Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Release Date - January 27, 2015
Publisher Website - Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
I picked up Love, Lucy because it seemed to have all the elements I would love. Backpacking through Europe. A cute romance. I was hoping for a main character I adored. A swoon worthy romance that swept me away. While Love, Lucy was a mostly enjoyable read, I didn't end up loving it as much as I expected to.

The main take away after reading this novel is a fierce wanderlust. You will be swept away by the descriptions of Italy and be entirely smitten. Do not be surprised if hours are spent researching a hypothetical trip after turning the last page. This is one element that April Lindner captures perfectly, and the strongest element in the novel. The setting is everything you could hope for from the synopsis and more.

This is a type of novel where character connection is vital. Most contemporaries rely on character development as the plot typically deals with internal, emotional elements. The connection, for me, just wasn't there with these characters. I didn't feel anything more than indifference to them. I wasn't invested in their story because they didn't feel multi-dimensional to me. The use of third person may have created another barrier as I didn't get a sense of what the characters were feeling.

The romance itself is cute, if predictable. There are a few instances where things are drawn out for dramatic purposes but it could have been quite enjoyable if it had that connection. The spark that made you feel everything and feel invested in the outcome. You want to be able to root for the main couple. You want to care whether or not they get their happily ever after.

There are friendships formed in the novel that I really enjoyed. Lucy's roommate at college in particular seemed to have potential, as did the characters she befriends later on in the novel. I would love to have learned more about these characters, and seen the friendship play a more central focus in the story. It could have rounded it out more and created a richer character experience.

There are morsels of potential throughout the novel. There is an underlying theme of making your own choices, and standing up for what you want. It's a theme that is common in young adult novels, but one that is always welcome. It could have been a deeper more interesting read if it had been developed more.

With all that being said, I did enjoy Love, Lucy for what it is. A light, fun contemporary read that would be perfect after a more emotional read. It'll leave you more than a little in love with Italy and with the strong desire to have a vacation flirtation of your own. 

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