Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Release Date –  June 12, 2012
Publisher Website –  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained from publisher and Netgalley for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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!
Italian boys, a mystery and four girls. This premise makes it sound like this novel should have everything you need for an enjoyable summer read. While there were some stand out points, for me,  this novel had something missing.

The descriptions of landscapes and sights in Italy were one of the stand outs. The author makes everything so vividly real that you can picture it. From the gorgeous landscape, castles, and pieces of art each items is described with realism. The writing is better for this, and was quite enjoyable. The pacing was good, the ending especially picking up the pace.  The flow is effortless and makes for a novel that is highly readable.

The mystery is not solved at the end of the book. I kept expecting it to be, as that is the main focus of the start of the novel, and I was a little disappointed by this. What starts out as a burning question is pushed aside for the romance and ends up being brought up again to end the novel on a cliffhanger. The mystery drew me in. The entire idea of wanting to find out why you are dead ringer for a girl in a painting from the 1700s fascinated me and I wanted more details. 

The girls Violet, Kendra, Kelly and Paige are all quite different. Kelly is an English lass. A little socially shy, and from a more lower middle class family than the other girls. She’s super smart and very friendly. Kendra and Paige are Americans. The similarity pretty much stops there. Kendra is sophisticated, smart, and meant for Ivy League schools. She’s also quite pretty. Paige is blonde, fun, the life of the party. She is choosing her college based on the beach and loves to play sports. Violet is the black sheep of her family. She looks nothing like her tall, fair Scandinavian mother,  or Scottish father. She’s smaller, dark haired, and resembles many Italian girls. She’s artistic and a little sheltered. The story is strictly from Violet’s perspective. I do feel that the author did a fine job in letting us know a bit about each of the other girls, and Violet. None of them really stood out, or connected with me. I feel like I was expecting Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants in terms of characterization but that connection just wasn’t there for me.

The romance was lacking for me. I feel that Violet fell for Luca REALLY quickly. I am pretty sure she sees him and falls immediately. Lust is one thing, but these all consuming feelings that she develops are rather quick. Luca was aggravating to me. He was a jerk to Violet most of the time, with rare moments of sweetness. Violet even smacks him at one point because of his lousy behaviour and yet she still chases him. I didn’t fall for the romance, and as that is the majority of the focus of the book, it left me a little disillusioned. 

 I do think that others may end up enjoying this one more than I did. The Italian boys, carefree feel, and luscious descriptions will be a hit with most readers. I just wish the other aspects would have been as well developed.


  1. This sounds like it had a lot of promise, disappointing that it didn't deliver for you.

  2. I've seen quite a few disappointing reviews on this one. I was originally really interested in it (a book set in Italy, I was so on board) but the more I hear about it, the less interested I am. I don't like that there is this big mystery that is put aside for a romance. Sorry to hear it was disappointing.

  3. Oh damnity damn... insta-love! *shakes fist* Romance development is a must, it's really quite jarring when the characters meet and BAM iloveyousoooomuch. And also disappointing that Luca was a jerk and not in the sexy-bad-boy-jerk kind of way :(

    Happy to hear the descriptions of Italy were gorgeous, I so want to visit there some day!

    Sorry this didn't live up to your expectations, I'm glad it wasn't ALL a miss, though. Fantastic review!

  4. Gah! Exactly my thoughts! I can't say that I was very impressed with this book either. I definitely wanted the main character to focus on solving the mystery more. She was so annoyingly distracted by everything.. How can a person gets locked up in the basement and then poisoned, and not freak out?! But no, out main character seemed to be focused on boys and exchanging verbal bitch-slaps with Italian girls... I thought the book had a beautiful setting and great potential to be a thrilling, adventurous summer read, but something was missing, the balance between romance and mystery wasn't perfect.

    So yeah, I totally agree with everything you said up there, Kathy! Great review!


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