In English, Add me as Friend (subtitled Your Link to Real Relationships), this very short and quick-read by Marlene Legaspi-Munar aims to be a good guide for people in their friendships–both offline and online. Though specifically targeted for teens, adults can have a light reading experience with this book, as the theme of friendship is something inherent in our lives as humans.
Looking at its cover, you’d see no sign of it being a book marketed for Christian readers, or at least for those with the heart to become Christians themselves. Its design is minimal, though it’s noticeable it takes a little bit of Facebook look, especially in the title’s typeface. No renowned names like Jesus Christ or God can be found in the blurb at the back cover, which makes it somehow misleading for unsuspecting beings. It wouldn’t be strange if one took the bait unaware of its content. But here’s the thing: once you see a book with OMF Literature as its publisher, it’s got to be a book written by and for Christians.
Though intended to be a book in good faith, the overall tone and language (this book uses a mixture of Filipino and English, by the way) comes off as a bit snarky, in my opinion. Instead of inspiring the reader to do what the book wants the reader to, from a neutral perspective where I tried to look at it, it does sound a bit offensive at times, often too imperative. And that somehow put me off. (But then again, Taglish does sound a a bit harsh, especially for those who do not speak it.)
On the other hand, the content is good for a quick read. The points are stated concisely and readers who understand Tagalog and English should have no problem reading this book. Which also means, it’s hard to recommend to those who might not fancy the Taglish (Tagalog-English) style of the author.
I do have a problem with the concluding remarks, since it lacked impact. For being too concise at this point, the book failed to capture the importance of Jesus Christ as a figure of true friendship in Christian faith. A little bit of elucidation would have helped deliver its most important message.
Personal rating: 2/5 stars
(Short review version at my Goodreads)