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Best Local Book Houston 2009 - Houston, We Have a ­Problema

Like her protagonist Jessica in Houston, We Have a Problema, author Gwendolyn Zepeda grew up in Houston and works in insurance. But while Zepeda admits to being a little superstitious from time to time, Jessica has made superstition an art form. She often consults the plastic Virgin Mary that hangs from her rearview mirror and relies on a fortune-teller to advise her on everything from who to date to what job to take. That's actually not working out so well for her, though. Her love life consists of meaningless hookups with a man who ignores her in between booty calls, and her career has completely stalled. You don't have to be a fortune teller to see that she needs a good kick in the pants, and as Zepeda's plot unfolds, Jessica gets more than a few. Along with multilayered characters facing realistic problems, We Have a Problema features an accurate depiction of Houston. Anyone familiar with the Montrose area will recognize the neighborhood joints and landmarks.

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