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Cities: a novella Paperback – December 10, 2014
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About the Author
Carla de Guzman (firstname.lastname@example.org) had horrible handwriting as a kid. These books are chronicles of her journeys, with a silly love story mixed in. Carla writes for her blog, Some Midnights (www.somemidnight.wordpress.com) and for When in Manila.
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Top customer reviews
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De Guzman’s Cities is rooted on this intriguing premise, of multiverses that exist next to each other, of multiple lives one person could be living in different planes of existence. It felt very abstract to me, and at times I found myself being stopped by thoughts that go ‘wait—what?’ But a few pages in, I decided to stop overanalyzing everything and just settle into enjoying each story.
Celia, Ben, Vivian and Henry have loved each other in many different ways, and in different permutations. In each of the three cities, their love stories start differently, progress differently, and conclude with scenes that shift in abrupt takes, much like rapid blinks of the eyes in dreams. Seoul is fun, flirty and swift, propelled by the urgency of young love and the classic obstacle of rich-man-loves-common-spunky-woman. London is a slower, more potent brew of friends and flings. New York is brisk too, but there is a level of comfort there, a warmth against the big city’s inherent zing; even the lines of conflict felt familiar. But Manila is where it all begins and ends, on a wedding day that defied a storm.
Cities does not try to answer the ‘what ifs?’, but instead tries to explore one after another. Each city provides a colorful backdrop that sets a unique tone to each multiverse. I would have wanted a more consistent POV—the head-hopping jars me out of the narrative at times—but De Guzman’s prose is friendly, and the depth of her imagination pushed me out of the safe borders of my reality. Read it, and like Celia, maybe you too will be consumed by the question: what if in another universe, you loved me too?
First novel for review from a Filipina.
First time to review a book with tagalog/korean in them.
Going back to the review…
“Maybe in another universe, I loved you too.”
Celia was stood up by Ben in the past. Now, she’s the Maid-of-Honor in Benedict’s wedding. But before the day even begins, she’s having these dreams of what could be or what could have been. Even the people were talking about what ifs.
Ben is getting married to Celia’s best friend, Vivian. He believes in multiverses. That dreams are glimpses of different scenarios and different chains of events in multiple parallel universes. Will knowing that Celia is also having these dreams change anything for them?
Vivian is every girl’s dream of being. Or so I was led to believe. According to Celia, she’s wonderful and perfect. But is she just as great and flawless in the multiverses? (I didn’t like her much.)
Henry is (THE wonderful and perfect character here. HA! You might’ve guessed that he’s my favorite) the ideal guy friend. He’s loyal and dresses to kill. He’s constant in Celia’s life, but will this universe be his time? Or is it in another?
Seoul, London, New York – In these cities, what could’ve been will be showcased. Altered situations will unfold. Will Celia and Ben finally get their happy ending?
We know “What Ifs” are very painful. Regret can be vicious. We’ll just have to rely on faith and fate to answer the constant questions that plagues everyone from time to time.
I was under the impression at the first chapter that it was like Something Borrowed but I was sorely wrong. With the exception of Henry, I was not fully connecting with the other characters as I would’ve liked. But the different scenarios with different cities made an interesting twist to the story.
Cities is like a combined version of a Teleserye and Koreanovela. Heartbreak, humor, hope, and a little bit of multiverses thrown in, it will make you wonder whether a different you is experiencing what you dreamt of having.