Cover Image: The Neapolitan Sisters

The Neapolitan Sisters

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Member Reviews

This is another one of those books that even after I finished it, I just  didn’t really get. Three  sisters convene for The youngest’s wedding and the entire book is alternating chapters with each of their stories. I just didn’t really get any of their motives or agendas. I didn’t understand why Claudia perpetually pushed Ethan away. I didn’t understand The bride’s deception as revenge when there were so many other ways to get back at her fiancé. I got what happened to Dooley but considered her very murky.
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Three sisters in a very dysfunctional family reunite in this story told by all of them for the wedding of Maritza, who is perhaps the most unlikeable of the bunch.  She's not really that committed to her fiance but she's bound and determined to have the perfect wedding.  Her sister Dooley is newly sober and Claudia is meant to be perfect but she's not.  All of them live with the aftermath of their alcoholic father.  Their mother doesn't cope with things well, suffering migraines and arthritis.  It's about sisterhood and homecoming and trying to love yourself.  It's not a light story but there are some scenes that might make you smile.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  An interesting read.
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⚜️My Summary

A cool, hometown feel read, about  a sister dynamic and how they cope with being so different while trying to support each other. For some reason I found the whatever Energy from their mom hilarious. An easy book to connect to. If you have multiple sisters or siblings you will definitley be able to relate.
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This is a story of three sisters--Claudia, Dulcia and Maritza who they all have different personalities to each other. Claudia has a successful career with a hot and famous boyfriend named Ethan, Dulcia is being sover and Maritza is preparing for the wedding to Augustino. 

Let's just start with the cover--the cover in this book is really pretty which actually made me want to read this book! But the story is also good. The story is told from the three sister's points of view so we know what each of these three sisters are going through in their lives. Behind each of these sisters' story is their mother who seemed to be the matriarch. The author does a good job of describing the complex relationship between the children and the parents and this story as a whole is very realistic. I actually enjoyed reading this story as it was interesting to read about the relationship between the three sisters and how their characters vary with each other. Overall this story worth four stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
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A huge trigger warning: fatphobia

This book wasn't what I expected. I wanted more from this author and more from these characters. The fact that one of them is extremely fatphobic put me on my nerves. I couldn't take it.
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If you are looking for a story with likable characters, this one isn't it. Maritzia is openly and blatantly fatphobic, but I took that as a character trait which makes her unlikable more than anything else. 

I enjoyed the surprise ending, it did not really come out of the blue so it fit nicely with the rest of the book.
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I was hesitant to read this when I saw the reviews but I thought I would give it a chance since, based on the description, this is the type of novel I would enjoy. 
I was able to finish it and it had a good pace, however I didn't like that chapters would cut off scenes early. I understood that the author was leaving the rest to our imagination but the repetitiveness of this format was annoying when I was interested in what would happen next in a scene.
None of the sisters were particularly likeable, especially not Maritza, and I didn't think there was much character development or evidence that the characters would develop or change in the novel.
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I struggled to get into this book. There was no hook early on, and then I didn't connect with any of the characters.
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i don't know what to think about this book. at times, i was thinking of giving this book 3 stars but then i realised that it didn't live up to my expectations (don't want to spoil anything) so i decided to give it 2 stars. overall it might be a good read, it just wasn't a book for me.
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"I have my sisters and my sisters have me as proof of this." The Neapolitan Sisters by Margo Candela


This story follows 3 very dysfunctional sisters from Los Angeles. Dulcina, Claudia and Mauritza. Dulcina the drifter, Claudia the put together control freak and my least favorite Mauritza the prima Donna I-get-what-I-want, stuck up princess. Dooley is back home for her sisters' wedding but also to find closure or is it revenge, Claudia needs to learn that she can't control everything especially her life and Mauritza is in for a shock as she won't always get what she wants.

I'm at a solid 3.5 rating as the ending seemed rushed, Mauritza's character just annoyed the hell out of me as well. Trump card is when Claudia tells their Mama exactly what she doesn't want to hear ( I bet she got one of her migraines again). I loved Claudia's character especially her snarky remarks. I partially enjoyed this book as it touched on the fact that no one and no family is ever perfect. 

Trigger warning: Sex, violence/abuse, sexual abuse, vulgar language


Huge thanks to @alcovepress, @margocandela and @netgalley for this ARC. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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Dealing with family is never easy, there are too many personalities and egos to take into account. For the three Neapolitan sisters their lives could not be more different, and their lives have all gone separate ways until they have to come back to their East L.A home and be together. As they struggle with old roles and expectations pushing against new lives and personal growth they are forced to develop new relationships with each other and find a way to be sisters.  As an only child I’m always really fascinated in the dynamics of sibling relationships and how despite maybe just liking each other, you’re ultimately family and have to like each other. This book does a great job of exploring that.
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This book tells the three parallel stories of Maritzia, Claudia and Dulcina 'Dooley' Sanchez. Each with their own vivid personality, they navigate personal and relationship challenges .The driving story is that of Maritzia, who is getting ready to marry a fiancé she does not really want to marry. 

If you are looking for a story with likable characters, this one isn't it. Maritzia is openly and blatantly fatphobic, but I took that as a character trait which makes her unlikable more than anything else. 

I enjoyed the surprise ending, it did not really come out of the blue so it fit nicely with the rest of the book
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I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the dual POVs and I love coming of age stories and stories about sisters. This is a very enjoyable book, I'm looking forward to more books by this author.
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I did not particularly enjoy this book. I tried to dive in and embrace Maritza, Claudia and Dooley but I just couldn’t. They were written as if they were just ideas - not actual thought out characters. This book felt like a never ending draft. The cheap, fatphobic comments also hurt the performance. I am disappointed.
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Thank you Net Galley for sending me an arc for the Neapolitan Sisters in exchange for a honest review!

A deep and through provoking novel that involves deeply flawed characters? Yeah that right there is exactly my favourite type of book. 

As mentioned before all the characters were flawed and felt like real people. 

I loved reading through the sisters different prospectives, which not only gave the reader a glimpse into the sisters lives, but it also showed the sisters different views and opinions on everyone around them including themselves. Candela managed to captivate many different ways in which the human brain could work especially when one has been exposed to trauma. The natural need of human beings to excuse and victimize themselves and their actions was extremely well written. 

This book would be a solid 4 or even 5 star read were it not for the pacing. I feel like Candela involved quite a lot of unnecessary details to the point where she had to rush the end of the book or even got tired. She definitely could of given s a more satisfying ending with all the potential of this book.
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for a review.  This is a thoroughly enjoyable story of three sisters growing up in LA.  Their family is the stereotypical Hispanic family with the demanding mother and hard-working father.  This made the story very relatable to me.  I really enjoyed the plot and the ending was really surprising and well-constructed.  An overall enjoyable read.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I am still not sure how I feel about this book.  There are so many real life issues the sisters have to deal with, that it caused me to almost DNF the book.  I tend to like light and fluffy reads more.  I Did enjoy the surprise ending and the characters.
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I am not sure how to describe “The Neapolitan Sisters” by Margo Candela. This book follows three sisters - Maritza, Claudia, and Dooley - along with their parents, boyfriends, co-workers, and in-laws to be. If this was a debut novel, I’d give Ms. Candela a bit more slack, but this isn’t … and for me, this book was so all over the place, that I’m not sure why it was written.

The book starts with Maritza stressing over her perfect wedding to be - her second - which must take place before a certain date. The David’s Bridal scenes seemed like a badly scripted Say Yes to the Dress episode. I believe they were included for humor, but they came across as being mean. Maritza seemed to whine a lot - over her wedding, over her agent, over her fiancé, over his family - that it became exhausting. Claudia seemed to have it all together, but she too has issues - from a stressful job (that I’m not sure she actually enjoys), to trying to hide her relationship with her boyfriend from practically everyone, and trying to be the “sane calm” one of her immediate family. From near the beginning I suspected why she was ill (maybe the reader was supposed to?), but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why she treated her boyfriend so badly and why he stayed with her. Then we have Dooley - a former substance abuser/alcoholic tending bar (okay, I’ve been told that’s dangerous territory by former alcoholics, but …) - who is free spirited and left the LA area, where the rest of her family lives, for SF. Dooley, though, just didn’t work for me - she had street sense and street smarts, but at times her actions just seemed off. And the sex scenes - I’m okay with “sexy time,” but a lot of the sex scenes in this book seemed crass (along with a lot of the humor). 

I don’t know if I was supposed to feel sympathy for the sisters at the end - dealing with their issues and solutions to those issues, but throughout most of the book, I kept wondering what the point of this book was - strong Latina women (didn’t see it flatteringly represented for large chunks of the book), fixing a dysfunctional family (didn’t happen), or the strength of the bonds of sisterhood? I don’t know and at the end really did ask aloud “what did I just spend all those hours reading - and why?” This was not the lighthearted book I thought from the cover … and even the title has an ominous spin once deeply into the book. This book has a LOT of triggers - or at least a discussion about some things people might find triggering.
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Two pages into this book, "DNF" (Did Not Finish) looked like my best option. But, but, the three sisters, their alcoholic father, their stifling, suspicious, judgmental, quintessentially Catholic-guilt-tripping mother: there is soooo much room for improvement here. Surely this dysfunctional family will face the elephant on the rug, iron out their differences, and make a big character arc, right?

That, and surely they would overcome all the cliches and stereotypes of a Latino family... right?

Wrong. The stereotype of the sexy Latina woman who's saucy and bossy and has men grovelling or caving to her just keeps getting perpetuated.

The one-night stands, the crass, crude sex jokes (nipple rings and pierced "bean"), the abortions, the attitude, attitude, ATTITUDE, the rudeness to others from coworkers to parents to boyfriends to customers in a bar, just endless, On-the-Defensive, lashing out and feeling justified in it. Ugh. I have no desire to hang out with these people. Yes, these are minority women, and I'm supposed to love them, but I can barely tolerate a few pages at a time in each sister's head.

The youngest daughter and her second wedding, to a man she clearly doesn't even love, and who's essentially married to his mom and sisters - every aspect of this sordid relationship seems like one stereotype after another, laced with snideness, supposedly humorous but just crass (to me), Only one very minor character redeemed Maritza for me: Roland, the black delivery guy, who she's nice to, perhaps just because it baffles her racist Asian boss to see her befriending a black man. 

Evan the movie star is smitten with Claudia, but not for a moment could I see why.

Dooley has flings with men as well as women, not one of them showing any depth or intrigue. 

The plot is simple and slow moving. The dreaded second wedding of the self-centered youngest sister is a sore point for all three sisters, but fake politeness and friendliness carries them through the obligatory dressing room scenes at David's Bridal and other horrors I never care to "escape" to via fiction.

The evil babysitter of their childhood, and the even more evil grocery store owner, deliver some surprise twists.

The ending did surprise me, as the bride comes up with an option that I have not seen before in chick flicks and novels.

In all, it was an irritating read, not the escapism nor the enlightenment I seek when investing hours of my life to read a novel. I still have no idea how Ethan the movie star can stand Claudia, but in the end, they have a compelling reason to be partners for life. (Husband and wife, no, not in her world.) I still don't like Mariza, but I can summon a bit of respect for Dooley now that she's sober and apparently staying that way.

Just, why, why did I bother to finish this one, why....
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Margo Candela has a natural talent for weaving a story of such vibrant colours, language, culture, traditions and of course characters.
The story weaves compelling characters that are remarkably unforgettable.
The Neapolitan Sisters was a wonderful, beautiful, funny, moving story! 
Candela is masterful at her characterisation, and the related details are absorbing.
The significant events and range of characters keep this epic story engaging from beginning to end.

Alcove Press,
I can't thank you enough for this eARC!
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