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Playing with Boys: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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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Review

"Playing with Boys is a testament to the powers of women wrapped up in a pretty Cinderella story times three."—Albuquerque Journal

"A beach read that . . . might make you giggle and blush."—Chicago Sun-Times

"As Marcella, Alexis, and Olivia grapple with men and their careers, they really don’t seem all that different from Bridget Jones herself."—Miami Herald

"The three amigas—a television actress, a single mother, and a manager of musicians—each has her own distinct lifestyle, quirks, and notions of romance, yet each manages to help her friends find balance, along with loads of good times."—Sacramento Bee

"Three very different Latina women vow to bring Los Angeles to its collective knees in this funny, guilty pleasure of a novel . . . [A] heartfelt piece of escapism."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 1017 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003J48BMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez cornered the Latina chick-lit market with her debut, "The Dirty Girls Social Club." But she hits the sophomore slump in "Playing With Boys," an overstretched story about defying the cliches that dog Hispanic women. It's a good idea, just not executed well.

Alexis Lopez is a slightly overweight talent agent, with a nasty "gangsta" boyfriend and a longing to break Meximericans into the spotlight. She finds her possible breakout star in Marcella Gauthier Bosch, a stunning rich wild child who wants to be a serious actress, but keeps getting offered roles as "maids" and "crack whores."

As Alexis struggles to find Marcella an outstanding role with no jiggle, she encounters Olivia. Olivia is a dowdy, traumatized young mom, with a crumbling marriage. But she's also written the brilliant "Soledad," a screenplay that chronicles her mother's life -- the perfect vehicle for Marcella. All three women struggle to bring "Soledad" to the screen, and struggle just as hard to deal with their delicate relationships with men...

At first glance, this sounds like a feisty romp, with three very different Latinas plotting to challenge the behemoth that is Hollywood. It's a cool idea, and one ripe to be explored. Unfortunately, Valdes-Rodriguez doesn't give it everything it needs to really bloom. There's too much book here for too little plot -- it putters out about halfway through the book, and just sort of limps to a finale.

This is probably the only book I've ever read where the women think about sex about fifty times more often than the men. In fact, at times it seems to be all the women think about -- even the joyless Olivia checks out porn. If Valdes-Rodriguez wants to portray Hispanic women in a uncliched light, she might want to avoid that.
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Format: Hardcover
Alexis Lopez is a transplanted Texas conservative living among the liberal left in PLAYING WITH BOYS, the latest novel by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, whose first was the bestselling THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB. Alexis manages Latino musicians and her most famous band is the Los Chimpances del Norte, a Norteno band that is world famous among those of Hispanic persuasion.

The opening chapter has poor Alexis worrying over the band, all of whom are misbehaving badly at an exclusive party honoring the band members who had just donated $5,000,000 to UCLA's Center for Chicano Studies. The band, dressed in brightly colored outfits with huge belt buckles, is embarrassing Alexis, who believes in dressing conservatively in public, especially at these high-society functions. She also believes that those with money would know how to behave appropriately, but this rule does not seem to apply to "The Chimps." These men are millionaires, yet here they are at this fancy party groping the female guests.

One of the women who the bandleader, Filoberto, decides to grope is a famous Latina actress, Marcella Gauthier Bosch, known for those popular Mexican telenovelas. Alexis doesn't recognize the actress at first, because Marcella is working as a server at the party. When she explains to Alexis who she really is, Alexis is star-struck. At the same time, Alexis does not understand why this wonderful actress is working at a party when she should be the star of the party.

After Alexis saves Marcella from the hands of Filoberto, she bumps into Samuel, who had helped her set up the party and the donation to UCLA. Standing next to him is a very petite woman who turns out to be his wife.
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Format: Hardcover
I find it strange that I am the first to review this item, but not strange that it is now priced as a bargain book.

I decided to read this because I enjoyed this author's last work, The Dirty Girls Social Club. This was another good read, but there were entirely too many political references for me such as (ugh, she is a Republican or ugh, she is a Democrat). References I found out of place in a chick novel like this.

I also tired of Alexis' fat girl complaints, such as "nobody will like me", etc. etc. Also out of place in a chick novel ... we need more inspiring women!

But ... overall the book does not disappoint and there is quite a bit of inspiration in the story of these three women.

So enjoy the book but be wary of the political and "Jemima J" references. Chick lit readers will know what I am talking about!
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Format: Hardcover
PLAYING WITH BOYS by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

September 10, 2004

PLAYING WITH BOYS is the latest novel by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, whose THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB was a big hit the other year. In this novel, three Latina women living in Southern California become friends through a movie script written about a woman that endured horrors while living in El Salvador.

Alexis Lopez, originally from Texas, is now living in Southern California, and manages Hispanic musicians. Due to some "mishap" that involved her most famous act, Los Chimpances del Norte, she discovers she may need to expand her horizons. She comes across a woman, Olivia, with a wonderful script about her mother's life in El Salvador, and Alexis decides to buy it and make a movie out of it. She also hires out-of-work Latina actress Marcella Gauthier Bosch to play the lead in the film.

The three of them become friends, but in the meantime, they each have their own set of problems. Alexis is dealing with a psychotic ex-boyfriend. Marcella is dealing with a mother that never showed any support for Marcella, despite the fact that they are both actresses. She is also worried about her fading beauty, insecure that some younger actress will take her place in the world of Latina beauties. And Olivia is dealing with nightmares, memories of life in El Salvador. She's losing sleep and weight.

When Alexis meets handsome Cuban singer Vladimir, her life takes on an interesting turn, but learns he's still in love with a woman he left behind in Cuba. His goal is to get her out safely and to be reunited with her.
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