Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pair It With: Love, Lucy and Wish You Were Italian

It's dead of winter here, and, if you are like us, you are thinking that maybe it's time for a vacation. How about Italy?

Love, Lucy made my list of favorite reads of the year for 2014. It was such a treat to read. It's a retelling of E.M. Forster's Room with a View, and I really, really love Room With a View. The film version with Helena Bonham Carter, especially, makes me smile with lots of wistful, happy thoughts, and April Lindner's retelling gave me all those same good feelings.

Lucy Sommersworth is bound for college in the fall. Her father, practical man that he is, wishes Lucy to pick a practical major, and promises to send her to Europe in exchange for majoring in business. Although not without some qualms, Lucy takes him up on the offer. In Italy she falls for Jesse Palladino, a free-spirited musician from New Jersey.

I think that April Lindner must have been channeling Italy when she wrote this novel. The Italian portions just ooze sun and old-world charm. Charlene made an excellent Aunt Charlotte character, and Ellen as the reporter was also well down. I love art museums and traveling anyway but Italy really added so much to the romance between Lucy and Jesse. I also loved how Lindner put a little bit of Roman Holiday into the story as well.

I also love how Lindner stayed true to the very artistic sensibility of Forster's original, down to Shane being a collector of artistic friends. Love, Lucy carries on the familial expectations of Forster's original, as well. Lucy not only has to pick between two guys, but she also has to choose between her father's wishes and her own artistic inclinations.

April Lindner's retelling strikes that perfect balance between being true to the original and adding something fresh and new.

Love, Lucy is out January 27th, 2014.

Review copy from Edelweiss.

Pippa has always wanted to visit Italy, but being shipped off for an art program she has zero interest in? Not what she had in mind. When she arrives in Rome, she puts off going to Florence so she can take in the sights while she has the chance. It’s while eating gelato before dinner that she meets Darren who takes her on a trip to the Colosseum and helps change the course of her trip. The question is: will she meet him again?

Wish You Were Italian is a charming novel. It centers around Pippa's journal in which her best friend left her challenges to complete in Italy. This made the trip extra fun for Pippa and for me. I loved Pippa's awkwardness, her artist's eye, and her desire to really live every moment. She made great friends along the way. Chiara is so sweet and takes great care of Pippa, and Darren knows so much of the history that it's like having a personal tour guide.

I especially enjoyed that it felt like I was in Italy with Pippa, truly sharing in her adventure and wonder. It was great to see the sights with her fresh eyes and through her camera lens. Kristin Rae has created a beautiful journey through Italy with romance, intrigue, and joy. It was so much fun, I read it in two days.

Wish You Were Italian is a great debut novel by Kristin Rae and it has increased my desire to go to Italy.

Love, Lucy reviewed by JoLee.
Wish You Were Italian reviewed by Paige.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...