What happens when the boy who left… finally comes home?
Tessa Manalo had always been where she was, in a small town where she was born and raised, now with a normal desk job, and a pretty quiet life. Once upon a time, she used to sit next to Sam Herras—yes, that Sam Herras—big-city living, talented, and a member of the popular boy group LuvByte.
But all of that was in the past… so why would he message her out of the blue to tell her he’s coming home at last?
Five Stars is a charming romance novella. We have high school friends reconnecting in their 20’s, celebrity/small-town romance, K-pop vibe except it’s Philippine pop star~ I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time I was reading this story.
The female lead Tessa is a loner brainiac back in high school; she only has one friend who happened to be the popular Sam, who eventually became an idol years later. The essence of the story is two former high-school friends reconnecting in their 20’s.
I love the classic archetype of an ordinary heroine and a famous celebrity coming together; that’s what originally drew me to the story. Sam and Tessa haven’t seen each other in ten years; there is a lot of things to catch up on. The author captured the “reconnecting” part authentically. The main characters were initially awkward, but there is still the “spark and history.” Within the 50 pages, Five Stars accomplished its task, which is to make the believe in the romance.
My favorite things? The tenderness and interactions between Sam and Tessa. I love the small-town-romance vibe, a trademark of Dawn Lanuza. (Please read The Hometown Hazard if you haven’t already.) The male main character is part of the 7-member boy group; for some reason it reminded me of BTS. I also love the segue of “I’m dating a Philippine idol who’s uberly popular and some added perks” and other fun fandom things.