Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Title: Flirting in Italian
Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 10th 2012
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: NetGalley
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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!
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I started out liking this book. The set-up is interesting - Violet finds a portrait in an art museum of a person who looks exactly like her, and she wants to find out who that is, and if she's somehow related to them. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that this book is new adult, since it takes place the summer after high school (or the British equivalent), which I'm always a fan of. At the beginning, I was very intrigued where the whole story is going.

But then, sadly, it started going downhill, for me. Violet's character annoyed me. I'm not even sure why, but something about her just bugged me. She's melodramatic and makes a huge deal out of every little thing, which frustrated me throughout the book. There were a few moments I could relate to, but most of the time, something about Violet's personality just annoyed me.

The romance aspect is weak, in my opinion. Luca is hot, but that's all he has going for him. I never had a clear picture of Luca's personality, or why he did what he did - some of his actions made no sense to me whatsoever. I didn't feel any chemistry between him and Violet, which killed the romance storyline for me.

Then there's the mystery. That storyline held a lot of promise, but I'm not a fan of the execution. That's mainly because of the ending. The ending is what I disliked most about this book. The ending... well, there is no ending. There's a revelation that tells us absolutely nothing we didn't know before but is presented in a very dramatic way, and then... nothing. Apparently, there's going to be a sequel to this book, which I did not know coming in. I know I can't really judge this, since I haven't read the sequel, but I just think that's unnecessary. This story is not enough to be a series - if the pace had been a little faster, and some unnecessary scenes had been cut (this book has plenty), it could have all been wrapped up in this one book, which I would have preferred. The way it is, I felt that this whole book was kind of pointless, since we find out exactly nothing.

The one thing I did like are the secondary characters. Violet lives with three other girls, and I really liked getting to know each of them. Each girl has a unique personality, and seeing these four interacting was definitely entertaining.

Flirting in Italian did not work for me. I found the romance and the MC flat, and while I could have liked the mystery, there's no resolution, which made the whole story somewhat pointless, to me. Despite some slow parts, though, Flirting in Italian was somewhat entertaining, so if you're looking for a quick read, maybe give this one a try. Expecting a good mystery and a nice romance, though, I was very disappointed.

Do you have any recommendations of books with more exotic settings like this one?


  1. Whyyyy! This one sounds totally cool and all. Not to mention, it's Italian. ;) I love how it is New Adult. I prefer it than YA. :D

    I guess this one isn't really for you. I hate it how you make it sound like how bad the characters are. I mean, when I don't like a MC, at least, I get to like the second characters, but here, you didn't like even the SC's. Too bad. :(

    I'll borrow a copy of this to know for myself. Thanks for being honest, Hannah. ;)

  2. I was really looking forward to reading this. New Adult books are pretty good. Have you tried Please Don't Tell by Kelly Mooney? I just finished it. The setting is amazing. Half the book is in England and the other is in New York.

  3. I know a lot of people that really want this book, but I have to say that the plot just didn't appeal to me at all....

    Kate @Ex Libris

  4. Oh no! I was sure this one would've been a hit! I mean, just the setting and the mystery sounded like the perfect premise.

    If the main character isn't likable, or at least understandable, then I totally lose interest. It's too bad you didn't like her at all.

    Was the mystery somewhat historical, in terms of research and quest-like adventures? Or was there no action?

    Thanks for the honest review.

  5. And I HATE it when the guy is nothing other than an empty shell of good looks. I mean, what's the point?

  6. I didn't think so, to be honest. She finds a really old painting in a museum that looks exactly like her and then goes to the town where the painting is set. The painting turns out to be of a member of a royal family, whose son is, conveniently, the love interest. And the MC just goes to their castle and tries to sort of find out why she looks so much like that family. But nothing really happens, there is no real revelation, since there's going to be a sequel - which pisses me off so much, since I think that's just unnecessary, in my opinion. The mystery basically went nowhere, in this book. 

  7. That's too bad:( I thought she'd find out she's got some sort of unique power, or that someone in her family played a major role in that town or something.

    I thought it would've been action packed in a small Italian town with lots of secrets. And that the guy would've helped her out. 

  8. I'm disappointed to hear that. I had almost requested this one on netgalley because of its location and it sounded like a perfect summer read. I thought it might be up there with Stephanie Perkins books. But it just doesn't sound like it has much going for it. Thank you for such an honest review.

  9. I have the NetGalley of this waiting for me. I'm eager to read it (the purple scooter on the cover gets me), but the weak romance is not very appealing. I wish more and more New Adult books would come out, because I'm totally eager to read those, too. 

  10. Yours is the second review I've read for this book and you've both said it was lacklustre which is such a shame because I know a lot of people have added it to their lists and there have been comparisons to Anna and the French Kiss which now sound very misleading!


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