Tiffany's Reviews > Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 19, 2010

liked it

Review as posted on my blog: 2.5 Stars

Estrella “Star” Esteban has been floating along through life until her most recent indiscretion causes her boyfriend to leave her and her parents to put their foot down. Star is given the choice to group up and make something of herself or get out. For Star, losing the man she loves is a far greater punishment than she ever imagined. Now, in effort to redeem herself, Star agrees to participate in a national craft competition. With the help of Ofelia, her best friend and craftier wannabe, Chloe, a local celebrity crafter with a secret, and a few other new found friends, star attempts to get her life on track and redeem herself. Through it all each of these women find comfort in each other, blessings in their differences and strength in friendship and the value of finding something you truly love.

“Waking up in the Land of Glitter” is a story that centers on crafts and art. Though I am a crafty person, this book was a little much for me. While the story was entertaining enough, it had a few flaws that made it less enjoyable and a little difficult to read. The majority of what I liked in the book is portrayed in my synopsis. From the synopsis on the back cover, I gathered the book would have some Spanish terms, names and cultural influences but I did not expect it to the degree it was used. Luckily for me, I checked out the whole book before reading it and found a glossary of terms in the back. This glossary would have served better to be in the front of the book before the story began. While the author mentions that the words can have multiple meanings based on region and that the definitions are specific to her characters in the book, I still found terms that had definitions that did not match up with very specific well known meanings. For example, the word “puta” is stated to mean “hootchie”. This word is widely known to have one meaning and that is bitch. Likewise the word “carbon” is used for “brat” and is widely known to be used as “bastard” or “asshole” in slang terms and literally translates to “billy goat”.

I took the liberty to ask many Spanish speaking friends from all over the country their opinion of translation and all of them agreed with the widely known terms. I then checked multiple internet sites that had Spanish/English translation and found the same conclusion. This seemed to mean the author most likely wasn’t comfortable using the harsher language and instead used her own more subtle terms. I feel that if you are not willing to use the actual word and widely known meaning that it should just be omitted rather than replaced seeing it has no real relevance to the story. Calling someone a brat over an asshole does not give the same thought or level of emotion, just as hootchie doesn’t give the same meaning as bitch.

In addition to the meanings of the language I felt the use of it and English terms didn’t flow well. The author states that Spanish/Spanglish terms are sprinkled throughout the novel though it felt as if the novel was saturated with them in parts and sprinkled in others. The words were sometimes used in a way where the reader would be able to understand the meaning without using the glossary, but more often needed it to help understand the translation. The use of the terms seemed to take away from the characters for me rather than draw me to them. I did not connect with the characters of this book. I found the main character to be quite annoying, childish and self centered. Each character was full of drama that they seemed to create for themselves out of boredom or need for attention rather than having actual issues. The book held my attention enough, but I was never attached to it. I didn’t find myself with a reason to read faster, stay up later or finish an extra chapter just to keep reading. I was content to read when I had time, but also put the book aside for any reason that seemed more interesting than the story. My favorite part was the last third of the book when the characters were mostly spate from each other and finally getting their act together.

Overall, this book is probably best read by extreme lovers of crafts, those who are of the Spanish heritage and would not need the glossary or someone looking for a very different read. I cannot say I have ever read another book quite like this one. It is unique. While I am sure others will enjoy it more than I did, the book simply wasn’t for me. Though I do not regret the read, I would not be able to read this novel again.

Reviewed for author exposure

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Waking Up in the Land of Glitter.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.