Published by Poppy on January 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Romance
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.
In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
Oh boy, this book is hard to review because it's so hard to put my thoughts on order, I really liked all the aspects of this book but at the same time I also felt like there was something lacking all the time, I don't know if was the length of the book that made this happen (the e-arc was just 201 pages, and okay the editing is different for the final edition but still, it was so small!). Anyway, my likes and dislikes were:
• Lucy: she was definitely my favorite part of the story, which is great since it’s told on first person. I started this book a little skeptical about her character, she seemed to be a little too much of a common ground, you know the girl who is traveling through Europe that finds a boy that is so-not-the-right-type but end up challenging her to find her happiness and bla-bla-bla but still I managed to grow out of my first doubts and really identified myself with her. I’m kind of in the same stage in life than Lucy, starting college, fighting to find out what I really want and not what other people – especially parents – want for me, I think this is something that it will hit home to everyone because is a natural transition to adulthood. A big part of Lucy’s decision to what to do for the rest of her life was because of her doubts if she was good enough to pursuit a actress career or even just get up on the stage again, I really liked the development on this, she started with a lot of insecurities but through all the novel she started to grow out of it and at the end she was owning her talented – it was a great message!
• The romance: I have to say that the romance was hard to get at first, I just didn’t get why Lucy and Jesse had connected so hard in just over a week, yes they talks were sweet and they talked about important things so there was a connection, yes they had chemistry but still there was something missing. I just wish the Italy part was like 50 pages bigger. More about Italy latter. I feel like I should warm people, there kind of is a love triangle, but it isn’t really a love triangle (in my opinion) since we all know where Lucy’s hearth is, still the two boys DO overlap at some point and I know this can be a downside for some readers, for me it wasn’t, I think it was necessary to Lucy’s growth and helped her decide what she really wanted not just romance wise but in life.
• Italy: ugh, this part really should have like 50 pages more, as well as the romance the scenarios never really satisfied me, it never felt as fleshed out as in “Wish You Were Italian” and a lot of scenes seemed rushed and without enough descriptions.
• The friendships & parents: I really loved this aspect, it was so good to Lucy to have such a big range of friends, from her suitemates to her fellow stage colleagues to her partner on the backpacking, I wish (as well as much of the things on this book) that we had more interactions between them but still I was feelings very satisfied with the ones we did had, they are a very diverse cast and none one time there was judgments on their personalities (which can be hard to find on books sometimes), and yet there are a lot of good times I liked how it showed Lucy and Charlotte - her friend who backpacked through Europe with her for a month - did fight on the end of the trip, I mean IT IS so hard to withstand a friend for an entire month, just on hostels and lots of airport/road/train trips and tourists long lines on tourist-y places, it was so natural that they would disagree at some point but I really liked that they did come around to talk about it later on, it was all so true to what real friendships really are. Also Lucy’s parents are present on the book, not all that much, but still very present since her father’s insistence for her to drop out of plays, it was really good to see their relationship so present, I felt it was so real her father’s concern about her future despite his not so great approach, the ending also was very HEA but I found her father’s decision realistic and understandable.
Overall this was a really good quickly read, perfect for a trip (as I was in one while reading it and the lightness and overall good feel to it, while still caring good messages was just exactly what I look forward in a trip book), I think everyone that loves coming of age tales that are center around traveling will found a sweet spot for this book.
Oh, also, for the time-frame of Lucy and its characters this book is supposed to be "New adult" (in my opinion) but I think is being market as young adult because it reads like young adult, in the meanings that nobody has a hard deep past or has sexy scenes here like graphic ones, but still I do think this book will apeal more to people that are on this time of their lives between getting out of high school and starting college/deciding their majors.
Other thing, this is a retelling of "A Room With a View" which there is a movie and a book, but I never saw or reade it so it can't say how it does justice to both of them. If you want to read a review that does compares this book and (especially) the movie you can read this one wrote by Christina on A Reader of Fictions.