Top critical review
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Good for a slightly limited audience
on 22 May 2015
The collection title is “Practice Makes Perfect”, which is why I bought it; and there is indeed plenty of practice in the book. Therefore OK so far.
But there are three non-trivial downsides in my particular case.
1) It's aimed at students but seems to forget that conversations aren't always about school. Virtually all the examples illustrate conversations between or with students.
Now that in itself is not a showstopper, but...
2) It's aimed at US students. If you don't know the vocabulary of the US schooling system you'll be constantly looking up things like "majoring" and "sophomore". And that really is annoying.
Probably most the serious downside, though, is
3) It's basically a book for learning Latin American Spanish. The occasional token Eurospanish expression is thrown in for good measure, but the book is essentially written for people who drive "carros" and "se enojan" with each other.
Now, all those are fine if that's what you are looking for, but there should be a big warning on the cover to that effect.
Another niggling flaw for the male reader is that a majority of examples have female protagonists (woman author, you see). If you're a bloke, you have to be on a constant lookout for -o/-a booby traps (no pun intended). I'm not criticizing the author too much because it's something a native English speaker never has to think about in their own language, therefore it requires a special effort to neutralize or at rather equalize gender when visiting a language where it has a much bigger incidence. This author doesn't seem to make that effort.