Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Title:     Young and Scambitious
Author:  Mina V. Esguerra
Rating:  ★★★

So I received notice that Mina V. Esguerra's latest short story, Young and Scambitious, was free on Amazon (EDIT: It's now being sold for $2.99), and I immediately checked it out. The title, plus the cover, made me think it's in the style of Gossip Girl - Filipino version. I'm wrong. And I'm glad for it. (Warning: Young and Scambitious contains some strong language)

Who is Elizabeth Madrid, exactly? She's Manila's latest It Girl--stylish, staple of the club scene, new best friend of famous-for-being-famous Chrysalis Magnolia. She's also a jewelry clan heiress, a former model, an Ivy Leaguer... except no one actually knew of her until last year. Shouldn't her new society friends be more suspicious? Especially "BFF" Chrysalis, who reportedly already lost an expensive ring to a friend who turned out to be a thief?


 Oh Mina, please tell me this is a prelude to a 300-plus-novel that's going to keep me on the edge as much as this teasing short story did.

Elizabeth Madrid is smart, street-wise, passably attractive...and...nothing else. No one knows anything concrete about her except for this intriguing (and in my mind), nerdy but attractive guy, Gabriel. However, we don't really get to meet them all too deeply as Young and Scambitious is very short - too short to my liking - and this is perhaps my only beef with the story.

Being a short story, the plot and dialogue is very fast-paced. However, as Mina proves yet again that she has a talent for giving her characters a background story in very few pages, we do get a tantalizing glimpse into their lives. In 10,500 words, I've been intrigued, amused, titillated (my, those scenes were kinda hot!), irritated (at how short the story is), and definitely left wanting for more.

Elizabeth's story is like a scandal waiting to erupt, or in my mind, a secret life a la Heist Society heroine, Katarina, style. Whichever way Young and Scambitious goes, whether it delves more into the high society and delivers us more juicy morsels of gossip of Elizabeth or Chrysalis' latest fake drama, or turns "Elizabeth" into a butt-kicking modern day "sorta" heroine, I'll be right among the line of people clamoring for a longer serving of Young and Scambitious.

**Quickstop Tuesdays is a feature in My Book Musings where I review books/comic books/graphic novels that have less than 200 pages, on Tuesdays.


  1. Hey! Dropped by your blog and love your review. I admit that I am not exposed to a lot of contemporary Filipino novels. I think the last I read was in Phil Lit class where I had to read the Phil classics. I hope to read more in the genre... this may possibly be one of my goals in 2014!

    1. Thank you, Zee! I hope you do get to read some more Filipino books next year. There are quite a lot of good ones, for me! :)


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