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The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina: A…

The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina: A Novel (2010)

by M. Padilla

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I actually was surprised how much fun this was, and how well done. It was so absorbing I read it in bed until I was done, missing hours of sleep! A thought I had as I finally closed it was: "delicious and nutritious!" Even though it was character-driven, there was plenty of plot. Personally, I was so interested in the characters I didn't need the murder part to keep me turning pages. I just really enjoyed this 'year in the life' of these strong & vital women as they explored issues of friendship, love, integrity, and identity. And of course, as a gringo, I had fun reading what the Latinas think of us and what they do & say amongst themselves. Thank you Giveaway for this ARC! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina by Mike Padilla is about four friends and their troubles with love and what not. One of their friends, Marta, owns the cantina where they like to unwind after a hard day.

I was really expecting to enjoy the book. I loved the cover and the setting (the San Bernadino Valley) but NONE of the characters came across as believable, even remotely. Theres a lot of scheming, and spying and attempts at boyfriend stealing. There's also a lot of drinking.

But in the hundred pages I managed to slog through, nothing of any significance happened. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 16, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The back cover of The Girls of the Revolutionary Cantina says that Julia's friends involve her in a risky scheme, but that plot doesn't get underway until the book is more than halfway done. The first half is filled with simplistic sentences of "and then she did this" and plenty of name-brand references (I almost thought I was reading a YA from Alloy). It seemed like M. Padilla decided to write a west coast version of Sex and the City (the TV show, not the book), but it's not very appealing. I was bored by the time I got to the plot development of Diego's dead wife.
  nicole | Jun 14, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting book. I wasn't sure I was going to like it when I recieved it, but it turns out that I enjoyed it.
  ChicagoCubs | Jan 8, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Friendships, betrayal and forgiveness. Latina friends climbing the success ladder and dealing with ups and downs of relationships between each other and others. I found the characters very similar to some of the latina friends that I grew up around. Struggling with cultures and expectations of parents along with being perceived by others. I think the author did a good job of showing the hesitation and insecurites that were hidden in one character (driven obsessively with success) and the more apparently cautious young woman (Julia) navigating through business and personal life.

One of the characters (the dancer) at first seemed a little stereotypical to me, but then I started remembering some of my mother's friends and realized that she was just like at least three of my mother's friends. All the women my mother knew (including my mom) were practically obsessed with dancing (very fun, salsa dancing - the latin beat can't be compared to anything else), loved parties and get togethers, and some were just as glittery and showy as Concepcion.

It was a good read with believable dialog. ( )
  Mardel | Aug 5, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
"The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina" is the best kind of coming-of-age story, one in which an adult sifts through her experiences and culture to recognize her true self. M. Padilla does a remarkable job with his cast of characters, illuminating the Latina women in the novel so their personalities shine through, in stories from the past and the present.

Julia Juarez is an up-and-coming account manager attempting to find security in her career success; still, she maintains a fierce sense of loyalty to the tight group of friends she has found.

The women, flamboyant dance teacher Concepcion, driven careerist Ime, practical Marta and timid Nina, must make room in their circle for the returning radical, Remedios. Julia must decide whether to focus on her career, romance or friendship.

It is through knowing the day-to-day drama of these colorful characters, and their lifestyle choices, that Julia becomes an independent woman. She begins pursuing her own goals and finding faith in the future.

With drama that ranges from fugitive actors to betraying friends, Julia learns to navigate the world based on her own sense of reality.

This, in and of itself, is so powerfully related that readers will not be able to put down the book. It is also a lesson worth learning: Julia must trust herself beyond all others and have faith in the future.

Padilla has written a charming and offbeat tale of a group of Latina women. It is the tale of women finding the way together until they must grow apart."

Padilla’s compulsively readable novel is centered around a group of Mexican American friends living in California’s San Fernando Valley. The practical member of the group, Julia Juarez, is concentrating on her job as a sales rep at a security firm and trying not to get distracted by her dashing coworker, Ilario. When Ilario and Julia’s best friend, Ime, hit it off at a party, Julia is crushed but steps aside when she sees how serious Ime is about Ilario. But when her working relationship with Ilario turns hostile, Julia starts to worry about the future of her career. Her friends’ lives are equally tumultuous: mousy Nina is preparing to marry a man she’s not sure she loves, wild-child Concepcion has developed a fixation on a handsome actor wanted for the murder of his wife, and Marta, owner of the Revolutionary Cantina, is drawn into a wacky plot launched by Concepcion. Readers will find these gals great company, and Padilla’s second outing is a rollicking good ride with plenty of flare and heart.
added by MikePadilla | editBooklist, Kristine Huntley

Padilla’s debut novel is funny, poignant, absorbing and hysterical. It’s about friendship, lovers, careers, self discovery, murder and Hollywood. Readers will laugh, cry and gasp at the shenanigans of these senoritas. Padilla does a great job at creating believable, likeable characters with witty dialogue and larger-than-life situations.
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In memory of Richard V. Piper and for Alicia and Peter Padilla
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Even now Julia cringed to think about it: how she must have appeared to him, caught standing in the middle of his office, riffling through his things.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312593082, Paperback)

Inspired by their good-natured rivalry, career-oriented best friends Julia Juarez and Ime Benevides have never let anything come between them. Then enters Julia's new coworker, Ilario, who pulls both women's heartstrings, disrupts their friendship, and brings Julia's career to the brink of disaster.

Looking for support, Julia turns to her other friends: Concepción, a party-obsessed dance instructor; Nina, a timid but shrewd seamstress who's not too taken with her fiancé; and Marta, owner of the Revolutionary Cantina, who is preoccupied with the details of a Hollywood murder case. When they involve Julia in a risky scheme, she must choose between her loyalty to her friends and a chance to live the life she's worked so hard to achieve.

Boasting irreverent, edgy humor and a clear sense of Southern Californian culture, this hilarious, insightful debut novel by award-winning author M. Padilla brilliantly captures the comforts and dangers of friendship.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:33 -0400)

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