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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.

“The author highlights well the isolation, pressure, confusion, angst, and experiences by all teenage girls.”

Plain Vanilla is so not plain, unless you mean plain delight! Well-written, well-scripted, good characters, fast pace, nice tension and as brightly coloured as the Philippines themselves, this is a very satisfying YA romance with an ethnic flavour – that is to say, tasty!”


Author note: I wrote an article for a tween magazine about going out of your comfort zone and that immediately gave me the idea for this story. I even got the ideas of the dares in the story from that same tween magazine — with permission from the editor in chief, of course!

The message of this story is clear: to be yourself because that’s all you have to be for people to love you. I believe teens have a very hard time doing this or believing the truth in this, and this is why I wrote this story. But at the same time, if you want to do something different in your life, shake things up, go ahead because it’s fun and you might just fall in love in the process.