has. She meets Nate, a bigshot techie and billionaire bachelor, by accident when she dines at one of his restaurants and he is charmed simply because she does not recognize him as a celebrity. 

I could roll with the story at this point in the novel; the premise was nothing new but I didn’t mind suspending my disbelief for a potentially cute and hilarious romance. Unfortunately, the story suffered from too many side plots, really weird pacing, and very little redeeming qualities for its characters. We read about the declining health of Claire’s grandmother, Claire’s struggle to quit her part-time job and commit to establishing a full-time baking company, her family (specifically her naggy sisters and aunts) judging her every life decision, her whirlwind romance with Nate, and her indecisiveness with how far she wants to go in pursuing a relationship with him. The pacing and dialogue were awkward in my opinion because the author had to find a way to tie all of these small conflicts together and wrap up everything before the end of the story, all while trying to stick to the theme of this being an #OwnVoices book, which is how this novel was marketed. 

The author focused a lot on family values, which are a huge and important part of Filipino culture. Families are a cohesive unit and everyone typically supports each other in whatever little ways they can, like cooking and hosting dinner at someone’s house, helping with financial burdens, and taking care of elderly family members. Cruz did include the importance of family into Nate’s character, but I feel like aside from that he was a very cartoonish character; the only other qualities I remember about him is that he’s a workaholic who likes video games, is really good at seducing Claire, and probably has an insanely high carbon footprint from all his private jet trips. 

I want to point out one part in the book that really rubbed me the wrong way, in which Claire turns over her grandmother in the care of someone who was essentially a stranger to her (she’s Nate’s godmother who is a retired nurse, but still, she’s basically known Nate for like a week or something at this point) so that she could go on a date with Nate. Like I get it, the man is busy 24/7, but if she really couldn’t wait to spend time with him then she should have at least asked a family member to look after her grandmother. That part left a bad taste in my mouth and I really disliked how the character handled that situation. 

Their romance moved way too fast for me, and although I’m not a fan of the love at first sight trope, I can dig it as long as a novel does a great job of having the characters connect with each other, which I do not feel this book did. I was not invested in any of the characters and lost interest in the plot after very little development. The conflicts were very surface level, as were the resolutions. The scenes leading up to the final resolution were rushed and devoid of any real emotion, and the ending was just too cheesy, even for any other cheesy romcom. This really missed the mark for me, and alas, the hunt for an A+ Filipino protagonist continues.

**Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley, Ms. Cruz and publisher for the free ARC copy.

I am Filipino and wanted to like this book so much but I read it in just a few hours because I wanted the experience to end. I have no problems with the writing but I have problems with the plot and the characters. The whole story was cliched and definitely been there and done that. The story has nothing new to offer. There are also unexplored plots that just quickly rounded up at the end. It seems like this was done in a hurry just like Clara's cookie orders. The characters are 2-dimesional at best, I'm not saying that this is the worst but the story can be definitely improved on.
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This book was super cute and a great modern fairytale retelling! Plenty of steam to keep you interested, but a whole lot of heart to keep you coming back for more.
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