Flirting in Italian
by Lauren Henderson
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!
So I'm on a YA travel/adventure-abroad kick. And I'm loving it! It's made me want to take Italian, hop on a plane to Europe, and meet some gorgeous guy who will whisk me off my feet. My kick has also infected my music choices; I think I listened to "An Evening in Roma" a hundred times just while reading Flirting in Italian.
I must say that at first I was a little skeptical about the family-history plot line. I wasn't sure how it would be woven into the story besides being the motivation for Violet's stay in Italy. But Lauren Henderson knew what she was doing and it worked out just as it should, by not being the sole focus and yet not disappearing completely. Once I became attached to the characters, this part of the book became much more important to me and I'm anxious to see how it comes together (I can't figure out an inkling of how it's going to work out). The rest of the plot focus is exactly what you'd want out of a summer in Italy; fun, excitement, and filled with romance.
Violet has an absolutely gorgeous name in Italian: Violetta. It fits her too. She's pretty, independently minded, and she has a good heart. She isn't afraid to go dance alone on at a party, stand up to mean girls, or slap a boy when he deserves it. And while I was glad Violet had a very smart voice in her head, I'm both frustrated and amused that she didn't always follow its advice.
So, Violet wants to find herself and it's obvious that Tuscany is the perfect place to do so! Thus she enrolls in a summer program at a little villa and begins her adventure. I really liked the dynamics of the four girls in the program. Kelly, Kendra, and Paige (the other girls) were distinct characters that really balanced Violet. (P.S. I thought Paige was a hoot! ) Anyway I enjoyed when the girls bonded and even when they didn't get along because it added some reality.
Okay I'll stop stalling and tell you about the boys. One, they're Italian and gorgeous. Two, when they're around the scenes are just great. Three, they are both romantic and frustrating. And finally, you just have to read the book to find out more. Don't be mad. The scenes with Luca and Violet will make up for my unwillingness to tell you more.
Oh and did I mention there's a second book? No? Well that's cause I didn't know until the end of the book. When I had ten pages left I started to panic, wondering how this was going to resolve itself so quickly and still leave me satisfied... but well you know what always happens to me (the curse of the cliffhanger). I'm happy though because now I get a whole nother book with Luca and Violet (and everyone else too). So don't panic when you approach the end, because we've got another book to look forward to!
*Book provided by publisher on Netgalley