I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Never Too Real by Carmen Rita
Published by Kensington on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Hispanic American, Literature & Fiction
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In Carmen Rita's savvy, scandalous, and wise new novel, four close friends who’ve earned the best of everything are forced to decide what they can afford to lose…
Cat, Magda, Gabi, and Luz. They've helped each other up the ladder with unshakable encouragement—and raw honesty—since forever. But lately, trouble is throwing everything these formidable women thought they knew into doubt.
When outspoken Cat's high-flying T.V. career crashes and burns, she's got to figure out which dream she wants to keep alive the most—her own, or someone else’s.
Gorgeous venture capitalist Magda defied her traditional family to make her own way—in her personal life and her career—but an unexpected crisis could finally shatter her chance to resolve the past.
As a therapist, sensitive, supportive Gabi has all the answers. But when her own world falls apart, can she turn her compassion—and her expert bullshit detector—on herself?
And proud, wealthy Luz thought she knew everything about her upper-class family background—until a revelation she never saw coming threatens to be the one legacy she can't afford.
Now all four women will have to face the truths that make them vulnerable and the failings that give them strength to discover who they really are—and what real happiness means.
Never Too Real by Carmen Rita is one of those group friendship books. Where everyone’s life falls apart at just about the same time, no one tells the others about said falling apart because they can handle it on their own, and then they realize they cannot and turn to their friends which fixes (almost) everything. The reason there are many books (and movies and TV shows) following the same plot is that it really does work. At times you get frustrated with the characters, but the bond they share is so great that it makes you overlook the “If you just told someone they would help” issue. In this work, four friends – Cat, Magda, Gabi, and Luz are all powerful and proud women. But then (surprise, surprise) shit starts headed south with each of them. Their carefully created veneers begin to crack and they may have to worry less about appearances, and more about just getting through the next day.
I have read the plot of Never Too Real before. But as I said in the first paragraph it works, and that’s why it’s used. I enjoyed the writing of Carmen Rita. She was able to intertwine multiple story lines and characters in a believable way and have you root for them even when they are being just stupid. I did have issues with the pacing. There were a few unexpected time jumps back, showing hoe the main characters met, but it did not transition as a time jump. It took me until the next chapter to figure out that we had just been in the past. It did hinder my enjoyment as I was confused for a bit on what was going on. The world built was sparse, but that was okay, as the attention was predominately in character development and their feelings and thought and less on locations. There were some great emotions in this read. Any book that centers on four women friends will be chock full of the feels and this did not disappoint. The characters were half and half for me. I loved two of them, was meh about the third and disliked the fourth. I understand they were all in times of flux, but good lord the whining and self involvement of a few just turned me off.
Never Too Real was a good read, but not a deep read. Once I had the characters down and understood the lay of the land, I knew exactly what would happen, and I was right. That did not really bother me, as I enjoyed the writing style of Carmen Rita and did enjoy the emotional journey of the women. This was a good book, but not one I will return to in the future, as I know I will have others with the same premise come around soon enough.
Favorite lines – My American Dream does not live in that house in my dee-luxe apartment in the sky. I think I was chasing fulfillment through accomplishment. But what if accomplishment, true accomplishment, was a result of fulfillment—happiness—instead of the other way around? “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” What if we were to do things that made us feel fulfilled, which would make us better at what we do—which then brings about raises, promotions, recognition, even that house! Many of us who were the hope of our parents grow older and come face-to-face with a scary question: Whom did I do this for? Was this really for me? Is it okay that it wasn’t.
Biggest cliché – As long as appearances look fine, so am I.
Have you read Never Too Real, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge