Hey Bookworms!

It’s so nice to be back with another book review 🙂 It’s been awhile since I wrote one, I’m struggling between school and blogging but don’t worry I managed to sort things out so I can smoothly manage everything. I have a little challenge for everyone on the end of this post!


I would like to thank the author for sending an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review. This won’t affect my review in any way. 🙂




Genre: Romance

Expected Publication: 12th February 2016

You can pre-order now on Amazon! (click here)

My Rating:



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.

my thoughts


This is a short story about a “normal” girl named Tempest and how she will discover herself with the help of her crazy cousins, the Juan’s and a guy named Paco.


The plot is perfectly written, you can see the Pinoy (Philippine) touch in this story. As I was reading this I can really feel the connection between me  and the characters, the author never fails to amaze me with her works, each and every one of it has it’s own unique “flavor”! This story has it’s teenage vibe to it, it was just perfect for those who are trying to find themselves… Maybe you can find yourself while reading this novel 🙂


I LOVE THEM! They’re fun and very likable especially the main character you can easily relate to her, you can understand her frustrations in a very not annoying way. Tempest is just our ordinary girl living with her “crazy” family, the Juan’s, crazy means they’re doing things like there’s no limitations all the fun stuff that Tempest has been missing out all her life. But then she meets Paco, the guy who made Tempest think twice about herself, about who she really is and what she can really do. Paco’s character is very simple, he’s sweet in his own ways. Her cousins, Marga & Clara are very lovable they have their own personality that just really fits with Tempest’s. I had the most wonderful time with them, especially when they were doing the DARES! Those dares that really helped Tempest show her true self, it was nice in a way that they were all having a good time and it was helping someone to get out of her comfort zone.


All in all, I really loved and enjoyed this short story! Yet again, another great work by Ines B. Yao! The way she writes her novels AHHH I just flew through the pages, it’s fun and cute. This novel made me realize some things, that it’s not that bad to try different things once in a while, maybe try a new flavor of ice cream (Bacon & Salted Caramel, Red Pepper Chocolate flavor), try a different hobby or go restaurant hopping, maybe travel alone all those things that you’re scared to do. Maybe give it a try sometimes? Go ahead and make your own bucket list! 🙂 I RECOMMEND THIS FOR EVERYONE TO READ!



Ines Bautista-Yao

Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao’s heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines’ time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.



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These are some of my favorite quotes from the story, I edited these photos if you’re wondering 🙂


It’s always fun to try something new. Why not take a cue from Tempest and complete this list of dares?

  • Make a paper crane

This wasn’t on the list of dares in the story, but as Clara said, paper cranes symbolize long life, good luck, and happiness. At the same time, if you fold a thousand of them, you can make a wish and it has more chances of coming true! Why shouldn’t this be number one on your to-do list? In fact, gather your friends together so you can have a paper crane making party!

  • Do chalk art

It can be intimidating to stare at a blank canvas holding a paintbrush (I’d be paralyzed and maybe just draw hearts!), but with colored chalk in your hands, you become a kid again. And there is absolutely no pressure to create a masterpiece. What was Tempest thinking recreating the garden of the BenCab Museum? Doodle away and that would already be considered art!

  • Sleep under the stars

Do not break into a school. How irresponsible of the Juan girls! But if you can get permission from your school to camp out in one of the fields, that would be great. You could even study the constellations and get plus points in science. Or pitch a tent in your own garden. If you don’t have a garden, find a close relative or friend who does. Or convince your parents to take you out of town. Then dare them to sleep under the stars with you!

  • Play hide and seek

When was the last time you played it? You’ll love squeezing yourself into little hiding places and trying to keep as quiet as you can. Or you can switch it around and play Sardines instead. The It will have to hide. Everyone else has to find him or her. When you find the It, you hide together. The last person to find all of you squeezed in like sardines (so that’s where the name comes from!) is the next It.

  • Try glow-in-the-dark bowling

Marga was so excited about doing all the dares the night they snuck into school, but she fell asleep before she could force everyone to go bowling. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it! Just get 10 glow sticks and 10 half-filled mineral water bottles. Bend the glow sticks to light them up and stick each one into a bottle. Make sure the caps are on tight. Use a basketball to knock ‘em over!

  • Write an ode to something (or someone) you really love

Because Alfonso wrote an ode to Cindy, I decided to include this on the list. You don’t have to add music to your ode if you don’t think you can do it but if you’ve got the talent, then by all means, sing your heart out! Tell the world how much you love something or someone. List down all the reasons you think that particular person or thing is the best in the world! The mushier, the better. You’ll feel great afterward.

  • Wage a water war

Or you can run through sprinklers. That will be fun too. But as Paco said, if you live in Metro Manila, you probably don’t have a sprinkler in your home. Your best bet would be to collect water guns and soak each other senseless. Best way to beat the summer heat too!

  • Throw a costume party

Make like the Juans and dress up in outrageous costumes even if it isn’t Halloween. In fact, make sure it’s not Halloween. You want your party to stand out and be remembered by everyone who went (and everyone who wished they did!). Pick a theme and make sure your decorations, food, music, and giveaways are all in sync.


  • Make a slushie

If you want to do a soda slushie, buy a plastic bottle of your favorite soda, shake it well and freeze for an hour. When you take it out of the freezer and pop the cap, your soda will be slush. But if you’re like Clara and don’t consume over-sweetened carbonated drinks, throw some ice, milk, fruits, and water into a blender. Yum!

  • Visit an ice cream shop and decide what flavor you and your friends are going to choose

Pick flavors for each other and then pick one for yourself. Afterward, compare and see if the flavors matched. The fun part will be explaining your choices. Plus, you’ll be getting to know your friends and yourself even better! Such a yummy method of self-discovery. Must suggest this to guidance counselors.”

  • Write with your other hand

If you’re a lefty, try being a righty and vice versa. According to the Total Girl article I based these dares on, the hand you use to write is connected to the side of the brain you use. So if you’re right handed, you use the left side of your brain which is logical and intellectual. If you’re a lefty, you use the right side which is creative and emotional. Imagine what secrets you can unlock by trying this dare! Maybe I should try writing with my left hand today. What stories will I come up with, I wonder?

  • Mix your own perfume

Marga thought this was a boring dare, but Clara thought it was fun to try. Look for petals that smell good (some flowers reek—you don’t want to splash them on!), rinse them, and put them in a small jar filled with water. Tighten the lid and shake. Have it soak up the sun’s rays for one week. Then smell your creation!”

  • Draw your own comic strip

Since Clara, Marga, and Tempest did almost all the dares together, they picked a favorite dare each and created a comic strip out of it. You can do the same thing! After you’ve completed everything, flex your creative muscles and document your adventures. In fact, why not make comic strips for each one?

Do them alone or do them with family and friends. After you’ve accomplished all the dares, you’ll feel like a better version of yourself. Good luck and have fun!

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: PLAIN VANILLA BY INES B. YAO + List of Dares

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