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Swept Off My Feet
Genres: Young Adult, Clean Romance
Setting: Manila, Philippines Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: Middle School, High School/Young Adult
Why my life sucks
by Geri Lazaro
1. My dad left when I was a kid.
2. My mom is in love (insert eye roll).
3. With a guy who is like 10 years younger than her!
4. My friends think he’s hot. (Gross)
5. I love ballet but our dance studio has a leak and we have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
6. There’s this Dojo guy who thinks the studio belongs to him.
7. Friends think Dojo guy is cute. (Ew.) (Okay, objectively maybe but still, ew.)
8. I’m failing algebra.
9. Need to quit either basketball or ballet. Or both.
10. Dojo guy keeps showing up! (Fine, he does aikido in the same building but whatever.)
11. Dojo guy is asking me to dance with him. And maybe he is as cute as my friends say.
12. I don't know what to do anymore!
Swept Off My Feet was a delightful story about a Filipino teenager dealing with abandonment and anger issues because of her father choosing to walk away from the family. That almost sounds like it isn’t possible, right?
Ines Bautista-Yao did a fantastic job of communicating the thoughts and emotions of an angsty teenager. Though I would never do, think or say the things Geri did, I completely understood her motivations and didn’t once feel like the story was unrealistic or off base.
I especially enjoyed reading about some of the cultural differences. They were subtle, but there if you were looking. Things like having the extended family living in the same house and language differences like “hot dog sandwich”. Reading these just made me smile.
The author used some great descriptions. One of my favorites was “panic coiling around my neck like a boa constrictor”. The story had the right balance of these similes so they were not overdone or trite.