Flirting in ItalianFeatured
I liked the premise of this book. I enjoy books that involve romance, travel, and friendship. This book had all of those. I felt at times the story was weighed down by over description. When I read, I want to create a picture in my head, I don't want to read specific details for every single person, place, and thing along the way.
Overall, I think this book would be great for young teens. It has just the right amount of romance, fun, and mystery.
Violet is a strong quirky character that is pretty confident in herself and loyal to those she cares about. Growing up in England, she feels that she is much different that her mother and her father's family. One day she discovers her twin in a painting from many years back. She does some research that leads her to a summer program in Italy so she can learn more about the girl in that painting. That search leads her to an adventure with another British girl and two American girls.
As a group they bond over their dislike of the snobby Italian girl living in the house and their love of cute Italian boys *and there are plenty of cute ones*. I really liked the way Ms. Henderson developed each of the girls personalities. I really felt like I knew each of the girls when I was finished reading the book.
Now to the good part: Luca. As always, there is a boy. A delicious and gorgeous, slightly bad-boy-isque boy. Violet falls head over heels for him, despite her best effort, and it seems he may reciprocate. Those kisses seem to say so. I'm pretty sure I would recommend this book only on the swoony kissing scenes between Luca and Violet. Very well written, in my opinion.
I also enjoyed the way the author described so much of Italy. If there is anywhere in the world that I could go, it would be Italy. I may be a pit biased then when I say that the background of the book is a huge part of why I loved the book. So much of the description is beautiful (and here we may be talking about things other than the Italian countryside wink*wink*). *Tells herself that Luca is a fictional boy* And moving on.
My only sad thing is that the ending left me feeling more unresolved than I would have liked.. and maybe a little creeped out. But regardless, I loved the book. And the cover. The cover actually makes a little sense because there is a Vespa scene, and really? Who doesn't love a good Vespa scene?
Who Should Read It: I think anyone wanting a good, lighter summer read should pick this up. People who are into contemporary fiction, romance, and a good mystery are more than likely going to like this. Girls, got a thing for guys with accents? Well this book is for you!
You look at a title like Flirting in Italian and expect a crap load of romance and fun, right? Wrong, all wrong. There were family mysteries and a lot more serious things going on. Some strong rivalries, some very well done self esteem issues, lots of danger and mystery. It kinda threw me off, but I was still interested.
On the other hand, I didn't know this was the first book in the series. I thought it was a stand-a-lone until I got to the last page and...it was the last page. So the loose ends and the semi-cliffhanger ending bothered me. I wasn't looking for a series, I was looking for a book I could read and be done with. In that aspect, it was a disappointment.
The characters themselves weren't really memorable to me. I know one of them had a lot of self esteem issues and I liked how that was handled. It wasn't always glaringly obvious, but she had her moments. And the book wasn't from her perspective, so you saw it from a different angle. The main character then had her own insecurities when comparing herself to other girls and that was kind of a different type. I liked the comparison of the two and appreciated that Lauren doesn't try to make it all the same. The other two girls seemed confident and perfect, but we learn that they're not what they seem and I think that was another awesome touch. This was one of those rare cases where I liked the book not so much because I liked the characters, but because they were done well.
The story was still interesting, even if it wasn't the fluffy romance I was hoping for. It wasn't super hard to figure out most of the little mysteries, but it was still a fun ride. And as I said, it was well written. It was the little things that kept me engaged and intrigued. Lauren knows how to tell a story pretty well.
Overall, this isn't what it appears to be, but it's definitely one to pick up if you want a quick read with adventure and foreign countries and realistic characters.