1 out of 4 stars
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I absolutely love quotes. Before memes existed, everyone I knew threw quotes around whenever we could. The Princess Bride, Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, The Simpsons... Using just the right quote at just the right time was - and still is - an art. But quotes can be just as poignant, just as inspirational, and just as thought-provoking as they can be funny. Bienvenido Flores attempts to make that clear in his book of quotes, My Little Masterpiece.
My Little Masterpiece is a bilingual (English and Spanish) book of 14 quotes. Each quote is displayed on two separate pages - one in English and one in Spanish - and each uses a different font on (mostly) the same, slightly altered background image.
My Little Masterpiece lives up to two words in the title at least. Surely it's Bienvenido's book, making it his, and with less than 40 pages and only 14 unique quotes, it's certainly little. However, it's not much of a masterpiece. While I don't speak Spanish so I can't be sure of it, it seems like English is the author's second language. As such, most of the quotes are a little off with their phrasing in English. For example, "You can either wait or chase or be patient and observe how the magic touches you" doesn't make sense in its current form. Another - "Under every story of success there is a timetable attacked to it" - could potentially be poignant, but again the wording is off. The best quotes in the book are okay - "Step it up take another breath and make today your best day" and "Inspiration usually comes to those who are willing to share it" are my favorites - but even if My Little Masterpiece was full of quotes like these I'd give it 3 stars at most. That's particularly true since the book is a little self-contradictory: some quotes are all about getting out there and making today your day, and others are about being patient.
Then there's the layout. I like that the font changes for each quote and the framing is nice - there's a full-page image for each quote that has what looks like a poster on a wall - but the execution is shoddy at best. 13 out of 14 images use the same background image that's been altered a bit: it's in full color on one page, and black and white on another, then made to look like a spotty photograph later, and so on. Worse yet, the 14th quote - the one with a different image - is identical to another quote in the book minus the word "The". I would've loved additional images in the book to go with each quote. What's more, the font is also resized incorrectly at times, and it's often not centered properly. One particular quote has issues all around: there are sizing issues, it's slightly askew, and the final words are missing the same effect that the rest of the words have so they're harder to read.
I really wish I liked this book more. I love quotes, and they're often very personal to the person who collects them, but quotes are typically highly-polished phrases that say far more than the small number of words ordinarily could. With that said, it's even more important that quotes are clear, concise, and error-free than most other forms of writing, yet I found 7 errors in this tiny book. If the images were polished up and the quotes were better, I could see people printing their favorites out and hanging them on the wall! As it is, the only people I'd recommend this to are people who speak Spanish and enjoy motivational quotes. It's hard to even make that recommendation as I can't verify they sound any better in Spanish, but I desperately hope that's why the English versions sound wrong. My rating of My Little Masterpiece by Bienvenido Flores is 1 out of 4 stars.
My little Masterpiece
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