YA Review: All Roads Lead to Rome (Sabrina Fedel)

About This Book:

Introverted, slightly anxious Astoria “Story” Herriot knows everything about Rome—her mom’s an attorney here and the two of them are living la dolce vita… at least until Story’s off to college in the fall.

But when Story is in the wrong gelato shop at the right time, she’s swept up in a fake dating scheme with Scottish heartthrob, Luca Kinnaird, to protect his relationship with a pop princess. There’s something in it for her, too—Luca promises to help fund a scholarship in her dad’s memory. Soon she’s showing Luca the best cafés, sightseeing at the Mouth of Truth, and picnicking at the ruins of the Abbey of Santa Maria del Piano. Story’s travel guide skills are 10/10, but what she knows about being a celebrity—or having feelings for one? Zero.

Pretending to be Luca’s guide—then his girlfriend—gets the paparazzi’s attention . . . and what’s true and what’s fake gets blurry as their different worlds crash together. Sophisticated, hot, rich, and with the most charming accent ever, Luca is full of surprises. And maybe, too, is Story’s perfectly planned future.

It’s a fairy-tale romance in the Eternal City…will it have a fairy tale ending?

*Review Contributed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer*

Introverted Astoria ‘Story’ is on the outside of the other Diplomat kids at her school and she can’t wait to start Princeton in the Fall. She loves and knows a lot about Rome. It’s one chance encounter at a gelato shop that turns her life topsy-turvy. When she bumps into famous singer Jasmine and Scottish heartthrob Luca Kinnaird what starts as a diversion from the ruthless paparazzi turns into much more. Little by little Story finds that Luca is filled with surprises and maybe she might have her own Audrey Hepburn happy ever after.

What worked: Modern-day twist on Roman Holiday. Love all the fun shout-outs to Audrey Hepburn in this fast-paced contemporary romance set in Rome. There’s lots of history and visual imagery throughout this engaging tale.

I loved the twist on Roman Holiday where Luca is the one with royal background and Story is the commoner. Story shies away from social media so it’s a huge step to go from someone who had no presence online to being hounded by the paparazzi at every turn. She finds out who are her real friends and those who try to take advantage of her sudden fame online.

Luca comes across first as an entitled member of the upper class. Story has no knowledge he is in fact from Scottish royalty. He slowly opens himself up to her and I know I fell for him like she did.

There’s also mention of how ‘real’ social media is and isn’t and how some will spread lies to benefit themselves. There’s mention of addiction and how Story doesn’t want to mention her father’s death to it. Also, Jasmine’s boyfriend is in rehab. When Luca asks what she would like for her part in playing the fake girlfriend, Story asks for a scholarship in her father’s name.

A fun take on the fake romance trope.

Magical ride through Rome with an engaging cast of characters. Unlike Roman Holiday, this one has a happily ever after. I think Audrey would approve!

Good Points
1. Fun shout-outs to Audrey Hepburn
2. Rome!
3. Modern-day twist on Roman Holiday

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*