Title: Flirting in Italian
Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: June 12th 2012
My rating: 2 stars
When I first heard about Flirting in Italian I thought it sounded like a fun, easy going read that I would be able to kick back and relax with over the summer.
Flirting in Italian kicks off with an awesome opening; Violet out one day in an art gallery, for her art history A-level course comes across a painting with striking familiarity to her. However the most surprising aspect is the fact that the portrait is from the 17th century! Violet always had her suspicions that she was adopted as she never thought she resembled her Scandinavian mother or Scottish father. Now seeing this portrait deepens her doubts about belonging to her family at all. She realises that the only way that she can get to the bottom of it all is by travelling to Italy and digging out the information herself. A course run by an Italian family over the summer actually gives access to the castle belonging to the family the portrait belongs to. Violet thinks this is the perfect chance, not only can she find out the truth about who she finally is, but going to Italy and learning the language and about the art history there will count as an amazing experience for when she applies to university.
I couldn’t wait for Violet to get to the bottom of everything, was she really adopted? Or was the similar portrait just a big coincidence? However as soon as Violet got to Italy, the whole point of going there kinds of goes flying out of the window. She doesn’t really investigate anything, but is too caught up with the gorgeous guys instead! She falls head over heels for Leonardo; her hostesses’ son but then as soon as she sees the mysterious Luca she’s pinning for him all of a sudden. After spending a few hours with him, she can’t get him out of her head.
With Luca constantly on the brain the underlying reason for her being in Italy is quickly forgotten, and it’s all about having fun with the girls, having dizzying make out sessions with Luca which leaves her conflicted and trying to have one over the hostesses’ daughter, the scheming Eliza. Some aspects of the story were fun, it made me want to go to Italy, take in the gorgeous surroundings and go from place to place on a vespa with a gorgeous Italian. But I also found parts hugely grating, the girls who stayed with Violet came across a bit as obnoxious and shallow, mostly concerned with their looks and getting as many guys as possible to pay attention to them. The story also made all Italian guys come across as all they wanted to do is to get into a girls pants, which I’m sure that all of them are not like that. All I wanted the most was to get down to the truth, not faff around with gorgeous Italian lads! The main character Violet also began to get on my nerves after a while, she was a little too proud and always quick to make assumptions. Also the constant talking to herself became infuriating (on a side note no one disses Coldplay and gets away with it). What had started off as a journey of self-discovery quickly went off course into nothingness.
Hopefully others may find Flirting in Italian a great summer read, with the adventurous trip to Italy and gorgeous Italian lads, but the swift change of events kind of left me disappointed. However despite having so many issues with this book, it kind of leaves you hanging with several unanswered questions that you’re sort of tempted in picking up the companion Following in Love in Italian just for the sake of finding out what happens.
Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children’s Books for the opportunity to read this book.