Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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!"
Violet is spending the summer in Tuscany for what her mother thinks will be an educational experience involving art; however, Violet is secretly going because she is investigating the fact that there's a painting with its origins from that particular area in Tuscany and it's not just any painting.....the painting has a woman in it who looks exactly like her. Violet can't deny her curiosity and is going to Tuscany to get to the bottom of it. However, the story doesn't mainly focus on that sub plot. There's three other girls that Violet is living with in the villa in Tuscany for this "program" along with the person running the program and her vile daughter. Plus, there's a lot of fun, such as wine, Italian boys, castles, and did I mention Italian boys? Lauren Henderson's Flirting in Italian is a fun read for summer that readers will love to be immersed in and you may be dreaming of your own Italian getaway by the book's end.
I can't express how fun Flirting in Italian is. It includes a lot of Italian phrases and romantic moments that one would expect from a book that takes place in Tuscany. There's dancing under the stars, some wine tasting, dining al fresco, riding vespas, and exploring old castles. It had me thinking back to my own trip to Italy and pining a bit for some Italian fun. One of the best parts of the novel is when Violet starts investigating the fact that there's a look-alike of her in a painting. However, Henderson doesn't go with this subplot for long. In fact, there are many times it falls to the wayside and I would have liked to have seen more focused on that. Thankfully, there is a sequel that I'm hoping will tie up loose ends, because there are quite a few.
The girls that Violet lives with were also pretty entertaining characters with their own interesting back stories. One of the most irritating characters was the woman who runs the program's daughter, Elisa. Wow, did I LOVE to hate her! She is the quintessential mean girl and she really sparked some anger in me. Henderson did a good job of creating some major tension and drama between the two characters.
The romance in this book is pretty good, but Luca, her love interest, wasn't one of my favorites. I enjoyed their connection, but it wasn't mind-blowing. Luca definitely possesses more than meets the eye and there are some interesting plot twists surrounding his character. One thing is for sure, readers can't deny Luca and Violet's attraction in Flirting in Italian.
Simply put, if you are looking for a light beach read that will take you away to Tuscany, Flirting in Italian is a must read this summer. I am definitely intrigued as to what will happen between Luca and Violet, but we'll have to wait till book two, Falling in Love in Italian. I just hope that Henderson will focus more on the look-alike in the painting in book two as I think that's the backbone and the best part of the series.
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