Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
[Special thanks to the author for the review copy!]
All Cris Villareal had ever dreamed of was becoming a doctor. But after the death of a patient under her care and the subsequent humiliation she suffers under a senior resident in her hospital, she begins to lose faith in herself. And no one else could understand her and her despair.
So one Halloween night, up on the rooftop of her apartment building, she decides to end it all.
She is stopped from jumping by Emilio, the ghost of a young man who haunts her building, who also committed suicide there many years ago. Eventually, Cris finds herself opening up to him, in a way she had never before, with anyone living or dead.
There is only one problem.
Emilio isn’t really a ghost.
He is actually a living young man named Nathan Morales, and Cris was just one of the unwitting victims in a prank he had once played on the tenants of her apartment. But being Emilio was the only way he could think of to stop her that night, and the only way now he could get her to open up to him. As Emilio, he was someone she could trust enough to help her, in a way Nathan himself never could.
As their relationship grows deeper and their feelings grow stronger each day, can he finally help her find a reason to keep living?
But how long can he keep lying to her?
I’ve been hearing about the #MumuLI (Mumu – ghost, LI – love interest) from #romanceclass Twitter peeps these past few weeks, but I didn’t really engage in the conversation until I saw the cover for the book.
The book cover captured my attention, but the blurb sold the book to me. So when Ms. Celestine opened sign-ups for review copies, I jumped right away and entered the information needed.
I received the ARC last October 18, 2017. I was in a Philippine literature class, but I really wanted to start reading the book, so I did. (Yes I technically ditched class for this book, I’m that interested.)
And while I don’t encourage not listening to class (two classes, actually) to read a book, I highly recommend Ghost of a Feeling as your Halloween read. Or even a Valentine’s Day read. Or your weekend read.
Seriously, just read it I love it so much okay?
You see, when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I just love the idea of Nathan pretending to be Emilio to help Cris. Just imagine wearing all that makeup every night and maintaining a persona of a dead person. If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.
Nathan has winning lines, and the best of stories to tell. There’s one about a goat that almost got me caught in class, reading a non-academic book. (It’s funny to me, okay?)
There’s also a story about sago, and more moments with Cris and Nathan that made me smile. But while these moments made me feel light and happy, it’s the sad parts that made this book powerful.
I thought of two #romanceclass books I love while reading this book. Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions features Kaya, a molecular geneticist. Cris and Kaya are both from science, and books featuring women in science have my attention.
Beginner’s Guide and Ghost of a Feeling send a message that people who work in science are not robots. They’re humans, capable of feeling, and they deserve to be loved.
Lux from Sounds Like Summer also works in science. She dealt with failure and rejection. Her depression spoke to me, and Ghost of a Feeling echoed how felt about Lux and her story.
Both books are by Six de los Reyes, who happens to be a beta reader for Ghost of a Feeling. The connection of the three books made sense to me, and that bond made these books special.
I know I will write a Filipino version of this book review because my feelings are begging to explode all over the place. I’m that affected. In fact, I have a Twitter thread for this book, in which I tried to live-tweet my reading experience but ended up making a mini vlog about it.
OKAY. Here’s why this book means so much to me.
I feel so much for Cris because at the early parts of the book, her feelings were invalidated – it’s like she didn’t have the right to feel overwhelmed by everything. It’s like she’s not allowed to be sad. And I hate when that happens to someone, to anyone – because I once went through something like that.
But Nathan made her feel understood. He made her reevaluate her situation and think about what she really wants. Cris didn’t want to die – she just wanted the pain to end, and Nathan made her realize that. Most of all, Nathan gave her hope. And for people who feel so lost in the abyss of sadness and suffering, hope is the force that lifts them up and makes them want to believe again.
Nathan asked Cris to share a happy memory, and God, that scene is so beautiful. It’s one of the most powerful scenes in the book, and it made its mark on my heart. He suggested getting professional help, since he could only do so much as Emilio, and while Cris wasn’t ready for that at the moment, she considered it.
Cris felt too much pressure. It’s frustration, disappointment, and failure at once – the weight of it all crushed her. And I know how that feels, times when everything just seems to work against you, and you lose interest even in the things that you love doing. The feeling of wanting to just disappear because taking a break from the cruel realities of life is not possible at the moment. That feeling. Add the harsh treatment from a figure of authority, and you have the perfect recipe for an emotional breakdown.
The characters live in a small world – meaning, they’re more connected than you can imagine. This connection is an important part of the story, and it’s amazing how it unraveled towards the end. It’s almost like destiny.
I’m a comm major, so I can’t help but notice the highlight on interpersonal communication in this story. Self-disclosure, to be specific. I liked that I was able to apply what I’ve learned from Cris’ situation with both her friends and family. And speaking of family, another powerful scene in this book features the significance of open communication and empathy. The scene reached the deepest parts of my heart. The connection is so strong it almost made me cry.
And just when I thought I’d be able to hold back tears for this book, Nathan enters the picture. That one great moment caught my breath and willed my eyes to let go of the barrier keeping the tears from falling down.
I don’t normally feel this much for books and fictional characters, but when I do, I become so attached to them there’s no turning back. And all I want is to express how much I love them and how much I appreciate meeting them.
So thank you, Ms. Celestine. Thank you for writing this book, for giving Cris and Nathan to the world. I hope my words help them reach more people. 🙂
Ghost of a Feeling is a powerful story of moving forward by remembering what makes you feel alive. It’s a story that will stay in my heart, and it deserves all the love it can get.
Other things I love about this book:
- Cris’ full name. You’ll understand when you see it.
- The Spirit of the Glass game. Seriously, it made me swoon. ❤
- Joey. That precious kid.
- Nathan’s punch lines. Gets me every time.
- Nathan’s second prank to the boys.
- NATHAN. NATHAN. NATHAN. NATHAN.
Bookish Song for Ghost of a Feeling
The last bookish song that I sang was for Infinite Risk by Ann Aguirre. That was 9 months ago, and now I’m finally singing another one. I’m trying to choose between Fight Song by Rachel Platten and King by Lauren Aquilina, but All of the Stars is on the Spotify playlist for Ghost of a Feeling, and I happen to have a cover of it on my personal SoundCloud.
I’m also thinking of You’ll Be Safe Here, because it’s what Nathan made Cris feel at the rooftop. Safe With Me is also an option, but I can’t play any musical instruments, and I couldn’t find an instrumental I can use. So…I settled for I See the Light from Tangled. I just love that song so much and it gives me hope. So there. 🙂
Final Rating: ∞