"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!"
Plot: Lots of potential for a strong plot, and at times I thought there was going to be one, but overall it was pretty flat. As a cute girly summer read, the plot and story is entertaining enough, but I felt Henderson was trying to mix a strong mystery plot, with the girly and fell short. I would of liked more traveling around, and more explanation in some things, but at the end she tries to tie it up really quick and give loose conclusions to the story and then tries to seg-way into a sequel. This didn't work.
Characters: The Main Character is British Violet/Violetta who discovers a painting in a British Museum of an Italian girl who could be her twin. Given that Violet doesn't look like her parents, she is curious to know more, therefore embarking on a trip to Italy. Violet's Character is the "normal girl" she is decently ok at the things she attempts, has her insecurities and strengths etc. Then there is Kelly, Paige and Kendra the other girls staying at the Villa with Violetta. Kelly is a redhead from the UK and is the quintessential almost geeky shy girl. I liked her and felt she was a good pairing for Violetta's confidant in Italy. Paige and Kendra are the American's and although physically described differently and somewhat different personalities. I kept mixing their characters up and getting confused.. Catia is the owner of the Villa and the girls guide, she comes of as prim,proper and strict and her daughter Elisa is well a bitch and makes it her goal to harass the girls. Then comes the ITALIAN BOYS! But although mentioned often they are not memorable characters, besides Luca who is Violetta's Love interest. Overall, I think Henderson could of done a little more to the secondary characters.
Pros: Great fun summer read.
Cons: Could of been one book, could have had a stronger plot, Needed more of some things and less of others.
Final Thoughts: Looking at this book from face value, I really did enjoy it, I mean Italy makes anything awesome. It made me want to go to Italy, and I think Henderson nailed all the multi-cultural personalities well. I was surprised when I first read the Prologue and saw that there was more to this story then fun in Italy, but a little mystery in it as well! The whole looking like someone from the past is actual a topic that really intrigues me, A) because I LOVE history B) because I like to think reincarnation/dopplegangers are real and C) it is some thing that has happened to me before..(pictures below). So I was disappointed when this story didn't really wrap up.. And I am aware it will probably be wrapped up in Book Two. However, I think this story, would have been perfect as just one book and not two and I don't care enough about it to want to read Book 2. I also would have enjoyed just a tad bit more Italy. I felt everything was rushed. With that being said.. You will enjoy this book if you are just looking for some YA Summer Traveling Romance.. but don't look into too much... like I did.
Flirting In Italian Comes Out June 12th, 2012!
(Thank You Random House,Delacourte and NetGalley)