NEVER TOO REAL by Carmen Rita


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Friendship steadies four powerful women, all seeking to support each other through personal and professional trials.

Television personality and advice columnist Rita’s debut novel reads a bit like a multicultural edition of Sex and the City. The four friends, all gorgeous, sassy, and independent, anchor Latina culture in multiple ethnicities: Mexican-American, Venezuelan-American, Puerto Rican, and Dominican–African-American. Each chapter is chock full of enough twists to be an episode, but so much activity leads to a fair amount of burdensome exposition and some awkwardly integrated (“It was six years earlier…”) back stories. One of the few Latinas to grace the small screen, Cat has just been released from her contract, a casualty, in part, of network executives thinking Hispanic equals bilingual. But instead of feeling devastated, Cat has a strange joy bubbling up through her body. Losing her job may be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. The head of her own culturally diverse venture capital company, Magda suffers no fools in her ambitious, aggressive life. Yet when she came out as lesbian years ago, it created fissures in her family that may now be breaking into pieces. Luz, an advertising executive married to a perfect, supportive Chinese-American husband, balances her career and life with her adorable twin girls and toddler son. A surprise from her parents’ past, however, may upset not only her stable family life, but also her own sense of identity. Luckily, the fourth girlfriend, Gabi, is a therapist who helps shift each woman’s perspective from seeing a crisis to seeing an opportunity, no matter the curveball. She may, of course, be missing a few clues in her own life that point toward marital disaster. Brimming with smart dialogue and ricocheting plot twists, Rita’s potentially clichéd tale is actually ripe for a screenplay.

Just in time for a beach read—or a guilty pleasure in a deserted boardroom.

Pub Date: May 31st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0130-5
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016


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