Read Houston, We Have a Problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda Online


Jessica Luna is your typical 26 year old: she has man trouble, mom trouble, and not a clue what to do with her life (though everyone else in her family seems to have plenty of suggestions!) After a lifetime of being babied by her family, Jess is incapable of trusting herself to make the right choices. So instead, she bases all of her life decisions on signs. She looks to eJessica Luna is your typical 26 year old: she has man trouble, mom trouble, and not a clue what to do with her life (though everyone else in her family seems to have plenty of suggestions!) After a lifetime of being babied by her family, Jess is incapable of trusting herself to make the right choices. So instead, she bases all of her life decisions on signs. She looks to everything for guidance, from the direction her rearview-mirror-Virgin-de-Guadalupe sways to whatever Madame Hortensia, her psychic, sees in the cards. When her sort-of boyfriend Guillermo, a gifted unmotivated artist, disappoints her again, Jessica thinks it's time to call it quits. Just to be sure, she checks in with Madame Hortensia who confirms that yes, it is time for a change. (Who knew $20 could buy so much security!) Right on cue, Jess meets Jonathan; he's the complete opposite of Guillermo--of all Jess's boyfriends, in fact. He's successful, has a stable job....and is white. Jess isn't sure if Jonathan is really the change Madame Hortensia saw. Sure he gives great career advice, but is he advising her on a career she actually wants? And yes he's all about commitment, but is it Jess or her mother who really wants marriage? Jess runs back to Madame Hortensia for advice, but even she is out of answers. Now there's only one thing that's certain: no one--not her mother, her sister, her boyfriend or her psychic--can tell her what to do. For better or for worse, Jess will have to take the plunge and make her own decisions if she wants to have any future at all....

Title : Houston, We Have a Problema
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446698528
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Houston, We Have a Problema Reviews

  • Milli Thornton
    2020-01-15 01:31

    Looking through shelves of books spines in the budget bookstore, the cheeky title was what grabbed me first about this book. The cover image of a Mexican girl driving with her Virgin Mary lucky charm hanging from the rearview mirror, the gaudy colors and the sassy blurb on the back also gave me little prickles of "This looks fun!" And it was. The writing style was easy, enjoyable and humorous and the characters all felt completely believable (a nice antidote to the novel I'd finished just before reading this one). Because of having lived in the Southwest, the Mexican culture (displaced to Houston) felt very familiar to me--everything from what they were eating to the swear word her dad used when he burnt his hand on the oven. I was easily able to imagine their appearances and hear the accents of certain characters in my mind as I read.Even though the book is light and humorous, 26-year-old Jessica Luna learns some valuable life lessons; even a few I was happy to be reminded of myself at age 53. The author handled it all with wit and plenty of "drama in a tea cup" which perfectly suited the character. This was Zepeda's first novel (although not her first book) and I would read more by her. She even managed to make her acknowledgments pages fun and breezy to read. I looked her up at and she has published two more novels since this one was released in 2009.

  • Angela
    2020-01-06 08:14

    Houston, we have a problema is the story of Jessica Luna, a young woman without the self-confidence to make her own decisions. She is tired of her mother and sister interfering in her life, yet she is unable to determine her own direction. Jessi struggles with her cultural identity and finding her place in social and professional situations.Zepeda writes the flawed character of Jessi very well. So well in fact that Jessi drove me absolutely crazy as I waited for her to get a clue and grow up. She is self-centered yet completely insecure. She is so focused on her drama that she is unable to see the difficult situations that other members of her family are facing. She also has tunnel vision in regards to career opportunities and dating prospects, causing her to very nearly miss out on some fantastic possibilities.I would have liked to see Jessi grow a bit more a little earlier in the book. The constant drama got old quickly especially since Jessi debated the exact same choices multiple times in the book. While the drama was important for showing the reader where Jessi is at the start of the book, I think more could have been done with the ending when she is finally determined to take control of her life. The results of her choices and new found drive would have been more interesting to me.The other characters in the book have their own drama as well and it spills over into their relationships with Jessi even when she doesn't realize it. I thought these scenarios were very well written as I could see them playing out in many family and friend relationships. The characters and their choices are really the focus of this book. The actual situations they find themselves in are less important than their responses to the situations.Overall, I found this book to be just an okay, quick read. The version I received does have a Reading Group Guide and a Questions for the Author section which could lead to deeper discussion of the book. There are some themes revolving around personal identity that are certainly worth contemplating. I, however, found it difficult to get beyond my annoyance with the attitude of the main character.

  • Cheryl
    2020-01-20 03:19

    Jessica Luna was just like any other twenty-something woman. She had a job, and a boyfriend. Unfortunately, her co-workers are telling Jessica she should shoot for the top of the career path but her friends are suggesting that Jessica can do better and to ditch her job. Then there is her boyfriend, Guillermo, who is a very talented artist but who doesn’t have a lot of time for her. Jessica decides to seek out the advice of the resident psychic, Madame Hortensia. Madame tells Jessica to prepare for some changes in her life. It is not long after her visit that Jessica meets Jonathan. Jessica is in awe of Jonathan. He is the exact opposite of Guillermo. Jessica is enjoying this new world that Jonathan is showing her; there is just one problem…Jessica is still torn between work and her feelings for Guillermo. I expected this book to be a fun, upbeat read. What I got instead was disappointment. The reason I say this is because I struggled to finish this book. Then there is the issue with Jessica. I found her to be boring and weak. She let everyone else around her dictate her life for her but when she finally decided to stand up for herself, it was too late. What should have ended up being a victory that Jessica took control of her life, made me shout out about time. Though I did like the Latino spice that author, Gwendolyn Zepeda brought to Houston, we have a problema.

  • Mishel Forte
    2019-12-28 02:20

    Jessica Luna, like many women, is having a number of problems in her life. Should she keep giving her sexy artist lover, (but still not boyfriend!) Guillermo more chances? Should she just give up since he keeps letting her down? Should she move on to something better – maybe in the opposite direction in the form of a successful, good looking, stable white man? Should she stay with her current insurance job that she is really great at but is totally monotonous? Or maybe take a risk and do something she loves – like web design? Should she finally tell her family to stop bugging her about marriage? So many questions, so many different paths to take; Jessica just can’t figure out what to do. She relies heavily on her physic, Madame Hortensia, for advice. It can even be said that she can’t make a decision without Madame Hortensia’s advice… But Jess just doesn’t want to make the wrong choices in life. She wants to be happy with the right man, the right job, and have a good relationship with her family. What woman doesn’t want that?I liked Jessica a lot as a character however I still had some serious issues with her. She second guesses herself a lot! She also has a constant need for signs and advice to guide the decisions she makes. And while that is totally understandable it got somewhat annoying. I wanted to shake the poor girl and say “Just do the damn thing and see what happens!” But I’m happy to say that Jessica’s character does mature and grow as she figures things out for her life. It actually made me smile and feel proud of her!I can definitely see the book resonating with a lot of readers. I know pretty much everyone wishes they knew which paths to take in life. I know I’ve always wanted some sort of map or guide to point me in the right direction. But the truth is we can’t control or know everything. Sometimes we have to make bad decisions in order to get where we need to go. Mistakes help us learn not to do them again and help us determine the things in life that should be important. I know it takes some of us two or three (or even more!) than one mistake to get things right but at the end of the day that’s alright!This was a quick, easy, and enjoyable read for me. The writing style flowed nicely and the novel itself had funny, relatable characters dealing with real life issues. Family dynamics and drama, career issues, and man trouble…sounds like the life of a lot of us out there! I’d definitely read more by this author and recommend giving this book a try for a fun read!

  • Robert
    2019-12-24 08:34

    Gwen Zepeda's novel HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEMA is bound to be pushed into some pretty narrow genre categories -- latina chick lit, perhaps -- which is a pity, because Zepeda has written an engaging and fun work that transcends its regional and cultural environment and is quite simply a well-written and entertaining piece of work.Jessica Luna is a single twentysomething standing on the edge of change. She finds herself confronting the prospects of changing jobs while at the same time hurtling towards decisions that must be made in her dating life, romantic choices that seem to mirror her career in flux. She jockeys for promotion at an insurance company job that she finds unfulfilling even as she dreams of a career in the art world. At the same time, she teeters between Jonathan, the successful Anglo executive who represents safety but also a step away from her passion and her culture, and the temperamental artist Guillermo, who frustrates her with his unreliability even as he haunts her on a visceral, emotional level. Jessica's superstitious nature leads her to consult Madame Hortensia, a pragmatic fortune teller whose guidance mostly serves to turn her gaze inward. Jessica Luna will find her own answers, if only she can learn to trust her heart.HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEMA reads like good solid chick lit, but Zepeda delves into topics of race and family dysfunction that give the novel an unexpected depth. It does so, however, with subtlety and humor, and most of all with nuanced, believable characters. This isn't a book I would have naturally gravitated to, mostly because of the genre, but to have missed out on this charming story would have been a real pity. I've been aware of Gwen Zepeda's writing for a while, but with HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEMA, she now has my undivided attention.

  • Alea
    2020-01-21 02:19

    This is a really fun and heartwarming book about a twenty-something's journey through love, work and family. During the day Jessica works a dull job at an insurance firm but all she wants to do is design websites. To ease her stress she's been seeing a sexy artist but she's unhappy about where the relationship is going. Jessica is superstitious and turns to signs, omens, and especially Madame Hortensia to help her decide what path to take in love and life. Mix in a little family love, drama and some cultural tension and you have the makings of a lovely story!I really enjoyed this book! Starting my first full-time job about a year ago I'm always interested in stories involving twenty-somethings in the work place. It's fun to compare and contrast their experiences with my own. I also loved Jessica's background and interest in the arts, seeing as though I have that same background!Going into this I thought this would be your basic chick-lit, but it was more than that. It deals a lot with family and the tension that can arise between sisters and even husbands and wives. I also was very interested in the growth that Jessica goes through when it comes to accepting others for they are on the inside rather than what they appear to be on the outside. This is a great book, full of interesting characters, humor, and growing up! It's very satisfying to see a character evolve throughout a book, learn to depend on themselves, and go out and get what will really make them happy!

  • Marta hoelscher
    2020-01-02 02:19

    Jessica Luna is your typical mid-twenties girl. She has trouble with her boyfriends, argues with her mom and sister and is confused about where her life is going. Everyone around her tells her what to do. Jessica is at a loss to make her own decisions and so she consults a psychic and watches for signs to base her decisions on. Her boyfriend, Guillermo, is your basic friends with benefits even though she likes to think that it's something more. When she checks with the local psychic, Madame Hortensia, she's told it's time for a change. This happens about the same time that she meets Jonathan. Unfortunately, Jonathan is the complete opposite of Guillermo, and what Jessica thought she wanted in a boyfriend. But Jessica finds that she really likes Jonathan in spite of the differences. In the midst of all the dating chaos Jessica questions the direction her career is going. To add to her confusion. her parents seem to be splitting up and as Jessica becomes more confused about who she should pick and what she should do about her career and her family, she visits Madame Fortensia repeatedly until even the psychic is out of answers. Eventually Jessica learns she to have the courage to make her own decisions and go after what she wants in order to claim her future.This book was really good. It has a strong latino theme to it, but it definitely crosses all cultures with the themes of growing up, tolerance and acceptance.

  • Tee
    2020-01-07 06:24

    I don't usually read "chick lit", but the title was too awesome to pass up. I'm a sucker for anything with a dash of Spanish since I'm bilingual. This book was great and unlike some other books in the genre, had some real life lessons, (while providing plenty of humor, too.) There were many sub-plots but it wasn't confusing. The author successfully resolved each one while not being too predictable and also providing an excellent cast of characters, (each one amazingly well rounded, in my opinion.) I had no problem relating to the main character, Jessica, and the scenes with her bad boy on-again-off-again boyfriend, Guillermo, are hot and spicy. Guillermo will go down in history as one of my favorite characters ever, even if I'm probably supposed to hate him ;)

  • Lisa
    2019-12-27 03:10

    Gotta love free book day at work! I picked this novel up on a whim because hey, it was free, and I'm really glad I did. :) It's a fun, fast read and I quite liked it. Jessica lives her life based on the wise advice of fortune-teller Madame Hortensia--but when it comes to life, love, and career options, Jessica learns that maybe it's best to make your our fortune instead.Jessica is a likeable character with a strong personality and even stronger voice and she carries you effortlessly through the ups and downs of her relationships. I enjoyed her journey to find the right man and the right job and to make amends with her sister and parents. A tightly plotted story with a satisfying ending. Nice work!

  • Lisamarie
    2020-01-02 05:20

    Hm, I am still debating between 3 or 4 stars because it was borderline exasperating that it took Jessica soooooo long to get her shit together -- there was this big middle section where she kept going through the same pattern over and over and over. But I don't know much chicklit at all... is that a standard Thing? Still throughout, there were so many gorgeous little details about dreary office life, internet accomplishments, Houston, racial issues, fashion, etc. So I was consistently entertained while waiting for Jessica to get a clue. Also the subplot with the parents *really* affected me, very touching. I can't wait for her next book, it sounds great.

  • Amy
    2019-12-25 00:17

    Loved this. I read this because I've been a follower of Gwen's blog and writing since I discovered her a few years ago (yup. I'm the one who discovered her).I was a little nervous, because this looked like it was going to be chicklitty - which is not my favorite, but, in her inimitable style, BAM! Gwen got me again.This is a wonderful story of the empowerment and nascent independence of an engaging main character. As is Zepeda's way, she takes Jessica all the places you think she won't, and doesn't take her any of the places that you think she will. In the process, Jessica takes on a life of her own.

  • Emily
    2020-01-13 08:29

    It was okay. I liked the tone of the writing, the offbeat silliness that popped up now and again, and the poignant feelings that the main character experienced. Overall, though, it was fluffy chick-lit with a twist of racial tension. I wanted to like the book a lot more than I did, because I've been reading the author's blog for a million years and I think she's a terrific writer who deserves success. I just didn't feel like this book was as good as she could do.

  • Yolanda
    2020-01-18 02:37

    This book seemed to go on forever. Mainly because I couldn't seem to find time read it. But it was good when i found the time to read it. But the ending wasn't as I expected. I don't know if that was a good or bad thing. I think that not all books having a cookie cutter ending is good. But I felt it could have been more clear. Still, I will read another book by this author as I love all things that surround hispanic culture.

  • Liliana
    2020-01-03 05:18

    While i first resisted this "chick lit" book, I ended up enjoying it quite a bit, and wondering what was chicklit about it...It brought some cultural political issues to the fore, without ever being heavy handed, just as a natural part of the story, of this young professional Latina in Houston, trying to get ahead in the work world and trying to stay connected to family and culture. It's a funny book, and a page-turner! Great beach or pool reading.

  • Stacy
    2019-12-28 05:11

    I bought this book on a whim a while ago. It is an easy read, would be a great beach read. The main character is a 20-something Latino woman living in Houston, trying to figure out life, her career and men. I liked that I could identify with that time in my life as well. I did not understand some of her attitude toward the men in the book - maybe you have to be a Latino woman to get her point of view? But overall, a solid chick-lit book.

  • Amy
    2020-01-02 00:18

    I toook me a little while to get into...wasn't sure where it was going but I ended up liking it. It is my first book in latino chick-lit but I think it totally transcends the genre. While a nice little romp/light read, it also is enlightening about race relations and seemed very believable. Fairly clean without graphic language. I highly recommend!

  • Jasmine
    2020-01-24 07:37

    I'm on the brink of being 24 years old and because of this I'm trying to read books with characters that are at the same stage in life as me.the only problem is that i tend to hate these women. they're whiny and self absorbed, predictable and they make obviously stupid mistakes!Jessica Luna is no exception. She's annoying and I just can't seem to care about her.

  • Autumn
    2019-12-30 01:18

    Fun chick-lit with a heroine who is working through some cultural identity issues -- she's irritated with typical macho guys like her lover Guillermo, but she's freaked out by Jonathan the rich white guy who also wants to date her. Lots of emphasis on self-empowerment, family and career issues as well. An excellent beach read.

  • Vincy
    2020-01-15 02:29

    Much more race-related than I was expecting. It wasn't quite as quirky or fun as I had hoped by the jacket copy. There's not much to say about this book other than that it was misrepresented and rather boring. I'd never have requested it if I'd known it was mostly going to be about the main character's anguish over her racism.

  • Sandra
    2020-01-03 05:18

    liked it. I thought Jessica Luna was a real flake though. She could not make a decision to save her life. She couldn't decide between two losers, for crying out loud. Dump 'em both, girl! Spend time alone and figure out what the hell you want.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-12-31 02:13

    Hispanic Book Club choice -- a stretch for me being a non (Latina) chicklit reader, but still enjoyed Jessica's awakening to the best way to deal with the problems in her life -- love, family, and job choices.

  • Robin Declue
    2019-12-31 05:17

    I really enjoyed this book~even though everything wasn't tied up at the end. It was so nice to be able to relate to Houston and the surrounding areas that were referenced in the book. Made me nostalgic!

  • Aurora
    2020-01-10 00:21

    This book was a very easy read. I found so many things I had in common not only with the main character but also her mother. One of the few books that gives a realistic potrayal of a modern Latina in today's times.

  • Kathy
    2020-01-08 08:35

    I read an advance copy. This is a super cute, funny, uplifting book! I read it in just a couple of days while traveling and it certainly kept my interest!! The characters were endearing and there were several times I giggled out loud. I'm looking forward to another book by this author!

  • Amber
    2020-01-01 00:35

    Handled cultural differences in an honest way. I rejoiced when the protagonist’s sister gave Jessica a severe talking to, since sometimes I, too, wanted to yell at her for being dense. The descriptions of Houston and Galveston are hilarious.I hope we can make the author visit happen.

  • Mary
    2020-01-12 06:35

    I enjoyed it. A fast, entertaining book. I'd read another novel by this author!

  • Lorena
    2020-01-24 02:19

    Cute book. I read it while traveling and it kept me interested. I didn't love the ending but won't ruin it for everyone so I will just say it was a good light read and fun.

  • Joey
    2020-01-05 04:25

    Not quite as good as Lonestar Legend but def. worth the read, especially if you live in Houston. :)

  • Revcarmen Aka
    2019-12-25 02:10

    I won this book on goodreads and I just started reading it and it's very intersting good book!

  • Julia Amante
    2020-01-24 05:21

    Loved it! Funny, whitty. Great author voice.