Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: June 12, 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars
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!
Sick of her clingy mother, Violet decides to do something she's never done before. She signs up for a stay at a house for foreign teen girls to immerse herself in Italian culture. She has an ulterior motive besides escaping the nest and becoming her own person, though. She's just made a shocking revelation that's left her shaken to the core. She has a startling resemblence to an Italian princess who lived hundreds of years ago. And she's going to figure out just why that is.
Lauren Henderson's previous works include a young adult mystery series, an adult series, and a romance handbook. She's more than a little experienced im the writing field. Her writing was well done. She had just enough descriptions to get her point across. I would've appreciated a little more descriptions or of both the scenery and the food but I do recognize that this is a novel and not a travel guide.
I'll admit a cringed after reading the title. I'm not a big fan of corny titles. However, I know by now not to udge a book by it's cover and I decided to give it a chance. I don't regret doing that at all. Flirting in Italian is just so much more than "flirting in Italian" (although it did include that). The plot was thankfully unpredictable. I had no idea what was going to happen next. That's a good thing especially in a mystery novel. The plot moved pretty fast but it was slow in some parts. I feel it could've developed a little more. A lot of things happened that were irrelevant to the mystery. That's not a bad thing I just wish Violet would've done more to discover why she was a look alike of a princess. I'll give the plot this: it was unique in many ways.
Violet was basically your average girl. She acted confident but felt insecure at times. She loved her mom but wanted some alone time. She made mistakes but, in the end, was a good person. I liked her character well enough. I was glad she wasn't perfect. She did have issues getting along with some of the other foreign girls but eventually sorted them out. The other girls were a bit stereotypical. They were all just very different. I ended up liking this because it made the book more fun to read. The girls often got themselves into trouble and I loved reading as the scenarios played out. They had some hilarious discussions. One thing I do wish is that I got to know some of the characters a little better. After all, I doubt Luca is just a teenage player. He must have feelings and opinions. I would like to know what they are.
Which is one of the reasons why I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. I want to see where the mystery takes Violet and learn more about Luca. I also want to continue reading about the adventures Violet and her friends get themselves into. This book is perfect for fans of Anna and the French Kiss. It's a bit like that only in Italy. It's also for fans of mysteries, contemporaries, and summer stories. Give it a chance, even if you're like me and cringe at the title or like other people who run towards the title.