Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Review: Flirting In Italian

Author: Lauren Henderson
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

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!

I love books that take place in other countries because I hope that after college I am able to travel all over the world. I love reading about the different cultures and languages; it all intrigues me! This cover made me hope for a hot, Italian fling with some dark skinned, brown-eyed foreign boy! I was hoping that the girl in the purple boots would be full of life and go after the prize, a.k.a: (a hot, Italian boy)! I also kept staring at the boy, even though all you can see of him are his legs and shoes. I was hoping for adventure from him and maybe even a few secrets. The colors on the front of the cover all coincide very nicely and the title alone is enough to draw anyone in. I mean who doesn’t want to “Flirt In Italian?”

Violet’s story starts off interesting enough. She lives in England with her mother and finds herself drawn to a painting that she finds placed within a local museum because the girl in the portrait looks just like her. She finds out that the painting originated in Italy and begs her mother to let her study there for what is like a retreat for young girls where they immerse themselves in the Italian culture and try to learn parts of the language. She tells her mother than she needs to spend the summer here in order to better her chances for getting into the absolute best academy, when really she is chasing the girl in the portrait and desires to find out if her roots are really Italian.

When Violet arrived in Italy I was still enthralled by the descriptions of all the Italian monuments and how Henderson incorporated much of the Italian language within the pages of this book. I loved how Violet reacted to her new surroundings, and I even loved the premise of the program that she was placed in and the beautiful villa where she resided. However, after this the story line fell pretty flat for me. I was expecting more mystery and a rapid paced adventure. Instead I got a cliché storyline.

Don’t get me wrong, not all parts of Violet’s story were unpleasant. I was still anxious to find out about the painting and why the girl looked so much like Violet. Wouldn’t anyone expect loads of mystery after reading that storyline? I did and I was so disappointed. Half the time that Violet is in Italy she is not even worried about the portrait and even trying to talk herself out of discovering why she looks so much like the beautiful woman in it. I wanted to yell at her through the pages to be more spontaneous and adventurous.

There were four other girls who were on this journey with Violet and they were: Kelly, Kendra, and Paige. The two American girls were Paige and Kendra, while Kelly and Violet were British. They shared some laughs and some interesting party filled nights together, but once again there was just not enough depth to these other girls. In my opinion, they should have been a bigger part of Violet’s story. None of them, except for Kelly occasionally, had anything relevant or awe inspiring to add to the dialogue. They were even shallow at times. All Paige and Kendra wanted to do was text on their phones and hang out by the pool; it was very unsatisfactory.

Violet’s love interest did catch my eye, simply because he did not fit the mold. He was not your average run of the mill, fall head over heels in love with the girl type guy. He made Violet wait and wonder. He played hard to get, which sometimes you need in order to get a great story. Everything cannot always fall right into place. Sadly, Luka had more depth and mystery to him than the mysterious painting did. Violet became so caught up in Luka that I felt like the entire story became shifted around him.

I am not saying that this is a horrible book and it should never be read by anyone. No, I am saying that if you love summer reads and want to feel like you are surrounded by foreign people in a beautiful countryside, then please do give this book a try. It was not a complete failure. There were certain parts of it that I really enjoyed and I wanted really so bad to love this book. A year from now I will probably not remember reading this book at all, but maybe for someone else it will prove to be an intoxicating read!


  1. Awesome review! Too bad you didn't enjoy it...

    1. Hello Chelsey,

      It appears once again Blogland is having issues hence I used 'reply' since posting disappeared! Sigh...At my age progress can be a tad stressful!
      I laughed at your review and it sounds indeed as if the author lost herself in her novel. It happens more often than not as I am sure you will agree.
      Never judge a cover as you know!
      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one. I thought it would be a great one, especially taking place in Italy! Great review, I think I'm going to pass on this one for now.