Lush in Translation by Aimee Horton

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well! I’ve been reading a hell of a lot of fun books recently because I’m worried that reading something toooooo serious will kill off my want to read at all. But fun stories are good for me and this one seemed like the perfect  read for little ole me. I got a hold of this copy after subscribing to a blog which is something I haven’t done before – without further delay onto the review.

Find out just how British Dottie is…

Dottie Harris is as British as they come, which is exactly what endears her to us. But when her pregnant American cousin comes for a visit, Dottie is a frazzled disaster who can’t seem to overcome the language barrier.

Lush in Translation is a funny look at parenting from both sides of the pond, and the surprising number of confusing language differences that entails.

So, plot time – the book follows the routine of busy working woman Dottie Harris who has gone from working woman to full on Mummy. Battling little ones her days are filled whizzing around wiping noses and finding shoes. Although things aren’t exactly what she was expected she’s adjusting to life. One day though, her expecting cousin from across the pond comes to stay and let’s just say there’s a bit of a language barrier and a bit of difference in expectations but the story follows the differences between the two and the little quirks and ideas about parenting.

This is a very short story but it’s a fun story – we see the quirks and confusion in the changes of language between the two. The confusion when the words nappies (diapers) sweets (candy) and dummies (pacifiers) are used. Throughout we see Dottie desperate to impress and as she attempts to bribe her children into behaving she starts to struggle with keeping up appearances.  The story continues to play out between the two women and we get to see the thought process that no matter where we’re from, the ideas we have, the life we decide to lead and the way we parent we are really just the same people underneath. Parenting comes  in all different styles and we each have our own way of doing it.

The Wacky Bookish(2)

In terms of the writing style it’s very very simple;  there’s very little description or character build up and there isn’t a lot into the characters. We don’t really get a description of Dottie other than she’s very British and likes a gin and tonic or too every so often. Her cousin is the same and that’s the real problem of the book it’s just too short. It is sold as a snapshot into her life but it definitely could have been worked into a longer tale. All of these comments will revolve around it being too short but there was just very little space in the scenes, almost each was told in a  just sentence which made it difficult to really get involved in.

The ending also was really disappointing because we just know so little about the characters it’s difficult to feel anything at the end of the book. I love short stories and I know T doesn’t because they so rarely deliver and recently I’ve felt a little like that. There’s a difference between a short story and what just feels like a teaser to a really GOOD book that’s just not there. Maybe if this had been a selection of books and snippets it would have been better because I thought the premise of the story was really good.

Overall I enjoyed this but I  think if I had bought this in paperback i would have been quite disappointed. At thirty pages I almost (I’m sorry) thought was it worth it? I just felt there could have been so much more to this tale. The continuation of the language barrier, the relationship between the two women as her cousin gets closer to her due dates; there’s a real story there but it’s missing here. I think if this had been worked into more stories then this would have been better, but right now, it’s just not enough for me?




A Part of You by Elizabeth Davis

Hellllllllllllo readers and happy Thursday to you. The weekend is in view I promise and although it’s the morning, it’s a cheery day and I have a book review for you so, not to bad? I can see you grimacing. Let me make you a cup of peppermint tea and grab us some biscuits eh, and we’ll discuss a new children’s book which I wouldn’t mind sharing.

A Part of You, is a story of a young girl named Madison. When she finds herself without anyone to play with she takes to the outdoors. Madison discovers that not only is she not alone but she finds a value in herself that she did not realize she had before.

Children’s books can be a little difficult to review at the best of times. There are so many different elements to pull together that make such an impact on the book in comparison with adult novels. In a novel for the older reader, strong character profiles and relationships can outweigh a tedious plot or a riveting back story can save truly un-likeable characters but in children’s book not so easy. Once you throw in target audience, readability and the images used to make the book flow it makes it a little more difficult and today’s is an interesting one to judge.

The author has told me that the book didn’t quite come out as planned and that self-publishing using The Children’s Book Creator on Amazon has changed the way the final product comes out and I think that is really true of this book. It lacks a little professional feel and feels a little rushed. I know it’s a Thursday morning but for me a children’s book should have the ability to appeal to me as a reader. I know this may come across a little strange but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t at least intrigue me to read to the end. The pictures are a little strange and distorted due a very heavy edit however they do have painterly feel that I think if displayed in the correct way with the correct size of page they do have the possibility of working as a finished product. I think if they were a lot bigger on the page it would make for a really really stunning product.

I must admit it’s difficult to tell with this book because by having the book in PDF form it’s difficult to see how it all comes together. However I think the reading age of the little girl we see on the pages and the text that is used to tell the story just about matches and if it is a little young I think some of the words and phrases would stretch a younger reader. The story is what I would call a little syrupy, but it does tell a story and it does try to put a message across at the end. I liked that all the pages matched and the images showed a real little girl and I think it’s a great start. However I do think that it is a little rushed; just because it’s a children’s book doesn’t mean it can be pushed out without care because with a children’s book you’re trying to make new readers and inspire the next generation to get stuck into books. I think with better spacing in terms of the images and bigger images to really pull the reader in this could be a much better looking book and although we’d all like to think that children’s books are about the writing it’s really a visual experience for a child.

I think this book has potential, but it needs to go back to the drawing board and think what the child is getting from this. If it’s the moral and the wording push that, if it’s the visual images then push that, don’t attempt to half do both. I think for me, it’s an unfinished product but with some tweaks and a look back as to why the book was written in the first place this could be a great little book.