After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine decides to focus on her career, not men—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suâarez.
This book fizzes with sex, betrayal, lies, and family drama—but the good news is, it comes without an actual telenovela's requisite cliffhangers and tragedies ... Daria pulls readers into the telenovela, which acts as a framing narrative for the larger story. Much like its imaginary show, Hola is a triumph of Latinx joy and feminist agency. It thoughtfully explores gender roles and diversity in entertainment and the greater Latinx community, and challenges the Hollywood status quo ... It's through Daria's deep and nuanced exploration of these ideas that You Had Me at Hola says hello to new risks. It's a sensual choreography of romance, feminism, and identity that harmonizes the characters' relationships on and offscreen—while making all the jefa moves.
... for the reader at the start of this smart and engaging madcap romance, it’s certainly a lot of fun. Considering the usual telenovela twists, the story is actually surprisingly down-to-earth ... A few situations are dialed up for laughs, such as the infamous coffee incident during the meet-cute, but for the most part, Jasmine and Ashton face realistic challenges as they deal with their careers, their personal relationships and their blossoming feelings for each other ... Daria fills the story with palpable warmth and affection, not just for her hero and heroine but for the dual worlds they inhabit: the film industry and the Latin American community. If you enjoy behind the scenes peeks, the story includes plenty of fun details about the nuts and bolts of a working set ... And if you appreciate a media landscape that embraces diversity, you’ll love the chance to explore how Jasmine and Ashton carry their heritage with them, determinedly carving out opportunities not just for themselves but for all the gifted, undervalued Latinx performers searching for a place.
... thoughtfully explore[s] finding love in the aftermath of humiliating public breakups and show that even if the road to self-discovery has its share of bumps, the journey is better with friends ... [doesn't] just offer swoony and sexy romance, but also affirm the healing power of women supporting women ... reject[s] the idea that women can only exist as each other’s competition, and propose[s] that, on the contrary, a happy ending is always sweeter if you have your friends to celebrate with; that’s the kind of feminism I want in all my romance.