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I Heart Iloilo #2

Making It Complicated

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No promises. No expectations. Just one night on a paradise island that could mean everything.

Nineteen-year-old Cam has a metric ton of emotional baggage and is in no mood to unload them on anyone. After her parents' marriage imploded, stress-free is the only way she wants her life to be. And what could be more freeing than spending the summer on Boracay? Absolutely nothing... until she bumps heads with Hunter, the hot drummer who screams incoming heartbreak from a mile away.

Hunter has grand plans, none of which include angry-at-the-world Cam, best friend to the girl he always thought he'd end up with. He likes his life steady, thank you very much. But steady has now become synonymous with boring. His grand plans don't seem so grand anymore. So when Cam comes home to Iloilo City and reaches out to him, he surprises himself when the one answer he can think of is... yes. Definitely yes.

Sometimes, complications are the only things that make sense.

133 pages

Published October 16, 2017

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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.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Nat.
545 reviews3,174 followers
August 2, 2018
I've been patiently biding my time for this companion to Keeping the Distance to release out into the world ever since I finished the first book that fateful night in February. After nine faithful months, it finally came to my notice today that the sequel was already out, so I hurried on to catch up with these beloved characters.

Nineteen-year-old Cam has a metric ton of emotional baggage and is in no mood to unload them on anyone. After her parents' marriage imploded, stress-free is the only way she wants her life to be. And what could be more freeing than spending the summer on Boracay? Absolutely nothing...until she bumps heads with Hunter, the hot drummer who screams incoming heartbreak from a mile away.

Though I'm a bit mad at myself for reading this book a whole month after its publication, Making It Complicated still presented itself at exactly the right time in my life. It's interesting how just the day before I'd been in the mood for a quick and fun-filled romance to sweep me off my feet, and the universe delivered just right with this book.

The events of this book are set a year after Keeping the Distance: Camille Velasco, Melissa Ortiz's best friend, is set for her summer before college, full of bright and hopeful opportunities.

“It was a great night to be nineteen.”

Side note: I'm thankful I got my wish fulfilled of having Cam as the main in the sequel, as I mentioned in my review for #1. Her carefree youth encompassed me at the start of the book. Speaking of which, here are some of the main points from the book I'd like to highlight (mild spoilers ahead):

• The main issue occurring between Cam and Mel, “the best friend I didn’t quite know how to deal with anymore,” of how they'd outgrown each other. 

“I wanted to be happy for her.
Truly, I did.
But a huge part of me didn’t believe in the same things she did anymore, in finding such utter bliss with another person and trusting they weren’t going to rip you apart. I didn’t have the energy for that.”

We follow Cam's journey of going out into the world on her own to try to find who she is a person, especially after the whole ordeal that happened in her family. I'm a sucker for a classic coming-of-age tale.

• There's a lot more angst and resentment than I anticipated going into this, but nonetheless grew to appreciate as an important trait of Cam's strong-willed character growth.

“I was broken, and I had to stop hoping other people would fix things. Not Mel. Not Hunter. I had to put the pieces back together myself.”

Her anger was palpable, understandable, and not just swept away over the course of the book, which I appreciated a tenfold.
• But circling back to Mel and Cam, the continuous miscommunication happening between them brought to mind my favorite quote from my favorite duo in Broad City:

• I was relieved to see less of her best friend because truth to be told, Mel and Lance were so uncomfortable to watch from an outsider’s perspective. In their POV in Keeping the Distance, I could put aside my discomfort and chalk it up to nothing serious... But seeing them acting all lovey-dovey in front of Cam, I couldn't help but think of this eerily fitting vine. So I was low-key relieved to see less and less of them over the span of the book.
• Instead, I welcomed the new group dynamics with Hunter Alvarez and his bandmates Cal, Eddie, and Keith. The teasing was merciless. And the laughs endless.
• Plus, I have to pay attention to a tiny detail from one of the members that had me enraptured for the rest of the book:

“Do you want to listen to this podcast with me?” Keith offered one of his earphones to me.”

This offer is the one true key to my heart.
• But out of all the members, I'd love to know more about my silent mystery man, Cal.

“It was obvious Hunter made most of the major decisions, but Cal could control the rest of them with a single sentence. All that quiet power was amazing to watch in action.”

• Finally, moving on to the main couple of the book... The rising sexual tension between Cam and Hunter was deliciously satisfying.

“Did I dare step inside his house when I knew very well we were going to be alone? A thousand thoughts—about the feel of his lips on mine, how hard his abs were underneath my fingertips—demanded entry into my brain. I refused to let them in.
“Is there anyone else inside?” I trusted Hunter, just not my hormones.
I watched as a light bulb seemed to go off in his head. His eyes moved from my black camisole down to my distressed denim shorts. The look he gave me made me want to pull my shirt collar away from my neck and fan myself with one hand. Voice low, he said, “No, it’s just us.”

This infinitely patient boy had me sitting at the edge of my seat with the drop of his voice.

And one more for the road:

“Every inch of my side connected with his, our shoulders and knees sliding against each other every time the jeepney stopped. When the wind burst inside and whipped my hair around my shoulders, Hunter reached out and gathered the strands in his fist, pulling them over my shoulder for me.
When his fingers brushed against my neck, I forgot how to breathe.
“You look a little…weird,” Hunter sounded a little too happy. He knew very well what he was doing to me. The bastard.”


Overall, this sequel full of antics from youthful summers exceeded all my expectations. I'm giddy for what's next in store.


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

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Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
October 21, 2017
{you can also read this review on my blog}
I adore Clarisse David and her writing. Her romances are always amazing, as well as the other issues her main characters tend to have. With fun characters and engaging stories, it's easy to fall in love with her books.

Cam's story was one I was super excited to read about. I loved Cam from Keeping the Distance because I could highly relate to her. Hunter, in the scenes he was in, was super cute and kind, too, so to see them get together? It was the best. There was a lot I liked about Making it Complicated.

The first would be the band! I'm so glad that they weren't just sidelined--they were integral to the story and became good friends with Cam. Each of them had vastly different personalities and I pretty much loved all of them... but mostly Cal. Can he get a book? I'd love for him to get a book. He's such a mood.

I really liked Cam. Her character was one that resonated with me a lot, from issues in her family life, to just how she is as a person. I saw bits of myself in her, and I found her to be a very fresh main character!

I adored the romance too! It had a good amount of angst and some swoony scenes and a lot of adorable camaraderie. Hunter and Cam are a great couple and I really think they complement each other well. Their ups and downs, however, made me go a bit :/ because... well. I didn't entirely agree with how they resolved things...

That being said, there were some things I didn't like about this one. Small things, like how Cam kept repeating "in her 19 years"--I wasn't really sure why that was necessary, but like I said, small things. Another thing was how the whole best friend situation was handled... I'm huge on female friendships so to see this bridge between Cam and Melissa had me feeling really disheartened. It felt like Cam wasn't at all trying, even when Melissa was, and while I do get it--I've felt the same at times--it's just worse when you don't try.

Like I briefly mentioned, I wasn't a fan of the resolution. I won't say anything here, but it bothered me and basically toned down my general adoration for the book overall. I'll be happy to discuss it if you want, though!

So! Making it Complicated is a fun and adorable and short read that's definitely worth picking up! 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Kris Mauna.
509 reviews49 followers
October 16, 2017
I absolutely loveeed Making it Complicated - an amazing coming-of-age story full of my three favorite things: family, friendships, and love!!

"Show me."
"What?" My eyes snapped back to his.
"Tonight. Show me how nice you can be," Hunter said, his easy smile belying the weight of his words, the dimple on his cheek a warning sign he was trouble.

This is the second book in the I Heart Iloilo series by Clarisse David, so if you've read Keeping the Distance (if you haven't then you should) then you'll be familiar with the main characters, Cam and Hunter. I was a huge fan of Cam and was ecstatic when I heard she would be getting her own book! A pleasant surprise was realizing there was so much more to her than what I already knew. She's older than when we first met her, now graduated from high school, and in the past few months she's been going through some tough times with her family.

This is what I love about Cam. She's flawed and relatable. She makes mistakes and KNOWS her actions are wrong but still goes through with them.. Something we've all done. And it was refreshing to read this because when she finally hits rock bottom, she finds her way back to the top and that gave me a lot of hope.

"Just when the future seemed so close, the present decided to smack me upside the head, a reminder I couldn't rush to be the person I wanted to be without dealing with who I was."

Another great aspect of Making it Complicated was how it takes place during the "in-between" stage of graduating high school and getting ready to start college. Ahh - one of my favorite stages to read about! There is so much fear for the unknown and Clarisse David did a perfect job at creating characters that represent everything this stage is about. Her writing has grown and I'm forever a fan of hers!

"Knowing you'll get hurt shouldn't stop you from loving. We can only choose the people we love and trust that we'll figure things out, even if they end up hurting us. Even if we end up hurting them."

All of the characters are amazing! Mel and Lance make appearances also (!!!) - I wish you could see my face every time Lance would pop up because yes, I'm still swooning over him! ;) Oh, and Jace even shows up (ohmygoodness can you imagine how amazing his book will be *internally screaming*) AND THE BAND MATES of Hunter are EVERYTHING. I even had to tell Clarisse that we all definitely deserve a book about Cal because helloooooo!! <3 just love them all!
Then there is Hunter! <3 <3 <3 <3
I adored him in the first book, a piece of me was even like noooo Mel why you not love Hunter anymore?! Haha but I really enjoyed Cam and Hunter's relationship/romance in this book. It was so different from Mel and Lance's but just as wonderful.

Obviously I loved this book. If you're in the mood for a great coming-of-age story or romance with fun characters in a beautiful setting then pick this up! It has summer vibes but can cure the winter blues also! :)
Profile Image for lisa.
2,071 reviews303 followers
October 21, 2017
Also on Romances Ever After.

It's a shame that as I get older I find myself unable to read and enjoy books in the YA and NA genres, simply because the characters are some ten years younger than me, so I have little patience for teenage angst. Fortunately, Making It Complicated was a smooth ride for me. It felt very short and I probably would have finished it in one sitting if school didn't get in the way (boo, school).

What I love most about Making It Complicated is how sweet the whole story is, and how it made me nostalgic for my teenage years. I love Cam a lot; she's very spirited and witty. She's also very young and it shows in her thoughts and decision making, and I love seeing her try to navigate her way through her growing feelings for Hunter, her dilemma about coming clean to her best friend Melissa about him, and the troubles she faces at home with her recently-split parents. By the end of the book, I felt like I've watched my little sister grew up.

The friendship formed between Cam and Hunter's bandmates is also one of my favourite things. They all have distinct personalities it's a wonder that they all survive that long in the same band. The scene-stealer for me is definitely Cal. There is more to that one than meets the eye, I feel. Give him a book, Clarisse!

Another thing that I love about this book is the setting of the story. Iloilo City sounds like the place I grew up in, hence the nostalgic factor. I legit googled the city while reading and the whole place looks amazing. Considering the Philippines isn't that far from where I live, maybe I should pay it a visit one day.

My only problem with this book is I expected it to also be Hunter's story. The blurb made it sound like we would have dual POVs, but instead we only got Cam's. I would've liked to be in Hunter's head too; I'd kill to know his thoughts during that one night in Boracay, and a couple of other interesting events that happened in the story. Since we only saw Hunter from Cam's POV, he seems a little too nice, I feel? Having his POV would have brought different layers to his character.

That being said, the absence of Hunter's POV didn't affect my enjoyment of this story because Cam is a pretty strong character on her own. All in all, Making It Complicated is sweet and entertaining, and I'm glad that I gave it a chance.

Galley received thanks to the author.
Profile Image for Inah (Fueled By Chapters).
476 reviews115 followers
November 2, 2017
3.5 maybe? Might still change. Totally different from Keeping The Distance which was great, while also incorporating elements from KTD.

Main issue was I didn't connect with Cam as much. But this book was overall enjoyable! Hi Eddie!
Profile Image for Elena ( The Queen Reads ).
795 reviews22 followers
October 20, 2017
SO GOOOOOOD. This was such a guilty pleasure read. It was short but sweet. I love all the new characters especially Cal so yep I'm waiting for his story. Full review to follow.
Profile Image for Shealea.
429 reviews1,192 followers
October 1, 2020
Unlike most NA contemporary stories, Making It Complicated did not introduce itself slowly, gently, and with caution. Instead, right from the beginning, I was, without warning, thrown into a whirlwind of fluttery feelings, summer vibes, hilariously brilliant banter, eloquently described sceneries, and undeniably explosive chemistry.

As much as I loved the interactions of Cam and Hunter, what I appreciated the most about the book was that there was enough space for Cam to battle against her inner demons, to learn to love herself, and to grow into a more mature individual with less anger towards the world. Since the novel was set in the transition period between graduating high school and entering college, it becomes a necessity to highlight that “coming of age” element; on that aspect, the author did not fail to deliver. Cam’s personal growth was realistic, remarkable, and incredibly empowering.

Overall, I am pleased to say that I ended up enjoying this book a whole lot more than I initially anticipated. Making It Complicated is a wonderfully addictive, lighthearted romance that’s perfect to pick up, regardless of what season it is.

🌻🍃 More bookish content on Shut up, Shealea 🍃🌻
Profile Image for k.
161 reviews12 followers
August 12, 2018
waaaaa I really enjoyed reading this book!

so, we meet Cam. 19 years old, just out of high school and in the middle of her parents fallout. *sigh* parents. why must we learn they're people with good and bad qualities instead of the idealized heroes we thought them to be? Cam is angry. so angry. and I get it, but honestly I thought she was kind of too rude and too dense sometimes, especially at the beginning. but that could also be because we're just getting to know her and her situation. I never disliked her though! Cam is cool, I actually really liked her, and I understand her too.

so then we meet Hunter and he's a dream. and oh they're so horny for each other lol I loved Hunter, I want a Hunter for myself. he's sweet and nice and understanding... ah, this fictional boys. they make my heart do funny things. talking about boyssss........ hELLO INTEGERS! they were so much fun! I loved them individually and the chemistry between them! and I loved how they became Cam's friends too! I MISS HAVING FRIENDS I FEEL SO LONELY *this is a cry for help* lol ok jk, but they're really a nice crowd and I wish I was part of it :P

so I said I understood Cam and yes I do but... I also understand her parents. especially her mom. so yeah I understand Cam's feelings but also her parents's. a lot. I know when we're young -I'M ONLY 23 WHY AM I TALKING LIKE I'M 40?!!- we think "grown ups" have everything figured out but... they (we????) don't. like I said, I'm 23, but I might as well still be 15 tbh. however, that doesn't justify our fuck ups. Cam's parents fucked up and really left her alone to deal with their shit. that's not fair to Cam. you might feel like an insecure 15 year old but you're not 15, you have "grown up" responsibilities and you have to, well, be responsible, especially if someone else is affected by your actions.

anyway I really liked this book! I wanna read the one before this one and I want a book for each guy from the band!!!!!!!!!! can we have that? pretty pleeeeeeeease???? I hope they keep being friends even when college sets them in different ways. ngl, it was a bit of a bummer that they're not all in the same college. but this is fiction and it's beautiful and the ending was hopeful (in that naive way you're hopeful when you finish high school and feel like the world and all its opportunities are yours) so I wanna think it will all go great and so not like my social life!


aw, very beautiful and hopeful, review to come :)
Profile Image for Bookablereads.
75 reviews6 followers
October 18, 2017
First of all, I would like to say thank you to the author, Clarisse, for sending me an eARC  copy in exchange for an honest review. And this will not affect my thoughts or opinion about the book in any way. 

To be honest, I never got the chance to read the first installment which is the story of Mel, bestfriend of Cam. But regardless of not having a chance to read it I still enjoy and understand the story as the second installment is about Cam. This is also my first time to read a book that is written by a Filipino author.

The story revolves around Cam, a photographer enthusiasts when she met Hunter, a hot drummer of the band "The Integers" and Mel's childhood sweetheart during her vacation at the beautiful land of Boracay. After a night of unforgettable experiences with Hunter, Cam decided it should be the end of it as she doesn't want the everything will be ok. But what Cam didn't expect is that they met again and she accepted the author to be the official photographer of Hunter's band. 

Cam's character is a relatable one. You would love how strong she is in coping up with life after what  happen to her parents. She also showed how she managed to handle her emotions and admitting her mistakes. I understand how at first she is scared to forgive her mother. It's normal to feel betrayed but later on she had the courage to face her mother and know what are the reasons why her mother left them. 

Hunter is someone who you would want to be with. I love how he takes care of Cam and how he stay by her side all throughout. Funny and a loving brother and son is also a characteristic of him that you will admire him for.

The story depicted what are the real things that a family is experiencing every time the parents decided to separate. It shows what are the negative things that their children is suffering and going through. 

The story taught us how to cope us with the things we experience with positive ways. It also taught us to always go what your heart is telling you and don't be afraid to try to do things that you want. And lastly, the value of relationship, friendship and family.

My rating would be 4.50 stars out of 5 stars. 
Profile Image for H. Bentham.
Author 6 books19 followers
July 29, 2020
ANYWAY, here’s a book I will forever associate with 7-Eleven: Making It Complicated by Clarisse David! ⠀

For one thing, Cam and Hunter first meet each other in the 7-Eleven where she and her best friend Melissa (from book 1) often hung-out at. And then later in the book, Cam messes things up with Mel AND Hunter bec her friend saw Cam and Hunter together at the same 7-Eleven!⠀

It’s more complicated than I made it sound - thus, the title 😅, but agh, please read this book if you haven’t yet bec Cam absolutely (and single-handedly!) made things super complicated and I teared up a few times, honestly, ESP when it got sorted out in the end! 😭🥰💖 ⠀

I love lost, messy and flawed protagonists and Clarisse David wrote this so beautifully! The book didn’t shy away from heavy themes and capital D Drama, but this was also fun and entertaining; and Cam’s coming to terms with all that has happened to her, all the problems she made ~worse, and her eventual maturity after *everything* is so heartfelt and sincere and satisfying, it was cathartic for me to cry all over it in the middle of the summer lockdown. 😅⠀

The first book, Keeping the Distance, is also great and scenes also happen at a 7-Eleven so check that out too bec I also highly recommend it! ❤️⠀
Profile Image for Shaine CCH.
157 reviews6 followers
October 19, 2017
I volunteer to give honest review. The digital copy was provided by the author. Thank you, Clarisse David.

I had to apologize for taking it so long to finish it and to post my review because I had moments that I don’t feel like reading or doing anything. But I assure you that this book is wonderful.

Before I start reading Making It Complicated, I made sure that I’ve read the first book in the series which is Keeping the Distance. I enjoyed the first book so much that I did not hesitate to start the second book immediately.

So the first time I encounter Cam and Hunter’s is in Keeping the Distance. I know that that time, Cam already caught Hunter’s attention in their first short conversation.

Making it Complicated is in good pace, I like the writing style and it does not have heavy drama.

Read full review at: https://wandererinneverland.wordpress...
Profile Image for Miel Salva.
Author 2 books11 followers
October 21, 2017
Clarisse David now goes to my auto-buy authors. I love how she promotes Iloilo in her works. I believe DOT should tie-up with #romanceclass authors for this. And as someone who’s never been to Iloilo, I’m already itching to take the trip.

What are the things I loved about #MIC?

1. The lines. How can Clarisse pack all the feels in two to three sentences, I’d like to know.
2. The personal conflicts. #MIC tackles a sensitive issue about broken families. But Cam’s Mother’s issues struck me most–about her being a mother and a wife but not her own person.
3. The father-daughter dynamics throughout the ordeal.
4. The Melissa-Hunter background.
5. The colorful members of The Integers.
Profile Image for thai.
317 reviews28 followers
October 18, 2017
Okay, this was pretty cute. I loved Hunter, and even though Cam wasn't for me in the beginning, by the end I didn't hate her like I thought I would so yay! The first one is still my favorite but this was super enjoyable as well!
90 reviews24 followers
May 20, 2018
This was such a cute yet angsty read at the same time. I could relate to Cam so much about my *anger at the world* and ugh I'm so in love with Hunter. PS: Please tell me the next book is about Jace!!
Profile Image for Aira Irish.
171 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2017
When I read the story, I felt like I'm with the characters maybe because I knew the places where they went to. Thumb ups for a swoon worthy treat of romance. It's cool to read stories that features the places like Iloilo. I'm looking forward for more from this author.

For the full review of this book visit my blog below.

Profile Image for Mayumi Cruz.
Author 25 books26 followers
July 6, 2018
4 out of 5 stars

After having read Prom Queen Perfect, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance of getting an ARC of Clarisse David’s new book, Making It Complicated. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The author loves to write about flawed yet relatable characters and the struggles they undergo and overcome, making the reader feel each and every emotion they go through. This book has a lot of anger and angst. It was a bit differrent from PQP in that there was a lot more romantic innuendos emphasizing the physical attraction between Cam and Hunter. This didn’t make the story divert from Cam’s personal and family dilemmas, however, which I think was the central theme of the book and what the author wanted most to convey.

The story flow was fluid, the words descriptive, stirring the reader’s imagination especially on matters related to Iloilo (read: food). The resolutions presented may not be to everyone’s liking, though. I myself preferred Cal more, who possessed deeper emotional intelligence and sensitivity, over Hunter who was more realistic and pragmatic. Melissa and the band didn’t deserve Cam’s treatment, same with Cam’s dad and mom.

But that was just Cam-and this was her story. She said and did things that put her in more trouble than she’d originally been. But when she realized her mistakes and faced with their terrible consequences, she was brave enough to own up to them even to the point of swallowing her pride, and made amends in her own unique way. Even though the road to her inner peace may take time and prove to be difficult, she knew the important thing was to take one step at a time.

Life really sucks. It isn’t a fairy tale, nor is it perfect. Problems may not be resolved in one sitting. But young and adults alike can all learn from Cam’s story of bravery and humility.

Thank you, Clarisse David, for giving me an ARC of Making It Complicated in exchange for an honest review.
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