Title: Flirting in Italian (Book 1 in the trilogy)
Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte (US)
Release Date: June 12, 2012
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’ve been in the process of reading this book for a while because of school stuff, so I’m glad to have finally finished it. And actually, it was a lot better than I was expecting. Even though, obviously, I wasn’t expecting it to be terrible, I was definitely surprised at just how good it was. The premise just seemed cheesy, too much of a romance novel, but it was actually a lot deeper than that.
The fact that it all started with a painting, a normal painting to anyone but Violet, was interesting. I liked how something that you would think would be so insignificant wouldn’t be the start of such a grand adventure. However, even though it sort of got lost along the way between all the romance and Italian and finishing school and drama, it still played a large part in the story.
Speaking of romance and Italian and finishing school and drama, those other aspects of the story definitely filled it up nicely. The romance was both entertaining and frustrating, as the potential love interest himself was both of these – hot and cold and always a surprise. The Italian part was cool, too – having the language and the setting and some customs in the book. It was nice to finally picture a place neither America nor England in a book (since, normally, that is where the books I read take place).
The culture stuff was interesting, too, but more so were the three girls that Violet attended the classes and experienced the country with. Kendra and Paige each had a distinct personality, and even though we didn’t see too much into them, we got hints of who they were and how they fit into the story was great. Also, Kelly was an interesting character. I liked how I could see more about her because of the closeness of her and Violet’s relationship, after a while.
And finally, the DRAMA!! There was no end to it – literally, it ends with an introduction to the sequel. There was romance drama – between jealous girls, jealous boys, and confused couples! – and finishing school drama (okay that makes it sound really bad – you’re probably picturing girls with sewing needles sparring or something). But it’s really with Elisa – the fact that she creates chaos wherever she goes, and that just so happens to usually be wherever the girls are. And besides Elisa, there’s the ending! Wow. Just wow. I almost couldn’t believe how crazy it got, but I got really caught up in the indignation and frustration of it all.
The book was really good. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind a little (or a lot) of romance and mystery in their books, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out soon!