Expected Publication: May 6th, 2014
Wish You Were Italian (If Only...#2)
By: Kristin Rae
Pippa is in Italy for the summer, and despite her parents' wishes, she has no intention of just studying the local art! She has a list of things of her own to do: from swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, to getting a makeover - and falling for an Italian boy! As Pippa explores the dramatic ruins of Rome and Pompeii, she is swept into her own drama with two guys: an irresistible local she knows is nothing but trouble and cute American archaeology student.....Will she find her true love?
Bloomsbury has a new imprint, with teen romances, and I saw the blurb for this one and felt more than a passing interest. I decided to give it a shot, even though the summary hints at the much dreaded young adult "love triangle," which I am entirely sick of and overall burned out on! This book is about a girl named Pippa, whose parents want to groom her to take on the family's art gallery when she's old enough. Pippa has no interest in art though, and really wants to take on photography (which she loves) as a career. When her parents ship her off to Italy for the summer to be imprisoned in a boring art program, Pippa decides to take matters into her own hands. She fakes an email from her Mom cancelling her place at the school, and uses the large amount of money her Dad sent with her to get a hotel room in Rome. After spending the day with another American tourist (a cute boy close to her age) named Darren, she is sure she's made the right choice. Pippa makes a new Italian friend, Chiara, and ends up going to spend the summer with her family near Cinque Terre. While she's there, Pippa is having the time of her life. But who should she choose to pursue romantically: Chiara's hot cousing, Bruno, or the American boy she keeps crossing paths with, Darren?
If you're in the mood for a book that reads like a basic teen movie plot, you'll enjoy this one! I loved the descriptions of Italy. I could picture everything Pippa was seeing/doing in my head and since I'm a very visual person I really enjoyed that a lot. Also, the friendship with Chiara was adorable! Usually when a girl goes overseas, I've noticed that a lot of authors like to write in a stereotypical mean girl, who serves as competition and only causes problems for the heroine. Instead, Kristen Rae gives us the cute and funny international friendship of Chiara and Pippa. It was nice to see a strong girl friendship for a change! Probably my least favorite thing about this book was the fact that it housed a love triangle. It was just unnecessary and I am so over it in my books. Give me one interesting, well-written love interest, rather than two that taking away from the viability of each other in the plot. Also, the ending was really abrupt. As pointed out by other readers, the thing with the Grandmother was not needed and served as a cruel wake-up call, in a book that is mostly sugary and of cotton candy consistency. It didn't fit in or flow well with the rest of the plot. Not enough resolution and not enough character development for my liking. Although Pippa's lack of strong relationships withing her family (save for her Grandma) did make her a tad bit more sympathetic. Overall, I enjoyed this one but it won't be a re-read and I would really say its more of a beach read than anything else.
VERDICT: 3/5 Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 6th, 2014.*