Friday 29 June 2012

Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

  Title: Flirting in Italian
  Author: Lauren Henderson
  Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  Publication Date: June 12th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  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.


Beverley said...

It's such a shame you didn't enjoy this one more, Jasprit. I think I might still give it a go as the awesome title does it for me >.< I guess it lives up to its name if Violet spend most of her time in Italy making out and partying! This sounds like one to read on the beach since it seems really easy and light and I'm eager to 'meet' the hot Italian guys and obnoxious girls!

Thanks for the honest review, Jasprit <3

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard great things about this book. Most of the reviews that I've seen gave the book a similar rating to yours. It's a pity that the purpose of the main character's visit to Italy gets buried under the overwhelming love triangle. I really don't like when that happens. I like my books to have a balance between the plot and the romance. Atleast, the setting was well done. Violet doesn't seem much like a character that I would enjoy. I think I'm just going to skip this book!

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

Oh it's a shame the story went off course so much, especially as you were eager to uncover the truth. It sounds like it could still be fun though. A great review, Jasprit! :)

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

Oh and no one can get away with dissing Coldplay. ;)

-Ria xo said...

You're right, Jasprit, this does sound like a fun read! Such a shame that it really wasn't that good. ):

Violet sounds annoying and, as you described her, obnoxious. Whilst the title is awesome, I think I'm going to avoid picking this one up...

Thanks for an awesome review, though!<3

Jenny said...

Shoot! I had such high hopes for this one Jasprit! I was all pumped about it being set in Italy, but seeing as characters are always the most important part of a book for me, I think I would have some trouble with this one as you did. Seems like there's an insta-love (or at least insta-pining) with Violet and Luca, and I don't deal well with vapid, shallow girls. I think I'll pass on this one, but wonderfully thorough review as always:)

Jasprit said...

Too right! I can't remember exactly what the main character said, but I think she said he sings like a girl and then she went in a awfully long rant about them :(

Mimi Valentine said...

I thought the same thing when I first heard about this book, but everyone seems to be saying the same thing as you! The whole investigation thing sounds like such a cool idea, so it's too bad that it's all thrown aside for the prominent romance to take stage center. And dissing Coldplay is like a sin! But I'm glad that the Italian setting was fun, because that's always been one of the places high up on my Travel After High School list :)

Thanks so much for the beautiful honest review as always, J! <3

Unknown said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry that this book is disappointing for you, Jasprit! Like you said, it has a really good premise! Too bad the author decided to turn the journey to find the true self into boy hunting! Ah, I hate it when the main character get distracted and forget about the real question. :P

Thank you for the warning, Jasprit! I think I'll pass this. Awesome review, lovely! <3

Aneeqah said...

I am SO glad that I'm not alone in what I thought of this book! I was so excited by the whole mystery idea, but then it's like Violet forgets all of that! And then on top of that, we have the whole insta-love thing going with Luka. It was SO disappointing. :/

Fabulous, honest review!

-Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I think if the mystery aspect was actually played up more, I would like this one, but as of now, I have to pass. I'd love to read about Italy and the setting and all that but not if most of the book is pining after boys. Not quite my thing. Thanks for your honest thoughts though!! Maybe the sequel will finally get into the meat of the story more, if you decide to check it out.


Keertana said...

Fantastic review Jasprit! I'm sorry you were disappointed by this one but I'm glad your review remained honest. I think this is one I'll decide to skip, so thank you for all your wonderful insight!(:

Ivy Book Bindings

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I've read a few reviews of this now and most readers seem disappointed, the fact that she forgets her research as soon as she arrives in Italy is a bit odd and I've read about the ending and the need to read the companion books instead, that would be frustrating!

Thanks for such an honest review, hun!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I must admit I was never really drawn to this book, and although the beginning with the portrait thing actually sounds interesting, the rest doesn't really sound like something I'd enjoy.
Great review, lovely!

Pooja. S said...

This sounded like a fun book. But I totally get how frustrating it can be when the book starts out by giving you all these expectations and it ends up being like any other story. Thanks for the honest review, Jasprit!!

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