#romanceclass, Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: Playing Autumn by Mina V. Esguerra



The last thing Haley Reese wants to do is head home to Houston. It’s been years since she pursued a career in music and mentoring at the annual Breathe Music Festival makes her feel like a fraud. But after sharing a plane ride with her idol, rock star Oliver Cabrera, things start looking up.

Oliver hasn’t called any place “home” since he started touring professionally in his teens. With his career just about over, he decides to accepts an invitation to mentor at the Breathe Music Festival. Helping Haley just might be the distraction Oliver needs.


Purchasing Link: Amazon


Playing Autumn is just the perfect book to read on a day that you would just want to chill out.

I had fun reading this book and the story and characters really aided me to have a very relaxing day. I like the premise of the story and that the main characters (Haley and Oliver) are quite different from each other but their passion for music is what binds them together. Through music, you’ll witness Haley and Oliver get to know each other and in which it eventually led them to fall in love.

Haley and Oliver’s personalities and actions could’ve used a little more tweaking here and there for it to pop more. Though, I’m certain that Haley will come across as a character whom people can easily identify themselves with. She is a fangirl and today’s generation seems to be like a pool of fangirls and fanboys.

Myself included.

I go nuts over books, authors, anything Korean, Hollywood celebrities and various artists. I also do whatever fangirls do – talk about the things that I love over Twitter, Facebook or any of my social media accounts, join some forums, collect memorabilias and always being on the loop for the latest and juiciest news about these stars. I haven’t reached the point of (and I doubt it) stalking and camping out for an artist like the Trey girls but I’m sure a lot of people have done those things already. Haley’s current situation and luck will be a highly coveted one by any fangirl out there. Seriously, it’s like one in a million chance to personally meet and spend an entire weekend with the artist who you’ve been particularly fangirling for several years already. Haley’s so lucky! But at least thru this book we can escape for the time being and be on Haley’s shoes. That’s exciting, right?

One of the things that I loved about this book is that it exposed the other side or the inner workings of the music industry wherein it showcased how toxic it can get. An industry somewhat filled with lies and people who will do everything for the sake of their business to flourish. Yes, this is fiction but it also happens in real life. Publicity stunts, check mark. It happens and I’m very familiar with that. I’ve been a fangirl for a very long time now and I’ve learned to be a very keen observer, to question every action made by the artists and to never jump the train and immediately buy the BS being fed to the general public. Think, rethink.

There were moments when it felt like the romance part of the story is separated from everything else. I think that’s what Mina would like for her readers to feel since there’s also this dilemma with Haley’s character into feeling that. I really love that the romance between Haley and Oliver didn’t overpower the story because the story itself was interesting already. Though, I would’ve liked it better if the details about the festival were given more attention, depth and foundation. In that way it would feel very realistic to the readers.

But I assure you, this book definitely ended with a big production and it’s something that you wouldn’t really forget. I was so surprised and in awe with Oliver’s gesture towards Haley. I loved everything about that scene. I loved it. A lot.

I highly recommend Playing Autumn: 1) to aspiring artists out there who needs some inspiring words and 2) to fangirls because reading Playing Autumn will open your mind and eyes on things you might not be aware of. And as I’ve mentioned in the start of this post, this book is the perfect buddy if you want to relax. All the feels. ❤



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