Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

* * *1/2

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!

I loved this book.  With the beautiful Italian countryside, gorgeous Italian boys and a drunk ass, what’s not to love?  And when I say drunk ass, I mean a donkey drunk on red wine.  Seriously.  I need to party with the Italians.  Shel, when are we taking your dream trip to Italy? 

Oh boy.  I just realized that we might get crap for the above paragraph so let me just say now that the book does address cruelty to animals and I would NEVER actually condone giving an animal booze in any way shape or form.  *sigh* 

All joking aside, this book was lovely.  The story begins in London where Violet sees an 18th century painting of an Italian girl that looks just like her.  The resemblance is uncanny which introduces doubts regarding Violet’s parentage.  She begins to research the painting and although unable to learn the name of the girl, she does learn where the girl posed for the painting – Castello di Vesperi.  This knowledge spurs her to enroll in an Italian finishing school that is provided the only private tours of the castle.  What begins as a quest to solve a mystery becomes a summer of discovering new interests, friendships and crushes.   Mind you, the mystery is still there and comes out in full force towards the end. 

Sometimes what makes a love story wonderful is not the ending but the journey.  And this is what I enjoyed most about this book.  So many times I am rushing to see if the girl gets the boy (or vice versa) but this time I found myself sitting back and savoring the descriptions of the day-to-day activities, of the beautiful country, of characters expressions and language.  Some people might say that all of that information is unnecessary but I think that is what makes this book wonderful and stand out from other YA romances.   

My only complaint is that Ms. Henderson ends this book with a romantic cliffhanger that will leave this romance lover pouting for days.  But at the same time, I have something absolutely lovely to look forward to when Following in Love in Italian is released in 2013. 

If you are looking for a fast paced read, this isn’t for you.  But if you are looking for a relaxing story that will make you daydream about Italy, fun friends and cute boys, pick this one up.  You won’t be disappointed. 


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