Ben and Beatriz

Katalina Gamarra

Book - 2022

"Beatriz Herrera is a fierce woman who will take you down with her quick wit and keen intellect. And after the results of the 2016 election worked hard to erase her identity as a queer biracial woman, she'd be right to. Especially if you come for her sweet BFF cousin, Hero. Beatriz would do anything for her, a loyalty that lands Beatriz precisely where she doesn't want to be: spending a week at the ridiculous Cape Cod mansion of stupid-hot playboy Ben Montgomery. The same Ben Mont...gomery she definitely shouldn't have hooked up with that one time... The things we do for family. White and wealthy, Ben talks the talk and walks the walk of privilege, but deep down, he's wrestling with the politics and expectations of a conservative family he can't relate to. Though Beatriz's caustic tongue drives him wild in the very best way, he's the last person she'd want, because she has zero interest in compromising her identity. But as her and Ben's assumptions begin to unravel and their hookups turn into something real, they start wondering if it's still possible to hold space for one another and the inescapable love that unites them."--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
Toronto, Ontario, Canada : Graydon House [2022]
Language
English
Physical Description
319 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781525899959
1525899953
Main Author
Katalina Gamarra (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A curvy, biracial, neurodivergent queer progressive who takes herself way too seriously and a wealthy white, cishet womanizer who doesn't appreciate his privilege trade passionate barbs in this modern tribute to Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy, Much Ado about Nothing. Beatriz Herrera and Ben Montgomery had a one-night-stand during their freshman year at Harvard but went their separate ways, each assuming that no one would like them for who they truly are. On the surface, Ben and Beatriz couldn't be more different, but when their mutual friends plan a spring break trip to Ben's Cape Cod mansion, these enemies-to-lovers learn that they're a lot alike. Their constant fighting highlights their simmering sexual tension, which everyone else picks up on and which could have led to more humorous scenes, similar to the comedy this story intends to emulate. But sex, drinking, drugs, and past traumas drive the angst-ridden plot. Readers sensitive to relational trauma may have difficulty believing the love story when so many scenes are mired in heavy feelings of inadequacy, but debut author Gamarra's dialogue is edgy and fresh. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this reimagining of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, queer, Latinx Beatriz is sharp of mind and tongue and always there for beloved cousin Hero, which lands her at the Cape Cod mansion of rich, white playboy Ben Montgomery. Ben represents everything Beatriz hates, but he's beginning to question the values of his conservative family. After they join forces to circumvent a tragedy, Beatriz and Ben reach a sort of rapprochement that could lead to a different kind of love story. With a 100,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gamarra debuts with an equally steamy and thorny adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing set in the early days of Trump's presidency. Beatriz "Bea" Herrera feels lost in the wake of the 2016 election, uncertain where she—a queer, biracial Latinx woman—will fit into America after graduating from Harvard in the spring. Her solace is her cousin, Hero. So, when Hero asks Bea if they can spend spring break with Hero's new boyfriend, Claudio, Bea suppresses her hatred for Claudio's best friend, Ben Montgomery, and agrees. Ben is a rich, straight, white man from a conservative family—the antithesis to Bea in every way. The trip proves tumultuous as the quartet contends with Ben's antagonistic brother and his frequent microaggressions against Bea—and, of course, Bea and Ben match wits. But beneath their verbal sparring, the pair can't ignore their lingering attraction from a one-night stand three years ago. Gamarra uses their love story to explore race, colorism, sexuality, and privilege, crafting a romance between two people who are all too aware of their differences but still find a safe space in each other. Fans of the original sparring hearts love story will find this a worthy update on the classic. Agent: Larissa Melo Pienkowsk, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Aug.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Beatriz Herrera, a queer, biracial Harvard senior must put aside her dislike for rich, white playboy, Ben Montgomery, in order to save someone’s life in a reimagined version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Original. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Beatriz Herrera, a queer, biracial Harvard senior, must put aside her dislike for rich, white playboy Ben Montgomery in order to save someone's life, in a reimagined version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

There’s nothing like falling for your worst enemy.Beatriz Herrera is a fierce woman who will take you down with her quick wit and keen intellect. And after the results of the 2016 election worked hard to erase her identity as a queer biracial woman, she’d be right to. Especially if you come for her sweet BFF cousin, Hero. Beatriz would do anything for her, a loyalty that lands Beatriz precisely where she doesn’t want to be: spending a week at the ridiculous Cape Cod mansion of stupid-hot playboy Ben Montgomery. The same Ben Montgomery she definitely shouldn’t have hooked up with that one time… The things we do for family.White and wealthy, Ben talks the talk and walks the walk of privilege, but deep down, he’s wrestling with the politics and expectations of a conservative family he can’t relate to. Though Beatriz’s caustic tongue drives him wild in the very best way, he's the last person she'd want, because she has zero interest in compromising her identity. But as her and Ben’s assumptions begin to unravel and their hookups turn into something real, they start wondering if it’s still possible to hold space for one another and the inescapable love that unites them. This retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is both razor-sharp and swoon-worthy: the perfect love story for our time.