Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Plain Vanilla” as Want to Read:
Plain Vanilla
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Plain Vanilla

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she's ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn't help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no lon ...more
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published February 12th 2016
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Plain Vanilla, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Plain Vanilla

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Kate (GirlReading)
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-favourites
THIS WAS SO CUTE!!! So cute in fact, I pretty much wish it had been a full length novel. All the characters were lovely, as were the romantic, family and platonic relationships. I loved the Manila setting and the Filipino culture woven throughout. This was the perfect, fun, adorable summer read to get me through a holiday traffic jam. I'd 100% recommend it!
Kristy Mauna
Ines Bautista-Yao is easily one of my favorite authors. All the YA stories I've read by her, she's truly been able to capture falling in love in your teens and the voices of her characters are so authentic.

"Tempest, you are a Juan. We're all different. It's what makes our family special."
"But not really. I'm the least Juan-like! So let me do this, okay?" Tempest pleaded. "At the very least, it will make me feel better about myself."

At one point I had tears because I have felt the same way as T
Nicka (Read by Nicka)
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a short story about a "normal" girl named Tempest and how she will discover herself with the help of her crazy cousins, the Juan's and a guy named Paco.


The plot is perfectly written, you can see the Pinoy (Philippine) touch in this story. As I was reading this I can really feel the connection between me and the characters, the author never fails to amaze me with her works, each and every one of it has it's own unique "flavor"! This story has it's teenage vibe to it, it was just perfe
3 stars for the writing, 4 stars for making me go awwwww and making me feel good. Also, for being the first YA in forever that I finished.

I've been telling my friend Sue that Filipinos and Malays have a lot in common, so I live vicariously through Pinoy YA for rep. I love the Juan family dynamic, the friendship between Tempest and her cousins Marga and Clara, and of course the sweet moments between Tempest and Paco. I especially adore the ice-cream definitions I smothered my face with my pillow
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have previously read Only A Kiss by the same author and I really liked it. So consider me excited when I heard about this book. The thing about Ines' way of writing is that it's very Filipino so it's close to the heart.

The story was about Tempest, a quirky and adorable young lady who was called "vanilla" by her crush, Paco, so she put it upon herself to try to change it by attempting to do everything in a certain book of dares that she came across. Only to be more confused and distracted by Pa
H.L. Burke
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is a cute short story. Tempest is a likable, believable character. I think my favorite part of this author's work is how genuine her teens seem without becoming unlikable. They do have quirks and faults and an immature take on the world, but they aren't stupid or ridiculously angsty like a lot of modern teens. I found the ending touching.
Parental concerns: some mention of alcohol consumption by under-aged drinkers.

I received a copy of this story in return for my honest review.
Pia Flores
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I've never attempted to read a Young Adult (YA) book before and figured I'd try it out to see what all the fuss is about. Voila! Plain Vanilla came in sight amidst a table of YA books, I looked for a synopsis that applied to me despite the surpassed age range. The storyline reminded me of the same vibes of Sweet Valley or Babysitters Club set in Manila. A crazy family, supportive friends, a girl and of course the boy crush. It all seems predictable as you read the book but as I read the last pag ...more
H. Bentham
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ll keep this review short and sweet because that’s what this was, short but super sweet!

I enjoyed it a lot because it is reminiscent of American YA books I used to bring home from the library and yet the characters and settings are distinctly Filipino. And I share Tempest’s troubles with having an unusual name, awful nicknames is sitting right on top. :)

The list of dares is an interesting plot device and I loved that while not all are really ‘daring’ in my opinion, all of it was enough to gen
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
You have to let the energy of life flow through you. Let things happen, let the cards fall where they may. Stop trying to control everything.”

I was looking for a short story or novella that is easy to read and that will help me clean my reading palate, before I start reading some fast pace stories or the heavy drama book I was planning to pick up next. So I'm glad I decided to try reading this ebook because it did not disappoint. It was fun and a cute story.

I love all the Filipino culture dep
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
So cute omg I need more!!!
Olivia darlingreads
Soooo cute.
Perfect little story to read while in a reading slump :)
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

This is a sweet story. Tempest has the usual self doubt, but by challenging herself figures out a way out. Nothing angst, but a comforting story of friendship and young love.
Am I in love? I think I'm in love! This book was just too adorable! 4.5
Jim From YAYeahYeah
Fun, sweet romance novella with a lovely couple at the centre who I really liked together. Tempest's family are great too and I found this to be a quick and cute read. Would definitely read more by Ines Bautista-Yao!
April ~ The Reading Belles
ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Originally posted at b i n i b i n i

"It also means you fit right in. With me."

OMG eeeee! The Queen of Philippine YA Romance (WHOA LEVELS!!) has done her magic again! And maaan, I feel so freaking happy reading this I feel like my face is going to split in two! I highly recommend all of Ines Bautista-Yao's books if you want to feel delighted after reading a romance book or if you need a refresher from the huge selection of contemporary NA romance
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read more book reviews at The Perfictionist.

Despite its length, I think this is one well-written story about young love. This is actually my second young-adult story from Ines Bautista Yao, and she remains consistent in keeping her voice young and relatable, which is something I really appreciate.

Truth is, I got a little confused with the story when I began reading because I thought 'Plain Vanilla' meant something else. LOL. The fault was entirely my own, and partly because FSOG has given the
Ysa Arcangel
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read "Plain Vanilla" in one morning on my way to work and and finished it in less than an hour. This was actually a well-told short story, even if the protagonist isn't necessarily the kind of character I would align with.

Plain Vanilla is about young girls coming of age, set in the world of daring. The author highlights well the isolation, pressure, confusion, angst, and experiences by all teenage girls. The thing about being a teen is the whole adventure of it all but Tempest is different. Sh
Carla Guzman
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read Plain Vanilla when it first came out at BuqoYA Reads, and I'm glad I had a reason to read it again!

As a girl with nine siblings and a family (almost) as crazy as the Juans, I understood how Tempy (best name ever) felt when she was labelled as the boring one. Yikes. I loved the idea of going through a list of dares, although some of them didn't feel very daring. The one in the school though, I can totally imagine! Tempest was strong, brave, to the point that it made her hide herself away.
Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
Plain Vanilla is such a cute novella. It has the summer-y vibe even though it is not summer in the book. It has a cute boy, some great dares brought to you by a Book of Dares, family that supports you always and a girl who wants to fit in more with her family.

~ It's a Filipino romance, an #ownvoices. It's amazing and I love when I recognize some words and food names because some of them are also used here in México and the food you can also find it here, like champurrado!
~ Paco Lorenzo, the cu
Jay Tria
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The story kicks off with Tempest Juan feeling like normal is the new abnormal when it comes to her and her funky, crazy family. It quickly sets the tone of the book, and also gets me to fall in love with Tempest just as easily. She had me cheering for her as she performed dare after dare from that Book of Dares (not pleased with the one in the school yard though. What will the teachers say??? LOL). I loved the adventures Temp bravely took on. With each one, she tried to be a just a tiny bit craz ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm always so excited when Ines Bautista-Yao comes out with a new book! She's one of my go-to authors when I need a feel-good, well-written story about young love. Her writing is so authentic and enjoyable, it has all the goodness of melted butter on warm bread. :D Plain Vanilla is totally not plain but like vanilla ice cream, it's very sweet. The main characters and supporting cast come to life on the pages, and the dialogue is fun and believable. Best of all, readers of all ages will enjoy rea ...more
David Rose
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Plain Vanilla is so not plain, unless you mean plain delight! Well written, well scripted, good characters, fast pace, nice tension and as brightly coloured as the Philippines themselves, this is a very satisfying YA romance with an ethnic flavour - that is to say, tasty! This is, as advertised, quite short, but it's longer than a short story; call it a novelette. Enjoy!
Agay Llanera
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this made me wish that there were already Bautista-Yao books when I was growing up. The writing style reminded me of the Sweet Valley Twins series, which I collected--sweet, kilig, and in tune with the YA voice. It's a refreshing break because sometimes, you just want to curl up with a book that will show you the beginnings of young love, minus the angst and complicated issues. For sure, my tween self would've also collected her books, hungrily waiting for the next installment.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun sweet romance about a wonderful girl named Tempest who sees herself as "boring" compared to her flamboyant cousins, hence the title. How she challenges herself is endearing, and all the supporting characters make this a sparkling story. And then there's Paco, who is multi-faceted and loveable, and you can help but hope these two get together! I love the list of "dares" in the back and the glossary of words used in the Philippines. Highly recommended for teens and used-to-be-teens!
S.M. Spencer
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have now read a few of this authors books and I must say I'm a huge fan! This story did not disappoint either! Ines has a way with words -- her dialogue is natural and believable and she captures the emotions of a young heart with such clarity and simplicity that once I start reading I cannot stop. Five stars seems barely enough.
Chrissie Peria
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A breezy sweet read that immediately transports you back to high school with all its highs and lows. The characters manage to captivate you within the first few pages --- a mean feat considering its length. I enjoyed reading about the Juans and how this tight-knit bunch of happy people are depicted. Like Paco, I'd love to join their hijinks and be part of the family.
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 08, 2017
Soukaina Chaina
rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2016
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao's heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University's English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Tempest, on the other hand, was like her antihero or foil character. You know the one who made the hero look good?” 0 likes
“If you were to give yourself a list of dares, what would you put on your list?” 0 likes
More quotes…