However, nothing is getting past Peter’s mother, Margarita, who is not fond of the new white girl who doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know the culture and doesn’t eat meat! With quite the language barrier and culture shock, Calliope struggles to keep her end of the bogus relationship bargain especially when she begins to realize that their friendship may break her heart. Oh, and then there’s Peter’s brother, Eddie, who threatens to blow the secret wide open because he knows it’s all an act. With a love triangle right out of a Spanish novella, Calliope tries to figure out what’s real and what isn’t so her heart won’t take another blow.
One white girl, one fake boyfriend who should be The One, one ice cold Margarita who’s determined to drive her out and the one guy who knows it’s all a sham. It’ll be a wonder if this white girl will survive in la casa…
Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 4 stars
Review: Calliope doesn’t practice good sense when it comes to men. Then, out of the blue, she meets Peter Delgadillo, “the Latino God of all that is man candy goodness.” (12)
The two start off as friends, but Calli has other things in mind—dirty, sinful things. Pathetic love puppy! “For as many times as Peter had introduced me as his friend, it finally sunk in that we were not going to be walking down the aisle at any time and that his delicious body and kind heart would never be mine.” (21) Gee, ya think?
Then Calli gets her wish to be Peter’s girlfriend…Well, she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for his mother, who was quite a pickle. Can a white girl see eye-to-eye with an old Mexican suegra?
“When it was just him and I, he was the soft and sweet Peter I fell in love with years ago, but when it came to his mother, I suddenly turned to chop liver.” (107) Suddenly, Calli starts to see a whole other side to Peter, one that always sides with his saint of a mother. It’s kind of like they’re married already. If a woman hated me that much, hell no would I stay at her house.
“Once that woman knows something, the whole planet does too.” (205) Yep, heard that! That’s exactly my abuela. Margarita was like any old Mexican mother. She was mean and critical in that hilarious fashion.
The story was similar to the movie While You Were Sleeping—a girl thinking she could fool everyone into believing she was engaged to the boy, but she ain’t fooling the brother, who, ironically, may be the one for her. I liked Eddie because he called Calli on her B.S.
The best part was when Calliope spells it out for Eddie. She wants to be adored daily, she expects flowers on her birthday, she won’t cook animals, she won’t take out the trash, she’s opinionated big-mouth, and she gets cranky when she’s on her period. “Take it or leave it.” (221) Gotta love her honesty!
Full of that in-your-face sarcastic humor, this book practically speaks to the reader in diary form, which exuded Calliope’s personality force, but, at times, she tended to babble on and often got off tangent. Overall, the writing was okay (wasn’t too impressed), but the author does make up for it with the variety of oddball characters.
Calli’s life in la casa was like watching an I Love Lucy episode with her hare-brain schemes and wacky antics. It is a wild ride of culture shock. A fun and enjoyable read!