Thursday, December 16, 2010

Waking Up In the Land of Glitter

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica NovelAuthor: Kathy Cano-Murillo
ISBN: 978-0-446-50924-4
Hachette Book Group, Inc
Source: Author Exposure
*To price/buy please click the image to the left*

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

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is a story that centers on crafts and art. Though I consider myself a crafty person, this book was a little much for me. While the storyline was entertaining, 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. The words were sometimes used in a way where the reader would be able to understand the meaning without using the glossary in the back, but more often than not, I needed it to help understand the translation. The author makes mention of the fact that some Spanish words have different regional meanings and that the definitions used in this book are specific to her characters. After conferring with friends of Spanish descent and checking Spanish/English translations, I found some terms with definitions that did not match up with their very specific, well-known derogatory meanings. This seemed to mean the author most likely wasn’t comfortable using the harsher language and instead used her own more subtle terms.

The unconventional use of Spanish words seemed to take me away from the characters 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 a need for attention, rather than having actual issues. The book held my attention enough, but I was never attached to it. I was content to read when I had time. My favorite part was the last third of the book when the characters were mostly separate from each other and finally getting their act together.

Overall, this book is probably best read by extreme lovers of crafts, those familiar enough with Spanish who would not need to consult 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.



  1. Thanks for the honest review, especially since I've never read "In the land of Glitter" and was really thinking about getting it this year. It does seem like a book for crafters. And I totally agree with you about the language. If you're going to use it, use it! Call that girl a whore or a bitch. Otherwise, the emotional effect is not the same in the end. Does this book completely repel any opportunity to read other Latina lit? Hopefully not, because there are plenty of great stories out there written with the Latina influence.

    You should check some out at

  2. Not at all! I love Latin influence. I personally love learning and seeing other cultures in their element. I have many friends who are from different decents and just visiting their houses are great because of their cultural heritage and influence. The book did not turn me off from it as I have read other books of the latin influence. It was primarly the writing style. It's hard to explain without reading the book but I sorta felt some stero-typical elements that crossed between cultures. That with the extreme craft nature... like the craft convention etc.. was just a little much for me. There was a good solid story line that I felt just didn't get explored like it could have. It felt surface touched and slightly shallow. I had a hard time giving it 2.5 or 3. Don't buy it, but think about borrowing it from the library or something. Maybe you won't agree with my review. I'd love to hear the opinion of someone from the latin decent. Maybe the book was lost on me??

  3. Hi! It's Kathy, the author! Thank you for reading my book and taking the time to read and review it. I would love to send chica latina a copy on me! :-) I think it is fair to say it is a different book to different people and I hope you will not judge before reading it.

    As far as the language, I added the glossary in the back for the exact reason of the different meanings and how the characters intended them. For example, I've grown up with "cabron" as meaning a prankster, a brat or a troublemaker - never an a**hole! - , this is the inention that the character used the word. I believe words, language, lexicon, however you want to say it, have different meanings depending on region, personality, even on family upbringing.

    As far as the craft convention, there really is one, it is what inspired the book, as well as the characters, which all are bits of the different phases I've experienced as a so-called "artist,' and then a raging craftaholic to a professional crafter. Many of the characters are a blend of people I've come across in my life.

    Tiffany, I'm so sorry you didn't like the book, I know it is not for everyone. I really appreciate you making it all the way through, and I take your words to heart.

    I beg that you please do not discount all Latina lit out there, there are many wonderful stories. One size not not fit all...

    peace and love (and books!),
    Kathy :-)

    p.S. Chica Latina, seriously, send me a note, i'll mail you a copy. :-)

  4. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I understand what your saying, my biggest suggestion would be to move the glossary to the front of the book. While I saw the glossary I did not see the blurb about the definitions until I was already writing the review and in the process of double checking definitions etc. By this point I already had solid feelings about the book and then I did go back and revise the review to show you did tell everyone the definitions might vary and are based on the characters. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have had with me specifically if it was in the front, but I know it would have been a good start to know there was a glossary prior to reading.

    I would never not read latina lit based on one book. I would like to think I am more open minded than that. I have read some pretty bad (1 rating books) that are of my own ethnic background. I know this book wasn't for me, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't give it a try. I will be hosting a giveaway for your book and sincerly hope the person who wins enjoys it more!

    I enjoyed aspects of your book, I just didn't connect with it. I would love to read another title you've written. I rarely write an author off based on one book.

    Chica Latina I would love to hear your thoughts on the book.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the reply, Tiffany, I appreciate it!

    You can check out other reader thoughts on my book on Amazon and on Good Reads.

    It's very interesting, because they talk about the glossary too. If anything, I'm glad I did something different by including it. I love that it is sparking discussion!

    Nice to meet you, excited to check out your other reviews.
    Peace, love and BOOKS!
    - Kathy :-)


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