Never Too Real by Carmen Rita
Published by Kensington on May 31, 2016
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.