2 out of 4 stars
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Lilly Among Clouds by Marie Washtag is contemporary fiction that has been translated from Serbian to English. It follows the life experiences of Lilly and Sasha, as they have interactions together and interact with their friends in Budapest. This slice of life book doesn't pull any punches, so read this with caution as it can get a bit gritty and uncomfortable at times. If you are interested in the life experiences of Lilly and Sasha as she and he make certain choices that affect them for better or worse, proceed but tread lightly.
I enjoyed the characterization of Lilly and Sasha as it can be seen that they are good friends. They do a lot of talking about the past and how it has affected them up to that point. Both them and the secondary characters are given fairly complicated backstories, but you have to infer from the conversations that are held. There are also foreign words, with definitions that are provided to make the reading much more smooth.
The first thing to note is that Lilly Among Clouds has a lot of mistakes, but it seems to be in regards to the translation from the author's native language to English at a lot of points. Some errors include using Lilli versus Lilly and Eve versus Eva or using punctuation that would be used in the Serbian language. Other errors include the misuse of ellipses and not using quotation marks. At times I had a really tough time discerning who was talking when, so I highlighted every spoken sentence for myself and denoted who was talking and made a note to add quotations to the best of my ability.
Viewing the formatting of this book was a bit difficult. There wasn't a notable end or beginning to each chapter, considering the fact that there were no chapters. Everything was written down, and there were odd moments where a sentence would break off and continue on the next page in the Kindle version. This also made reading difficult, especially with the addition of superscripts for unfamiliar terms. Preferably, their definitions should have been placed at the back of the book in a glossary to neaten up the formatting. However, they were placed in odd spots.
Some warnings to include would be that this contains drug use, murder, sex, rape, and PTSD. If these types of issues make you uncomfortable, then avoid Lilly Among Clouds, as these are spread throughout this book. Another thing is that this book clearly needs more proofreading before being a fully finished product. I would be interested in reading the source material and the other translated texts to see if more issues with formatting exist, but unfortunately, I am only fluent in English.
It with these considerations that Lilly Among Clouds receives 2 out of 4 stars from me. I had to take off one star for the errors and one star for the formatting issues. Perhaps with several more rounds of editing this book would be a more concise read. Unfortunately, in its current incarnation, it seems like it wasn’t even edited once.
Lilly Among Clouds
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