Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

I Heart Iloilo #1

Keeping the Distance

Rate this book
No bets. No fake relationships. Just a very real one that has to be kept under wraps.

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can't. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something's about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn't her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs...

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he's ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he's known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he's about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs...

172 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Clarisse David

5 books44 followers
Clarisse David is a Young Adult and New Adult author from the land of epic heat waves a.k.a. the Philippines. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in Literature, and cannot survive without red lipstick and books. When not hanging out on Twitter, she can be found working on her latest writing project.

You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. You can also send her an email at clarissedavidwrites[@]yahoo[.]com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
50 (24%)
4 stars
75 (36%)
3 stars
59 (28%)
2 stars
20 (9%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Nat.
546 reviews3,172 followers
August 1, 2018
Keeping the Distance is a YA romance set it in the Philippines, exploring one of my favorite tropes: hate to love. And it seems that the books in this genre just keep getting better and better. This one in particular had me giddy till the last page.

Set around Lance Ordonez and Melissa Ortiz falling in love in their senior year, this story is a lot more than meets the eye. Consequently, I've prepared a list of things that made me almost shriek with happiness:

• a richly layered story of love, friendship, and a healthy dose of teenage obsession.
• the usage of cheesy pickup lines on one another:

“They still had five minutes before the torture known as their Physics class started, so he pulled his chair closer to hers. “If you’re good in Algebra, can you substitute my X without asking Y?”
It was cheesy and completely ripped off some site he found online, but it was the best he could do on short notice.”

• Lance reminded me quite a bit of William from Skam, which meant that at first I had no warm feelings whatsoever... and kept thinking of this epic scene with Noora:

Mel even had a similar comeback:

“Now, why would I do that?”
“Because you obviously weren’t hugged enough as a child.”
He smirked. “You can hug me all you want to make up for it.”

But I gradually came to appreciate Lance when he got some needed character development. Or as he likes to put it:

“He wasn’t a bad guy.
He was—how should he put this?—a work-in-progress. ”

• So if you love Noora and William, you'll for sure love Melissa with Lance. It’s Noora x William with the addition of pranking each other in the most hilarious way.
• THEIR PRANKS!! This part of the book made me crack up laughing. I mean, I ended up in literal tears when Mel superglued Lance to his seat:

“I’d love to, Mr. Rodriguez, but I can’t.” Lance tried to keep his voice even. He watched Melissa’s grip tighten on her pen, her knuckles turning white with exertion.
“And why not? Can’t you grace us mere mortals with your presence?” Mr. Rodriguez raised his bushy eyebrows.
“Melissa’s beauty is binding me to my seat.”
It wasn’t that far from the truth.
Under other circumstances and with any other teacher, the class would’ve tittered with laughter by that point, but their Physics teacher was like some dark, pulsating thing that sucked joy out of the atmosphere.
No one even dared to smile.
“I’m not kidding.” Mr. Rodriguez said, narrowing his eyes. “Come here and answer this problem before I make you.”
He shook his head. “I can’t.”
“Well, then, I don’t have a choice, Mr. Ordonez.” Mr. Rodriguez’s face hardened, a line forming between his eyebrows. “Get out of my classroom.”
He scratched the back of his head, looking at his teacher in exasperation. “I can’t do that, either.”

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for hours…

“Against her will, Melissa’s eyes focused on his lips. They were the kind that made you wonder what it would be like to kiss them.
Not that she ever wondered about that.”

I LOVE it when a character is like, “not that I cared… obvi..”
• This book made me listen to cheesy pop songs I hadn't heard in ages because it was just SO DAMN CUTE.
• It's also similar to Skam in that both had a character play “I'm Yours” by Jason Mraz on the guitar/ ukulele.
• At this point, I needed to chill the fuck out because I was almost jumping with excitement.
• The repeated lectures Mel got from her principal dad kind of reminded me of this one hilarious scene from The Edge of Seventeen:

description description description description description description

Fun fact: this book actually inspired me to finally watch the above film because they're both set in high school and perfectly capture the joy and awkwardness of being seventeen.

• I appreciated this romance a lot for being straightforward and not messing about with the “does s/he like me or not.”
• kind of random, but I also adored it when the characters went to the beach. That's how a book wins over my heart in a second.
• Speaking of winning over ones heart, these two are so fucking adorable it actually hurts.

“She stared at him the whole time, a little smile playing on her lips. Upon catching her, he placed the spoon he’d been using on his empty plate and caressed her lower lip with his thumb. Because he could. Her lower lip felt soft and warm. He wanted to kiss it for the foreseeable future.
Her smile grew wider. “I like looking at you.”

I'm trying to contain a smile of my own.

• female friendships. I'm really hoping the next book will focus more on her camera loving best friend, Camille Velasco. Side note: Cam, as she gets called, loves photography, which now I realize is a pun. (Cam...camera, right?)
• I would also love to know more about Lance's best friend, Jace Hernandez. He's quite the mystery that I'm more than eager to unravel!!

All in all: though the book had some low points at the start, the more I got swept into Mel and Lance's love, the more I grew to appreciate their story. I'm so glad I took a leap with Keeping the Distance. And I can't wait to read more of Clarisse David's writing in the future!!

Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Keeping the Distance, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!

Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils
Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,599 followers
February 7, 2017
If you like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, you should check out this book, particularly, if you’re looking for a YA novel with a boundless romance.

Clarisse David is a master of crafting an excruciating pair that you will ship deep down to the core. Similar to her debut novel, Prom Queen Perfect, Keeping the Distance didn’t deviate from its theme. It’s a coming of age as well, though the focal lens of it is romance.

Keeping the Distance focuses on Melissa, who is the daughter of the principal of a Catholic school, she’s been groomed as the perfect child. She loves pastel colors, can play the ukulele, but she also has a rebellious streak. Something that amuses Lance, her longtime classmate, who might or might not be interested with her. You can expect unsuccessful pranks that leads to detention, fighting quips, and a whole lot of swooning.

It makes me happy to see common Filipino values, I only see in teleseryes siphoning their way into YA. Keeping the Distance is riveting and theatrical. I live for the teenage fumbling. I don’t give five stars lightly so I am verifying this book is nothing, but great. Full review to come.
Profile Image for mith.
741 reviews256 followers
March 26, 2017
you can read this review on my blog as well as two others!

Clarisse David is so, so good at the whole enemies to lovers trope. Twice now, she's had me a little romance mess over her characters and I would not have it any other way. This book made me swoon, laugh, cry, and fall in love with everything multiple times and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I really cannot think of any other way to describe this book! It was so cute! It was so real! From the friendships, romance, and obsessions, David definitely nailed what it was like to not only fall in love for the first time, but to also grow out of your shells, out of the mold people expect you to stay in, and going after something that scares you, no matter the consequences.

I loved the writing and the dialogue! It was so cheesy--both Lance and Melissa had this on-going thing where they used bad pick-up lines on each other. They also had pranks and adorable dates and gah. They were just super cute, okay? I loved their growth throughout the novel, both as a couple and individual characters.

Not only that, the best friends are never, ever sidelined and I loved that! Mel's best friend, Camille, and Lance's best friend, Jace, appear throughout and they're always either helping or teacing Mel/Lance, respectively. I know that the I Heart Iloilo series is a companion novel series, so I really hope that they each get their own stories!

Overall, 4 stars! If you love a cute hate to love romance and lots of banter and pranks, I highly recommend this!
Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,030 reviews2,553 followers
April 23, 2017
The newest Clarisse David book made my night. It's the cute type of romance you want with your favorite tropes: enemies to lovers, hate to love, there is so much banter and adorable dates and simply relationship goals. Melissa and Lance did the "falling on the sand and playing around" scene and "kissing her head and throwing my arm around her shoulders." This book is filled with lots of lovely moments and lovely characters. I can't wait for more to come!
Profile Image for emma.
991 reviews80 followers
February 19, 2017
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This is my second book my Clarisse David, and she is now on my list of automatic to-read-authors. This book was superb, and what I loved most about it was the relationships. Not only that between Melissa and Lance, but those of Melissa, her parents, and Cam. This book was not only a fun, cute romance, but a coming of age story. The characters were well rounded and actually felt like high school students. There was enough angst to keep me happy (I love angst even though it hurts me). The romance was great and was well-developed, I loved the banter between Melissa and Lance and of course the pranks were hilarious! Definitely going to be rereading soon.
Profile Image for leenahreads.
209 reviews
February 6, 2017
It is official, I am a sucker for high school romances, add hate-to-love to it and you've won me over. My nostalgia to go back and be 16 all over again is eating me alive.

This book is like your perfect guide to cute, swoon-worthy, perfect moments, and soft dates with burgers and fries at drive-through of mcdonalds, and pastel colored dresses. Even at the beginning when Lance and Melissa despised each other's guts and played tricks at each other, it was still extremely adorable (Melissa and her gold pens, Lance and his dick-ish retorts and comebacks, Lance picking up on what Melissa likes, her favorite ukelele covers, her colored pens, her floral dresses) it all made me want to go back to high school and relive these subtle romances all over again. Clarisse knew exactly how to make something that's cliched or cheesy have a soft and warm effect that still made me smile from the cuteness of it all.

What I really liked about their relationship is how in the middle they work things together, how they both bring out a different and stronger side of each other's personalities; a side that drives both of them to fight for their relationship, but also fight for something more in their personal lives, a change in who they are and who they want to be.

I can't wait to know what comes next and I'm just really going to sit here and swoon at the amount of cute things that happened between Mel and Lance and pretend 16/17 year old me had this too.
Profile Image for April ~ The Reading Belles  .
222 reviews40 followers
February 7, 2017
I volunteered to review an ARC.

AHHHHHHHH I love, love, LOVE this book! High school romance without sex done RIGHT! Emphasis on romance because the author nailed it so well! Also, set in Iloilo–a place I need to visit real soon! Full review posted below!

Second book of the year to receive my now-elusive 5-star rating. Heh.



Heads up fellow romance book lovers, Clarisse David's books are something to watch out for!

Set in the heart of Iloilo is Saint Agnes Catholic Academy where senior high students Melissa Ortiz, daughter of the school principal, and Lance Ordonez, the co-captain of the school's basketball team and all-around bad boy study. In the same class. Seated next to each other. Lance wonders why Melissa won't give him the time of the day. So he goes on full blast for her to notice him even when they know each other since they're seven years old. Oh, did I mention Melissa hate Lance's guts? Yep.

It took a while for me to warm up to Lance because of his seemingly annoying, cocky self. He plays that kind of field, throws his dad's money around because he can, doesn't even study hard, doesn't have a care in the world about his ex's feelings. Okay now that I corrupted him enough for you to kind of hate him (but please don't–not 100% at least?), let me tell you how lonely he is behind the bad boy mask. His dad doesn't live with him (managing a construction business takes that much of time), his mom isn't around and his only sister is studying abroad (they are very tight, Lance and his sister). Despite of this, Lance is such a funny guy and can take things seriously if he wanted. It wasn't very long that I finally admitted he was going to get my seal of book boyfriend approval by the end of the book. The guy totally had the swoony moves and words that thawed my frozen heart. His transition from being the cold-hearted jerk that he was to this guy who won my heart by doing all the things high school style for Mel was admirable.

Melissa who loves all things in pastel colors, 7-11 Slurpee, the ukelele she plays so well, on the other hand, is the typical perfect daughter (or trying to be?). You know, obeys her parents even when she feels like she needs to step up and speak her mind, follows a curfew, tries to fit in the mold of perfection her father's imposed on her because she's the principal's daughter above all else. And her father knows Lance is bad news for her. Not that she doesn't know that. Still, because of her dad's attempt to groom her to someone she's not, the claws of rebellion start to show. Not in a way that she went from good girl to bad girl, no. But it was there and that made her do things her dad wouldn't be proud of.

The story brings out all the high school feelings and real-life scenarios of people their age. The enemies-to-lovers trope that's going on for Lance and Mel was really believable considering they pulled pranks on each other and then switch to throwing punch lines (the author totally injected that Filipino humor and I loved it!) that had me grinning. The things that they did for one another were absolutely charming. You wouldn't believe that they could do it. (Not sex, duh.) I'm talking about how each of them did things out of the box for the other. Like that's something they wouldn't even do to other people. The pacing from hatred to breathlessly in love took enough of time–not rushed, not too long. Not even boring. Even the Filipino family values were properly conveyed giving the story a warmer feel.

I loved how Mel stood up for herself and mostly because of Lance (see that guy is a good influence when he wants to be). She needed to learn that lesson the hard way and I was glad she made the choice to do it. I would also like to mention how the author went against the norm of guy grovelling for the girl (though I love it when they do lol). For the record, I'd like to think Mel had to do it since she was the one holding back while Lance was all-in. With that, I think it was very brave of Clarisse to stretch that particular romance boundary.

While this was all Mel's story, Lance's vulnerabilities when it came to his family were also revealed but not quite resolved. The story hinted that Lance didn't have that kind of relationship with his dad. I would've liked for the author to deal with that, too, like I don't know, a conversation between them perhaps? That doesn't affect my perfect-star rating, though. I just pointed it out in case the author missed that part of Lance.

Overall, the story is not only romantic, fun and beautiful (and kind of heartbreaking) but also is oozing so much charm because of the lovely characters (secondary ones included–Jace, Hunter, Cam). You need to read this if you're into a quick romantic read without comprising on the plot.

P.S. I think Clarisse has just earned the right to be in the spotlight of YA romance authors that I highly recommend, who are also my auto-click authors, next to Ines B. Yao and Mina V. Esguerra on top spots because their stories, this one is not an exception, feel like home.
Profile Image for Nina.
224 reviews52 followers
March 27, 2017
The only thing I liked about this book was that it was set in the Philippines. Other than that? Cliched characters, stiff, amateur writing, and a story that completely revolves around the romance.


I've never understood the "good girl and playboy have a hate-to-love relationship"....let's be honest, if a teenage boy can get pretty much whatever he wants from any girl he wants, why bother trying to win over a girl who isn't interested? The only time I can believe it is when the girl has been a friend of his for a while and he's never noticed her *that way*. Even then, it's still hard to root for arrogant, "my life as a rich player is soooo hard" boys.

Profile Image for thai.
320 reviews28 followers
May 24, 2017
I’m crazy about fluff young adult books, so it’s no surprise that I would love this one as well, plus thrown in the haters to lovers trope and I’m sold. You’ll find incredible banter, pranks (some gone wrong), detention, and of course, cuteness everywhere.

This story revolves around Melissa Ortiz, the daughter of the principal of a Catholic school. All her life her father has groomed her to be the perfect child, everyone has high expectations of her and what her future holds, but deep down she has a somewhat rebellious side. When one of the most good looking guys in her school and serial dater, Lance Ordonez, suddenly starts showing interest in her, she wants no part in whatever he’s planning.

I loved the protagonist, I related to Melissa a lot, which I didn’t think I would, so that was a nice surprise. Lance was incredible as well, I mean, obviously swoon worthy, and their dynamic was ah-mazing, I could read a whole other book just about them teasing each other and being cute together, I swear.

One thing that made me love this story even more, is that the characters actually feel like a real person, they have depth, and unfortunately that isn’t always the case with books these days. Also, I’d like to point out the fact that the best friends are never sidelined, and that healthy friendships are finally being established as something other than plot-driven or whatever.

This was the first book I’ve ever read by Clarisse David — even though I heard great things about Prom Queen Perfect, and it’s definitely on my to be read list — I did have some little problems with the writing, but it wasn’t necessarily something of a bad writing and more of a issue I had with it. Like how Lance would compliment himself regularly in his head, I understand that some people are that confident or arrogant, but it did bother me a little.

All in all, this was so precious and I enjoyed immensely, I do hope to read more from this author soon.
Review also posted at Read. Breathe. Repeat.
Profile Image for Samantha (A History of Books).
160 reviews15 followers
March 1, 2017
Guys, I’m in love with Keeping the Distance. End of review. Go buy it.

No, no, I’m kidding. but I did love this book so much. I just want to say that this review was supposed to go up a couple of weeks ago, but I dropped the ball on it because of moving, going in and out of the doctors office for physical therapy, etc. A lot just happened at once, and I would have read this in one sitting if I had the time.

So I’m going to start off saying that I’ve been dying to read books by Filipinx authors. When I was a teenager, the only books I read by a Filipina author was by Melissa de la Cruz. But these were books about vampires in New York. But over the last couple of years, more and more Filipinx books have been coming across my radar, and I am so happy to see more representation in books.

Enemies to Lovers.

Keeping the Distance falls under the Enemies to Lovers category. Its one of my favorite tropes because it features so much romantic angst. I love the witty banter, and so much more. There are parts in the beginning of the book that had me howling with laughter. These two characters butt heads so many times, and it was hilarious to see them try to deal with each other. But once the romance did come along, I found myself still laughing but swooning at the same time. It was a book that just made me happy, and sometimes you just need a cute contemporary romance.

But lets get serious.

This book wasn’t entirely all laughter and jokes. There is a serious side to this story. But not so serious that it absolutely bums you out. This book made me happy, remember? I think that this book is about living up to expectations. Both Mel and Lance have reputations and expectations to meet. But they are total opposites of each other. What I liked about this story was the fact that they had to deal with those images of themselves and decide if they liked what they saw.

Take me back home.

Aside from the swoony romance and witty banter, I really liked the setting. As many of you know, I’m a dual citizen of the Philippines, aka where the book is set. I’ve spent more time stateside, but I’ve also spent enough time in the Philippines (specifically in Iloilo) to be able to picture this book perfectly in my head. The school, the uniforms, the city, etc. It made me wish that I could go back and visit soon!

Final Thoughts.

This was such a great book. I loved everything about it. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, the witty banter. All of it. This is such a cute romance that will surely uplift you. I’m really hoping to see more books from some of the side characters, like Cam and Hunter, or even Jace!
Profile Image for allison.
172 reviews83 followers
September 6, 2017
first book i've finished in a loooong time. (still in that crayyy slump, sadly)

i enjoyed this cute-short book!
Profile Image for Inah (Fueled By Chapters).
476 reviews115 followers
March 14, 2017
Hate to love trope isn't exactly my favorite but I did enjoy this book so much. Clarisse David writes these types of stories so damn good. It really took me a long time before I was able to form coherent thoughts about the book, I have to admit that I'm still struggling, but screw it. This review might be short but I need to share these thoughts with you, and hopefully force you to pick this book up!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Lance and Melissa. It actually reminded me of two of my friends back in high school, and guess what? They ended up as a couple, they still are until today. I also love the development of both characters, and their dynamics.

The story was a little predictable but I love the anticipation I felt while silently longing for that happy ending. The pacing was also a little slow at times, but overall this was a cute, swoonworthy read! I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Preena ⭐.
232 reviews12 followers
February 27, 2017
Wow! This book is so good. I loved every part of it and this story is something that actually happens in real life and not cheesy at all. Can't wait to read the second book :)
Profile Image for N.G. Peltier.
Author 3 books225 followers
February 22, 2018
I really liked this one! It was just a really sweet high school romance.

i'll be honest, In the beginning I didn’t like Lance all that much. He had that cocky playboy thing going on and kept hassling Melissa and she was well within her rights to exact revenge. But as the story went on and we saw more of Lance being a little vulnerable he grew on me. Which i knewww was gonna happen because little by little i was like ugh Lance quit being annoying and yet funny at the same time lol (i was a goner, don't know why i tried to fight it >.>)
I love the enemies to lovers trope and oh yeh these two were definitely not friends in the beginning, which culminated in a funny scene involving a chair and super glue (poor Lance, he really had that coming)
Melissa was a great character. We get to see the pressures she faces as the principal’s daughter. It’s never easy when parents have these expectations and this is twice as hard when you’re the principal’s daughter, plus you have to deal with a too handsome, annoying yet intriguing dude everyday LOL
While the story centres around Melissa and Lance’s budding relationship, I loved the other relationships we got to see: their families and friends. I adored Lance’s relationship with his sister even though she was in Australia so they only communicated via phone, his sister making fun of him for falling for Melissa was hilarious (again, poor Lance heheh)
I love when even the secondary characters are interesting and not just one dimensional but make me want to know more about them and their lives. I’m hoping the other books focus on Mel’s bestie Cam and maybe Lance’s friend Jace, and Hunter of course. Oh! And I need one with Lance’s sister too please *puppy eyes*
Profile Image for Nica.
51 reviews3 followers
May 1, 2017
*Author sent me a free e-ARC in exchange of an honest review.*

Short story time before I start reviewing this book: I received the e-arc around mid-January, I guess. I wasn’t able to start reading it right away because I was still reading another book that time. But when I finally started reading this, I was only able to read a chapter or two every now and then. I blame my busy schedule in Uni and K-drama. So enough of that. When I finally find time to really read and enjoy this, I CAN’T PUT IT DOWN.

It’s such a cute romantic story between two high school students. (haters-lovers trope) It actually kind of reminds me of Prom Queen Perfect (the author’s debut novel). It’s kinda similar in some ways.

I like how the characters are when they tried to pull pranks and annoy each other. I also love the banters. (I guess I’m a sucker for banters between book characters; I find them adorable.)

There was this part in the book that I knew (or at least I expected it) that it would happen, but I still anticipated it and got excited. As for Mel and Lance’s relationship, it wasn’t easy at all. It was actually difficult. But I liked how both of them found the courage to fight for their relationship, to stay [and not to walk away anymore when things get hard ;)], and to make things work.

This book is filled with lots of little romantic moments, cheesy (or funny) pick-up lines, and straight-forward statements you’d wish a guy would say to you.

After reading this, I’m now more excited to see what’s in store for the next books in the I heart Iloilo series.
Profile Image for M. Hollis.
Author 9 books92 followers
February 6, 2017
"She knew he meant well, but sometimes, she wished he'd stop pushing so hard and let her be. Be the average student in the middle of the class ranking. Be the quiet girl who never got nominated for class president. Be with Lance."

Clarisse is such a good writer. I love her female protagonists and how she knows how to write them so complex and relatable.

Keeping the Distance it's a cute romance between enemies. Melissa is the nice girl who is the daughter of the school principal. Lance is your typical bad boy with family problems. They hate each other right away. But there is a part of Melissa that wants to rebel. She wants to be more than just the perfect image other people, and especially her dad, made of her.

It's a great start of a series and I know many lovers of YA romance will absolutely adore this one.

"For the first time, it occurred to him that he'd bitten off more than he could chew, and that maybe, this unpredictable version of Melissa Ortiz was someone he couldn't handle.
Profile Image for Michelle.
976 reviews11 followers
July 6, 2017
2.5-3 stars. This just didn't really work for me. It felt like I was being told their feelings more than being shown that they felt that way, so I never really bought the transition to genuine feelings, especially on Melissa's part. And I didn't buy her dad changing like he did, and I also didn't feel like Lance was considerate enough of why she wouldn't want to tell her dad about them. I also wanted the prank war to last longer, because it wasn't even really a war, it was more like she did one thing, and then that was it. idk, I feel like there was a lot of potential here, and I loved that it was set in the Philippines, but it didn't come together for me in the end, and the writing style didn't really work for me.
Profile Image for Moriah.
705 reviews87 followers
February 2, 2017
*This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment*

**I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**

I now heart Iloilo, and I’ve never even had this place on my radar! Clarisse David broke out into the YA world with her novella Prom Queen Perfect, but this—this! Oh my goodness, this is how romance should always be written, sweet with the perfect dash of salty.

Think One Tree Hill in the Philippines and you have how much I loved this book. Lance Ordonza had it all: Superman good looks, money to spare, and the attention of all the girls at his Catholic school in Iloilo. The only girl that wanted nothing to do with him: Melissa Ortiz and her big dipper freckles on the back of her neck. I really liked Lance. He had Nathan Scott written all over him—hence the OTH reference—and even had the basketball talent to match. He might not have been making his way to the pros, but still—tall, dark, and handsome, anyone? The more I got to know Lance, the more I liked him. He showed a vulnerable side that made me want to give him a huge hug, and his crush on Mel didn’t compare to his past relationships. His growth throughout the book was perfect and well paced. I laughed at the immature jokester I met and swooned over the boy just looking for someone to love.

Melissa lived under the watchful eye of her father, the main reason that she didn’t want to admit her feelings for the resident bad boy of the school. Underneath the girl trying to please her father, Mel was carefree, the girl that enjoyed playing the ukulele and drinking cola slurpees at the 7-11 with her best friend. I liked her sense of style and the way that she looked at the world. She complimented Lance perfectly, as they were complete opposites. I enjoyed reading as she fought her way out of her shell and had to learn what meant the most to her. Accepting she had feelings for Lance was only one leg of the journey; she had a lot more to learn about herself.

I loved the side characters! Can book two please be about Cam and Hunter? Pretty please, Clarisse? I’m already itching to read the next installment in this series. One Tree Hill fans will devour this novel. I laughed, I swooned, and I speedily flipped through the pages to see what would happen next. If you’re not already a Clarisse David fan, you will be after this book.
Profile Image for Kris Mauna.
509 reviews49 followers
May 14, 2017
“Whether you want to murder Mr. Rodriguez with one of your headbands, or you need someone to get you a cola slurpee at one in the morning, I want to be the person you trust so much you won’t think of calling anyone else. Small things. Big things. It doesn’t matter.”

Keeping the Distance was the YA romance I never knew I needed. . . I’m going to come right out and say that yes, this book was full of a few cliches when it comes to the good girl/bad boy trope, but somehow it worked for me.

Melissa is the daughter of their Catholic school’s principal and is expected to live up to his high expectations, but of course she’s not perfect (who is) and she’s dying to break out of her shell whether she knows it or not. I related to Melissa on so many levels and maybe it’s a Filipino thing, but my father was very much like hers, so I was instantly rooting for her to come into her own. Enter Lance, the school’s popular bad boy with a reputation of dating every girl only to break up with them a few months later. I was a little unsure of Lance when we first meet him because he is the typical rich, daddy ignores me, bad boy but I think his development throughout the story made it easy for me to fall for the guy.

And I did fall for him because swooooooon! If you are in the mood for a light romance then this book is for you, and it’s perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before because Melissa reminded me a lot of Lara Jean to be honest. The story focuses on their slow-burn (a little hate-love), fun relationship and I enjoyed every bit of it! Melissa and Lance complimented each other, and I just enjoyed both of them as individual characters also. Melissa is quiet, shy, but she’s also fun and quirky. Lance is confident and charming. I’m sure by now you can see how some of their characteristics are a little cliche, but I’m telling you that it works for this book.

It was a quick read and I loved how it all ended. There was just the right amount of drama to keep the story going. Overall, I loved this story! I loved that it was set in the Philippines with our characters Filipino. I didn’t know that this is the first book in a series, but I’m hoping the next one is a companion novel and we give Cam a little romance?? Because she was the best friend we all deserve.

Highly recommend to anyone looking for a story with Filipino characters, romance, or who loves contemporaries!
Profile Image for H. Bentham.
Author 6 books19 followers
October 6, 2017
This is my first Clarisse David book and now I get why she’s on most people’s 1-click list. First few lines at the beginning of this got me hooked, trapped and reeled-in!

The development of the characters, as well as Melissa and Lance’s romance were on point too. Somewhere in the middle, I found myself eagerly waiting for goody-goody Melissa to break and unleash her inner rebel. Her father was suffocating! I get where he was coming from but jeez, let her breathe a little. Melissa as pretty enough to worry any parent, sure, but she was smart enough not to get herself in big trouble, too. Okay, granted she did get tangled up with trouble (called Lance) but that’s beside my point. If anything, Lance changed to a better, more responsible student because of Melissa. Her father should know that! (Obviously, I have very strong feelings for this but that’s because Clarisse wrote this so well and she got me so invested. Haha)

+ I must commend the sense of place Clarisse put in this book. I have never been to Iloilo but now I want to go there and retrace Melissa and Lance’s steps, marvel at the beauty of a city that’s new but familiar to me.

+ Convenience store slurpees made me nostalgic with my own hs/college days.

+ Lance was believable as a bad boy with a heart of gold. His POV was rich and it really made me root for him for Melissa.

+ The secret date (the very first one!) was handled authentically. Anyone who’s had panic attacks because of fear of being found out will know exactly what I’m talking about.

*This review also appears on my personal blog: bentchcreates.tumblr.com
Profile Image for H. Bentham.
Author 6 books19 followers
November 22, 2017
This is my first Clarisse David book and now I get why she’s on most people’s 1-click list. First few lines at the beginning of this got me hooked, trapped and reeled-in!

The development of the characters, as well as Melissa and Lance’s romance were on point too. Somewhere in the middle, I found myself eagerly waiting for goody-goody Melissa to break and unleash her inner rebel. Her father was suffocating! I get where he was coming from but jeez, let her breathe a little. Melissa as pretty enough to worry any parent, sure, but she was smart enough not to get herself in big trouble, too. Okay, granted she did get tangled up with trouble (called Lance) but that’s beside my point. If anything, Lance changed to a better, more responsible student because of Melissa. Her father should know that! (Obviously, I have very strong feelings for this but that’s because Clarisse wrote this so well and she got me so invested. Haha)

+ I must commend the sense of place Clarisse put in this book. I have never been to Iloilo but now I want to go there and retrace Melissa and Lance’s steps, marvel at the beauty of a city that’s new but familiar to me.

+ Convenience store slurpees made me nostalgic with my own hs/college days.

+ Lance was believable as a bad boy with a heart of gold. His POV was rich and it really made me root for him for Melissa.

+ The secret date (the very first one!) was handled authentically. Anyone who’s had panic attacks because of fear of being found out will know exactly what I’m talking about.

This review also appears on my personal blog: bentchcreates.tumblr.com
Profile Image for Katt Briones.
Author 3 books10 followers
April 21, 2018
I loved this book so much - I seriously don’t know where to start. I’ve had this book in my kindle for quite a while now and I’m just so glad I got to read this again. While reading, I felt like I was transported back to my high school years. Clarisse has beautifully set the scenery, making the reader not just see and imagine the characters, but be immersed in that universe themselves. I felt both the angst and the fluff - my favorite combination in any story lol. The transition between scenes and the two characters’ headspaces was also smooth, making the reading experience so enjoyable. There were also a lot of points in the story that I ended up laughing out loud and kicking my blankets in kilig. I haven’t done that in a long time!!! Thank you for making me feel young again haha :’) another thing I’d like to commend is the way the Ortiz family dynamic was presented. It hit all the right spots and feels, because the depiction was spot on. I love how Mr. Ortiz was characterized especially. He was presented as a kind of villain but in the end, it just makes it clear to the reader that at the end of the day, your parents will have your best interests at heart. The ending was super satisfying too :’) I also loved the preview of Cam and Hunter’s story lol. I know na what I’m reading next <3
Profile Image for Shaine CCH.
157 reviews6 followers
October 15, 2017
Keeping the Distance in some parts have cliché scenes but I like how I get to read both Melissa and Lance point of view. I also like that twists in this story. Well, there’s one scene that is very sweet! “Kilig” to the bones!

This book is highly recommended those looking for something light, funny and lovable characters.

Surprisingly entertaining is understatement for this, given that the plot is not so unique.

Read full review: https://wandererinneverland.wordpress...
Profile Image for Eri.
595 reviews176 followers
February 10, 2017
I'm always in search of a good contemporary YA since a lot of times books in this genre can hit or miss by a mile. Clarisse David managed to hit the sweet spot with the angst and fluff, and I loved Lance and Melissa together.

I really enjoyed this book overall, albeit a few scenes were too cliche and cheesy, but this is a well-worthy read for those of us that appreciate a cutesy romance and will definitely leave a smile on your face.

Profile Image for Maria Isabel Samonte.
244 reviews12 followers
February 7, 2017
Warning: this book will give you diabetes!

The story of Lance and Melissa is so sweet and fun to read. I love the bad enemies to lovers and forbidden love tropes imbibed in this novel. Melissa is a protagonist with many layers. She hides her true self by showing a different character due to the fact his father is the principal in their school and is very strict. Then Lance comes along and helps her break free from the constrains she has on herself.

There is so much character development in this story not only with Lance and Melissa but with Melissa's father as well. Furthermore, this story is very relatable because like other people Melissa is a perfectionist and she base her actions on whether her father would approve of it. And here in the Philippines, we know that our parents can get a bit controlling and strict but it is their way of saying that they care about us. Lastly, I love how the story is set in Iloilo. I have never been there but after reading this book I definitely want to, especially after reading about the food there (e.g the oysters). I hope the next book is about Jace because I am very interested in reading his story.

P.S If you like Jenny Han and Morgan Matson books I suggest reading this book. It is a very quick and fun book to read especially since valentine's day is around the corner.

For more book reviews and book related posts check out my blog: mindlessnesschatter.blogspot.com
Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.