Review: Plain Vanilla
Ines Bautista Yao
Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she's ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn't help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question what’s really going on inside her heart.
This is a cute short story. Tempest is a likable, believable character. I think my favorite part of this author's work is how genuine her teens seem without becoming unlikable. They do have quirks and faults and an immature take on the world, but they aren't stupid or ridiculously angsty like a lot of modern teens. I found the ending touching.
Parental concerns: some mention of alcohol consumption by under-aged drinkers.
I received a copy of this story in return for my honest review.