Title: Flirting in Italian
Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 10th 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
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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?