I am so happy to be part of the CLP Blog Tour for Love In Translation by Sara Palacios! I've gotten to know Sara over the last few months in her capacity as assistant to Samantha, who runs, among other things, CLP Blog Tours. When I found out Sara was publishing her own novel, I knew I had to read it. While I don't think this novel will quite crack my favourites list for this year, I enjoyed reading Emily's story.
Here's the synopsis:
Still reeling from the unexpected breakup with David, Emily nurses her broken heart by spending time with her best friends and taking one-too-many vodka shots. After one long night, she takes a good, hard look at herself in the mirror and doesn’t like what she sees. She realizes that she has sacrificed too much in her failed relationships from the past and vows to never settle for anything less than almost-perfect again. As she picks up the pieces and regains her confidence, a sexy Spanish chef moves in across the hall and completely knocks her off her feet. What ensues is an unexpected and tantalizing affair that opens her eyes, and her heart, to a whole new world and leaves her feeling sexier than she has ever felt. Emily finally sees how easy love is supposed to be. Is happily-ever-after actually possible? Just when she starts to think so, she realizes that sometimes life gets more complicated before it gets easier. And complicated is an understatement when Steven (her best and oldest friend) confesses his love for her. Everything spirals out of control as Emily must make a choice between love and friendship, and in doing so, possibly risk it all.I was really drawn into Emily's life. I hated that she had been dating such an idiot and I was glad she was rid of him. She has some fabulous girlfriends who help her through the break up and provide some amusement for the reader along the way. I really cared for Emily and wanted things to work out for her. I'm also glad we got a peek into her family life as I think it added a bit more depth to Emily and her story.
LOVE IN TRANSLATION is a modern day love story about following your heart to unexpected places and taking chances in life … because sometimes you will find exactly what you are looking for.
There were also quite a few laugh out loud moments thrown in this novel as well. I'm sure my fellow commuters were wondering what I was laughing at when I got to this part in the book:
I had a bit of a hard time with the romance in this one. In most books and movies, the sexy foreigner is never the long term love interest. I am also a sucker for "boy and girl are friends and end up falling in love" stories. All that being said, it was no surprise that I went into reading this novel with the assumption that Andres was just a fling and that Emily would end up with Steven. I won't say much more because I don't want to give the ending away. I will say that I was, well, annoyed that Emily was so clueless when it came to Steven's feelings for her. There only needed to be one "I'm in love with you, Emily" scene and there were a couple - a bit unnecessary for the overall story.
There were a few little things with the writing that I felt could have tightened or polished just a little bit more. These weren't deal breakers or anything (and I'm not saying I could do any better) but just things that stuck out a bit for me. For example, I noticed there was a lot of description of clothing. When I read, I'm assuming the characters aren't naked so I don't notice when clothing descriptions are sparse or non-existent. I also know that when girls are getting ready for dates or a night out with their friends, it's nice to know what they're wearing. For some reason, I just thought there was a little bit too much description of the clothes and not enough action in them - and no, I don't mean that in a dirty way...get your mind out of the gutter ;) I also noticed a few repetitive words and phrases ("sounds good" is the only one I can specifically recall) that could have been cleaned up a bit. I'm not saying I could do better, but I wish the writing was a bit smoother.
I wanted to love Love in Translation since I knew how hard Sara Palacios, like any author, worked on it. While I didn't love it, I did really like it and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a light, sweet read. I know Sara will continue to grow as a writer the more she works at it and I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next.
Happy reading! :)