From the author ofThe Dirty Girls Social Club comes another fast, funny, soulful, and sexy novel about friendship and love amid Latinas.
It's a jungle out there--in Los Angeles, that is, where the tangle of freeways and ingrained insincerity can make a girl feel very alone, no matter how fabulous the weather or how cute the clothes at the South Coast Plaza mall. With very different styles and attitudes, Marcella, Olivia, and Alexis are trying to crack the code in L.A, trying to snare love and success. But first they have to come together--to make their marks and plan the fun they're going to have along the way.
Marcella is a hot, sharp young television actress who's barely able to enjoy the life she's bought for herself and certainly isn't enjoying her body, which is never quite perfect enough. Olivia, whose life revolves around her toddler son, Jack, is tethered to her suburban mommy track so tightly she can almost forget the horrible thing that happened to her family when she was a child herself. Alexis is a musicians' manager with a smart mouth, an ample body, and loads of style but barely enough self-esteem to fill a Prada card case. And the boys in their lives? Marcella's had about enough of them throwing themselves at her; Olivia's boy is her son; and Alexis is still searching, not for a boy this time, but for a man.
Playing with Boys is a savvy novel with charm, style, and heart to spare.
Three very different Latina women vow to bring Los Angeles to its collective knees in this funny, guilty pleasure of a novel, which bears some resemblance to its author's previous hit, The Dirty Girls Social Club. Dallas-born talent agent Alexis Lopez is trying to break her fellow Meximericans, a band called Los Chimpances del Norte, into the big-time spotlight, but she's also looking for new blood. Enter Marcella Gauthier Bosch, a half-French bad-girl actress, once a star of Spanish-language soap operas and now aching for a mainstream movie career that doesn't involve being cast as a maid or a hooker. All she needs is a serious, Latina-focused script--and that's where Olivia Reyes comes in. The shy, dowdy stay-at-home mom is still traumatized by the memory of seeing her father gunned down by Salvadoran soldiers. But she also has a serious, autobiographical screenplay, and Alexis convinces her to let Alexis show it around--with the idea that Marcella will be perfect as Soledad, Olivia's mother. Complications abound, of course--there's Olivia's cheating husband, Marcella's disdain for men in general and a Cuban rap star who seems determined to break Alexis's heart--but so do the laughs. There's Alexis's middle-aged white ex-boyfriend who thinks he's a teenage gangsta, Marcella's latent-goth suitor and the good ol' hard-drinking, beer-gutted, coke-addled Mexican boys of Los Chimpances del Norte. While the action is slow and the novel repetitive in places--Alexis turns whining about her small breasts into an art form--this is a funny, heartfelt piece of escapism, Latina-style.
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St. Martin's Press
June 22, 2005
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