Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Loosely Translated by Simon Wheeler

Hello Everyone!

I just finished Loosely Translated by Simon Wheeler. This lighthearted romantic comedy focuses on Maria, an aspiring writer from Spain and Mike, the British author of a once popular mystery series starring an arrogant and chauvinistic detective. Mike has lost his motivation to continue his series. Meanwhile, Maria, frustrated with her inability to get anything published, decides to try translating books into Spanish. Her editor offers her a job translating Mike's books into Spanish. Maria scoffs at the writing style and detests the main character. She subsequently takes some liberties when translating, and the Spanish version becomes very successful. Mike is then invited to Spain for the book launch, where he meets Maria, and sparks fly...

I absolutely loved this book! It was well-written, well-paced, and an all-around charming story! I immediately identified with Maria. She was a well-developed and intelligent character who stood up for herself. I was prepared to hate Mike right off the bat, but was pleasantly surprised by his character. He was definitely not the shallow and arrogant guy I initially thought him to be. As Maria and Mike spent time together, exploring Spain, I found myself rooting for the couple. The conversations they had and the romantic places they visited were very well written. As I eagerly turned each page, I found myself wishing I was in Spain.

I do wish, however, that some of the supporting characters could have been better developed, particularly Carmen and Maria's parents. I felt that Carmen was a little stereotypical, and that Mike's interactions with Maria's parents could have been expanded upon. I did enjoy Mike's scenes with Maria's father, however, and found them to be quite humorous. Other characters such as Lola, Cesar, and James fell a little "flat."

The conclusion with its multiple epilogues, worked nicely for me. I enjoyed finding out what happened to not only Maria and Mike, but also to the rest of the characters. It would have also been interesting to have one additional epilogue at the end, re-visiting Mike and Maria at a later point in time to bring everything full circle. All in all, this was a really good read, and I would love to read more books by this author, about these characters and others!

My Rating: 5 stars