ebc36569786189ba2705857cef701082Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“This is how it works: You have six months to establish a new career and tie up loose ends of your abandoned projects at the restaurant. In December, if you haven’t fulfilled the agreement, you have to pay us three fifty a month for back rent-that’s twenty-one hundred dollars, and find a new place to live.” – Al, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo

I confess, I’m a glitterholic. I don’t craft, preferring to purchase glitter-laden objects created by those more talented, but a sucker for anything shiny I remain, and so a chance to review a book with the word ‘glitter’ in the title seemed a natural choice.

Estrella (Star) Esteban lives a good life. She works and runs press releases for her parent’s restaurant, La Pachanga, Phoenix’s most adored restaurant, known for it’s eclectic charisma, fabulous food and the award winning mosaic that graces it’s outside wall. Twenty-four, cute, crafty and quirky, Star finds herself in hot water after a particularly rowdy evening out with her cousin. The night changes Star’s life, as well as those of her on-again off-again crush, Theo, and her best friend and craft addict, Olfie. When a despised local celebrity becomes involved things become even more interesting.

Murillo takes her readers behind the scenes of Mexican culture and introduces them to the art world with her tale of lost love, growing up, right and wrong, and finding one’s place in a setting that is colorful with heritage, redolent with home cooked food and lavish with glitter and creativity (as well as, at times, the lack thereof).

Challenged, Star is forced to make choices in her life that are at times painful; to herself and those who love her the most. Using art and the passion so many people have for creating it, in all it’s forms, Murillo paints a pretty coming of age tale that is cute, over the top at times, and whimsical.

While not a particularly challenging read, and at times a little too sugary, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is still fun in a girly, giggly, bubblegum type way. It’s a sweet little book for arts and craft lovers. But for the more serious readers, it may pack one too many calories, and WAY too much glitter.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Grand Central Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.