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Flirting in Italian [Hardcover]

Lauren Henderson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Jun 2012
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!

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (12 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741354
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,765,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson 24 Sep 2013
By Amber
Format:Paperback
I was initially driven to pick this up because of my current obsession with all things Rome. Of course, this book isn't actually set in Rome, but it's close enough. A lot closer than I was to Rome before this Wednesday. I was in the mood for a fun contemporary, so I went ahead and grabbed this one when I was in between books.

Since the synopsis gives away very little info, let me give you a brief summary of Flirting in Italian. Basically, Violet discovers that she looks exactly like a lady in an Italian painting. She decides to go to Italy to figure this mystery out, and there she meets a few new friends, some guys, and a bunch of Italians. See, this is why I don't ever write summaries in my reviews, because I suck.

My favourite thing about Flirting in Italian is, quite predictably, the setting. The whole thing made me very excited for my own trip to Rome - which is where I am right now as you're reading this, in fact - because it made Italy sound beautiful. Of course, my Rome experience is undoubtedly going to be different, because Violet stayed in a very different place. And she didn't have an obsession with gladiators.

Aside from the perfect setting, there wasn't much else about Flirting in Italian that I did enjoy. The main character, Violet, was tolerable, although she comes across as very judgemental. It became very annoying, especially since I was trying to get to know other characters and she was bitching about them inside her head.

The love interest, whatever his name is, was also a prat. He kept trying to put Violet in her place, because it was constantly implied that he was right all the time and she was wrong. I don't know, I didn't like it. He was also very judgemental.
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By Book Angel Emma VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Written in first person narrative, from Violet's point of view. Violet has a passion for art and a mystery to solve when she sees a portrait of a girl that could be her twin. After a little research Violet discovers a link between the painting and an old Italian castle. Her curiosity leads her to find an art summer school located in a villa not far from the castle. More of a finishing school than an actual art course, Violet's mother is initially skeptical about letting Violet go for the Summer.

Violet's mother is overprotective and an absolute drama queen. As an ex-model she does place a value on travel for educational purposes, and its the broadening of the mind that wins out enabling Violet to attend the summer school.

However, there is more than meets the eye at Villa Barbiano, everyone has their secrets. There is the obligatory mean girl in the form of Elisa (the daughter of the owner of Villa Barbiano). She resents her mother for opening their home to foreign students but is quite happy to live off the income it generates.

Elisa's attempts to undermine the guests has the reverse effect and causes them to bond whereas I think they would have remained separate if Elisa hadn't interfered. Totally backfiring on Elisa. The 4 girls all have completely different personalities; 2 American, 2 British. I found Violet to be the nicest of the 4 as she tries to look for the best in people. This doesn't make her a pushover in any way. I did feel that this book barely scratched the surface of the characters, their personalities and interactions. I have a feeling that there are going to be some huge revelations in the sequel *crosses fingers*

I felt that the male characters in this book mainly provided candy for the imagination apart from Luca.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Summer Romance Read. 19 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover
Flirting in Italian is one of those stories that would be a perfect summer read. It's fun and fresh with lovable characters. It follows Violet, an english teenager who travels to Italy in search of answers on who she is after she discovers a very old painting of a girl who looks just like her. Along the way she makes friends and ememies. As well as falling head over heals for Luca, whose family may just hold the answers to Violet's questions.

I completely devoured this wonderful book. At first I thought it was a little slow and I didn't really get into until Violet gets to Italy but once I did I was completely blown away it. Lauren has create something so magical and beautiful that you really feel like you are in the story with the characters. Going through everything they are going through. When I was reading it played like movie. And yes, I feel like this would make an fantastic movie that the females would adore!!

Violet I have to admit I didn't connect with straight away. I thought the idea of her going to Italy on a whime to chase some ancient painting alone was a tad unrealistic. However, as I continued to with the story, I found myself warming up to her and finding her very smart and witty. The relationships she developed with the three other girls she is staying with in Italy brings out different sides of her. She becomes quite protective and bonds with them. I found that really nice. When she meets Luca there is an instant attraction. Now usually this bugs me but Lauren has managed to do this is real way. Especially as its like a love/hate attraction between them both. At time's it is very sweet, hot and sexy. Others its comical and I just wanted to bang their heads together. LOL But yeah, I swooned over Luca so it was easy to see why Violet liked him so much.
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Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not mind-blowing 13 Jun 2012
By Evie Seo (Bookish blog) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Fun and enjoyable, Flirting In Italian is packed with sexy Italian boys, gorgeously depicted European settings, mysteries, mean girls, and long hot summer nights. It's the ultimate summer read - light-hearted, and as sweet and fluffy as cotton candy. Don't be fooled by the beautiful pastel-coloured cover, though, this book is more than just a silly story about girls kissing boys in Italy. Featuring long buried family secrets, mysterious Italian paintings, and an old castle on the hill, Flirting In Italian entertains the reader with tension that is slowly (but steadily) building up throughout its pages, and danger that is lurking just around the corner.

The premise of this novel is too delicious to miss out on. The romantic countryside of Tuscany, a lovely fourteenth-century villa (with a swimming pool!), and two months of learning Italian, participating in art tours, watercolour painting and ballroom dancing - how could you possibly say no to all that? I enjoyed the setting of this novel and thought that Lauren Henderson managed to capture both the unique atmosphere of Italy, and the temperamental nature of Italians really well.

Violet Routledge, a teenage girl from London, arrives in Italy on a mission. Back at home, while visiting a local museum, she stumbled upon a portrait featuring some unknown Italian aristocrat who looks exactly like herself and could easily be her twin. Fascinated by the painting, Violet decided to learn more about the model, and find out if she's in any way related to her. She convinced her mother to send her to Italy for a two month long private course, under the excuse of learning Italian. After arriving in Tuscany, Violet meets the other students - an English red head, and two confident American chicks, and she decides to make the most out of her time in this hot and humid European country.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Especially Henderson's excellent writing style that seemed almost effortless and made the book quick and easy to devour. Lauren Henderson is a well-established author, she has written an impressive number of books (many of which quickly became bestsellers), and if you pick up Flirting In Italian, you'll see just why. This book was extremely readable. I couldn't put it down, even though some of the plot developments made me frown (or annoyed me) a bit. There was something about this book that held my attention and made me push through. I wanted to learn more about the history behind the painting. I wanted to see how the relationship between Violet and Luca will progress. I craved more of Italy. Ultimately, though, I really wanted Violet to focus more on discovering her connection to the girl from the portrait (after all, that was the reason for her flying to Italy in the first place). And I admit, as the story progressed and it became clear to me that she got totally side tracked (distracted by Luca's sweet lips or exchanging verbal-slaps with mean Italian girls) and had no plans of digging deeper into the past or doing any sort of research (not even when someone locked her up in a dungeon and then tried to poison her), I started getting impatient. I was also a little bit disappointed that not much of the plot got resolved in the end, and the parts that did get concluded, didn't impress me either (yes, I'm talking about you, you creepy Italian maid). It just seemed that a lot of the book focused on cat-fights, learning how to swear in Italian and other weird but non essential aspects of the story. The flirting was there, but since I wasn't all that impressed with the rude and cocky Luca either, I didn't really feel the swoon. The ending came very abruptly, and unfortunately, I can't say that I liked it. It wasn't a horrible ending, but it wasn't a very pleasing one either - it felt a little bit forced (as if the author didn't really plan for the sequel, but decided on it last minute). Thankfully, though, there will be two more books in the series (with Falling In Love In Italian being the next one), and hopefully it will provide more answers, concluding all the plot threats in a satisfactory way.

As for the characters in this novel, I thought they were a bit stereotypical, but in no way did it take away from the fun of watching them interact with each other. The dialogues were crisp and bursting with energy, making it easy to really get into the story. All the snarky exchanges and cat-fights proved to be very entertaining, and I even learned some Italian swear words (not sure if I should be happy about that, though). I adored all the characters (except for the arrogant Luca), especially the American girls, Kendra and Paige (they were just so lively, confident and likeable!). I liked the lead protagonist, Violetta, from the very beginning. She was down to earth, honest, and straight to the point, with just the perfect dose of sass and humour. I liked that she would stand up for herself (and for others, too), and didn't shy away from confrontation, and, although I didn't understand her attraction to Luca (at all), I still got quite attached to her. She was definitely the kind of girl I could be good friends with.

Overall, Flirting In Italian was a good book. Light and flavourful, it's a perfect beach read, especially if you like books set in Southern European countries, and ones that successfully depict both the atmosphere and the unique cultural aspects of the region. I'm looking forward to the sequel and can't wait to find out more about the mysterious portrait and the story behind it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun book 17 July 2012
By JennRenee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The title and the cover drew me to this book. I think both are really cute and sound like a fun book. I have read some of the
Scarlet Wakefield series by this author and hoped there would be some mystery in this story too. And there was.

The story is about a girl, Violet, who loves art. She finds a painting in a museum of a woman that looks like she could be her twin. Curious, Violet decides to take off to Italy and search for the origin of the painting. She feels that there must be a connection. Once she is there she finds an Italian boy, 3 unlikely friends, a jealous enemy, and more mystery and danger than she expected.

The story was really enjoyable. Violet was a really easy character to like and relate too. She acted and though for the most part like any other teenage girl. Violets roommates were also very fun, all uniquely different enough to spark some fire into the relationships. They are quite the foursome and one would never see all of them hanging out together, but they work.

There is a bit of a love story, actually the romance is a big part of the story. The first half, maybe a little more, was devoted to Violet and her friends going out and finding boys to fall for. Violet seems to fall for a pseudo bad boy, Luca. One moment he is sweet and sexy and then he says something ridiculous that made me laugh and slap him too. Violet seemed to have much of the same reaction. They had some real chemistry with a bit of a language and cultural snag. Their relationship was definitely a plus to this story.

The other part of the book was devoted to the mystery of the painting. Luca lives in the castle where the painting can be traced back to. Luca's mother and staff seemed to think that Violet looks a lot like Luca's aunt at a very young age. Interesting. This part felt a little strange to me. I really hoped Luca would not turn out to be Violet's cousin. This mystery led to some danger. The book really got interesting at this point and became a real page turner for me. Unfortunately only part of the mystery is solved at the end. I am really happy to see a companion book coming out.

Overall, it was a fun story but I felt like it was almost two different stories. It seems at the beginning, this is going to be another contemporary romance and then a mystery kind of takes over. I think that they mystery bit could have been built a little more at the beginning. The character building was done well and that saved the story for me. I will read the companion book as soon as it comes out because I am dying to see what happens.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, Boring, and waaaaayyy too slow 10 July 2012
By Dana Sanderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was good... and then it was bad... and then it was good... and the it went south really fast. The guys were ridiculous, the women were ridiculous, even the plot reeked of stupidity. The characters really needed to be developed more. There was absolutely no sense to any part of it. DON'T PURCHASE THIS
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 21 Jun 2012
By Hannah @ Paperback Treasures - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I started out liking this book. The set-up is interesting - Violet finds a portrait in an art museum of a person who looks exactly like her, and she wants to find out who that is, and if she's somehow related to them. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that this book is new adult, since it takes place the summer after high school (or the British equivalent), which I'm always a fan of. At the beginning, I was very intrigued where the whole story is going.

But then, sadly, it started going downhill, for me. Violet's character annoyed me. I'm not even sure why, but something about her just bugged me. She's melodramatic and makes a huge deal out of every little thing, which frustrated me throughout the book. There were a few moments I could relate to, but most of the time, something about Violet's personality just annoyed me.

The romance aspect is weak, in my opinion. Luca is hot, but that's all he has going for him. I never had a clear picture of Luca's personality, or why he did what he did - some of his actions made no sense to me whatsoever. I didn't feel any chemistry between him and Violet, which killed the romance storyline for me.

Then there's the mystery. That storyline held a lot of promise, but I'm not a fan of the execution. That's mainly because of the ending. The ending is what I disliked most about this book. The ending... well, there is no ending. There's a revelation that tells us absolutely nothing we didn't know before but is presented in a very dramatic way, and then... nothing. Apparently, there's going to be a sequel to this book, which I did not know coming in. I know I can't really judge this, since I haven't read the sequel, but I just think that's unnecessary. This story is not enough to be a series - if the pace had been a little faster, and some unnecessary scenes had been (this book has plenty), it could have all been wrapped up in this one book, which I would have preferred. The way it is, I felt that this whole book was kind of pointless, since we find out exactly nothing.

The one thing I did like are the secondary characters. Violet lives with three other girls, and I really liked getting to know each of them. Each girl has a unique personality, and seeing these four interacting was definitely entertaining.

Flirting in Italian did not work for me. I found the romance and the MC flat, and while I could have liked the mystery, there's no resolution, which made the whole story somewhat pointless, to me. Despite some slow parts, though, Flirting in Italian was somewhat entertaining, so if you're looking for a quick read, maybe give this one a try. Expecting a good mystery and a nice romance, though, I was very disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Flirting in Italian - good, clean YA book 12 Feb 2014
By Red - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As an adult, I totally enjoyed reading this book. It was a sweet story, with a bit of mystery and fun.
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