Love at First Run by Angel C. Aquino
Publication Date: April 30, 2018
[I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!]
After getting her heart broken, 23-year-old Diana Gomez is afraid to fall in love again. But when her office crush Paul invites her to join a running club with him, she goes for it.
What she doesn’t know is that to be a part of the club, she actually has to train for a half marathon—and that she’ll meet Joshua, the handsome club veteran who becomes her unofficial running buddy.
As if it isn’t hard enough to do speed work, interval training, and long runs after work and on weekends, she has to deal with her feelings for both boys and face her fears of falling in love.
Will she reach the finish line without getting herself (or her heart) injured? Journey with Diana as she reaches running milestones, overcomes obstacles, pushes herself to the limit, and discovers the strength within her…one kilometer at a time.
Diana Gomez joined a running club because of Paul. Spending more time with her office crush seemed like a great idea, even if she had to exert extra effort to keep up with the members of the club. The early morning call time is not exactly her thing, and all the running she had to do drained the energy she never expected she would spend.
It doesn’t help that her co-worker Amaya keeps on flirting with Paul, somehow defeating the “purpose” of Diana’s membership to the club. But then Joshua enters the picture and suddenly, running didn’t seem too hard anymore. Having Joshua as a running buddy made the challenges easier to bear, and Diana eventually finds herself wondering if she’s ready to fall in love again.
(And that’s where I end my summary because we don’t want spoilers!)
Why I love this book:
- Diana is so relatable. Aside from our shared love of sweets, I saw myself in Diana because I am totally the girl who would join a running club because my crush invited me to even if I hate waking up early and I don’t really like running. I mean, c’mon friends. I know I’m not the only one.
- Since I see myself in Diana, her experience with the Finishers inspired me to consider joining a running club in the future. (Not yet today, I’ll start with regular exercise at home first!)
- The book shows the value of hard work. Running speed doesn’t matter because the important thing is doing everything you can to finish the race. That applies to both marathons and life, I guess.
- It’s about taking risks and being open to possibilities. Because maybe learning to overcome fear means taking the first step.
Other things I love:
- The presentation of the chapters. I’m a fan of unique book formats (like the research paper format of Beginner’s Guide and the list format of Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You). In Love at First Run, the chapter titles are Kilometers, and the book has 21 (referencing the 21-kilometer distance of a half marathon, which Diana took part of in the book). I found that very cool. 🙂
- The book’s local setting. The familiar places in the book made my reading experience more enjoyable. Some of the places I’ve gone to are the academic oval at the University of the Philippines (my school!!!), the Quezon Memorial Circle, and Baguio City.
- The zombie run scene. So fun to read and very iconic. Maybe for a live reading of the book? (*wink, wink*)
- Sweet, innocent moments that bring instant kilig. Here’s something you might not know about me: I’m a sucker for hand-holding. I love reading how different authors make it happen because to me it’s a simple thing that could mean everything. ❤
Love at First Run is about the (literal and metaphorical) marathons we have to run in our life. Through this book, we get reminded that life is not a race where only the winners get a medal. Life is a shared journey with the people who matter to us, and we should live it at our own pace.
The road could be hard to navigate, but we have to power through. We have to keep going. And most of all, we need to remember that it’s not really important to finish first. It’s more important to finish happy. ❤
Initial Rating: 4.5/5
Final Rating: 5/5