Monday, February 16, 2009

Houston, We Have a Problema - Gwendolyn Zepeda


Houston, We Have a Problema is Zepeda's first adult fiction foray.

Jessica Luna is a 26 year old single Latina woman living in Houston. She has trouble making decisions and counts on fortune teller Madame Hortensia to guide her. She's bored with her seemingly dead end insurance job, frustrated with her artist lover Guillermo and tired of her mom and sister trying to set her up with a 'nice' man.

Although this has all the promise of a good chick lit novel, it fell a short for me. I just couldn't make a connection with Jessica's character. I found her to be shallow and vapid, not the endearing protagonist I'd hoped for.

As her sister says " ...you're selfish, you're spoiled and I'm sick of it."

I found the writing to be somewhat forced and contrived. The supporting characters were themselves caricatures - the bad boy sexy lover, the gay best friend, the lazy co workers, the uptight white guy. Which brings up an underlying theme of the book. Jessica herself says "She wasn't racist, of course, but she had to admit to herself that she had issues about dating a white guy." I think the book would have been much better had it explored such preconceptions, race and relationship issues rather than trying so hard to be humourous. The second half of the book is much better as Jessica does make inroads towards self awareness and fulfillment. I did enjoy her work with the arts centre. However, I felt the book ended on a sour note, with Jessica taking two steps backwards.

Lots of readers have enjoyed this book - it just didn't grab me. I'd recommend The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters instead.

Zepeda is a blogger - you can read her here.

9 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one.

Cindy said...

This is on my TBR pile. Sorry you didn't enjoy the book.

Anna said...

Doesn't sound like my cup of tea either. Thanks for the honest review.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

kalea_kane said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy it, but I am glad that you gave us good honest reasons why AND you even gave us a suggestion! Thanks for the review!

kalea_kane said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy it, but I am glad that you gave us good honest reasons why AND you even gave us a suggestion! Thanks for the review!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I feel compelled to check this one out because the author and I share a name. I have heard from some others that they thought it was fun. We'll see . . . Thanks for your thoughts1

Lenore said...

A book like this depends a lot on the likeability of the main character doesn't it? I don't read a lot of "chick-lit" anyway, so I'll probably skip this one.

Ladytink_534 said...

Lol, yeah I'd have to agree with you. I can't stand unlikeable (and whiny) heroines.

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