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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • 10:12 am
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • 12:13 am

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • 10:12 am
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • 12:13 am

For the Plot | ‘Spanish Love Deception’ review

For the Plot is a blog home to all things book reviews, creative writing pieces and writing tips.
For+the+Plot+%7C+%E2%80%98Spanish+Love+Deception%E2%80%99+review
Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

Elena Armas’ debut novel, “The Spanish Love Deception,” quickly gained viral attention on platforms like TikTok in 2021 — and it’s not hard to see why. Armas masterfully intertwines culture, romance and humor, delivering a captivating read that’s perfect for any fan of the genre.

At the heart of the story is Catalina Martín, a 28-year-old Spanish woman who has traded the tranquility of northern Spain for the hustle and bustle of New York City. Catalina is a woman driven by ambition and known for her tireless work ethic, yet beneath her composed exterior lies a whirlwind of emotions.

When Catalina’s sister announces her impending marriage to her ex’s brother, Catalina finds herself in a predicament. Her little white lie about having an American boyfriend has snowballed, leaving her scrambling to find a date for the wedding. With everyone — including her ex and his fiancée — eager to meet this fictional boyfriend, Catalina is in desperate need of a solution.

Enter Aaron Blackford, Catalina’s least favorite coworker — a tall, handsome and occasionally condescending presence in her life. Reluctantly, Catalina accepts Aaron’s offer to accompany her to Spain as her “pretend” boyfriend. As the wedding draws close, Catalina begins to realize that Aaron may not be as terrible as she initially thought, and a surprising connection begins to blossom between them.

One of the main things I really enjoyed throughout this story was the main character, Catalina.

Catalina’s character offers a vivid portrayal of a young woman navigating the complexities of recovery from past trauma while striving for success in her chosen field. She emerges as a deeply human and flawed protagonist, grappling with her own insecurities and limitations as she confronts the prospect of romance.

What makes Catalina particularly compelling is her self-awareness regarding her struggles. Despite her determination to move forward, she recognizes the barriers that prevent her from fully embracing new relationships. Her past experiences have left her wary and unable to trust easily, making the idea of opening herself up to love daunting.

Despite these challenges, Catalina is not devoid of meaningful connections. She maintains close friendships and fosters positive working relationships, showcasing her ability to connect with others on a deeper level. However, when it comes to matters of the heart, she finds herself hesitating, unable to fully let her guard down.

Her struggles resonate with readers who have experienced similar challenges, making her a relatable and empathetic character.

Along with Catalina’s character being so relatable and complex on her own, I found her interactions with Aaron very enjoyable.

The book has a lot of tropes woven through it, but the most prevalent one is the “enemies to lovers” trope.

This mutual hatred for one another creates fantastic banter and tension throughout the whole story that you begin to wait for the moment one of them slips up, allowing some sort of romantic moment to happen between them. 

Along with that, this book is definitely a slow burn. All 482 pages make you yearn for a moment where they hug or hold hands or just anything. Watching their relationship grow while being fed small moments of romance makes you hang onto the edge of your seat. When their romance does finally begin to bud, it feels so raw, and that makes it so much stronger.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is when Aaron says to Catalina, “I’ll give you the world … The moon. The fucking stars. Anything you ask, it’s yours. I’m yours.”

That quote alone made my heart melt, but when you pair these romantic moments with their rocky chemistry, it makes the relationship so much better. When I read this book, I was literally giggling and kicking my feet at some of the romantic moments. I was invested, and I know anyone else who reads this story will also be invested.

With all these elements fused together, Elena Armas’ writing style elevates “The Spanish Love Deception” to new heights, filling the story with a sense of charm and authenticity that captivates readers from the very first page. Her writing is vibrant and immersive, effortlessly transporting readers to the bustling streets of Madrid and the vibrant energy of New York City. 

Armas has a knack for crafting dialogue that crackles with wit and humor, making the banter between characters feel dynamic and engaging. Armas’s attention to detail brings the setting to life, painting vivid scenes that evoke all the sights, sounds and flavors of Spain. 

But perhaps most importantly, Armas’ writing has a way of delving deep into the hearts and minds of her characters, exploring their fears, desires and vulnerabilities with sensitivity and insight. It’s this depth of characterization that makes the story truly come alive, drawing readers into a world where love, laughter and self-discovery await at every turn.

If you are interested in a cheesy romance that gives you a moment to escape from reality and dive into the world of two people exploring the idea of love, then this story is for you. I would definitely recommend this book, as it is such an easy read that even the least avid reader could dive into.

鲹پԲ:

3.7/5

About the Contributor
Emily Handrahan, Staff Writer